Gravel Fascination

Arbuckle23
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Gravel Fascination

Postby Arbuckle23 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 7:52 pm

Now, apart from Mountain Biking, what is the fascination with gravel?
I don't understand it. Why take a perfectly good road bike and get it dirty, dusty/muddy.
If you want dirt, ride a mountain bike.
I get cranky if I am out riding and it starts raining and my nice road bike gets a bit dirty.

I don't understand cyclocross as well :P
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ldrcycles
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby ldrcycles » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:17 pm

I'm with you on cyclocross, but gravel is a different story. Some of the best scenery doesn't have sealed access, and mountain bikes are just too slow! There is an enjoyable challenge to riding on gravel too.
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Derny Driver
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby Derny Driver » Tue Apr 17, 2018 8:52 pm

I love hearing all these city slickers talking about their 'gravel bikes'.
The only gravel in Sydney is in the break down lanes of the freeways.
What a crock of errrr, marketing ;)

twowheels
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby twowheels » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:06 pm


Arbuckle23
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby Arbuckle23 » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:29 pm

twowheels wrote:Explanation
https://youtu.be/Y5L40OohNgQ


Still none the wiser :?:
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eeksll
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby eeksll » Tue Apr 17, 2018 9:59 pm

twowheels wrote:Explanation
https://youtu.be/Y5L40OohNgQ


steering is more predictable

what does that mean? He said it quite a few times. I don't think it means the literal statement ie I think my road bike has predictable steering.

But in general agree with DD, while I can find quite a big chunk of gravel roads in the hills of Adelaide, the majority of any ride is still going to be tarmac. But keen to try 40mm tyres on the tarmac to see if its worthwhile.

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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby NASHIE » Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:01 pm

Roadie thru and thru. Don't mind MTB, and used to poo poo CX/gravel bikes, but now a CX convert since buying one 6 months ago. First CX race couple of weeks ago and loved it. Can only suggest you loan one and give it a go. Just something about smashing a road bike thru bush, paddocks etc etc :wink: .

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Marx
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby Marx » Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:07 pm

Heaps on Yootoob on why:
https://youtu.be/Zw7jFBBbz2w

But primarily its all about keeping bike riding interesting.
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uart
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby uart » Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:11 pm

ldrcycles wrote:I'm with you on cyclocross, but gravel is a different story. Some of the best scenery doesn't have sealed access, and mountain bikes are just too slow! There is an enjoyable challenge to riding on gravel too.

^This.

But don't get too hung up about this being a "new fangled" type of bike. Any retro touring bike that can take 38c (plus) tyres will do the job.

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queequeg
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby queequeg » Tue Apr 17, 2018 10:53 pm

Derny Driver wrote:I love hearing all these city slickers talking about their 'gravel bikes'.
The only gravel in Sydney is in the break down lanes of the freeways.
What a crock of errrr, marketing ;)


You need to get out into Hawkesbury Council LGA. They can’t afford tarmac, and have some of the crappiest roads in Sydney, many of which have never been sealed.
Naturally, you won’t find much gravel in Bondi or Balmain
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twowheels
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby twowheels » Tue Apr 17, 2018 11:50 pm


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cancan64
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby cancan64 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 6:18 am

I love gravel riding, much better than riding on a road and will bypass as much as i can to get gravel... I also love Bikepacking , multi day trips which also includes as much gravel as possible, but I prefer single tracks to gravel but on the gravel bike, a bit less challenging on the 29er and I am blessed in New Zealand with a lot of options.
having said that I also like cyclocross, and the muddier the better but prefer all day gravel riding to cyclocross and now find road rides, moreso group ones a bit boring... its a bit to easy to sit up someones arse and just peddle away.... much prefer getting off the well worn road and discovering those odd roads and tracks that are rarely use. This weekend hopefully I will have 80km ride from Rotorua which is mostly gravel and then camp overnight with 80km of tracks following the Waikato River and then more gravel roads back to Rotorua...heaven
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twowheels
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby twowheels » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:17 am

cancan64 wrote:I love gravel riding, much better than riding on a road and will bypass as much as i can to get gravel... I also love Bikepacking , multi day trips which also includes as much gravel as possible, but I prefer single tracks to gravel but on the gravel bike, a bit less challenging on the 29er and I am blessed in New Zealand with a lot of options.
having said that I also like cyclocross, and the muddier the better but prefer all day gravel riding to cyclocross and now find road rides, moreso group ones a bit boring... its a bit to easy to sit up someones arse and just peddle away.... much prefer getting off the well worn road and discovering those odd roads and tracks that are rarely use. This weekend hopefully I will have 80km ride from Rotorua which is mostly gravel and then camp overnight with 80km of tracks following the Waikato River and then more gravel roads back to Rotorua...heaven


Choice bro!

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P!N20
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby P!N20 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:48 am

Arbuckle23 wrote:Now, apart from Mountain Biking, what is the fascination with gravel?


Just a different terrain, a new challenge and another reason to ride your bike.

march83
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby march83 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:00 am

Gravel bikes are fun, simple as. What's to not understand about that? Put them on any surface and they'll probably do it OK. Sometimes faster, sometimes slower, but very rarely are you completely out of your depth. There's novelty to tackling MTB trails on a bike that leaves you under-gunned. There's convenience to being really quick on the firetrails. It's great not ripping up nice rubber or wasting time when half of your "MTB" loop is just riding to and from the trailhead. Trails that might be boring on a MTB or roads that might be uncomfortable on a roadie suddenly become places that you actually want to go...
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Calvin27
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby Calvin27 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:26 am

You need to ride a quality rail trail. Take it easy and make a day or half day out of it. Gravel biking is more about the scenery and enjoyment rather than KOMs and ripping single track skidz.
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RonK
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby RonK » Wed Apr 18, 2018 1:52 pm

cancan64 wrote:... find road rides, more so group ones a bit boring... its a bit to easy to sit up someones arse and just peddle away...

Couldn't have put it better...
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RobertL
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby RobertL » Wed Apr 18, 2018 2:21 pm

march83 wrote:Gravel bikes are fun, simple as. What's to not understand about that? Put them on any surface and they'll probably do it OK. Sometimes faster, sometimes slower, but very rarely are you completely out of your depth. There's novelty to tackling MTB trails on a bike that leaves you under-gunned. There's convenience to being really quick on the firetrails. It's great not ripping up nice rubber or wasting time when half of your "MTB" loop is just riding to and from the trailhead. Trails that might be boring on a MTB or roads that might be uncomfortable on a roadie suddenly become places that you actually want to go...


If I was buying a new commuter bike now, I'd buy a gravel bike or tourer. I'd like the toughness and ability to go anywhere that my off-road skills allow. I'd carry my work gear in panniers and I'd fit good mudguards. I'd be able to do some light touring. And if I had to, I could take it on a group ride and just about keep up.

For me, it would be my "do anything, go anywhere" bike.
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cyclotaur
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby cyclotaur » Wed Apr 18, 2018 3:35 pm

My default 2 hour local loop is 14km good paved trail uphill, then about 4kms lumpy paved trail, a few kms gravel, then about 2kms good paved trail through a park, then rough mixture of paths and gravel trails, for about 10kms followed by the final kms home on roads.

It's about 43 kms and about 50/50 sealed unsealed, with lots of optional extras, both sealed/unsealed. I've done it all on 25s, but it's better on 28s, and even better again on 35s. A lot of my rides are over a similar mix of surfaces, anything up to 100kms. I live 10kms east from Melbourne CBD and do most of my rides from home. There is plenty of local trails and gravel to ride.

Gravel bikes are really just rugged road bikes with better tyre clearance, and generally disc brakes these days, to give you options, which they do beautifully. If you're just road/bunch riding you won't need one but if you want, or can only afford, one bike to do many things then a gravel bike is the go, even better than conventional CX bikes, though they are often a bit heavier.

I have one CX, and one gravel, but currently no roadie.
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MichaelB
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby MichaelB » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:05 pm

I'd love top give a serious 'gravel' bike a go (trying to do a review through BNA of one, but haven't been able to tee one up yet) and see what it's like.

For me, it'd have to be a bike that can do road & gravel riding (via a wheel swap) as I probably would be able to afford two bikes. And thus it would have to be a decent one.

I'd love to do an extended test of a Cannondale Slate.

The reality is though, that I have more than enough road options in & around the Adelaide Hills that I don't need or really feel the want for a CX/Gravel/Allroad bike. Two riding buddies have one in additional to their roadies (one has a Trek Boone & other has a Ti Lynskey) and I'm 'Left Right Out' :D

Meh.

It will be interesting to see if in a couple of years whether the market segment stays/expands/disappears (much like 1x). Marketers are probably busy working out whet the next market segment can be .... :roll:

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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby djw47 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 4:25 pm

Arbuckle23 wrote:Now, apart from Mountain Biking, what is the fascination with gravel?
I don't understand it. Why take a perfectly good road bike and get it dirty, dusty/muddy.
If you want dirt, ride a mountain bike.
I get cranky if I am out riding and it starts raining and my nice road bike gets a bit dirty.

I don't understand cyclocross as well :P


I don't mind well maintained gravel - like a nice railtrail or something designed for a bike - but I detest gravel roads that have that horrible, corrugated, rutted surface that shakes you to your bones and leaves bruises on the hands. I will reluctantly ride on those roads if there is no other choice but it's not great on a road bike. Can't see the appeal of cyclocross either, if you want offroad, may as well just get a MTB and ride a trail.
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RonK
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby RonK » Wed Apr 18, 2018 8:18 pm

MichaelB wrote:I'd love top give a serious 'gravel' bike a go (trying to do a review through BNA of one, but haven't been able to tee one up yet) and see what it's like.

See if 99 Bikes will let you review a Norco Search XR or a GT Grade.
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singlespeedscott
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby singlespeedscott » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:16 pm

Riding dirt roads is nothing new. It’s just marketing. People having riding dirt for as long as bikes have been around.

I love the lack of traffic and the nicer scenery that goes with riding on dirt. My gravel bike is a hard tail MTB converted to drop bars running slick tyres. It’s faster and more comfortable than a MTB on longer dirt road adventures but not as fast as a true roadie on the bitumen. However it’s tougher than the road bike and I don’t care as much if it get covered in grime. That’s the key. You don’t want your good bike that way you have more fun.
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Arbuckle23
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby Arbuckle23 » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:21 pm

The reason for raising this subject is the push with various magazines and YouTube sites for "Gravel" riding.
Is it the manufacturers driving this keenness via these media outlets and building up a desire, or is there a genuine need for these bikes?

GCN seems to drool over it. They were pushing it again today.
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queequeg
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby queequeg » Wed Apr 18, 2018 9:58 pm

My own view, I’m kind of tired of dealing with abusive bogans when out riding, and with my DVT injury still slowly resolving (and possibly needing further intervention), I’m looking to get my fix by riding on quiet roads where I am highly unlikely to encounter any motorists, and where I can cruise without worrying about keeping up with traffic.

The main difference between the new frame and my CX bike is the ability to take either 700c or 650b wheels, with clearances of 45mm for 700c and 50mm for 650b. I also get Hydraulic disc brakes and a full setup for bikepacking with three bottle cages, rack mount, mud guard mounts, plus a threaded fork crown for a Dyno light. Perfect for a 600km Gravel Audax challenge (once my leg is sorted!)
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