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Let's Retire the Term "Gravel Grinder"

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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.

Let's Retire the Term "Gravel Grinder"

Old 05-10-22, 07:39 AM
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I did a 71 mile gravel race over the weekend. It was really a grinder!!!
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Old 05-10-22, 07:59 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
I certainly dont correct people when they call it a seat, but I also only ever call it a saddle.
A seat is something you sit in/on. A saddle is something you sit atop. Recumbent has a seat, diamond frame has a saddle. Yeah maybe its largely a distinction without a difference, but still...
And in the name of consistency, you also use the terms saddle stay, saddle post, saddle tube and saddle post binder right?
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Old 05-10-22, 08:21 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard
And in the name of consistency, you also use the terms saddle stay, saddle post, saddle tube and saddle post binder right?
I do not, because they are not called that. I just remember something I learned when I was 9, that language is fascinatingly inconsistent, and move on.
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Old 05-10-22, 08:30 AM
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I'm fin with gravel grinder as it implies a certain amount of physical and mental exhaustion, typically.

I also can't stand when people say "kit". And for that matter, "jersey" is slightly annoying too. It's just a shirt. Maybe it has funny pockets or a zipper, but at the end of the day it's just a shirt. "Gilet"? It's a freakin vest. You don't need that pretentious nonsense.

Another one that's steadily gaining popularity over the last few years that I abhor is "colorway".

And anyone that says "bidon" can GTFO...
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Old 05-10-22, 09:26 AM
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My Brooks B-17 has more in common with a saddle than a seat. For one thing, it's on my steed.
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Old 05-10-22, 09:46 AM
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Originally Posted by Rolla
I guess alliteration is cool, but referring to a bike or an event as a "gravel grinder" just seems so 2010....
That just means its almost time for it to come back around in a retro hip way.
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Old 05-10-22, 09:52 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
I certainly dont correct people when they call it a seat, but I also only ever call it a saddle.
A seat is something you sit in/on. A saddle is something you sit atop. Recumbent has a seat, diamond frame has a saddle. Yeah maybe its largely a distinction without a difference, but still...
Yet no one ever says "I got a new 25.375 mm saddle post" for my sweet *****in' up-country ride.
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Old 05-10-22, 09:53 AM
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Originally Posted by Paul Barnard
And in the name of consistency, you also use the terms saddle stay, saddle post, saddle tube and saddle post binder right?

Sorry. I posted before I read the second page.
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Old 05-10-22, 10:09 AM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
Yet no one ever says "I got a new 25.375 mm saddle post" for my sweet *****in' up-country ride.
Language man, its crazy.

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Old 05-10-22, 10:22 AM
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As gravel roads are roads, I propose we replace the term "gravel grinder" with the term "road."

Lets rename the skinny tire aero scene.
Speed bikes?

Last edited by base2; 05-10-22 at 10:25 AM.
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Old 05-10-22, 11:09 AM
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The word "brifter" really grinds my (gravel) gears. Just call it a shifter or a brake lever. I've never understood why people combine this into one made-up word.

"Kit" has never bothered me. Seems like a fine way to describe the variety of coordinated cycling apparel that one wears. I do find it irritating when someone uses the word "bidon" or other Euro specific terms they likely learned from watching the Tour de France, like "groupetto", "musette", "moto" etc.
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Old 05-10-22, 12:01 PM
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Ha, groupetto does make me laugh since it is almost entirely either Shimano or SRAM at this point which are distinctly not Italian and not even European. Its a group or grouset. Dont try to church it up, Dirt.
Bidon also makes me chuckle, but I thankfully havent actually heard it spoken. If anyone in Iowa were to say it, there would be some dumbfounded stares.
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Old 05-10-22, 12:09 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
Ha, groupetto does make me laugh since it is almost entirely either Shimano or SRAM at this point which are distinctly not Italian and not even European. Its a group or grouset. Dont try to church it up, Dirt.
Bidon also makes me chuckle, but I thankfully havent actually heard it spoken. If anyone in Iowa were to say it, there would be some dumbfounded stares.
I dont think thats a "grupetto".
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Old 05-10-22, 12:23 PM
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Originally Posted by dgodave
I dont think thats a "grupetto".
Ha! Cant multitask. Gruppo/Grouppo is what I meant.
Thanks for seeing that.
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Old 05-10-22, 12:40 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
Ha, groupetto does make me laugh since it is almost entirely either Shimano or SRAM at this point which are distinctly not Italian and not even European. Its a group or grouset. Dont try to church it up, Dirt.
Bidon also makes me chuckle, but I thankfully havent actually heard it spoken. If anyone in Iowa were to say it, there would be some dumbfounded stares.
No such thing as a groupetto perhaps you mean gruppetto? It means 'the laughing group' basically the sprinters and others arriving at the finish just before the time cut. For a component group from any manufacturer it would be gruppo (group) but also Italian fans might also say gruppo to refer to the peloton so depends on the context. Also Italian fans along the road will yell 'Dai! Dai!' which to an English speaker like me sounds like 'Die! Die!' and takes a moment to realize they're saying 'Go! Go!'.

My favorite is some of my Italian friends refer to CO2 cartridges as bomboletti (little bombs)
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Old 05-10-22, 12:56 PM
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Originally Posted by billridesbikes
No such thing as a groupetto perhaps you mean gruppetto? It means 'the laughing group' basically the sprinters and others arriving at the finish just before the time cut.
It's possible that you've just found a way to make this term even more annoying.
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Old 05-10-22, 01:47 PM
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Originally Posted by billridesbikes
No such thing as a groupetto perhaps you mean gruppetto? It means 'the laughing group' basically the sprinters and others arriving at the finish just before the time cut. For a component group from any manufacturer it would be gruppo (group) but also Italian fans might also say gruppo to refer to the peloton so depends on the context. Also Italian fans along the road will yell 'Dai! Dai!' which to an English speaker like me sounds like 'Die! Die!' and takes a moment to realize they're saying 'Go! Go!'.

My favorite is some of my Italian friends refer to CO2 cartridges as bomboletti (little bombs)
Asked and answered, but to say again- I meant Groupo/Grupo/Gruppo/Grouppo. Again, apologies for the confusion as I typed that while sitting on a Teams call and just repeated the term that was used earlier in the thread without thinking.
I have seen it spelled multiple ways, which is why I typed different versions here.
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Old 05-10-22, 02:01 PM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
Asked and answered, but to say again- I meant Groupo/Grupo/Gruppo/Grouppo. Again, apologies for the confusion as I typed that while sitting on a Teams call and just repeated the term that was used earlier in the thread without thinking.
I have seen it spelled multiple ways, which is why I typed different versions here.
I figured you typed out a "wrong" spelling deliberately, since most of the dorks trying to sound cool misspell it anyway: "Hey, check out my new whip! It has a full SRAM groupo!"
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Old 05-10-22, 07:14 PM
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Originally Posted by base2
As gravel roads are roads, I propose we replace the term "gravel grinder" with the term "road."

Lets rename the skinny tire aero scene.
Speed bikes?
This^^^^^

How did niche pavement racing bikes co-opt the all encompassing "road" label? How about Pavement Pushers?

Gravel bikes are just road bikes that don't suck on gravel.
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Old 05-10-22, 07:21 PM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la
The word "brifter" really grinds my (gravel) gears. Just call it a shifter or a brake lever. I've never understood why people combine this into one made-up word.
.
So that you know whether one is describing a brake, a shifter, or a combo brake/shifter.

Hey, that's just a guess.
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Old 05-11-22, 07:00 AM
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Originally Posted by msu2001la
The word "brifter" really grinds my (gravel) gears. Just call it a shifter or a brake lever. I've never understood why people combine this into one made-up word.
Yeah, I figured 'brifter' started back when STI shifters were new to road bikes. Half of a brand's offerings had STI shifting and half had downtube shifting with dedicated brake levers. Why its lasted 30 years?...I guess tradition, but not sure. At this point if someone says 'shifters' the default is they are using levers that both shift and brake. If anyone is using downtube, IGH, or bar ends to shift, the expectation should be that they specify since its so out of the norm.
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Old 05-11-22, 08:15 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
Yeah, I figured 'brifter' started back when STI shifters were new to road bikes. Half of a brand's offerings had STI shifting and half had downtube shifting with dedicated brake levers. Why its lasted 30 years?...I guess tradition, but not sure. At this point if someone says 'shifters' the default is they are using levers that both shift and brake. If anyone is using downtube, IGH, or bar ends to shift, the expectation should be that they specify since its so out of the norm.
Or you can just have a different single-word term for each scenario (shifter, brake lever, shifter/brake combo) and nobody needs to clarify anything. That's the beauty of an expanded vocabulary.
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Old 05-11-22, 08:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta
So that you know whether one is describing a brake, a shifter, or a combo brake/shifter.

Hey, that's just a guess.
If I told someone that I crashed and broke the shifter on my gravel bike, there would be zero confusion about which part I was referring to. Is there really a need to specify that my shifter also functions as a brake lever, or vice versa?

If I told someone that I crashed (while riding in the gruppeto) and broke my Campy gruppo's downtube shifter on my vintage gravel grinder whip, there would still be zero confusion about which part I was referring to.

It's time to retire "brifter", which has always been an awful term.
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Old 05-11-22, 08:18 AM
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"Brifter" persists because it is short, snappy, and generic. Terminology is "sticky" so if anyone wants to retire (dare I say "cancel") a word they don't like, it's on them to come up with something that fulfills those goals even better.
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Old 05-11-22, 08:20 AM
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Originally Posted by Kapusta
Or you can just have a different single-word term for each scenario (shifter, brake lever, shifter/brake combo) and nobody needs to clarify anything. That's the beauty of an expanded vocabulary.
And yet, you've found several words that are actually in the English dictionary that adequately describe this part without needing any additional clarification, all while avoding the temptation to mash them together into a new made-up word....

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