Help me with my first N+1 (gravel)

I have one bicycle. I just got my dream job and need help deciding how to celebrate. Help!

Only bike: 2023 Canyon Ultimate SL 7 with Hunt wheels. I commute, train, and race (all types of road races) on it. Plus, I have some gravel-ish tires on the original wheels that I throw on to do very “friendly” gravel. I will upgrade this eventually, but not yet.

Goals: Open up more ride locations in southern Arizona (sand and rocks) and occasionally on vacation. I do not intend to do gravel races. Vacation might get foresty but not really muddy. That said, my family is in Oregon and I’d love to go up for a cx weekend or two sometime–mud galore! But I’m pretty sure any of my options can cover an extraordinarily rare (if ever) cx appearance. It will likely also serve as my bad-weather commuter and general back-up bike, so it will see a lot of pavement.

Limits: I don’t really want to spend much more than I spent on my Ultimate (~$4k). But I need to celebrate, so I can be pressured. I want electronic shifting and am leaning toward 2x, but I can be talked out of both of these also. 2x seems harder to find.


  • Grail ($2.9k currently - almost pulled the trigger, but then it went out of stock in my size)
  • Grizl ($3.5k - probably strongest candidate right now, though no power and no integrated storage.)
  • Lauf ($3.7k - Comes with a powermeter, but long cranks for me. Boyfriend likes his; I’m not sure how I feel about matching.)
  • Terra ($4.5k - custom paint is appealing, as is integrated storage, and that fit is somewhat customizable, but cranks only go down to 170mm and no powermeter)
  • Crux ($5k currently - team sponsor might disown me.)
  • Revolt ($5.5k before team discount - would be nice to spend money at the team shop and is 2x, but hard to justify compared to the cost of other bikes even with the discount. Also no powermeter. Talk me into it?)
  • Aspero ($5.5k - people seem to like it, but I’m not sure why it’s a substantially better pick than the others)
  • Kaius ($$$$ - also eligible for team discount but way too expensive even with it)
  • Others?

I’m not opposed to building something up from scratch, and actually that appeals to me as something of a gearhead, but not sure there’s an economical option. I tried to get a Revolt frame in my size but they are apparently nowhere to be found.

I know this bike isn’t on your list, but I just finished building up a Marin Headlands 2 frame with force eagle. I bought a complete bike for 2k. Between selling what came on the bike and purchasing upgrades, I made out at $3,500 for my dream build. I can’t say a negative thing about my experience with the bike…absolutely love it. It’s also something you won’t see every day.
EDIT: One major setback would be it’s 1x only (and it looks like that might matter to you).


If you love Canyon bikes, get the new Grail. It’s excellent and fast.


I would go with the last 2.

They have the best road bike feel that can also do gravel

One of my mates has a Crux and the other has a Lauf, both are good bikes but given the performance relative to the rider I think I prefer the Crux. Although I think the suspension in the Lauf would be great I think I prefer the look of the Crux too. Having said that if I was personally going for n+1 I’d go down the Titanium route.

I have a Giant Revolt (Advanced Pro) and love it, but I’m with you on the price and the 2x. I found a great deal on the frame and built it up with Force AXS 1x. The geometry is pretty middle of the road, so it’s good both on the road and in chunky gravel. I think the Crudlx is similarly straight on the middle, but doesn’t have as much tire clearance as the Revolt (53c max on the Giant vs 48? On the Specialized).

Apart from that, when you say “friendly” gravel is that likely where you’ll stay? Basically, are you really looking for something more like a road bike that’ll fit fatter tires, or are you interested in something with even more tire clearance that cound handle sloppier gravel events?

If you’re starting, I’d lean towards as much tire clearance as you can get. Better to have it and not need it than the other way around. The Lauf does up to 57c. The Ari (formerly Fezzari) Shafer and the Canyon Grizl both do 50c, too. The Ari gets great reviews and the prices are really excellent.

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Let just me put some spicy on it. Is a gravel bike the one?

Asking because I have a similar idea. I have a TCR which I love, and road is my preference. Also, there are a lot of nice routes for a gravel bike around here, A LOT.

So the natural conclusion: buy a Gravel to have a brake (and fun) from the training days on the road, commute, etc.

Ok, but a gravel is still very similar to a road. So why not an MTB, and then go to technical trails? No need for a full suspension, a nice HT will cost you 4k and nothing stops you from going where a gravel bike goes, but, you have the option to ride MTB trails and REALLY have a break from the road. I really don’t think that a nice HT is that much slower (if that is a point) on a gravel group ride.

Another + would be that you “work” some good skills and different muscles which I think adds up a lot to the overall fitness.

I mostly want to do patagonia ( and similar, which… my Ultimate might actually be able to handle, but not confidently (and not without swapping pedals). The best amateurs I know around here are on Crux, so massive tire clearance isn’t necessary to handle a lot of fun trails.

As far as going straight to a hardtail, I will never use a mountain bike as a bad-weather commuter… my commute is already 1-1.5 hours long on my race bike, and I’m not looking to make it longer. And I’m a cat 4 woman who rides with cat 2 men. I don’t need to slow them down more than I already do. I also have access to a mountain bike I can use if really called for. Maybe someday I’ll get my own, but not this round.

After weeks of debating different bikes, I give up. Maybe used prices will come down eventually and something will come along.

If you’re on a team, and there is a team shop, talk to them to see if there’s any of last season’s frames going cheap?

Team shop can’t seem to get anything that isn’t available online.

I bought a new gravel bike a few months ago and considered many of the same bikes. Wanted ability to run wider tires which eliminated some. Also planned to race it which eliminated others. Eventually narrowed it down to the Lauf or Revolt. Also preferred 2x and found an Advanced Pro for $1k off so went that route and have been very happy with it. Considering you race the road bike, I’d lean towards something more on the racey side… just in case :wink:.

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I have a Crux and LOVE it for the fast and hilly gravel that I ride in my area. I hate chunky class 4 gravel. I also commute on it because 40mm tubeless is cush.

I’d only buy 2x for a gravel bike if you plan to do a lot of road riding and don’t have a dedicated road bike. For 1x gearing changes, I’d only splurge for a mullet setup. I don’t need more cadence choices or the ability to pedal faster than 30mph.

Crux is so tempting but so expensive. Found a used 2020 model for $5k(!).

Found a used Scott Addict Gravel… 2x force axs and well worn (and likely overpriced for a gouged 2021 model). And a used Open Wide 1x AXS force mullet. Both under $4k and lighter than what I’ve been looking at new. Hard to justify any of this over the value of a new Lauf, but I am just not psyched about the Lauf at all.

The more I look the more I just want to save up for a nicer road bike.

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I own a Lauf Seigla and an Orbea Terra, and have owned a Grizl.

The Seigla fork is a big differentiator. It works great for rough gravel and light single track, but makes for non-deal road performance. Maybe that’s not important since you have a road bike. Seigla Rigid is also an option; it’s so hard to beat Lauf for value, and the bikes are super nice.

You can’t go wrong with any of these; I’d pick based on geometry and fit, and how close the stock bars/stem/cranks are to your preference. Note the Grizl has a weird oversized steerer, so you’re limited on what stem you can run. Grail and Terra both have semi-integrated cables, which looks nice but can be a bit more of a hassle when breaking down the bike to travel.


Thanks for the insights. I’d be getting the rigid version of the lauf. No interest in a suspension.

It’s hard to figure fit when geometry is so different in general for a gravel bike. I love the fit of my Ultimate, but I don"t know how to translate that. I’m a pretty average man for a woman… 5’8" with a ~31" inseam… so I figure it’s not hard for me to get a reasonably good fit. At the same time, I can’t try many of these locally.

How do you like the Terra?

I hear you, but relative to the rest of their lineup, it’s not bad. An S-Works Crux is currently $8,500

Obviously, we all have different fits, feels, and riding environments, but for comparison, I actually found that when I went from a Lauf spring fork to a rigid fork with wider tubeless tires I barely noticed any difference.

The Terra is great; probably the most versatile of the gravel bikes I’ve tried. Frame storage, round seat post, well-thought-out cable routing. You can put a 2x on it and have a very good all-road bike, but it can also easily take a 45mm tire (and a bit bigger if you don’t have a front derailleur in the way.) Option to mount legit fenders (possibly not a consideration for you). You could reasonably use it for bikepacking or, with different wheels and gears, road racing.

I also really appreciate that Orbea publishes a legit technical document for the bike, and all small parts and accessories are easy to purchase directly from them.

The semi-integrated cables are way easier to live with and pack up a bike for travel than full-integrated, but the amount of slack in the cables can slightly limit handlebar placement when packing the bike. Probably not an issue for you as you’d be on a smaller frame (I have an XL which is a tight fit in most travel bags/boxes.)

Personally I also like the unusual paint options and the fact that it’s not another Specialized/Trek/Cervelo. I think it’s a cool bike.

I own a Lauf. Two actually- a true grit and thier new road bike.
The fork is a game changer on gravel. The customer service is really good. They are a really great value.
Ditch the Boy friend and buy the lauf ( wink)

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Im biased, but Jibe cycleworks out of salt lake makes a fantastic gravel bike that is very affordable called the dormichi. They don’t have a 2x on their website but they will sell you one and give you 2x at OEM price if you just ask as they build up every order custom. If you go aluminum wheels and mechanical, you could have grx 2x for right around $4000, and probably still under $5000 for carbon wheel and grx Di2 if thats your thing. Jibe Doromichi – Jibe Cycleworks