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Banned Sock Puppet
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Now, Sir Lombard makes a point as to your "commuting" .
The Queen has not knighted me yet, so you do not need to call me Sir, unless you really want to. :D
 

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If you're going to ride on the road, then get a road bike. I'd have to drive 40 miles to even find a gravel road around here. Get a bike suited for what you want to use it for. You don't need huge tires or disc brakes. Used is not a bad idea. In the U.S., at least where i live, there seems to be a shortage of all things bike related, including bikes.
 

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Hi OP, given your interests, I am thinking an endurance road bike with 30mm-32mm of tire clearance should be fine for you. The Contend mentioned above would certainly be near the top of my list due to the value and pricing. You would actually be able to afford one of the nicest Contend models with your budget believe it or not. They have really positive reviews as well. Other options are the alloy Specialized Roubaix and Diverge, the aluminum Trek Checkpoint and Domane, and Kona and Marin have some respectable models at your price point. Let us know which way you decide to go!
 

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Most road bikes these days take at least a 28mm tire. Those should be plenty comfy once you figure out your tire pressure needs. A gravel bike's only benefit will be fitting even wider tires, which given your intended use will give you diminishing returns. Stick with a road bike. If for some reason you want to go with wider tires, look at a cyclocross race bike which will give you some of the benefits of a full on gravel bike (somewhat wider tires) without many of the drawbacks (added weight, overbuilt, gear ratio, etc.). My 1 "road bike" is a cross bike with 28mm slick tires. Plenty capable on the road, but I'm also not doing fast group rides and such. If I was, I think my fitness would be a bigger factor than the bike.
 

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Discussion Starter #29
Thanks for all the advice! I have been soaking up as kuch information as I can.

Yes, I will be on the road majority if not all the time. I have decided to get a road bike. Once I have made the purchase, I will update this thread immediately.

Again, thanks a lot. All the advice is truly appreciated!


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Thanks for all the advice! I have been soaking up as kuch information as I can.

Yes, I will be on the road majority if not all the time. I have decided to get a road bike. Once I have made the purchase, I will update this thread immediately.

Again, thanks a lot. All the advice is truly appreciated!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
No problem at all. Happy to help. Here's a few more nice budget friendly options to consider as you explore and make up your mind. There are reviews out there on all of them if you search a bit. Take care and enjoy whatever you get.

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/allez-sport/p/184448?color=293201-184448&searchText=90021-6044

https://www.cannondale.com/en-us/bikes/road/endurance/synapse/synapse-sora?sku=c12650m1048

https://www.cannondale.com/en-us/bikes/road/race/caad-optimo/caad-optimo-4?sku=c14401m1044
 

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Banned Sock Puppet
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No problem at all. Happy to help. Here's a few more nice budget friendly options to consider as you explore and make up your mind. There are reviews out there on all of them if you search a bit. Take care and enjoy whatever you get.

https://www.specialized.com/us/en/allez-sport/p/184448?color=293201-184448&searchText=90021-6044

https://www.cannondale.com/en-us/bikes/road/endurance/synapse/synapse-sora?sku=c12650m1048

https://www.cannondale.com/en-us/bikes/road/race/caad-optimo/caad-optimo-4?sku=c14401m1044
Some good choices here for sure. But keep in mind the two Cannondales are bikes with two different purposes. The CAAD is a race bike with aggressive geometry. The Synapse is an endurance bike with a more relaxed geometry.
 

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Some good choices here for sure. But keep in mind the two Cannondales are bikes with two different purposes. The CAAD is a race bike with aggressive geometry. The Synapse is an endurance bike with a more relaxed geometry.
True, but the bike categories thing is completely overrated in my opinion. I have owned and ridden something from pretty much every category over the years and your body typically adjusts to the relatively subtle differences over a short period time. With spacers and a good fit specialist on your side, you can pretty much make almost anything work well unless there is an injury or some physical limitation involved. These are all great all around options for any rider, especially one at the OP's level. Trying them out and seeing them in person will help him decide which he likes best. That being said, if it were my money, I would be looking hard at the Giant Contend AR and the Cannondale Synapse. Those bikes do everything well and would be great for mixed terrain riding and long group rides.
 

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True, but the bike categories thing is completely overrated in my opinion. I have owned and ridden something from pretty much every category over the years and your body typically adjusts to the relatively subtle differences over a short period time.
That really depends on age and flexibility.

With spacers and a good fit specialist on your side, you can pretty much make almost anything work well............
This sounds along the lines of trying to make the wrong bike fit. It's usually not the greatest idea.

That being said, if it were my money, I would be looking hard at the Giant Contend AR and the Cannondale Synapse. Those bikes do everything well and would be great for mixed terrain riding and long group rides.
Agreed. I believe the Synapse now has clearance for 30 or 32mm tires which is another plus for that one. I believe the CAAD has narrower clearances. As someone who is approaching 60, I appreciate the smoother ride wider tires provide.
 

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has clearance for 30 or 32mm tires which is another plus for that one. I believe the CAAD has narrower clearances. As someone who is approaching 60, I appreciate the smoother ride wider tires provide.
If/when I get a new bike, 30-32 clearance will likely be the sweet spot I will go after. I can easily run that on the cross bike, so not sure there is much need.
 

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... I have decided to get a road bike. Once I have made the purchase, I will update this thread immediately.
Please do!
And let me be the first to contribute an additional $1000 savings towards your first Road Bike purchase; by simply forgoing the stater bike mentality mistake.

BTW Where are you riding ? ... I think we're all interested in your success.
 

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Thanks for all the advice! I have been soaking up as kuch information as I can.

Yes, I will be on the road majority if not all the time. I have decided to get a road bike. Once I have made the purchase, I will update this thread immediately.

Again, thanks a lot. All the advice is truly appreciated!


Sent from my iPhone using Tapatalk Pro
Good decision. The closest I ever came to a gravel bike was a Fuji Cross I bought from Colorado Cyclist probably 20+ years ago, before gravel was even a thing. It was a steel bike with Ultegra. I had other road bikes, but figured this would be fun. It didn't take long before I replaced the knobby tires with road tires, because they seemed so slow. The cantilever brakes sucked. They didn't work well and I was constantly tinkering with them. So I replaced them with v-brakes and a travel agent. It was a lot heavier and didn't handle s well as my other road bikes. I realized that I was trying to turn this thing into a road bike, and that wasn't what it was designed to do, so I got rid of it.

I get people occasionally asking me about commuting to work on a bike. I've been doing it for almost 30 years. There's a great network of paved bike trails in the DC area. I tell them to get a road bike because they'll be riding on pavement. Invariably, they go out and get a hybrid. A year or so later, they've either abandoned bike commuting, or are in the market for a road bike.
 

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Good decision. The closest I ever came to a gravel bike was a Fuji Cross I bought from Colorado Cyclist probably 20+ years ago, before gravel was even a thing. It was a steel bike with Ultegra. I had other road bikes, but figured this would be fun. It didn't take long before I replaced the knobby tires with road tires, because they seemed so slow. The cantilever brakes sucked. They didn't work well and I was constantly tinkering with them. So I replaced them with v-brakes and a travel agent. It was a lot heavier and didn't handle s well as my other road bikes. I realized that I was trying to turn this thing into a road bike, and that wasn't what it was designed to do, so I got rid of it.

I get people occasionally asking me about commuting to work on a bike. I've been doing it for almost 30 years. There's a great network of paved bike trails in the DC area. I tell them to get a road bike because they'll be riding on pavement. Invariably, they go out and get a hybrid. A year or so later, they've either abandoned bike commuting, or are in the market for a road bike.
I still say it all depends on the conditions of your roads. I recently did a ride on my road bike that had a 5-mile segment of chip seal. It was not pleasant and I was wishing I had brought the gravel bike.

Today's gravel bikes are much lighter than the older "multi-use bikes" for lack of a better description. I presume yours was more like an older touring bike. Those could be quite heavy. My gravel bike is only 23lbs. and some are lighter.
 

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I still say it all depends on the conditions of your roads. I recently did a ride on my road bike that had a 5-mile segment of chip seal. It was not pleasant and I was wishing I had brought the gravel bike.

Today's gravel bikes are much lighter than the older "multi-use bikes" for lack of a better description. I presume yours was more like an older touring bike. Those could be quite heavy. My gravel bike is only 23lbs. and some are lighter.
On a long ride, I'd still prefer a road bike, even if a small part of it is on a chip seal road. I have no interest in gravel bikes. I live in an urban area. I'd probably have to drive 40 miles to even find a gravel road.

No, it wasn't a multi use bike. It was a cyclocross bike. It was actually a deal for $700 at the time. Reynolds True Temper OX Platinum frame/fork and full Ultegra parts (except for the crappy brakes). I don't think it weighed that much. In this day and age, 23 lbs. is a tank.
 
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