Riding Metal on the Gravel Roads of Gunnison County w/ the Why Cycles R+ V4
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Riding Metal on the Gravel Roads of Gunnison County w/ the Why Cycles R+ V4

Jun 14, 2023

Remember, back in September when I got to participate in some stellar gravel riding at a press camp in Gunnison, Colorado? In that article about the adventure, I promised to follow up and tell you a little about the bikes that were supplied, the Revel Rover, and a lot about the bike I actually rode, the Why Cycles R+V4.

Well, here's me keeping my promise.

When we first arrived at the campsite, all of the bikes were in one place and waiting to be chosen by the other writers. The bike that was supplied for the crew to ride was the Revel Rover. Revel Bikes is based in Carbondale Colorado, so it made sense for them to provide the steeds for the trip.

The Rover is a beautiful carbon-framed bike that seemed super capable to tackle the gravel adventure that Eric Larsen and his wife, Maria Hennessey had cooked up for us.

Revel Bikes is a Colorado bike company that, up until the release of the Rover, was known for its full-suspension bikes, like the Rail27, Rail29, Rascal, and Ranger. Shreddable bikes from a company that is at home playing in the dirt… so a gravel bike fits right in.

The Rover is a 700c gravel bike that has a thermoset carbon fiber frame and a carbon Revel fork. The bikes on hand for the event were spec’d with two different groups, a few with Shimano GRX and a few with SRAM Rival. The editors on hand could also choose the Rover in either of the stock colors, T1000 (shown above) or Mint Chip.

The Rovers that were supplied for the event were equipped with 40mm tires, but can be ridden with 700cx50mm (27.5×2.1) max.

Rover Frame Specs:

Revel Bikes says that the Rover was designed from the ground up with just the right amount of damping to smooth out rough roads. It seemed pretty versatile as well, with good tire and chainring clearance. It has fully guided internal routing, and 4 sets of water bottle bosses, and a SRAM Universal Derailleur Hanger.

Retails for:

While the Revel Rover was a stellar machine worthy of a good go in the mountains of Gunnison, I’m really here to talk the other bike that I rode while on this trip.

As mentioned in the part one of this adventure, there was a different bike sent to the event for me to ride. I saw the Mint Chip XL Rover that was provided for me and got pretty excited. But Eric mentioned that my pal Chris at Why Cycles/Revel Bikes had also sent over an XL titanium gravel bike for me to ride (it helps that Why and Revel are owned by the same people). I’m guessing he knew I would prefer the titanium frame material over the carbon frame material.

Considering that I prefer to ride steel, the obvious choice for me was to ride the titanium bike for the next three days. Thanks, Chris!

The Why Cycles R+ V4 is said to be optimized for 700cx40mm tires, but it is good for up to 700cx50mm (27.5×2.1). They say it's the R+ V4's comfort that is one of the most important qualities of the bike, whether it's on gravel roads or a bit of pavement, the ride quality of the titanium is "magic".

Why Cycles says they use "the highest quality Grade 9 3/2.5 titanium for the R+V4 tubing, and 6/4 titanium for the headtube, bottom bracket shell, and machined bits all over the frame".

Riding the R+ V4 was a first for me in that I had never ridden a titanium gravel bike before. I had no idea what to expect. I mean, I had some idea. But, up until now I had never thrown a leg over one.

Well, I’m here to tell you, the hype is real, and titanium might actually be magical.

I found this bike to be exceptionally comfortable, and it inspired confidence on all of the rides and all of the surfaces throughout the trip.

During the Gunnison trip, I rode this bike on a lot of varying surfaces, like super clean pavement, super bad pavement, buffed gravel service roads, deep, sandy type gravel roads, small baby-head rocky descents, and packed, fast dirt road downhills. They R+ handled all of it with aplomb.

After the first ride, I got back to camp and flipped the stem over to get in a little more of an upright riding position.

I kinda fell for the R+ V4, I wanted one for myself, really bad. It's hard to believe it took me this long to actually try a titanium bicycle. I have been a diehard rider of steel bicycles for as long as I can remember (30+ years), as I love everything about a good steel bicycle. And I’ve dabbled with other frame materials, even carbon, but I think I’ve been missing the boat on titanium. Its hyped-up ride qualities seem to be no hype at all… just the truth.

Yes, I know it was a short relationship with this bike, but it was a damn delightful relationship, and sometimes, you just need a short time to know if something is special. And the R+V4 sure felt like something special.

Why Cycles says that the R+V4 has some unique geo features. Like, the bottom bracket drop and reach. They also say that the BB drop is a bit more than other similar bikes out there. And the BB drop when combined with the chainstay length makes the bike handle with more comfort and stability. Plus the R+V4 has a slightly longer reach than other bikes that are similar, allowing them to steal from the mountain bike world – wider bars and shorter stems.

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Why Cycles offer a no-risk "return it for a full refund after 30 days" policy on all of their bicycles. They also offer a lifetime warranty to the original buyer. It's said to be a straightforward warranty policy. It states that if you use your bike for what it was intended for, and the frame fails due to a manufacturing defect, they will replace it for free.

They also have a crash-replacement policy, working with you to offer a replacement frame at a "very low cost".

R+V4 Frame Specs:

Retails for:

Chek out more details on the Why Cycles R+V4 or the Revel Rover at the links below!