This Dark Peak gravel bike from Calibre is a bit of a steal, it's currently on sale on the Go Outdoors site for £550. It could just be the perfect introduction to the adventure bike world without having to splash out a fortune, something that appeals very much, especially at this time of year!
Admittedly, you do have to join the Go Outdoors discount card scheme to get that price of £550, but seeing at that will cost you a fiver, it's no hardship really to tot this bike up to a grand total of £555.
So back to the bike, it's an alloy frame with a carbon fork and quick release axles front and rear. It's a bike that is as straightforward as the Calibre website, there's one colour choice and three sizes Small (54cm), Medium (55cm) and Large (57mm).
Kit wise, there is Shimano Tiagra drivetrain with FSA Vero Cross compact 46/36T chainrings and an 11-28T cassette, pretty steep gearing which might be a bit hard going once loaded up with kit. Braking is done via Tektro Lyra mechanical disc brakes with 160mm rotors and there is a choice of brake levers, either on the hoods or on the by using the cross-top levers.
The Dark Peak gets 700c wheels and 19mm wide rims in the form of WTB ChrisCross's with Shimano hubs. The wheels, Calibre say, are constructed from a proprietary aluminium alloy that's 20% stronger than the 6000 series alloys usually found in bike wheels. They are tubeless compatible too, which in order to run low pressures in the peace of mind that you won't get a puncture, you are probably going to want to set up. Set on the rims are WTB Nano 40mm wide tyres which should set you in good stead for a fair amount of gravel forays.
Other components include Richey bars, stem and seatpost (27.2mm) and a Selle Royal Seta saddle, there's a complete lack of any 'own brand' kit here as you might get with other lower priced brands but that's expected as Calibre don't produce other components, just the frames. Last things to mention are the copious amount of rack and bottle mounts - you'll be able to fit mudguards and racks to this bike plus three water bottles! The bike also uses a threaded bottom bracket - we know that will be music to a lot of ears. Without any extra racks or pedals the bike weighs in at 11.7kg (25.7lbs), it's not light but then you have to remember the £555 price tag, right?
Calibre says the frame geometry is designed for comfort and stability on endurance rides over rough terrain, with a longer wheelbase and a relaxed rider position. There's not a huge amount of info on the Calibre website but we've measured the wheelbase as a not hugely long 1040mm with the rear chainstays at 435mm, normal numbers for a gravel bike with a road/commuter flavour though. There head angle is a not altogether relaxed 72 degrees with a 73.5 degree seat angle on the medium frame.
We'll be sending this out to one of our testers for a thorough test soon so make sure you check back for a review.
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