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Moving to SoCal! What type of bike would compliment my hybrid out there?

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Moving to SoCal! What type of bike would compliment my hybrid out there?

Old 01-01-22, 11:19 AM
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33yearslate
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Moving to SoCal! What type of bike would compliment my hybrid out there?

I just found out I'm relocating to SoCal and I've never really been there. I have a Trek FX1 with disc brakes and have been meaning to upgrade to a road bike for a while.

But now that I know I'm going to be in SoCal, I'm thinking a road bike maybe isn't the most advantageous bike to have since there are so many incredible mountains to bike with off-road opportunities. So, while I'm still considering a road bike, I'm also thinking about maybe a mountain bike or gravel bike instead. I can continue to bike with my hybrid on tarmac (not the fastest way to navigate but it does the job), and then can use something else for climbing?

I could only grab one new one for now (due to space constraints and price constraints).

For those familiar with the area, what's the most popular bike type/riding going on out there? I've been biking nearly every day with good weather in the northeast, so now that I'm going somewhere with better weather, I plan to take advantage even more. And I'm hoping to join maybe a bike club for socializing/networking since I'm going to be completely new to the area.

Mountain biking sounds very technical but fun. I've never been but a buddy of mine is going to take me out sometime to try it before I leave. Gravel sounds like it's probably the best choice for me since it can do a little bit of everything, but I am not sure if it's robust enough for navigating trails adequately. Also, I'm not sure if there are any "gravel club" scenes out there for meeting new people.

For those familiar with the area, what do you suggest?

Edit: I'm specifically going to be in either Los Feliz or Silver Lake in LA, as close to Griffith Park as I can get within my price range.

Last edited by 33yearslate; 01-01-22 at 12:53 PM. Reason: Location
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Old 01-01-22, 11:38 AM
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A friend recently moved to Long Beach and quickly found a congenial roadie group. Scout what's available near where you live. If you have to drive a couple of hours to a trail system, mtb might not be the best choice.
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Old 01-01-22, 12:06 PM
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There are a plethora of roadie groups here, but for me (and many others) it's MTB. The number of places to explore is immense. Rent a MTB (or purchase an inexpensive used one; Craigslist will have many still-usable 80's or 90's models) or road if you prefer and decide which suits you.
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Old 01-01-22, 12:25 PM
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Wait 'til you get there, ride your present bike for a while, get the lay of the land. Then you can figure out what kind of new bike (if any) to buy, rather than relying on speculation from a bunch of strangers.
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Old 01-01-22, 12:50 PM
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Originally Posted by 33yearslate View Post
I just found out I'm relocating to SoCal and I've never really been there. I have a Trek FX1 with disc brakes and have been meaning to upgrade to a road bike for a while.

But now that I know I'm going to be in SoCal, I'm thinking a road bike maybe isn't the most advantageous bike to have since there are so many incredible mountains to bike with off-road opportunities. So, while I'm still considering a road bike, I'm also thinking about maybe a mountain bike or gravel bike instead. I can continue to bike with my hybrid on tarmac (not the fastest way to navigate but it does the job), and then can use something else for climbing?

I could only grab one new one for now (due to space constraints and price constraints).

For those familiar with the area, what's the most popular bike type/riding going on out there? I've been biking nearly every day with good weather in the northeast, so now that I'm going somewhere with better weather, I plan to take advantage even more. And I'm hoping to join maybe a bike club for socializing/networking since I'm going to be completely new to the area.

Mountain biking sounds very technical but fun. I've never been but a buddy of mine is going to take me out sometime to try it before I leave. Gravel sounds like it's probably the best choice for me since it can do a little bit of everything, but I am not sure if it's robust enough for navigating trails adequately. Also, I'm not sure if there are any "gravel club" scenes out there for meeting new people.

For those familiar with the area, what do you suggest?
where exactly are you going to be in so cal? tucked up against the foothills/mtns, at the beach, the desert, dtown metropolis or in the middle of the la basin?

traffic being what it is here means being able to ride from your front/back door is huge. gets you exercise immediately without having to throw the bike in the car or (gasp!) on the train to get to a destination that isn’t necessarily close. the easier it is to go for a ride, the more likely you are to do it.

there is a lot of great riding to be had in so cal, whatever mode of riding you choose.
welcome and enjoy!

Last edited by ooga-booga; 01-01-22 at 01:04 PM.
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Old 01-01-22, 12:52 PM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
where exactly are you going to be in so cal? tucked up against the foothills/mtns, at the beach, the desert, dtown metropolis or in the middle of the la basin?
I'm 99% sure I'll be living in either Los Feliz or Silver Lake in Los Angeles. Right near Griffith Park.
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Old 01-01-22, 12:56 PM
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There is no gravel in SoCal.

John
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Old 01-01-22, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Wait 'til you get there, ride your present bike for a while, get the lay of the land. Then you can figure out what kind of new bike (if any) to buy, rather than relying on speculation from a bunch of strangers.
This is rational advice. The only thing is I really want to hit the ground running. I may only stay in the area for a year or so depending on work. So I don't want to spend 3-4 months of that waiting for a bike to be in stock with how today's supply chain is going.

I may also stay permanently depending on how things go. So, regarding my bike choice, ideally I want to know what I'm getting before I move this June so that I can start meeting people and biking right away.
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Old 01-01-22, 12:57 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
There is no gravel in SoCal.

John
Is this sarcasm? Genuinely asking.
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Old 01-01-22, 01:10 PM
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Originally Posted by 33yearslate View Post
I'm 99% sure I'll be living in either Los Feliz or Silver Lake in Los Angeles. Right near Griffith Park.
you will be fine with mtb, gravel or road. road will definitely extend your range to the mountains and beach. mtb/gravel have griffith park and the verdugo mtns right there with much of the vast network of the san gabriel mtns/angeles national forest trails within a 15-20 min drive.

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Old 01-01-22, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by 33yearslate View Post
Is this sarcasm? Genuinely asking.
There are fire roads and mtb trails, but if you are looking for 30-40 miles of gravel riding, it doesn’t exist.

John
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Old 01-01-22, 01:12 PM
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Originally Posted by Koyote View Post
Wait 'til you get there, ride your present bike for a while, get the lay of the land. Then you can figure out what kind of new bike (if any) to buy, rather than relying on speculation from a bunch of strangers.
This^^^. Keep what you have and see where you end up a few months after getting here. Depending on where you end up you may have to lug a bicycle in a car to different places just to ride. If you want an overall bicycle a gravel bike wouldn't be a bad choice, but its a compromise between off-and-on road. In Los Feliz or Silver Lake you'll have a few dirt trails and some pavement in Griffith Park, but in the neighborhoods themselves the roads are somewhat narrow and not too friendly to someone on a bicycle since they have very little curb area.
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Old 01-01-22, 01:15 PM
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
There are fire roads and mtb trails, but if you are looking for 30-40 miles of gravel riding, it doesn’t exist.

John
Actually, this is very helpful to know and clears up a lot. Looks like I'm looking at mtb or road then.
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Old 01-01-22, 07:52 PM
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I’d wait till you’re in SoCal for awhile to decide.

Socal can mean almost anything. It’s really vast. Nobody walks in LA.
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Old 01-01-22, 08:27 PM
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Adobe clay is the actual surface for the most part. After the rains it is a mucky mess to hike on let alone ride on.

Originally Posted by 33yearslate View Post
Is this sarcasm? Genuinely asking.
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Old 01-01-22, 09:09 PM
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Originally Posted by 33yearslate View Post
Is this sarcasm? Genuinely asking.
There are what I consider somewhat long dirt roads below the hills northwest of Palmdale and way out by Perris, Joshua tree, Palm Springs area.

I lurked in bforums gravel section to learn. Some people get pretty persnickety about defining gravel.

The background is a lot of SoCal foothills are decomposed granite. So gravel is pointless as the substrate can just be dozed and graded into a road.

Thats admitted over generalized, but that’s my understanding/observation.
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Old 01-01-22, 09:46 PM
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Originally Posted by 33yearslate View Post
I'm specifically going to be in either Los Feliz or Silver Lake in LA, as close to Griffith Park as I can get within my price range.
While it's been some years since I've been hiking or cycling in the central/north Los Angeles area (ie, Angeles National Forest region), here are some resources to give you an idea of the number and types of rides you might find.




Visitor Map: Angeles National Forest --
https://www.fs.usda.gov/detailfull/a...d=fseprd533665

Best Off Road Driving Trails in Angeles National Forest @ AllTrails --
https://www.alltrails.com/parks/us/c...f-road-driving

Best Trails in Angeles National Forest @ AllTrails --
https://www.alltrails.com/parks/us/c...ational-forest

Best Trails in Glendale @ AllTrails -- https://www.alltrails.com/us/california/glendale/

Mountain Biking Trails: Angeles National Forest @ TrailForks -- https://www.trailforks.com/region/an...l-forest-7468/

MTB Cycling Routes: Angeles National Forest @ MTB Project -- https://www.mtbproject.com/directory...ational-forest

"The LA Observer" overview of cycling trails in the Angeles National Forest @ BikePacking -- https://bikepacking.com/routes/la-observer/

Pasadena-area Bike Routes @ Trek Bikes -- https://www.trekbikes.com/us/en_US/greatrides/pasadena/

Finding Gravel in Los Angeles @ SRAM -- https://www.sram.com/en/life/stories...in-los-angeles

Gravel Routes in California @ GravelMap -- https://gravelmap.com/browse/california

Maps & Routes @ CalBike -- https://www.calbike.org/go_for_a_ride/map_routes/

LA Metro Bike Map @ Metro.net -- https://www.dropbox.com/s/8lhqlsq1hi...e-map.pdf?dl=0

Find A Trail @ Los Angeles County Dept. of Parks & Recreation -- https://trails.lacounty.gov/

LA County "Bikeways" map -- https://pw.lacounty.gov/tpp/bike/map.cfm
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Old 01-02-22, 01:14 AM
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griffith park itself is a mix of paved and dirt roads. have done many of the dirt roads on the road bike(s) rocking '23 tires without "incident."
if you're bringing the hybrid, i'd ride it around the neighborhood to see what it works with and what it doesn't before you drop serious
cashish. does the hybrid have a triple ring? tires at least '32? you may be able to do all of griffith park with it based on the setup. granted,
you won't be setting any strava kom's but if what you're mostly concerned about is getting out for exercise, improving fitness and exploring...
you'll likely be okay. goes the same for much of the area around the los felix/silverlake/hwood area.

if your hybrid is anything like the old 1999 giant hybrid that got me (back) into cycling, that rig could do nearly any surface in socal-albeit slowly.
the main thing is that i generally didn't have to turn around with a triple ring and fairly wide tires. comes in handy. miss it because i've done some
dum-dum things on the road bike with skinny skinny tires but always wish (during those times) i had the fatty tires and that giant hybrid.

and if your hybrid can accommodate your riding style and routes in the area, including the verdugos and angeles natl forest, a road bike expands your range
the most without driving/public transportation including the beaches and high mountains. you'll find out quickly what works, or doesn't, off paved roads.
in a perfect world, you'd want a road bike, mtb and gravel/hybrid to cover everything.

have a buddy that's a dedicated roadie living near where you're planning on double parking for a spell. he's crushed all the paved climbs and paved mtn avenues
nearby and beyond. he wants variety and has never once mentioned a mtb. he's looking for a gravel bike. truth...not much gravel but there are so many dirt roads
nearby (and in socal) that are not single track/technical that can be done waay faster on a gravel bike than a mtb. sorry to recomplicate. having hiked much of
socal before taking up cycling, i'd rather have the swiss army knife of a gravel bike vs a mtb in that area and for the entirety of all socal. a choice between a road bike
and a gravel bike is much tougher...just depends on which you enjoy more/what gets you out more often than not.

and for giggles...you may want to consider parking in the toluca lake/burbank/atwater village areas just over the hill from los felix/silver lake/hwood areas. close by and quieter.

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Old 01-02-22, 02:34 AM
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Originally Posted by 33yearslate View Post
I just found out I'm relocating to SoCal and I've never really been there. I have a Trek FX1 with disc brakes and have been meaning to upgrade to a road bike for a while.

I could only grab one new one for now (due to space constraints and price constraints).

For those familiar with the area, what's the most popular bike type/riding going on out there? I've been biking nearly every day with good weather in the northeast, so now that I'm going somewhere with better weather, I plan to take advantage even more. And I'm hoping to join maybe a bike club for socializing/networking since I'm going to be completely new to the area.

Edit: I'm specifically going to be in either Los Feliz or Silver Lake in LA, as close to Griffith Park as I can get within my price range.
I grew up riding road bikes in Southern California. Basically following behind the old RTD (Rapid Transit District) buses, now called Metro. The bike was transportation all the way through college.
Having also lived in Washington DC, it’s very similar. I could ride around the neighborhood in the City/Suburban setting for cardio, while driving to specific destinations for a bike excursions on the weekends. There are various charity or organized fun rides throughout the LA county or drivable neighboring Orange, or Ventura counties.

Road or Mountain riding for socializing/networking is common. I worked for a large-ish company and knew many coworkers interested in either style of riding. Though, we would see too much of each other at work, we’d agree to meet ups for charity rides.
While, I think hybrid riding tends to be a “sundry” activity, like riding to exercise your dog, or sightsee around a park. Lastly, there are also bike touring along the coast, and bike packing in the State Park system within LA county.

There is no shortage of bicycling opportunities. You can start by finding a LBS, or even stopping in at an REI. Good luck and I hope you find a nice place to live!
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Old 01-02-22, 09:37 AM
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I've ridden in socal for 30+ years. The only gravel encountered was in the parking lot at Chino Hills State Park; others just leave the dirt as is or pave. The area you choose will have some influence on what's most feasible since for instance if you're near the beach in Huntington Beach you my be 15 - 20 miles from off road riding whereas you could reside in Orange and be a few blocks away. The same is true for other types of riding.
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Old 01-02-22, 10:49 AM
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Originally Posted by ooga-booga View Post
griffith park itself is a mix of paved and dirt roads. have done many of the dirt roads on the road bike(s) rocking '23 tires without "incident."
if you're bringing the hybrid, i'd ride it around the neighborhood to see what it works with and what it doesn't before you drop serious
cashish. does the hybrid have a triple ring? tires at least '32? you may be able to do all of griffith park with it based on the setup. granted,
you won't be setting any strava kom's but if what you're mostly concerned about is getting out for exercise, improving fitness and exploring...
you'll likely be okay. goes the same for much of the area around the los felix/silverlake/hwood area.

if your hybrid is anything like the old 1999 giant hybrid that got me (back) into cycling, that rig could do nearly any surface in socal-albeit slowly.
the main thing is that i generally didn't have to turn around with a triple ring and fairly wide tires. comes in handy. miss it because i've done some
dum-dum things on the road bike with skinny skinny tires but always wish (during those times) i had the fatty tires and that giant hybrid.

and if your hybrid can accommodate your riding style and routes in the area, including the verdugos and angeles natl forest, a road bike expands your range
the most without driving/public transportation including the beaches and high mountains. you'll find out quickly what works, or doesn't, off paved roads.
in a perfect world, you'd want a road bike, mtb and gravel/hybrid to cover everything.

have a buddy that's a dedicated roadie living near where you're planning on double parking for a spell. he's crushed all the paved climbs and paved mtn avenues
nearby and beyond. he wants variety and has never once mentioned a mtb. he's looking for a gravel bike. truth...not much gravel but there are so many dirt roads
nearby (and in socal) that are not single track/technical that can be done waay faster on a gravel bike than a mtb. sorry to recomplicate. having hiked much of
socal before taking up cycling, i'd rather have the swiss army knife of a gravel bike vs a mtb in that area and for the entirety of all socal. a choice between a road bike
and a gravel bike is much tougher...just depends on which you enjoy more/what gets you out more often than not.

and for giggles...you may want to consider parking in the toluca lake/burbank/atwater village areas just over the hill from los felix/silver lake/hwood areas. close by and quieter.
ooga booga knows what he is advising and a good gravel bike is all you really need for most of SoCal unless your planning to do single track downhills like at the ski slopes. You can see on youtube some advanced cyclist using gravel bikes and flying down most of the challenging hills in SoCal. One of my favorite guys to watch is SAFA Brian https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCX1...URMO1wQWLfeiUg
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Old 01-02-22, 11:29 AM
  #22  
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
There is no gravel in SoCal.

John
It doesn't have to be an actual gravel road...Dirt roads, forest service roads, utility roads and other unpaved tracks and roads are perfect for riding a gravel bike.
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Old 01-02-22, 12:02 PM
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My company has it's HQ in Gardena which is about 15 miles away. While not an expert in any way on SoCal I've been there a few times in the last 30 years. If I wanted to relocate there all I have to do is say the word.

As an individual born and raised on the NJ Shore and living for the last 20 years in semi-rural NE PA, I have a personal dislike for any kind of urban bicycle riding but that is just me. SoCal offers fantastic weather year round and what I call the LA attitude. I love parking my car in a snowbank at Newark Airport and 5 hours later turning on the AC. But the price of all that is a lot of neighbors and a high cost of living. There is zero chance I would give up my 1600 sf paid off home on 4 acres for a 600 sf studio and literally 10,000 neighbors and way less money in my wallet, I don't care how good the bicycle riding is. Or bass fishing for that matter.

But you are not asking for my personal opinions on living in LA, you are asking what kind of bike to get in anticipation of your impending move. This is an area where sometimes it takes 30 minutes to travel less than 1 mile. It will really depend on exactly where you set your hat down and how much effort you want to put into getting on the bike. To some people I'm in a great location for bicycling, quiet country roads, big hills, many MUPS and quite a few MTB trails some quite challenging but about half of my saddle time in on a trainer using Zwift. There are only so many hours in the day regardless of how much free time and/or money you have or how much opportunity as in trails or roads. There might be fantastic MTB trails an hour away but will you take advantage of it? Hard to know until you get there.

As long as you are not trying to keep up with a bunch of dedicated roadies what you have will be ok for just about anything until you get situated. On paper where I live it would scream mountain bike but most of my outside riding is either road (with a club) or MUP on a hybrid. I think your FX-1 would be a better fit than my Trek 4500 for MUPS. We are not talking about competition I presume, but I have my limits for sure but preform respectably with most on my 16 year old alum 3x9 roadbike that I paid $350 for. I'm not destitute but it would take a lot of money to buy an upgrade so for now I keep what i have running at it's best and get on the bike as often as I can. Good luck.

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Old 01-02-22, 12:05 PM
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trailangel
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Here is what roads look like in Angeles National Forest. This is MTB country. I have seen gravel bikes on this, but they were having a hard time.
Hard packed adobe clay with sand over it and large rocks.

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Old 01-03-22, 02:18 AM
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Originally Posted by trailangel View Post
Here is what roads look like in Angeles National Forest. This is MTB country. I have seen gravel bikes on this, but they were having a hard time.
Hard packed adobe clay with sand over it and large rocks.

trailangel did worse yesterday on the road bike with '23's. that looks hot and super-doable on a road bike. not saying that any land speed records or personal bests will be
recorded,,,just saying that not everyone has space/time/cashish for a road/mtb/gravel trifecta. plenty of areas in socal that involve a few miles of dirt (or pavement) along the way
that may interfere with a perfect "tool for a job" mentality. ofttimes, it's more fun/adventurous to push through, under less than laboratory conditions, enroute to completing a ride.
will there be some crashes, broken spokes, flats, etc along the way here and there? sure. it's all about personal decision and comfort. push through on less than ideal means
if you're feeling it. turn around if you're not feeling it.

all four of my bleepy road bikes and bleepy riding style can handle the particular stretch pictured without difficulty. not saying it doesn't get harder and the tire wear on the pricey gp conti 5000's
doesn't get accelerated x 5. that all gets factored in when going off road on a road bike. pretty sure a gravel bike can handle most efforts, discounting drop-offs and deep rivets/grooves/gigante rock fields.

and sure...given what little i know about the anf/san gabes, this trail likely only gets more technical and uphill. great. doesn't mean it can't be sampled as far as the rider feels comfortable. from much of what
I've actually seen hiking and riding the differing areas of the anf the last three decades, a gravel bike will give you quicker and better access to a greater area. not discounting the importance of a mtb in the area...
just saying a gravel bike will cover more territory, and faster. will some trails/pathways be difficult/undoable? yes. but how many will be accessible/available completely or as a percentage?

Last edited by ooga-booga; 01-03-22 at 03:06 AM.
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