This week we’re looking at the J.Laverack Grit, a handsome titanium-framed gravel bike designed for big rides on mixed terrain.
J.Laverack is a small UK brand that produces rather tasty titanium bikes. The brand offers standard builds, but gives riders a wealth of options to choose from to tailor things to their specific desires, from minor spec tweaks to full custom geometry.
The Grit (or GRiT, as J.Laverack styles it) is meant to be a proper gravel bike rather than an endurance road bike that can go off road – that role is fulfilled by the J.ack, a version of which we reviewed some years ago.
What is Bike of the Week?
Every Tuesday, we’ll bring you a detailed first look at one of the latest bikes to arrive for review – from road to commuting, gravel to enduro, and anything in between.
This is our chance to introduce the bike and everything that makes it unique before hitting the road or trails for testing and delivering our verdict in a full review.
Perhaps unsurprisingly, J.Laverack is unequivocal in its belief that titanium is the best material for a bike like this, calling it “the ultimate metal with mettle”, one that’s perfect for the “rough and tumble” of gravel riding.
Based on our experience of Ti gravel bikes, that’s hard to disagree with. With good design, Ti frames can be comfy and capable, and the material typically ages better than painted carbon (and metal), wearing battle scars well.
The Grit we have here features J.Laverack’s Pavé matt finish, with lovely brushed graphics that are an extra-cost option over the standard finish.
The brushed graphics are a delight. Simon Bromley / Immediate Media
The menu of bits and bobs you can add to your Grit is a long one, with some offered at an additional cost while others are included as options in the base price.
There’s lots of flexibility with the build and J.Laverack will do custom geometry if you feel the need. You can also choose from various finishes, add extra bosses and lugs, and more.
This bike, for example, has a third set of bottle bosses on the underside of the down tube.
The Grit’s cabling is mostly internal but the gear outer and rear brake hose emerge at the bottom of the down tube to wrap around the bottom bracket shell.
J.Laverack now offers its so-called Streamline bottom bracket as an upgrade, one that fits a standard threaded bottom bracket inside a larger shell, creating room to run the cables fully internally.
There’s a refreshingly large amount of detail on J.Laverack’s website for prospective buyers with comprehensive geometry information and critical details such as tyre clearance, both with and without mudguards, and for both 700c and 650b wheels.
Why the big brands can’t seem to manage this, we’ll never know, it’s not like measuring things is hard.
With bars like these, there’s no doubting this is a gravel bike. Simon Bromley / Immediate Media
On the geometry front, J.Laverack has focused on stability and clearances. The longish chainstays (435mm) and slackish seat angle (73 degrees on this 56cm frame) favour a rearward weight distribution for better traction, according to the brand.
Up front, the combination of a 50mm fork offset (road bikes typically have less offset) and a 71.5-degree head angle (on a 56cm) are designed to give sufficient toe clearance and the desired handling characteristics.
Reach figures are on the short side, but not exceptionally so at 379mm for a 56cm – that’s the same as a 56cm Specialized Diverge, for instance – while the stack is moderately tall at 599mm.
The base price for this build with 1× mechanical Shimano GRX gearing is £4,455, a healthy sum by any measure. The added options take the price up to a heady £6,025.
This Grit is wearing a full set of Ultegra-equivalent GRX RX812 components with the exception of the brakes which, rather unusually, are four-pot Hope RX4 calipers, ones J.Laverack offers as an upgrade.
The Hope calipers are an unusual choice. Simon Bromley / Immediate Media
We queried this component choice – there’s absolutely nothing wrong with Shimano’s calipers after all – and according to J.Laverack the brakes were chosen for their feel and modulation, not to mention their aesthetics and the fact that they match the bike’s Hope headset and bottom bracket.
Shimano GRX still feels very new, incidentally, but we’re seeing it everywhere on gravel bikes now, with bike makers keen to take advantage of the new gearing options it offers.
We’re seeing GRX drivetrains everywhere now. Simon Bromley / Immediate Media
The Grit gets a PRO cockpit with dramatically flared bars and a short-for-a-56 80mm stem.
The post is an own-brand Aera carbon item, as are the 38mm carbon clincher rims, which are built on Hope hubs that are in keeping with the rest of this choice build.
Does a bit of posh titanium tickle your fancy for gravel antics? How would you spec yours?
Let us know what you’d like to know about the Grit, and look out for a full review on BikeRadar in the coming months.
J.Laverack Grit specs
Frame: Grit titanium, Pavé matt finish with hand brushed graphics, engraved head badge, 142×12mm thru-axle
Fork: Aera Gravel Adventure carbon fork, 12mm thru-axle
Groupset: Shimano GRX RX800 42t 1×, 11-34t cassette
Brakes: Hope RX4 4-piston
Wheelset: Aera GR38 carbon clinchers with Hope RS4 Pro CL hubs
Tyres: Continental Terra Speed 40mm
Cockpit: PRO Discover with 30-degree flare, PRO PLT 80mm stem
Seatpost: Aera carbon 27.2mm
Saddle: Brooks Cambium C13 All-Weather
Weight: 9.0kg (56cm)
Price: £6,025 as pictured, complete bikes from £4,455, frameset from £2,500