The Graveller is the vision of BiviBIKES founder Fraser Barsby’s perfect adventure bike. To make his dreams become reality, Barsby’s taken a high-quality but little-known tube maker in Japan’s Sanko, selected its skinny steel pipes and smartly welded a frame replete with strengthening gussets on the ring-reinforced head tube.
Versatile dropouts offer multiple fixings for bike-packing sojourns, while a 73mm mountain-bike spec bottom-bracket shell is threaded to appeal to home mechanics (no press fit creaking woes here).
Moving to a wider bottom bracket and mountain-bike cranks (Shimano SLX) means a broader stance on the bike that allows you to nimbly shift your weight around for better handling. It also means better clearance when the bike’s loaded with luggage.
The Graveller’s all about exploring much further off the beaten track than simple byways and fire roads. Yes, it works well there but it also shows prowess on much more technical stuff.
The frameset has all the fixtures and fittings you’ll ever need. There are triple ‘anything’ mounts on the steel fork, plus mudguard eyes, while on the frame there are mudguard eyes, routing for two cables, triple bottle bosses, rack mounts and brake-hose fittings.
BiviBikes Graveller geometry and sizing
The Graveller does, however, only come in one size, which is effectively a 55cm.
Bivi says it should fit riders from 5ft 5in (165cm) to 6ft 1in (185cm). That’s a helluva range to cover. I stand at 6ft 2in, and while I would have preferred a bigger bike the Graveller didn’t feel horribly small or short and that’s all down to its radical geometry.
The head angle is a slack 71 degrees and the seat angle a road-like 73 degrees. The stack of 558mm is low, but the reach is exceptionally long at 409mm (stack is the vertical distance between the top of the head tube and centre of the bottom bracket; reach is the horizontal distance between the centre of the bottom bracket and centre of head tube).
Throw in a fork offset of 51mm that, with the 45c/700c wheel and tyre combo, gives a trail of 77mm (trail is the tyre’s contact point behind steering axis; a small measure of trail makes for a fast-handling bike; more trail slows down the steering response) and its handling and steering responses are the epitome of stability, ensuring it’s great for traversing rough rocky surfaces at speed.
|||One size (55cm)|
|Seat angle (degrees)||73.5|
|Head angle (degrees)||71.5|
|Seat tube (cm)||43.25|
|Top tube (cm)||57.5|
|Fork offset (cm)||5|
|Bottom bracket height (cm)||28.8|
BiviBikes Graveller ride impressions
That ease of control also stems from the short Deda stem and the alloy Pro Discover bar with its subtly flared drops. Ovalized tops also offer a comfortable hand hold.
The seatpost is Cinelli’s Vai topped with mountain-bike favourite DMR’s 25th-anniversary saddle. It’s comfy while its texture means that you don’t slip in the wet.
The wheels are Merlin’s GDA-1 gravel-specific with a 32mm-deep alloy rim and a generous 25mm internal width that’s perfectly suited to the 45c Schwalbe G-One tyres.
The rims are built onto dependable Shimano RS470 hubs with easy-to-service cup-and-cone bearings. With 32 spokes front and rear these are built tough at 970g (front) and 1,170g (rear).
The gearing combines a GRX rear cassette with an 11-42 range and a 38t mountain-bike chainring. That gives a lower range than you’ll find on some 650b-equipped rivals, but the 700c wheels counter any gearing shortcomings.
On the road, the bike’s long-low position means you can consume the tarmac bits between trails quickly, while the low gearing with a 38/42 bottom gear guarantees ascending ease.
It’s also quick on tarmac thanks to the larger-diameter wheels and the Schwalbe G-Ones with their less aggressive tread. The G-Ones are superb on hard-packed dirt too, but in muddy conditions they are no match for slimy grime.
BiviBikes Graveller bottom line
Overall, the Graveller is a superb all-road machine. Its handling is wonderful and the frameset screams quality.
The chink in its armour is the one-size-fits-all approach. Bivi will tune each part of the finishing kit to suit you, but I’d have preferred a bike a little bigger.
How we tested
Gravel riding is more popular than ever and if you’re looking to have a gravel adventure and have a two-grand budget, we’d suggest searching beyond carbon and looking at some of the toughest rides around made of metal.
This quartet of versatile and durable bikes was selected from brands you may not be aware of or because of a unique point of difference, but all dispense with carbon for steel and aluminium.
Each bike was tested on a variety of terrain on our local gravel routes that included rocky tracks and byways, as well as tarmac roads.
Also on test
|Weight||11.9kg (One size (55cm))|
|Available sizes||One size (55cm)|
|Tyres||Schwalbe G-One 700 x 45c|
|Stem||Deda Zero 90mm|
|Rear derailleur||Shimano GRX 400|
|Handlebar||Pro Discover 44cm|
|Bottom bracket||Shimano 73mm|
|Cranks||Shimano SLX 38t|