Test: Swiss manufacturer MTB Cycletech launched its first gravel bike, the Traverse, at the beginning of last year. The sporty tourer convinces with a beautiful carbon frame and solid equipment.
MTB Cycletech Traverse GRX: The facts
Frame material: Carbon
Wheel size(s): 700c (650b compatible)
Maximum tire clearance: 40mm (700c) / 2,1″ (650b)
Axle dimensions (v/h): 12 × 100/142 × 12
Mudguard Eyelets: Ja
Luggage carrier eyelets (v/h): Yes / Yes
bottle holder: Down tube up, down tube down, seat tube
Other: Mounting eyelets top tube
Weight wheels v/h/total (with tires and brake discs): 1.680g / 1.884g / 3.564g
Weight complete bike without pedals (size M): 9,35kg
Price: € 3.125
Timeless look and convincing technology
MTB Cycletech has existed as an independent bicycle manufacturer based not far from Zurich since the mid-80s and manufactures bicycles of all kinds. To this day, you have been able to hold your own in the fast-moving world of bicycles and keep your roots without "oversleeping" modern trends. In addition to e-bikes, classic city speedsters and children's bikes, the range has also included a modern gravel bike with the Traverse since the beginning of last year, which - so much in advance - does not have to hide from the "big players" in the business.
At first glance, the coloring of the Traverse is extremely calm - the carbon frame, which is mainly kept in a matt gray, brings a few really nice visual accents. The inside of the chainstays are decorated with contour lines and the inside of the fork is also a visual highlight. However, the unloving MTB Cycletech lettering on the down tube doesn't really want to go with it. But that's the notorious fly in the ointment, because where it matters, the Traverse frame scores both visually and technically: the shape and lines are classic, but extremely successful and set the frame apart from the crowd.
The technical data also shows that a lot of brain power went into the construction of the Traverse. The bike is compatible with two wheel and tire sizes and offers plenty of space for fat tires in both cases. Those who like it classic and are traveling with 28″ wheels can fit tires with a width of up to 40mm, with 650b wheels the frame and fork even offer space for tires up to 2,1″ wide, making it possible to mount adult ones MTB tires.
The MTB Cycletech Traverse is no less versatile when it comes to mounting points for bags, bottles, carriers and mudguards. The gravel bike from Switzerland really has everything to fulfill all wishes from the sporty commuter to the bike packer. Mudguards can be attached at the front and rear, the same applies to luggage racks. There is also space for three bottle holders on the main frame, whose top tube also has eyelets for a top tube bag, for example.
In terms of geometry, the Traverse clearly sets sporty accents. This becomes clear in the very low stack for a gravel bike, which should ensure a decent saddle elevation. The rather short chainstays and the rather steep steering angle also promise a lot of agility.
Geometry MTB Cycletec Traverse
|seat tube (in mm)
|Top tube horizontal (in mm)
|head tube (in mm)
|chainstay (in mm)
|Wheelbase (in mm)
|Steering angle (in °)
|Seat angle (in °)
|Stacks (in mm)
Successful equipment package with durable wheels
The MTB Cycletech Traverse is offered in two "basic configurations" for the 2020 season. "Basic variant" because the Swiss manufacturer allows various adjustments to the add-on parts, but this particularly affects ergonomic points such as the cockpit and seating area. Our test bike is the new Traverse GRX for this season, which – as the name suggests – is equipped with Shimano's new GRX group. At just over 3.000 euros, it is in the middle of the range of carbon Gravellers in terms of price and the weight of 9,35 kg is quite appropriate.
The GRX group is a good choice overall - but we think it's a shame that they saved a bit on the STIs and used the cheaper RX800 levers instead of the 600 series. Unfortunately, they can't quite keep up with the top model, especially when it comes to ergonomics. Otherwise, Shimano's new gravel groupset is made for a bike like the Traverse - the variant with one chainring installed here has a range of just under 400% - this is sufficient for most areas and types of riders, but for those who travel a lot in the mountains and/or does not have the appropriate level of fitness could wish for a little more up or down.
The built-in wheels are not lightweight, but they can score with a high-quality DT Swiss 350 hub including a toothed disc freewheel at the rear and quite wide rims from SunRinglé with an inner width of 21mm. Here at MTB Cycletech carelessness and proven technology have been placed over lightweight construction - a good decision in our opinion. The WTB Nano tires installed on the test bike are a bit overshadowed by the Riddler from the same company - wrongly so, because they offer a very good balance of grip and rolling resistance.
|Traverse Diamant T700SC Carbon
|DT Swiss 350 / Helix TR25SL
|WTB Nano 40mm
|MTB Cycletech Raw
|Aluminum 9° flare
As already mentioned, the seating area and cockpit can be adjusted to your own wishes, but in our case the Traverse was equipped with a rather short stem and slightly flared handlebars from our own company, which goes well with the sporty orientation of the frame. We would have been happy with a carbon seat post, but thanks to the 27.2 diameter, the aluminum post should also offer enough comfort.
More tests, products and background information about the Velomotion Gravel Month:
- Storck Grix Platinum Ultegra Di2 gravel bike in test: Race tourer for gravel and off-road
- GT Grade Carbon Pro in the gravel bike test: Comfortable triangle for lots of driving fun?!
- Orbea Terra M30-D in the gravel bike test: Lively bike for training and gravel tours
- NS Bikes Rag+ 2 in the gravel bike test: Convincing aluminum all-rounder
- Rondo Ruut CF 2 in the gravel bike test: Fast gravel bike with a striking look
Let's Gravel: The MTB Cycletech Traverse GRX
The MTB Cycletech Traverse GRX turns out to be a real tourer at first glance. This is certainly due to the various mounting options for bags, carriers and accessories, which should particularly please bikepacking fans. However, the frame geometry results in a certain elevation that even the sloped top tube cannot compensate. Thus, the MTB Cycletech offers us a rather sporty seating position, especially for a tourer.
It's just as sporty when it comes to acceleration. Due to the compact design and the relatively stiff frame, our bike responds well when accelerating and converts the pedal turns directly into propulsion. The steering behavior of the MTB Cycletech Travers GRX feels just as lively and convinces with its high level of agility. This allows the Cycletech Travers to be controlled very directly and precisely.
On the other hand, the Cycletech offers just as good riding comfort, which makes riding much more pleasant, even on rough surfaces. Because even if the shape of the rear end doesn't necessarily suggest it, it can take a lot and doesn't pass the impacts directly on to the rider. But the carbon fork at the front also ensures pleasant riding comfort and largely hides unpleasant sections.
The successful equipment with mechanical Shimano GRX works perfectly and ensures the best gravel shifting pleasure. The handlebar has a very pleasant shape and, thanks to its ergonomics, fits well in the hand. We see room for improvement with the saddle, which didn't quite fit us - so much the better that you have the choice at MTB Cycletech and can choose a different model when you buy it.
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