The CGR Family – frame materials explained

If you are in the market for a new bike there’s plenty of choices out there and to someone new to the sport choosing one over another may seem a little daunting. Some of the most frequently asked questions we respond to are; Why should I choose aluminium over a steel road bike? Or, what’s heavier/stronger/more long-lasting, a steel or titanium road bike? In this blog – ‘The CGR family, frame materials explained’ we take you through our highly versatile CGR (cross, gravel, road bike) range of bikes and highlight the specific benefits afforded by each frame’s design and material.

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 it says on the tin ….bike! For consistency across the range each model shares exactly the same features. These main features are as follows.

  • A more than generous clearance for tyres up to 47mm in width with 650b wheels or 45mm with 700c wheels. This allows the wheel and tyre set up to be tailored to suit a specific terrain, surface or riding style, or if you prefer a mixture of all 3!
  • Compatibility with 650b wheels enhances the bikes off-road performance with the big volume tyres offering more comfort and traction over bumpy surfaces. or for a more road optimised set up you have the option of 700c wheels which are also capable when ridden off-road too.
  • Discreet mounting points for a rear-mounted pannier rack adds the versatility of using the bike as a more than capable commuter bike or multi-day bike packer.
  • Mudguard mounts built into the design of the frame enables the fitting of full-coverage mudguards for true year-round capability.
  • Flat mount disc brakes are the most powerful and consistent brakes out there and will always bring you to a safe and controlled stop in all conditions.
  • 12mm bolt thru-axles provide better wheel security and are designed to specifically handle the braking forces of disc brakes.
  • Internally routed cables provide protection from the elements and preserve the streamlined looks and superior aesthetics of the bike.

What sort of riding are they for?

Fitted with narrower, slick tarmac tyres you have a fast and capable road bike that can more than hold its own when out riding on your own or with a group. But fit some big volume semi-slick or knobbly tyres and the bike becomes something else entirely. It becomes a fast trail charger that’s capable of taking on technical singletrack, canal towpaths, fire roads and bridleways. The CGR family encompasses a range of frame materials and below we outline what difference this makes to what they offer and 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…kind of. In fact, the only ‘negative’ that you could level at titanium is that it is the most expensive of the available options due to the difficult manufacturing process. This, however, is more than offset by the lifespan of a titanium bike, it can literally last a lifetime, hence its use in the aerospace industry.

  • Durability – A good quality Ti frame can last a lifetime, literally. Titanium does not degrade, corrode or fatigue. It will also shrug off accidental knocks or crash damage that would result in most frames being written off.
  • Comfort – Much like Steel, Titanium has a natural springiness to it that translates into enhanced 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 a super-stiff frame.
  • Weight – Titanium frames are lighter than steel so they offer a similar 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 better absorb vibrations for more comfort over rough surfaces.

The CGR SL is constructed from a carefully selected blend of Toray T800 and T1000 carbon fibres layered to an exacting specification using an advanced monocoque mould technology. Incorporating an EPS inner core system eliminates any excess material not he inside of the frame and ensures complete structural consistency throughout. In layman’s terms, this equates to more strength for less weight.

  • 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 that there is very little to no lateral flex when you put the power down. This means that the frame is highly efficient at transferring the power generated through the pedals to the road, with very little effort wasted.
  • Comfort – Being so stiff carbon can produce a slightly harsh ride, with much of the road buzz being transmitted through the frame. To counter this the CGR SL been designed with dropped seatstays which enhances vertical compliance. This vertical compliance allows the seat tube/seatpost to flex slightly which helps to absorb much of the road buzz. The capability to fit big volume tyres also helps to provide additional comfort.

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

CGR 725

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

Constructed from ‘Best of British’ Reynolds Steel tubing, the CGR 725 is classic looking steel bike with a thoroughly modern twist. The Reynolds steel tubing provides the comfortably springy ride quality that is so revered by anyone who has been fortunate enough to have ridden a steel bike. Look closely though and you will see that the most cutting-edge of frame building techniques have been utilised within the design of the frame. Internal cable routing, tapered headtube, seamless welds and flat mount disc brakes are just some of the features of the CGR 725.

  • Weight – Steel frames are not renowned for being super-lightweight but are popular with riders who like nothing better than to sit in the saddle and rack up the miles with little fuss and maximum satisfaction.
  • Comfort – Just like titanium, steel is synonymous with having a ‘springy’ ride feel which produces a forgiving ride which also means that you feel less of the fatigue caused by road vibration.
  • Durability – There are steel enthusiasts out there still riding about on frames that were manufactured in the ’60s, which certainly attests to their longevity. A well-built steel frame that is carefully looked after can last a lifetime. Of course, steel frames are susceptible to corrosion if not cared for adequately and require a little bit of TLC occasionally to ensure that they remain in peak condition.
  • Cable routing – When fitted with a double chaining gearing system all cables except the rear hydraulic hose are routed internally. Due to the narrower profile of the traditionally shaped (round) steel tubing, there is insufficient room to run every cable internally. If the bike is fitted with a single chainring (1x) system it is possible to run ALL cables internally.

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

CGR AL / CGR AL e

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

The CGR AL is constructed from oversized 6061-T6 heat-treated alloy. Not only is the CGR AL a rugged off-road platform its versatility lends itself to all-terrain commuting and light touring.

  • Weight – Second only to the CGR SL carbon in terms of how light the frame is.
  • Comfort – Similarly to its carbon sibling alloy makes for a stiff frameset and does transmit vibration through the frame. Again in exactly the same way as the CGR SL, dropped seat stays add vertical compliance for enhanced vibration absorption.
  • Durability – The 6061-T6 alloy is extremely strong and durable and can last many years. It does not have the same lifespan of decades like a steel or titanium frame but if looked after an alloy bike can last a good few years.

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

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 CGR AL e click here.


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


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