Groadie as main bike

I don’t think you can, max tire size is 33mm. However I don’t think I would ride on muddy conditions.

Presumably you already have a road bike of some sort. This allows you to try a gravel bike with road wheels to see how it compares and make your final decision before ditching your current road bike.

I went with an Aspero and I love it. I have a 650bx48 mm setup and deep section carbon wheels with GP5000 28c and latex tubes. And 2x11 GRX. I love this bike except for two things: the cable routing mess and the non-GRX stock crank that doesn’t have the shifted over chainline (shame on you Cervélo!). I even ride this bike on mild single track (under biking can be fun).

As far as the gravel bike possibly feeling sluggish, that is mostly attributable to two things people don’t fully account for in switching bikes: the influence of tires and your body position on the bike. Your body position is THE factor that matters for aerodynamics. Narrow arms and a flat back make an order of magnitude more difference than the most aero frame and wheels. But you may want wider hand positions than on the road bike for better control on gravel.

Wide tires are typically slow, but NOT because they are wide, because they are built to take more abuse and are made with cheaper materials. Knobs are also part of that, but not as much as people think. I had WTB Horizon (file tread tires) that were sluggish, even though they are meant to be a fast tire. Then I bought Rene Herse (formerly Compass) Juniper Ridge 650b x 48 knobby tires in the Endurance casing (puncture protection version). I tell you these tires are almost as fast rolling as my (much narrower) Conti GP5000 tires. I know that sounds like crazy talk, but it’s true. If I am riding solo in pavement I will run the knobbies with zero hesitation if they are already on the bike. I don’t notice any difference unless it is windy.

Why are these wide knobby tires so fast? Mainly they are made with really high quality materials. Think how expensive really good road tires are. Now double that price due to more material used for a really wide tire. How come gravel and MTB tires don’t cost nearly that much? Simple, they use cheap materials because people expect the price to not be so high and think that wide tires are slow. Thus, that’s what the market provides.
Rene Herse tires are expensive because they use a lot of high quality material, but for the really wide tires it’s totally worth it.

Anyways, all that is to say that a gravel bike can be darn fast when you use great low rolling resistance tires and an identical position as your road bike. Then the main disadvantage is weight, which isn’t a big influence compared to your body weight and what you carry with you.


One other thing that I will point out: when doing this type of bike, don’t pick a bike with two small of a maximum tire size. Tire volume increases much faster than tire width. So a 48 mm tire has a much bigger advantage over a 42 mm tire than it seems for a smoother ride and more float over rocks and sand. See below.

Tire Size, Radius, Volume

Radius is what affects bb height, handling
Volume is what affects comfort and float

700x25 is 340 mm radius, 1.0 L
700x28 is 343 mm radius, 1.25 L, same radius as 650x47 but only 37% of the volume
700x32 is 347 mm, 1.65 L
700x38 is 353 mm, 2.35 L
700x42 is 357 mm, 2.9 L, this is 11 mm higher BB than 650bx50 and 74% of volume
700x44 is 359 mm, 3.2 L
650x42 is 338 mm, 2.7 L
650x47 is 343 mm, 3.4 L, same radius as 700x28 but 272% volume
650x50 is 346 mm, 3.9 L
650x54 is 350 mm, 4.6 L


Thinking about pulling the trigger on the Exploro Race Force AXS 2X. Increasing chance that my first gravel event will happen in September. Have also been looking at the Rondo HRVT (max tire size too small) and Cervelo Aspero (Exploro RaceMax supports bigger tires).


I’m from Poland, the place where the HVRT was born :slight_smile: It’s not a gravel bike at all. It’s a road bike possibility to ride on it with 650B wheels. It’s race oriented, very stiff. It’s pretty good road bike with lite gravel/tough road capability but it’s not made for off road. In my opinion - great bike with a very nice look but I ordered a CX bike as my one to rule them all instead :slight_smile:


My (younger than me by over a decade) neighbor bought the Cervelo last autumn. He loves it. He’s running 700s, doesn’t do the “fat” tire like 47s, and, I’ll bet, is unlikely to do rides longer than 4hr. In other words, he isn’t looking at long days in the saddle. But, he’s much less likely to take out his full suspension MTB now that he has the Cervelo.

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Did you shim the discs to avoid having to adjust the brake calipers evrytime you change wheels?

Sorry, what do you mean by “shim the discs” - i am not a native english speaker.

I have bought absolutely identical wheelsets and discs, so there is just minimal adjustment necessary.

I have a 3T RaceMax that I use both on road (when training abroad) and gravel at home, here in Sweden.

I run DT Swiss for both gravel wheels (GR1600) and road (ARC1400 DiCut CL 62mm)

I have a Specialized Venge as well (2020) and I feel that the 3T feels very much like it on the road. Not the same snappiness but I feel very much at home on the 3T, coming from the Venge :slight_smile:

I run 50/34 front and 11-34 for both gravel and the mountains.


Great bike. I was so close to buy one but I got too good discount on Giant TCX Advanced Pro to buy Exploro. The price difference was just too high :slight_smile:

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Thats a really nice looking bike, good & clean lines on the Giant! :smiley:

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Sorry. You can buy very thin spacers to go between the brake disc and the wheel hub so that the disk is in exactly the same place so the disk doesn’t run on the pads when you change wheels. Identical wheels don’t need any.

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Wow, good to hear that sth like this exists. Can you give me a link? I have to adjust my pads any time I change the wheelset and it’s so annoing :stuck_out_tongue:

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great looking bike

There are these but if you Google disc brake shims you should get some links to 6 bolt ones. They are a bit like hen’s teeth though.Centerlock disc brakes shim spacer 5pc. bag | eBay


Dang it now I need a 650b wheelset :rofl:

I retired my dedicated road and cyclocross bikes a few years ago. Best decision ever. Mixed surface riding is what I do most these days. Because of traffic and increasing behind-the-steering-wheel-a**hole’ism a dedicated road bike is not an option anymore. With a groadie you can avoid critical roads, use gravel roads/tracks and small roads only. A blessing.

I have three wheelsets, one for race day, one for road training (mostly used when on vacation with the family) and my day to day gravel wheelset.




Ok, I think this project is go!

So next question: what are people doing with tyres? Is there a ‘70% road/30% light dirt’ tyre that people are using as a go to for good conditions mixed terrain riding?

I am sort of trying to decide on the same thing. What gets me is the thought that two $2,500 bikes (one roadie and one gravel) is going to be better combination for gravel and road riding then one $5,000 dual purpose bike with two wheel sets. Plus I have a backup bike for when one is the shop.

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Specialized path finder can do both

But a fast gravel tire is giving up 10w to a fast road tire

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