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Discussion Starter · #1 ·
I have always said... todays gravel bike is a front fork and drop bar away from a mountain bike from 10 years ago. (Wider tires, wider bars, slacker, suspension). I swear to god that in a few more years a gravel bike will be an xc bike... just rebranded as “the new cool.”

So... i have a 2016 scott spark 700 (so ”old news” in the mtb world) and i am seriously thinking about putting force 1 and drop bars on it with a 38t chainring (10-42 in back, to beat the range on my apex 11-42 x 40 cx bike).

I did some reading, and it would seem that many that have never tried it... think the geometry would be terrible. Many that did it seem happy... but it was mostly with 10 year old mountain bikes. A shorter stem was advised.

Comparing my 2018 giant tcx advanced sx to my 2016 scott spark 700 (both size small), it would appear they are quite similar...

- seat tube angles are within 0.5 degrees (about identical as my spark is lower in the front vs stock).
- Reach is about 25mm longer on the spark (made near the same by my zero offset post currently on the spark vs the oem -15, and with a 90mm stem i can easily shorten that also.).
- Stack height is 30mm higher on the spark, but the front was dropped 20mm (shorter fork) and i have another 10mm spacer that i can remove.
- head tube angle is about 69 on the spark (Closer to 70-71 due to the short front fork), and 71, on the tcx.
- chainstay length 430mm vs 433.
- 27.5x2.1 will be close to 700cx40 in diameter (i currently have 27.5x2.1 on the Tcx).
- the spark has twinlock... allowing full suspension lockout, full open, or something in between. So aero aside, no efficiency loss on the flats... and i can CRUSH the rough stuff.

Am i missing anything, aside from maybe fork offset? Will the bike explode upon first riding it due to sins of geometry and bike purity? Will i rip gravel and become a singletrack xc hero?!?

And why am I doing this you ask? Partly for shits and giggles. Partly because i figure i will sell the tcx, and the spark is retiring from single track services. Partly because with the same 27.5 tires, the spark will only end up about 1lbs heavier than the txc (20lbs baby!!!), yet be silly comfortable on rough stuff. Partly to shock and awe those in the wild west of gravel biking... and piss off purists in both mtb and cx/gravel camps.

I might first swap my apex 1 over to the spark and see how it feels before i commit to force 1.
 

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Up In Smoke
Dirt Roadë
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I like the niner, it wouldn't be my first choice when it comes to a race bike but that shock design doesn't restrict or become obstructive when shouldering the bike. I wouldn't want to have to shoulder a Scott Spark though.
 

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Wanna ride bikes?
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I like the niner, it wouldn't be my first choice when it comes to a race bike but that shock design doesn't restrict or become obstructive when shouldering the bike. I wouldn't want to have to shoulder a Scott Spark though.
I would definitely consider this more of a gravel bike. No need for full suspension for CX.

A bike built for CX racing which for one thing requires a max of 700x33c tires.
The term "cyclocross bike" is used very loosely. Geometry, tire clearance, rack/fender mounts, etc. there's no strict rules. Some are race bikes and nothing more, others are very versatile and utilitarian.

I've never shown up to a CX race with "legal" 33c tires, always on wider tires that I normally run. Never once has anyone questioned my setup, including at UCI events. Mountain bikes are often allowed in the lower levels too.
 

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Discussion Starter · #12 ·
I saw the niner. Cool bike. Heck, pinarello, specialized, and others make road bikes with dual suspension of some form.

But i will from this point label my design as “long travel monstercross”, assuming that group will have me (some of them are particular about non-flat top tubes). The irony is that “long travel” is short travel in the mtb world... and monstercross is todays gravel bike of the week. Or maybe the biggest cliche of all... behold... “enduro gravel!!!!”

But hey, i need to stay ahead of trends. Wider tires, non-boost 27.5 is cool again, and more and more suspension.

In a few years i will need to put drop bars on a slack 27.5 plus, then a 29 plus with slack geometry and a steeper seat tube angle (to fix what the slack geometry compromised).
 

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Cycologist
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Is that one of the new Downcyclo bikes I've been reading about?
 

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Up In Smoke
Dirt Roadë
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Love it!!! Give it time, it will happen.

The next big thing will be gravel bikes with flat bars and short travel front forks. Than the cycle of cycles will be complete.
Put whatever you want on your gravel grinder, show up to a CX race on your 27.5x2.1'

I'm happy to assimilate, but you sir are a true pioneer.
 
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