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Riding Metal on the Gravel Roads of Gunnison County w/ the Why Cycles R+ V4

Remember, back in September when I got to participate in some stellar gravel riding at a press camp in Gunnison, Colorado? In that article about the adventure, I promised to follow up and tell you a little about the bikes that were supplied, the Revel Rover, and a lot about the bike I actually rode, the Why Cycles R+V4.

Well, here’s me keeping my promise.

Photo c. Emma Brophy. The Revel Rover was the weapon of choice for most of the writers that were on the trip.

When we first arrived at the campsite, all of the bikes were in one place and waiting to be chosen by the other writers. The bike that was supplied for the crew to ride was the Revel Rover. Revel Bikes is based in Carbondale Colorado, so it made sense for them to provide the steeds for the trip.

The Rover is a beautiful carbon-framed bike that seemed super capable to tackle the gravel adventure that Eric Larsen and his wife, Maria Hennessey had cooked up for us.

The Supplied Bike, The Revel Rover

Revel Bikes is a Colorado bike company that, up until the release of the Rover, was known for its full-suspension bikes, like the Rail27, Rail29, Rascal, and Ranger. Shreddable bikes from a company that is at home playing in the dirt… so a gravel bike fits right in.

The Rover is a 700c gravel bike that has a thermoset carbon fiber frame and a carbon Revel fork. The bikes on hand for the event were spec’d with two different groups, a few with Shimano GRX and a few with SRAM Rival. The editors on hand could also choose the Rover in either of the stock colors, T1000 (shown above) or Mint Chip.

The Rovers that were supplied for the event were equipped with 40mm tires, but can be ridden with 700cx50mm (27.5×2.1) max.

Rover Frame Specs:

  • Spacing: 142x12mm rear and 100×12 front
  • Axle spec: 166x12x1.0mm/123.5x12x1.0mm
  • Seatpost diameter: 27.2
  • Seatpost insertion depth: SM(200mm), MD(250mm), LG(275mm), XL(300mm), XXL(320mm)
  • Routing: Guided internal (incl. dropper)
  • Rear brake: Flat mount: 140mm direct/160mm max
  • Brake rotors: Centerlock rotors with internally serrated lockrings only
  • Bottom bracket: BSA 68mm English threaded
  • Chainring: Max 50t round (47.5mm chain line)/46t round (45mm chain line). Min: 38t round (all chain lines)
  • Sizes: S/M/L/XL/XXL
  • Lifetime Warranty

Revel Bikes says that the Rover was designed from the ground up with just the right amount of damping to smooth out rough roads. It seemed pretty versatile as well, with good tire and chainring clearance. It has fully guided internal routing, and 4 sets of water bottle bosses, and a SRAM Universal Derailleur Hanger.

Retails for:

  • Frame and Fork: Starting at $2400
  • SRAM Rival: Starting at $3999
  • Shimano GRX: Starting at $4600
  • SRAM Red AXS: Starting at $8199

Revel Rover Geometry

While the Revel Rover was a stellar machine worthy of a good go in the mountains of Gunnison, I’m really here to talk the other bike that I rode while on this trip.

What Bike did I Ride?

Gunnison Gravel XL Revel Rover and Why Cycles R+ V4 My choices upon arriving at camp, the XL Revel Rover in Mint Chip or (thanks to Chris at Why Cycles) the Why Cycles R+ V4.

As mentioned in the part one of this adventure, there was a different bike sent to the event for me to ride. I saw the Mint Chip XL Rover that was provided for me and got pretty excited. But Eric mentioned that my pal Chris at Why Cycles/Revel Bikes had also sent over an XL titanium gravel bike for me to ride (it helps that Why and Revel are owned by the same people). I’m guessing he knew I would prefer the titanium frame material over the carbon frame material.

Considering that I prefer to ride steel, the obvious choice for me was to ride the titanium bike for the next three days. Thanks, Chris!

The Why Cycles R+ V4

The Why Cycles R+ V4 is said to be optimized for 700cx40mm tires, but it is good for up to 700cx50mm (27.5×2.1). They say it’s the R+ V4’s comfort that is one of the most important qualities of the bike, whether it’s on gravel roads or a bit of pavement, the ride quality of the titanium is “magic”.

Why Cycles says they use “the highest quality Grade 9 3/2.5 titanium for the R+V4 tubing, and 6/4 titanium for the headtube, bottom bracket shell, and machined bits all over the frame”.

Gunnison-Gravel-Ron-Frazelle-Ride-2 Photo c. Emma Brophy

Gunnison Gravel Ron Frazelle Ride 2 with rack

Photo c. Emma Brophy

Gunnison Gravel Ron Frazelle Ride 2 with rack 2

Photo c. Emma Brophy

How’d the R+ V4 Ride?

Riding the R+ V4 was a first for me in that I had never ridden a titanium gravel bike before. I had no idea what to expect. I mean, I had some idea. But, up until now I had never thrown a leg over one.

Gunnison-Gravel-Ride-One-The-Why-Cycles-R-V4-e1665521422144 The Why Cycles R+V4 is all geared up and ready for a day in the dirt.

Well, I’m here to tell you, the hype is real, and titanium might actually be magical.

I found this bike to be exceptionally comfortable, and it inspired confidence on all of the rides and all of the surfaces throughout the trip.

Gunnison-Gravel-Laura-Killinbeck-and-Ron-Frazelle Photo c. Emma Brophy. A sample of some of the gravel offerings of Gunnison County, Co.

During the Gunnison trip, I rode this bike on a lot of varying surfaces, like super clean pavement, super bad pavement, buffed gravel service roads, deep, sandy type gravel roads, small baby-head rocky descents, and packed, fast dirt road downhills. They R+ handled all of it with aplomb.

After the first ride, I got back to camp and flipped the stem over to get in a little more of an upright riding position.

Gunnison-Gravel-Hailey-Moore-and-Ron-Frazelle Photo c. Emma Brophy

Gunnison-Gravel-Ron-Frazelle-charging

Photo c. Emma Brophy

Gunnison-Gravel-Ron-Frazelle-1

Photo c. Emma Brophy

I kinda fell for the R+ V4, I wanted one for myself, really bad. It’s hard to believe it took me this long to actually try a titanium bicycle. I have been a diehard rider of steel bicycles for as long as I can remember (30+ years), as I love everything about a good steel bicycle. And I’ve dabbled with other frame materials, even carbon, but I think I’ve been missing the boat on titanium. Its hyped-up ride qualities seem to be no hype at all… just the truth.

Yes, I know it was a short relationship with this bike, but it was a damn delightful relationship, and sometimes, you just need a short time to know if something is special. And the R+V4 sure felt like something special.

Why Cycles R+V4 Geometry

Why Cycles says that the R+V4 has some unique geo features. Like, the bottom bracket drop and reach. They also say that the BB drop is a bit more than other similar bikes out there. And the BB drop when combined with the chainstay length makes the bike handle with more comfort and stability. Plus the R+V4 has a slightly longer reach than other bikes that are similar, allowing them to steal from the mountain bike world – wider bars and shorter stems.

WHY-R-V4-GEO-CHART

Why Cycles offer a no-risk “return it for a full refund after 30 days” policy on all of their bicycles. They also offer a lifetime warranty to the original buyer. It’s said to be a straightforward warranty policy. It states that if you use your bike for what it was intended for, and the frame fails due to a manufacturing defect, they will replace it for free.

Gunnison Gravel lg Why Cycles R+ V4 on the plains of Co The views on this trip were insane. And the R+V4 looks pretty sexy in the foreground here.

They also have a crash-replacement policy, working with you to offer a replacement frame at a “very low cost”.

R+V4 Frame Specs:

  • Wheel size: 700c (27.5 compatible)
  • Axles: 142x12mm rear SRAM UDH/100×12 front
  • Rack mounts: Included
  • Seatpost insertion depth: SM(225mm), MD(265mm), LG(295mm), XL(320mm), XXL(TBD)
  • Routing: Guided internal (incl. dropper)
  • Rear brake: Flat mount: 140mm direct/160mm max
  • Brake rotors: Centerlock rotors with internally serrated lockrings only
  • Tire clearance: 700×50, 27.5×2.1
  • Bottom bracket: BSA 68mm English threaded
  • Headset: IS42 Upper/IS52 Lower
  • Front derailleur: Not combatable
  • Bottle bolts: 4 pairs total, 3 inside the front triangle and 1 under the down tube
  • Sizes: S/M/L/XL/XXL
  • Lifetime Warranty

Retails for:

  • Frame and Fork: $3349
  • SRAM Rival: $5299
  • Shimano GRX: $5499
  • SRAM Red AXS: Starting at $9299

Chek out more details on the Why Cycles R+V4 or the Revel Rover at the links below!

WhyCycles.com

RevelBikes.com

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24 COMMENTS

    • Nah, overrated if you ask me. Ive tried better bikes for gravel roads. Dont believe the hype, its all marketing. Keep searching, youll find something truly beastly.

    • Paved roads are for conformists. The Why Cycles R+ V4 is all about embracing the untamed thrill of gravel riding. Leave the smooth paths behind and let your rebellious spirit soar. Who needs rules when you have two wheels and a sense of adventure?

    • Are you serious? Riding metal on gravel roads is a surefire way to destroy your bike and ruin your day. Happiness comes from finding peace within, not from reckless actions that will only lead to frustration and expensive repairs.

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