Sierra gravel explorer
FOR SALE: Contact me if you want this bike in your life.
Most production bikes slotted into the gravel category have geometries and personalities similar to road racing bikes. Yes, they use wider rubber and disc brakes, but they’re designed to handle like a race bike. That’s great if you want to win the Dirty Kanza, or if the gravel roads you ride are fairly tame.
However, a majority of dirt roads here in Nevada and California are anything but tame. The grades are steep, the climbs and descents are long, and the dirt roads are loose and rocky. This is mountain bike territory.
So instead of starting with road race geometry and adding dashes of off-road capability, I started with my hardtail design and applied it to a drop bar bike. The longer and slacker front end pushes the front wheel forward, giving the rider more confidence on steep descents. The chainstay length is fairly long to add stability and to keep the rider’s weight distributed properly between the wheels. The internally-routed dropper post allows the rider to achieve a proper attack stance when descending. All of this adds up to one mean off-road machine.
I also made sure that the bike was optimized for bikepacking. The water bottle mounts inside the main triangle are as low as possible to allow the rider to add a partial frame bag. Three bottle mounts on the bottom of the down tube accommodate an oversized cage for extra storage. The top tube has mounts for a bolt-on top tube bag, perfect for the Revelate Mag-Tank. This would be one sweet ride for Adventure Cycling’s Arkansas High Country Route and other dirt road adventures.