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  #61  
Old 12-04-2017, 11:06 AM
drewellison's Avatar
drewellison drewellison is offline
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Maybe I'm weird ...

Quote:
Originally Posted by Heisenberg View Post
Not to rain on your parade, but the geometry on that frame is barge-worthy. Couple that with a mass-positive (read: heavy) tubeset and obsolescent axle/brake standards, I'd move on. If you're used to road racing bikes (as your extensive purchase history and previous threads would entail), it'll be a disappointment - like going from driving 911s to a long-bed diesel dually F350. Or worse - a box truck.

JMO, from someone who's ridden a lot of silly gravel bikes and has a road-centric perspective tempered by a youth racing MTB DH.
Interesting. I come the old world (Italian steel racing bikes) and have owned and still do own and ride bikes such as Colnago, Masi, Cinelli, Basso, Somec, Tommasini. I also have Serotta, Woodrup. Some newer stuff (non-steel) would include Cinelli carbon, Litespeed Ti, Look carbon, Vitus Al, just for variety of course.

Last year I bought a BMC MonsterCross to make into a commuter/off-road/rando bike. I absolutely LOVE the way it rides, handles, fits. And it's got room for wide fenders, big tires, racks, etc.

Oh, and I'm also one of the three people who have tried 650b and didn't like it. Which is one of the reasons I wanted to give the BMC MC a go ... it's 700c with tons of room.

Drew
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  #62  
Old 01-29-2019, 12:06 PM
Clean39T Clean39T is offline
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Jan 2019 Refresh

Alright, so 13 months later and I still don't have a proper gravel bike. I did, briefly, but sold it to free up funds for a rando build that didn't work - and now I'm on the hunt again.

I have a line on a lightly-used Parlee Chebacco with a nice Di2 setup, Parlee bits (that will get sold to defray costs), etc. It's the latest version with flat-mount brakes and 12mm front/rear.

The question is ... are these still well-regarded bikes? I haven't seen many reviews since they first came out a couple years ago, and the ones I've seen on eBay have languished unsold (potentially because they are overpriced or being sold with road builds?).

I'd be setting it up initially with Compass tires and a sub-compact front chainset (32/48). I'm looking to do a number of ultra-distance gravel events this season, in addition to backroads exploring - seems like a good setup for that even though it doesn't have braze-ons for racks/bags/lights. That's really my only hold-up on it - if I was getting a custom rig built, I'd have internal dynamo wiring, a third set of bottle bosses, and a mini-rack up front.

My golf-bag for 2019 looks like:

Short-distance Go-Fast Bike: *coming soon*
Mid-long-distance and Brevet Bike: Kirk MRB
Gravel Racer and Winter Trainer: *this one*
MTB: Kirk 29er

I could simplify to just my two Kirks if needed and still have all my fun - but I don't need to at this point and converting the Kirk to a monstercross drop-bar 29er seems like a waste of a perfectly good XC bike...
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  #63  
Old 01-29-2019, 12:12 PM
Andy sti Andy sti is offline
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I think they’re great frames. I rode one for 4 days a couple years ago. It was a demo, from Velosmith in Chicago, that I borrowed while I was visiting family. I only did road rides but I enjoyed it. Ended up with a couple good 4 hour rides in mid January. It was set up with 6800 DI2 and it was all flawless. I wouldn’t hesitate getting one.
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  #64  
Old 01-29-2019, 12:16 PM
Clean39T Clean39T is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Andy sti View Post
I think they’re great frames. I rode one for 4 days a couple years ago. It was a demo, from Velosmith in Chicago, that I borrowed while I was visiting family. I only did road rides but I enjoyed it. Ended up with a couple good 4 hour rides in mid January. It was set up with 6800 DI2 and it was all flawless. I wouldn’t hesitate getting one.
Nice. Do you feel like 40c is a good tire size for our region? Up to 43c during the dry season.

I'm thinking about doing that 5 day Oregon Trail event... Plus, you know, others.

Also, I know some folks like 650b regardless the size, but for some reason I feel like 700c makes more sense when you get up to the XL frames.
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  #65  
Old 01-29-2019, 12:24 PM
hellvetica hellvetica is offline
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I have been riding mine A LOT. 40c tires, currently with 1x XTR Di2. Not sure why there is not much online coverage, but as stated above, it might be cost prohibitive for a lot of people.

Geo feels excellent, somewhere between a road bike and a XCO hardtail. That is exactly what I was looking for. Also the standover was an issue on a lot of other bikes and the slight compact geo was really only available on the Chebacco. I think they quote 40c as the largest clearance, but I think you can fit a 42 pretty easily.

I don't have any interest in steel or titanium for an "all around" bike, I prefer a very light carbon bike, so this is a perfect bike for me.

Again, I guess it depends on what is comfortable to you for long periods of time.
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  #66  
Old 01-29-2019, 12:29 PM
John H. John H. is offline
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Chebacco

Chebaccos DO have full braze-ons. Fork has full mounts, rear has mounts depending on what dropouts your get/use. And you can get the "braze-on type" dropouts direct from Parlee if needed.

I had one for the better part of the last 2 years.
It is a capable bike for anything.
I rode it on dirt, I climbed Haleakala, and used it as a road bike and a serious fender bike.
Clearance is huge- Can run permanent Honjos on it if you like. Or strip it down to a road bike.
The only things I didn't like.
1.) The Parlee BB was a breaker and crackler- Not consistent, But it likely did not fit the frame perfectly. So whatever bb you arrive at- Make sure the fit is super tight and flush.
2.) Headset- Never actually had a problem with the headset or bearings, but their top cap system tends to get water in it and hold said water- SO you need to make sure after really wet rides or power washes.


Quote:
Originally Posted by Clean39T View Post
Alright, so 13 months later and I still don't have a proper gravel bike. I did, briefly, but sold it to free up funds for a rando build that didn't work - and now I'm on the hunt again.

I have a line on a lightly-used Parlee Chebacco with a nice Di2 setup, Parlee bits (that will get sold to defray costs), etc. It's the latest version with flat-mount brakes and 12mm front/rear.

The question is ... are these still well-regarded bikes? I haven't seen many reviews since they first came out a couple years ago, and the ones I've seen on eBay have languished unsold (potentially because they are overpriced or being sold with road builds?).

I'd be setting it up initially with Compass tires and a sub-compact front chainset (32/48). I'm looking to do a number of ultra-distance gravel events this season, in addition to backroads exploring - seems like a good setup for that even though it doesn't have braze-ons for racks/bags/lights. That's really my only hold-up on it - if I was getting a custom rig built, I'd have internal dynamo wiring, a third set of bottle bosses, and a mini-rack up front.

My golf-bag for 2019 looks like:

Short-distance Go-Fast Bike: *coming soon*
Mid-long-distance and Brevet Bike: Kirk MRB
Gravel Racer and Winter Trainer: *this one*
MTB: Kirk 29er

I could simplify to just my two Kirks if needed and still have all my fun - but I don't need to at this point and converting the Kirk to a monstercross drop-bar 29er seems like a waste of a perfectly good XC bike...
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  #67  
Old 01-29-2019, 12:30 PM
radsmd radsmd is offline
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Loving mine, although the earlier post mount version and in medium.

2 different wheel sets, depending on route.

-700c Enve G23 with compass Bon Jon EL 35 for road/light off road
-650c Enve with WTB Resolute 42 for more rocky trails

Di2 50/34 and 11-34. Wish I had lower gears at times, never had the desire for a higher gear. Can’t wait for shimano to come out with subcompact. That would be perfect.
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  #68  
Old 01-29-2019, 12:40 PM
Clean39T Clean39T is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John H. View Post
Chebaccos DO have full braze-ons. Fork has full mounts, rear has mounts depending on what dropouts your get/use. And you can get the "braze-on type" dropouts direct from Parlee if needed.

I had one for the better part of the last 2 years.
It is a capable bike for anything.
I rode it on dirt, I climbed Haleakala, and used it as a road bike and a serious fender bike.
Clearance is huge- Can run permanent Honjos on it if you like. Or strip it down to a road bike.
The only things I didn't like.
1.) The Parlee BB was a breaker and crackler- Not consistent, But it likely did not fit the frame perfectly. So whatever bb you arrive at- Make sure the fit is super tight and flush.
2.) Headset- Never actually had a problem with the headset or bearings, but their top cap system tends to get water in it and hold said water- SO you need to make sure after really wet rides or power washes.
RE: the water issue, does it just need to be wiped off, or are you saying it needs to be disassembled after a rain ride?

I think I'd be putting a Praxis Girder on there and using a Praxis thread-fit BB30 setup in it -- so hopefully that would make it quiet. The current system was creak-free on my test ride.

Good to hear on all the rest.
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  #69  
Old 01-29-2019, 12:41 PM
John H. John H. is offline
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Posts: 3,691
Why not run a Shimano 11-40? The mid Cage Ultegra and RX work great with them. I have this setup on my gravel bike. 34/50 and 11-40. No road links or any of that nonsense needed.

Quote:
Originally Posted by radsmd View Post
Loving mine, although the earlier post mount version and in medium.

2 different wheel sets, depending on route.

-700c Enve G23 with compass Bon Jon EL 35 for road/light off road
-650c Enve with WTB Resolute 42 for more rocky trails

Di2 50/34 and 11-34. Wish I had lower gears at times, never had the desire for a higher gear. Can’t wait for shimano to come out with subcompact. That would be perfect.
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  #70  
Old 01-29-2019, 12:53 PM
Clean39T Clean39T is offline
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Location: Portland, OR
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Quote:
Originally Posted by John H. View Post
Why not run a Shimano 11-40? The mid Cage Ultegra and RX work great with them. I have this setup on my gravel bike. 34/50 and 11-40. No road links or any of that nonsense needed.
My thought with running a 32/48 (or 30/46 or even 28/44) is that I don't need a 50x11 on this type of bike - and going with smaller rings up front allows me to stay in the big ring more with less sizeable jumps in the back, and while still having a low-enough bail-out gear for long climbs.

That's the hypothesis anyway.
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  #71  
Old 01-29-2019, 12:54 PM
Clean39T Clean39T is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by hellvetica View Post
I have been riding mine A LOT. 40c tires, currently with 1x XTR Di2. Not sure why there is not much online coverage, but as stated above, it might be cost prohibitive for a lot of people.

Geo feels excellent, somewhere between a road bike and a XCO hardtail. That is exactly what I was looking for. Also the standover was an issue on a lot of other bikes and the slight compact geo was really only available on the Chebacco. I think they quote 40c as the largest clearance, but I think you can fit a 42 pretty easily.

I don't have any interest in steel or titanium for an "all around" bike, I prefer a very light carbon bike, so this is a perfect bike for me.

Again, I guess it depends on what is comfortable to you for long periods of time.
Great feedback - thanks!
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  #72  
Old 01-29-2019, 01:02 PM
ravdg316 ravdg316 is offline
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It seems to me with Parlee there's a difference in resale between their American-made offerings and their offerings made overseas. Casual bikers aren't buying Parlees -- most prospective owners will be fairly savvy and have done their homework in trying to figure out whether they want to go with a custom American made gravel frame vs. a stock Parlee.

Also -- many of those Chebaccos you may have seen don't have flat mount brakes. The commitment to flat-mount by the big three has killed resale value of bikes made with post-mounts. Not saying it's rational, but it just seems to be the case.

The only tempting offering in this genre for me is the Rodeo Labs Traildonkey. They seem to get the need for eyelets and their brand is specifically built around these sorts of bikes -- they have a singular focus and they seem to be doing a good job building brand value.

Quote:
Originally Posted by Clean39T View Post
Alright, so 13 months later and I still don't have a proper gravel bike. I did, briefly, but sold it to free up funds for a rando build that didn't work - and now I'm on the hunt again.

I have a line on a lightly-used Parlee Chebacco with a nice Di2 setup, Parlee bits (that will get sold to defray costs), etc. It's the latest version with flat-mount brakes and 12mm front/rear.

The question is ... are these still well-regarded bikes? I haven't seen many reviews since they first came out a couple years ago, and the ones I've seen on eBay have languished unsold (potentially because they are overpriced or being sold with road builds?).

I'd be setting it up initially with Compass tires and a sub-compact front chainset (32/48). I'm looking to do a number of ultra-distance gravel events this season, in addition to backroads exploring - seems like a good setup for that even though it doesn't have braze-ons for racks/bags/lights. That's really my only hold-up on it - if I was getting a custom rig built, I'd have internal dynamo wiring, a third set of bottle bosses, and a mini-rack up front.

My golf-bag for 2019 looks like:

Short-distance Go-Fast Bike: *coming soon*
Mid-long-distance and Brevet Bike: Kirk MRB
Gravel Racer and Winter Trainer: *this one*
MTB: Kirk 29er

I could simplify to just my two Kirks if needed and still have all my fun - but I don't need to at this point and converting the Kirk to a monstercross drop-bar 29er seems like a waste of a perfectly good XC bike...
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  #73  
Old 01-29-2019, 01:09 PM
Clean39T Clean39T is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravdg316 View Post
It seems to me with Parlee there's a difference in resale between their American-made offerings and their offerings made overseas. Casual bikers aren't buying Parlees -- most prospective owners will be fairly savvy and have done their homework in trying to figure out whether they want to go with a custom American made gravel frame vs. a stock Parlee.

Also -- many of those Chebaccos you may have seen don't have flat mount brakes. The commitment to flat-mount by the big three has killed resale value of bikes made with post-mounts. Not saying it's rational, but it just seems to be the case.

The only tempting offering in this genre for me is the Rodeo Labs Traildonkey. They seem to get the need for eyelets and their brand is specifically built around these sorts of bikes -- they have a singular focus and they seem to be doing a good job building brand value.
Good points. It's a very niche bike - niche within a niche..

This one having flat-mount helps I guess - and the fact that it has taken a substantial chunk of the depreciation already.

But yeah, some folks want a gravel bike to be a bikepacking 29er. Others want it to be a race bike with fatter tires.

It's kind of the difference between a BMW X6 and an kitted out Land Rover Defender 90 -- both will get you to the slopes, but one is a bit better suited to enjoying the curves and the other to getting through standing water and over boulders.
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  #74  
Old 01-29-2019, 01:39 PM
ravdg316 ravdg316 is offline
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Quote:
Originally Posted by Clean39T View Post
Good points. It's a very niche bike - niche within a niche..

This one having flat-mount helps I guess - and the fact that it has taken a substantial chunk of the depreciation already.

But yeah, some folks want a gravel bike to be a bikepacking 29er. Others want it to be a race bike with fatter tires.

It's kind of the difference between a BMW X6 and an kitted out Land Rover Defender 90 -- both will get you to the slopes, but one is a bit better suited to enjoying the curves and the other to getting through standing water and over boulders.
Very true. Although, to continue the car analogy, all you really need is a front-wheel-drive Honda Fit with snow tires (preferably a manual) to tear it up in the snow....

I guess the bike version of a Honda fit would be a used Surly Cross Check with Bruce Gordon Rock n Roads?
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  #75  
Old 01-29-2019, 02:25 PM
sitzmark sitzmark is online now
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Quote:
Originally Posted by ravdg316 View Post
It seems to me with Parlee there's a difference in resale between their American-made offerings and their offerings made overseas.
As there should be. There's a minimum of $4k (list price) difference between a Beverly crafted frameset (ZeroXD) and Asian-made Chebacco ... $8k vs $4k. That does't necessarily translate to a $4k difference at resale, either. Market pressures try to drive a significant wedge into that difference. High-end of most any frameset is difficult to move at what "should be" FMV. Market rules.

As a resale, a USA custom frameset becomes "stock" unless selling to an identical twin.

Last edited by sitzmark; 01-29-2019 at 02:27 PM.
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