With gravel biking on the rise over the past few years, Bottecchia has entered the gravel bike market with a couple of gravel bikes including a 6061 double-butted aluminum Gravel Monster and the Gravel Carbon. SoCalCycling.com was able to get our hands on a couple of Alloy Gravel Monsters from Italy.
The Bottecchia Gravel Monster bike is a mid to entry-level gravel bike package. The current bike that we tested was built with Shimano 105 and its full hydraulic brake system with mechanical shifting. The Gravel Monster build also has a variety of house-brand components like the cool-looking Raxe wheels that have bladed spokes and a deep aero-shaped rim to provide extra strength. Bottecchia draws on their vast experience of building road bikes and this bike has a good road feel to its ride. They built this bike to be sturdy and to be able to handle the harsh condition you won’t find on a smooth paved road. However, if you find yourself on a paved road on the way to your nearest trail then you won’t have to worry about running over the occasional pothole.
Just like with Bottecchia’s road bikes, Bottecchia make you’ll feel the efficiency that went into the design of the Gravel Monster. The Gravel Monster is comprised of many tapered aluminum tubes, starting with the tapered head tube with internal bearings which is 1”1/8 at the top and 1” 1/2 at the bottom bearing. The tapered-down tube flares out at the bottom bracket.
The Gravel Monster also has internal cable routing to keep things nice and tidy. The welds are nice and clean throughout the frame. The bottom bracket is a BSA threaded FSA BB that uses outboard bearings. The top tube has a slight slope to it and is tapered as well when it meets the seat tube. The rear chainstays are asymmetrical to allow for a more efficient and stiff rear triangle. Bottecchia didn’t go overboard on the mounts for racks and bags and include just the bare minimum mounts.
Since COVID-19 has been ruling the way we do things this past year, we have been spending a lot of time gravel riding and not doing any group rides due to social distancing and keeping us COVID free.
I can say that it has been a blast mixing things up on the dirt trails and hopping on the road when needed. My mountain bike has been just hanging there ever since we got our hands on the gravel bikes. I feel like most of the trails we ride our mountain bikes on, we can also ride the Gravel Monster on for the most part even with the 700 c wheels and 40 mm wide tires that come stock on the Bottecchia Gravel Monster. When the roads tilt upward the Bottecchia Gravel Monster just feels solid and stable when climbing maybe because it is stiff. The front fork feels good when standing out of the saddle and adds stability when descending. The component pack works well and proves to be reliable, accurate and responsive. The Bottecchia Gravel Monster is a good all-around bike that seems like it can almost go anywhere.
However, I think on this particular build they could lighten things up. This will be one of our future projects is to see how much lighter we can make it by upgrading some of the components on the current build.
The Bottecchia Gravel Monster is a solid performer for an entry-level gravel bike. This bike is built so that you’ll have it for a while. No matter what type of adventure you’re looking to do, the Bottecchia Gravel Monster could be the type of bike that could prove to be the one you are looking for to have fun on the dirt and road or go for a travel and bike packing adventure with some packs on board. The Bottecchia Gravel Monster is a fun bike that could fit the bill for all of your adventures.
- Seatpost Raxe Alu 31,6
- Gear SRAM Apex 11s Disk
- Chain Wheel SRAM Apex 42 11s
- Rims Raxe T2 Gravel
- Tires CST/VRB Gravel 700×40 black
- Stem Raxe Gravel
- Pedals NO
- Brakes SRAM Apex Disk
- Handlebar Raxe Gravel HB
- Saddle Bottecchia Pro Team
- Frame Gravel Aluminum 6061 Double Butted DISCO, disk brake
- BB BSA
- Headtube 1″1/8 integrated up and 1″1/2 down
- Fork Alu 6061 Double Butted light tapered stem 1″1/2 weight 800g
- Colors c27 Matt Green w/Orange
- Weight Size M row 1460 g
For more information or to purchase the Bottecchia Gravel Monster please visit https://www.bottecchia.com/en.