Go Back  Bike Forums > Bike Forums > Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational)
Reload this Page >

I've been crashing a lot since getting a gravel bike

Notices
Cyclocross and Gravelbiking (Recreational) This has to be the most physically intense sport ever invented. It's high speed bicycle racing on a short off road course or riding the off pavement rides on gravel like :The Dirty Kanza". We also have a dedicated Racing forum for the Cyclocross Hard Core Racers.

I've been crashing a lot since getting a gravel bike

Old 05-29-20, 09:29 AM
  #26  
aggiegrads
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2009
Location: Sherwood, OR
Posts: 923
Mentioned: 18 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 165 Post(s)
Liked 66 Times in 49 Posts
Originally Posted by aaronmcd View Post
Like I mentioned I'm guessing a skilled rider would be fine on these little jumps and stairs without suspension, but I have 50,000 miles on a road bike and 200 on a gravel bike lol. Probably a few hundred trail miles on the Cervelo, but the really rocky stuff is no fun on 23s.
There are few truly exceptional bike handlers that did not spend time in other disciplines. In my opinion, the two best bike handlers in the pro peloton are Peter Sagan and Julian Alaphillipe. Both came from cyclocross. Even in local cyclocross races, you can usually tell who comes from mountain biking and who comes from road.

I consider myself a good bike handler, and I have more miles on the road than anywhere else, but that is not where I got my skills. They came from years riding BMX and freestyle bikes in my youth, riding MTB and ten seasons of cyclocross, and even off-road unicycle. I was riding gravel before it was cool.

I’m sure that you are a great wheel on the road, but the more time that you spend on loose surfaces, you more you will realize that your road riding skills are only “base miles” and the cyclocross, MTB and trials experience are the “intervals” of bike handling.
aggiegrads is offline  
Old 05-29-20, 10:56 AM
  #27  
unterhausen
Randomhead
 
Join Date: Aug 2008
Location: Happy Valley, Pennsylvania
Posts: 19,746
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 4 Post(s)
Liked 368 Times in 281 Posts
Originally Posted by dsaul View Post
I ride my gravel bike on MTB trails all the time. As a very experienced mountain biker, I find it more challenging to tackle trail features on a drop bar bike, but that is part of the fun for me. With you being road rider with little MTB experience, I would expect you to have more trouble dealing with those trail features.

I've found that setting up my bars so that they are higher and closer to me, than I would use on my road bike, helps a lot. You need to be in the drops for trail riding, so that you can keep a finger on the brake levers. It helps a lot to have the bike set up so that you are comfortable being in the drops and can still keep your head up to look far enough down the trail to see the next obstacle and prepare for it.
I think that's the bottom line, drop bar bikes are not really made for mountain biking and it takes a pretty good mountain biker to use them well in ways most appropriately ridden on a mountain bike. I'm planning on putting a dropper post on my gravel bike, it's pretty scary on a lot of the double track around here, and forget it on singletrack. The main trail down out of the mountains near here takes me less than an hour on my mountain bike, and I have never done it in less than 2 hours on my gravel bike.
unterhausen is offline  
Old 05-29-20, 11:24 AM
  #28  
Koyote
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Sep 2017
Posts: 1,545
Mentioned: 14 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 829 Post(s)
Liked 623 Times in 332 Posts
Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I think that's the bottom line, drop bar bikes are not really made for mountain biking and it takes a pretty good mountain biker to use them well in ways most appropriately ridden on a mountain bike. I'm planning on putting a dropper post on my gravel bike, it's pretty scary on a lot of the double track around here, and forget it on singletrack. The main trail down out of the mountains near here takes me less than an hour on my mountain bike, and I have never done it in less than 2 hours on my gravel bike.
Truth.

I think we are in the same neck of the woods...And I've done a couple "gravel races" that included terrain that would be challenging for MTBs. I don't appreciate confronting that on a drop bar bike with 42mm wide tires.
Koyote is offline  
Old 05-29-20, 11:40 AM
  #29  
ThermionicScott 
7-speed cultist
 
ThermionicScott's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2011
Location: CID
Posts: 20,010

Bikes: 1991 Bianchi Eros, 1964 Armstrong, 1988 Diamondback Ascent, 1988 Bianchi Premio, 1987 Bianchi Sport SX, 1980s Raleigh mixte (hers)

Mentioned: 87 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 2769 Post(s)
Liked 678 Times in 473 Posts
If nothing else, it seems that you're not afraid of crashing.

Sometimes I wonder if I don't crash enough to be comfortable pushing my bike-handling limits. So I rarely try new things.
__________________
Originally Posted by chandltp View Post
There's no such thing as too far.. just lack of time
Originally Posted by noglider
People in this forum are not typical.
RUSA #7498
ThermionicScott is offline  
Old 05-29-20, 12:12 PM
  #30  
aaronmcd
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
aaronmcd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: SF, CA
Posts: 3,458

Bikes: Cervelo S5, Marin Gestalt X11

Mentioned: 71 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 552 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 44 Posts
Originally Posted by ThermionicScott View Post
If nothing else, it seems that you're not afraid of crashing.

Sometimes I wonder if I don't crash enough to be comfortable pushing my bike-handling limits. So I rarely try new things.
Well I don't particularly like crashing, and I am afraid of it if I think about it, but I don't usually think about it. Back when I started road riding, I took a corner too fast (or wrong line too fast more likely) on my first big mountain descent trying to keep up with the fastest guy on the college race team. I feel like that helped me learn my cornering limits quick and I've been one of the faster guys at descending ever since. I'm hoping something good comes from a few beginner crashes on trail features. At least these are all low speed.
aaronmcd is offline  
Old 05-29-20, 12:23 PM
  #31  
aaronmcd
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
aaronmcd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: SF, CA
Posts: 3,458

Bikes: Cervelo S5, Marin Gestalt X11

Mentioned: 71 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 552 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 44 Posts
Originally Posted by dsaul View Post
I ride my gravel bike on MTB trails all the time. As a very experienced mountain biker, I find it more challenging to tackle trail features on a drop bar bike, but that is part of the fun for me. With you being road rider with little MTB experience, I would expect you to have more trouble dealing with those trail features.

I've found that setting up my bars so that they are higher and closer to me, than I would use on my road bike, helps a lot. You need to be in the drops for trail riding, so that you can keep a finger on the brake levers. It helps a lot to have the bike set up so that you are comfortable being in the drops and can still keep your head up to look far enough down the trail to see the next obstacle and prepare for it.
Originally Posted by Happy Feet View Post
I think it's a learning curve as you try to flex a bike made for one genre into another. If you have a bike optimally set up for gravel it's not going to be optimal for more technical terrain - you would do things differently for that.

If the seat is set for speed on gravel roads it will be too high for control on single track where you want it lower. A good argument for a dropper on a gravel bike I suppose. When I started riding my FG more on gravel I had some problems with the old school narrow drops. The hand position was too close together to negotiate some detours that go around gates and loose gravel on descents.



So I swapped them out for flipped utility bars, like very shallow dirt drops. Wider grip and angled for better control.



I still can't do wheelies with it either.
Originally Posted by unterhausen View Post
I think that's the bottom line, drop bar bikes are not really made for mountain biking and it takes a pretty good mountain biker to use them well in ways most appropriately ridden on a mountain bike. I'm planning on putting a dropper post on my gravel bike, it's pretty scary on a lot of the double track around here, and forget it on singletrack. The main trail down out of the mountains near here takes me less than an hour on my mountain bike, and I have never done it in less than 2 hours on my gravel bike.
I was a bit torn whether I wanted flat bars or drop bars. I chose drop bars because of the extra comfort on roads and familiarity. I definitely agree drops are where I want to be for descents for the braking. However, I like the hoods for being more upright and better low speed control on the tough climbs.

I have the dropper post. I used it on a mild single track descent in the city just to try it out and I like it. When I'd take my road bike on dirt I often had to push my butt back as far as possible on the descents, and the dropper makes that easier and keeps my weight lower. Sometimes I find myself wanting to use it but I'm already descending so I can't get the seat down

I actually sized down from my road bike to get the bars closer, and left them in the highest position. it's only annoying when I'm trying to speed home on pavement but I can still get in invisible aerobars.

Last edited by aaronmcd; 05-29-20 at 12:32 PM.
aaronmcd is offline  
Old 05-29-20, 12:48 PM
  #32  
Riveting
Senior Member
 
Join Date: Oct 2013
Location: Denver, CO
Posts: 615

Bikes: '13 Trek Madone 2.3, '13 Diamondback Hybrid Commuter, '17 Spec Roubaix Di2, '17 Spec Camber 29'er

Mentioned: 3 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 232 Post(s)
Liked 77 Times in 56 Posts
If you like pushing the limits of your skill level, and don't mind falling 2-3 times per ride, get a full suspension MTB and ride in the woods on some steep technical single track. Learning to fall gracefully is just part of the fun. If you don't come home bleeding on every ride, you weren't trying hard enough.
Riveting is offline  
Old 05-29-20, 01:53 PM
  #33  
Happy Feet
Senior Member
 
Happy Feet's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2015
Location: Left Coast, Canada
Posts: 4,112
Mentioned: 24 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1658 Post(s)
Liked 614 Times in 359 Posts
Originally Posted by Riveting View Post
If you like pushing the limits of your skill level, and don't mind falling 2-3 times per ride, get a full suspension MTB and ride in the woods on some steep technical single track. Learning to fall gracefully is just part of the fun. If you don't come home bleeding on every ride, you weren't trying hard enough.
Still spring around here so it's more "covered in mud" than "covered in blood". That'll change when the ground gets hard and scratchy.
Happy Feet is offline  
Old 05-29-20, 02:14 PM
  #34  
HD3andMe
Member
 
Join Date: Apr 2020
Posts: 46
Mentioned: 0 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 25 Post(s)
Likes: 0
Liked 21 Times in 12 Posts
Originally Posted by aaronmcd View Post
but I have 50,000 miles on a road bike and 200 on a gravel bike lol. Probably a few hundred trail miles on the Cervelo, but the really rocky stuff is no fun on 23s.
That's your answer right there.

Road skills/experience don't translate quickly, or well, to riding off-road.
HD3andMe is offline  
Old 05-29-20, 04:57 PM
  #35  
Metieval
Senior Member
 
Metieval's Avatar
 
Join Date: Jul 2005
Location: Ohio
Posts: 2,609

Bikes: Road bike, Hybrid, Gravel, Drop bar SS, hard tail MTB

Mentioned: 7 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 1114 Post(s)
Liked 169 Times in 130 Posts
I've been crashing a lot since getting a gravel bike
Meh... I crash on all bicycles.
Metieval is offline  
Old 05-29-20, 05:46 PM
  #36  
Bigbus
Senior Member
 
Bigbus's Avatar
 
Join Date: Mar 2018
Location: Central West Coast
Posts: 571

Bikes: In Flux

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 174 Post(s)
Liked 85 Times in 65 Posts
Originally Posted by Metieval View Post
Meh... I crash on all bicycles.
Meh...I even crash on tricycles
Bigbus is offline  
Old 05-29-20, 06:11 PM
  #37  
aaronmcd
Senior Member
Thread Starter
 
aaronmcd's Avatar
 
Join Date: Aug 2013
Location: SF, CA
Posts: 3,458

Bikes: Cervelo S5, Marin Gestalt X11

Mentioned: 71 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 552 Post(s)
Liked 63 Times in 44 Posts
Originally Posted by Bigbus View Post
Meh...I even crash on tricycles
Every year in my neighborhood there's this race:
aaronmcd is offline  
Likes For aaronmcd:
Old 05-29-20, 06:13 PM
  #38  
DeadGrandpa
Senior Member
 
DeadGrandpa's Avatar
 
Join Date: Sep 2014
Location: Carolina
Posts: 844

Bikes: Trek 1120, Santa Cruz Tallboy 3CC, Fandango DC-9 MTB tandem, Jamis Renegade Expert, Bike Friday Pocket Llama, Santana Arriva tandem, Bridgestone RB-1

Mentioned: 2 Post(s)
Tagged: 0 Thread(s)
Quoted: 277 Post(s)
Liked 68 Times in 54 Posts
I had a pretty spectacular wipe out while riding my gravel bike on the gravel Denali Hiway. Riding 700x40c Schwalbe marathon tires, pumped up to too much tire pressure for the conditions. I decided to change my line to the other tire track. Wheels went sideways and my bike and I got horizontal with the gravel. It was during an up and down, but probably the down, when I was going 12-15 mph. Probably due to maxing out the tire pressure, due to lack of experience. The surface doesn't cause the crash; it's your failure to adjust to the conditions.
DeadGrandpa is offline  
Likes For DeadGrandpa:

Posting Rules
You may not post new threads
You may not post replies
You may not post attachments
You may not edit your posts

BB code is On
Smilies are On
[IMG] code is On
HTML code is Off


Thread Tools
Search this Thread

Contact Us - Archive - Advertising - Cookie Policy - Privacy Statement - Terms of Service - Do Not Sell My Personal Information

Copyright © 2018 MH Sub I, LLC dba Internet Brands. All rights reserved. Use of this site indicates your consent to the Terms of Use.