Gravel bike how much abuse will it take

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  • Gravel bike how much abuse will it take
  • airvent
    Member

    How much abuse would a gravel type bike with cheap qr wheels and a carbon fork take fitted with 36c tyres, I’m used to a proper mtb and I’m concerned this is a more fragile breed of horse. Am I likely to need to get the wheels trued and axles replaced on a frequent basis if I subject it to riding off kerbs and over logs and that sort of thing?

    Premier Icon jaminb
    Subscriber

    Ridden my Arkose down plenty of flights of steps – no damage or truing required. You will be hurting more than your gravel bike riding fast over rough ground.

    Premier Icon epicyclo
    Subscriber

    There’s a reason we eagerly jumped on to mtbs when they were introduced…. 🙂

    However it’s amazing how much abuse a modern frame and wheelset will take in comparison to the old days.

    Probably so long as you’re keeping your wheels on the ground, you’ll be ok.

    Premier Icon IvanMTB
    Subscriber

    I took my Charge Plug 3 with 32c tyres to Potato Alley, Cut Gate and some other classic Peak places.

    Yes, wheels needed truing, but not after each trip.

    Riding it around on a daily base, on the bridleways or pot-holed road seems to be not affecting it at all.

    Just be sensible, don’t bomb down every single rock garden.

    And you will be fine…

    Cheers!
    I.

    qwerty
    Member

    With a little finness, they can handle the 3 Peaks Cyclo-cross race & GBDuro.

    kerley
    Member

    I ride off kerbs, bunny hop over logs etc,. on a bike with 28c tyres and road rims. Either they can take a lot of abuse or my wheel building skills are immense – it is the former by the way

    airvent
    Member

    Thanks all that confirms what I thought to be fair, I’m not intending to have the wheels off the ground, but will be snaking down some potholes forest access tracks and even more potholes roads!

    stevious
    Member

    I just called my gravel bike a prick and it didn’t seem to mind.

    Premier Icon mikeyp
    Subscriber

    The WTB wheels on my Whyte have needed truing but I’ve not been kind. Pads definitely don’t last long as the SRAM ones are tiny.

    Premier Icon Garry_Lager
    Subscriber

    They’re fine – you will get a ton of punctures on tubes, though, if you ride it through the rocks or down stairs etc. Tubeless all day.

    Might be worth keeping the very average wheelset it no doubt came with – it’s good to have something to tank through the mixed terrain. But equally is life is too short to ride one’s bike on bad wheels? Hunts are a happy medium.

    If you night ride use good lights – a pot-holed farm track that you would ride on a MTB one-handed eating a toffee crisp can demand more concentration on a cross bike, and strong illumination helps.

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Subscriber

    I’d not take it down the world cup course at fort bill but a steady ride down most red trail centre routes is achievable if no where near as comfortable as on an MTB.

    It’s fun seeing just how far and into how much trouble you can take them and still ride multiple miles to get home afterwards

    TiRed
    Member

    I’d not take it down the world cup course at fort bill but a steady ride down most red trail centre routes is achievable if no where near as comfortable as on an MTB.

    Hones those skills. Just keep the rubber on the ground, or risk punctures. Ride mine round Swinley red with no issues. On 33c CX tyres.

    That piece of string = exactly as long as your rigid skillz when attacking obstacklez + the proficiency of the wheel-build

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Subscriber

    It depends how hard you are on bikes.

    I’m 6′ and 14st yet overtook FS bikes down the red route at QECP this summer.
    I also took it down Popity Ping at Bike park Wales for giggles… My hands hurt on that one though.

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    18 minutes too late to tell you to watch Road Bike Party!

    airvent
    Member

    Road Bike Party is hard to watch now though given what happened to the bloke

    steve_b77
    Member

    More than you think, but not quite that much

    Premier Icon MoreCashThanDash
    Subscriber

    I struggle to watch Road Bike Party 2, the first one doesn’t bother me

    mikertroid
    Member

    In my experience it’s the tyres that will be the limiting factor. Tubes, or tubeless, you’ll end up with punctures or a split tyre on the really rough stuff.

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    as per Mike – Monsieur Barelli here was doing just fine on Dirt Merchant til he got a flat near the bottom. He did fall off half way down when his tyre let go on some dust over hardpack, but that’s rider error – predictable, as he says himself.

    So fit some mini rimpact strips and/or some supertacky dual ply gravel tyres ( 😕 ) and get sending!

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    I’d be more worried about these:

    cheap qr wheels

    Not the qr, just the cheapness. Really depends on the cheapness/crapness. ride them, keep an eye out for dings, loose spokes, wobbles, fix them as they come up. If you push them too far, you can get some nicer, lighter/stronger ones!

    And cheap’s no guarantee of crapness – I’ve got some touring rims on my road/commuting bike £25 off ebay. 20+ years old, Mavic Module 4 on 105, 36h, straight gauge spokes. They’ve taken some hammer (not Dirt Merchant, admittedly!) off road and I’ve not needed to touch them. I think it will be the braking surface wearing out that will kill them.

    Premier Icon thisisnotaspoon
    Subscriber

    What’s all this talk of keeping wheels on the ground? You don’t get punctures in the air 😉

    There’s one particularity bad farm road round here where the ‘potholes’ are craters, and significantly bigger than the road surface remaining between them. When they’re not full of water it makes a fun game to try and jump between them 😃

    They do come to a point where it’s uncomfortable and you end up slowing right down where a mountainbike might still be ploughing through, but on anything smooth-ish it just tends to rattle it’s way through it.

    How much abuse the wheels will take is down to the wheels. The Crest’s on my nice bike need attention every few hundred miles, there just isn’t enough NDS tension on the rear so I’m tempted by those cheap WTB rims at wiggle. The R470’s on my singlespeed have been faultess.

    Premier Icon chakaping
    Subscriber

    Obviously Elliot Heap can only do this as his bike’s got through-axles…

    Premier Icon nedrapier
    Subscriber

    The R470’s on my singlespeed have been faultess.

    Good to know! They’re top of the list to replace my stans alphas. Still true, just an absolute pain in the arse to mount tyres on – bead shelf is too big, needs 60psi and soapy water to pop tyres onto the bead, and that’s with no rim tape on – just a cut down wrap in the spoke hole bed. any punctures out on the trail mean a wobbly tyre until I get home.

    kerley
    Member

    They do come to a point where it’s uncomfortable and you end up slowing right down where a mountainbike might still be ploughing through, but on anything smooth-ish it just tends to rattle it’s way through it.

    That to me this the limiting factor rather than the strength of the components. I have never broken anything or bent any wheels using road and track components off road for 20 years but on really rough sections I am going so slowly that the slow speed is probably stopping any damage any way.

    Premier Icon dove1
    Subscriber

    @stevious wins the internet today. 🙂

    Premier Icon d4ddydo666
    Subscriber

    Got a Dirty Disco for exploring. Exploring = oops this trail really isn’t appropriate. Rare that I get off mind, normally just laughing my erse off. Never flatted and always run 50PSI and seems reet, tho have broken spokes and replaced hubs more frequently than on MTB

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