Featured Bike: Curve Cycling’s Grovel CXR Titanium

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“At Curve Cycling, we strive to give fellow riders new and exciting experiences via our products and adventures. With our offerings we strive to deliver products that go beyond the ‘honey moon period’ and continue performing throughout it’s expected life cycle. We take great pride in each and every piece and would never release something to the market that we wouldn’t use ourselves.”

Founded by Steve Varga – Product developer, rider, racer and a bloke who works on anything with two wheels. Steve took his background in furniture design and manufacturing to create Curve Cycling, based out of the Southern Hemisphere in Melbourne, Australia.

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Joining Steve at Curve is co-Founder Jesse Carlsson, a former BMX world champion, 2nd place finisher at the 2013 Tour Divide, 2015 winner of the Trans Am Bike race, and all round bad-arse Enduro rider. We interviewed Jesse earlier this year about all things gravel in and around Melbourne, Australia – gravel cycling is worldwide – watch this space for the interview!

The third man behind Curve is Adam Lana; former customer now partner, brand development, design, sales and everything else…

CurveGrovelCXR2016-17Constructed from double butted 3AL / 2.5V titanium, the CXR found its inspiration from the preceding Curve Grovel, a frame built from 4130 series chromoly steel. The revised Grovel CXR was tweaked to help it perform as a high zoot CX racing rig. More aggressive geometry, lower bottom bracket, thru axles front and rear (12mm x 142mm) and shortened chainstays.

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Obviously tyre clearance is affected when chainstays are shortened, but the Grovel CXR accepts a 700c x 38mm gravel tyre. There are differences between a true cyclocross bike and the more relaxed geometry of a gravel bike, but having ridden both types for thousands of miles / kilometres, I’m here to tell you that both bikes do just fine on the average dirt and gravel road. It’s OK to improvise.

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The Curve Grovel CXR in these photos doesn’t sit around a showroom looking pretty. It is well used. In fact, this CXR is one of the bikes the lads from Curve Cycling rode from Melbourne to Adelaide, South Australia, the site of these photos. That’s a distance of about 500 miles / 800 kilometres. Thankfully, the raw Titanium finish is easily refreshed, but looks good even with wear and tear.

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1 x 10 / 11 drivetrains are gaining popularity in cyclocross, and have begun making some inroads into the gravel cycling scene. While I prefer the added gear range of a double chainring crankset and associated derailleur – uber handy for serious climbing, there is no denying the simplicity of such a setup when multiple gears are involved.

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Ten speed drivetrains still offer plenty of gear ratios.

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The CXR’s custom-machined 44mm headtube features press-in cups, which help eliminate unwanted creaks and groans.

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All brake and derailleur cables are routed externally along the top tube, making for easy maintenance.

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Seatpost is a standard 27.2mm affair, held in place by a 31.8mm seat clamp.

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Brakes are kept simple with Avid’s BB7 SL mechanical disc brake.

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A 12mm x 142mm thru axle keeps the rear wheel in place. Thru axles are doubly handy for ensuring consistent alignment of the brake caliper in relation to the brake rotor.

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Keep it simple. The venerable 68mm English thread shell allows for plenty of bottom bracket options, all of which are non-proprietary.

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This CXR rolls on Bontrager’s CX0 tyres which measure 700c x 33mm wide.

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Thanks to the crew at Curve Cycling Australia for allowing me to photograph their machines during my time in Adelaide, South Australia.

  • Frame: Curve CXR Titanium.
  • Fork: Curve Carbon, 1 1/8 to 1.5″ tapered.
  • Headset: Hope Technology.
  • Stem: Coming…
  • Handlebar: Coming…
  • Front brake: Avid BB-7 SL mechanical.
  • Rear brake: Avid BB-7 SL mechanical.
  • Shift / Brake Shift levers: SRAM Force.
  • Front derailleur: N/A.
  • Rear derailleur: SRAM Force 10 speed.
  • Cassette: SRAM PG1070 11-28 10-speed.
  • Chain: SRAM 10-speed PC1071 hollow pin.
  • Crankset: SRAM Force fitted with 42T Wolf Tooth Components chainring.
  • Bottom bracket: SRAM 68mm external cup.
  • Pedals: Shimano XT.
  • Wheelset: Brand X rims, DT Swiss 240S disc brake hubs.
  • Front tyre: Bontrager CX0, 700c x 38mm.
  • Rear tyre: Bontrager CX0, 700c x 38mm.
  • Saddle: Coming…
  • Seatpost: Thomson, including seat clamp.
  • Bottle cages: Brand X aluminium.
  • Computer: N/A

Curve Cycling Australia

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