Gravel ride on December 21, 2014.
Gravel ride on December 21, 2014.

gravel bikes (6)

Patrick

Wheel And Tire Testing

Climbing the Romontberg.

In November, I got a new wheelset for my Marin Gestalt X12. Before that, it was using seven-year-old Nox Composites Citico wheels with Chris King R45D hubs. The new wheels had Hope Pro5 Centerlock hubs, Light Bicycle WG44 rims, and René Herse Antelope Hill tires. I enjoy climbing on my bikes and also like to descend. The new wheels were great for climbing, fast on flat surfaces, and smooth on gravel. However, they were not perfect for descending. Specifically, when I exceed 50 kph with head and crosswinds on open descents that are not too steep, the steering becomes wobbly and insecure.

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Patrick

Marin Gestalt X12 On New Wheels

Marin Gestalt X12 with new wheels.

How wide is too wide? My wide tire journey for road cycling started on Compass Barlow Pass (700x38) tires back in 2016. WTB Horizon (650x47) followed in 2018. When I put 650B wheels on my Nordest Albarda, René Herse Switchback Hill (650x48) and Panaracer GravelKing (650x48, 52mm actual) tires took me a big step further on that journey. My Marin Gestalt X12 started rolling on René Herse Snoqualmie Pass (700x44) tubeless “shoes.” This bike has room for much more, so much, in fact, that 44mm looks skinny.

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Patrick

First 200km On My Gestalt X12

Marin Gestalt X12 on the Grenchenberg.

With a fleet of six bikes, of which three are surface-agnostic SUBs, commonly better known as gravel, all-road, or adventure bikes, I didn’t need another one this year. But when I first spotted the Marin Gestalt X10 last November, I knew I had to get one. The bike is slacker than my FortyFour mountain bikes, with a 67.5º head angle. Reach is 63mm longer than my Nordest Albarda and 68mm longer than my Volagi Viaje. The Gestalt’s wheelbase is 95mm greater than the Nordest and an enormous 124mm more than the Volagi. It’s a massively different bike. And that’s the reason I bought one. Some time down the road, I’d love to design the perfect SUB frame for myself. It only makes sense to go down that path with years of cycling under one’s belt, which I have, and countless hours spent on a wide range of bikes. And that one can never have enough.

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Patrick

Marin Gestalt X12

Marin Gestalt X12

If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it - If something is reasonably successful or effective, there is no need to change it. German speakers would say “Bewährtes soll man nicht verändern.” When it comes to cycling, most of us often stick to that. We ride something, like it, and we’re therefore rarely willing to change it. I have for a long time ridden the same type of road bike. There were incremental changes such as more gears and lighter and more aero frames, but in the grand scheme of things, these improvements weren’t all that world-shattering. That changed with my first Volagi Viaje. I started exploring things outside what is considered a “road bike.”

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Patrick

The Geometry Of A Gravel Bike

My Marin Gestalt X10 Built As An X12

The bikes I ride on pavement or gravel are more than road, all-road, or gravel bikes. They are efficient, practical, surface-agnostic bikes that bridge the functionality gap between road and off-road. In this post, I want to look at the geometry of the bikes I have ridden in the last nine years.

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