Gravel Fascination

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Thoglette
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby Thoglette » Wed Apr 18, 2018 10:19 pm

Arbuckle23 wrote: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?

Jesusmaryandjoseph, where have you been for the last half decade or so? Under a rock?

For at least a decade those of us who don't ride exclusively in velodromes or on freshly groomed hot mix had abandoned the idea that skinny tyres made any sense. Any sort of kerb jumping or root lifting of PSPs or a few hundred meters of unsealed road on the commute was positively evil on 21mm tyres. Plus that riding in all weather without mudguards sucked.

In those parts of the world where the roads aren't funded better than, well, everything else, people started discovering that all those unsealed and poorly maintained roads were simultaneously safer, quieter and more interesting than the well sealed highways. About the same time the sub24 movement took off meaning that a fully loaded tourer (or 30kg pack) was no longer necessary to get "off the beaten path".

The problem was that you couldn't fit tyres bigger than about 25mm in 2000 era frames and it got continually worse in the noughties. And mudguards? Forgettaboutit!

Bespoke manufactures like Rivendell and VO had been making "sensible" bikes for a long time and people like "bikes for the rest of us" have been championing them. Like in Audio, the French and Japanese had never really forgotten "the good old ways" of randonneuring and cyclotourism and the Americans have now come on board in a big way. But that involved sending lots of $$$ to get your bike (especially in 650B)

I'm not a-typical for .au/.nz in that my answer to find an old, lightweight CroMo frame capable of taking 27" x 1 1/4 tyres, complete with full mudguards.

A decade on 650B/27.5 and 35x700C tyres and rims are commonly available, and the big names are starting to try and cash in.

But, as we have to have a new name for this "new" (old) thing, fast all-road bikes have been called "gravel grinders".
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
"People are worthy of respect, ideas are not." Peter Ellerton, UQ

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MichaelB
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby MichaelB » Thu Apr 19, 2018 8:22 am

Arbuckle23 wrote: ..... or is there a genuine need for these bikes?

......


Wash you mouth out with soap. Of course there is a NEED !!!!

Gotta agree with the lack of 4 wheeled Bogans being a big part of the appeal and great scenery

Arbuckle23
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby Arbuckle23 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 9:29 am

Thoglette wrote:
Jesusmaryandjoseph, where have you been for the last half decade or so? Under a rock?



Well I am a recent convert to cycling :D


MichaelB wrote:
Wash you mouth out with soap. Of course there is a NEED !!!!


Sorry, forgot about N+1, always a need for a new bike :oops:
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march83
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby march83 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:19 pm

I never understand people "blaming" marketing for the existence of new types of bikes or new equipment. Apparently we are all just sheep who buy what we're told and ride the trails the marketing brainstorming sessions have decided are dejour of late.

Or maybe people have been doing it for ages because it's fun, and now there are more bikes available from more vendors. Sounds like a great situation to me and if it isn't wanted then it won't sell and it will disappear again.
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Thoglette
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby Thoglette » Thu Apr 19, 2018 1:39 pm

MichaelB wrote:Wash you mouth out with soap. Of course there is a NEED !!!!
:D :D :D :D :D :D
Stop handing them the stick! - Dave Moulton
"People are worthy of respect, ideas are not." Peter Ellerton, UQ

Arbuckle23
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby Arbuckle23 » Thu Apr 19, 2018 2:51 pm

march83 wrote:I never understand people "blaming" marketing for the existence of new types of bikes or new equipment. Apparently we are all just sheep who buy what we're told and ride the trails the marketing brainstorming sessions have decided are dejour of late.


Marketing is all about that.
Keep telling people they "need" something continually and you will get a percentage who will come to that conclusion. Even if they had no original intention to buy that product.
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NASHIE
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby NASHIE » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:34 pm

Arbuckle23 wrote:
march83 wrote:I never understand people "blaming" marketing for the existence of new types of bikes or new equipment. Apparently we are all just sheep who buy what we're told and ride the trails the marketing brainstorming sessions have decided are dejour of late.


Marketing is all about that.
Keep telling people they "need" something continually and you will get a percentage who will come to that conclusion. Even if they had no original intention to buy that product.


Gravel bikes have a legit market. You don't 'need' a MTB to ride offroad and most would not even consider getting their roadie dusty, so enter the gravel bike. Midrange SUV of the car market i guess. Gets you there in relative comfort and lets you see more of our great country offroad than a Porsche would allow you, without the costs of running a large 4WD.

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RonK
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby RonK » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:41 pm

The market has simply returned to building traditional bikes instead of pandering only to the sportives and offroaders.

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bychosis
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby bychosis » Thu Apr 19, 2018 3:46 pm

Arbuckle23 wrote:Marketing is all about that.
Keep telling people they "need" something continually and you will get a percentage who will come to that conclusion. Even if they had no original intention to buy that product.


The marketing has been focussed on weight weenie/aero road bikes or hardcore dually mountain bikes for long enough that everyone has one. Now (recently) they've decided they've split the market and need to fill in the gap in the middle. cyclocross was it for a while, but they are too racey for gravel riding (so the marketing tells me anyway)
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cyclotaur
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby cyclotaur » Thu Apr 19, 2018 6:05 pm

I'd only ever had a simple, second-hand single speed bike my whole life until 1991, when I wanted a new bike. All the proper bike shops only had roadie/racers or a few MTB's which were still a bit new then. Enter the hybrid which was EXACTLY what I wanted - road bike shape (more or less) fatter tyres, some gears (21?) and a comfy ride over all surfaces.

I bought my next new bike 20 years later after I retired from work and commuting. All the proper bike shops only had roadie/racers or MTB (which were huge by then) and a few kids bikes. Enter the CX bike which was EXACTLY what I wanted - road bike shape (more or less) fatter tyres, some gears (20) and a comfy ride over all surfaces.

If I was new to cycling now or buying my first new bike in 20 years I'd almost certainly buy a gravel bike. In fact last year I did. It was EXACTLY what I wanted - road bike shape (more or less) fatter tyres, some gears (22) and a comfy ride over all surfaces.
.

I'm not being led by marketing - these bikes have evolved to finally suit my needs perfectly.
Here's my blog - A bit of fun :)
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Bentnose
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby Bentnose » Sat Apr 21, 2018 6:32 pm

With the penchant for modern MTB's to have a low top end gear, they are no longer the best option for cruising fire roads, you tend to run out of gears to soon. My CX with 40mm tyres and 26/36 low gear and 48/11 top gear is a far more versatile bike, plus it saves wear on the MTB, I'm saving money, at least that's how I can justify n+1 to the wife.

With gravel/CX bikes I do find you need to plan your rides a bit more as you can find yourself riding a lot more bitumen than you'd want or end up in some severe terrain that it can't handle.
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NASHIE
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby NASHIE » Sat Apr 21, 2018 7:15 pm

60k road ride this morning....just another ride, and just got back from a 1hr CX ride.....still smiling. Rain forecast for tomorrow CX race so looking forward to some good muddy racing :twisted:

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Duck!
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby Duck! » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:27 pm

bychosis wrote:
Arbuckle23 wrote:Marketing is all about that.
Keep telling people they "need" something continually and you will get a percentage who will come to that conclusion. Even if they had no original intention to buy that product.


The marketing has been focussed on weight weenie/aero road bikes or hardcore dually mountain bikes for long enough that everyone has one. Now (recently) they've decided they've split the market and need to fill in the gap in the middle. cyclocross was it for a while, but they are too racey for gravel riding (so the marketing tells me anyway)

Not really. I see it more that people - primarily but not exclusively - the consumers, have taken titles such as "road" or "mountain" bike too literally, much as they have with cars, and can't consider that one can be used quite capably a fair way beyond what its title would suggest. Mucketing people have just played into that mindset; i.e. Certain Person with a road bike sees a nice bit of not-smooth but perfectly rideable road, and thinks, "I can't ride that because I have a 'road' bike" so decides not to ride it. The result is things that are mildly tweaked, given a different title to suggest greater capability, but don't actually do anything that a so-called onroader can''t do, and won't handle the stuff a proper off-roader can do.
I had a thought, but it got run over as it crossed my mind.

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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby trailgumby » Sat Apr 21, 2018 11:48 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 ;)

Ah, there is so much you don't know. :lol:

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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby owly » Sun Apr 22, 2018 10:44 am

NASHIE wrote:60k road ride this morning....just another ride, and just got back from a 1hr CX ride.....still smiling. Rain forecast for tomorrow CX race so looking forward to some good muddy racing :twisted:


Yesterday I checked out up around Bickley/Victoria Dam. Some nice stretches of smooth gravel.

Will be back there on the Wed public holiday with my 650x2.1 on.
MUFC :twisted:

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CKinnard
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby CKinnard » Sun Apr 22, 2018 11:23 am

Gravel Grinder advantages:
- wider tires better for wet roads, rough rides, tram and train tracks, cattle grids, breaking quicker, puncture resistance. There's a lot of potential ride ending broken bones prevented right there, and inconvenience with mechs and punctures when your mother can't pick you up.

- geometry better for longer distances, older stiffer bodies.

- gearing better for steeper climbs and older hearts. Most cyclists would be stunned if they got a coronary artery calcium scan done, and a stress ECG, and wore a holter monitor for a week, including on hard rides. Remember cholesterol blood panels don't predict >50% of heart attacks and even a higher rate of arrhythmias. Was talking with a rainbow winning track rider 2 weeks ago, who had to get part of his heart conduction system ablated to stop arrhythmias....and he's not yet 50.

- I do a lot of utility riding now, especially in fowl weather. I don't feel comfortable jumping on a $5000+ roadie with deep section wheels to ride down the local shops, cafe, mate's place. No trouble on a compact gravel grinder with rack and lights.

- When I get back on my roadie after riding the heavier gravel grinder, I enjoy the agility and lighter weight enormously.

- I've been doing more credit card rides recently. Just jump on the bike and go off exploring within 200k of home. and stay in a hotel or air bnb wherever. It's a brilliant change of pace and head clearer for the working week. A few months ago I stayed 60k away, something I'd never do if planning a weekend away in the car. Had a ball, and met great people.

If i had to have one bike it would be a gravel grinder spec'd thus:
- compact carbon lightweight frame.
- heavier forks appropriate for rough terrain
- 1x with at least a low gear of 1:1.
- wheels 32 rear, 28 front, quality hubs (of all the components I've had wear out most, it is hubs)
- 38-45mm tires
- discs (hydraulic not mech) or after market side/center pulls that accommodate wider tires
- chain stays long enough and wide enough to accommodate mud on rear tire, and riding out of saddle with gear
- net weight under 8kg.
- 800 lumen main headlight, 400+ lumen backup (3 hours total), 2 rear lights capable of 250 lumens each.

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queequeg
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby queequeg » Sun Apr 22, 2018 12:43 pm

CKinnard wrote:Gravel Grinder advantages:

...
- gearing better for steeper climbs and older hearts. Most cyclists would be stunned if they got a coronary artery calcium scan done, and a stress ECG, and wore a holter monitor for a week, including on hard rides. Remember cholesterol blood panels don't predict >50% of heart attacks and even a higher rate of arrhythmias. Was talking with a rainbow winning track rider 2 weeks ago, who had to get part of his heart conduction system ablated to stop arrhythmias....and he's not yet 50.

- I do a lot of utility riding now, especially in fowl weather. I don't feel comfortable jumping on a $5000+ roadie with deep section wheels to ride down the local shops, cafe, mate's place. No trouble on a compact gravel grinder with rack and lights.

...

If i had to have one bike it would be a gravel grinder spec'd thus:
- compact carbon lightweight frame.
- heavier forks appropriate for rough terrain
- 1x with at least a low gear of 1:1.
- wheels 32 rear, 28 front, quality hubs (of all the components I've had wear out most, it is hubs)
- 38-45mm tires
- discs (hydraulic not mech) or after market side/center pulls that accommodate wider tires
- chain stays long enough and wide enough to accommodate mud on rear tire, and riding out of saddle with gear
- net weight under 8kg.
- 800 lumen main headlight, 400+ lumen backup (3 hours total), 2 rear lights capable of 250 lumens each.


Just before my planned europe trip last year, my GP sent me to the Cardiologist for a checkup. Cardiologist sent me for a full CT Angiography to check for clogged arteries due to my apparently bad cholesterol. Calcium Score came back as zero. I just had a blood test this week, which shows that my year off has mad my cholesterol & Vitamin D worse (because I am not riding, I don't go outside much), but otherwise it was perfect. Looking forward to getting out there again often when I can get a final resolution to this dodgy leg.

I had to laugh at the "I don't feel comfortable jumping on a $5000+ roadie with deep section wheels to ride down the local shop" comment....my Gravel Grinder Build has gone way past that already lol. Just waiting on my frameset to arrive so I can get it all assembled
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '15 Cervelo S5

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CKinnard
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby CKinnard » Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:17 pm

queequeg wrote:Just before my planned europe trip last year, my GP sent me to the Cardiologist for a checkup. Cardiologist sent me for a full CT Angiography to check for clogged arteries due to my apparently bad cholesterol. Calcium Score came back as zero. I just had a blood test this week, which shows that my year off has mad my cholesterol & Vitamin D worse (because I am not riding, I don't go outside much), but otherwise it was perfect. Looking forward to getting out there again often when I can get a final resolution to this dodgy leg.

I had to laugh at the "I don't feel comfortable jumping on a $5000+ roadie with deep section wheels to ride down the local shop" comment....my Gravel Grinder Build has gone way past that already lol. Just waiting on my frameset to arrive so I can get it all assembled


fulls specs please! :)

don't give up on your leg.
I respect your GP for sending you off to the cardiologist pre Euro trip. I think it is smart to know what's going on inside before we stress test ourselves.

I know a little about your condition, but not off the top of my head. M2CW is if you still have scarred veins and compromised circulation in 6-12 mths, you consider a prolonged medically supervised water fast. This can help catabolize the scar tissue in your veins.
The best place is where I've worked at for the last 2 years (True North Health in Santa Rosa, CA, USA). You can do a no cost phone interview prior to see if they'll take you with your med hx. Cost is around USD150/day (for a 3 star room in shared apartment). A fast of 21-30 days, and refeeding time of 10-15days should be adequate for a definite therapeutic effect (depending on starting bodyfat %).

Most residents are very interesting people, mainly highly educated and health aware. There's unfortunately no medical physicians supervising such centers in Australia. What you learn while there would change your health for the rest of your life too. Anyway, no pressure! I have been around for a while in health and know there's nothing more powerful that has not been adequately explored by science.

Scintilla
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby Scintilla » Sun Apr 22, 2018 1:24 pm

"Gravel riding" ???

Just what I have been doing on various touring bikes (27x1&1/14, 27x1&3/8, 26x2.125, 26x1.75, 26x1.50, 26x2.15) for the past forty years :roll:

Not much new to see here.

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CKinnard
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby CKinnard » Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:04 pm

Scintilla wrote:"Gravel riding" ???

Just what I have been doing on various touring bikes (27x1&1/14, 27x1&3/8, 26x2.125, 26x1.75, 26x1.50, 26x2.15) for the past forty years :roll:

Not much new to see here.


Bought my first tourer in 1983. Schwinn Le Tour Luxe!
steel, triple chainring, 6 sprocket derailleur (can't remember the gear ratios), 1.25" tires.
I used to carry 20kg of groceries or laundry around on that but the tires were not adequate for gravel or the snow and mud slush of spring.
Beat walking though.
Give me the newer lighter frames, reliable groupsets, sealed hubs, wider tires, better lights anyday.

Scintilla
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby Scintilla » Sun Apr 22, 2018 2:47 pm

26x2.0 Schwalbe. Rode the tarmac all the way from Geelong to Adelaide and beyond. Fun in the mud on the Mawson Trail. You make of the bike what you desire. The tyre width is often a minor factor.

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queequeg
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby queequeg » Sun Apr 22, 2018 3:19 pm

CKinnard wrote:
fulls specs please! :)

don't give up on your leg.
I respect your GP for sending you off to the cardiologist pre Euro trip. I think it is smart to know what's going on inside before we stress test ourselves.

I know a little about your condition, but not off the top of my head. M2CW is if you still have scarred veins and compromised circulation in 6-12 mths, you consider a prolonged medically supervised water fast.


I have an appt booked with a Vascular Surgeon for a second opinion, as I am 12 months down the road from the DVT without a defined end resolution for dealing with the scarring and occluded vein. My current treatment is the "do nothing" end of the spectrum (and hope for a miracle?)

Anyway, enough of that....the bike...

This is the frameset

These are the wheels, paired with Panaracer Gravelking SK 35mm tyres.

The build is Ultegra R8020 Hydraulic Disc/R8070 Calipers/R8000 Medium Cage RD (11-34). Cranks are Rotor 3D24 with a Power2max NGeco spider & Praxis Buzz Chainrings (50/34), and running the RT800 Ice-Tech Disc Rotors

Will be running with 3T Superghiaia bars.

I am looking to throw on some SKS guards and a Dyno Light once I get myself sorted, and it can take a rack as well, but I am thinking this will more of a bikepacking bike with framebags rather than panniers.
'11 Lynskey Cooper CX, '00 Hillbrick Steel Racing (Total Rebuild '10), '15 Cervelo S5

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CKinnard
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby CKinnard » Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:21 pm

queequeg wrote:
This is the frameset

These are the wheels, paired with Panaracer Gravelking SK 35mm tyres.

The build is Ultegra R8020 Hydraulic Disc/R8070 Calipers/R8000 Medium Cage RD (11-34). Cranks are Rotor 3D24 with a Power2max NGeco spider & Praxis Buzz Chainrings (50/34), and running the RT800 Ice-Tech Disc Rotors

Will be running with 3T Superghiaia bars.

I am looking to throw on some SKS guards and a Dyno Light once I get myself sorted, and it can take a rack as well, but I am thinking this will more of a bikepacking bike with framebags rather than panniers.


wow....looks like $10k++
Got a size and weight on the frame...bugger how about the whole bike?
forks?
I've often thought about a dynamo hub. but will wait until I am likely spending 2-3 nights away. Though it is a nuisance to disconnect/charge/connect garmin, phone, 4 lights 2-3x/ a week (and remember when it needs doing),
Any idea how many watts the dynamo adds to resistance?
I like the shallow drop and splay of the bars too. I see so many guys on long rides hardly ever use the drops, which defeats the purpose of them. hard core roadies also tend to be excessively wide for commuting and urban roads. The width is to give greater leverage out of the saddle, but I'd rather the advantage of narrow bars to stay safer on busy narrow roads.

If you are building that, you just have to get that leg better. You obviously have a lot of cycling passion yet to burn.

Scintilla
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby Scintilla » Sun Apr 22, 2018 4:39 pm

CKinnard wrote:I've often thought about a dynamo hub. but will wait until I am likely spending 2-3 nights away. Though it is a nuisance to disconnect/charge/connect garmin, phone, 4 lights 2-3x/ a week (and remember when it needs doing),
Any idea how many watts the dynamo adds to resistance?

A good dynamo is only pumping out 3W.... maybe a bit more at high speeds. Compared with the average person's output of 200-300W. Peter White has described the SON28 (the old Classic version) drag as being equivalent to a rise of about 1 metre in a kilometre, when operating (ie. 2/5 of bugger-all!)

CKinnard wrote:I like the shallow drop and splay of the bars too. I see so many guys on long rides hardly ever use the drops, which defeats the purpose of them.

You may misunderstand the function of drop bars.

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CKinnard
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Re: Gravel Fascination

Postby CKinnard » Sun Apr 22, 2018 5:14 pm

Scintilla wrote:[
CKinnard wrote:I like the shallow drop and splay of the bars too. I see so many guys on long rides hardly ever use the drops, which defeats the purpose of them.

You may misunderstand the function of drop bars.


there's three reasons for drop bars on a gravel bike
- getting more aero especially into head winds
- getting lower cog for more control on descents
- varying body position to reduce discomfort.

- using drops to sprint in/out of saddle is fine for the track, crit, and stage sprints.

My view is if one is not comfortable in drop bars for at least 20 minutes, then the stem is too low, which it is for most.

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