Some folks have said that this all wasn't necessary, and that other bikes would do just as well at what it was I am after- the best handling and riding gravel bike I could get. While one can ride whatever the heck they want to, on any surface they choose, to deny that geometry is tweaked to meet highly specialized tasks in cycling would be ludicrous. That time trial bikes, cyclo cross bikes, and crit bikes exist, when one could do all of those things on a traditional road bike, is all you really need to understand that specialized geometry is prevalent in cycling, and has been for a very long time. I don't think I need to bring up mountain biking, but the illustration works there as well.
Secondly, my thoughts on geometry weren't something I made up, but were pulled from history. I knew that lower bottom brackets, slacker seat and head tube angles, mated with a longer offset fork were from early 20th Century road bikes that had to be able to traverse roads made of dirt and gravel. Precisely what I wanted to do with my bikes. In my mind, "settling" for a cyclo cross bike was just not an option, nor should it be.
|My Twin Six Standard Rando has almost the identical layout that earlier bikes had|
Then I got wind of an article on the "Red Kite Prayer" site about old road bike geometry. The "Italian geometry" is something that I had heard about in years past. The lower bottom brackets, and the slacker head tube angles. These were the ideas I had drawn my inspiration from. While some may think my ideas were "unnecessary" or whack, if you take the time to read the article, you will find that many builders and professional riders knew otherwise. It's real, it makes a difference, and many people have never ridden a bike with this sort of geometry to know the difference.
In the end, is it all just "splitting hairs", and can't we all just ride one bike and get along? Of course it is, and "no", of course we can't. I'm grateful either way that the "gravel bike" exists and that we have the right tool for the job now.