Feature: Gravel Cycling On-The-Cheap

DaveLowNishiki2015-1Looking to try your hand at gravel cycling but don’t want to spend a huge chunk of money on a new bike? Friend of the Gravel Cyclist crew, Dave Low, has a solution for those who want to tread lightly at first.

DaveLowNishiki2015-10Enter, Dave’s Nishiki Cornice On-The-Cheap Monster CX rig!

DaveLowNishiki2015-5Dave has been riding bikes a long time. Like many of us who’ve been around bicycles a while, he’s amassed a stockpile of parts that may not find a home on one’s latest and greatest bike, but are perfectly at home aboard an on-the-cheap Monster CX rig.

DaveLowNishiki2015-8Dave’s total investment in the Nishiki is $US 250 – Yes – Two Hundred and Fifty Dollars – and the frame is made in the USA!

DaveLowNishiki2015-12Based upon a steel-is-real Nishiki Cornice 26’er mountain bike frame and fork (before the days of suspension), Dave added Cinelli drop bars, Shimano Tiagra 8-speed road shifters, tight ratio 8-speed cassette and narrower tires (tyres) to create a cheap, fun dirt and gravel road bike.

DaveLowNishiki2015-13While tire choices in the 26″ size are limited for a true gravel tire, Dave’s choice of the Kenda Kwick works nicely, providing good traction for most road surfaces, including journeys through his area’s less-technical mountain bike trails.

DaveLowNishiki2015-9DaveLowNishiki2015-11Dave’s Nishiki is proof you don’t need to spend a ton of money to get a start into the world of Gravel Cycling!

DaveLowNishiki2015-7Dave Low’s Nishiki On-The-Cheap Gravel Rig

Frame: Nishiki Corniche MTB designed by Richard Cunningham, Cromoly Steel tubing.
Fork: Nishiki.
Headset: Shimano Deore with threadless quill converter.
Seatpost: Brand X aluminium.
Saddle: WTB.
Wheelset: Shimano Deore handbuilts, 6061 T6 rims.
Tyres: Kenda Kwick 26″ x 1.5″.
Handlebars: Cinelli Altera.
Stem: Kore.
Shifters: Shimano Tiagra 8-speed STI.
Derailleurs: Shimano Deore.
Crankset: Shimano Deore triple.
Bottom Bracket: Shimano Deore square taper.
Pedals: Shimano SPD.
Cassette: Shimano 12-25 8-speed.
Brakes: Shimano STX cantilever.
Bottle Cages: Whatever Dave had laying around.

In the same vein as Dave’s bike, an older posting about a 26″ Ti Mongoose Frankenbike, owned by Jimbo of Gravel Cyclist.

3 comments on “Feature: Gravel Cycling On-The-Cheap

  1. Merckx Alu Sprint (Aluminum 7020) from Rosanna, Victoria, Australia found me. Planning to build up #2 all-road machine especially for recon and rain days.

  2. Excellent article! I get so sick of all these opinionated bloggers pontificating on what does and does not constitute a gravel bike. They don’t seem happy unless they are constantly slicing and dicing and creating ever narrower categories and niches for which they can be the authority and spokesperson!

  3. Nice rig! As long as it brings smiles to the rider, that’s all that matters.

Comments are closed.