New Cervelo CX Bike (Alain!)


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Alright. I’ll take one !!!

Actually, maybe it is time to start a good 'ol “GCN-like” debate thread here to pass the time as we start December. What shall we call it Chris…“Who’s Winning…CX or Gravel?” or “1x vs 2x You Know Which Is Best”

I’ll stoke the fire by saying “Gravel” specific geometry and “2x” drive train. There, I said it.

Here’s some more fuel…

I sold my dedicated, light, fast, carbon KindHuman CX race rig to buy a solid, laid-back, drop-bar mountain bike…a Salsa Cutthroat for bikepacking. Neither is a gravel bike. So, there is a hole in the middle of my bike stable at the moment.

I am in the market for a new gravel bike after a decade on the KONA Jake The Snake, which I bought used from Adam Poll who bought it from McPhails in 2009 to kick-start CX racing at the club with Rose & Patte back in the day.

It has served me well.

Lauren took that picture of me wiping out at Baseball CX a few years ago. She also took this shot last month of me heckling Joanne at KWCX (rock’in that King Street logo). You will notice the old KONA leaning up against the sign in the background.

Now. Down to Business…CROSS is BOSS. But GRAVEL IS KING.

What are riding (buying) next?

I have FOUR Cervelo’s. I was on the road (er…gravel) to a 5th…a new Aero Aspero. I like Thiago’s Aspero with it’s deep dish aero wheels. And the thin, hidden seat stay’s of Chris’s Aspero always catch my eye.

Then I noticed that all the cool kids are riding a Trek Checkpoint these days. Joel, Drew, Dave…Colin has one on order from Ziggy’s.


Checkpoint has gobs of frame mounts for fenders, and bags and can take really wide tires, and it’s a plush ride…it can even be a “fast and light” bike packing whip. What a sweet do-all ride.

Chris and Thiago say “forget that”…the Aspero is the fastest bike in the land of gravel. Do you want to be fast or not…they ask? And they properly point to the Aspero tag line…“Built to haul ass…not cargo”.

What do you have? Do you care? Are you thinking of buying something new? Or do you simply ride what ya got…like Tommy B’s 1980’s gravel led-sled…which is all you need to experience the freedom and open roads that the gravel-life brings.


P.S. We are riding gravel to Ana Mae’s along the rail trail tomorrow for the WCC Saturday Morning Gravel ride.

Dave will take the front group…and I am forming a leisurely second group to hide from the wind.

The goal is coffee, fritters (or tarts) and a good time.



You’ve got the cargo hauler / backpacking rig in your collection already :slight_smile:

The Aspero is an amazingly fast gravel machine. 2x GRX and you’re all set. There are so many good gravel bike options out there now (If you can find inventory)

The great thing about the Aspero is that it’s really fast even as a road bike with a wheel swap. I’ve averaged 35kmh solo on the club Fergus route on the Aspero with 28mm Conti 5000 on Zipp 303’s.

The Aspero 5 is fully integrated, can fit 50/34 rings, has great tire clearance and can be built pretty light.

Plus you keep your streak of having a large stable of Cervelo’s intact :slight_smile:


1989 (?) Paramount Series 90…the “Led Sled”.

Steel frame turns gravel into butter.
Weighs about the same as any two of my other bikes combined, but just wants to go and is a fun ride!
I just put new 26" Schwalbe CX Pro 34mm tires on it too!

Bought the frame and components separately and it cost me (used) about $500-600 total in 1991.


ACCEPTED: Tommy and Chris’s arguments above will be entered into the Record.

The original MOTION was “CX or Gravel” bike ?

The “Discovery” process yielded the following initial positions:

a) Thiago’s carbon Aspero was cited as a reference point for Cervelo (Gravel and Disc).
b) Dave’s carbon CheckPoint was cited as reference point for Trek (Gravel and Disc).

After further due diligence during today’s ride to Ana Mae’s. I submit the following “shocking” photographic evidence for consideration.

a) Thiago was riding an aluminum Fuji CX-40
b) Dave was riding an aluminum KONA Jake The Snake CX.

Point Of Information: BOTH have cantilever brakes.

I sense a mistrial.

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A lot to consider here. 2x is probably best although I got a 1x on my Cutthroat and I like it. You lose some high end speed but the extra climbing gears are welcome hauling gear. Even though the Cutthroat is a fantastic rig for bike packing, particularly on rougher terrain, for some routes the extra weight and rolling resistance for those big tires is overkill. From that perspective the Checkpoint might provide a wider range of options. The wider tire clearance would give you the option of having a plusher ride than 38mm tires but on a lighter frame. If pure speed is the primary motivation the Aspero is the clear choice. You can’t really lose either way though. Both are great bikes.

All my bikes were 2x (or 3x!) until I got my 2020 Salsa Fargo, which is 1x11. And I love it. It’s not a true gravel rig but when there are side trails that look interesting, the Fargo will take me there. It’s suitable for singletrack, gravel, dirt. I pay a penalty on the road, but I’m just using pavement to get to the dirt and gravel.

There was a time only a few years ago when Gravel and CX bikes were the same thing. I still think this is possible (if we ignore the CX rules on tire width etc.). If I had only one bike, it would be the Fargo!

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I’m delighted to hear these affirmations as I am currently having built a Salsa Cutthroat 1x12. My primary target is bikepacking but I hope to use it for much more. I will be riding to Halifax in the summer.

I suspect you’ll love it DaveT! I’ve since sold my old 3x9 mountain bike and my CX bike because I just wasnt’ riding them. I use my Fargo for bikepacking but I also use it on gravel rides, city rides, even road rides. It’s not the most efficient on the road, but I’m old and slow, so it suits me just fine!


Specialized has a stem suspension they promote for gravel on their Diverge model. Is this something that would be appreciated on gravel? Is this a gimmick or a really well patented feature?
And what are the preferred tire widths for gravel?


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Tire width? Tire Pressure? Brian…shhhh…do you want to start a war, here? Are there two more hotly debated, contested, divisive topics in cycling?

Neil S. had that stem suspension feature and seemed to like it. I hear people say they really notice the vibration dampening carbon bars on the higher-end Checkpoints. It seems comfort is really in the tires.

The tire trend continues…fatter, lower. I don’t see many bikes running over 40 psi on gravel these. Many are running wider…35-40mm…and tubeless. But, some are still on 33mm CX tires and butyl tubes at 50psi for mixed surface. Even the best gravel route…is still 20-30% pavement.

I’ve gone from 33-35mm tires with butyl tubes to tubeless 40mm, 32mm etc and ended up going back to 35mm with butyl tubes again. I had more issues with tubeless than without. It’s so quick to change a tube with gravel tires and with the type of riding here (gravel, rail trail etc.) I just didn’t find any big benefits to tubeless for how I ride.


I just listened to a podcast with some Cervelo staff. They basically built these for Marianne and Wout.
Notice their size range is 51 to 58 cm? Turns out Marianne ride a 51 cm, Wout a 58. So they built bikes just for them, then just filled in the gap between with more sizes.

I have only tried the first version of the suspension system on grass and personally disliked it, but then we were riding the at the CX social and that really isn’t the market for it where you want hard accelerations.

Personally If you want something comfortable I would start with tires, they aren’t all equal wider and more supple tires will have a big impact. I have been running the same 35 tire for several years that I love for flat resistance however the new bike came with something much more supple at a 38 the ride quality was much improved.

We can debate width forever, it depends where you are riding. You can use road tires on the majority of rail trails and roads around here, even if it is unpleasant at times. My preferred tire is the xplor’ ush 35 which is really hard to get now, but it rolls fast and touch wood is puncture proof, it certainly isn’t ideal on some of Kevin’s adventure rides due to its stiff sidewalls. I will usually go somewhere around 40/45psi, but being super lazy I only check the pressure once a month or when it feels really soft, usually around 25 psi. I don’t recommend this approach, but it hasn’t got me in trouble yet. Now if it is CX then we can talk about pressure all day, I got down to 18/19psi on tubulars this year a few times, so incredibly smooth until you feel the stones on the rim, just hop the potholes and roots, but that isn’t wise for general riding.


Well I finally replaced my Cannondale CX that I had given away to my bike poor son in law. Geometry was different from my road bike, I would call it twitchy. Worked really well though on a P2A adventure I even had full fenders on it. Now I have upgraded from aluminum to a carbon Specialized Diverge. 35mm Pathfinders. I haven’t ridden it yet, maybe this weekend. I have had great success with tubeless, nary a flat in 3 years on my roadie although once on the CX I had a valve stem leak when it was 2C and it refused to clot up. I hope to go tubeless on this new gravel bike.


Interesting conversation! I too am thinking of adding a gravel bike to the fleet after dabbling a bit with an old triple road bike with 28 mm GravelKings. I’m mostly interested in being able to go wherever I like – road, dirt road, light trails, but imagine that most rides around here will be a pavement/not-pavement mix, so the bike needs to be decent in both. I don’t have a ton of flexibility through the hips, so race-oriented bikes tend to not fit me well – my Look 765’s endurance geometry works well for me on the road. I also don’t race (and, frankly, I’m not terribly fast!) so the lightest, fastest bike is probably not what I’m looking for.

On the other hand, I’m also not a fan of camping, so the other end of the gravel bike spectrum – the more touring oriented bike optimized to carry a load for bike packing – is also not really what I’m looking for.

I think I’d like a tweener – something that comfortable, fun to ride, feels lively to me while offering a good ride within a $2000-$3000 price range. I’ve only looked casually right now – looks like finding anything in this market might be tough for a while. Probably wait to see if supply chain stuff sorts itself out. The two that have caught my eye are the Kona Rove ST (steel) and the Canyon Grail 7, but I’ve just start purusing the reviews!


@Francqlife have you liked you Kona Jake?

Thats the exact tire I run :slight_smile:

It sounds like the Giant revolt is perfect for you. Decently quick, provisions for fender mounts to keep dry), massive tire clearance and pretty relaxed geometry. :slight_smile: