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Gravel grinding

Old 07-19-18, 06:09 PM
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Gravel grinding

All of a sudden gravel grinding seems to be all the rage. But not for me. From the 3rd grad to the 9th when I lived on the farm, riding my bike to school on gravel roads gave me all the gravel grinding I wanted for a life time. Give me a nice clean smooth black top any day.
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Old 07-19-18, 06:24 PM
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Is grave grinding something goths do at a goth rave?
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Old 07-19-18, 06:28 PM
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Old 07-19-18, 06:34 PM
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Originally Posted by Steamer View Post
Is grave grinding something goths do at a goth rave?
Yep. It was a big thing in the 90s and early 2000s.
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Old 07-19-18, 06:45 PM
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I just don't get the gravel grinding mindset. Is it roadies that want to go faster than off-roading allows so they ride faster on gravel roads? Or, is it mountain bikers that have had enough of the same old trails and need to expand their horizons? Perhaps it is the hipsters wanting to get back to the roots of cycling and deep down want to ride the sensible bikes of their ancestors.

Why are there "special" dedicated bikes for this? How about a mountain bike with narrower tires, or is that just too logical? Or, a touring bike with 37mm tires? Or, just a good ol' mountain bike?
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Old 07-19-18, 06:52 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
I just don't get the gravel grinding mindset. Is it roadies that want to go faster than off-roading allows so they ride faster on gravel roads? Or, is it mountain bikers that have had enough of the same old trails and need to expand their horizons? Perhaps it is the hipsters wanting to get back to the roots of cycling and deep down want to ride the sensible bikes of their ancestors.

Why are there "special" dedicated bikes for this? How about a mountain bike with narrower tires, or is that just too logical? Or, a touring bike with 37mm tires? Or, just a good ol' mountain bike?
A mature industry has to create demand or it is no longer profitable. Read John Kenneth Galbraith's The New Industrial State as a starting point.

Though I do agree with your point, really. I bought a pretty versatile bike so that I could ride pavement, dirt, and gravel all in the same ride. And if I slapped fenders and a rack on it, it would make a great commuter. Not much need for a special bike for riding on gravel roads.
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Old 07-19-18, 07:02 PM
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Originally Posted by rydabent View Post
All of a sudden gravel grinding seems to be all the rage. But not for me. From the 3rd grad to the 9th when I lived on the farm, riding my bike to school on gravel roads gave me all the gravel grinding I wanted for a life time. Give me a nice clean smooth black top any day.
LOL...you're in the wrong city in the wrong state to get that for more than an instant.

I commute on my gravel/touring bike with 40mm tires because the streets are crap. And the roads generally aren't much better. Of course, when he don't get 0.5" to 1.5" of rain, I'd rather take the rails-trails system as the joggers-with-earbuds volume is much lower on those sections of trail than the urban paved sections.

Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
I just don't get the gravel grinding mindset.
Few drivers, generally. Going slower, generally. Giving you more room, generally. Also in the Great Plains your options for paved roads are few and far between...probably 10:1 miles of unpaved road versus paved road, at a guess. Roads everywhere are falling apart so much governments state and federal have ceased even counting miles of unpaved road AFAIK.


I know a guy locally who refuses to ride on anything other than paved highways with full-width paved shoulders....which means he has 5 roads he can ride on in his entire county.
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Old 07-19-18, 07:07 PM
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I ride Rural paved roads the most.
If I specifically go seek out gravel I usually take my 29er hardtail MTB, as there will be single track involved.

however infrastructure is in decline, paved roads are getting worse. and in many places gravel roads are prevalent.

For me personally, I'd call it more of an allroad bike rather than calling it a gravel bike. as my purpose is to have a bike with fenders that isn't restricted to paved roads. A road bike with 700x38 tires. Fenders , because i love to ride in the rain, but I hate riding on wet roads that are mixed with spilled chemicals, spit, poop, piss, beer, soda, whatever else i see humans dumping on the road with zero respect for anyone else in this world.


I probably missed a few, but.... you get the idea. right tool for the job. I am just glad we have options.
trikes
city bikes
hybrids/fitness
comfort
cruiser
road race
road endurance
gravel
XC
cyclocross
all mountain
fat bike
folding
touring
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Old 07-19-18, 07:09 PM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
I just don't get the gravel grinding mindset. Is it roadies that want to go faster than off-roading allows so they ride faster on gravel roads? Or, is it mountain bikers that have had enough of the same old trails and need to expand their horizons? Perhaps it is the hipsters wanting to get back to the roots of cycling and deep down want to ride the sensible bikes of their ancestors.

Why are there "special" dedicated bikes for this? How about a mountain bike with narrower tires, or is that just too logical? Or, a touring bike with 37mm tires? Or, just a good ol' mountain bike?
For me, the appeal is that I'm a roadie and I live in an area with a lot of gravel and minimum maintenance roads. Gravel grinding means that I get more roads to ride on and more areas to explore by bike. It also makes me a better and stronger road rider: grinding up some stupid 16% grade on gravel is hard compared to a 10% paved hill, and some of the technical skills one learns from gravel (skills which MTBers have, but I lack) make me more confident on paved roads.

My reason for a dedicated bike is that I don't need the suspension found on a modern MTB, which adds additional weight for the price point, and I cannot see myself comfortably riding 60-100 miles with flat bars (though I know people who have done this, just my preference.) An oldschool hardtail MTB with drop bars would be fine. Ditto for a touring bike, minus the racks and all that jazz. Heck, we've had fat bikes show up to gravel rides. But, since I didn't own an oldschool MTB or touring bike or fat bike, and wanted to ride gravel, a gravel bike seemed like the appropriate choice.
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Old 07-19-18, 07:16 PM
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Originally Posted by Marcus_Ti View Post
I know a guy locally who refuses to ride on anything other than paved highways with full-width paved shoulders....which means he has 5 roads he can ride on in his entire county.
Sounds about right. I came up with 4 for my county and the three other counties I usually ride in
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Old 07-20-18, 06:07 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
Or, is it mountain bikers that have had enough of the same old trails and need to expand their horizons?
That's part of it for me, tbh. Add to it that some days I don't want the isolation of singletrack. Gravel keeps me a little more connected to civilization.

Last edited by JonathanGennick; 07-20-18 at 06:20 AM.
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Old 07-20-18, 06:15 AM
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Depends on where you are, I think. In some places it's pretty damn hard to find 100 miles of smooth blacktop that isn't (A) a high-traffic small-shoulder highway or (B) stretches 2-3 miles long that are connected by 5-8 mile long stretches of gravel.

I like it, because the idea of a bike with narrow tires that sinks in to soft earth isn't appealing at all. I like the occasional grassy detour, and I won't ever stop and unclip for a large patch of gravel.

I guess if you really want perfectly smooth riding you can always set up a Zwift rig.
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Old 07-20-18, 06:27 AM
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Hi, what's this thread about?
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Old 07-20-18, 06:33 AM
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
Hi, what's this thread about?
Why gravel bikes are rad when hybrids aren't.

I think it's pretty simple, though - a big ugly comfort seat and skinny-leg cheap suspension fork with upright riser bars doesn't look cool.

I think this is pretty all right, though, and Trek still puts it in their hybrid category:
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Old 07-20-18, 07:30 AM
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The worst part about unpaved roads is the scenery.






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Old 07-20-18, 08:18 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
The worst part about unpaved roads is the scenery.
So gross. Where are the shoulders on 4-lane roads with a bunch of debris?
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Old 07-20-18, 08:26 AM
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Originally Posted by ksryder View Post
Hi, what's this thread about?
Pretty sure it's someone who felt the need to ask the all important rhetorical question:

"Hey, what's up with people who choose something I don't?"
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Old 07-20-18, 08:33 AM
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Most of the paved roads in Michigan are like going off road anyway. Even dirt roads have huge potholes.
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Old 07-20-18, 08:36 AM
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
I just don't get the gravel grinding mindset. Is it roadies that want to go faster than off-roading allows so they ride faster on gravel roads? Or, is it mountain bikers that have had enough of the same old trails and need to expand their horizons? Perhaps it is the hipsters wanting to get back to the roots of cycling and deep down want to ride the sensible bikes of their ancestors.

Why are there "special" dedicated bikes for this? How about a mountain bike with narrower tires, or is that just too logical? Or, a touring bike with 37mm tires? Or, just a good ol' mountain bike?
I can't speak for anyone else, but for me it's because I live in a rural area with lots of gravel roads, and only a few paved routes to ride out of town, one of them being a major highway. So having a gravel bike with wider tires opens up the avenues I can ride.
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Old 07-20-18, 08:42 AM
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Originally Posted by indyfabz View Post
Is that the Windows XP default background?
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Old 07-20-18, 08:44 AM
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Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
Pretty sure it's someone who felt the need to ask the all important rhetorical question:

"Hey, what's up with people who choose something I don't?"
If that didn't happen, BF would likely cease to exist. Remember the one recently, "Why do some riders not wear gloves?"
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Old 07-20-18, 08:49 AM
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I rode half a mile of like this with 28c tire...and I swore I never want anything to do with gravel again.

Last edited by mtb_addict; 07-20-18 at 09:37 AM.
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Old 07-20-18, 09:04 AM
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Originally Posted by Milton Keynes View Post
Is that the Windows XP default background?
Melrose-Twin Bridges Country Road (a/k/a Melrose Bench Road) in Montana. Beautiful road with free range cattle in some areas. Have ridden it three times. Never gets old. You usually cannot hear any man-made sounds. Just the wind through the grasses, the buzzing of insects and the calls of birds. But don't be fooled by that shot. It has some very steep ups and downs and serious washboard in places.
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Old 07-20-18, 09:04 AM
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^^ That's rocks, not gravel.

That stuff will slice the sidewall of any decent gravel tire pretty quickly. I'd ride the dirt on the side of the road even with 40's.

I'd carry the bike if I had 28's.
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Old 07-20-18, 09:07 AM
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Originally Posted by mtb_addict View Post
I rode half a mile of this with 28c tire...and I swore I never want anything to do with gravel again.
I am not so sure that I would even want to ride that on a 4.8 fat bike!
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