Test Conway GRV 10.0 Gravelbike: The sporty brand from wholesaler Hartje also has dropbar bikes. Located in the middle price segment, the GRV 10.0 pleases with good equipment and balanced driving characteristics.
The history of bicycle and parts wholesaler Hermann Hartje KG dates back to the 19th century, and Conway, one of the North German company's own brands, is also almost 30 years old. Under this name, Hartje supplies the specialist trade with rather sporty material - in the non-e sector, preferably mountain bikes, including noble carbon fullys as well as inexpensive ATBs with lights and sports mudguards, as well as e-MTBs and e-trekking bikes in different variants. In addition, there has been a steadily growing range of gravel bikes: While Conway still offered four models in 2020, there are already eight today, including three carbon bikes and two aluminum bikes with full equipment.
The GRV 10.0 is number two in the range, at just under 2.800 euros it is 400 euros cheaper than the top model, the GRV 12.0, and is a bit heavier. Equipped with Shimano-GRX-Mix and DT Swiss G1800 Spline, the 10.0 is a class simpler than the 12.0, but this is hardly noticeable in the function. Of course, the GRX top group comes with a hollow forged crank and "Servo Wave" brakes, where the pads move faster towards the brake disc. And the DT 1600 wheelset of the 12.0 pleases with the distinctive whirring of a toothed disk freewheel instead of the click of the classic pawls. But otherwise the two model variants are so similar that you can confidently choose the cheaper bike.
Shimano GRX 600 with many advantages
The Shimano GRX 600 also has a number of advantages: the shifters have a smoother surface that feels more comfortable over time when you're riding without gloves, and the crankset has a slightly shorter gear ratio of 46/30 (GRX 810: 48/31 ). With an 11-34 eleven-speed cassette, the GRV 10.0 has an extremely large gear range that offers enormous reserves, especially for steep climbs; you just have to do without fast gear. All Shimano GRX groupsets deliver precise, brisk gear changes, and the performance of the front derailleur is particularly pleasing: on gravel bikes, you often have to switch to the small chainring when pedaling frequency is low and there is tension on the chain, and the Shimano derailleur has no problem with that.
Carbon frame with innovations in detail
There are many new things to see on the Conway carbon frame. The steering and seat geometry have not changed compared to the 2021 model - the bike remains very balanced here - but numerous details have been improved. Luggage holders can now be mounted on the fork, and threaded inserts for mudguards have also been installed. Instead of a simple clamp, there is now an integrated saddle clamp, which is hidden under a (somewhat loose) rubber cover. According to the geometry table, the seat tube of the 2022 model is shorter and the seat stays no longer go past it and into the top tube. What has remained are practical features such as the removable "fender bridge" for rear fender mounting and the cover on the down tube under the holes for the bottle holder - if there is a variant with Shimano Di2, electronic components can be accommodated here.
Mounting options and easy impeller installation
Striking tube shapes and well thought-out cable routing characterize the Conway: gear cables and rear brake lines are routed in wide arcs around the head tube - from the right lever to the left and vice versa. So nothing can rub against the frame and the steering is not impaired. It is striking that Conway does without the threaded holes on the top tube, and the Feature of most Gravel frames. However, many will prefer a compact handlebar bag to the small box on the top tube.
The wheel removal and, above all, installation is positive: both wheels slide quickly and securely into their position, and the quick-release axles can also be pushed through easily and without snagging. The included levers can be removed - this saves almost 40 grams of weight and ensures smoother contours. The derailleur base is bolted to the frame, as the bike is also available with a 1×11 drivetrain. If the base breaks off in a fall, the whole frame is not gone.
Solid completion and tubeless option
When it comes to completion, Conway resists the temptation to rely on Contec's own brand components and instead chooses the well-known Easton components. The slightly flared handlebars are quite wide for the rather small frame size; Markings on the aluminum seat post with easy-to-use clamp make it easier to adjust the height. A good choice is the Schwalbe G-One Allround with a width of 40 mm, a tire that can be used as an all-rounder on both asphalt and loose surfaces. In conjunction with the optimally wide DT Swiss rims, converting to tubeless is child's play - the reward is less weight and rolling resistance, and in practice at least the latter is noticeable. Depending on your body weight, you can lower the tire pressure to 2 to 2,5 bar and then roll lightly along; on dusty, dry paths in midsummer, the G-One also has traction problems here and there.
As far as the driving characteristics are concerned, the Conway is very balanced overall. The steering is handy, which is helped by the 72° steering angle, which is quite steep for a gravel bike; the sitting position is comfortable, but could be made a little sportier with a longer stem. The felt stiff frame allows snappy acceleration; A little more comfort in the seating area could be achieved by installing a carbon seat post.
At just under 9,46 kilos (before the tubeless conversion), the Conway 10.0 is within the usual range for its class; there is not much room for maneuver with comparably equipped bikes. In order to have a noticeable impact on handling, the weight has to be significantly lower anyway - and then you're moving in completely different price regions. For what it can do, the Conway GRV 10.0 can be called quite cheap; the good availability through the large dealer network of Hermann Hartje KG is another plus. And should you ever feel the desire to optimize your Conway gravel bike, the brick-thick Hartje bicycle parts catalog contains a whole host of interesting components that dealers can easily order.