Review: Obed GVR is a Well-Mannered Gravel Bike from Litespeed’s Sister Brand
The Obed GVR is a versatile carbon-fiber gravel bike that will find itself equally comfortable on a start line and an adventure ride. The brand is part of the American Bicycle Group that also includes Litespeed and Quintana Roo.
The GVR is Obed’s answer to a quiver-killing gravel bike, although its design indicates a clear bias toward efficiency and speed. However, customers also have options — like more bottle cage mounts and clearance for 650b wheels and tires — to make it more of a light-duty bikepacker.
“What we wanted personally was a racier bike,” said Obed’s national sales manager Chris Brown. “If you want to line up and pin a number on, that bike needs to check all the boxes. This one is racer-minded. Shape-wise, it’s designed to be in the wind. Laminate-wise, it’s on the light side. We’re not claiming to be ultralight or super light because we want it to be an everybody bike. In this first iteration, it’s an everybody race bike.”
For those unfamiliar with the brand, Obed debuted four years ago but under a different name (Occoee). Since then, the off-road-oriented brand has put one bike each in the gravel, all-road, and mountain bike stables; the GVR joins the Boundary as a second gravel option.
Obed Bikes are assembled in Chattanooga, Tennessee at the American Bicycle Group’s (ABG) headquarters.
I tested the GVR last autumn on pretty much every surface that I think a gravel bike should hold its own on — from the “champagne gravel” around Steamboat Springs, Colorado to some rougher and sharper chunk in northwest Arkansas, and on the smooth tarmac of Hawaii’s Big Island. (What can I say, being a cycling journalist has its perks.)
Choose your own GVR adventure
One notable thing is how many eye-catching options there are to build the Obed to your liking. From stem, bar, and crank length to saddle to wheels, Obed’s in-house assembly process gives customers quite a bit of liberty to decide what goes on their bikes. Prices vary, obviously. My test bike was fitted with Shimano GRX 810 components (Di2, 2x chainrings), HED RC4 Performance wheels with Panaracer GravelKing SS tires, and the Cane Creek eeSilk carbon seat post, and costs about $6,035. The least-expensive GVR starts at $3,795 and comes with mechanical GRX 810 and Sun Charger wheels.Shop the GVR
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