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 intend 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…