Gravel bike/ commuter bike

Skyblues87

Active Member
I currently ride a Caadx 105 2018. It's main use is to travel to work and back daily but has been used twice in a duathlon. I'm looking to buy a new bike but looking for some advice on the option I have chosen.

The daily commute is along forest fire tracks and some small amounts of road and off road cycling. The trails are wet and gritty in the winter and dusty in the summer for this reason I've avoided looking at carbon framed bikes wrongly or rightly. So I've been looking at aluminium framed bikes. Also I was keen on the new bike being equipped with di2 front and rear deraileurs. I wanted the di2 for lower maintance reasons and the x2 groupset as I like the gear choice for the variety of terrain I ride upon.

The searches I've conducted with the above criteria have returned limited results unless I consider a more costly titanium frame.

The bike I have been considering is a Dolan
GXA 2020 aluminium disc gravel bike-Shimano GRX R815 Di2 2x11 HDR priced at 2,574.98.

Would this be a suitable option? I should also add that I was looking for a reasonably quick bike as I like to ride at a good speed on the flats so didn't want a bike that would hinder this. As my knowledge is limited should I be looking at another bike?

Thank you for any help or advice.
 

cougie uk

Über Member
That does look like a good purchase and if I were you I'd get the mudguards for the extra £30.

Someone on here was looking at bikes in the 2500 range and was coming up with 105 kit. DI2 for that seems like an excellent option.
 
Good Morning,

I am not at all Di2 hostile, or "it is only for racers" hence my current icon, Di2 and toe clips.

There are Di2 cyclo-cross bikes and it survives the Paris Roubaix, but I still shudder at the thought of off-road use, day in-day out on a bike that is needed to get to work.

The one thing that would seriously worry me for commute use is spares parts over the next few years.

When Ultegra Di2 went from 10 to 11 speed initially you could mix and match parts. 10 Speed rear with 11 speed front for example, but after a while Shimano updated the software so that it identified the parts and said all 11 speed only or I won't change gears.

If Shimano were to go 12 speed on both Ultegra and Dura-Ace soon you could find a big spare parts bill if you damaged something and had to pay full RRP for 11 speed or even worse forced to upgrade to 12 speed. It also seems likely that 12 speed road if it comes will have a new hub design.

10 speed stock dried up pretty quickly after 11 speed was announced although eBay can help, especially if you can wait a few weeks, which is hard if this is your commute bike. As SRAM and Camp have been 12 speed for a while now this does look being on the cards.

It's not like mechanical shifting where you can bolt a Sora mech until you get a new part. :-)

Of course nothing might go wrong and this is all worrying for nothing.

Bye

Ian
 

figbat

Slippery scientist
I’d also question the frame material choice. I have nothing against aluminium but both my MTBs are carbon - they have seen pretty much everything there is on the trail and are still in good shape. And steel is a good bet for gravel too, if Ti is out of your zone.
 

T4tomo

Veteran
I’d also question the frame material choice. I have nothing against aluminium but both my MTBs are carbon - they have seen pretty much everything there is on the trail and are still in good shape. And steel is a good bet for gravel too, if Ti is out of your zone.
Why not aluminium?

For a road bike yes carbon is marginally lighter and carbon Ti or Steel will give you a more compliant ride than alu, but with 35mm tyres ad lower pressure than a road bike, any effect on "ride quality" of the frame is miniscule, and even less so on a MTB with suspension.

The weight difference between carbon and alu on something with fatter tyres and potentially mudguards and rack isn't worth worrying about. the only thing you're missing with alu is a "bling" factor associated with carbon or Ti.

Dolan make great bikes and good value. personally I wouldn't bother with Di2 on a gravel bike either. the "lower maintenance" argument I don't get, Di2 can and does go out of wonk and need fixing, just as mechanical shifting needs the odd tweak of cable tension.
 
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