I’m really struggling right now to chose my new bike (yeah I know, there are worse problems in the world at the moment !), and I don’t know if a Gravel is the right fit for me.
I’m a recreational rider. I ride alone and don’t do races (which is as good, with my 2.3 FTP). I go for short rides of 1h30 to 2h in the French countryside with small hills (nothing more than a few miles at a 5% average) and a lot of forest. I ride an entry level road bike : Orbea Avent 30 with Shimano Claris and recently put some 25mm tires on it.
Here’s my struggle: I don’t understand tire widths. I read the entire thread related to it (Big difference between road bike and gravel bike with road tires), but it didn’t help as much as I’d hoped. I like the idea of having a polyvalent bike, that allows me to go in the woods, especially during the winter days and to stay on the somewhat beaten paths. But they tend to get very muddy in winter.
When all is said and told, I’m sure it’ll be 80% road and 20% off road
I suppose the obvious answer would be to try a gravel bike and see how it feels, but it doesn’t seem to be an option where I live. There’s this French maker (Origine) that allows you to conceive your bike from A to Z, and it looks fantastic and I want to give them my money. But I don’t know which one to chose.
On their gravel bikes, that have a very racy feeling to them, you can mount 30mm to 42mm tires on 700c wheels. With a 105 Shimano groupset, this puts it at a $2000 price tag ($150 more for Ultegra, but I know I don’t need it) for 8.6 kgs.
I don’t know if it makes more sense to have 35mm tires, or if I should get 30mm tires for the summer and switch to 40mm ones for the winter ? How big is it a difference between 25mm tires and 35mm tires in terms of power ? If I’m used to 27km/h for 1h30, will I go down to 25km/h on the same distance with 35mm instead of 25mm ? That’s really my biggest concern.
Or should I invest in a complete wheelset (one with 25 or 28mm and the other with 40mm), so I can switch between both easily (but I figure that’s another $300 investment) ?
OR I could just buy a 1 700$ road bike and a $300 mountain bike…hehe…
Here’s the bike I have in mind, but with a compact crankset and 105 shimano
thanks a lot for helping me brainstorm this !