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· Cycologist
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Cool bike!

It's really more of a commuter, urban bike. But I would look at it for gravel but with a few concerns (I just looked it up, I'm not actually familiar with the bike):

It was designed with flat bars and someone swapped out for bullhorn bars (probably just cut down dropbars). Most gravel bikes have dropbars. If you want dropbars, you could put them on but you would then need new shifters and possibly other drivetrain components, I'm not sure what all it is running. This could also throw off the geometry in terms of fit.

How wide of a tire can you install? Looks like the latest model comes with 32c, which are narrow for gravel so you'd want to see how much wider you could go.

What is the gearing?

My "gravel" bike is an old Lemond CX. I can't get much wider than a 32c tire on the back. And it is not geared low enough for a lot of the riding I do, on gravel roads as well as singletrack. I'm in the process of swapping on a gearset with a wider range but I fear it still won't be as low as I would like. I still like a lot of high range as well as I end up riding a lot of pavement on most of my rides. I'm not sure that Spot will have the range you'll want and especially the low gears.

As I said, cool bike. But I would check it out very carefully to see if it meets you needs. If it was cheap enough, I'd be tempted to buy it regardless. I have no idea what year it is, looks like the current model is similar.
 

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Discussion Starter · #3 ·
Wow, thank you for all that. So, I have a 2009 Cannondale f4 29er, which is to big for me. I want to stay on a MTB, or gravel, but a local guy really wants to trade for this. He seems very legit, just likes my bike. I figure I could possibly get into a better MTB by trading up with this bike, or keep it because it seems kinda awesome. For reference, here's my bike.
 

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If your cannondale is too big, that spot looks even bigger from here. I would ride the spot given the chance, but I like single speeds. If you havent rode single speed, you will have a learning curve selecting a good gear ratio for your rides. The belt drive makes that a little trickier, because pulley and belts arent that common at most bike shops.
 

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A got somebody looking to trade my MTB for this. He said it's a 2016, but I think it's older. My question is, can this be a gravel,light trail bike?
Gravel means a lot of things to a lot of people. Some I know put 28-32 mm tires that can fit on existing or older bikes to ride rail trails and pathways and do fine. For single track and gravel that is a mess or loose, bigger tires mean a lot. The geometry of the bike may or may not make a big difference along those same lines. Single track and challenging unpaved roads can make wider tires and more slack geometry really important for an enjoyable or functional ride. People also ride MTBs for gravel.

Along with fit really think about what functions are most important because a racier or more CX like vs more touring or MTB style bike will be a lot less fun with some terrain. If you're a trail rider at the core, you might want a bike that's good for it.
 

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Decent?…all bikes can be decent gravel bikes. Your current Cannondale mt bike can do lots of gravel trails. Are you riding rough 8 miles with 1500ft of elevation gain (steep climbs) or mellow 20 miles with only 200ft elevation gain (flat) ?… gearing is key. As mentioned above, the Spot Acme bike's gearing will be the first question…is the range correct for the trails in your area?

My last ride was a coastal ride on mostly gravel, multi-use trails. some paved. some dirt….17 miles and only 600ft of climbing. And I rode it with a friend on an old 90s Trek flat bar commuter similar to your Cannondale mtbike. I have ridden the same route on my drop bar gravel IBIS with 40c knobbies, my steel Lemond Road bike with 25c road tires, and my full suspension 29er Mtbike. All are possible–each have a different flavor for the ride.

Also, as already mentioned. the bike size is key. Any bike with road bike geometry is fine for long non-technical trails. but if you ride anything with switchbacks, or rocky sections, you will want a smaller frame to have more controlled handling.

You have already said the Cannondale may be too large for you, so a road bike type frame (Spot) that is the same size or larger, likely is not the right move for you for gravel type trails. Good luck.
 

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I would pass on this trade. There is a lot of adjustability on a compact MTB frame to accommodate size.. That Road bike may make a decent gravel bike if it has tire clearance and you spend the money for a better gear set up (internal geared hubs dont have good range and are prone to issues if you use them on rough roads constantly). I would either sell your Cannondale or trade it for a better fitting MTB hardtail.
 

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Discussion Starter · #10 ·
Wow, thank you all so much for all the insight. I've just started riding trails, and it's a blast. The only reason I considered the trade was I felt the spot had more value than it apparently does. Figured I could use that to get into a MTB, or real gravel bike, a step up from what I have. I don't ride much, I commute to work, but it's a mile each way, and trails maybe twice a month. My bike is virtually unmarked, which I like, it's just an XL, and even being 6ft, I have maybe an inch clearance from the top tube. So then, it seems the belt and internal him could have potential issues, more expensive issues than a simple chain. It seems everyone thinks it's not the best bike. It just seemed like such a great deal.
 

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Smart move to ask questions first.

I'd only ever trade one of my bikes if I knew that the "new" bike fixes an issue with my current bike AND isn't likely to create any new headaches. The trade would need to be a net-positive in that sense.
 

· furker
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I cannot figure out those handlebars.

What is under that bulge at the end? Do the handlebars really have negative sweep to the front where the brake levers are at?

It almost looks like a very old set of super narrow mountain bike straight bars were mounted backwards, then some old bar ends were mounted and everything wrapped in multiple layers of tape. That wouldn't ride very well on single track trails, especially with that long stem.

Is that a presta valve in the front, and a schrader valve in the back? I can't tell. Odd that the seat is on a really big offset seatpost, and still pushed way back on the rails. Might be rider preference, or a sign that the frame geometry is odd.

Tires do not look to be good for single track trails, even green trails. Not sure if it will fit tires that will be good for single track trails.

But there is absolutely no way to know if it fits you and whether it works on the trails you like until you ride it. Since it is a private sale, you guys get to decide how to work the deal. I'd say meet at a trailhead and swap bikes for a short ride and see if you each like the other bike. Who knows, he might not like your bike.......
 
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