Following Otso’s any-surface drop bike launch yesterday, Pivot announced their 2017 Vault, and shared this quote about it
Our 2017 Vault makes it easy for dropbar riders to simplify—it is one perfect bike for Cyclocross, Road and Gravel. “Dropbar bikes are evolving as fast as are mountain bikes,” said Pivot Cycles President and CEO, Chris Cocalis. “In the same way that our great trail bikes take MTB riders all over the mountain, the Vault is the only bike that most road riders really need. We are excited to dispel myths about what makes a great cyclocross, road racing or gravel bike by offering one truly exceptional machine that excels in every field.”
If you’ve been following the category, every marketer for every company calls it something different. A few years ago, it was even called freeroading, for a while. As I shared on Medium Bicycles, “gravel” is whatever you want it to be, it really just means getting out, and riding where there are no or fewer cars. To do that on non-paved roads it’s best to have a more relaxed geometry than a CX bike, and with room for a big tire, and by that we mean 40 or larger—the Exploro I have in runs up to a 55 or a 2.1, when running 650bs.
The reason you want drop bars is for multiple hand positions, instead of one on a flat bar. The makers of bikes have also figured out there are too many niches. One modern road bike should handle most, if not all of your riding.
A 48 will fit in the front fork of the Vault and a 38 in the back. I rode and reviewed the previous Vault, a couple seasons ago. It’s a nice bike from a company obsessed with design. Built up with Ultegra and Stan’s Grail wheels it retails for $3,999.
I asked Mark V what he thought of the new Vault. His reply:
Most of these new bikes don’t have features that make them uniquely-gravel oriented. The fact is that ANY recent CX bike makes a decent gravel bike, and bigger tire clearance is the LEAST a frame designer could do to woo the gravel crowd. Pivot is a CX bike with more clearance and a lot of emperor’s new clothes. 65mm drop is solidly CX territory, hardly “new school,” or in the territory of what 3T and OpenCycle are doing. Considering the chain stay, 425 is almost standard for CX and in comparison, the U.P. is 425, and to fit a 700x40mm is very clever. Fitting a 650×55 is amazing. Exploro is 415 and does the same, which is mad clever.
Indeed it is. The jargon and numbers, bring me back to what is gravel anyway? Well, any bike that’ll fit a tire bigger than 28 will do, a CX bike will do too, but the stiffness and geometry will have you wishing for a more compliant ride, once you start to feel the vibrations and bumps of non-paved surfaces.
- New 1.5” tapered steerer carbon fork with 12mm thru axle, increased tire clearance and Shimano’s flat disk mount.
- Oversized fork crown optimizes stiffness, increases steering precision and eliminates brake chatter on rough surfaces.
- Thru-axle, disc brake frame design rivals the best road racing bikes for sprinting and climbing efficiency
- Next-generation cross/gravel/road geometry – works for any road surface.
- Full carbon frame featuring proprietary hollow core internal molding technology for ideal weight, strength and stiffness
- Optimized layup structure with ideal top tube and stay shaping for comfort and power output on long rides, rough roads and epic adventures.
- Internal cable routing is compatible with both Di2 and traditional, mechanical shifting systems.
- BB386EVO bottom bracket substantially increases torsional rigidity, strength and power transfer, while providing increased rear tire clearance.
- Disc brake compatible with 140-160mm rotors
- 2 bottle cage mounts
- Available as a complete bike or as a frame/fork/headset
- Sizes XS, S, M, L for riders between 5’3” and 6’3”
- New Gloss Blue with matte carbon.
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