One bike for a ultra gravel and TT

So this year 2 of my main goals are do better in a 300 mile 60/40 road/gravel race and do a 30mph 10 mile TT.

I think it would cool to do both on the same bike. What your thoughts on bike. Im thinking a domane or maybe factor ls?

Yeah, seems the latest gen of “Endurance” road bikes are the place to look. The Domane and Roubaix added in strong doses of aero while allowing larger tires for dirt work (Domane is superior to Roubaix for clearance IIRC).

Those are the bikes I’m most familiar with, but there are others that could play like an Cervelo Aspero, 3T Exploro, Open UP and others that are in the “Aero Gravel” range.

The actual bike is lower in propriety for the TT in particular, when compared to nailing a good position on the bike first, coupled with proper fitting clothing. Wheels and tires likely a close second and the bike actually below that in terms of actual payback. All that to say that the bike can probably be fine with number of choices as long you nail position and wheel/tire setups.

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My worry with aspero for example is im a bit of a grinder and dont know if a 50 tooth max chainring will cut it

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Maybe related, but Trek seems on the cusp of releasing a new Domane model based on the ones seen in the Roubaix last weekend. Looks to be a dialed down Isospeed (simple rear, front is gone) more like the original model, likely to drop some weight. No idea if/when it will be released, but based on past history, they seem ready to show a new model in the near future.

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Yeah my concern is being able to get into a good position on a gravel bike…most grvel bikes are a bit relaxed with higher stacks. Reaches could probably be OK since more and more bikes are leaning towards shorter stems.

I was able to achieve a really good TT position on a Cervelo S2 by using a flip-flop seatpost and a -17* stem, but I think it would be a bigger challenge for a gravel bike.

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For sure, the fit is a question. Depends on the actual bike he chooses, but most of the endurance bikes will have shorter reach, higher stack than a road/TT bike for sure. Gravel heads in similar directions, but there are still LOTS of versions that are more like CX/Road setup vs the more MTB focused ones. Based on the comments above, I was guessing the OP would head more towards the road direction.

In either event, drop and reach to the clip-on aero bars will be interesting for sure. Stem and spacer setup is key and having several different lengths and angles to consider is likely necessary. But it depends on how much time, effort and energy he wants to throw at this overall, as well as if one direction really deserves more attention and priority over the other.

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Yeah, great point about the stems…i cycled through several before I ended up with that position. And it was also a pretty long stem for a TT position…a 120.

if the goal was to just participate or even “do well” in a TT, that would be one thing…but he has a pretty audacious goal - 30 mph for 10 miles. Pretty hard to just beat the wind into submission to achieve that. AN optimized position will be critical, especially since he is giving up some watts with whatever frame he chooses.

My gut reaction is a 3T Exploro would be the best choice…but it will depend on the geometries.

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Getting the saddle forward could be an issue on the Exploro. I’m pretty close to the max in my regular position on my Exploro.

I’d go with something like the Aspero with a non-proprietary seatpost for this reason alone if you need to bring your saddle forward. You’ll have a ton of seatpost options instead of locked into the single 3T post.


Great points on seatpost. Sidnt really consider that. So looking for gravel bike 38mm min tire clearance/ 27.2 seatpost / and can run a 52 tooth chainring.

Anyone about to fit a 52/36 on an aspero. I did see dylan johnson for one on his new factor ls build

Great point…I forgot the 3T used a proprietary post. OP should definitely look for something with a round post because he can then use something like the Redshift seatpost to move forward.

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Allied echo is an option too but $5500 for a frameset is a tad steep

How much grinding are you planning to do? A 50x10 is 56.5kmh at 90rpm. It’s a taller gear than a 52x11.

I prefer 80ish for TT efforts and would prefer not to be in smallest cog as it isnt quite as efficient. But sacrifices may have to be made

That can pretty much sum up this whole thread. :wink:

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Out of interest do you have a best 10 mile time currently? I got mine down to about 22:30 on a full TT bike, disc wheel, skinsuit, aero helmet. The same course (slightly rolling, very low traffic) on a cyclocross bike (on road tyres, but without TT bars) added about 02:30. That was off about 5W/kg average. It’s completely inconceivable to me that I could ever break 20 minutes on a non-TT setup so I’m just curious what your starting point is.

Still, TT’s are great for challenging yourself to go faster. Used to race our midweek against a guy on a fat-bike with TT bars! He could put in some surprisingly good times on that bike!

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Best on the my course that has a slow 180 turn around is 23:30 25.5 mph. areo bike with clip in tt bars. No skin suit or anything fancy.

Low traffic isn’t necessarily a good thing for fast times! Fastest UK TT courses are on pan flat dual carriageways with a good amount of passing traffic that provides a draft benefit. Not my thing, I didn’t get into cycling in order to ride along multi-lane roads with my head tucked into my shoulders and a constant stream of cars zipping by, but it is fast. I know people who have gone sub-20 off ~5W/kg in the road bike category (i.e. no aero bars, rear disc or aero helmet). And breaking 20 off more like 4W/kg is possible on a good TT setup.

I think the bike is least of your worries in trying to get from a 23.30 to sub-20 in a 10 mile TT!!! There’s a gulf of a difference that can’t be bought!! Skinsuit and a helmet might see you dip sub-23, but the only way to find those other 3 minutes is some seriously hard and focussed work.


Absolutely, I mentioned it for the exact reason that low traffic = slower times! Not the other way round.

Ah, sorry, my mistake!

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