VIDEO: Episode 13 – Ask the Gravel Cyclist Crew a Question!

Episode 13 of “Ask the Gravel Cyclist Crew a Question” can be seen below.

Questions in this episode:

  1. Is a single chainring (1x) drivetrain system lighter than a double (2x) chainring for the same total gear range?
  2. If a bike can accommodate a 700c x 40mm tyre, or a 650b x 2.1″ tyre, what are the best applications for each option, and when do you personally use them?
  3. What are the ideal features of a GPS device? Standalone maps? Smartphone connectivity? Screen size? Battery life? And more…
  4. I want to build my own standalone gravel bike. What frame would you recommend?
  5. Will there be problems if I swap a wheel on my bike that uses centre lock disc rotors to a wheel with 6-bolt disc rotors?
  6. Has the Rockshox RS-1 fork ever been brought about for gravel bikes?

Links to stuff mentioned in this video:

Lauf Grit Fork Review
Lynskey GR250 / GR260 Bicycle Review

Episode 14 coming soon, post your questions here!

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19 comments on “VIDEO: Episode 13 – Ask the Gravel Cyclist Crew a Question!

  1. 1. A large range cassette must weight more negating some of the weight savings.

    3. I have an 800 too and as I do sync my rides would like a newer one, say the 820, that would sync over WiFi right on the bike. But the navigation is great for figuring out new routes as you say.

    4. There are also semi-custom Ti frames available like the Carver All-Road that I’m currently building up that allow you to do things like support both disc and cantilever brakes. This way I can use my existing wheels, but keep my frame investment future proof.

    5. Do they make spacers for centerlock? I was able to put spacers behind some of my 6-bolt rotors and get my two pairs of disc wheels to swap with no rubbing without touching the caliper position.

    Thought provoking stuff, thanks.

    1. Tom, I have some uber thin cassette spacers (about .5mm thick) that could possibly be used as a center lock spacer.

      That was a challenging day to film, the wind was relentless!

      1. The 6-bolt spacers I bought were 0.2 mm, and on one rotor I needed just one of them. The other one was a full 1 mm off.

        At least they weren’t quoting a wind chill with that wind. ????

        1. Tom, I filmed a bunch more questions at that location for a future segment. And, yes to the no wind chill!!!

  2. JOM, both the Salsa Fargo and Salsa Cutthroat have geometry designed for use with suspension forks. I have seen a number of these bikes on gravel rides, but sans suspension fork.

    Thanks for posting all the interesting, entertaining and informative content.

  3. Hi JOM – Good stuff here. I too own a Garmin 800; but I find using the navigation features confusing and frustrating. The screen is simply too small, the touch controls too finicky, and the pre-loaded maps insufficient in the rural NH roads I ride. I find that when I get lost, navigation and mapping app’s on my Samsung S7 smart phone help me find my way. Last year, my wife and I did a bike tour of Tuscany using an app called Ride With GPS supplied by VBT, the tour sponsor. Much better than my Garmin.
    Also, IMHO, a well made and designed steel frame will be a better choice than Ti for most folks. It is easier for custom frame builders to work with steel, and any minimal weight advantage of Ti, is offset by steel’s lower cost, and inherent strength and stiffness.

    1. For example, my new 44Bikes Huntsman – custom steel gravel bike weighs about 21 lbs with my heavier gravel wheel set, and only about 20 lbs, with a lighter weight road wheel set. The bike has an effective 57 mm top tube and a Linsky Ti gravel bike with similar components would weigh about the same.

    2. I’m currently using a Wahoo Elemnt Bolt very successfully if I preplan the rides beforehand using RidewithGps with cue sheets. The routes then sync to the Bolt very simply and are easy to follow, mostly. When off route most gps units do not automatically reroute you. The Wahoo phone app can then be used to route you “on the fly” to a location to pick up the original route. This route is then synced to the Bolt via the bluetooth connection. However, you need an internet connection for this re-routing to work which here in Oz is not always available in the places where I ride. I always try to remember to download off-line maps for the area I’m riding in as well as having paper maps and a compass in my bag. The only significant issue I have with the Bolt is that it’s GPS functions are a bit weak in tough places where other gps devices still manage to work ok and it has a known gps drop out for long rides i.e. over 3 or 4 hours. The workaround is to power down and restart the unit in the middle of the ride once you go over say 3 hours. Easy to do if you remember to at a regroup point or break.

      1. One more thing: GPS units have trouble on routes that are out and back on the same road as well as routes that intersect. The seem to mix up the direction of travel. This seems to be more of an issue for the Garmin devices my riding buddies use.

        1. Good point! I always avoid out and back routes for this very reason. Any cross over can be a huge problem. I find the countdown to next turn / time to next turn screen does aid if there is some cross over / intersection of a route.

        2. Garmins are harder to read when sections of the route overlap because of reliance on color to differentiate roads from already-ridden segments. Wahoo’s computers use chevrons to denote already-ridden sections and direction traveled, so even if there’s an out-and-back segment, you can easily tell if you’re on the out or if you’re already on the back.


    3. Bob, the Garmin pre-loaded maps are useless. You need the detailed USA maps, or the free, 3rd party OSM maps (they ruled in Taiwan!). RidewithGPS is the website I use to plan all of my rides. The app is very good, but I use my phone for taking photographs of stuff mostly.

      And, steel is very nice too. I’ve been spoiled by too many Ti bikes of late!

      1. Hi JOM – thanks for the advice on the maps. It is annoying though to spend $$$$$ on a bike mapping GPS/Computer, only to find out that you still have to purchase maps, or hack the unit, to make it function properly. I’ll admit that I’m both a GPS and smart phone Luddite though. With 75 year old eyes, and stiff fingers I find small touch screens difficult. They always seem to do things that I don’t want them to do. I will say however, as a long time Edge user, the basic bike computer functions on the 820 are outstanding compared to my older Edge models. Worth the upgrade – even without the mapping feature.

  4. I think JOMs recommendation for an off-the-shelf Ti Gravel frame makes a lot of sense, if for no other reason than the agony people put themselves through over paint chips and surface rust.

  5. JOM, what was the largest 700c tire that you’ve ridden on the Lynskey GR250/260/Pro with the Pro GR fork fitted. Just by eyeballing it, it looks like a 2.1″ tyre would fit in the Pro GR fork. A plus sized tyre without going to 650b wheels sounds to me like a great solution.

    Also, have you tried 29-er mtb tyres? I have been running the fast Furious Fred’s on my old 26-er mtb converted to gravel bike with great success and would now like to run the newer Thunder Burts 29 x 2.1’s on the Lynskey GR250.

    I’m currently running Schwalbe G-one All-round 700 x 38C, which measure about 40mm.

    1. 1.8″ is the biggest I’ve tried (Specialized Renegade 29’er), but I will try a 2″ tyre such as the Furious Fred soon on the Lynskey fork. That is one thing I almost forgot to add into my pending review… BTW, the 29’er Furious Fred fit the GR250 without problems front and rear, but I was using the 3T Luteus II fork on that bike.

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