Realising gravel bike are bit shit !
^^^^ my rigid 29er is also fine on roads when they link together more bumpy stuff. It also is steel and has drop bars (Vagabond) – a very versatile bike – 4 days of Hebridean adventures last May and it was the ideal bike for the combination of road, machair and some tracks, while lugging overnight kit.Posted 9 months ago
FTFY. Us MTBers know they’re nowt to do with us. 😉
True that. Been riding bikes since I was 11, and by the time was in late twenties my riding buddy’s bikes began to look like this
And they began driving to the places that we used to ride TO, just in order to do the downhill bits. I was too chicken/under-biked and tbh fairly uninterested in the evolving super-expensive gravity sport and so I carried on riding the old loops on my one bike, also to work, to holidays, to the pub, to the hills, around the woods, often all the way to Welsh mountains and around ClimachX (before it was ClimachX)
So over time my ‘MTBs’ began to look like this
I’d ride out with tools, pitch up camp and then dismantle the racks and ride the bike as a rigid MTB for a weekend before re-fitting the touring stuff to get home 🤣
Took me a number of years trying both road and various types of XC MTB To discover that I’ll probably always be a black sheep, ie on the ‘wrong bike’ (ie wrong bike for other people) – which sort of makes sense, because I don’t ride for other people, neither to ‘be seen’ riding a certain bike (go on admit it, your eyes melted at those pics
Those who seek to belong in a clique are (unsurprisingly) often keen to label you, whatever it is that you do.
I like many kinds of riding/bikes at different times and places, yet when pressed am happiest riding all day long on an tourer/ATB/monstercross, going mostly back roads and fireroads and RUPPS wherever over there with a packed lunch or maybe a sleeping bag.
I (barely)keep a hardtail (but really, really enjoy it when it’s working, and use it mostly to ride with friends at trail centres and on singletrack) and last time I rode a road bike I hated it.
For general use am tbh struggling a bit now with a 29er rigid MTB, mostly because am missing the monster-cross (Vagabond). It climbed better, was more comfortable to ride in general, and a bit more fun across the board at the limits. Have never ridden a so-called gravel-bike (unless those early DIY things I specced could be described as such, but I’d call them ATBs) yet would certainly like to try something like a Tempest or Fugio, or something before I shuffle off the coil. It’s almost like they were made for the majority of my type of riding/touring/exploring.
I’m delighted during lockdown to see people getting back into riding from the door, no matter what they ride. No one type of bike is going to be perfect for everyone, but for me the one that makes me smile so much that I do an extra loop/15k on the way home is as near as. That could be a touring bike one day/ride, or a hardtail another. Sorry to be boring!Posted 9 months ago
All bikes are great, if they suit the riding you do then crack on.
BITD (about 2005 I’m not as old as some of you 😉 ) I didn’t drive yet, so most of my MTB riding was basically from my door on pretty easy trails and paths. I loved the idea of mountain biking but barely did any real off road riding. I’d just bought myself a Stumpjumper hardtail and systematically went about making it as light and fast as possible, it was basically a gravel bike without drops including a rigid fork and stupid 1.6″ Panaracer Speedblaster tyres that weighed about 350grams.
It utterly flew on paths, lanes and simple singletrack.
Then I got a car and much more frequent access to actual technical trails, my weight weenie hardtail was utter bobbins. Turns out when I actually got access to proper off road my primary concern wasn’t going fast it was having fun. And riding a sketchy AF bike that made the boring bits more exciting just wasn’t something I was interested in.
I still have my Stumpjumper – I used it on the turbo.
“You can go a great distance in a short time or you can have a great time in a short distance”Posted 9 months ago
I don’t really care about CX or gravel or whatever it’s being called this decade, but that Niner on the last page (it turned up on another thread the other day as well) is repulsive and should be killed to death with fire. Whoever designed it should be ashamed of themselves, it wasn’t funny or clever…
Evil have produced a gravel bike (the Chamois Hagar*) that looks horrid as well. When I first saw it, I genuinely thought it was an April fools gag. (I’m still not sure that it isn’t)
*No, I’m not, that’s actually what it’s called.Posted 9 months ago
Another point I was musing over is that gravel bikes have just portioned off all the generally cowardly, boring and not very competent mountain bikers who never really liked riding up and down actual mountains anyway.
It’s also captured loads of the roadies who were never very fit, competitive or capable racers either.
So what we have here is not two or three similar people who disagree over a bike, but two different people who disagree over what fun is because they have different approaches to life.
Maybe gravel bikes are just for type B people. It’s so.. inclusive man.
It’s ironic because I’m sure average speeds seem to have dropped in proportion with the number of times the word enduro has been used as a hashtag.
Perhaps we’re only one step away from the full diamond pattern and the people who ride at the Golfie will actually go back to playing golf?Posted 9 months ago
Perhaps we’re only one step away from the full diamond pattern
true dat, mind you; gravel-bike specific clothing from the likes of Morvelo and Rapha (which tells you everything you need to know about the intended market for gravel bikes) is also doing its very best to niche* its self into some sort of relevance amongst the more hipster-ish of this parish. Stupidly short shorts, long unkempt hair and a droopy moustache/rapist beard is oh-so on trend Dahling….
*You’re not the boss of me, I can use this word how I want to.Posted 9 months ago
true dat, mind you; gravel-bike specific clothing from the likes of Morvelo and Rapha (which tells you everything you need to know about the intended market for gravel bikes) is also doing it’s very best to niche* it’s self into some sort of relevance amongst the more hipster-ish of this parish. Stupidly short shorts, long unkempt hair and a droopy moustache/rapist beard is oh-so on trend Dahling….
When you can’t spend money on kashima stanchions you have to find ways to show that you have the ££££ these days when any old chump can get a T6* on finance.
*Obviously these are the golfers in disguise, the real gravel enthusiasts would have already ridden 100km to get to the start of the ride and will be brewing up on their ultralight stoves or sipping single malt.Posted 9 months ago
or sipping single malt.
To fill the empty void in their lives that they sadly thought the gravel bike would, no doubt 🙂Posted 9 months ago
Don’t know which posts I’m enjoying the most, the armchair rampage riders Who are too rad or the you are being scammed by the advertising brigade who are all probably over biked and own plenty of shit they don’t really need.Posted 9 months ago
They are only bikes, but as I actually ride one I wouldn’t raise much of an eyebrow if someone said they had 2 gravel bikes for different riding.
Really liking mine but for different reasons that I really like my mtb’s
Yeah, that’s it sailor74, release that inner rage…ggrrrrrr 🙂Posted 9 months ago
To fill the empty void in their lives that they sadly thought the gravel bike would, no doubt 🙂
*sniff* however much I spend on lightweight gear to fill myPosted 9 months ago
bagsluggage made by some bloke in a shed you’ve never heard of, I’m still empty inside. Unlike the luggage which now weighs more than the bike it’s strapped to.
Loving my gravel bike and my downhill gnar. Tools for the job in hand. So many angry people on here it’s jolly amusing.Posted 9 months ago
made by some bloke in a shed you’ve never heard of
There was a video on an achingly on-trend site I found the other day featuring a bloke explaining why he’d gone from making super-high end leather shoes to making saddles instead…and he’d branched off into leather one-piece bar tape (which obvs misses the entire point of bar tape, but let’s not go there…) It was clear who the marketing was aimed at, there were wistful shots of long (gravel) tracks through the wide open spaces of ‘merica*
* which, given the actual inhabitants of rural ‘merica; would shoot you with the AR-15 they have on a open carry licence to hawk your bike for meth.Posted 9 months ago
So many angry people on here it’s jolly amusing.
Really? What do you think is the angriest comment? Or is all differing opinion ‘angry’?Posted 9 months ago
I think this can all be summed up as follows:
1. Whatever terrain it is you’re riding, and however you’re riding it, some bikes will suit it better than others.Posted 9 months ago
2. Sometimes the best one will be a gravel bike of some sort.
3. Other times it won’t.
4. Some people who have encountered point 4 have taken their experience to mean that (a) anything that could be labelled a “gravel bike” must shit, (b) everyone riding gravel bikes must be stupid because they haven’t realised that gravel bikes must be shit, and (c) everyone should bloody well hear about this fact via the internet every couple of weeks until the whole thing goes away and we’re all happily riding either 6lb road bikes or full-sussers with 45 degree head angles and a wheelbase that spans postcodes, or playing golf.
5. A subset of the people who have nodded along with points 1-4 will still feel obliged to point out that a rigid 29er is better, having forgotten that they nodded along with point 1.
STOP BEING RAESONABEL!!!!!!!Posted 9 months ago
can we at least all agree that E-Gravel bikes are shit? 🙂Posted 9 months ago
summed up perfectly BezPosted 9 months ago
(which tells you everything you need to know about the intended market for gravel bikes)
Disagree. There are nearly as many ‘markets’ for gravel bikes as there are for mountain bikes, and one of those niches won’t tell you ‘everything’ about much except a very narrow (and usually shallow, vain, stereotype that in real-life applies to very few people)
Here look. Gravel biking marketing is a ‘niche for grey leggings and running shoes’
Don’t believe me? Look at the marketing. Tells you all you need to know about people who buy gravel bikes?:
Same as MTBing is a niche for rich cityslickers with a penchant for loud branding and expensive ski-masks. The type of colour-matched race-onesie-wearing model-rugged rich-kids who can afford to buy £3-4k bikes in order to ride a horse to the trailhead of endless desert-downhills with no uphills. The type of people who have an Insta-drone which follows them everywhere, from the brand new 4×4 pickup truck to the hot-tub at the ski-Lodge
Don’t believe me? Look at the marketing. Tells you all you need to know about the type of people who buy MTBs?Posted 9 months ago
I’ve got a bikePosted 9 months ago
I’ve got a bike
you sold out to the marketing!Posted 9 months ago
I have to agree with the OP. I have had a couple of gravel bikes. An Orange RX and a Cannondale Slate with front lefty fork.Posted 9 months ago
It was like the 90s all over again. Skinny tyres, odd head angles, narrow (drop) bars. Gravel bikes are just a rubbish off road. A better option is a rigid 29er. If I wanted skinny tyres and drop bars I’d buy a road bike thanks.
Not sure whether monkeysfeet read my post and decided to irony the shit out of it (bravo, you really aced it) or whether we’re just stuck in Groundhog Facepalm.
Obviously I’ve left the door wide open to a claim of the former, but hey.Posted 9 months ago
It was like the 90s all over again
Posted 9 months ago
I like Bez’s recursive Point 4 🤭
I like bikes.Posted 9 months ago
I like riding them.
I like drop bar bikes, flat bar bikes and riser bar bikes.
I don’t like the tyres not touching the ground.
Over the last 2 or 3 years a lot of my riding has been well suited on a flared drop bar bike. Sometimes with a niche French-made saddlebag. Sometimes with a niche America-made front bag.
All the rest? Shrugs.
We just need the trendsetters to widen and flare the drops a bit more on the current trajectory towards horizontal and we’ve arrived back at the ultimate do it all type machine, same as it ever was..
Hardtails rule.Posted 9 months ago
for anyone who is gravel curious this probably reflects most of what my gravel rides look like although i tend to throw in some singletrack too, basically a very mixed bag.Posted 9 months ago
I think Bez has pretty much summed it up.
Ride whatever you like, and let others ride what they want without comment. No one cares if you think they’re riding the wrong bike.Posted 9 months ago
That Arkose rider wants some of those combo flat/SPD pedals surely?Posted 9 months ago
A subset of the people who have nodded along with points 1-4 will still feel obliged to point out that a rigid 29er is better, having forgotten that they nodded along with point 1.
Well in some areas, people seem to need this pointed out. I’ve seen a fair few gravel bikes and classic tourers being carried through my local trails when their riders want to enjoy a bit of this new ‘gravel’ idea and realise they haven’t got the tyres or the gears for what is locally available.
I’m all in favour of gravel bikes, for the record. I’d quite like one.Posted 9 months ago
You heard it here first folks.
There’s more to riding bikes in the mountains than heading downhill being gnar.
Try telling that to my kids. 🤪Posted 9 months ago
Apparently my riding is ‘old man’ and ‘boring’… Seems then that most of the bike marketeers and product managers of the world are 15 and 18 years old 🤔
classic tourers being carried through my local trails when their riders want to enjoy a bit of this new ‘gravel’ idea and realise they haven’t got the tyres or the gears for what is locally available.
I met a 76 year old called Arthur on 1970’s road tourer last summer. This was at White Bridge above Linn of Dee, having ridden up Glen Tilt, heading for Braemar for the night before finishing a couple of the last Munro’s on his list.
Be more like Arthur.Posted 9 months ago
I rode my bikePosted 9 months ago
Be more like Arthur.
Why?Posted 9 months ago
Lycra? SPD? Stupid socks? No helmet peak
He’s dead to mePosted 9 months ago
I mean it from a live life to the full. Just get out and ride. With a smile. And a sense of adventure.Posted 9 months ago
I think i met Arthur’s Da riding up glen tilt early 90s on my Muddy Fox Pathfinder
He was on a tourer wasnt too impressed with these new fangled mountain bikes
Ride what floats your boatPosted 9 months ago
Im confused now. I have couple of different bikes inc gravel and FS. Do i need to decide which one i like more and sell the others? Ever seen Kramer vs Kramer? Its not pretty.Posted 9 months ago
I mean it from a live life to the full. Just get out and ride. With a smile. And a sense of adventure.
Why do you think we aren’t doing that?Posted 9 months ago
I mean it from a live life to the full. Just get out and ride. With a smile. And a sense of adventure.
But how can he achieve that without a horse and a retro pickup?Posted 9 months ago
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