|As currently set up. A "test mule" for Riding Gravel|
Here is something not many folks that review stuff tell you- they end up with things companies don't take back, or do not want to take back. You can look at that however you want. I'm not completely sure how to explain it, and I've been doing this sort of thing since 2005.
What I can tell you is that most wear items, clothing, and accessories under, oh say $100.00, maybe more- don't go back. Some of this is obvious. What is a company going to do with a pair of socks after a reviewer has ridden in them several times? Same goes for shoes, jerseys.....you get the idea. It isn't new anymore and you don't want to wear clothes that someone else has sweat in. Well, typically..... Anywho.... Tires, bar tape, and things like that fall into this category as well. Bikes however; well, they usually almost always go back, always on the company's dime, as far as shipping goes.
Back to this bike. I offered to send it back. It was left here. So, instead of just leaving it to rot in a corner, I'm using it as a test sled for stuff for Riding Gravel. Currently it is set up with Shimano GRX 1X which is being reviewed for the site. The drive train and wheels are all GRX here. Shimano PRO covers the bars, seat post, and stem. The saddle is a WTB Volt.
I've ridden this bike a lot throughout 2019, and so it deserves to be on this list. It's a great bike, taking the "DNA" of the Raleigh Tamland and translating that to carbon fiber. It rides very smoothly for a carbon bike. The fork is nice, not a jackhammer, but not a noodle either. It isn't going to probably be the bike that folks coming from the roadie side think will be good on gravel, because those folks want to mimic the road geometry on gravel, which isn't optimal. The Noble Bikes GX5 avoided that trap, thankfully, and rides far better on gravel for it.
It's not a perfect bike by any stretch. It isn't mechanical front derailleur compatible, so this is a 1X only bike unless you go Di2 or AXS. The tire clearance is good, but it isn't what some bikes have now. It doesn't have a lot of extra bottle mounts. (Nothing on the fork) So, there are things it could have that its competition does have, but this is still a great gravel bike.
Plans for this bike in the future? Ride it as a test sled until the manufacturer wants it back, or....??? Stay tuned....
Note: Noble Bikes sent the GX5 for test and review to Riding Gravel at no charge.