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Looking around the world of small-batch titanium frames, bike industry veteran Ming Tan thought he could do things a little differently. He wanted to build road bikes that were aggressive, fast and fun to ride—and gravel bikes that rode just like their road counterparts. And he wanted the buying process to be just as enjoyable as riding the bike. So to that end, Haley Cycles was born, where the frameset is just one price: $3,999. Want custom geometry? It’s still $3,999. Want to add extra bag or bottle mounts? $3,999. Want to pick out your own paint with a swatch from the hardware store, or grab a Pantone off the internet? Go ahead and guess: $3,999. Add a second color? You probably get it by now. Oh, and an Enve gravel fork and Chris King headset come standard.
While there are many approaches to gravel, Haley doesn’t think a gravel bike needs to have a relaxed geometry. The way Haley sees it, gravel bikes are just a natural progression of road. Why not keep the same racey geometry? The Haley Gravel has 425mm chainstays (10mm longer than its road counterpart), which helps it clear up to 43c tires. From there, the geometry is kept as similar as possible to Haley’s road frame, with the main difference being a slightly more upright head tube. A large down tube and a 31.6mm seat post add torsional rigidity to the frame, helping maintain the feeling of a road bike.
For a clean aesthetic that isn’t a total maintenance pain, the cables are all routed through a single port in the down tube. And each frame comes drilled for electronic shifting.
Haley’s desire to create a racier gravel bike shines through. You can achieve almost the same position as on a road bike. Close your eyes and you might even think you’ve jumped onto your road rig.
We have ridden titanium bikes that are smoother than the Haley Gravel, but they lose some of the lively handling of the Haley. On road descents, the torsional rigidity of the frame is evident. It’s simply a blast to take through corners.
This Haley is not for “endurance” or “comfort” riding, nor is it trying to be. It excels riding less-technical gravel roads where you can really put down the power and speed, not technical trails where you would like a bit more compliance and cushion. It’s for pure gravel riding, not venturing into terrain or single track that might be better suited to a mountain bike. Shimano Dura-Ace mechanical (34/50 chainrings, 11–32 cassette), Black Inc 30 wheels, 38c Panaracer Gravel King SK tires, Deda Zero stem, handlebar and seat post, Astute Skycarb saddle; $3,999 (frameset), $9,959 as built, 19.14 lbs / 8.68kg (53cm); haleycycles.com
From issue 90. Buy it here.