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What's next? After gravel, what's the NEXT BIG THING?

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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.

What's next? After gravel, what's the NEXT BIG THING?

Old 08-01-19, 03:35 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
Excellent point!



How about e-bikepacking?
That's a really nice collection of bike bags!
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Old 08-01-19, 03:52 PM
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
And regarding the gravel trend, how many people are really in to crushing gravel vs. just owning a very versatile bike?

I worked in a bike shop when the hybrid trend came on strong in the 90's, and like gravel bikes hybrids are also quite versatile in terms of the mixed terrain they can handle. But hybrid owners were very quickly slapped with the label of "non-serious cyclist", and hybrids became the choice for soccer mom's and grandmas everywhere. Gravel bikes have a lot of the versatility of hybrids and touring bikes, but maintain a level of coolness.
Exactly. Gravel bikes are hybrids for cool kids.
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Old 08-01-19, 03:55 PM
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
That's a really nice collection of bike bags!
It is that. Plus they all match!
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Old 08-01-19, 04:35 PM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post

How about e-bikepacking?
with enough charge stations, I'd do it.

then again I really don't care if it is human powered, electric powered, electric assist, or gas powered.

2 wheels is 2 wheels.

however, Gas dual sport touring is big on my list.
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Old 08-01-19, 07:12 PM
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
And regarding the gravel trend, how many people are really in to crushing gravel vs. just owning a very versatile bike?

I worked in a bike shop when the hybrid trend came on strong in the 90's, and like gravel bikes hybrids are also quite versatile in terms of the mixed terrain they can handle. But hybrid owners were very quickly slapped with the label of "non-serious cyclist", and hybrids became the choice for soccer mom's and grandmas everywhere. Gravel bikes have a lot of the versatility of hybrids and touring bikes, but maintain a level of coolness.
I don't think I have yet to crush any gravel...hopefully I stay under whatever weight is needed to crush it...but yes I prefer the actual gravel riding part of a gravel bike.

It gets me out to quiet area where it's just me and music, it let's me geek out on mapping routes, and it's good exercise.
The trifecta right there.
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Old 08-01-19, 07:14 PM
  #31  
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
Exactly. Gravel bikes are hybrids for cool kids.
I donít think I agree with this take. Hybrids were a really squishy category back in the day, some of them were good and a lot of them were really bad, but crucially they mostly werenít designed with the high end of the market in mind. Of course enthusiasts didnít buy hybrids, because there were very few that were aimed at them. In general the enthusiast market was smaller then, not because there were fewer of them but because the bike industry hadnít figured out yet that they could get enthusiasts to buy multiple mid range or high end bikes if they were different enough from the bikes they already owned. Why target the enthusiast market? They already have a road bike or a mountain bike, why are they going to buy another one? Obviously the approach has been different with gravel.
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Old 08-01-19, 10:00 PM
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My Midwest/rural USA perspective:

I donít see a lot of gravel cyclists ďmoving onĒ to the next big cycling thing, at least where I live...maybe in other parts of the country. Gravel roads here are fun, challenging, abundant, offer great scenery, and in my opinion feel much safer than riding pavement (paved roads here are not designed with riding in mind, dedicated bike paths/MUPs are rare, and drivers are occasionally dangerous and inconsiderate)

E-bikes/E-assist is interesting and I think will continue to increase, but I canít see it taking away a lot of gravel bike sales...most gravel riders that I know are very fitness oriented. I can definitely see many who bike for touring/commuting/recreation going that route. I view gravel biking as the last untapped fitness segment of cycling. Then again, maybe weíll all be cyclekayaking in 5 years.
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Old 08-02-19, 02:49 AM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by wheelsmcgee View Post
My Midwest/rural USA perspective:

I donít see a lot of gravel cyclists ďmoving onĒ to the next big cycling thing, at least where I live...maybe in other parts of the country. Gravel roads here are fun, challenging, abundant, offer great scenery, and in my opinion feel much safer than riding pavement (paved roads here are not designed with riding in mind, dedicated bike paths/MUPs are rare, and drivers are occasionally dangerous and inconsiderate)

E-bikes/E-assist is interesting and I think will continue to increase, but I canít see it taking away a lot of gravel bike sales...most gravel riders that I know are very fitness oriented. I can definitely see many who bike for touring/commuting/recreation going that route. I view gravel biking as the last untapped fitness segment of cycling. Then again, maybe weíll all be cyclekayaking in 5 years.
some gravel is more dangerous than paved roads. Blind hills, blind corners, Patrolled less, so people tend to speed more. Given the locality and the people that live off the beaten path. they tend to have a disconnect from society. Or come across as lawless. They'd be the first people to throw a beer bottle or an old oil filter at a cyclist just because.

For the moment I'll avoid the inner city, and some of the remote gravel roads... for more or less the exact same reasons.
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Old 08-02-19, 05:06 AM
  #34  
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I predict 32” wheels are the next big thing. Also more and more companies are going to rivet beer bottle openers to the seat tube where the front derailer would be (on a 1x of coarse).
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Old 08-02-19, 06:42 AM
  #35  
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Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
some gravel is more dangerous than paved roads. Blind hills, blind corners, Patrolled less, so people tend to speed more. Given the locality and the people that live off the beaten path. they tend to have a disconnect from society. Or come across as lawless. They'd be the first people to throw a beer bottle or an old oil filter at a cyclist just because.

For the moment I'll avoid the inner city, and some of the remote gravel roads... for more or less the exact same reasons.
I can understand how some gravel could be perceived as more dangerous because its traveled less, so if a rider needs medical attention, the response will be slower compared to on a paved road. But luckily everywhere I have ridden so far has drivers who dont speed on gravel since its wildly unsafe for them due to instability. Where I ride, vehicle speed is usually quite reasonable on gravel since traction is lower. It could be the composition of local gravel- its looser here or something like that, so drivers adjust accordingly.
Also I am really happy I have never come across a driver that was rude/dangerous. It would be very disheartening to restrict where I ride based on the fear of having stuff thrown at me.
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Old 08-02-19, 07:04 AM
  #36  
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People are bigger jerks in towns where there are cops everywhere than they are out in the boonies, from my experience. Something about high concentrations of people makes them jerks. The whole Deliverance stereotype about country people is an overblown Hollywood writer's fantasy. It's the suburbanites who are most dangerous, especially when they're really angry, think no one is watching, and can plausibly (or implausibly) feign ignorance.
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Old 08-02-19, 07:33 AM
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Originally Posted by FlashBazbo View Post
I couldn't bring myself to put this in the first post. But . . . urp . . . gag . . . uhmp . . . you don't think it's e-bikes, do you? They're going big in Europe. (On the whole, I'd rather ride a Honda.)

What I'd really like to see is a resurgence of local, grassroots, weekly time trial competition. Could that become a thing?
My club does a monthly TT series through the summer, it's great, we usually get around 65 people.


Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
And regarding the gravel trend, how many people are really in to crushing gravel vs. just owning a very versatile bike?

I worked in a bike shop when the hybrid trend came on strong in the 90's, and like gravel bikes hybrids are also quite versatile in terms of the mixed terrain they can handle. But hybrid owners were very quickly slapped with the label of "non-serious cyclist", and hybrids became the choice for soccer mom's and grandmas everywhere. Gravel bikes have a lot of the versatility of hybrids and touring bikes, but maintain a level of coolness.
Every area is going to be different, but there are some pretty serious guys crushing gravel around here, retired/current Pro/Cat1 guys, etc.. Cycling is already big here, and the gravel scene is picking up. I'm sure a lot of people will just cruise on their gravel bike, just like a lot of people with Jeeps never get them dirty. When I bought my gravel bike, I made a deal with myself, if I was going to spend the money, I had to ride gravel every week. So far, so good (except for last weekend, because it's in the shop for a caliper replacement).

Personally, I love riding gravel, if I could do it every day, I would. Less traffic, get into nature, can still ride fast and cover a lot of ground.
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Old 08-02-19, 08:39 AM
  #38  
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I've never worried about driver behavior on gravel. My experience is that most people are more friendly and helpful as long as you respect their ability to pass. On logging roads using pull outs and edging right is very common and most folks have a "looking out for each other" mindset. On the prairies people are super friendly and used to slow tractors, combines etc. But one could irritate pretty easy if one rode like the city and refused to yield to the faster car or truck. Instead of arbitrary "rights" it's more pragmatic. Slow vehicle get out of the way and you go along to get along. There is no "taking the lane" on gravel in Canada. If you get that and wave once in a while you're golden
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Old 08-02-19, 09:27 AM
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Gravel new? Hardly! Original gravel bike. We rode these on gravel or we didn't ride.



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Old 08-02-19, 09:53 AM
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Gravel is niche, CX is niche, TT is niche, pretty much everything is niche outside of the two genuinely quantifiable classes, "MTB" and "not MTB." The next big thing is the current big thing: e-bikes. I can see e-bike sales achieving parity with "normal" bike sales within 10 years. Most likely less.

Just 4-5 years ago, seeing an e-bike out on the road was almost an oddity. Now I pretty much see at least one on every ride, and some rides I might only see 5-6 bikes total. The local downhill parks have a whole e-MTB racing division now.
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Old 08-02-19, 11:14 AM
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Originally Posted by TimothyH View Post
How about e-bikepacking?
I might be able to talk my wife in to that if she could plug a hair dryer in to the e-bike.

I realize this may come off as sexist, but "not being able to plug in a hair dryer" is her number one excuse given for not wanting to camp.
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Old 08-02-19, 11:17 AM
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Originally Posted by ev780 View Post
Gravel new? Hardly! Original gravel bike. We rode these on gravel or we didn't ride.



I was in the generation that replaced these with BMX bikes in the early 1980's. I used to jump a blue Schwinn Bantam with chrome fenders off of dirt ramps, and BMX was a huge improvement.
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Old 08-02-19, 11:57 AM
  #43  
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I started riding 24 years ago and spent a fair amount of time on gravel roads. I much prefer pavement, but I also don't spend a lot of time riding on busy streets. Other than scenery, gravel roads don't offer much for me.

About a year ago, I was browsing at a local LBS and the owner asked if I would mind taking an e-bike out for a quick test ride. It was the funnest five minutes I've ever had on a bike. I'll probably get one some day.
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Old 08-02-19, 12:00 PM
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Originally Posted by Lemond1985 View Post
E-Goatbikes. In 2022, the National Park Service finally decides to allow so-called "e-bikes" on trails, but dictates that they need to blend in with the natural environment and appear to be animals, so as not to be as scary to pack horses they might encounter along the the trails.

That's just disturbing.
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Old 08-02-19, 12:01 PM
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My hope - grass track racing. Won't sell a ton of bikes but could be a life changer for many. (I'd love to see inner city kids racing $600 Fuji track bikes on vacant lots. Another Nelson Vails?)

Ben
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Old 08-02-19, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by 79pmooney View Post
My hope - grass track racing. Won't sell a ton of bikes but could be a life changer for many. (I'd love to see inner city kids racing $600 Fuji track bikes on vacant lots. Another Nelson Vails?)

Ben
I'm with Ben. I'd like to see grass track racing take off. The timing for the fad is perfect. All the fixie riding hipsters from the 00s have settled down and started families. You can have adult and kids races together on the local soccer field. Those HED3 trod Langsters will find new life on the grass fields.
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Old 08-02-19, 02:14 PM
  #47  
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Originally Posted by DrIsotope View Post
Gravel is niche, CX is niche, TT is niche, pretty much everything is niche outside of the two genuinely quantifiable classes, "MTB" and "not MTB." The next big thing is the current big thing: e-bikes. I can see e-bike sales achieving parity with "normal" bike sales within 10 years. Most likely less.

Just 4-5 years ago, seeing an e-bike out on the road was almost an oddity. Now I pretty much see at least one on every ride, and some rides I might only see 5-6 bikes total. The local downhill parks have a whole e-MTB racing division now.
I don't see it happening.

E bikes are expensive. I think e bikes are the ultimate niche bike. There will never be enough people interested in them to be the next 'thing.'
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Old 08-02-19, 02:53 PM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
I was in the generation that replaced these with BMX bikes in the early 1980's. I used to jump a blue Schwinn Bantam with chrome fenders off of dirt ramps, and BMX was a huge improvement.
Definitely and the forefather of the modern mountain bike! But we were fearless in our day! No helmets, forever picking gravel out of our hands, skin regeneration constantly and even an occasional cast or sling. I graduated into road biking with a Monkey Ward steel clunker. Even rode that on the gravel a fair amount.

Ahhhhhh country living!
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Old 08-02-19, 02:59 PM
  #49  
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This thread prompted me to look at some e-gravel bikes.

The Lynsky GR 270-e is expensive and ugly.



The Donnely G//C looks nice!


The Look E765 is pretty sweet as well.
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Old 08-02-19, 03:04 PM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by Abe_Froman View Post
I don't see it happening.

E bikes are expensive. I think e bikes are the ultimate niche bike. There will never be enough people interested in them to be the next 'thing.'
2018 bike sales in Germany . . . 23.5% of all bike sales were e-bikes. 980,000 e-bikes sold in 2018 in Germany alone.

https://www.bike-eu.com/sales-trends...833.1564779717
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