Lynskey GR250: At The Finish

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Editor’s Note: This is the final installment of the Lynskey GR250 titanium bicycle review. Grannygear’s other posts on this bicycle can be found by clicking the following links: “Getting Rolling“, “Checkpoint”, and “Checkpoint Plan B“.

Lynskey GR250: At The Finish- by Grannygear

There is nothing new to report on the GR250, and going forward I will be using it just as I intended: For adventure rides that fall within the abilities of the bike to get me there with some kind of grace. I have some multi-day loops planned out and besides that, there are lots of weekly rides to do. But I think I have a pretty good idea about the bike now and I don’t expect to find any surprises in the future but you never can tell. Till then, I will explain…no…let me sum up…on how I feel about the purchase of the Lynskey GR250.

The Lynskey GR250

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As I stated before, I do feel that the GR250 has hit the targets I set up, even if it might not be dead center on every one. Let’s look at them one at a time.

• A bit more compliant ride over the Salsa Warbird, Gen 2 (alu): Yep. Tick that box. The combo of the 3T fork and the Ti frame does provide a smoother overall ride. The most extra grace seems to be from the front end of the bike as experienced through the bars and even the pedals. It just does not ‘whack’ me like the Warbird would do. Much of that is in the fork, or at least I think so, and my wrists and shoulders are pleased. The back end of the bike feels about the same, but the Warbird was really very good in that regard.

• Room for a bigger 700c tire if I want and the ability to go 650b as well: Done and done. The last post covered that pretty well. Although I do not expect to run bigger than a 42X700c tire on it (it’s not a monster cross OR a 29″er mountain bike), the 650b option is very cool to have. More on how much that 650b option matters later on in the article.

• A bit more adventure oriented approach – Geometry and frame details: Another bulls eye there, although I have yet to install any racks or fenders, etc. They are there though, those braze-ons, awaiting the day. The geometry is certainly more laid back and it gets better as the trail gets rougher, at least to a point.

It isn’t carbon, and therefore it doesn’t have that “instantaneous acceleration” , but it is comfy.

It’s not all cream and roses though. The compliant ride comes at some expense to pedaling response. The GR250 is not the stiffest frame you could choose. Ti does struggle with this a bit…keeping things solid ‘down there’, and I can see the frame twist up a bit and wag its tail when I am on it hard and on pavement. In this regard the Warbird was superior. I was told by Lynskey that this tube set is shared by the R250 disc road frame and if so, I would not find that R250 acceptable with that kind of frame flex, even if we do take into account a shorter chain stay, etc. Maybe that shorter back end would make a difference…maybe. Apples to oranges, but my hand built steel road frame is much stiffer at the bottom end of the frame (where that matters most to pedaling things hard).

On the other hand I also think that most gravel bikes are too stiff…in a word…overbuilt…and are tiring to ride over long hours on rougher roads. And in that regard the GR250 does ride well and some of that is likely from a frame that is not setting records for bottom bracket stiffness. I generally find it very adequate for pedaling performance when seated and even out of the saddle in the dirt. So it’s a trade off. If I could get more snap out of it when the whip was applied, I would, but not if it was at the expense of a rougher ride. I’m okay with it as is, but not elated either.

It’s not light, that frame. At 4lbs/5oz without the through axle, it is lighter than most any steel frame would be, but not by a lot. A custom Ti frame would cost more by a grand at least, but would likely be under 4 pounds as well. Carbon? Well, a lot lighter. However Lynskey seems to do a lot of discounting and right now the normally $2650.00 frame-only cost is $2120.00. Still not cheap, yes? But far less than custom from most any builder I know where you’re talking $3500.00 and up.

These two things…weight and some flex…combine to say “Not a RACE BIKE”, but Lynskey does not advertise it as such and that was not what I wanted either.

Lynskey GR250
650B or 700c, the GR250 can handle either size with aplomb.

The geometry is growing on me, but the front wheel feels somewhat odd and floppy on road rides, like when I am out of saddle and weighting the bars while steering around a slower corner. In the dirt it feels quite good. If I could I might correct that head tube angle by 1/2 degree to 71.5, not 71. I can haul the mail down a dirt road though and that geometry lets me go scary fast for an old guy like me. It also feels really neat on smoother single tracks, both with the 650b and the 700c tires on there, so that 71.5° head tube, 50mm fork offset, lowish bottom bracket, and 435mm chain stays do add up to a very good all-round adventure bike approach with the nod towards the dirt.

650b? Do I care? Yeah I do, but I would not suggest you die for it unless you really think you will use it. One thing I noticed after a bit was, when running the WTB Horizon 47s, even at 30psi, that the ride in dirt over small rain ruts was quite a bit more abrupt when compared to the 700cx40 wheel/tires at 35-40psi. I can only think it is related to the overall diameter of the complete wheel/tire combo although I can’t rule out tire casings and how that can affect the ride. I likely could have run less air in the Horizons as they are pretty puffy, but at some point they would begin to feel odd on the pavement. After running the ‘normal’ 700c wheels and tires I still think they are the best all around bet. I think I might set up some carbon 29″er wheels I have just to see how they do. On this smaller wheel size note, there is an upswing in 650b based wheels and tires for gravel/adventure coming for the next year. Someone must be betting on something for this to be a reality.

I think that is pretty much it. Although I still nick the left chain stay with my heel every now and then. I am duck footed so some of it is on me and some of it is on how they bent those tubes down there. A bit more room would be nice.

Oh. And I still have not trimmed that darn steer tube.

NOTE: The Lynskey GR250 frame and 3T fork were purchased by Grannygear and is being reviewed/tested for is not being paid nor bribed for this review and we will strive to give our honest thoughts and opinions throughout.

Discuss and share your questions or thoughts about gravel bikes, gear, events and anything else on the Riding Gravel Forum.

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Author: Guitar Ted

Guitar Ted hails from Iowa. Home of over 70,000 miles of gravel and back roads. An inaugural member of the Gravel Cycling Hall of Fame and Co-creator of Trans Iowa in late 2004- Guitar Ted has been at the forefront of the growth of gravel events and riding since then. Creator of Gravel Grinder News in 2008, he produced the premier calendar of gravel and back road events. GT joined forces with Riding Gravel in late 2014.

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13 thoughts on “Lynskey GR250: At The Finish

  1. Thanks for all the great, unbiased thoughts on the GR250! I actually own one myself. I’m new to gravel riding, having been a dedicated roadie for many many years. I have experience with Lynskey frames from that perspective as well. I owned a Helix for a couple years (actually traded it for the GR250), and found two things with that bike: 1) The rear end actually felt TOO stiff; 2) The frame was heavy for the price (1750 gr for size ML). Lynskey makes heavy bikes, no doubt. Anyway, I’ve ridden the GR250 on mixed terrain here in New England and my experience is a bit like yours. It is definitely NOT a race-oriented bike. My buddies on their CX race bikes will smoke me on group rides if they choose to push the pace. I too, however, wanted a relaxed, stable and comfortable bike, and so far the GR250 seems to deliver on those. A couple questions for you grannygear: 1) My bike came with an Envy CX fork @ 47 degree rake. Would that change the front-end handling in comparison to the 50 degree 3T fork? 2) I wonder if the plate-style driveside chainstay termination at the BB contributes to your observation of BB flex? I haven’t ridden the bike enough to feel the flex, and I have the impression that big, soft tires rob a lot of efficiency anyway. Thoughts? Love Ti as a material though – impervious to the elements (my ’06 Serotta Ti frame still looks new, even after New England winters!) Thanks again!

    PS: No one should pay full price for a Lynskey. Their price games are irritating to say the least.

  2. @KBeck1972…Yes, fork offset does contribute to the Trail number and that relates to handling, so I would guess that less fork offset (47mm) would slow the steering down a bit. However, once you get tuned into it, it will just be the norm…for good or bad.

    I am not sure where the softness is coming from but a plate is not a tube, you know? Could be part of it, It is not a huge deal and I only see it and feel it when I am on it hard and on pavement where those big tires are letting things twist up a bit.

    Yeah….Lynskey is a bit of a mixed bag in the pricing deal. If you are going to discount like that, then just sell it for that right from the beginning. Lynskey is not Moots or Ericksen or Firefly. But they are made in the USA and, when the sales are on, do represent a good value.


  3. Thanks for the GR250 review. I’ve got a friend considering buying one.
    I’m currently riding an older Lynskey Cooper CX that’s pretty nice, but has it’s limitations as a cyclocross frame.

    Did you consider that a possible cause of the “softness” feel that you noticed could be from the 24 spoke 700c rear wheel?
    Given your size and strength, it could be that when you jump and hit the gas on pavement, 24 spokes aren’t quite enough to handle the wattage. Just a thought. I’ve experienced that before.

  4. @MarkK…keep in mind that I did a direct swap of parts from the previous bike frame, the Warbird, to the Lynskey. So the FSA wheels and tires came along as well. I was very tuned in to the response of those parts, so that helped me keep things sorted, at least as much as possible.


  5. You acknowledged that Lynskey doesn’t advertise this bike as a race bike, and they sure don’t. It’s advertised as an all-day comfort bike for long rides, club rides, centuries, things like that. And it sounds like, in your experience, it lives up to its advertised purpose and strengths.

    I just ordered the road version of this bike. I’m 48, a super-clyde, and whatever I might wish to aspire to I know I’ll never be a racer, so it sounds like this frame was the right choice for me. I want a bike I can ride with local groups, do centuries with, and just do long, fast (for me) solo endurance rides with some modicum of comfort, and it sounds like that’s exactly what I’ll get. Thanks for the review!

  6. How does the gr 260 ride compared to the Trek Checkpoint? Any weight difference?
    Sprinting, Climbing, Cornering, Braking, washboard/bad surfaces…
    Thank you.

    1. @Craig Bryan- None of us at Riding Gravel have had a go on a Checkpoint, so we cannot give you an answer. Try posting this question in the Forum. You’re much more likely to get an answer there.

  7. the rear end seems to alternate from year to year. Flat 6/4 plate to hooded drop outs and back again. Hooded softer ride but less sturdy? Can GR300 with hooded rear end be used for light touring? weight limit on rider + rear Panniers?
    Should one buy a dedicated Backroad once win lottery?
    If you could only buy ONE what would it be and why?

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