Friday, September 17, 2021

Cervelo Aspero: Front Single Road and Gravel Drivetrain

From the first set up of the Cervelo Aspero, where I first used a 2x11 speed drivetrain for road and gravel riding, I have now changed to a dedicated 1x11 speed gravel drivetrain.

The Aspero is now a dedicated gravel bike, which is why I have changed some of the components to make it more suitable for gravel riding, instead of striking a balance previously between road and gravel usage.

Other than the drivetrain, I have also changed to the GRX Di2 shifters, which has ergonomics that are very well suited for gravel riding. The default wheelset is also the excellent Hunt 650B carbon wheelset, with WTB Venture 47 tires.

That said, if I want to, I can still swap it to a road wheelset, if I ever want to ride fast on the road with this Cervelo Aspero. This is because the Ascent Bikes Zenith Elite wheelset is using the Sunrace RX1 11-36T cassette, which is relatively similar in size to the SLX CS-M7000 11-42T cassette on the Hunt wheelset. Previously I have swapped between the 11-30T cassette and the 11-36T cassette, without adjusting the rear derailleur at all, so I think swapping between the 11-36T and 11-42T cassette is possible.

Default gravel wheelset on the left (Hunt 650B + Venture 47 tires + 11-42T cassette) and the road wheelset on the right (Zenith Elite + GP5000 tires + 11-36T cassette).

From the picture above, you can see that the external wheel diameters are similar. This post shows the size difference in detail. The Zenith Elite carbon wheelset is currently being used on the Focus Paralane, as my all-weather commuting road bike.

Road wheelset with 11-36T cassette installed on the Cervelo Aspero.

Distance between the largest 36T sprocket and the guide pulley is a little further, since the rear derailleur is set for a 42T large sprocket. However, shifting is still OK.

Looks good as a road bike too!

With a carbon road wheelset, this Aspero can be converted into a pretty fast bike as well. It is only limited by the small 38T chain ring, which is good for gravel riding but rather small for road riding.

Full specifications of the Cervelo Aspero in road setup. Weighs about 7.5 kg without pedals.

As for the gravel setup, it will definitely be heavier, due to the heavier wheelset and larger cassette.

Installed the XTR RT-MT900 rotors onto the Hunt wheelset.

Full gravel setup

I think this setup is perfect for gravel riding!

The gravel setup weighs about 8.1 kg without pedals, with the additional 600 grams of weight coming from the wheelset.

Although it is possible for this Aspero to be set up as a road bike as shown above, it is not so likely that I will use it for road riding. I would just take the Focus Paralane instead, as it has more road specific components, such as a slightly larger chain ring and road shifters.

In any case, this Aspero is so versatile that it can be setup as a full road bike or full gravel bike, or anything in between.

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