Is your gravel bike long, slack and low, bro? (Evil Chamois Hagar)

This is not your typical gravel bike. It leans heavily towards the “nice drop bar MTB, dude” kinda bike, and takes it as far as I’ve seen. Not sure what I think yet. It is probably way more than I would like for lighter rides and races.

It is more aggressive than even the Salsa Cutthroat, which largely defined the DB-MTB for racing and packing. This also steps beyond the Open WIDE for angles and tires. Interesting times.

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I’m sure it could be fun somewhere…but I don’t think I’d like it much as my daily driver. The front end would be so annoying on the road and gravel - the trail is in the high 90s!

My approach to gravel is completely the opposite - my geo is pretty darn close to my road bike, but just more tire clearance. The trail on mine is high 50s! Feels fine off-road to me and awesome on the other 99% of it’s time on gravel and pavement.

I don’t want to be that guy, but at this point just get a nice hard tail mtn bike.

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Reviews:

  • The Chamois Hagar takes the rock n’ roll attitude from the mountain bike world and combines it with the speed and pedaling position of an aggressive road bike. The result? A unique ride that’s a whole lot of fun.

  • The faster you ride the Evil, the more confident you feel. It’s almost as if you have to break the sound barrier first.*

I’ve read and watched I think like 4 or 5 reviews. Anyone else notice pretty much every picture is of this bike on single track? I can see that this might be fun to ride on McDowell Mountain trails which are buff flowy single track where your speed is limited by your tire grip, but there is very little mention in the reviews I’ve seen about riding the bike on dirt roads.

I would love to do a short ride on one to see what it is all about. The thing I don’t really get is that the trails they tested these on I’ve ridden and I think they would be much more fun on a hardtail mountain bike with some front suspension. Gravel is different to each person but at least for me I want my gravel bike to be great on gravel roads, able to ride some single track, and be able to throw a set of road wheels on if I’m doing a road ride. I have a mountain bike to ride single track and if I’m doing that type of ride it will be on that bike, not a gravel bike. For other folks maybe they never do a road ride and have an enduro or very trail’ish mountain bike so if they’re going for a more pedally ride they might want this bike but it is more capable if they come across single track.

To each their own but if I need a 66.67 head tube angle to ride something on a gravel bike I’d rather be riding my mountain bike instead.

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  • That’s a byproduct of the fact that it was a press camp in that location, and nearly all the info and pics on the CH came from that timing and location.
  • No doubt that is likely true. But the apparent point of this it so make a bike that can hang much better in those more “aggressive” places and still provide the same basic foundation (700c wheels, rigid efficiency) that is seen on other gravel bikes.

I see it as them adding more capability on that end and can’t see much loss on the other. It takes an already capable platform (wide-tired, all-road, gravel bike) and pushes it a bit further to the off-road segment. For those racing and doing adventures, it means the bike is even more fun & stable in those fringe conditions, if and when they get to them.

What about the bike makes it “worse” than a regular gravel bike in typical gravel conditions (long stretches of rolling hills with minimal and easy to navigate turns).

Sure, not everyone wants or needs to push a bike into that type of terrain, but I still don’t see the harm in this bike that has lead to so much negativity that I have seen. Like many things in life “It’s better to have it and not need it than need it and not have it”.

If someone is trying to make their “gravel” bike serve as a mixed roadie for group rides and even some racing, this is not the bike. They should steer closer to one of the more “road biased” designs that are available in all forms. But for anyone planning to keep a gravel bike dirty, and wanting to have something with wide capabilities, I see this as an interesting option.

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I think this is the right way to looks at things - What’s the downside.

That said, when I ride, 99%+ of the time I am riding either gravel where a typical gravel bike works great, or singletrack where I need/want my MTB. Very rare that I do both on the same ride.

I’d like to test ride this vs the Warbird and see what the differences are.

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I’m with Dave on this one. Yes it’s a question of what’s the downside, however I think the downside is it may actually be LESS “capable”. I’d have to ride it for sure but here are a couple potential downsides.

  • Undergunned on a gravel road ride/race. Just seems like it could be challenging to ride in a pace line with the wheel hanging that far out there and dropper adds unnecessary weight to the bike (I’m a dropper fan BTW but not for a ride with 8-10K ft of climbing)
  • Pedal Strikes: Running smaller tires than 700x50c for smoother rides/races and/or road rides takes the bottom bracket far too low
  • Wandering slow speed steering. One of the reviews discusses this. Depends a bit on the terrain obviously but having to lean significantly forward to keep the wheel down doesn’t sound ideal. This one may be a stretch as I’m generally not riding my gravel bike on that steep of terrain.

I think a lot of the negativity comes mostly from the looks and less so that if you need a bike this “capable” just ride a mountain bike mentality. Since I race some cyclocross it actually is a benefit to ride my gravel bike on single track if I end up on it anyway as it increases my skills with that style of bike.

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  • That is the first real tangible comment that I have seen.
  • Yes, at about 100mm [4"] longer wheelbase (than a typical gravel bike), it sets the rider that much further back. Could be a negative in drafting.
  • I think that will depend on the rider and potentially expanded use discussed in the TR podcast and the one with the Evil rep. Adding the dropper use for descending in a more comfortable and safe position may well be worth the weight. I know any MTB rider will say so.

  • I admit the typical use as we see it may mean the dropper is overkill, but I think it may well pay off for the weight, at least for some riders.

  • Been a while since I ran the numbers, but the swap from a light carbon post to a similar size dropper ranged from 100-250 grams. Around 1/4-1/2 pound difference.

    • Consider that a flat race where you don’t “need” a dropper will be of minimal impact overall since there is not a ton of elevation change. Maybe braking and acceleration for corners could add up to enough to matter?
    • And in just about any race with climbing, you will have descending. The pitches and ability to do each are potentially impacted by the weight to pull up, but potential advantage on the way down.
  • All getting to the point that I don’t even see the dropper as a purely negative option. As above, keep it dirty and I think the setup makes good general sense.

As an option for me, the main negative is that the stock options are 1x, and I would like to have the new GRX 2x. I could go frame-only and I think I saw a “custom” option on there, so that might open the door there.

It isn’t as crazy a build as I might have thought at first, after comparing the whole picture against bikes like the Salsa Warbird or Cutthroat. My general history of going from Moto to BMX to MTB to Road to Gravel and liking the general history of Evil places this in the “maybe” column for me at this point.

I bet we will see a bunch of these at Leadville, sagan gravel race, etc where it’s hard to choose between a hard tail and a full on race gravel bike.

If I’m on terrain where I need a dropper I’d prefer to be on my MTB :grin:

Yep - I think I’d want 2x for gravel.

Maybe. I don’t think so for the fastest guys though - at least not without a front sus fork which is really helpful for some of the rockier descents.

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The roadie and frame build in me is bothered by the fact that the trail numbers remain the same through out the entire size run.

I’m also confused by the STA being slacker on the smaller bikes and steeper on the larger ones. It just goes against my roadie brain.

That said, the stack and reach are in-line with what my current gravel bike is. I just opted for a 73.5 - 74* STA.

The gravel I ride is less on the singletrack side and I’m certainly not hucking anything but if I were that type of rider (a MTB guy moving toward gravel) I’d be all over this thing.

Makes me want to build something similar to see how it performs.

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  • Generally agree.
  • One notable exception for me is the Dead Swede Gravel race, that goes up a stupid steep road (10-15% peaks with 7-8% average) and then we return right back down. Really steep and really fast on big loose stuff next to real exposure… is super scary with a saddle in the gut. I’d happily carry the weight for peace of mind for that descent alone. It also includes portions of MTB single track to keep it interesting. But that is likely an extreme case since we climb and drop a mountain, not found in most gravel event.
  • For the rest of the event, I want a “gravel” bike for what it offers vs the option of a HT MTB (like my Procaliber) that would be more comfortable on the rip down.

https://www.strava.com/activities/1020980160/analysis/8577/9753

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Are we talking about bikes?

Yes. Next question?

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:smile:

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Not sure it fully explains, but the podcast with the Evil guy said they aimed for a forward position to hit the UCI limits.

If true, one reason for the slacker STA may be the use of dropper posts, which are most often 0mm offset. It seems that most typical road seat posts have offset ranging from 15-25mm, which will make a slacker effective STA. So they may have had to run slack with that post offset difference.

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Yeah, I’m sure there are some races/courses out there that do mix gravel with more MTB terrain

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No way. There are plenty of cyclocross courses (nats this year as an example) where a dropper would be awesome. I wish I could put one on my bike.

RE dropper, Yup - wasn’t thinking of CX, as I’ve not ridden it. Was thinking gravel vs MTB.

Would a slacked out bike like the CH be suitable for CX? Seems like it would not be the ideal bike … but I’ll defer to other who have ridden CX

Can’t see it being good for a cx course. Typically there are lots of sharp corners (inc 180 deg turns), and you want your bike agile with a short wheelbase.

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