ALUMINUM GRAVEL, STEEL GRAVEL OR A BELT DRIVEN CITY BIKE? WHICH LOCA BIKES FRAME YOU SHOULD CHOOSE?
ALUMINUM GRAVEL, STEEL GRAVEL OR A BELT DRIVEN CITY BIKE? WHICH LOCA BIKES FRAME YOU SHOULD CHOOSE?

The Loca Bikes family of bike models has expanded strongly over the last year. We have established a partnership with a frame manufacturer in Gliwice, which has allowed us to move the entire production of aluminum frames to Poland, and we have introduced a steel gravel bike in cooperation with Kajak Custom, a frame builder based in Beskidy. We also presented some new gravel machines made entirely of carbon.

Above all, the icing on the cake was the launch of a new generation of city frames - with carbon forks, hydraulic disc brakes and compatibility for a belt-drive drivetrain.

So, what will be the most sensible choice for you, then? We must admit there are a lot of options out there and it can be easy to get lost. Fortunately, the guide will come to the rescue!

Aluminum gravel bike

Let's start with our most popular frame. Our aluminum gravel bike is fabricated for us in Gliwice and built from AL7020 tubes that come from German mills. Additionally, in comparison to our old generation of frames, we have redesigned the rear triangle and increased the diameter of the seat tube. All of this to ensure the highest possible stiffness and strength.

The frame has mounting points for two bottle holders on the frame, two on the fork, and mounts for a rear rack. You can also fit full mudguards if you chose to go for a smaller tire size.

Geometry

The geometry of our aluminum gravel frame excels on mixed terrain. This model offers quite an aggressive position but still relaxed and comfortable compared to a typical road bike geometry.. An aluminum Loca will be more agile and dynamic than our steel and carbon gravel models, but you will find they will be a little bit less stable on long descents.

Purpose

So where do our aluminum gravel bikes work best? Thanks to their relatively compact geometry, they will pair well with 30-32 mm tires . They will therefore, perform great as a road plus bike for keeping up a good pace on tarmac routes. At the same time, you can easily fit a tire size up to 43 mm, and the dynamic, compact geometry is perfect for light single tracks and typical gravel paths. Those switching from a road bike will feel at home on a frame like this.

Steel gravel bike

Our steel frames are made in the heart of the Beskidy Mountains. They are welded by none other than Kamil from the Kajak Custom workshop - one of the best known framebuilders in Poland. The individual, precise production is accompanied by the use of top quality materials - Columbus Zona tubes together with dropouts, bottom bracket shells and head tubes from Paragon Machine Works (straight from the USA). All this makes the design a real war tank that will withstand the toughest bikepacking expeditions. The combination of a steel frame, carbon fork and wide tires (up to 45 mm) simultaneously provides excellent vibration damping to allow you to spend long days in the saddle.idth="800" height="533" />

Our steel gravel bikes also feature plenty of mounting points - three on either side of the fork for cargo cages, two for bottles inside the main triangle, one for a bottle under the down tube, and one for a direct mount top tube bag. You can also easily mount a rear rack and rear mudguards.

Geometry

What is the geometry like and who is this bike really for? The position on the steel gravel bikes will be much more upright than on the aluminum ones - the cockpit has been raised by about 2-3 cm. We have also increased the wheel base, all to give the bike more stability and even more room for the tires./p>

Purpose

All these features make our steel gravel bike an ideal companion for longer expeditions, ultramarathons and routes in tougher terrain, where durability and a comfortable riding position count more than pure speed. However, remember that the high stiffness and low weight of the frame will still allow you to ride really fast.

Carbon gravel bike

The third and last material in our gravel arsenal is our carbon model. This machine is definitely meant for special tasks. The frame is made in Taiwan, from full toray fibers and can easily cope with tough terrain.

Our carbon gravel has practically as many mounting points as the steel one - two bottle holders in the frame triangle, one under the down tube, a direct mount bag top tube bag and cargo cages on the fork. There is also an option to mount mudguards. Only the rear rack mounts are missing.

The lowered right chainstay of the frame provides enormous tire clearance, the highest in our catalog. The maximum tire width is 700x50 mm! Such a large volume will provide excellent shock absorption, even when riding over roots and thick gravel, which would be problematic for smaller tire sizes.

Geometry

The geometry of the carbon gravel is even more off-road capable than the other models - the bike will handle very confidently no matter the surface. The high head tube allows you to achieve a really comfortable position behind the handlebars. Watch out for the length though! These are the longest frames in our range.

Zastosowanie

So is the Loca Bikes carbon gravel bike for you? It will perform well in terrain that requires a really wide tire and great stability. Singletracks, technical gravel descents and long, exhausting trails are the conditions in which the carbon Loca will feel most comfortable.

Men's city bike/Belt drive gravel bike

Last but not least, there is one project we are particularly proud of - our new generation of city bike frames, or more specifically, our urban-gravel frames - that are actually something between these two worlds.

The biggest changes in comparison to our last generation of city frames are the material used (AL7020 aluminum, as in the case of the gravels), carbon forks, hydraulic brakes and, they are also designed and manufactured in Gliwice. This frame also boasts sliding dropouts allowing for the installation of various types of drive (gear hubs and single speed), as well as a belt instead of a chain.

Geometry

Of course, the geometry has also changed. The new city bikes are much more gravel-like in nature - a smaller wheel base, lower bottom bracket and revised angles, allow for fast riding in town and in the forests, while still providing a good level of comfort and stability. The frames are also available in a ladies’ version, with a lowered top tube.

Purpose

What is the best use for the new city frame from Loca Bikes? You can build several completely different bikes on it. It could be, for example, a typical commuter with a gear hub, riser handlebars and rear rack; a single speed bike serving as a fast, trouble-free commuter/SSCX; or a gravel bike with a drop handlebar, gear hub and belt drive.

Our city frames are perfect if you're not attached to standard external derailleurs, need a belt drive drivetrain, and want a low-cost, trouble-free machine that will perform confidently in the city as well as it does on gravel and forest trails.

 

Still not sure? Contact us! We will clear up any doubts you may have and help you choose the right one for you.

About the blog

Na tej stronie zebraliśmy opinie na temat naszych rowerów. Przeczytaj co sądzą o nas eksperci z branży, media i przede wszystkim nasi klienci.

Loca Bikes is a Wrocław bicycle manufacturer. Since 2016, we have built several hundred personalized bikes, and we can safely say that we know quite a bit about it. As part of the blog, we want to share this knowledge and infect you with our passion for bikes. You will find numerous tips here, as well as articles on cycling culture and history.

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