Viewing 27 posts - 81 through 107 (of 107 total)
  • Gravel biking: How it started, how it’s going…
  • BruceWee
    Full Member

    Gravel biking was invented in Norway.

    Or rather, in Norway they’ve had a thing called Grusvei sykling (literally gravel road cycling) for as long as there have been bikes.  It wasn’t really intentional, it’s just that as soon as you get a couple of kilometers away from the big towns and onto anything other than a main road you are likely to find yourself on roads that don’t have tarmac.

    It’s been done on pretty much every kind of bike that has tyres bigger than 32mm (although you can also find yourself on grusvei with your regular road bike).

    The only thing that differentiated it from ‘modern’ gravel biking was that people took it far too seriously for it to really be considered Gravel biking.  People would wear lycra, train for Grusvei races, and most men didn’t even have beards.

    Now it’s become a lot more commercial here in Norway.  You see a lot more people with full beards, flannel shirts, and expensive packs full of organic sandwiches and coffee.

    You still see the traditional grusvei riders out on the roads occasionally on their XC mountain bikes with HR monitors trying to pick up another Strava KOM but they are a dying breed compared to the ‘proper’ gravel riders.

    IdleJon
    Full Member

    Someone up-thread mentioned fatbikes
    gravel biking is the new fat biking  is the new singlespeeding. Etc etc.

    Except that almost nobody bought fatbikes or singlespeeds, whereas you’ll see gravel bikes everywhere you go. I passed several on my way into work this morning, on my gravel bike.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    I saw 10 fatbikes on Sunday…

    chakaping
    Free Member

    I saw 10 fatbikes on Sunday…

    Have they all migrated to the same bit of Scotland for the winter then?

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    😂

    kerley
    Free Member

    Someone up-thread mentioned fatbikes
    gravel biking is the new fat biking is the new singlespeeding. Etc etc.

    Gravel bikes are here to stay because they actually make a lot of sense for a lot of people for a lot of uses (road, gravel, fastish, lightish etc,.) and could really be the only bike a lot of people need.

    The same cannot be said for niche bikes such as fat bikes and single speeds.

    tazzymtb
    Full Member

     could really be the only bike a lot of people need.

    and

    The same cannot be said for niche bikes such as fat bikes and single speeds.

    I think you’ll find you are wronger than a wrong thing that lives in wrongsville with that statement.

    the entirety of my extensive bike collection are singlespeeds, which are used from everything from twatting about in the woods, trail centre buffoonery and  100’s km of “gravel event” faster than a lot of folks on gravel bikes.

    single speeds are for life man, you just need the fitness/commitment/luddite tendencies/bloody mindedness/stupidity/and thighs of a norse god.

    If you are proper freakoid of epic proportions you do all of the above on fixie making the “gravel bike being the one bike for all” argument even less valid

    jameso
    Full Member

    you do all of the above on fixie

    Might as well just pack a rucksack and go hiking at that point : )

    matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Someone up-thread mentioned fatbikes
    gravel biking is the new fat biking is the new singlespeeding. Etc etc.

    *looks out window*

    The bike shed here today has gravel bike, e-HT, hybrid x2, road bike and a fatty on the end. 😎

    you do all of the above on fixie

    There is one of them over at the office across the car park, as it is daily.

    kerley
    Free Member

    the entirety of my extensive bike collection are singlespeeds, which are used from everything from twatting about in the woods, trail centre buffoonery and 100’s km of “gravel event” faster than a lot of folks on gravel bikes.

    Good for you, however you are not a lot of people. A lot of people would not want to ride only single speed bikes and if having a geared bike to use on road, gravel, bit of single track then a gravel bike makes more sense than a single speed to those lots of people

    If you are proper freakoid of epic proportions you do all of the above on fixie making the “gravel bike being the one bike for all” argument even less valid

    My only bike is a fixed gear with no brakes and I ride it 5,000 miles a year all year round on gravel, single track and road (I have owned gravel type bikes and find them boring) but I realise I am in a very small minority and again, LOTs of people would find a gravel bike suited them more.

    dudeofdoom
    Full Member

    Yes there’s competitive flavours of gravel now, dunno if things like the “Lifetime Grand Prix” are really in the same non-competitive spirit as tubby Dads and third wave hipsters trundling about on bridleways and knackered B-Roads enjoying the views and a pork pie, but it’s all part of a broad church of “gravel”…

    TBH I always wondered if the big gravel rides are wholly dominated by hordes of cycle journalists/fluencers and sponsored riders pimping the wares of the manufacturers.

    (Although im sure this can’t be true 🙂 )

    molgrips
    Free Member

    it’s 90s xc though innit really

    No, it’s not. Just because everyone had the same style of MTB in the 90 doesn’t mean everyone was riding the same trails. In fact, the fact we were riding different trails in different ways is what led to the diversification of bikes in the first place.

    13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    No, it’s not.

    I like the 90s MTB comparison though, I think because some of the routes which were considered ‘classic’ MTB loops back then are now sort of ‘classic’ gravel loops as MTB has moved on and nobody has the patience for 90% estate tracks and tarmac for 10% singletrack or quad track e.g. Glen Kinglas, Gaick Pass, Glen Tilt etc.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    Yeah, it certainly is like 1990s XC to some… but it isn’t to others.

    No need to be absolutist and argumentative about it.

    On the subject of which, it’s a bit weird that a few people in this thread just seem to want to bash the writer for looking like Seasick Steve.

    scotroutes
    Full Member

    I’ve no idea who Seasick Steve is but maybe there’s some irony in me currently growing a winter beard while the gravel bike languishes in the garage for a few months 😂

    rOcKeTdOg
    Full Member

    On the subject of which, it’s a bit weird that a few people in this thread just seem to want to bash the writer for looking like Seasick Steve.

    I look like I live by train hopping in the mid West? …..actually I would like some denim bib and braces. Wish I could play a 6 string guitar like Steve though, let alone a 3 stringer!

    ampthill
    Full Member

    TBH I always wondered if the big gravel rides are wholly dominated by hordes of cycle journalists/fluencers and sponsored riders pimping the wares of the manufacturers.

    (Although im sure this can’t be true 🙂 )

    Certainly every rider at a professional road or MTB race is sponsored directly or indirectly by a bike manufacturer. Why would gravel be different

    It is one of the odd things about gravel. Roadies in particular seem to want to put it all down to marketing. Seeming to not have noticed that the amount spent marketing road bikes swamps that spent on gravel by orders of magnitude. We are talking millions per world tour team to ride those bikes

    sc-xc
    Full Member

    My only bike is a fixed gear

    Show us a pic! I rode fixed for a few years…it’s pure AF 🙌

    scaredypants
    Full Member

    No need to be absolutist and argumentative about it

    +1   Anyone who thinks that any particular variety of (whatever) is the one true way is (in my non-argumentative opinion) clearly an arse.  Anyone who whines about how other varieties are “worse” than their preferred option is a needs their genre-specific shoes pissed in.

    BadlyWiredDog
    Full Member

    Now it’s become a lot more commercial here in Norway.  You see a lot more people with full beards, flannel shirts, and expensive packs full of organic sandwiches and coffee.

    The woke, liberal elite, gravellarti… undermining the true spirit of gravel and stealing it from real people? Please god, don’t let that happen to gravel in the UK.

    chakaping
    Free Member

    It is one of the odd things about gravel. Roadies in particular seem to want to put it all down to marketing. Seeming to not have noticed that the amount spent marketing road bikes swamps that spent on gravel by orders of magnitude.

    Bit of a tangent, but it’s interesting how bike brands spend loads on sponsoring road teams, but are apparently selling more gravel bikes these days.

    Is it a general brand awareness/trickle down thing? Like how DH racing sells enduro and trail bikes?

    I look like I live by train hopping in the mid West? …..actually I would like some denim bib and braces. Wish I could play a 6 string guitar like Steve though, let alone a 3 stringer!

    No offence intended, was just trying to point out that people were a bit silly to be so triggered by a beard and check shirt.

    SirHC
    Full Member

    Picked up a Crux this week, winter road bike and commuting to work. Felt bad for the stumpjumper getting hammered in the rain and crap everyday, equally the nice road bike was getting hammered at the weekends as well.

    Its comfy, perfect on the shitty backlanes that constitues my commute and road rides. Just waiting for halfords to deliver some mudguards.

    Was looking at a Diverge, but the headshock put me off, as it will creak and be a pain in the ass.

    nickc
    Full Member

    that people were a bit silly to be so triggered by a beard and check shirt.

    I think anyone who’s triggered by what someone else is wearing probably needs a stern word with themselves, frankly. After all I’m guessing that  we can probably all identify the cycling tribe we all belong to just by what we’re wearing.

    dudeofdoom
    Full Member

    TBH picking on rOcKeTdOg is akin to drowning kittens 🙂

    dudeofdoom
    Full Member

    Anyway I think the Raleigh Mustang Elite 2015 (£1,000) was reasonably an early affordable entrant.

    I had one that made me realise that I didn’t mind drop bar and it worked more for the stuff I wanted to ride.

    Then 2017 enter the Aero Phase the 3T Exploro with the idea of being able to run 700 and 650b (a la Open.Up)

    TBH I do have a check riding shirt(Sombrio) that I never ride, just for the pub and I’ve no chance of owning a beard 🙂

    13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    As an aside, my first gravel bike was a Genesis Day One Singlespeed with 32mm Kenda Small Block 8s, back before the designer sold out and added disc brakes 😉

    Loved that bike, added a White Industries freewheel and XT octalink cranks then sold it in a fit of student pennylessness 😭

    Rode some daft winter loop with Markus Stitz on his very similar Swobo singlespeed, so at least two manufacturers doing gravellable bikes back in 2009…

    jameso
    Full Member

     a Genesis Day One Singlespeed with 32mm Kenda Small Block 8s, back before the designer sold out and added disc brakes 😉

    Ha.. grindy rim brakes in the mud, I don’t miss that. I still have the plain gloss black pre-production canti-post sample. Currently a SS town bike and it really should go back to SS CX duties one winter. Used to ride it loads but got sick of flat tyres in winter, would need tubeless on it if rebuilt. Funny how small the 58cm feels to me these days though. 

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