|Nice cyclo cross bike, Scott. Oh! You say it's a gravel bike?|
The other day I was forwarded a press release from Scott Sports about a new 2016 bike dubbed the "Addict Disc Gravel Bike". Now I'll leave the "addict" part out as it relates to the inferences to doping in Pro cycling and just focus on the fact that this "new bike" was introduced earlier at Sea Otter as the CX-10, a full blown cyclo cross bike. It's a nice bike, the CX-10, and the Addict Disc Gravel is identical to it in every meaningful way, with exception to the name.
So.....what exactly makes this a gravel road bike? Okay, I'll give you that Scott says it will fit up to a 40mm tire, so there is that, but it has a 68mm bottom bracket drop and a short rear center, both of which are not nods to stability in loose gravel and dirt. Quite the contrary, actually. That is great for cyclo cross, but not so much for gravel. Scott did nail the head angle, which is 71° on this bike, and I like that. However; the rest of the geometry will make this bike feel a lot more squirrelly than it should, or needs to be. So, no Scott. This is definitely not a gravel road bike, no matter what window dressing you put on it and marketing blather you spew about it. It is a full blown cyclo cross bike. Call it what it is.
I've written here for years about what would make for a good gravel bike, and that is a lower than cyclo cross bottom bracket, (below 70mm), that slack head angle, (71° is about spot on), a long fork offset, (51mm at least), and longer rear centers for stability. Not crazy long, touring bike stays, but right around 425-435mm, adjusted for size, would do it. Keep the big tire clearances too.
The Raleigh Tamland is in the ballpark here, and as far as what a low bottom bracket can do for you, look no further than the Twin Six Standard Rando, which sports a 75mm bottom bracket drop and feels super stable in corners. Those are just a couple good examples. I've also pointed out that if Trek would open up the tire clearances on the Domane, it could be a top notch gravel rig as well. Check out the geo charts on that one some time.
|A ghastly single speed apparition outside the house.|
With all the focus on my gravel exploits this Spring and early Summer, I have forsaken the dirt of late. Even my fat bikes are gathering dust. It's been all gravel-all the time here for months. Not that I am complaining. You see, ever since about 2007, when I got sucked in hard doing all the Twenty Nine Inches review stuff, I have focused on riding in the dirt whenever I could to get in the time I needed to get in to actually produce something relevant from an off road biking perspective. That said, 2007 was a stellar year from the viewpoint of gravel riding. Especially early that year. I really missed it.
So, spending all this time in the dusty mode has been great. That said, I miss dirt too. I ended up going through my Buzzard and my Inbred single speed recently getting them up to snuff for some dirt riding. The problem has been that every time I have a slice of time for the dirt, it rains, or just did rain. My time will come soon though.
I've got a couple more single speeds to spruce up and I think I'll be ready for some single trackin' fun. Hopefully that will happen, but with the GTDRI, Geezer Ride, and Gravel Worlds coming one right after another, I may not get back on dirt till Fall!
New Bike Season: I believe we will be hearing about some awesome new bikes real soon here. I know about a few, and they will, mostly, blow yer socks off. I know of one I'd like to put into my stable right now, as a matter of fact. I'm keeping my ears and eyes open for anything new coming from the dealer only shows that happen around about now. If I get enough dirt, I'll post another "New Bike Season" post. Stay tuned........
Stay safe and have a fun weekend!