Is it an adventure bike....?

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ootini
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Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by ootini » Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:50 pm

Hi,

Please forgive what may be a stupid question, or series of questions. My hunt for a "gravel/all road/adventure" whatever-the-hell-you-want-to-call-it bike continues. And as some of you may or may not know, I'm struggling to find something that quite fits the bill. I don't know if I'm being too picky in certain areas, or whether I'm looking for the wrong thing.
My current list of requirements:
I would like a drop bar'd bike that's comfortable for long rides, hydro braked, relatively swift on paved surface given an appropriate wheel set, yet also can handle itself off road and potentially replace my current hardtail with it's 27.5 x 2.4 tyres. Now, I assumed I wanted an "adventure bike" as they seem to be known, but it appears many couldn't handle the tyre width I was after. Most maxxing out at around 45mm-ish. So I'm thinking maybe I've got it wrong, maybe I'm not after an adventure bike. I "think" that in a perfect world, given unlimited funds, the bike I would go for is a Salsa Cutthroat. OK I've never ridden one, but it looks like it ticks every box I have, apart from one, the budget. So my question, I guess, is this. What is a Salsa Cutthroat? Is it an adventure bike with massive clearance? Or is it a rigid, mountain bike with drop bars?
Which leads me to another quesiton, is there such a thing as a poor man's Cutthroat? I'm assuming that the Fargo kind of fits that bill, but it's still out of my price range. Or is the Fargo something else again? I'm not trying to pigeon hole the bikes, I don't need to, the retailers do that for us, I'm just trying to make sure I'm looking at the right pigeon hole.

As I said, I could be asking a stupid / the wrong question here, not sure. Either way... Thanks in advance.

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Bearbonesnorm
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Re: Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Mon Jul 24, 2017 6:57 pm

The Cutthroat is possibly the most focused bike ever built for public sale as it was built and touted as a'Tour Divide' bike and made no pretence as to having any other role ... but obviously it does. In my mind, the Fargo is a drop barred mountainbike.

It sounds to me, that something like a Surly Disc Trucker would fit the bill.
#corporate shill for hire

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ootini
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Re: Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by ootini » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:35 pm

Bearbonesnorm wrote:The Cutthroat is possibly the most focused bike ever built for public sale as it was built and touted as a'Tour Divide' bike and made no pretence as to having any other role ... but obviously it does. In my mind, the Fargo is a drop barred mountainbike.

It sounds to me, that something like a Surly Disc Trucker would fit the bill.
With this in mind, does anyone, other than Salsa, actually make a drop bar mountain bike, off the shelf?

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Jurassic pusher
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Re: Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by Jurassic pusher » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:43 pm

ootini wrote:
Bearbonesnorm wrote:The Cutthroat is possibly the most focused bike ever built for public sale as it was built and touted as a'Tour Divide' bike and made no pretence as to having any other role ... but obviously it does. In my mind, the Fargo is a drop barred mountainbike.

It sounds to me, that something like a Surly Disc Trucker would fit the bill.
With this in mind, does anyone, other than Salsa, actually make a drop bar mountain bike, off the shelf?
,A Moots Baxter may fit the bill, lottery winners only, apply though!
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Re: Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by ctznsmith » Mon Jul 24, 2017 7:50 pm

Spa Cycles Adventure if you're the right height for the stock they still have.
(Complete with a photo of me in another life failing at being a bike model :lol:)
http://spacycles.co.uk/m1b0s21p3104/SPA ... rop-Bar%29

Genesis Vagabond.
Spec is 29x2.1, so the question is could you fit a 27.5 x 2.4 in there.

Crust Evasion.
https://crustbikes.com/products/the-fra ... e-evasion/

Singular don't make the Gryphon anymore sadly but there will be second hand ones out there.

You want an older pre-29+ Fargo if going that route I reckon.

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ootini
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Re: Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by ootini » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:02 pm

I keep coming back to the Vagabond. It's quite heavy but I could live with that, but the mechanical brakes are putting me off.

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ctznsmith
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Re: Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by ctznsmith » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:12 pm

Pinnacle Akrose and a set of 27.5 x 2.1 wheels a la Stuart? Plenty of hydraulic off the peg options there.

http://bearbonesbikepacking.blogspot.co ... great.html

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Re: Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by stevenshand » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:21 pm

With this in mind, does anyone, other than Salsa, actually make a drop bar mountain bike, off the shelf?
Depends what kind of shelf you mean....

https://www.shandcycles.com/bikes/bahoo ... r-rohloff/

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Re: Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by SRS » Mon Jul 24, 2017 8:36 pm

ctznsmith wrote:Singular don't make the Gryphon anymore sadly but there will be second hand ones out there.
May also be of interest Drop bar 29ers – Gryphon or Swift?

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Re: Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by Mariner » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:52 pm

Kinesis Tripster AT?

Never seen or heard of them before but opened latest Cycle mag and there it was.
Only reason I noticed was it had a drop bar bike off road with bar and seat bag.
Website says Mike Hall helped in development.

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ootini
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Re: Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by ootini » Mon Jul 24, 2017 9:58 pm

Thanks for the suggestions folks. Lots of truly gorgeous bikes here, the Moots Baxter and Shand Bahookie are basically porn !! However, most are also well out of my price range. I think the Vagabond is the closest to what I'm after. I just wish I could buy the frame and fork, add some bits and hand itvto someone who could build it. As opposed to having a go myself and ballsing it up.

Imagine, if you will, a vagabond, running a Shimano 105 STI setup or similar, big flared bars, hydro brakes, brooks saddle, two wheel sets; chunky 2.4s, and skinny 700s etc etc ahhhhhh

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Re: Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by In Reverse » Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:11 pm

I wouldn't completely rule out mechanical discs on this sort of bike tbh. In fact for any bike where I'm going to be using it in remote places and not doing balls-out descending I'd potentially veer towards them. I've got Avid BB7's on my gravel/tourer/whatever bike and they're :-bd . Used in everything from a 100km mtb race to 1000km road tour with no worries.

I'd say it wouldn't hurt for you to drop an email to Shona & Rich at Keep Pedalling and let them know your budget and the specification you're looking for.

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Re: Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by Pete-G » Mon Jul 24, 2017 11:56 pm

Last time I looked, vagabond was available as a frameset. Also what about the tiagra hydro setup? Essentially the same as 105 but 10gears rather than 11. Might help keep the cost down.
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Re: Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by ootini » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:02 am

Pete-G wrote:Last time I looked, vagabond was available as a frameset. Also what about the tiagra hydro setup? Essentially the same as 105 but 10gears rather than 11. Might help keep the cost down.
I'd love to do that, but I really have no experience at all of building bikes. I think a build from scratch is a big ask when you have no experience

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Re: Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by Pete-G » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:18 am

I don't know where you are or I would offer assistance.
Don't discount the idea though, I'm sure there's plenty of help available around these parts and lots of tutorials on the Internet.
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Re: Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by MuddyPete » Tue Jul 25, 2017 12:39 am

Why drop bars? Perhaps just fitting different bars to your MTB will suffice (unless of course you just want to buy a new bike :wink: ).

How about an On-One Frankenfat? Drop bar, loads of tyre clearance, affordable.
May you always have tail wind.

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Re: Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by ootini » Tue Jul 25, 2017 7:37 am

Pete-G wrote:I don't know where you are or I would offer assistance.
Don't discount the idea though, I'm sure there's plenty of help available around these parts and lots of tutorials on the Internet.
I really appreciate the offer.
I did consider approaching my lbs and asking if they had a build service. I supply the bits, they put it together, for a fee.
I've done some googling of a basic shopping list, based on a mash up of kit from the Vagabond complete bike and parts from the Arkose 2. Looks like I'd struggle to buy the bits for less than a grand.

*edit* Lots of people are suggesting the bar end shifters and much brakes aren't the end of the world, and I should try them / give them another shot. I'm starting to think that a sensible option would be to pick up a second hand vagabond, see how I get on with it, then in the future, if required, swap parts as required. Mech brakes for hydros, bar ends for STIs.

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Re: Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by Pat » Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:24 am

I love the kona sutra ltd...what size are you going to need? I saw a lovely vagabond for cheap on another forum I frequent....medium I think?

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Re: Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by Pat » Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:28 am


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ootini
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Re: Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by ootini » Tue Jul 25, 2017 8:29 am

Pat wrote:I love the kona sutra ltd...what size are you going to need? I saw a lovely vagabond for cheap on another forum I frequent....medium I think?
I'm 5'9.5" so think I'd need a medium 56cm. But I'd like to get the chance to sit on one first.
Last edited by ootini on Thu Jul 27, 2017 9:07 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by Bearbonesnorm » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:02 am

Lots of people are suggesting the bar end shifters and much brakes aren't the end of the world, and I should try them / give them another shot. I'm starting to think that a sensible option would be to pick up a second hand vagabond, see how I get on with it, then in the future, if required, swap parts as required. Mech brakes for hydros, bar ends for STIs.
They're not the end of the world, on the contrary - both are fairly simple and reliable. In the case of mechanical discs, something like BB7 work very well BUT they do need to be set-up well and adjusted correctly. It sounds like the brakes fitted to the bike you test rode were neither :wink:

Now you've shifted away from the idea of a gravel / adventure bike, you might need to adjust your ideas about how capable (or fast) you want your new bike to be on the road. The Vagabond is simply a mountainbike with drops on, it's not light even by mountainbike standards. Fit it with knobbly tyres and chances are it won't be any quicker than your present bike ... the bars are a red herring really. Don't think I'm trying to put you off, I'm not. I just wanting to remind you that as your ideas chance, so do the compromises you'll have to accept :wink:

If you did want to go down the build it yourself route, I'd be happy to help. Arrive with boxes, drink tea, talk rubbish and go home with a bike ... it wouldn't take us very long to piece together.
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Re: Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by ootini » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:30 am

Pat wrote:This...price dropped to £400

https://www.lfgss.com/conversations/305 ... nt13747053
If it wasn't so far away, I'd definitely head over for a test ride. Thanks for the link. :-bd

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Re: Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by GregMay » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:30 am

As Stu says, Cutty is the most specific bike I own. I'd not buy one unless you have a deep urge to ride the Tour Divide route or something similar.

Don't get me wrong, it is the most wonderful bike I own. But you could get something better for normal riding.

Again, stop overthinking, buy something that you like. In the end, it is just a tool to get out into the world.
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Re: Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by ootini » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:38 am

Bearbonesnorm wrote:
Lots of people are suggesting the bar end shifters and much brakes aren't the end of the world, and I should try them / give them another shot. I'm starting to think that a sensible option would be to pick up a second hand vagabond, see how I get on with it, then in the future, if required, swap parts as required. Mech brakes for hydros, bar ends for STIs.
They're not the end of the world, on the contrary - both are fairly simple and reliable. In the case of mechanical discs, something like BB7 work very well BUT they do need to be set-up well and adjusted correctly. It sounds like the brakes fitted to the bike you test rode were neither :wink:
Possibly. I was stood over the bike, both brake levers pulled back hard and was able to push the bike forward slowly. On my MTB with hydro brakes I wouldn't have a chance at doing that. I explained my concerns to the LBS guy, who just shrugged and said "Yeah, they're mechanical". As opposed to making any reference to cable stretch, bedding in, setup etc.
Bearbonesnorm wrote: Now you've shifted away from the idea of a gravel / adventure bike, you might need to adjust your ideas about how capable (or fast) you want your new bike to be on the road. The Vagabond is simply a mountainbike with drops on, it's not light even by mountainbike standards. Fit it with knobbly tyres and chances are it won't be any quicker than your present bike ... the bars are a red herring really. Don't think I'm trying to put you off, I'm not. I just wanting to remind you that as your ideas chance, so do the compromises you'll have to accept :wink:
I understand that. I'm not particularly fast as it is. As mentioned earlier, I'm quite comfortable with the idea that I'd need two wheelsets, one rough n one smooth. I know I could simply throw slicks on my current bike, but I'd still be in a very sit and beg position, with crap heavy suspension forks up front etc. I'd rather have the slightly lower position the drops afford and the simpler frame setup of the vagabond. I may end up keeping the KTM and relegating it to family rides down the prom duties
Bearbonesnorm wrote: If you did want to go down the build it yourself route, I'd be happy to help. Arrive with boxes, drink tea, talk rubbish and go home with a bike ... it wouldn't take us very long to piece together.
I really appreciate the offer! Would be great to meet up, eat cake and drink tea, hold your spanners (ahem). I'm still concerned over the prices though. A basic shopping list (which may be wrong) puts me over the £1,000 limit I'd set myself, and as said, I'm thinking maybe I should give the mech brakes and bar end shifters a go before I discount them completely.....
Last edited by ootini on Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:43 am, edited 1 time in total.

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Re: Is it an adventure bike....?

Post by ootini » Tue Jul 25, 2017 9:40 am

GregMay wrote:As Stu says, Cutty is the most specific bike I own. I'd not buy one unless you have a deep urge to ride the Tour Divide route or something similar.

Don't get me wrong, it is the most wonderful bike I own. But you could get something better for normal riding.

Again, stop overthinking, buy something that you like. In the end, it is just a tool to get out into the world.
Yeah, I think I am over thinking this... See what I did there! :wink:

I must admit, I'm smitten with the Cutthroat, it just looks utterly f*******g stunning. Quick question though, given the massively varied terrain of the Tour Divide, technical single track, endless gravel roads. Doesn't that make the Cutthroat the perfect Jack of all trades? I know some people view it as a one trick pony, but let's be honest, it's a hell of a trick...

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