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Why We Like The Aspero Apex 1x Complete Bike
When we think about the sport of gravel racing, we think of just about the grittiest riders on two wheels. In one word, the conditions are demanding. Physically, psychologically, and demanding on our equipment. It takes a different kind of mindset to commit to 200+ miles of off-road pedaling through adverse conditions, free of support, and relying just on your own dedication to work through the race, pushing to stay at the front of the group. It also takes a different kind of machine. A machine that's built for speed, with a balance of comfort, rather than gear-hauling that we see on some gravel adventure steeds. To satisfy this need, Cervélo crafts the Aspero Apex 1x Complete Bike. This is a bike built with purpose and intent. It's constructed to take on the rough and rowdy terrain, and float ahead with lofty tire clearance that accommodates either the ultra-plush 650b or quick-rolling 700c hoops. It's a weapon built for chasing down podiums, and packing in all of the essentials you need to get you there.
The Aspero is built with modern geometry that's aim is to combine comfort for the long gravel miles, with progressive fit to help you soar to the front of the pack. Every size of the Aspero provides an identical ride feel, which blows other rides out of the water that maintain the same fork for every size. While some of this is achieved through a unique fork for each size, an adjustable fork offset lets you further tinker with things, enabling the bike to meet any rider's needs. The Aspero uses a moderate head tube angle at 72-degrees (size 52) to provide more stability than Cervélo's road steeds do, without going full-out slack into the realm of mountain bike geometry. This lengthens the wheelbase slightly to create a solid feel on loose descents and corners, but pairs up with a steep seat-tube angle for a nice perch through pedal-heavy sections. Cervélo crafts the fork with a built-in dropout that allows the geometry to stay identical regardless of wheel size. This dropout also enables you to fit huge tires for full cushion on rough terrain, with 700c options fitting most 42 tires, and 650b offering room for most 49's — though brand and tread can impact fit. Cervélo recommends leaving at least 4mm of space around your tires to accommodate clearance for the inevitable mud buildup that occurs during the lengthy miles of the Crusher or Private Idaho.
When it comes to carbon fiber layups, Cervélo is no slouch. It's engineers carefully and meticulously design their layups to maximize stiffness where its most important, compliance where you need a little comfort, and keep weight at a minimum. This particular model uses a C-level carbon, which uses ultra-high modulus carbon to damp jarring vibrations from mixed conditions, aiming to find a balance of static comfort and dynamic comfort.
This particular build is finished off work SRAM's workhorse gravel group — the Apex 1. Like its pricier sibling, its ready to roll on drop bars with a hydraulic brakes, and utilizes double-tap shifting, but with a little more weight, and price savings to match. As you'd expect with Cervélo, the Aspero is built with the wide and stiff BBRight platform, offering a bottom bracket that doesn't flex under pressure when you're on your final sprints to the finish line.
- Chase down the podium with Cervelo's gravel race machine
- Steep seat tube and moderate head tube balance for comfort and speed
- Adjustable Trail in fork keeps geometry true regardless of wheel size
- Size-corrected geometry offers the same performance for every rider
- C-series carbon is stiff, light, and comfortable for endurance miles
- Compatible with both 700c and 650b wheel sizes for speed and comfort
- Internal cable routing allows for addition of dropper post
- SRAM Apex 1 group is a workhorse in rough conditions, and doesn't break the bank
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