What is a gravel bike ?

General cycling advice ( NOT technical ! )
pq
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby pq » 29 Aug 2020, 3:55pm

Obviously someone thought of it, and also thought that people would buy it, otherwise why would it exist? Equally obviously, people in the future will think of new things they imagine people will want to buy. I'm not seeing any scepticism in your post at all, just a stating of the obvious.
One link to your website is enough. G

greyingbeard
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby greyingbeard » 29 Aug 2020, 5:17pm

Digression

I think the canilever brake issue is one of salesmans perceived pecking order
cheap bikes get cantis
cheap bikes plus £2 get V brakes
"better" to have discs (even though cheap discs aint very good, its not the point)
etc.

The only people who seek out cantis and want them are traditional tourers, some tandems, and some cyclo cross racers. All small niche groups.

simonhill
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby simonhill » 29 Aug 2020, 5:48pm

What is a gravel bike - it is a hybrid. Shame that name has already been taken.

I think that calling just one type of bike "a hybrid" is a bit daft. There are lots of bikes out there that are hybrids of different types of bikes.

Jamesh
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby Jamesh » 29 Aug 2020, 6:23pm

I guess it depends on where you ride.

In mid Wales not having a gravel bike limited my options.

I rode up Brianne reservoir and had I a gravel bike I could have ridden the west side of the reservoir on the forest tracks. As it was I had to retrack down the east side.

However I wouldn't want to loose too much in the way of on road speed.

Cheers James

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speedsixdave
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby speedsixdave » 30 Aug 2020, 8:55am

Jamesh wrote:I guess it depends on where you ride.

In mid Wales not having a gravel bike limited my options.

I rode up Brianne reservoir and had I a gravel bike I could have ridden the west side of the reservoir on the forest tracks. As it was I had to retrack down the east side.

However I wouldn't want to loose too much in the way of on road speed.

Cheers James


You can get away with a surprising amount of off-roading on a road bike, even with 700x23s, if you're reasonably careful and accept the possibility of a puncture. With 28mm tires the world is your oyster! I would quite happily give a reservoir forest track a go on the Moulton with 406x28s or litespeed with 700x23s unless I knew it to be really muddy or rutted. Modern bikes are pretty tough.

I accept however that if you were going to do that sort of thing every day as the main aim of your riding, a more specific (or general!) bike would be a better fit.
Big wheels good, small wheels better.
Two saddles best!

PH
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby PH » 30 Aug 2020, 9:12am

simonhill wrote:What is a gravel bike - it is a hybrid. Shame that name has already been taken.

I think that calling just one type of bike "a hybrid" is a bit daft. There are lots of bikes out there that are hybrids of different types of bikes.

I agree, there's very few thoroughbred bikes in any category, I'm sure some gravel riding enthusiast will be able to tell us why most bikes sold under that label are not proper Gravel Bikes.
But we don't need to get so worked up about it, there's certainly no cause for the sneering sometimes seen on here, the label is just an indication to give some idea of the type. I don't get this idea that someone has been fooled by the marketing into buying a bike that's comfortable and can carry some luggage and go most places at a reasonable speed and has good tyres and stops well.

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freiston
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby freiston » 30 Aug 2020, 9:54am

I've said it before and I'll say it again - a gravel bike is the salespeople's second attempt at selling a bike to all the people they mis-sold a road bike to :wink:

I will apologise for my cynicism as I realise that it's not always applicable but I have this terrible habit of reading facebook cycling group pages and they are full of lambs to the marketing slaughter who vehemently hold on to their confirmation bias and crow about it at full volume - and this habit fills me with despair. [/rant]
Disclaimer: Treat what I say with caution and if possible, wait for someone with more knowledge and experience to contribute. ;)

Navara
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby Navara » 30 Aug 2020, 10:05am

Gravel bikes,adventure bikes....pure Marketing BS.
"Graveleurs" a whole new genre......that is just people riding "gravel" trails that people have ridden for years on CX/Touring/MTBs etc,etc.A few "key" words in the spec sheet and people are sold on the idea :wink:
A bad thing?No not really.It sells bikes.
Specialized are releasing a flat barred gravel bike for 2021.......... :roll: It will sell in the 1000s.....

greyingbeard
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby greyingbeard » 30 Aug 2020, 12:46pm

OR just buy a £250 hybrid and ride i t everywhere..........

simonhill
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby simonhill » 30 Aug 2020, 1:26pm

For me the thought of a gravel bike is almost an oxymoron. I have rarely enjoyed riding on gravel. I think of those paths and driveways covered in gravel that are usually unrideable. Also in New Zealand back in the 90s some of the more remote highways were 'gravel'. These had 3 stages: recently laid and/or graded, which was deep loose stuff and difficult to ride; then a sweet spot of compacted; soon turned to very unpleasant corrugated. Tarmac never looked so good.

Given us Brits don't use the term gravel for our dirt roads, I assume the gravel in gravel bikes comes from the US.

Looking at the following copied from wiki, I wonder if gravel bikes should actually be called road bikes. "Many roadways are surfaced with gravel, especially in rural areas where there is little traffic. Globally, far more roads are surfaced with gravel than with concrete or asphalt; Russia alone has over 400,000 km (250,000 mi) of gravel roads."

PH
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby PH » 30 Aug 2020, 1:36pm

simonhill wrote:For me the thought of a gravel bike is almost an oxymoron.

Another post where someone is hung up about the name rather than the bike. maybe we should come up with a better name for the, an Oxy sounds alright. Spa are calling their Elan model a do-it-all bike. Would that be a better name? I expect some on here would start pointing out that it doesn't do it all... so maybe it should be call a Does-quite- a bit, though that doesn't sound as good.

Brucey
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby Brucey » 30 Aug 2020, 10:08pm

what's in a name...? I'm looking forward to the launch of several variants;

the 'Gavel Bike'; a bike which is equipped with that must-have small wooden hammer accessory

the 'Grovel Bike'; a bike which has an odd riding position reminiscent of supplication

the 'Gravyule Bike'; (aka 'Bisto bike') a bike which goes well with sausage and mash

the 'Gravenall Bike'; a bike with an engraved finish

etc etc

cheers
-------------------------------------------------------------------------------
~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Enigmadick
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby Enigmadick » 30 Aug 2020, 10:37pm

"The gravel bike was invented the the Rough Stuff Fellowship in the 1950's."

Discuss.
ENIGMA DICK aka Richard Barrett

PH
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby PH » 30 Aug 2020, 10:41pm

Enigmadick wrote:"The gravel bike was invented the the Rough Stuff Fellowship in the 1950's."

Discuss.

No, it was invented somewhere around the 1880's.

PH
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby PH » 30 Aug 2020, 10:43pm

Brucey wrote:what's in a name...? I'm looking forward to the launch of several variants;

the 'Gavel Bike'; a bike which is equipped with that must-have small wooden hammer accessory

the 'Grovel Bike'; a bike which has an odd riding position reminiscent of supplication

the 'Gravyule Bike'; (aka 'Bisto bike') a bike which goes well with sausage and mash

the 'Gravenall Bike'; a bike with an engraved finish

etc etc

cheers

Yeah, but every one of them will have drum brakes and a three speed hub.