The CGR Family – frame materials explained

If you are in the market for a new bike the sheer volume of choice may seem a little daunting. For instance, why would you choose an aluminium road bike over a steel road bike? Or, what’s heavier/stronger/more long-lasting, a steel or titanium road bike? In short, it all depends on where you intend to ride and on what surface. Here to help you decide what may fit your needs best is a guide to the CGR family – our most versatile all-road bikes.

First of all,What is a CGR?

In short, the CGR family falls under the category of all-road bikes. After all, the acronym CGR stands for Cross, Gravel and Road, and it does exactly what it says on the tin ….bike! It’s the most versatile range of bikes in our lineup. As the name suggests the CGR excels on a variety of terrains and surfaces. To provide consistency across the range, each model shares exactly the same features. These shared 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 setup of the wheels and tyres to be tailored to suit a specific terrain, surface or riding style. Or a mix of all three if you prefer!
  • Dual wheel compatibility means that 650b and 700c wheels can be fitted to suit your ridiing style and preffered terrain. The smaller wheel diamater wheels allow bigger air volume tyres to be fitted which cusshion the ride when riding on bumpy terrain. Or there is a road-optimised set up of 700c wheels that are also capable of being riddent off-road with suitable tyres too.
  • Discreet mounting points at the rear allow a rear pannier rack to be fitted for added versatility. This takes care of luggage carrying duties for everyday commuting or multi-day bike packing adventures.
  • Discreet mudguard mounts built into the frame enable full-coverage mudguards to be fitted to enhance the CGR’s all-weather, all-season credentials.
  • Flat mount disc brakes deliver more braking power and control. Bringing you to a safe and controlled stop, whatever the conditions or terrain.
  • 12mm bolt thru-axles provide better wheel security and are designed to specifically cope with the unique demands of disc brakes.
  • Internally routed cables preserve the clean lines of the bike and provide added protection from the elements.

What sort of riding are they for?

Fit a CGR with narrow, slick, tarmac tyres and you have a fast and capable road bike. One that’s more than capable of keeping pace on fast group rides. However, fit some big volume semi-slick or knobbly tyres and the bike transforms into 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. Below we outline what difference this makes to what each model offers and how they ride.

CGR Ti

A CGR Ti kitted out with Shimano’s gravel-optimised GRX drivetrain and ENVE carbon wheels.

You may find Titanium sometimes referred to as the ‘dream’ material. This is because it offers the most comfortable ride whilst also having the highest strength to weight ratio of any frame material. In fact, the only ‘negative’ that you could possibly level at the material is that it is the most expensive option. This is due to the incredibly difficult manufacturing process that requires it to be welded in a vacuum. This extra cost, however, is more than offset by the lifespan of a titanium frame. It’s incredibly resilient and 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 impacts or crash damage that may result in any other frame being written off.
  • Comfort – Similarly to 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 while feeling 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.
  • Cable routing – All cables are routed internally through the frame to preserve the clean lines of the sleek Titanum tubing while improving its aerodynamic efficiency.

Click here to view the CGR Ti

CGR SL

The CGR SL is shown here in its road configuration, albeit with some Schwalbe G-One Allround tyres for better vibration absorption over mixed terrain.

The CGR SL’s construction owes much to our Endurance SL series of frames. Much like its road-optimised siblings, it’s constructed from a carefully selected blend of Toray T800 and T1000 carbon fibres. Each fibre is layered to an exacting specification using advanced monocoque mould technology. An EPS inner core system eliminates any excess material on the inside of the frame and ensures complete structural consistency throughout. In layman’s terms, this means that we can produce a frame with a higher strength to weight ratio.

  • Weight – The lightest of the framesets in the CGR family, the lightweight carbon moncoque frame requires less effort to propel it. This is particularly advantageous when climbing or sprinting.
  • Stiffness – Carbon is ultra-stiff which means that laying down the power is much more efficient thanks to the absence of lateral flex. The CGR SL is incredibly efficient at transferring the power generated by the rider to forward motion, with very little wasted effort.
  • Comfort – A frame that is super-stiff can produce a slightly harsh ride, especially over rough surfaces. With much of the ‘road buzz’ being transmitted through the frame. To counter this we have designed the CGR SL to include dropped seatstays. This results in enhanced vertical compliance and allows the seat tube/seatpost to flex slightly. This extra compliance helps to reduce the effect that vibrations place on rider fatigue. The capability to fit big volume tyres also helps to provide additional comfort.
  • Cable Routing – With the optional LEVEL 5 carbon integrated handlebars system fitted every cable is fully hidden away for the airflow. This results in up to a 40% aero saving when compared to a traditional handlebar setup. It also makes the bike look oh so nice with no cables to mar the spectacular lines of this carbon dream machine.

Click here to view the CGR SL.

CGR 725

The CGR 725 is a stunning fusion of retro styling with distinctly modern design features.

Constructed from ‘Best of British’ Reynolds Steel tubing, the CGR 725 is a classic looking steel bike, but with a thoroughly modern twist. The Reynolds steel tubing provides the comfortably springy ride quality that is so revered by many cyclists. Take a closer look though, and you will see some distinctly modern features within the framesets design. These include cutting-edge frame building techniques like seamless weld technology for enhanced strength and a premium appearance. Other modern touches include; internal cable routing, tapered headtube, flat mount disc brakes fittings.

  • Weight – Steel frames aren’t as light as frames made from carbon, or alloy. Their popularity instead stems from the ability of the rider to simply sit in the saddle and rack up the miles with little fuss and maximum satisfaction.
  • Comfort – Similarly to Titanium, steel has a natural ‘spring’ which lends itelf to long ride comfort. It offers a forgiving ride quality which results in reduced rider fatigue by way of vibration reduction.
  • 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 high-quality steel frame that is adequately maintained can last a lifetime. Of course, steel frames are susceptible to corrosion, but only when they are not properly cared for. They do require a little bit of TLC occasionally to ensure that they remain in peak condition.
  • Cable routing – When fitted with a double chainring gearing system, each cable i routed internally with the exception of the rear hydraulic brake hose. 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 route ALL cables internally.

Click here to view the CGR 725.

CGR AL

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

The CGR AL is constructed from oversized 6061-T6 heat-treated alloy. Rugged and robust, it’s the perfect platform for exploring on or off-road. However, the versatility doesn’t stop there, with discreet mudguard and rack mounts it also excels as an all-season commuter or multi-day bike packer.

  • Weight – Second only to the CGR SL carbon in terms of how light the frame is.
  • Comfort – Similarly to its carbon sibling, alloy frames are incredible stiff for enhanced power transfer. Again in exactly the same way as the CGR SL, the dropped seat stays add vertical compliance to improve vibration absoprtion and increase comfort.
  • Durability – The 6061-T6 alloy is extremely strong and durable and can last many years. It doesn’t however have the extended lifespan of steel or titanium. But if its care and maitenance are kept up to scratch, an alloy bike can last many years.

Click here to view the CGR AL.

CGR AL e / Step Through

The electric member of the CGR family of all-rounders, the CGR AL e delivers up to 250Wh of power assistance to each pedal stroke at the push of a button. With three settings to choose from, you can select a level to suit how you feel or the terrain ahead. With its hub driven motor and fully hidden battery, you would be hard-pressed to tell if it was an e-bike at all.

Unless you knew where to look of course, and its light weight only adds to the illusion that this could be a non-electric bike. That is until you feel the power kick in when you press the magic of course. A confidence-inspiring Step Through model is also available which allows you to hop on/off the bike and ride almost any terrain of your choosing.

  • Weight – Our range of electric bikes is the lightest on the market and the CGR AL e is one of the lightest of its type available worldwide.
  • Comfort – Similarly to its carbon sibling, alloy frames are incredible stiff for enhanced power transfer. Again in exactly the same way as the CGR SL, the dropped seat stays add vertical compliance to improve vibration absoprtion and increase comfort.
  • Durability – The 6061-T6 alloy is extremely strong and durable and can last many years. It doesn’t however have the extended lifespan of steel or titanium. But if its care and maitenance are kept up to scratch, an alloy bike can last many years.
  • Cable routing – All cables are routed internally through the frame to preserve the clean lines of sleek Aluminium frame while improving its aerodynamic efficiency.

Click here to view the CGR AL e

Click here to view the CGR AL e Step Through


Want to know more about Ribble’s range of electric bikes? Click here to find out more.


Looking for a bike and want to spread the cost? Have you considered the government-backed Cycle to Work Scheme? Find out how it works here.


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