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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 : "Unbound Gravel". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

This Is Gravel; This Is Not

Old 04-01-21, 06:22 PM
  #26  
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I suppose that the next topic will be how most people don't actually ride in the mountains on their mountain bike.
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Old 04-02-21, 01:35 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I don't see why cyclocross has to be in the name either.
Just a few years ago recreational cyclocross made sense. Gravel bikes were not commonplace neither was the term "gravel" so non competitive cyclocross made sense. Bike marketing has really attached to gravel and for better or worse it seems that it is here to stay.
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Old 04-02-21, 09:16 AM
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Was non-competitive cyclocross really something that people did? Everyone I know that had a cross bike and didn't race just used it as a commuter or a road bike.

The forest roads around here are graveled every few years, so it make sense to call them gravel roads. I suppose if you live in a place where roads like that see no maintenance you might not see it that way.
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Old 04-02-21, 11:46 AM
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Hey, in my world gravel ranges from chipseal to single track. Basically anywhere I want to take a drop bar bike that I can't take a road bike (with >30mm tires).

Heck, our gravel* here is often smoother than our patched asphalt.

(*we use a lot of chloride to keep the dust down).
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Old 04-02-21, 08:25 PM
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Is that why Michigan gravel is white?

There is a gravel road near here that has lots of potholes. I'm not sure what the difference is in construction that makes that happen, but the potholed road has more residences on it than most gravel roads in this area.
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Old 04-03-21, 08:03 AM
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Originally Posted by chas58 View Post
Hey, in my world gravel ranges from chipseal to single track. Basically anywhere I want to take a drop bar bike that I can't take a road bike (with >30mm tires).

Heck, our gravel* here is often smoother than our patched asphalt.

(*we use a lot of chloride to keep the dust down).
What part of Michigan are you in?
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Old 04-03-21, 09:33 AM
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This wasnít always the gravel subforum. When I started here I think it was called recreational cyclocross. There had just been some kind of a proto-gravel dispute about racing versus not racing and a schism. If you click the ďlastď button on the page listing for the sub forum, you will find lots and lots of pure cyclocross stuff from 20 years ago.
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Old 04-03-21, 12:03 PM
  #33  
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Originally Posted by Helldorado View Post
Go back to bed.
Its a rehashed topic that really is brought up every 3 or so months and many times the thread is debated ad naus.

Someone decides to take issue with the term or that their type of gravel is real while others ride lesser/easier/fake gravel.
Our need to categorize and justify is everywhere in life so it's naturally in this hobby too.

Both your pictures are gravel. Neither of your pictures are gravel.
It doesn't matter.
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Old 04-03-21, 12:32 PM
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Originally Posted by Darth Lefty View Post
This wasn’t always the gravel subforum.
That is correct, but the admins decided to put all the racing forums together and that left this one for non-racing cyclocross, whatever that is. That happened at about the same time as gravel started becoming very popular, so I asked for the name change. Which I didn't actually like, but it gets the point across.

Looking back to the beginning, almost all the topics are about racing. But I didn't explore too far.

Last edited by unterhausen; 04-03-21 at 12:35 PM.
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Old 04-03-21, 01:24 PM
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Originally Posted by cb400bill View Post
What part of Michigan are you in?
North Oakland County (and surrounding counties - Metro Detroit). Lots of gravel roads, and lots of Chloride around here - don't want to be riding your bike after a chloride treatment without a good washing afterwards (Stuff doesn't taste too good either - kinda salty). But when its dry, the "gravel" here is often smoother than the chip seal around it.
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Old 04-06-21, 09:36 AM
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Once again, Russ sums up this discussion nicely;
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Old 04-06-21, 10:06 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
That is correct, but the admins decided to put all the racing forums together and that left this one for non-racing cyclocross, whatever that is.
I do this a lot around here along the rivers. Riding single track on my gravel bike, and before that rigid hybrid. It's flat* and good black dirt, of course roots are a bummer. It's why I haven't upgraded past my xc mtb to full sus, you just don't need it. But with a full sus you can go absolutely bonkers fast! It's a lot of fun to flow and really focus on your lines.

*Within reason, yeah there are a few stingers but no worries about bombing around a corner into a rock garden.
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Old 04-06-21, 10:45 AM
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Originally Posted by bOsscO View Post
Once again, Russ sums up this discussion nicely;
https://youtu.be/EqO4SAeUBxE
That was good, I hate 'grav grav' and 'groadie' but will start to incorporate 'partypace' and 'thicc' into my vocab. Especially 'thicc', that's the perfect word for fresh gravel 3/4" minus crushed limestone with fines aka class A roadstone.
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Old 04-06-21, 10:55 AM
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Originally Posted by GrainBrain View Post
That was good, I hate 'grav grav' and 'groadie' but will start to incorporate 'partypace' and 'thicc' into my vocab. Especially 'thicc', that's the perfect word for fresh gravel 3/4" minus crushed limestone with fines aka class A roadstone.
Yeah I like 'Hero Gravel' and will start using that.
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Old 04-06-21, 11:46 AM
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My buddy and I were just talking about this cyclocross vs. gravel thing today. We both agree, adamantly, that a traditional cx bike doesn't make the best gravel bike. BB is too high, steering is too quick, tire clearance can be lacking. The modern gravel bike is much better on actual gravel/dirt roads, at least around here.
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Old 04-07-21, 03:54 AM
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Originally Posted by GrainBrain View Post
I do this a lot around here along the rivers. Riding single track on my gravel bike, and before that rigid hybrid. It's flat* and good black dirt, of course roots are a bummer. It's why I haven't upgraded past my xc mtb to full sus, you just don't need it. But with a full sus you can go absolutely bonkers fast! It's a lot of fun to flow and really focus on your lines.

*Within reason, yeah there are a few stingers but no worries about bombing around a corner into a rock garden.
Iíve always gravitated to thinking that the riding I do on my gravel bike is recreational cx. Although I donít shoulder the bike, or jump barriers, a 1-2hr loop I do frequently has sharp ups and downs, lots of turns, actual dirt, some grass, and crushed gravel. Itís a far cry from riding on long stretches of gravel roads where there are houses, fields, and occasional cars. My bike model is CX-G so thatís perfect!
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Old 04-07-21, 04:13 AM
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Originally Posted by bOsscO View Post
Belgian gravel;
Actual Belgian gravel. 😉 Though the cobbles here are their own special kind of surface. Best negotiated as fast as possible and generally uphill.
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Old 04-07-21, 04:22 AM
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Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
Those Belgian cobblestones were far better than getting stuck in the mud. I'm sure it was an upgrade from log roads (corduroy roads).
Fact.

And the reason many of them are still in existence today is a combination of heritage/tradition and being cheaper to maintain the cobbles than to lay an asphalt ribbon that will need to be rebuilt about every 4-5 years. For example, Moskestraat in the town of Overijse was rebuilt this winter (in anticipation of the 2021 Road Racing World Championships this September) in order to fix the stones that had "sunken" and to give in an "even" surface, by taking out each stone, fixing the bed and relaying them. The only costs to this work were some new sand/gravel for the bed and labor. I went up it on Monday, and it was a muddy/gritty mess in the rain, properly cobbled and a lot of gravel on the surface.
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Old 04-07-21, 09:35 AM
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
Fact.

And the reason many of them are still in existence today is a combination of heritage/tradition and being cheaper to maintain the cobbles than to lay an asphalt ribbon that will need to be rebuilt about every 4-5 years. For example, Moskestraat in the town of Overijse was rebuilt this winter (in anticipation of the 2021 Road Racing World Championships this September) in order to fix the stones that had "sunken" and to give in an "even" surface, by taking out each stone, fixing the bed and relaying them. The only costs to this work were some new sand/gravel for the bed and labor. I went up it on Monday, and it was a muddy/gritty mess in the rain, properly cobbled and a lot of gravel on the surface.
Man I'd love to visit Belgium again (post COVID-19 when travel is allowed) and do a 2-week bike and brewery tour. Do you think mid-September would be the best time weather wise?
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Old 04-07-21, 11:47 AM
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Originally Posted by bOsscO View Post
Man I'd love to visit Belgium again (post COVID-19 when travel is allowed) and do a 2-week bike and brewery tour. Do you think mid-September would be the best time weather wise?
I've only been here since last July, but in my experience it doesn't matter when you come, it will rain and will be windy (to some degree). The question is the temps. Use as your planning factors the traditional school holidays, that seems to drive adult holidays, and what's open in terms of bike shops (critical if something happens on a bike tour). My kids go to an American school so I am not tuned to the full holiday schedule, other than summer holidays (last week of June to the third week of August) and winter break (last two weeks of December and first week of January). I think mid-September would be a good time. Kids have returned to school and they are still over a month from fall break, so hotels and restaurants won't be crowded, or impossible to make reservations in. Right now ALL leisure travel is prohibited, but 18 April the government will reevaluate, and I think things will begin to open as vaccination rates increase...keep m in the back of you mind, I'm happy to provide the most current info.
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Old 07-31-21, 10:18 PM
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I remember watching Sean Kelly VHS cobblestone race movies. Do they use gravel tires now in those races?

Originally Posted by bOsscO View Post
Belgian gravel;
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Old 07-31-21, 11:55 PM
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Originally Posted by gios View Post
I remember watching Sean Kelly VHS cobblestone race movies. Do they use gravel tires now in those races?
Maybe?

The most common tires for the cobbled classics are 30 or 32mm wide tubular or tubeless, always slick tread, usually aired down around 5 bar (~70psi). Remember, those races feature cobbled sections, with most of the race being on tarmac. Hence the choice of tires. We do use proper gravel tires for gravel races, yesterday I was on 37s for 130km race in Hageland that consisted of about 70km gravel that was a mixture of muddy dirt path, single track, double track, and a lot of sand and loose gravel. There were a fair amount of cobbles tooÖbut on 37s at 38psi, they were no worse than any other surface.
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Old 08-01-21, 06:00 AM
  #48  
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Originally Posted by gios View Post
I remember watching Sean Kelly VHS cobblestone race movies. Do they use gravel tires now in those races?
Oh man that has bust my azz written all over it.
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Old 08-03-21, 08:41 AM
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I refer to literally any trail I can ride my road bike on (read gravel bike) as a gravel ride. This goes from actual gravel to single track. Sue me lol
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Old 08-04-21, 12:46 PM
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ok, thanks for the lesson. please make sure only to ride your mountain bike on literal mountains.

"A mountain is an elevated portion of the Earth's crust, generally with steep sides that show significant exposed bedrock. A mountain differs from a plateau in having a limited summit area, and is larger than a hill, typically rising at least 300 metres (1000 feet) above the surrounding land." - Wikipedia
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