Gravel Bike - new Stigmata vs Open
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  1. #1
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    Gravel Bike - new Stigmata vs Open

    Hi all. Just getting back into cycling after a few years of on and off again mixed road/mtb riding. As I get back into this sport, I've realized that riding my several years old ultra stiff S-works bike is not really what my older self that is not going to race is looking for anymore. As I started to look at more laid back road bikes, I have realized that a more road-oriented gravel bike is probably the best fit. I live in an area with tons of rail trails and other bike paths that make a mixed style ride interesting and worthwhile. I also want a bit more comfort than what a race bike offers. I am also someone who still wants to be able to hang with the fast A rides in the area though too.

    The two frames that I keep coming back to are the new Santa Cruz Stigmata and the Open Up. Tons of great reviews on the Open. Not so much about the Stigmata. What little I have seen is that the Open does everything well and the Stigmata may be a little more road-only oriented than the Open and possibly stiffer.

    I like the price point of the Santa Cruz better. I also really like the company itself. Santa Cruz has taken care of pretty much everyone I know who has had issues with their products and I want to support that (I own a MTB from them). Only issue is that no one carries the Stigmata in my area and I will have to order it. At least CC offers a 30 day guarantee now. Despite all of this, I cannot shake the feeling that the Open may be a better bike. I have ridden Vroomen-designed Cervelos in the past and I really liked them.

    This will be a custom build. Thoughts?

  2. #2
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammer_cycle View Post
    Hi all. Just getting back into cycling after a few years of on and off again mixed road/mtb riding. As I get back into this sport, I've realized that riding my several years old ultra stiff S-works bike is not really what my older self that is not going to race is looking for anymore. As I started to look at more laid back road bikes, I have realized that a more road-oriented gravel bike is probably the best fit. I live in an area with tons of rail trails and other bike paths that make a mixed style ride interesting and worthwhile. I also want a bit more comfort than what a race bike offers. I am also someone who still wants to be able to hang with the fast A rides in the area though too.

    The two frames that I keep coming back to are the new Santa Cruz Stigmata and the Open Up. Tons of great reviews on the Open. Not so much about the Stigmata. What little I have seen is that the Open does everything well and the Stigmata may be a little more road-only oriented than the Open and possibly stiffer.

    I like the price point of the Santa Cruz better. I also really like the company itself. Santa Cruz has taken care of pretty much everyone I know who has had issues with their products and I want to support that (I own a MTB from them). Only issue is that no one carries the Stigmata in my area and I will have to order it. At least CC offers a 30 day guarantee now. Despite all of this, I cannot shake the feeling that the Open may be a better bike. I have ridden Vroomen-designed Cervelos in the past and I really liked them.

    This will be a custom build. Thoughts?
    You are comparing apples to apples, so it really should come down to your personal preference. Those reviews you are seeing are for the old Stigmata. Santa Cruz just released a new one within the last month that is pretty much just like the Open UP. You really can't go wrong with either given your interests. My guess is you probably won't be able to make up your mind without test riding them close to back to back unless one is just speaking to you more. Both great bikes, very similar designs, both have a lot of fans. Get out there and test ride them and see them in person I say. Review of the new Stigmata below.

    https://bikerumor.com/2019/05/14/all...weights-video/
    Last edited by Rashadabd; 06-15-2019 at 02:40 PM.
    Every climb has its end, for verily with difficulty there is relief...

  3. #3
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    Thanks for the response and link. Read everything! Talked to a few local shops listed as dealers for both. Apparently going to be incredibly hard to find one to test ride. They are either order-only or they sell them as soon as they hit the floor (SC at least).

    Is there anything else I should seriously consider? I'm not digging the Specialized design and I'm not sure the Trek is for me either, both of which have great reviews.

    I honestly wouldn't mind having the ability to add a rack at some point....

    I've also considered the Warbird.

  4. #4
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    There are tons of great gravel bikes out there. Norco Search XR is a great bike for the money, but you probably won't find one to test ride. They have click and pick on their website now.

    The situation is going to be the same for all of them. Only the mainstream big name brands produce enough inventory to have in store inventory, and even that depends on you having a stocking dealer close by.

    I did a lot of research, identified a handful of bikes that met all of my criteria, and ended up with a bike that I love. I did have to wait two months due to backorder status, but it was worth the wait.

    That, or just get the red one. I've heard that works well ...

    Sent from my Pixel 3a using Tapatalk

  5. #5
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    Quote Originally Posted by hammer_cycle View Post
    Thanks for the response and link. Read everything! Talked to a few local shops listed as dealers for both. Apparently going to be incredibly hard to find one to test ride. They are either order-only or they sell them as soon as they hit the floor (SC at least).

    Is there anything else I should seriously consider? I'm not digging the Specialized design and I'm not sure the Trek is for me either, both of which have great reviews.

    I honestly wouldn't mind having the ability to add a rack at some point....

    I've also considered the Warbird.
    If you like those two, I highly recommend the Ibis Hakka MX. Similar design and so fun to ride. The Giant Revolt Advanced and Alliedís new gravel bike would be ones I would take a look at too. Pinarello released its first true gravel platform this year and if you are open to titanium, Moots, Lynskey, and, Litespeed all offer nice options. The Trail Donkey and Norco Search XR are popular options and if steel interests you, check out the Stinner Refugio and All City Cosmic Stallion.
    Every climb has its end, for verily with difficulty there is relief...

  6. #6
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    What he said is sound advice....^^^
    Every climb has its end, for verily with difficulty there is relief...

  7. #7
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    Thanks all for great advice. I'm calling around to see what local shops have. Unfortunately my sizing means nothing is usually in stock and even ordering is going to be dicey.

    Looking at the geometry, the warbird is going to be the trickiest for me to fit on. Open UP is almost an exact match with stack/reach as my road bike. Stigmata 60 opens up some interesting possibilities and raises the stack a little bit (which I think is good).

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