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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.

is heavier better on gravel?

Old 09-09-23, 10:41 PM
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is heavier better on gravel?

Meaning , heavier frame, heavier bikes in general.

Do heavier bikes get bounced around less. Thus more efficient by keeping the rubber on the surface. Huge advantage in supple tires.

I do understand that in a real world it's not all flat and not all gravel is the same.

Just something I thought about. Based on having an interest in 2 bikes that are similar yet in two total differnt worlds. Kona Unit X for the Utility side.
And, carbon Scalpel HardTail with a normal fork. And no bs aiOffset. It would definitely make the climbs enjoyable!

Both bikes land between my RLT9 and my Trance 29er. Which is exploring bike, commuter ish bike, camp bike, gravel bike for when its too rough for skinny 40s but not yet in trance territory. I'm also finding it much more fun to explore towns on flat bar.

I've never ridden steel on gravel. I'm curious though on the Unit x
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Old 09-09-23, 11:27 PM
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I only notice heavier bikes being better on descents. I'm not talking about the heavier weight being slightly faster due to gravity; heavier bikes tended to feel more planted to me and better able to plow through technical sections going downhill. On flat terrain this is a wash because being heavier and more planted is offset by the lack of responsiveness.
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Old 09-10-23, 03:58 AM
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My last two bikes were about the same weight. Former was cx geometry, it was suspect on loose descents. Current bike is slack/mtb-like geometry and itís a night-and-day improvement. Weight may be one factor, but I would think geometry is more important.
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Old 09-10-23, 09:35 AM
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No heavier just rides like a truck. My gravel/easy dirt trail bike had been my lugged steel tourer, with no racks, gravel tires, etc…. It weighed 26 lbs stripped down and was a beast to ride, especially up hills. I added a C-Dale Topstone to the stable in ‘19, much lighter aluminum, lighter wheels, wider tires that I could run at lower pressure. 22 lbs, was a really good ride on gravel/easy dirt trails.
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Old 09-10-23, 09:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Metieval
Meaning , heavier frame, heavier bikes in general.

Do heavier bikes get bounced around less. Thus more efficient by keeping the rubber on the surface. Huge advantage in supple tires.

I do understand that in a real world it's not all flat and not all gravel is the same.

Just something I thought about. Based on having an interest in 2 bikes that are similar yet in two total differnt worlds. Kona Unit X for the Utility side.
And, carbon Scalpel HardTail with a normal fork. And no bs aiOffset. It would definitely make the climbs enjoyable!

Both bikes land between my RLT9 and my Trance 29er. Which is exploring bike, commuter ish bike, camp bike, gravel bike for when its too rough for skinny 40s but not yet in trance territory. I'm also finding it much more fun to explore towns on flat bar.

I've never ridden steel on gravel. I'm curious though on the Unit x
I recently swapped my 1x gravel bike components from a heavier alloy frame to a carbon frame. I went from 20.5 lbs. to 18.5 lbs. with the same components. Honestly I prefer the weight reduction especially on the climbs and I haven't noticed any issues on rough trails. If anything the carbon frame feels much more dampened in general. I don't really think weight is as much of an issue compared to frame material.
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Old 09-10-23, 06:41 PM
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Yeah, OP is onto something here.
It's why I ride 15# over ideal weight, so I can have a better ride on gravel. Yep, that's it. That's why I don't lose weight!


A heavier bike isn't better on gravel compared to a lighter bike. A heavier bike is just heavier.
I could cut 3# off my bike if I swapped my stout 853 steel frame for a light carbon frame, swapped wheels for some lighter carbon wheels, and got a lighter saddle.
My bike doesn't ride better now than a bike that's 3# lighter.
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Old 09-10-23, 08:36 PM
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Originally Posted by Metieval
Do heavier bikes get bounced around less.
Not really. Most of what the rider has to deal with it stuff that's low-frequency for the tires to filter out, so heavier just means more mass for you to wrangle.

It's often worth paying a price in weight for something, but the weight generally isn't a benefit in its own right.
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Old 09-13-23, 05:12 PM
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My gravel bike isn't heavy enough to avoid being thrown around, so I gained weight to compensate.

But really, it's not going to help.
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