Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 203 total)
  • Realising gravel bike are bit shit !
  • Premier Icon plus-one
    Free Member

    Ok maybe harsh title. I tried twice as on paper they seem to tick lots of boxes(reckon for bike packing-touring they are ideal) I always felt underbiked and maybe my fault for trying to ride them more like an mtb.

    Conclusion for me they were compromised on anything other than smooth ish tracks and utter shite every where else !! Emperors new shell suit 🙁

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
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    Mtbe you are just a crap rider?

    Premier Icon Skankin_giant
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    I went gravel as I can find something to ride out of my back door that is a little bit technical but isn’t technical enough for my mountain bike and doesn’t take as much effort to ride there. Got few up loading the car to just go out on the bike when I can cycling to somewhere and have a bit of fun.

    Premier Icon iainc
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    … it’s not about the bike…..

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
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    Absolutely love mine, it’s a repurposed CX frame with 40c tyres, full range of gears, suspension seatpost (recovering back injury).

    Last night’s ride was straying into journalist marketing puff, whether it’s the geometry, the gearing, the slight aero or weight advantage over a fast light 29er with slicks, I don’t know, but it felt rapid.

    It actually forced me to ride faster than I wanted, it was supposed to be an easy bimble but I got a KOM (very obscure section only ridden by 24 people I should add) and some top tens, which did make me wonder whether it would be any fun riding it ‘easy’ as you’d be colliding with the bumps rather than skimming over them.

    It also made me wonder if it was such a good idea for the long distance gravel trips I have planned for post-lockdown, not sure if you can really ride 150km of remote highland gravel ‘on the rivet’ the whole time, would get tiring…

    I think gravel bikes are cursed with trying to be a lot of different things to different people to be honest.

    Premier Icon sailor74
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    ive got the Evil and it will ride all of my local MTB trails albeit not as quickly as my MTB. if you bought the road inspired gravel bikes then it isnt a surprise.
    but all bikes are compromised. i rode 60k to the woods and back last weekend 80% on flowing singletrack, byways and roads would have been much better served on the gravel bike, when i finally got to the woods i was glad i had the MTB for the jumps, drops etc.

    i see the gravel bike as a fitness tool but yes its compromised on technical stuff, but pedaling my mtb around the local byways, lanes and easy singletrack is also a massive compromise.

    [url=https://flic.kr/p/2iNjJJC]IMG_1134[/url] by Sailor _74, on Flickr

    Premier Icon yourguitarhero
    Free Member

    You just need to find the right routes. Bit of backroads, sustrans paths, green/blue level singletrack, fireroads, stuff like that. They can get out of their depth pretty easily, but you can also cover a lot of distance. I consider mine an off-road capable tourer as opposed to an XC MTB.

    Premier Icon hatter
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    I guess it depends on where your riding them, where I live there’s loads of opportunities to ride from my door and do loops made up of smoothish bridleways with short tarmac sections, these loops would be dull and slow on a MTB and not really at all dooable on a road bike, the gravel bike (CDF stainless gravelised with 1 x GRX and DT Gravel wheels) is perfect, good fun and easily the bike I’ve been using the most for my government mandated daily exercise.

    Fully understand that they’re not for everyone. If I lived somewhere where all the offroad was steep or rocky then I’d probably not bother, but here, they’re bob on.

    Premier Icon Malvern Rider
    Free Member

    Conclusion for me they were compromised on anything other than smooth ish tracks

    It’s almost like the clue is in the name 😎

    Can you name a type of bike that is less shit, and by less shit I mean less ‘compromised’ overall? ie something not too bad at surfaced roads, unsurfaced roads, towpaths, backroads, touring, commuting, going down the pub and generally getting around the world efficiently and comfortably?

    Premier Icon scotroutes
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    OP – you’d be better pinning a big sign on your back that says KICK ME

    Premier Icon sailor74
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    its the reason i have 4 bikes….they are all compromised in some way shape or form.

    it started with the realisation that my 170mm enduro bike is a bit shit when i rode it at the local trail centre blue/red route

    Premier Icon Cletus
    Free Member

    I view mine mainly as a slightly more robust road bike which allows me to explore interesting paths just off the road rather than as a true off road bike.

    Really enjoying it comfort wise on some of the audax rides I have done recently and the greater resistance of the 47mm 650b tyres compared to the 25mm 700c tyres on my roadie makes me happy to accept the slight loss of speed on flat, smooth surfaces.

    “Gravel bike” seems to span a wide range of uses.

    Premier Icon molgrips
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    Conclusion for me they were compromised on anything other than smooth ish tracks and utter shite every where else !!

    That’s what they are for. The marketing machine says stuff like ‘they are more capable than you think, you know’ but that tells you nothing about how worthwhile they are on your trails for your riding.

    Around Cardiff trails are quite rocky mostly, so much as I’d like a gravel bike it’s a non-starter because I like going fast. Instead I have a rigid 29er, set up for speed with narrow bars and a racy position. It’s a perfect halfway house – great to ride on the road because of the geometry, the rigid forks and the riding position, but it’s still an MTB with 2.3″ tyres and low gears.

    Premier Icon lightfighter762
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    I guess it depends how long you ride for. I have been through the whole gravel thing, had a nice frame built up by Cotic. I think it was a good step to get the feel for that kind of bike. If I lived urban the roadrat would be the bomb. I did enjoy it for a while but I live in the tweed valley. Why the hell would you be riding a gravel bike when the steeps (sort of) are on the door step. 35lb bike. 63 degree head angle, 80 deg STA. Yes please everyday. Strong quads and 20 miles is about as long as I want to be on a bike. I have a slack HT and even that can still do the distance. Under lockdown it is the perfect training rig between heavy weight training and nothing like a 30lb HT for 10 miles after Squats. Rather than any CX rig I would look at a high spec XC bike.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
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    The mistake you have made OP, is to assume that they are an alternative to a MTB. They are of course, an alternative to a road bike.

    Premier Icon trailwagger
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    Its ok OP, we don’t expect everyone to “get it”

    Premier Icon lightfighter762
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    Nobeerinthefridge
    :The mistake you have made OP, is to assume that they are an alternative to a MTB. They are of course, an alternative to a road bike.

    Well said.

    Premier Icon finbar
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    The trail that Evil bikes rider is on is smoother than most of the tarmac near me.

    Premier Icon lightfighter762
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    47mm Horizons do feel cool on shitty roads I must say.

    Premier Icon honourablegeorge
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    sailor74

    i see the gravel bike as a fitness tool but yes its compromised on technical stuff, but pedaling my mtb around the local byways, lanes and easy singletrack is also a massive compromise.

    This. I wouldn’t take it to an MTB trail, but I’ve been glad to have it for local pedals with a bit of light offroad where I can grab it

    Premier Icon Malvern Rider
    Free Member

    but pedaling my mtb around the local byways, lanes and easy singletrack is also a massive compromise.

    No real™ MTBer would do such a thing! That’s multidiscipline*/mincing and no German cars/motorway services stops/uplifts are involved in the getting there 😎

    *A new-fashioned term for old-fashioned cycling.

    Premier Icon benp1
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    I think part of the gravel bike thing is comparing it against what your MTB, and what you normally ride

    My MTB is a rigid 29er so it does gravel really well but normal MTB is still fun too

    Premier Icon piemonster
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    Nobeer plus one

    Not sure what you was expecting OP

    Premier Icon anagallis_arvensis
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    It actually forced me to ride faster than I wanted,

    I find that everytime i go from road to trail I imagine I’m Sagan hitting the pave, just cannot ride it slow!!!

    Premier Icon Simon
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    Found my gravel bike was too much of a compromise off road so I replaced it with a rigid 29er MTB with fast rolling tyres (Pinnacle Ramin).

    Premier Icon ndthornton
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    maybe my fault for trying to ride them more like an mtb

    This
    I havent encountered your problem because I have never tried to ride my gravel bike on my mtb trails. Clue is in the name. They are for gravel…or commuting…or exploring…or easy xc singletrack. Absolutely brilliant for pandemics!

    Premier Icon Malvern Rider
    Free Member

    My MTB is a rigid 29er

    snap. The new ATBs.

    With some fast-rolling tyres and small bar-ends then Roberta is your Uncle’s sister.

    Premier Icon matt_outandabout
    Full Member

    Realising gravel bike are bit shit !

    Yet imo all bikes are ace, and riding them is even acerer.

    FWIW, I do think ‘gravel’ bikes are a compromise. Particularly when compared to a really focused bike that is the modern mountain bike. I’m learning that the compromise makes it interesting and is useful for all sorts of rides.

    Premier Icon Bez
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    Gravel bike in “not a mountain bike” shocker. Again.

    Premier Icon scotroutes
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    It actually forced me to ride faster than I wanted, it was supposed to be an easy bimble but I got a KOM (very obscure section only ridden by 24 people I should add) and some top tens, which did make me wonder whether it would be any fun riding it ‘easy’ as you’d be colliding with the bumps rather than skimming over them.

    I’ve been saying this for years. Ever since I first put CX tyres on my Amazon. There’s often a required speed to bring everything together. It’s one of the reasons I still fancy a proper, lightweight, racy CX bike too.

    Premier Icon sv
    Full Member

    Yep – I tried twice but couldnt get them to work for the trails I ride on, fast in parts but then not at all fun on many surfaces. Now have a Mk4 Stooge and that covers what I need.

    Premier Icon nicko74
    Free Member

    scotroutes
    Subscriber

    OP – you’d be better pinning a big sign on your back that says KICK ME

    lol.
    If Die Hard with a Vengeance was remade for the modern era, John McClane wouldn’t be told to go round a black neighbourhood wearing a racist sign, he’d be told to come on STW and slag off gravel bikes…

    Premier Icon 13thfloormonk
    Full Member

    I find that everytime i go from road to trail I imagine I’m Sagan hitting the pave, just cannot ride it slow!!!

    No co-incidence the KOM I got was a farm track skirting the edge of some fields, so basically lots of 90 degree corners lined with tall grass, and the track itself was sun-baked tractor tracks in mud, so not unlike some big lumpy cobbles! It was even dusty which fuelled the Paris-Roubaix fantasy a little bit more..

    Premier Icon Daffy
    Full Member

    I love my Gravel bikes. 65km on Sunday with approximately 70% on gravel and singletrack at an average speed of 27kph.

    I love the way a gravel bike feels on loose stuff, it moves around, but isn’t jittery like a road bike on 32s would be, it’s just pure, unadulterated, fun!

    65km on my 29er would be hard bloody work and on gravel it would be so sure footed as to be largely boring, but this was done fast and happy.

    I’m quite lucky in that I have lots of gravel trails near me.

    Premier Icon rOcKeTdOg
    Full Member

    gravel bikes are for the bits of trail that are boring on your slack angled long travel mtb as you wouldn’t even notice them, they make mundane trails fun and quicker to get to from home as they are more efficient on tarmac than your slack angled long travel mtb. an mtb they are not, fun they are

    Premier Icon homerun
    Free Member

    You just need to find the right routes.

    This for sure, I never used to enjoy riding my cyclocross bike on the trails purly because I was riding the wrong trails. I dug it put 38mm tyres on it lowered the gearing and it’s loads of fun on gravel, tracks and adobe.

    Gravel bike in “not a mountain bike” shocker. Again.

    I will point out there’s plenty of gravel bike riders who push the idea that they can replace a mtb 🤔
    For me anyway they quickly get out of their depth, especially on steep rocky technical trails. Some riders can manage just about anything on them, but for us mortals their slower, more scary and less fun on tougher going.

    Premier Icon TrailriderJim
    Full Member

    Can you name a type of bike that is less shit, and by less shit I mean less ‘compromised’ overall? ie something not too bad at surfaced roads, unsurfaced roads, towpaths, backroads, touring, commuting, going down the pub and generally getting around the world efficiently and comfortably?

    Yes, a parts-bin MTB, the likes of which most of us on here can put together for peanuts. It’ll likely have 1x, powerful disc brakes, strong tubeless-ready wheels and good geo for the rough stuff. Stick some £20 SPD/flat flip pedals on and it’ll get you to the pub and back too.

    Mine (29er Inbred) is comfy for 100km road/bridleway rides and odd looking enough not to be nicked in town.

    The local boutique MTB LBS recently started group gravel rides up, where the £8k Santa Cruz lovers of the gnar are now all into £4k drop-bar bikes. No doubt noses would be sniffed if I turned up on my shed creation. But I’m 100% sure most would secretly prefer to ride it on those oh-so-cool group gravel rides.

    Premier Icon Nobeerinthefridge
    Free Member

    gravel bikes are for the bits of trail that are boring on your slack angled long travel mtb

    Nope, they’re for the bits of rough surface that unskilled roadies shite their chamois on.

    Premier Icon weeksy
    Full Member

    Great thread, very stw

    I agree 100%

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