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BQ article Rethinking the Gravel Bike

Old 04-17-21, 09:36 AM
  #51  
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Originally Posted by guachi View Post
Came to say "hybrid bike with drop bars" but I see that's already been taken.

Gravel bikes remind me of my old Bianchi Boardwalk but with drop bars. A very good general purpose bike. It's one reason I am getting a 2021 Domane and getting an extra set of wheels.
I ride my Infinito endurance bike on gravel regularly *rail/trail conversions’. Probably 90% road and 10% trail. For serious single track downhill riding its my Trek mtn bike all the way.


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Old 04-17-21, 11:27 AM
  #52  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
“Hybrid” is quite possibly the most useless and vague cycle-related term ever coined.

The sooner things get labeled more usefully, the better.
Call it a "flat bar gravel bike."
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Old 04-17-21, 11:36 AM
  #53  
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Originally Posted by Gresp15C View Post
Call it a "flat bar gravel bike."
Ha! Good one.

But seriously that is actually a useful term that describes a particular TYPE of hybrid.

Problem with the term “Hybrid” is that in includes everything from lightweight flat bar road bikes with 25c tires to borderline rigid mtbs, to comfort bikes.
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Old 04-17-21, 11:52 AM
  #54  
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Originally Posted by tyrion View Post
We can still argue about it.
In that spirit, I'm going to unequivocally state that the article is completely wrong -- every single word of it.
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Old 04-17-21, 01:51 PM
  #55  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
You can confirm that it isn't necessarily true that I could see the appeal of an mtb width tire if someone uses their gravel bike for singletrack?
That doesn't make sense. Not sure how that can be confirmed.
Poor attempt at some snarky humor. I said not necessarily true because in my case I regularly ride a few non-technical single track trails near my house here in Belgium on 700cx38mm. There's been a couple of moments I wished I had 650bx2.1", but that desire quickly passes. I can definitely see the appeal, I just don't personally see the need...unless one wishes to use their gravel bike to ride the gnar, a decidedly unappealing thing to me.
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Old 04-17-21, 03:37 PM
  #56  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
Ha! Good one.

But seriously that is actually a useful term that describes a particular TYPE of hybrid.

Problem with the term “Hybrid” is that in includes everything from lightweight flat bar road bikes with 25c tires to borderline rigid mtbs, to comfort bikes.
or an E-Bicycle with a drop bar, banana seat, front cargo crate, a carbon seat post, & 50 series 29nr tires.
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Old 04-17-21, 04:08 PM
  #57  
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
Poor attempt at some snarky humor. I said not necessarily true because in my case I regularly ride a few non-technical single track trails near my house here in Belgium on 700cx38mm. There's been a couple of moments I wished I had 650bx2.1", but that desire quickly passes. I can definitely see the appeal, I just don't personally see the need...unless one wishes to use their gravel bike to ride the gnar, a decidedly unappealing thing to me.
Yeah, I ride my local singletrack with my 43mm semi slick gravel tires.
I wasn't saying a wider tire is needed, I was just saying that I could see a wider MTB tire appealing.
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Old 04-17-21, 04:32 PM
  #58  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Yeah, I ride my local singletrack with my 43mm semi slick gravel tires.
I wasn't saying a wider tire is needed, I was just saying that I could see a wider MTB tire appealing.
I used to ride single track on slick 32s (that measured 35 inflated at 45psi)....I never found myself wanting, though once in a while I'd say bad words when I hit roots or exposed rock edges. I agree with you, some folks really want a plush smooth ride....on gravel. When I'm really saucy, I just look at them and say, "Have you considered a road bike?" Which in my part of the world is no improvement, Belgian paved roads tend to be a mixed bag, and they have cobblestones littered all over this country...leading to a whole 'nother discussion about tire width, pressures, and numb extremities.
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Old 04-17-21, 06:09 PM
  #59  
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I'm no expert on the genre, but my 1992 Bruce Gordon Rock and Road Tour has seen plenty of unpaved miles. It easily accepts 2"/50mm tires, and also 32mm road tires, though not at the same time. It has drop bars and cantilever brakes, and is a pleasure to ride.
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Old 04-18-21, 09:39 AM
  #60  
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I ride gravel on 32s at about 60-70 psi and don't feel too beaten-up, plus can maintain speeds from 15 to 20 MPH depending on % grade. on 25s I felt pummeled.
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Old 04-18-21, 05:17 PM
  #61  
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"I'm offended by choice in bicycles" - people who keep posting "these gravel bikes are just marketing hype / nothing new, I owned a Bridgestone XO-1 in 1992 / 90's mountain bikes / unnecessary / etc." threads.
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Old 04-18-21, 09:53 PM
  #62  
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
chaadster, the bike was new at the time I converted to a drop bar ATB. Yes, they are common now, but in 95 not so. Used a set of long reach side pull brakes. I don't remember exactly the brand or model of the brakes, and they may have been BMX side pulls. To change back to ATB the wheels had to be changed and the handlebar plus controls. It was about a 40 minute process.
My vision is a mountain bike can do anything you want it to do, whereas a gravel bike is limited due to tire size. As the tires grow wider, so must the frame, hence they become ATB. Oh, one more thing. Head angle will go from 72 to 71 + 45 rake as they should have been all along. I hear complaints from gravel bike buyers that they want more stability on gravel. The way to get it is wider tires and more trail. Just like a mountain bike.
Odyssey 1999’s might work. I think back in the day that’s what BMX bikes might have used before they went post mount.
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Old 04-18-21, 09:58 PM
  #63  
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Originally Posted by Badger6 View Post
I used to ride single track on slick 32s (that measured 35 inflated at 45psi)....I never found myself wanting, though once in a while I'd say bad words when I hit roots or exposed rock edges. I agree with you, some folks really want a plush smooth ride....on gravel. When I'm really saucy, I just look at them and say, "Have you considered a road bike?" Which in my part of the world is no improvement, Belgian paved roads tend to be a mixed bag, and they have cobblestones littered all over this country...leading to a whole 'nother discussion about tire width, pressures, and numb extremities.
cobblestone.
I remember a light turning green on an uphill intersection during a misty Frankfurt morning.
Letting the clutch out slow as I could, I think the car stayed still until the tires boiled the water under them.
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Old 04-19-21, 12:01 PM
  #64  
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Over the last 12 years I have built three very different "gravel" bikes for myself. All worked very well for the intended purpose of riding rail trails and taking on camping trips.

1987 Renegade Ranger (Raleigh Canada)

2016 Giant ATX

1995 Norco Katmandu

The first a Renegade Ranger (26") was a Raleigh Canada built bike for sporting goods stores. Using all vintage 1987 and earlier stuff from the parts bin, it was fun to ride.

The next was a 2016 Giant ATX hardtail (27.5") that saw use for many trips but was getting more use than my Salsa Vaya adventure bike, so I converted it back and sold it.

Currently I have a 1995 Norco Katmandu (26") that works even better than the previous ones. None of these bikes were particularly expensive bikes to start yet all have served the purpose well.
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Old 04-19-21, 01:05 PM
  #65  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
“Hybrid” is quite possibly the most useless and vague cycle-related term ever coined.

The sooner things get labeled more usefully, the better.
When we first started selling "hybrids" in our shop in the early 1990's, many people were also calling them "cross bikes". But then cyclocross rose in popularity in the states, and that sport quickly stole the term away from the booming hybrid market. Very few people knew about the existence of cyclocross in our market in the early to mid 90s.

Does anyone else remember hybrids being called "cross bikes"?
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Old 04-19-21, 01:30 PM
  #66  
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
My prediction is that the industry will continue to create more and more niches, and will eventually market “off-road performance commuters,” “all-gravel” bikes, “mountain road” bikes, and “enduro tourers.” Then the enthusiasts of each can further separate into micro-tribes and ridicule those who buy the unfashionable ones. I can hardly wait for the sub-forums.
So funny...yet true
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Old 04-19-21, 03:58 PM
  #67  
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Originally Posted by HarborBandS View Post
When we first started selling "hybrids" in our shop in the early 1990's, many people were also calling them "cross bikes". But then cyclocross rose in popularity in the states, and that sport quickly stole the term away from the booming hybrid market. Very few people knew about the existence of cyclocross in our market in the early to mid 90s.

Does anyone else remember hybrids being called "cross bikes"?
For sure, yes, and the reason was plain: they were a cross between a road bike and an MTB. Back in those days, there was none of the confusion that folks seem to have today about the term “hybrid,” because there were really only two kinds of bikes which anyone cared about.

I haven’t been following the segment nr reading the thread, but if the term hybrid still exists in use by bike companies today, I’d assume it refers to hybridization of a full-on sports bike of any type and a recreational/casual bike, particularly in terms of cost.
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Old 04-19-21, 04:08 PM
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Originally Posted by chaadster View Post
For sure, yes, and the reason was plain: they were a cross between a road bike and an MTB. Back in those days, there was none of the confusion that folks seem to have today about the term “hybrid,” because there were really only two kinds of bikes which anyone cared about.

I haven’t been following the segment nr reading the thread, but if the term hybrid still exists in use by bike companies today, I’d assume it refers to hybridization of a full-on sports bike of any type and a recreational/casual bike, particularly in terms of cost.
Bike shops still sell tons of hybrids, and the shop employees call them hybrids. But the industry may have other names for them, like "City" or "Commuter" (Giant categorizes them under "City and Hybrid" on their site). I guess a "City" bike is a cooler looking hybrid. Because hybrids are deeply uncool.

But if you say "cross bike" to anyone in 2021, they will definitely assume you're talking about a cyclocross machine.

Last edited by HarborBandS; 04-19-21 at 04:12 PM.
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Old 04-19-21, 04:34 PM
  #69  
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the industry's current markting of "gravel" bikes are for hippy spandexters
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Old 04-19-21, 04:58 PM
  #70  
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
The latest edition of Bicycle Quarterly has an article titled Rethinking the Gravel Bike. This is my take-a-way from article. After reading it I sighed relief that there is someone else out there that sees what I see. In the mid-nineties my commute to work was 15 miles and it took me down railroad tracks on pavement, and across a field to save a few miles. Had a Raleigh mountain bike that I installed 700c wheels, 32c cyclocross tires and drop bars. I was able to change from 32 to 55mm tires simply by changing the wheelset from 700c back to the stock 26".
In this article the author comments on the ever growing width of tires in the "gravel" category as people are finding wider tires can be a bonus. In the end my conclusion is that the "gravel" bike will eventually morph into what I really is, a mountain bike with some frame mods to make road riding a bit nicer than the commuter I ran some 25 years ago.
Thank you as well. However, the gravel bike has existed for more than 100 years. It is the Cyclocross bike!!!!
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Old 04-19-21, 05:06 PM
  #71  
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Originally Posted by Rolla View Post
My prediction is that the industry will continue to create more and more niches, and will eventually market “off-road performance commuters,” “all-gravel” bikes, “mountain road” bikes, and “enduro tourers.” Then the enthusiasts of each can further separate into micro-tribes and ridicule those who buy the unfashionable ones. I can hardly wait for the sub-forums.
Around here, we don’t really have any gravel on roads or trails. Gravel comes from streams and they use It in other parts of the state. On our unimproved roads and various trails, we use crushed stone (generally limestone) that is quarried and crushed to the specified range of sizes.

So, perhaps we will end up with “gravel bikes”and “stone bikes”? Maybe specific tires optimized for the different materials and surface conditions? Lots of opportunities to create even more niche markets! Gravel riders can ridicule stoners and stoners can ridicule the gravel heads! 😊

Otto
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Old 04-19-21, 05:46 PM
  #72  
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Spandexters...well that's a new one for me at least!
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Old 04-19-21, 06:09 PM
  #73  
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Originally Posted by TiHabanero View Post
The latest edition of Bicycle Quarterly has an article titled Rethinking the Gravel Bike. This is my take-a-way from article. After reading it I sighed relief that there is someone else out there that sees what I see. In the mid-nineties my commute to work was 15 miles and it took me down railroad tracks on pavement, and across a field to save a few miles. Had a Raleigh mountain bike that I installed 700c wheels, 32c cyclocross tires and drop bars. I was able to change from 32 to 55mm tires simply by changing the wheelset from 700c back to the stock 26".
In this article the author comments on the ever growing width of tires in the "gravel" category as people are finding wider tires can be a bonus. In the end my conclusion is that the "gravel" bike will eventually morph into what I really is, a mountain bike with some frame mods to make road riding a bit nicer than the commuter I ran some 25 years ago.
Wider tires are more comfortable and are safer (would I rather hit a random rock/pothole in the road with 120 psi 25mm or 50psi 45 mm?). Hope the trend continues. Better option for all those old fat guys in spandex riding racing bikes (road or gravel).
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Old 04-19-21, 07:19 PM
  #74  
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Originally Posted by ofajen View Post
Around here, we don’t really have any gravel on roads or trails. Gravel comes from streams and they use It in other parts of the state. On our unimproved roads and various trails, we use crushed stone (generally limestone) that is quarried and crushed to the specified range of sizes.
There seems to be some people on this forum that got lost on their way to the aggregateworld.com forums. Most of us use the term "gravel" to refer to dirt, gravel, crushed stone, double track, smooth singletrack, and many other road types because there are many different surfaces that a gravel bike is suitable for.

Maybe we'll have to start calling them aggregate bikes, because that covers a lot more types of road surface than "gravel" does. PDF warning.
https://www.dirtandgravel.psu.edu/si...regate_101.pdf
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Old 04-19-21, 08:49 PM
  #75  
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My mid 90's Specialized Hardrock full rigid was the epitome of bicycle technology. Everything before was lacking, and everything since is frivolous marketing fluff.
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