VIDEO: Episode 9 – Ask the Gravel Cyclist Crew a Question!

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

Questions in this episode:

  1. What would be the most development for gravel riding? Ultegra Di2 derailleur with a clutch? Mixing Shimano Road Di2 with MTB Di2 (i.e. Ultegra Di2 front / XTR Di2 rear)?  SRAM eTap with a clutch? SRAM eTap MTB? SRAM front derailleur that actually works?
  2. Which bike is better for overall gravel riding? Lynskey GR250 or a custom Monster Cross bike, much like the one you built?
  3. Is Shimano Di2 that much better than mechanical shifting? Would you choose Di2 for some events and mechanical shifting for others?
  4. Have you seen any riders using slick tyres at gravel rides or races?
  5. How to get onto your mailing list (subscribe to updates from the G.C. website)?
  6. What is the general consensus among the G.C. crew on the most comfortable frame material for gravel riding?

Episode Ten coming soon, post your questions here!

Don’t forget to Like the Gravel Cyclist Facebook page, follow G.C. on Instagram and subscribe to our Youtube Channel. We are also on Twitter!


  1. Avatar Bobk

    Hi JOM- I think that your answers were all well considered. I’m currently having a custom steel gravel bike being built. The current build will be using my eTap wifli gear set. I already own the eTap wifli, and converting to Di2 would up the cost of the project considerably. But I had the builder drill out fittings and such for Di2, should I decide to switch over in the future. My eTap uses cable actuated brake levers, which forced me to go with mech. disks. The hydraulic version of the eTap wifli brake shifters are hard to get a separate components, and even when available will cost over $1100 for the pair. When the time comes for a hydraulic brake upgrade, I’ll probably shift to Di2. SRAM is way behind Shimano in terms of availability, options, and cost.

    • JOM JOM

      Bob, check out the TRP HY/RD mechanical to hydro brake caliper solution. They work very well and have great feel at the brake lever.

      Others to consider – (I am reviewing a set of these at the moment).

      Hope V-Twin – – I have used these in the past. A bit fiddly to setup, but superb braking power and modulation. Pricey, but arguably the best mechanical – hydro solution out there.

      • Avatar Bobk

        JOM-Thanks. I did consider the HY/RD for my build. But, since I may want to eventually upgrade to a fully hydraulic system, I was dissuaded by the Hy/RD’s higher cost and weight. Frankly, I think that the industry is moving towards fully hydraulic systems for high end gravel, road and CX. With many competitive options likely to emerge from both SRAM and Shimano, I decided to wait awhile, before investing in what may become an obsolete technology like Hy/RD. Also, I suspect that I’ll find that the dual piston mechanical Spyr’s when properly installed with compression-less cables, with 160mm rotors front and back, will be more than adequate for me.

        • JOM JOM

          Yep, this technology is more stop gap than anything. But, a decent solution for people who may be using older groupsets.

  2. Lazy-Dogg Lazy-Dogg

    What is the best material for a gravel kickstand…steel, aluminum or carbon? I’d like it to be sturdy enough to hold my weight while resting in the dirt start line up. Those long waits can be very tiring on your legs. I need all the rest I can get pre-race but don’t want to embarrass myself and tip over in front of everybody. That would be awful!

    Flemington, Florida

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