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Having ridden a 3x mtb for quite a while (well over 5 years....) I'm on the market for a gravel/cx one.

I tried some and, while I'm definitely after a light carbon frame bike, the biggest difference I noticed came from the gears. And here's the point: as I understand it, many a road bike have a 52-36 crankset and 11-28 cassette. This gives you a ratio of 4.72/1.28 which in gear/inches translates as 35.8-132.16 ({Gear/Inches} =wheel diameter in inches X n° of teeth in front chainring divided by n° of teeth in rear sprocket}}...if I understand it right. Great for speeding, not so when climbing (I live in the South of France and climbing cannot be avoided).

I noticed that, for example (similar price bracket):

1)The lovely White Essex One has a: 44 (1x) & 10-42cassette= 4.4/1.04 , i.e. gear/inches:  29.2 - 123.2

2)The new Giant Revolt Advanced2: 48-32   & 11-34cassette = 4.36/0.94, i.e. gear/inches: 26.3- 122.1 

3)The new Orro Terra C Adventure:   48-32       11-30                  = 4.36/1.06                                    29.7- 122.1

and so on...

Am I doing it right? Because from this it appears that, for ex, the n°2 climbs more easily and it is not that much "slower" when speeding.. 

Basically: can anyone advise on a carbon frame bike, in this price bracket, that I can (also) take offroad on steep paths but that would allow me to keep up with my friends on road bikes....?

For reference, my old Giant 3x mtb: 42-22         11-30                 = 3.81/0.73                                    19 - 99.1 (insanely easy for climbing but makes me pedal like crazy when speeding on flat asphalt road...!!).

Any comment would be appreciated!

 

Huck.

43 comments

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CXR94Di2 [2625 posts] 6 months ago
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Huckfinn wrote:

Thanks for that.

I just don't get "Make sure the spec you want gearing IE . 21"-115"

Can you pls explain what you meant?

 

I thought you wanted easy gearing for climbing, but also enough top end to stay with your friends,.  You talked in gear inches so i talked that way . 21" equates to having minimum gearing of 30t chainring and 36t cog on the cass.   115" is 48t chainring with an 11t on the cassette.   FSA do an Adventure series of chainsets 50/34, 48/32 46/30.    SHimano do 50/34 which has a BCD(bolt centre circle) 110mm so can only take a 33t inner ring smallest.  FSA Adventure crankset are 90mm so can go smaller in the inner ring down to 30t.

 

Youre quite light, so a 48/32 FSA sub compact crankset would probably suit you very well. Get a 10speed, 11-36 cassette and you have a good range of gearing 23" on the easy end 115" top end

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Huckfinn [40 posts] 6 months ago
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CXR94Di2, somehow I didn't see your last comment, and prepared the following list. Now I'll check your comments......:

 -FRAME:         Cube Agree C:62 SLT     (which I could find at a good price)                                                            -FORK:            Cube Axial WLS C:62 SL                                                                                                                               -GROUPSET: Sram Force 22 or Ultegra Hydro 2x: at least a 48/32-11/34 (or better 50…)                          -WHEELS:       three out of a few that seem good:                                                                                                                                                 1) https://www.cycledivision.co.uk/cero-ar24-evo-alloy-wheelset-2017                                                         2) https://www.lightbicycle.com/700C-V-shape-36mm-depth-hand-built-carbon-r...                                                                                                                                                                                3) https://www.chainreactioncycles.com/fr/fr/roues-a-disque-prime-pro/rp-pr...                                                                                                                                                                                                                                              -TIRES:             Terrene Elwood 700x40: https://www.planetx.co.uk/i/q/TYTEREW7/terrene-elwood-700c-tyre                                                                                                                                                                                       -HANDLEBAR:         3T Ergoterra Carbon: https://www.evanscycles.com/en-fr/3t-ergoterra-team-carbon-cyclocross-ha...                                                                                                                                                         -BAR TAPE:               Specialized BG Phat: https://www.sigmasports.com/item/Specialized/BG-Phat-45mm-Bar-Tape/DI8

.............what do you guys think?   

+

1)Any suggestion for an "aero" handlebar" with internal cable routing?                                                          2)Also: what do you think of the AbsoluteBlack 48/32 sub-compact chainring?                                            3)And the ShockStop Suspension Stem?

P.S.: I now see what you mean: I basically could install an FSA 50/34 or 48/32, the first with an 11/36 cassette, the second with a 10/40 one?

 

Thanks!!

 

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CXR94Di2 [2625 posts] 6 months ago
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1)Any suggestion for an "aero" handlebar" with internal cable routing?                                                          2)Also: what do you think of the AbsoluteBlack 48/32 sub-compact chainring?                                            3)And the ShockStop Suspension Stem?

P.S.: I now see what you mean: I basically could install an FSA 50/34 or 48/32, the first with an 11/36 cassette, the second with a 10/40 one?

 

Reply to your questions above

1) Aero bars or complete assy bar stems need to be perfect width and reach or it could be an expensive mistake.  You could try cheap aluminium bars and stems to get the best comfortable setup then upgrade to a integrated stem/bars after-just a thought

2) A couple of my friends have swapped out their 50/34 rings for these Absolute Black sub compact rings and love them  1

3) Shockstop, Id never heard of them until you posted.

  What size tyres are you thinking of using, are they going to be tubeless or not?

  Virtually all suspension comes from the tyres, so if you are using 28/32/35/38mm tubeless tyres with just the right amount of psi, they will feel super smooth and comfy

Here is a review of the stem

https://road.cc/content/review/249893-redshift-sports-shockstop-suspensi...

 

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Huckfinn [40 posts] 6 months ago
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Cool,

Thanks for that!

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Huckfinn [40 posts] 6 months ago
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So,

I found two used Giant TCX bikes. I'm quite "particular" towards the TCX. I tried it and liked it. The ones I found for sale, alas, are rather different from each other: 

- The first is full carbon, dates back to 2017, is a 2x Shimano 105 BUT has Spyre TRP Disc Brakes & average quality Giant PX-2 wheels.

- The second is 2X mix of Dura Ace and Ultegra, full hydraulic disc brakes BUT has an Aluxx frame + Carbon fork, is a 2016 model and has better CXR-1 wheels.

Similar price range (800/900 Euros).

The first is basically spanking new, the second just a bit more used......

NOW: what do you all think? ....I need some advice!!

Basically, which is the less devil: Spyre TRP brakes or aluminium frame.....? (I really would not upgrade the aluminium frame but, looking at the negative feedback I see on the net,  I guess I could get rid of the Spyre and update to hydraulics....?)

 

Thanks!

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CXR94Di2 [2625 posts] 6 months ago
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Huckfinn wrote:

So,

I found two used Giant TCX bikes. I'm quite "particular" towards the TCX. I tried it and liked it. The ones I found for sale, alas, are rather different from each other: 

- The first is full carbon, dates back to 2017, is a 2x Shimano 105 BUT has Spyre TRP Disc Brakes & average quality Giant PX-2 wheels.

- The second is 2X mix of Dura Ace and Ultegra, full hydraulic disc brakes BUT has an Aluxx frame + Carbon fork, is a 2016 model and has better CXR-1 wheels.

Similar price range (800/900 Euros).

The first is basically spanking new, the second just a bit more used......

NOW: what do you all think? ....I need some advice!!

Basically, which is the less devil: Spyre TRP brakes or aluminium frame.....? (I really would not upgrade the aluminium frame but, looking at the negative feedback I see on the net,  I guess I could get rid of the Spyre and update to hydraulics....?)

 

Thanks!

Need to go back a step and confirm a few requirements.

What maximum tyre size?

What gearing on groupset, chain ring sizes and cassette range?

Brakes, confirm disc and hydraulic?

frame type, you seem set on carbon.

 

The bikes you listed which models and list their spec re gearing and rear derailleur type(long cage or short)

Edit What I can find is https://road.cc/content/review/173646-giant-tcx-slr-1   

Groupset 46/36  11-28 cass.  Is that low enough and high enough gearing?

 

 

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Huckfinn [40 posts] 6 months ago
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Hey, 

Thanks!

-Max tyre size is 40c for both models, which is fine

-The Carbon one has a 105 11 speed 36/46-11/28, TRP Spyre Discs,

-The Aluxx has Dura Ace 34/50-Ultegra 11/34 (I could put an 11/36 on this one I think), Hydraulic Discs,

I seem to prefer carbon, but as the frame I wanted to buy to build a bike is not my size and any other decent one seems quite expensive, I started looking and second hand bikes...I'm not sure if the listed bikes have a long or short derailleur. I have a friend that could change that, I guess..

And I guess the second one has better highs and lows, doesn't it...?

I was simply concerned about an aluminium frame...I mean, I've done 110k km on my Giant Aluminium MTB. Ans it looks kind of new..So I guess they do good frames. Just that everybody seems to think carbon's better. And also the weight issue with aluminium....

 

Anyway: the first one is this: https://www.leboncoin.fr/velos/1551180746.htm/

The second one is "similar" to the link you posted, except the guy changed groupset, wheels and it has full hydraulics... 

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CXR94Di2 [2625 posts] 6 months ago
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If  the aluminium is 11 speed the largest cassette will be 11-34, not a problem if that is enough for climbing?. 

11-36 cassette only came in 10 speed.  If you want even more then its MTB groupsets, but that brings issues with there are no road shifters to match unless you go full electronic Shimano Di2.

It looks like there will be associated costs to improve gearing.  

 

I refer you back to the 2019 Boardman ADV 8.9. 

Its 10 speed with 48/32 cranksetset. (could change inner ring to 30t)https://www.tweekscycles.com/uk/fsa-pro-road-120-90bcd-chainring-2003198...

You could fit a 11-34 10speed cassette(10-speed Cassette CS-HG500 11-34 £25) or try a 11-36 with a long cage Tiagra derailleur.  

So for less than £100 pounds upgrade this new Boardman with a cassette and inner chain ring

 

By far the simpliest and cost efficient route to a an allround bike you want

https://www.boardmanbikes.com/gb_en/products/2138-adv-8.9.html

 

 

 

 

 

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rdmp2 [71 posts] 6 months ago
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Are you overthinking this? Buy a bike that you like and fits you- the gearing can always be adjusted later (at cost though). THe weight difference between carbon + 105 and Alu + ultegra/dura ace will prob be small. You seem set on carbon- get the carbon bike, 105 is great. Alternatively with a 40c tyre any lack of comfort from alu won’t be noticeable at all. If you are a person who would upgrade components then go for the carbon frame. Personally I’d rather have the hydro brakes and alu frame. Ride the bike, decide whether the gearing needs altering and change it over time

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Huckfinn [40 posts] 6 months ago
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CXR94Di2 wrote:

11-36 cassette only came in 10 speed.  ...

 

Do you reckon this road one from Sram in 11/36 would not be compatible?:

https://www.evanscycles.com/sram-powerglide-1170-11-speed-road-cassette-...

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CXR94Di2 [2625 posts] 6 months ago
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Possibly.  If the derailleur wont clear the biggest cog on the cass, it will require a long cage derailleur/or fot a lomg cage yourself.  Else it will need a ''road link" or "Wolf tooth' derailleur hanger extension.

 

You know how to adjust the B screw on a derailleur?

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Huckfinn [40 posts] 6 months ago
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Excellent, thanks!!

Just looked it up on youtube. 

Now I sent an email to these guys to make sure their Carbon wheels 

@rdmp2: thanks for the advice!!

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Huckfinn [40 posts] 6 months ago
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Ok,

So I found what I was originally looking for and thought would have been quite hard to find.

This one:

https://www.giant-bicycles.com/us/tcx-advanced-1-2014

And it seems to be in almost new condition at a great price.

The original one, the colour I was looking for.

So one question: you guys reckon I can swap the original 11x28 10 speed cassette for an 11-36, right?

Thanks!!

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