Components for gravel bike. Part 3. Other parts.


I bought a carbon fiber Chinese handlebar on Aliexpress. It has a fairly classic shape and is very lightweight. There is nothing special to say about it.


I also decided to order the stem on Aliexpress, where they are much cheaper with the same quality. Since I have everything made of carbon, I decided to look for a carbon stem as well. To be honest, it was already a whim. Carbon stems are more expensive, while weight profit is minimal. I ordered a 90 mm carbon stem with a 6° tilt angle.

When the stem came, the quality was unsatisfactory. It didn’t hold the handlebar perpendicular to the plane of the bike. It was very noticeable. To make a refund, I took clear photographs as proof. The seller returned half the price. I have a laser level that was used to measure the deviation from perpendicularity 🤓

In order not to throw the thing away, I decided to fix it. I had to work pretty hard with a file. I didn’t expect the carbon to be so hard, it barely grinded off. And carbon dust is very easily soiled.


I bought a set of carbon stem spacers to adjust the handlebar height if needed in the future.

Handlebar tape

I bought a white handlebar tape, one of the cheapest on Aliexpress. The quality of the material seemed to me poor, which is not surprising.


I haven’t mentioned rotors in previous articles, although they refer to wheels. I chose Shimano SM-RT64 rotors, found these on Aliexpress. Why did I choose them? These are the cheapest rotors that, according to the documentation, can work with metal pads. I decided to play it safe, what if I have to buy pads somewhere, and they turn out to be metal. This is exactly what happened on my current bike, now, when I’m braking, the semi-metallic pads squeak and peel the rotor.


I took a set of spare pads on the cheap. These were semi-metallic. Moreover, I wasn’t sure whether the pads come with the brakes or not.

Hydraulic hose

From the description of the brakes, I thought that the brake hoses are not included in the kit, so I ordered a couple of hoses for Sram brakes on Aliexpress. Well, I’ll try to sell them.

Shift cable hose

It’s the same with shift cable hoses, I thought they didn’t come with derailleurs. I bought a Jagwire x2 PRO SHIFT. I will also try to sell it.


Saddle selection is a responsible and difficult matter because it is almost impossible to do it from the pictures. I spent quite a lot of energy on the selection of important components and I no longer had the energy to choose a saddle. So I decided to buy a cheap temporary saddle. I chose the saddle on Aliexpress mainly because of the color, it just matches the color of the frame.

Film for the chainstay

To protect the chainstay from chain hammering, I bought 3M tape. Let’s see how it shows itself.

Nylon bolts

If you unscrew from the frame all the bolts that act as plugs, then their weight will be noticeable. I decided to replace them with nylon ones. Their quality turned out to be better than I thought! They can be used not only as plugs, I think they can cope with bottle cages.

Bottle-shaped tool case

I came across such a thing as a bottle-shaped tool case. Although I hadn’t even collected all the parts for the bike, I liked this thing and decided to order it. Bicycles have space under the down tube, which in most cases is not used, I want to attach a bottle cage there and put this tool case there.

Bottle cages

As a gift, a carbon fiber bottle cage was put in the parcel with the frame. A trifle, but nice 🙂 But since I also want to install a tool case, I need at least one more bottle cage. On Aliexpress, I found the same model that I was given. As it turns out, these carbon bottle cages are not very cheap. But I still ordered a couple (because they were sold in pairs). But at some point, I saw the tracking status “Sending the parcel is canceled”. I contacted the seller, he said that the parcel was lost in one of the sorting centers. I got a full refund.

This is even good because later it turned out that the bottle-style tool case does not fit into this bottle cage, it is not flexible, you cannot insert something wider than a standard bottle into it.


At first, I thought to try something new, but then I decided to take the good old, time-tested Shimano PD-M540. Their reliability has been proven by thousands of cyclists. At the same time, more advanced models do not give anything new, only a barely noticeable difference in weight.


There were no interesting solutions for the rest of the details. I made a couple of mistakes by ordering extra parts.