The CGR Family – frame materials explained

Our first ever CGR was released a few years ago and thanks to its versatility and generous tyre clearance proved to be a huge hit. For 2019 we took this impressive blueprint and improved upon it yet further to produce this seriously impressive new range of CGR’s. So, what are the features of a CGR bike and how do these affect the performance, durability, ride-ability etc? In this blog we take a look at the benefits of each variant of the CGR range. So, here is the blog; The CGR family – frame materials explained.

First of all,What is a CGR?

Put simply, the CGR family is the most versatile range of bikes that we offer and as the name suggests is suitable for a variety of disciplines. The acronym CGR stands for Cross, Gravel and Road, and it does exactly what is says on the tin (erm bike…). For consistency across the range each model shares exactly the same features. These main features are;

  • a generous tyre clearance of up to 650b x 47mm or 700c x 45mm. This allows the tyres to be tailored to your preferred riding style.
  • dual wheel sizes of 650b for maximum off-road performance and 700c for more road based riding.
  • rear pannier rack mounts for luggage carrying.
  • mudguards mounts to allow the fitting of full coverage mudguards.
  • flat mount disc brakes for the most powerful and consistent braking in all conditions.
  • 12mm Thru-Axles which eliminates wheel flex and provide more precise steering especially when cornering.
  • Internally routed cables which both provides protection from the elements and gives the bike cleaner lines.

What sort of riding are they for?

When fitted with narrow, slick tarmac tyres you have a fast and capable road bike that can more than hold its own when out with a group. Or, fit some fatter semi-slick or knobbly tyres and you have a fast trail charger or a bike well suited to canal towpaths, fire roads and bridleways. The CGR family encompasses a range of frame materials and below we outline what difference this makes to how they ride.

CGR Ti

The CGR Ti is shown here in the 650b MTB wheel specification for maximum off-road performance.

Want to see more details on the stunning CGR Ti? Click here.

You may find Titanium sometime referred to as the ‘dream’ material. The reason for this is it has a lot of plus points and only one negative. In fact the only ‘negative’ that you could attribute to Ti is that it is the most expensive material due to the manufacturing process. This however is more than offset by the lifespan that you can expect from such a frame.

  • Durability – A good quality Ti frame can last a lifetime, literally. Titanium does not degrade, corrode or fatigue. It is also less likely to be written off due to accidental or crash damage.
  • Comfort – Much like Steel, Titanium has a natural spring that translates into vibration absorption (compliance). In terms of ‘ride feel’ this means that you experience a very forgiving ride and feel less fatigue than you would on an ultra-stiff carbon frame.
  • Weight – Titanium frames are lighter than Steel so they offer the same ride feel but provide more speed for less effort.

CGR SL

The CGR SL shown here in it’s road configuration but with wide 40mm tyres that add comfort.

Want to know more about the CGR SL? Click here.

The CGR SL is constructed from a mix of Toray T800 / T1000 carbon which is a mix of two high grades of carbon. These are layered in a unidirectional pattern, whereby each strand is layered in the same direction, this adds strength and eliminates any weak spots.

  • Weight – The lightest frameset in the CGR range, the lighter the bike the less effort is expended to propel it.
  • Stiffness – Carbon is ultra-stiff which means there is very little to no frame flex when you put the power down. In comparison to the other materials this results in a bike that is the stiffest in the range.
  • Comfort – Carbon traditionally produces a slightly harsh ride due to the stiffness of the frame. However, to counter this the CGR has dropped seatstays and a longer seat tube profile to provide more compliance. Fitting wider tyres also helps alleviate ‘road buzz’ and provides additional comfort.

CGR 725

The CGR 725 features a retro styling but with a modern twist.

Want to know more about the CGR 725? Click here.

Constructed from ‘Best of British’ Reynolds Steel tubing this frame is finished in a retro styling but with the very latest features built into the design. Resulting in the traditional looks of a steel bike but with all the benefits of modern frame design technology.

  • Weight – Steel frames are not renowned for being lightweight but are popular for sitting in the saddle and smashing out the miles.
  • Comfort – Steel like Titanium is synonymous with the ‘springy’ ride feel which produces a forgiving ride feel which means you feel less fatigue due to road vibration.
  • Durability – There are steel enthusiasts out there still riding frames from the 60’s, which attests to their longevity. A well built steel frame that is looked after can last a lifetime. Of course steel is susceptible to corrosion so they do have to be subjected to a bit of TLC over the course of their lifetime.
  • Cable routing – All cables except the rear hydraulic hose run internally. Due to the traditional (round) profile of the Steel tubing there is insufficient room to run every cable internally.

CGR AL / CGR AL e

The CGR AL is an excellent choice for all-weather / all-terrain commuter.

Want to know more about the CGR AL? Click here.

An Aluminium frame constructed from 6061 T6 heat-treated Aluminium with oversized tubing for extra strength. Not only is the CGR AL a rugged off-road platform it has also proven to be a very popular all-terrain commuter.

  • Weight – Second only to the carbon SL in terms of how light the frame is.
  • Comfort – Aluminium is stiff and does transmit vibration through the frame. To alleviate this and akin to the carbon model it features dropped seat stays and a longer seat tube profile to smooth out vibrations. Again wider tyres run at lower pressures also help provide additional comfort.
  • Durability – The CGR AL is very strong and durable, if an Aluminium frame is well looked after it can last a number of years. It can however be subject to fatigue so is not as durable as Steel or Titanium.
The electric version of the highly successful CGR AL offers that extra assistance for those tough climbs both on and off-road.

For more information on this exciting new addition click here.


Want to know about Ribble’s range of ebikes? Click here.


Do you have access to a cycle to work scheme? Find out how it works here.

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