Gravel Bikes?

Josh41

Adventurer
We are a few months in, Surly Midnight Special for me and a Salsa Journey[wo]man for the wife. Both are 650b. Really enjoying the freedom of just turning off the pavement and exploring. We didn't travel this last summer for obvious reasons, so now we are looking for some gravel routes for next year's trip from Mass out to.... you tell me.
Typically we spend a few weeks in Colorado, but really we are just looking for someplace we can pedal and explore with out travel, lots of unpaved roads and then end up back at camp. We love CO, MT, and WY but are open to anything within 2 days of Massachusetts.
What are you all doing with your gravel bikes?
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St8ton

Well-known member
I just recently got back into cycling, more specifically gravel bikes. It's been a blast like you mentioned...just out riding and find a gravel road, go explore. Not to say you couldn't do that on a regular road bike; but it's way more comfortable and less likely of a puncture on a gravel specific tire. I plan to carry the bike with me more frequently on future trips.
Bike: 2020 Trek Checkpoint SL5

 

Crack Monkey

New member
I'll be doing the TransVA valley route at the end of May. 520 miles of gravel/road/double-track from DC to Damascus, VA. Haven't planned anything yet, beyond the start date.

I'll be riding a rigid Niner Sir9. I have a gravel bike too (AllCity Nature Boy) but for that mileage I think I'll appreciate the extra cushion of the 2.25" tires over the 35mm on the gravel bike.
 

MTVR

Well-known member
I'll be doing the TransVA valley route at the end of May. 520 miles of gravel/road/double-track from DC to Damascus, VA. Haven't planned anything yet, beyond the start date.

I'll be riding a rigid Niner Sir9. I have a gravel bike too (AllCity Nature Boy) but for that mileage I think I'll appreciate the extra cushion of the 2.25" tires over the 35mm on the gravel bike.
How about a Monstercross bike?
 

Mfitz

Member
Here are a few resources for locating dirt roads and gravel-bikable routes in our area. VT and NH have huge networks of dirt roads, many that are no longer open to vehicles, and so great for bikers looking to avoid vehicle dust clouds.



Also look at bikepacking.com for route info. Even if you don't want to do an overnight you can ride a section of a longer loop, sometimes just the best parts.

 

Crack Monkey

New member
How about a Monstercross bike?
Yeah, that would work fine for TransVA, either route. My neighbor has a similar rigid Niner that he runs with drop bars. I've thought about swapping to drops, but the expense of swapping shifters and rear derailleur puts me off. I could go with narrower tires (2.0 or so), but we'll be lazy-river pacing the ride, so I'm not really concerned about rolling resistance or speed.
 

clarence2

New member
Lucked into finding a Specialized Diverge Expert E5 Evo last week.

I'll add a second wheelset in 650B/2.1".
 

CCH

Adventurer
Slow thread, but since I just bought a gravel bike let's give it another shot. I live in the middle of MTB country near Fruita, Colorado and had a full suspension mountain bike bought to ride with my son who never got into it. I've had to many back surgeries to do much single track, and decided that commuting to work via bike was going to jump start getting in shape. Sold the MTB and ended up with a Salsa Journeyman Sora 650. Bike supplies being what they are, I feel very fortunate to have found one locally. For me it is truly the all around bike. It is decent for my ride to school, but capable of doing fire roads when we go camping. Now that I've got a bike that will actually get me some distance on varying terrain, the whole bike packing thing has obvious appeal. Will have to see what develops in that regard, but my wife has cut me off from buying anymore bike gear for a bit. ;)
 

Howard70

Adventurer
...ended up with a Salsa Journeyman Sora 650. ...
Welcome to the Salsa clan. I ride a 2017 carbon Cutthroat on about 30% of my rides. It is a great bikepacking mount as long as the route doesn't involve long sections of rough "hike a bike" - on those trips I prefer my carbon Mukluk on 3" 27.5 wheels. Ironically the Mukluk and the Cuttthroat weigh about the same (26 - 27 lbs) but the Mukluk carries easier for me as the top tube has a convenient notch.

You've got a lot of tremendous country for riding!

Cutthroat in bikepacking trim:



Howard
 
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