Cycling: Curve GXR – One Year Review

Before we start a disclaimer is necessary. I’m not a professional reviewer (as you’ll probably soon realize from this review), just someone who likes to ride a lot outdoors.

It’s almost a year since I bought the Curve GXR and it’s fair to say that it has become my main bicycle. I use it for pretty much everything – commuting, bike packing, on-road training, off-road adventure, riding in the rain…the list could go on. It’s even made me question the need for a pure road bike.

Of course that’s an outrageous thing to say to the average cyclist and I do of course own a road bike as well (a Ritchey Logic) and absolutely love it. Especially the differences in speed and efficiency when on the road compared to the GXR (but that’s more likely a result of tyre and component choices).

Unlike a road bike, however, the main appeal of the GXR was that it seemed like a versatile go anywhere, do anything titanium frame and carbon fork combo that wasn’t designed to be confined to the road. Make no mistake, it is great on the road too, but it’s on gravel roads, on the worn and neglected rindo forest roads of Japan, in the mountains of Snowdonia, and in the rain forests of Australia where it has shone in value for me – wherever I’ve ridden it it’s been solid. I no longer worry about where I ride because I know that 99% of the time the GXR will be fine. Especially with the 40mm tyres (and there’s room for larger still), hydraulic disc brakes, and huge 1x gears. The only places I’ve found it to have limitations is in a pure mountain biking environment when only a mountain bike will do. Obviously.

In the year since owning it I’ve ridden approximately 10,000kms on it and it still looks like new.

How does it compare to the competition? As someone that has only owned a small number of bikes I’m not in a position to say. The only other similar bike I’ve ridden was the Fairdale Weekender Drop and when I switched from that I immediately noticed a difference not only in weight but also in responsiveness and overall rideability (whatever that means). It’s no longer a hard slog riding up climbs like it used to be with and everything feels more refined, which makes me feel more confident when riding.

Probably the main benefit over everything else is that GXR feels like a bike for life. With a road bike, a mountain bike, and the Curve GXR fitting neatly in the middle I genuinely can’t imagine buying any more bikes for a very long time.

At A$3899 it is a serious investment but for a frame that I ride almost everyday it should work out at roughly A$1 a day over 10 years which for me is an absolute bargain, and as I mentioned above, I intent to be riding it for far longer than 10 years.

If you’re in the market for a good quality and super-versatile titanium frame I wouldn’t hesitate in recommending the Curve GXR.

How about you? Do you own a Curve or similar bike or thinking of buying one? It’d be great to hear from someone, anyone…

Outdoor life, usually from central Japan. Mostly hiking, cycling, and photography.

4 thoughts on “Cycling: Curve GXR – One Year Review

  1. I have also been riding a titanium CX/gravel bike exclusively for the past few years (On One Pickenflick). It has raced cyclo-cross, toured Japan, done Japanese Odyssey ultra event, and many hilly rides in Bali. It is very much a jack of all trades, master of none (except maybe gravel racing which I haven’t done). Lovely ride quality from the titanium but the geometry is unexciting…too stable for the road or tight Irish CX courses. It also has zero mounts apart from the two bottle cages. The GXR looks much more versatile and better finished… to be fair, my frame was much cheaper but it shows… even the BSA bottom bracket creaks.

    Considering I am 98% road riding where I am based currently I am tempted to change to a lighter, disc road bike that can take 30/32mm tyres… then work out a better CX bike when I am able to do that again (the Trek Crockett looks like good CX/all around geometry to me but again has no extra mounts which kills the versatility).

    Sounds like you have a good 3 bike set-up to cover your needs. I plan to arrive at something similar. The middle bike can do a lot but it is good to have a stable. I have a friend back home who is always buying a slick road bike in-between adventures and I’m starting to understand why…it’s good to have that option so you don’t blame the middle bike for lacking what it is not meant to be. You can take a blast with Ritchey then go chill with Kevin again.

    Like

    • Thanks for the comment!

      “You can take a blast with Ritchey then go chill with Kevin again.”

      I actually do it the other way around nowadays. The efficiency of the road bike and more relaxed position of the MTB means I usually find myself chilling on one of those more than the GXR.

      There are only a few places where I wouldn’t take the GXR, like completely off road on rough gravel and that’s exactly why I have the Ritchey MTB as well. With two quality steel frames and one titanium I honestly think I’m set up for a very long time.

      Like

  2. Hi Sean,
    Great page! I am currently thinking about taking a bike to Japan to tag some days and a bikepacking trip onto a conference visit in Kobe. Looking around Kii peninsula seems like the place to go (last year I visited Japan on a two week trip sightseeing Kyoto, Nara, etc, so I can skip big cities). As I will be flying in I already have a (large) transport case for my bike – is it ok to take this on a train?
    I was thinking of getting to Wakayama and starting from there, dropping the case off in a hotel or left luggage (is that possible at a train station?), doing a round trip of some 5 to 6 days and then head out again. Any recommendations for a route or must-ride roads or places to visit would be greatly appreciated. Best wishes, Dirk-Jan

    Like

    • Hi Dirk-Jan,

      Thanks for the comment. So long as your bike is in a case or ‘covered’ you can take it on a train. I’ve heard of some people using bin bags to cover their bikes for trains although I’ve never tried it. Most train stations have lockers where you can store things but I’m not sure about a big bike bag unless it folds up quite small.

      When I cycled on the Kii Peninsula I really enjoyed the area between Owase and Shingu as well as from Kii Nagashima to Shima along the coast.

      Like

Leave a Reply to Craig Lloyd Cancel reply

Fill in your details below or click an icon to log in:

WordPress.com Logo

You are commenting using your WordPress.com account. Log Out /  Change )

Google photo

You are commenting using your Google account. Log Out /  Change )

Twitter picture

You are commenting using your Twitter account. Log Out /  Change )

Facebook photo

You are commenting using your Facebook account. Log Out /  Change )

Connecting to %s

This site uses Akismet to reduce spam. Learn how your comment data is processed.