What is a gravel bike ?

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

Postby Jamesh » 4 Sep 2020, 11:49am

andrewwillans49 wrote:Fashion tax? Absolute rubbish! I bought a gravel bike summer 2019, full Shimano 105 7000 series, aluminium frame, hydraulic disc brakes, for £1175 new. The main benefits are super gears and brakes, fit wider tyres. Bombproof build ideal for potholed roads and I can venture down bridleways. Less expensive than similarly equipped standard road bike and more versatile. So where's the fashion tax? I bought a crossbike in 2013, it has canti brakes, no provision for a rack and predecessor groupset, all OK I must say but the newer groupset functionally better, it cost £1100. So for modest increase in cost over 6 years I've a better equipped, slightly more versatile bike.. No intention of finding gravel, just not concerning myself with broken roads.


Good luck finding that spec for that price now! Enjoy!!

Cheers James

peetee
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby peetee » 4 Sep 2020, 12:43pm

As a tool upon which to hang the latest tech the modern gravel bike does a great job. Those wishing it to be the bike for all jobs should choose wisely. There is no reason why such a machine, with a change in stem position and tyres, could not be a great all-day road machine. However, I for one would find the commonly fitted 1x drivetrains wanting. I have grown used to the versatility of closely spaced cassettes and double or triple cranksets and to not have the gear choice on a bike that would almost certainly see a greater variation of road speeds than a pure road bike is too great a compromise.
Maybe I’m a bike snob but if I wanted a do-it-all machine I would have to go custom build. There is too much specialisation and dis-compatibility-ness for me to be sure I could change an off-the-peg bike to exactly what I needed. In addition, because I am a picky sod and likely to spec older technology in the search for versatility and longevity, I am sure I could do a build based on a custom frame for a comparable price to a top of the range main-stream offering.
Fortunately I am not in the position of having to restrict myself to one bike. So my ‘gravel bike’, a steel framed tourer with knobbly tyres does, for a price that is a long way below four figures, everything I ask of it.
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Winter had arrived in the land of Kernow. Along with it came wet roads and cool winds.
“Oh, my wheels and coupling rods!” Peetee exclaimed.

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Mick F
Spambuster
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby Mick F » 4 Sep 2020, 1:00pm

Wur be that to?

Further west from here!
Mick F. Cornwall

thelawnet
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Joined: 27 Aug 2010, 12:56am

Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby thelawnet » 4 Sep 2020, 1:02pm

andrewwillans49 wrote:Fashion tax? Absolute rubbish! I bought a gravel bike summer 2019, full Shimano 105 7000 series, aluminium frame, hydraulic disc brakes, for £1175 new. The main benefits are super gears and brakes, fit wider tyres. Bombproof build ideal for potholed roads and I can venture down bridleways. Less expensive than similarly equipped standard road bike and more versatile. So where's the fashion tax? I bought a crossbike in 2013, it has canti brakes, no provision for a rack and predecessor groupset, all OK I must say but the newer groupset functionally better, it cost £1100. So for modest increase in cost over 6 years I've a better equipped, slightly more versatile bike.. No intention of finding gravel, just not concerning myself with broken roads.


Super gears?

R7000 is a standard road groupset with road gears. Nothing particularly 'super'.

Meanwhile a look at identical bikes shows a £300 premium for discs

https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribble-endurance-725/
https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribble-e ... -725-disc/

Canyon charge:

£1000 10-speed endurance bike
https://www.canyon.com/en-gb/road-bikes ... /2391.html

£1300 10-speed disc endurance bike
https://www.canyon.com/en-gb/road-bikes ... /2393.html

£1400 10-speed disc gravel bike
https://www.canyon.com/en-gb/gravel-bik ... /2369.html

So it's a £300 disc tax, and then a further £100 'gravel' tax.

Also about another 1lb for the discs, 1lb for the gravel.

Brucey
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby Brucey » 4 Sep 2020, 1:22pm

^ that's about what I'd have said too.

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

PH
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby PH » 4 Sep 2020, 1:24pm

Brucey wrote:^ that's about what I'd have said too.

cheers

But why?
The rider is happy with their purchase, what else matters?

thelawnet
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby thelawnet » 4 Sep 2020, 1:50pm

PH wrote:
Brucey wrote:^ that's about what I'd have said too.

cheers

But why?
The rider is happy with their purchase, what else matters?



the rider is deluding themselves.

they may have got a good deal on their bike.

they might be happy.

it might be that replacing a CX bike (not a mainstream product) with a road bike with discs a few years later (a slightly more mainstream product) results in more bike for the money.

but that does not mean that there is no gravel or disc tax.

There is both.

This is not really something that can be denied.

Shimano charge a significant premium for hydraulic disc road groupsets over caliper ones.

A pair of Shimano MTB hydro disc brakes complete with discs starts under £50, retail.

MTBs with hydraulic disc brakes are available for, say, £300.

You won't find a bike with a road or gravel groupset & hydraulic disc brakes for anywhere close to that.

There isn't a fundamental reason for this. It's a disc/gravel tax.

It's a shiny new thing, and manufacturers are making large profits from it.

Lots of people will convince themselves that it's worth it, and will be very happy with their new purchases, perhaps the more so because they paid extra for the new thing.

But that doesn't mean it's not a tax.

Shimano won't make a Claris hydraulic groupset because they don't need to, because people enough people are still willing to pay £1400 for the new thing. Eventually this will pass, and there will be Claris bikes with full hydraulic discs. But not yet, because the early adopters need to be taxed for as long as the market will bear.

Vitara
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby Vitara » 4 Sep 2020, 2:22pm

Gravel Bike - What an awful idea?

I'm glad I don't take much credence of the advice and the opinions handed out on this forum.

I chose a Gravel Bike to replace my worn out Audax bike two and half years ago.

It was chosen because the specification exactly matched what I was looking for in a bike. The cost was in my budget & no more than an equivalent spec non-gravel bike.

Since buying it I've clocked up thousands of Km, including fast Club Rides, Audax events from 100km to 600Km, and touring with camping kit.

Like any bike there are compromises, the main one is a bit of extra weight over a normal road bike, but I can live with that.

If you don't like the idea of a Gravel Bike, or think it's purely a marketing ploy no one is forcing you to buy one, but the endless criticism and negative comments are rather tiresome.

Brucey
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby Brucey » 4 Sep 2020, 5:01pm

Vitara wrote:Gravel Bike - What an awful idea?

I'm glad I don't take much credence of the advice and the opinions handed out on this forum.

I chose a Gravel Bike...

It was chosen because the specification exactly matched what I was looking for in a bike.....


Hang on, you are hook, line and sinker swallowing the gross misrepresentation of some people's views that is being ladled out by some folk posting in this thread.

The idea of a do-it-all bike with low gears is not a bad one (even if it isn't always executed perfectly, 1x gearing being a case in point which certainly won't suit everyone).

What some people find laughable is the marketing BS that accompanies all this; of course you should choose a bike on its merits but when you see so many folk trudging sheeplike into bike shops and bleating 'I want a gravel bike' without necessarily knowing why, or whether other types of bike might suit them as well or better, or even if the thing they walk out of the shop with even is a gravel bike, then you know something is wrong.... :roll:

Very many riders start out thinking 'gravel bike' -for no readily apparent reason- and then once their riding styles, needs and budget are examined in more detail end up buying what they call a gravel bike or perhaps something else, something that better suits their actual requirements.

I note with interest that some bike retailers don't always even use the term 'gravel bike' in their bike descriptions, presumably because it is not that helpful for the bulk of their customers. For example Wiggle have a category that they call 'adventure bikes' which includes things that most folk might call gravel bikes but it also includes other bikes that look more like touring bikes with a twist, road bikes that will take fat tyres, and bikes that look like those bikes if you squint but are actually aimed pretty squarely at commuters. You can call none or all 'gravel bikes' for all anyone cares.... :wink: :roll:

So...

Q. what's in a name? That is how this thread started.

A. Absolutely nothing whatsoever.... It is just an artefact of language, more than a cohesive concept per se. Nothing to see here....

So when you walk into a bike shop, if you are going to bleat anything, you would be better to bleat 'I want a bike that will do XYZ', not 'I want a gravel bike', especially if both you and the salesperson don't even know what the term means.... :wink:

I now await various idiotic, twisting responses to this post (which BTW is likely to be my last in this thread which is increasingly lacking in anything to commend it).

cheers
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~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~Brucey~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~~

Bmblbzzz
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 4 Sep 2020, 5:33pm

peetee wrote:Fortunately I am not in the position of having to restrict myself to one bike. So my ‘gravel bike’, a steel framed tourer with knobbly tyres does, for a price that is a long way below four figures, everything I ask of it.
Image

Very nice, and somewhat in the American mould but none the worse for that (American mould as in the type of repurposed road frame commonly seen on American sites, as distinct from current American production). What are the tyres, out of curiousity?

Vitara
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Joined: 12 Feb 2014, 11:18pm

Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby Vitara » 4 Sep 2020, 6:53pm

Brucey wrote:What some people find laughable is the marketing BS that accompanies all this; of course you should choose a bike on its merits but when you see so many folk trudging sheeplike into bike shops and bleating 'I want a gravel bike' without necessarily knowing why, or whether other types of bike might suit them as well or better, or even if the thing they walk out of the shop with even is a gravel bike, then you know something is wrong.... :roll:

cheers
[/quote]

I don't even know where to go with this, folk trudging into bike shops bleating they want a Gravel Bike because they've seen them advertised.

I guess it might happen, but I've not seen it?

PH
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby PH » 4 Sep 2020, 7:13pm

Brucey wrote:Hang on, you are hook, line and sinker swallowing the gross misrepresentation of some people's views that is being ladled out by some folk posting in this thread. cheers

You mean like this?
thelawnet wrote:the rider is deluding themselves.

It's a clear opinion, hard to see how it could be misrepresented.

peetee
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby peetee » 4 Sep 2020, 7:35pm

Bmblbzzz wrote:Very nice, and somewhat in the American mould but none the worse for that (American mould as in the type of repurposed road frame commonly seen on American sites, as distinct from current American production). What are the tyres, out of curiousity?


Ewwww! Not observed and not intentional. 8)
The tyres are Schwalbe CX Pro.
Winter had arrived in the land of Kernow. Along with it came wet roads and cool winds.
“Oh, my wheels and coupling rods!” Peetee exclaimed.

thelawnet
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Joined: 27 Aug 2010, 12:56am

Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby thelawnet » 4 Sep 2020, 7:48pm

PH wrote:
Brucey wrote:Hang on, you are hook, line and sinker swallowing the gross misrepresentation of some people's views that is being ladled out by some folk posting in this thread. cheers

You mean like this?
thelawnet wrote:the rider is deluding themselves.

It's a clear opinion, hard to see how it could be misrepresented.


?

The delusion that I am referring to is the claim that there is no 'gravel tax' simply because the purchaser's new disc road bike is better than his 2013 cx bike while costing the same.

This is absolutely a delusion because we don't even know if they are the same brand, from the same shop, etc

The fact is you can get a caliper road bike significantly cheaper, and slightly lighter, than a hydraulic disc road bike of the same spec.

This has nothing to do with the price of cx bikes 7 years ago.

The gravel tax is real, and making specious arguments that it isn't doesn't make it false.

I don't claim the old bike is better than the new. Why would I do that? The old bike might not have been suitable then. I don't even know what it is, so why would I say that!?

PH
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Re: What is a gravel bike ?

Postby PH » 4 Sep 2020, 8:26pm

thelawnet wrote:?
The delusion that I am referring to is the claim that there is no 'gravel tax'
<SNIP>

The rider has based their opinion on all the information about their bike and their riding, your response is that they're delusional.
So we have delusional riders and bleating sheep and when I point out how unhelpful this is I'm somehow idiotically misrepresenting :roll: