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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.

I don't get gravel bikes?

Old 08-20-21, 08:31 AM
  #26  
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I think most people think the marketing and the name are silly, but the bikes and products are right up my alley.
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Old 08-20-21, 08:33 AM
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It has been nine years since the Warbird was launched.
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Old 08-20-21, 08:33 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Gravel riding has evolved into an elitist snob activity.... " .
It has? What kind of snobby friends or groups do you hang with?
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Old 08-20-21, 09:07 AM
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“I hate bike marketing and refuse to buy into it!” LOL. Gotta love the displays of impotent rage around here.
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Old 08-20-21, 09:48 AM
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I'm also a long time road and MTB rider, and have yet to buy into the fad. Although at this point I think it's here to stay. I don't have anything against it either, and I think that it does make a lot of sense for mixed surface rides. Maybe some day, if I get into gravel type racing. Until then, I'm fine riding my MTB on the road to connect trails or get around when there is dirt and pavement involved in my ride.
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Old 08-20-21, 09:49 AM
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Just like with the mountain bikes of the 90’s gravel bikes can now be had with suspension forks. Soon enough they’ll all have dual suspension and another genre will be the new”gravel bike.”
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Old 08-20-21, 10:30 AM
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Gravel riding has evolved into an elitist snob activity which requires taking out a mortgage to finance purchasing all types of special "gravel specific equipment, clothing and items "...It's not about the challenge and enjoyment., it's become a fashion show for the newest " gravel specific trends " .
On the plus side, mortgage rates are still at historic lows, so financing that joyless elitist snob pageantry has never been easier!
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Old 08-20-21, 10:32 AM
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My bicycle progression.

10 years old Raleigh gran prix, up until I got driver license at 16.

Later in life I started with....

Hybrid, with spring fork.
Eventually I needed more than a flat bar. I also needed less than 29 lbs. for the miles I was riding.

Enter road bike. N+1

Man I wish I could go off road.

Sold hybrid, picked up 29er hardtail.

I really miss the better rolling of the hybrid over the 29er on pavement.

Installed 700x 40c on the 29er.
Man this really sucks as a mtb now!

A deal came up for a better hardtail. I kept my 700x40 tires and sold my 29er for another 29er. Hardtail.

Ohhh gravel bikes? What is this? Allroad riding with a drop bar. I'm interested!

N+1 added gravel bike. I now have a road, mtb, and gravel bike.

Gravel bike being lighter than my hybrid, much lighter than mtb. Even with some utility bags and rack. Drop bars for distance. And room for fenders too. yes to riding in rain without splashing farmer crap, people pollution all over me every time I ride in rain. Or getting covered in wet crushed limestone nasty.

Found myself being in FL for 1-2 months without a car. Enter n+1 Bought drop bar singlespeed to ride. It was suppose to be throw away, but after 1,000 miles I loved it so shiped it home.

I really miss the hybrid, n+1 I rebuilt a 90s hybrid.

Mtb was progressing past hardtail, n+1 added full suspension.

I finally sold singlespeed. Being limited to 700x25 was blah. I'd really like another drop bar singlespeed.
Most likely buying gravel bike with a pf30 bb30 and running eccentric bb conversion.

I'd also love to have a drop bar gravel bike with 27.5x2.2

Oh and my Niner RLT9 carbon is good enough. So I sold my Himod supersix.
Didn't really ride the hybrid much due to having a gravel bike, so I gave my built hybrid to my nephew.


People really need to start thinking for themselves. I'm not going to sell anyone/everyone on gravel. I am very thankful some people saw a market for gravel bikes and started producing them. For my bicycling lifestyle gravel bikes are the greatest.
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Old 08-20-21, 01:05 PM
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Originally Posted by TheZip View Post
What am I missing about riding drop bars on gravel? Is it just me or does it just seem like a novelty? It's like it's some new found invention to have clearance for wider tires with a bit of a knob on them... I have a road bike and then I have an older XC Mountain bike. The XC bike has nice knobby tires that rides great on rougher gravely roads and smaller diameter, more efficient tires are just a swap away if needed. It is a rigid frame, so it's very light. The handle bars are wider and more stable, and the gearing goes way lower if things become more of a slog fest. I just can't seem to see where a "gravel bike" would be advantageous.
It might depend on where you live. I'm in rural Michigan and surrounded by literally hundreds of miles of gravel roads as soon as I get out of my driveway. I enjoy the exploration aspect of riding gravel because my options are more limited with road bikes. It has opened up new routes for me and it's lighter and faster than a mountain bike.
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Old 08-20-21, 01:41 PM
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I've been doing a group ride with mixed bikes here in LA for the past month. The gravel bikes seem to be the most well-rounded when it comes to unpredictable city streets. Frames are more durable, gearing is well suited for hill climbs + flats and wider tires absorb bumps and potholes like it's nothing. Plus where I live, I can ride the bike lanes straight into the MTB trails and then back onto the road.
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Old 08-20-21, 08:02 PM
  #36  
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Originally Posted by marty.rheaume View Post
It might depend on where you live. I'm in rural Michigan and surrounded by literally hundreds of miles of gravel roads as soon as I get out of my driveway. I enjoy the exploration aspect of riding gravel because my options are more limited with road bikes. It has opened up new routes for me and it's lighter and faster than a mountain bike.
My brother used to live near Ypsilanti and his house was surrounded by gravel roads. They looked great, a lot like strada biancha in Italy. I think a gravel bike would be perfect on those roads. Sure, they were smooth enough to underbike on a road bike, but why? If I were to get rid of all my bikes except one, the gravel bike would be the winner.
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Old 08-21-21, 06:44 AM
  #37  
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Originally Posted by TheZip View Post
What am I missing about riding drop bars on gravel? Is it just me or does it just seem like a novelty? It's like it's some new found invention to have clearance for wider tires with a bit of a knob on them... I have a road bike and then I have an older XC Mountain bike. The XC bike has nice knobby tires that rides great on rougher gravely roads and smaller diameter, more efficient tires are just a swap away if needed. It is a rigid frame, so it's very light. The handle bars are wider and more stable, and the gearing goes way lower if things become more of a slog fest. I just can't seem to see where a "gravel bike" would be advantageous.
What I donít understand is why own a Road bike and an XC MTB when one bike can do all of what you describe
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Old 08-21-21, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
What I donít understand is why own a Road bike and an XC MTB when one bike can do all of what you describe
Having owned all 3. I can see why someone would want a dedicated road bike. However I did sell my road bike. I just dont ride like that anymore.

On that note if I have a high-end XC mtb , why would I ever want a mid travel trail bike? Or likewise if I bought a mid travel trail bike, why keep my XC bike?

Same reason I have 4 different sized ball peen hammers, 3 different claw hammers, several sized mini sledge, a dead blow hammer, a leather mallet, a brass hammer. A rubber tipped hammer.
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Old 08-21-21, 08:49 AM
  #39  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
What I donít understand is why own a Road bike and an XC MTB when one bike can do all of what you describe
Because bikes are fun.
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Old 08-21-21, 09:39 AM
  #40  
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I think XC mountain bike sales are in the tank compared to trail bikes and e-bikes. XC was the frame of reference for the average MTB twenty years ago when suspension sucked. But lately the long-low-slack full suspension bikes with dropper posts have clearly been a lot more popular.
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Old 08-21-21, 09:51 AM
  #41  
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Originally Posted by TheZip View Post
...I just can't seem to see where a "gravel bike" would be advantageous.
Oh Look! There's a new mountain bike. Oh? No... It's a Gravel Bike. Oh.. But it's got straight bars. Yes... But it has no suspension... Wow... I want one. Please Mamma, can I have this bike?



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Old 08-21-21, 10:22 AM
  #42  
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Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
Having owned all 3. I can see why someone would want a dedicated road bike. However I did sell my road bike. I just dont ride like that anymore.

On that note if I have a high-end XC mtb , why would I ever want a mid travel trail bike? Or likewise if I bought a mid travel trail bike, why keep my XC bike?

Same reason I have 4 different sized ball peen hammers, 3 different claw hammers, several sized mini sledge, a dead blow hammer, a leather mallet, a brass hammer. A rubber tipped hammer.
I know you and many others in this thread are focused on whether or not to ADD a bike to the OPs quiver. That is fine, but I am talking about something else. My point is that I would rather have one gravel bike than a Road bike and XC MTB just to cover the same riding.

But sure, no harm in having all three. However, like you, I sold my “Road” bike after getting a gravel bike. In my experience, Gravel bikes are just Road bikes that don’t suck on unpaved roads.

To use your hammer analogy:

I also have a wide variety of hammers in my shop. And when working on a project in the shop, I have all my hammers readily available, so it is great to have a bunch of specialty hammers. But if I had to go to a job site with only one hammer, it is going to need to be the most versatile one (usually it was a 16 oz rip hammer hanging from my belt).

When I go riding, or on a trip with my bike, I just have ONE bike with me. Why should one (like the OP) have to choose between one that either sucks on gravel (road bike) or sucks on pavement (XC MTB).

Back to the hammers..... The OP has a mini sledge and a tack hammer, trying to understand why someone would want a 16 oz hammer. What I am saying is that I would rather have a single 16oz hammer than the two the OP has if I had to choose.

But sure, all three would be even better.

To be honest, I find both bike pavement (Road) bikes and modern XC MTBs to be rather niche bikes. That’s fine if they are part of a larger quiver, but as a quiver of 2, I think a gravel bike and mid-travel trail bike (MTB) is far more useful.

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Old 08-21-21, 10:52 AM
  #43  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post

To be honest, I find both bike pavement (Road) bikes and modern XC MTBs to be rather niche bikes. Thatís fine if they are part of a larger quiver, but as a quiver of 2, I think a gravel bike and mid-travel trail bike (MTB) is far more useful.
True.

I am just glad we have choices. I sold my road bike because geographic change. Given that I ever end up in a geographic area with nice paved roads, I'll probably buy another road bike.
There is just something fun about riding a 16-17 pound bicycle.

My road bike was mixed tech though. A 2017 with QR rear and thru axle front. It also made sense to sell it while the market was hot 🔥.

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Old 08-21-21, 03:21 PM
  #44  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
I love riding gravel roads, it's actually my favorite form of riding besides mountain biking, what I dislike is all the marketing BS associated with this particular activity....Lack of experience ???....I converted two of my rigid forked MTBs to drop bars and started riding gravel way back in 2009, long before it became trendy. It's 2021 now so that gives me 11 years of experience of riding gravel and I know exactly what I need....I refuse to buy into all the marketing BS that's out there.
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Old 08-21-21, 04:00 PM
  #45  
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I've often wondered about gravel riding. I know as a kid I never liked riding unpaved roads and when I got my first "ten speed" it seemed to hate being ridden off of the pavement. I've seen posts on FB and Strava organizing gravel rides in my area andI don't know where they are riding, but the idea of it with the roads we have here make me think I'd be eating dust every time a truck went by. I'd say the majority of gravel roads we have a crushed limestone and most of it is more rock than gravel. Any opinion or understanding of gravel riding I have came from this limited world view of it.

But I've seen many pictures of gravel riding where I think gravel riding would be a great experience. Hard packed gravel with beautiful scenery would be in many cases a better alternative to some of the heavily traveled roads I ride hoping that I am visible to motorists. I'm certainly interested in trying it and categorize this as something to not knock unless I've tried it. I should have tried it before I replaced my original Bontrager 32s with Continental GP5K 25s. The 25s don't look like they would like it at all. I have a couple of steel bikes and one of them has some Paselas with some tread I have thought about trying.
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Old 08-21-21, 06:14 PM
  #46  
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I have never had too much trouble with dust, even when there are more vehicles than I want, like last spring when everybody discovered hiking

In a motor vehicle, you keep up with the vehicle that's making the dust, so you get to experience it for a long time.

I don't know what to say to someone that doesn't have a bike they can ride on gravel. It's a big expense for something you might not like. I used my road bike with the biggest tires it would take at first, 30mm or something. Then converted to a different old bike before finally getting a dedicated gravel bike.
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Old 08-21-21, 09:26 PM
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I donít get unicycles, rollerblades, the Renaissance Fair, or smoked meat.

I donít waste my time getting on their forums telling them my opinions about it.
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Old 08-22-21, 02:09 AM
  #48  
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I've never had the desire to ride a loose gravel road or even understood the attraction of it. But I'm older and realize each generation has their "thing" and that's cool. My generation came out with the MTB and the older guys thought it was stupid. As long as you're riding and not shooting up heroin.
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Old 08-22-21, 03:22 AM
  #49  
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Originally Posted by TheZip View Post
................................. I just can't seem to see where a "gravel bike" would be advantageous.
Neither do I! When the neighbour across the street told me that his is a "gravel bike" with 2x11 gearing, I had to "google" it.
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Old 08-22-21, 03:40 AM
  #50  
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Originally Posted by rosefarts View Post
I donít get unicycles, rollerblades, the Renaissance Fair, or smoked meat.

I donít waste my time getting on their forums telling them my opinions about it.
I was born in Montreal, where they do a nice smoked meat. Give it a try and I promise youíll be on their forums asking about how lean (think tire size) and type of bread, mustard, or not at all
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