The sustainability argument aligns with my values. As a careful reader and listener, I’m pretty sure that both Caley and Shoddy Dave ride Trek Checkpoint ALRs as personal gravel bikes, and that James built up a wine colored Canyon Grail aluminum. I seldom ride road. Recommendations for an aluminum gravel bike that could handle an occasional 100K or 100M charity event with a second set of wheels?
A friend rides a Mason Bokeh and is very happy with it.
I’d advise also looking at steel gravel bikes but I would say that as I have a Fairlight Secan and think it’s brilliant.
I’ve got a Kinesis Tripster AT which works with gravel and road tyres. I have a feeling it’s also designed to run 650b wheels.
It’s a lovely bike and not too expensive either.
Another vote for a Bokeh here.
I’m as happy as James and Abby seem to be with our Canyon Grails. But now that the canyon grizl comes in aluminium too, I wonder…. The grail is at the road end of gravel, but that suits what I want and where I ride.
I have a Dolan GXA, which is still reasonably well priced ( i have 2x GRX with hunt 650b) but I ordered 3 weeks before they put the price up £300! So got a steal and its a brilliant bike. I love the 2x with GRX 600, 46/30 chainset and 11-34T cassette are brilliant for steep gravel climbs. Frames still pretty light and plenty of clearance. Using it with Road wheels and tyres in the winter too and does just fine. I am from the UK so not sure what international shipping is like or if those prices are as competitive elsewhere
I enjoyed my Crockett. Maybe not a ‘gravel’ bike, but great off-pavement. Very comfy, and not awful when doing what you’d have more fun doing on an XC bike. The geo felt a bit wonky on a twisty road with road tires (it’s not a road bike), but that sounds like a non-issue here. I say buy whatever has the best paint job. That’s what I did. Then again, I sold it after a year… so maybe not. Ha.
Possibly not too relevant here, but while the idea of two wheelsets for one bike is nice, I hardly ever swapped them. I’d just use whatever was on the bike.
I was going to start this exact thread. I had been thinking what I really want is the old ALR frame with a threaded BB.
Any Alu road frames that take di2? Like the ALR And caad13 but both need to be drilled to accept which rather not do…
Mason Definition is the obvious one. Can’t immediately think of anything else, but I’d be surprised if there wasn’t. Low, maybe, though that’s starting to touch on the custom/niche end of things.
I have ridden a Niner RLT aluminum for the last few years as a gravel/commuter bike. I’ve been quite happy with it. It is Di2 compatible too.
I’ll make a negative recommendation. The allez sprint is a popular aluminum bike, but
- proprietary, fragile headset (which has already been discontinued - surprise!)
- each frame size uses a unique lower bearing
- The disc version uses a different headset from the rim brake version
- BB30 (dead standard)
- soft alloy, non-replaceable FD hanger
- rough proprietary seatpost with awful rail clamp mechanism
- The nose of the saddle slips
- If your saddle points a couple of degrees left/right, you have no way to correct it
- Alloy vs carbon rails require different “ears” - only available from big S
- if you don’t like the large offset, it’s hard to get a 0 offset post
- Many taillights don’t work with the large aero post
So basically, the allez sprint is the bike you would make if you were trying to make an aluminum bike as disposable as possible. I’m surprised they used a replaceable rear mech hanger lol.
I got a 2018 Giant TCX in ali. Have mainly commuted on it but also long (100+km) road rides and a couple of big (140 -200km) gravel rides, some green/blue XC, and racing 'cross. It has never disappointed me. The only low point was the sram GXP PF86 bb but that was fixed with a wheels mfg threaded bb. Two wheelsets (road/cross/gravel) and it does everything.
Thanks. Currently on steel (Black Mountain Cycles Monstercross) but it’s so much heavier than my road and MTB. Want next bike to be a bit lighter.
I’d love one but I’m afraid he won’t ship to Europe (plus I’m broke :D)
If budget is no issue, I’ve got a Low MK II Road Disc that’s spectacular. Would imagine his gravel frame would be just as good.
Maybe the Giant Revolt or Scott Speedster Gravel?
I think it’s the delay, rather than the cost. I’d order one tomorrow but it’s 9 months plus at the moment.
Edit: it’s 11 months
Totally fair. When I ordered mine, I was told six months. It took nine.
I got a Speedster Gravel as a cheap (sub $2000 AUD) entry into gravel a few years ago. I really enjoy it and have put it through a lot on trails and as a commuter. At that price it was excellent bang for buck and I’d be happy speccing it up if there was more tyre clearance at the back ( I thought it was a little narrow at the time of purchase so that’s on me). Also, I’ve never ridden a less comfortable saddle than the one that came stock.