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Gravel Bikes and Components

Why The Grail?

For more information on the Grail, head over to the Canyon website HERE

SBT GRVL is going to bring it all; high-altitude, long climbs, winding descents and rough roads. We promise, it will be a day in the saddle to remember. Considering you’ll get a smattering of everything over all our course options, the question then becomes: will you be ready to take on an epic day with the right tool for the job?

The idea behind a dedicated gravel bike is its Swiss army knife utility. Ample tire volume for traction like a cyclocross bike. Big wheels for speed like a road bike. Balanced geometry for predictable, safe riding over a variety of terrain from rocky singletrack descents to rolling washboard dirt road climbs like a mountain bike. Blend it all together…. gravel bike! (It’s also quite adept at bike packing and coffee runs.) That’s why we find the Canyon Grail CF to be the finest tool for SBT GRVL.

Why? Well, there’s the obvious one: carbon fiber. The wonder material, available on the Grail CF in superlight (SL) or superlight extreme (SLX) versions, does it all; it’s light, and can be engineered to deliver stiffness where wanted, and at the same time a compliant ride that absorbs trail buzz. Canyon designed the Grail to handle with power out of saddle, yet shrug off all the fatigue-inducing bumps a dirt road ride delivers.

But the Grail Bar is the thing that makes the Grail the bike that broke the Internet… and it’s the one progressive engineering advance that really makes the Grail CF ideal for SBT GRVL. The Grail Bar’s innovative design isolates the stem from the bar top, which allowed Canyon’s German engineers to take full advantage of carbon fiber’s natural ability to flex. With no stem in the way, the Grail bar top flexes slightly when under load on rough trails, saving your tired hands and forearms from the full impact of bumps and hits on the trail.

Over a long day in the saddle, those vibrations can tax and wear down your hands, forearms and body in general. As a system the Grail CF frame and its Grail Bar truly take down the impacts of a rough road or trail, reducing the effect of fatigue on the body over a long race or training day. If you’re looking to have a day to remember rather than rough day, Canyon’s Grail CF may be your ticket to a magic carpet ride in Steamboat Springs!

For more information on the Grail, head over to the Canyon website HERE

SRAM Gearing Recommendation

By virtually any standard, even the shortest SBT GRVL route options are challenging. With lots of climbing at altitude over gravel roads, extra low gears are your friend here. They can really help you avoid going too hard during the first half of the ride and sabotaging your experience during the second half. Perhaps more importantly, it’s always great to have a bailout gear option to help to get you to the finish line when there’s no gas left in the tank.

A drop bar bike with gears below a 1:1 ratio is just the ticket. Our mechanical 11-speed 1x drivetrains have changed the gravel segment since they were introduced five years ago. Pair a 10-42 cassette with a small chainring for a 420% range.

Want more range? Electronic shifting? Enter the mullet build. An Eagle AXS rear derailleur paired to road eTap AXS shift/brake levers allows the use of an Eagle cassette with 500% range. Pair it with a road chainring in the 38-42T range that best suits your personal needs.

If a more traditional 2x drivetrain is your jam, and a 1:1 low gear is all you need to tackle the tough stuff, a 2x eTap AXS build with a 46-33 chainring combo mated to a 10-33 cassette covers it all. It has plenty of top end. 46x10 is actually a taller gear than a traditional 50x11 setup. On the low end, with a 1:1 gear a strong rider can go pretty much anywhere without spending too much time in the pain cave, even on the most demanding Black Course option.

Whatever gearing setup you are considering, just be honest with yourself and your abilities, and if you are in doubt, go lower. Having the option to ride a little easier virtually always increases the fun factor on a social ride like SBT GRVL.