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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.

The naysayers were correct

Old 05-14-24, 10:34 PM
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ignominious poltroon
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The naysayers were correct

There is no significant difference between a gravel bike and cross-country mountain bike.

For about the last 10 years I have been riding my all-road/gravel bike in places where lots of people ride their mountain bikes. Usually I avoid the places frequented by enduro bros, but I am often on the same trails and fire-roads as XC riders.

Last November I got a wheel caught in a rut and went down a bit hard and landed on my hip, which bothered me for a few months.

I got to thinking that maybe I was getting old enough to benefit from some squish and handlebar leverage, and on a rainy January day I picked up a XC full-suspension mountain bike for about $2250 off the list price.

It had been a rainy winter, but the trails I want to ride on were finally dry enough to be opened up by the State Park. So I went for my first "real" ride on the bike a couple of weeks ago.

I fell off at the very same place and hurt my hip again.

So they naysayers were right after all. There really is no fundamental difference.

The end.

Last edited by cb400bill; 05-15-24 at 09:06 AM. Reason: Please, no politics.
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Old 05-15-24, 08:43 AM
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I'm having trouble deciding whether to laugh at your misfortune or to offer my sympathies.

[chuckle]

Do you think additional practice or training might improve your riding through that spot, or just keep you tenderized?
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Old 05-15-24, 08:46 AM
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It definitely sounds like that rut doesn't care what bike you're riding. Hope your hip feels better soon.
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Old 05-15-24, 10:34 AM
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There is also the small problem that I have always sucked at mountain biking.

I had just assumed that the hip issue was psycho-somatic, because my wife got hers replaced at about the same time. The power of suggestion.

As for the repeat, I made the classic mistake of looking where I didn't want to ride rather than where I did. "Hmmm ... I wonder if that is the same place I fell off a few months ago? .... Oh, golly (NSFW synonym redacted), I am becoming horizontal."

The ruts are always worse just after winter rains, before the E-Enduro Bros pound it all into moon dust.

Last edited by Polaris OBark; 05-15-24 at 04:57 PM. Reason: moon dust, not mood dust. I know it is Santa Cruz, but WTF?
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Old 05-15-24, 10:37 AM
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Originally Posted by pdlamb
I'm having trouble deciding whether to laugh at your misfortune or to offer my sympathies.

[chuckle]

Laugh. I have two dogs, so that is where I get sympathy. (They probably just want a wound to lick.)

Do you think additional practice or training might improve your riding through that spot, or just keep you tenderized?
I have always been completely recalcitrant with respect to improvement due to practice. The good news, however, is I landed on the same hip, rather than the drive side, so my SRAM T-type drive train, which I am in no position to benefit from, is still unscathed.
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Old 05-15-24, 10:43 AM
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I hope your gravel/cross country mtb injury feels better soon.
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Old 05-15-24, 01:46 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
I fell off at the very same place and hurt my hip again.

So they naysayers were right after all. There really is no fundamental difference.
This reminds me of the time I bought an old house in the Midwestern US, and then discovered that it had been hit by a tornado about 75 years earlier. "Great," I said. "It's pre-disastered! It'll never get hit by a tornado again!" (My wife, who is also well-schooled in probability theory, gave me a serious eye roll.)

But seriously, heal up soon and repeat the experiment! We need n > 1 for reliable results.
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Old 05-15-24, 04:09 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
There is also the small problem that I have always sucked at mountain biking.
I suspect this is the biggest contributing factor. It turns out, skills matter.

I hope you recover quickly.
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Old 05-15-24, 04:12 PM
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Originally Posted by justin1138
It definitely sounds like that rut doesn't care what bike you're riding. Hope your hip feels better soon.
In my experience, ruts are ruthlessly unprejudiced in that way.
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Old 05-15-24, 04:27 PM
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Dunno, my so- called cross country mt bike, which Specialized calls a “down country” bike, has a flat bar and a 1X shifting system. My Topstone has a an adventure type drop bar and a 2X shifting system, which IMO is preferred on a gravel bike. Thus they are completely different bikes used for different purposes. I *could* ride my down country on dirt roads and wide gravel 2 track, but a flat bar bike is not as comfortable for long rides, the drop bar is much preferred for that kind of riding and the 2x gearing is preferred on the pavement sections. As well, by changing wheels, I can make my gravel bike into a pretty useful road and sport touring bike, something the mt bike won’t do as well. Probably why there is a difference between these types.
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Old 05-15-24, 04:46 PM
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Thanks to all of the well-wishers.

Two points of clarification:

(1) I am making fun of the frequently offered (and in my opinion, inane) suggestion here that someone interested in gravel biking should just get a XC mountain bike.

(2) I am fine (apart from a bruised ego).
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Old 05-15-24, 04:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Polaris OBark
There is also the small problem that I have always sucked at mountain biking.

SNIP
Yeah, I thought I'd be good at mountain biking given all the time I've spent on dirt bikes in all sorts of terrain. Skills aren't really transferable (read: "I suck at mountain bikes too"), and interestingly they scare me.
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Old 05-15-24, 04:48 PM
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The bike is a Cervelo ZFS-5, which is a clone of another Pon bike, the Santa Cruz blur. (They are nearly identical.)

My previous FS bike is a 2008 Trek EX7.
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