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Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

Gravel Kits

Old 07-02-17, 06:29 PM
  #1  
TimothyH
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Gravel Kits

Are there gravel specific kits out there?

Some manufacturers seem to be picking road oriented garments and hanging a gravel label on them because of some feature they feel would benefit gravel riders but I don't see much designed from the ground up for gravel.

What features would make a good gravel kit?

What's working for you?

Or is there even a need for gravel specific clothing and gear?


-Tim-
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Old 07-03-17, 12:09 PM
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On one of the better known shop-affiliated local gravel rides here in Sacramento, people are mostly just wearing road kit.

Edit: as do I when I go on that or other local gravel rides. Seems to work for me. Haven't felt like I was missing anything. If I was going to go for an all day, remote gravel ride I might take my camelbak as well.
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Old 07-03-17, 04:58 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
...ground up for gravel.
"Ground up for/by gravel" is a good reason for gravel-specific kit.

So far I've had only minor abrasions falling on gravel, slow speed on turns or avoiding other hazards.

Tougher fabric, at least in the most likely contact/abrasion spots. My thin mesh Garneau jerseys have only a few pinhole abrasions from falling, but they didn't prevent skin abrasions under the fabric.

I'd want something similar to arm/knee warmers with cutout vents for cooling while protecting the most vulnerable bony protrusions. Maybe a little padding, as long as it didn't interfere with knee motion.

A little padding on the hips and shoulders might be useful.

The material and thin padding used on my existing Mueller strap, wrist brace and other doodads would probably be tough enough without compromising flexibility or being too hot.
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Old 07-03-17, 07:09 PM
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I don't know.

A white kit is definitely out. Something stain resistant? Muted colors for sure.

A jersey with two large pockets instead of three smaller ones, security flaps inside the pockets and a separate zippered pocket to hold valuables would be nice. A bit longer sleeve/leg might protect from mud flung off the tires. Maybe a little more drop on the tail of the jersey for the same reason. Socks with cushy soles to help with hot feet on long, rough descents and a slightly higher calf.

What do you guys think of the Kyoto gravel shorts?
I applaud them for trying but it doesn't make sense to me. What would someone put in a rear pocket while in the saddle? No padding so something with a chamois has to be worn underneath - double layers in the summer?


-Tim-
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Old 07-03-17, 07:42 PM
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Just my roadie kit for me, with my standard long-sleeve summer base layer and leg coolers and summer-long-finger-gloves (keep the sun off).
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Old 07-03-17, 09:02 PM
  #6  
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I'm liking the Narita Carbon jersey.Pricey though.


Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
Jlong-sleeve summer
Gets up to like 55 or 60 this time of year where you live, right?


-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 07-03-17 at 09:06 PM.
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Old 07-04-17, 05:19 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
I'm liking the Narita Carbon jersey.Pricey though.




Gets up to like 55 or 60 this time of year where you live, right?


-Tim-
LOL I'm actually cooler, and certainly not much warmer.

Probably like down in your neck of the woods...we usually see 95F and 70-80F dewpoints from June to August. Further the UV gets high. Light long-sleeve base layers keep the sun off your skin. Instead of your skin absorbing 900-1100W/m2, a good chuck is bounced off. Also lessens the amount of skin you need to clog with SPF80 to avoid being fried like a 3-minute egg with sunburn.

2 years ago on tour I found I was getting bib-strap tan through my cycling jerseys.
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Old 07-04-17, 09:08 AM
  #8  
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
A white kit is definitely out. Something stain resistant? Muted colors for sure.
Stain resistance would be the big one for me. One of my jerseys has permanent mud stains on it after a long gravel ride that included some wet conditions.
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Old 07-04-17, 11:04 AM
  #9  
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Kit? That's race team lingo. I wear my normal road gear most of the time. Bibs and a jersey. Once in a while I'll wear MTB shorts on shorter rides. I tend to avoid white jerseys or socks as the red clay dirt around here never washes out completely. I have a few jerseys that are already stained, so I use them more often for gravel rides, especially if the roads are wet or I anticipate rain. All my road shorts and bibs are black.
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Old 07-04-17, 01:02 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
What features would make a good gravel kit?

What's working for you?

Or is there even a need for gravel specific clothing and gear?


-Tim-
Hey great questions Tim!

I wear cycling shorts, a jersey, socks, and my cycling shoes which are technically spd mtb shoes. So nothing different from road riding. Gravel riding is ultimately road riding, just not on pavement.

I havent found anything lacking and never though i needed something different to enjoy gravel roads.

My regular sunglasses, gloves, helmet, and sun sleeves all work fine on gravel.

I do use select jerseys when riding gravel...about 3 or so which are typically used because they fit great but arent expensive and if i were to ruin one, oh well.

I dont use a heartrate monitor or track cadence since it doesnt matter to me, but i do like google maps for detailed location when riding. Thats about the only tech for me.
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Old 07-04-17, 01:12 PM
  #11  
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
Kit? That's race team lingo. I wear my normal road gear most of the time. Bibs and a jersey. Once in a while I'll wear MTB shorts on shorter rides. I tend to avoid white jerseys or socks as the red clay dirt around here never washes out completely. I have a few jerseys that are already stained, so I use them more often for gravel rides, especially if the roads are wet or I anticipate rain. All my road shorts and bibs are black.

How do you like MTB shorts?

I never wore them and am sincerely asking, willing to give them a try.


-Tim-
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Old 07-04-17, 01:24 PM
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My CX team designed our team kit for mud. It works pretty well for gravel too. The only downside is that it doesn't do much to provide visibility when you're on the road.



On the plus side, it can be absolutely covered in mud and it doesn't look any different.
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Old 07-04-17, 01:36 PM
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I use a very similar kit: road jerseys, padded shorts (not bibs), SPD shoes and pedals, hydration backpack and TONS of sunblock.

I am also curious about MTB shorts, which I rarely see IRL (which is odd because I ride mainly with MTBers).
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Old 07-04-17, 03:50 PM
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Originally Posted by kuroba View Post
I am also curious about MTB shorts, which I rarely see IRL (which is odd because I ride mainly with MTBers).
I will sometimes( few times a year) wear Zoic mtb shorts with liner shorts underneath. Works fine, but i dont like adjusting the knee seam upwards over and again while pedaling.
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Old 07-17-17, 09:38 PM
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Recieved the Kitsbow Geyser's jersey yesterday.It is trim, closer to a club cut than a race cut, but with plenty of room in the shoulders for movement. This is a fall/winter jersey. The fabric is thick. You would not want to wear it in the heat of summer. The wool/poly blend is not as soft as I thought it would be and my guess is that it is going to be best over an Under Armor Cold Gear, Craft or Smartwool base layer.

The two zippered pockets have water resistant linings which is a really nice touch and the chest pocket will hold a full bagel and then some. The rear hem is nice and low. Sleeves are not short at all like some ultralight road jerseys.

It is a substantial garment with great workmanship. I plan on putting it to the test this fall.



-Tim-

Last edited by TimothyH; 07-20-17 at 11:12 AM.
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Old 07-17-17, 10:34 PM
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I don't know if there is a need for gravel specific clothing and gear. But I like the idea of manufactures trying to find a need for or niche specific to gravel. It is something worth thinking about.
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Old 07-18-17, 07:18 AM
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I have been thinking and am looking for garments with the following features:

  • Easy to launder, stain resistant.
  • Colors that hide stains but are not black.
  • Jerseys with lower hem in the rear.
  • Jersey with two large pockets instead of three smaller pockets.
  • Longer sleeves to protect against dried mud flung off the front wheel.
  • Fabrics able to withstand long days using a Camelback, not so delicate that they will be ruined but still able to breathe well.
  • Waterproof, zippered pocket able to hold a phone and turbo Subaru key fob.
  • Gloves with more padding
  • Chamois commensurate with the rigors of gravel.
  • Fast drying shoes for stream crossings, mesh side panels to let water flow out, air flow in.


Etc.

I'm convinced that bibs are not as well suited to very long days in the back country as are shorts.


-Tim
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Old 07-18-17, 09:58 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
How do you like MTB shorts?

I never wore them and am sincerely asking, willing to give them a try.

-Tim-
As I said, I only wear MTB shorts occasionally. Even for MTB riding, I am more likely to wear lycra shorts or bibs on longer rides and in hotter weather. That extra layer of fabric over the liners with the chamois can interfere with moisture wicking. Also, really baggy shorts can snag on the saddle while moving around on technical MTB trail sections.

But for those rides where I expect to be around non riders, such as when I'll spend time walking around in town or at a restaurant, it can be a good thing. I'm not shy about wearing lycra in public, but there are times when it makes sense to blend in.

I avoid the longer legged and more baggy shorts, preferring something with a fairly tight fit and light, stretchy fabric. Some MTB shorts come with inner liners with a pretty good chamois, either sewn in or detachable.
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Old 07-18-17, 12:30 PM
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Originally Posted by BluesDawg View Post
As I said, I only wear MTB shorts occasionally. Even for MTB riding, I am more likely to wear lycra shorts or bibs on longer rides and in hotter weather. That extra layer of fabric over the liners with the chamois can interfere with moisture wicking. Also, really baggy shorts can snag on the saddle while moving around on technical MTB trail sections.

But for those rides where I expect to be around non riders, such as when I'll spend time walking around in town or at a restaurant, it can be a good thing. I'm not shy about wearing lycra in public, but there are times when it makes sense to blend in.

I avoid the longer legged and more baggy shorts, preferring something with a fairly tight fit and light, stretchy fabric. Some MTB shorts come with inner liners with a pretty good chamois, either sewn in or detachable.
This makes absolute sense. Thanks.

The bold section is what's holding me back, especially snagging on the saddle. I hate that, and it always seems to be at the most inconvenient time.


-Tim-
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Old 07-18-17, 02:28 PM
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Just no white. I was riding a mtb and gravel in kit that had white stripes for a while. Even after washing they are discolored a reddish brownish from our AZ moondust.

Also, pro-tip many mtb xc riders and racers wear your everyday roadie bib shorts underneath their baggy xc shorts. I do this occasionally on more hardcore gravel routes in case of falls as well as to blend in with the local pit bbq patrons.
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