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Why is Gravel Riding Such a Thing?

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Why is Gravel Riding Such a Thing?

Old 01-12-22, 05:26 PM
  #126  
wolfchild
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Originally Posted by tomato coupe View Post
Gravel isn't for everyone. Smooth-as-glass road cycling is hard to beat.
Smooth-as-glass road cycling isn't for everyone...Gravel riding is hard to beat...Me personally if I had a choice between 100 miles of gravel and 100 miles of pavement I would choose gravel.
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Old 01-12-22, 05:30 PM
  #127  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
Smooth-as-glass road cycling isn't for everyone...Gravel riding is hard to beat...Me personally if I had a choice between 100 miles of gravel and 100 miles of pavement I would choose gravel.
I split my time roughly 50/50 between my road bike and my gravel bike. Smooth-as-glass road cycling isn't for everyone. Likewise, gravel riding isn't for everyone.
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Old 01-12-22, 05:31 PM
  #128  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
Summary - gravel bikes are still road bikes with wider tyres.
Gravel Bikes are Road Bikes that donít suck on Gravel.

or as I prefer to put it:

Gravel Bikes are Road Bikes that donít suck.
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Old 01-12-22, 05:35 PM
  #129  
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Originally Posted by Kapusta View Post
There is absolutely an overlap between what is considered a Gravel bike and what is considered an Endurance Road bike. An Endurance bike with 38s is basically a gravel bike as well in my book.

My bike (Soma Fog Cutter V1)) is called Endurance Road, but it can take 42mm tires.

Overlap and fuzzy boundaries are fine. The fact that some bikes blur the lines does not mean the terms are not useful.

When it comes down to it, Gravel bikes ARE road bikes. They are just road bike that donít suck on gravel roads.

If anything, Gravel bikes are a more true ďRoadĒ bike as they actually work well on most roads. Pavement Racing bikes are the niche bike.
Yep, that's why I had a few gravel bike frames on my shortlist for building up a new endurance road bike. There is a lot of overlap now.
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Old 01-12-22, 05:38 PM
  #130  
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Originally Posted by base2 View Post
the absence of Lycra & road's elitist image is an undeniable draw towards the activity.
There is no difference between a roadie and a gravel cyclist. They all look the same with their smooth as glass shaved legs and $ 500 bibs.
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Old 01-12-22, 05:49 PM
  #131  
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This thread has got me thinking. Does anyone here ride road, gravel and mtb? If so, do you have dedicated bikes for all 3? I'm 50/50 road/mtb and gravel is something I just happen to ride on my mtb to get to the singletrack. I've never really given gravel any thought as a primary riding terrain, but I can still see the attraction. Some of the mtb rides I used to do around the South Downs would probably suit a gravel bike better.
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Old 01-12-22, 06:43 PM
  #132  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
This thread has got me thinking. Does anyone here ride road, gravel and mtb? If so, do you have dedicated bikes for all 3? I'm 50/50 road/mtb and gravel is something I just happen to ride on my mtb to get to the singletrack. I've never really given gravel any thought as a primary riding terrain, but I can still see the attraction. Some of the mtb rides I used to do around the South Downs would probably suit a gravel bike better.
I ride all three. My Soma Fog Cutter with Rene Herse 38mm Superlight tires takes care of my all my road needs (paved and unpaved). I used to have a pavement-specific bike. I never miss it.

When mountain biking, I'll ride whatever roads I need to to connect trails. Those tend to be gravel, but not always. Honestly, my MTB is a drag (literally and figuratively) on extended gravel roads almost as much as on pavement. But it gets me to the next trail.

As far as road riding, gravel is just another road surface. Some rides are 0% gravel, some 50% gravel, some 100%. All on the same bike.
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Old 01-12-22, 07:43 PM
  #133  
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I'm probably way off here but I've come away from reading this entire thread thinking these are essentially under equipped randonneuring bikes. Because a randonneuring bike would fit all the criteria of a gravel bike and offer the rider a few extra accoutrements.

And no one wins those races either. Or so I'm told.
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Old 01-12-22, 07:59 PM
  #134  
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I always love your pics Indy.I don't just see them, I feel them.
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Old 01-12-22, 10:12 PM
  #135  
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Originally Posted by 70sSanO View Post
I've never ridden gravel as there really isn't any around here, but I think you answered your question. I can see how some people would like to get off the beaten path without getting into the game of getting beat up.

John
Yeah, in my teens and twenties, I was a dedicated road rider back in the days of tubular tires, toe clips, metal cleats and wool bike shorts.

In the 90s I made a transition to primarily rail trails and other easy routes off the roads and away from cars, noise and exhaust.

Now we have an even more extensive trail system around our area. Some parts are relatively easy and much like a road if you have the right tires. Other parts are more technical and a bit slower, but still not scary.

At my age, I donít want falls and I donít want down time when there are people who rely on me.

All that said, I donít have a modern gravel bike, just cheap old frames built up for light trail duty.

Otto

Last edited by ofajen; 01-12-22 at 10:16 PM.
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Old 01-12-22, 11:36 PM
  #136  
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Originally Posted by MNHarv View Post
I'm probably way off here but I've come away from reading this entire thread thinking these are essentially under equipped randonneuring bikes. Because a randonneuring bike would fit all the criteria of a gravel bike and offer the rider a few extra accoutrements.
Plenty of randonneuring bikes use skinny tires and race gearing, and really wouldn't fit the criteria of a "gravel bike" very well at all.

For the randonneuring bikes that do fit the criteria of a gravel bike, I'm not sure what benefit there is in discussing them as if the categories are mutually exclusive. When the mid-century French constructeurs built fat-tired low-geared randonneuring bikes, they did so primarily because their clients were intending to ride them on gravel roads in the mountains; I think it's neither inappropriate nor confusing to refer to those bikes as gravel bikes. Similarly, if the "extra accoutrements" you're referring to are things like bags and lighting systems, it's not like people never equip their "gravel bikes" with such features.
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Old 01-12-22, 11:42 PM
  #137  
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Originally Posted by wolfchild View Post
There is no difference between a roadie and a gravel cyclist. They all look the same with their smooth as glass shaved legs and $ 500 bibs.
Your shtick played out long ago.
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Old 01-12-22, 11:45 PM
  #138  
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Originally Posted by MNHarv View Post
I'm probably way off here but I've come away from reading this entire thread thinking these are essentially under equipped randonneuring bikes. Because a randonneuring bike would fit all the criteria of a gravel bike and offer the rider a few extra accoutrements.

And no one wins those races either. Or so I'm told.
A rando bike certainly could fit all the criteria of a gravel bike. And a gravel bike certain could fit all the criteria of a random bike.

Really not sure what your point is.

I am curious to hear what extras a rando bike offers.
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Old 01-13-22, 03:58 AM
  #139  
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Originally Posted by MNHarv View Post
I'm probably way off here but I've come away from reading this entire thread thinking these are essentially under equipped randonneuring bikes. Because a randonneuring bike would fit all the criteria of a gravel bike and offer the rider a few extra accoutrements.

And no one wins those races either. Or so I'm told.
I think of Rando bikes as more like vintage touring/gravel bikes. The market for bikes specifically designed and equipped to be ridden 200km+ is pretty niche. You could say that a Rando bike is an over-equipped touring/gravel bike for 99% of the cycling population.
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Old 01-13-22, 04:46 AM
  #140  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
A rando bike certainly could fit all the criteria of a gravel bike. And a gravel bike certain could fit all the criteria of a random bike.

Really not sure what your point is.

I am curious to hear what extras a rando bike offers.
His point seems simple. There is no such thing as a randonneuring bike. Your idea of a randonneuring bike might represent 3% of the bikes on the starting line at PBP.
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Old 01-13-22, 05:00 AM
  #141  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
Your shtick played out long ago.
Yep. One-trick pony. Sounds very sock-ish, if you know what Iím sayiní.

In any event, this thread went exactly how I thought it would based on the fate of the similar thread I linked to early on.
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Old 01-13-22, 07:26 AM
  #142  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
His point seems simple. There is no such thing as a randonneuring bike. Your idea of a randonneuring bike might represent 3% of the bikes on the starting line at PBP.
What is my idea of a rando bike? I didn't offer up a description.
I just asked what extras a rando bike offers.
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Old 01-13-22, 07:38 AM
  #143  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
What is my idea of a rando bike? I didn't offer up a description.
I just asked what extras a rando bike offers.
You think a randonneuring bike is suitable for gravel. Seems pretty descriptive to me.
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Old 01-13-22, 07:58 AM
  #144  
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Originally Posted by GhostRider62 View Post
You think a randonneuring bike is suitable for gravel. Seems pretty descriptive to me.
I wasnt the one who initially claimed this, I just responded with 'a rando bike could fit the criteria of a gravel bike'. Not will, but could. Because it could, depending on specifics.
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Old 01-13-22, 08:01 AM
  #145  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
This thread has got me thinking. Does anyone here ride road, gravel and mtb? If so, do you have dedicated bikes for all 3?

Absolutely ride all three and have dedicated bikes for each. That said, most of my time is spent on a cx-type(Poprads with 38mm tires)

...that I recently discovered has the same geometry as a Checkpoint

...that has the same geometry(up to 2021) as a Domane

..so

..point taken.
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Old 01-13-22, 08:07 AM
  #146  
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There is too much meaningless differentiation in the bike market.

Many gravel roads can be ridden on a road bike with 32 mm tires or a touring bike or a so-called endurance bike. More rustic gravel roads might be better with a flat bar mountain bike with some tread on the tires. I don't need a special bike for gravel. If the road is awful and steep and rutted, my Mt bike is fine. Normally, a road bike with larger tires works just fine. If someone is doing long distance endurance racing on gravel? Different story
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Old 01-13-22, 09:06 AM
  #147  
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr View Post
A rando bike certainly could fit all the criteria of a gravel bike. And a gravel bike certain could fit all the criteria of a random bike.

Really not sure what your point is.

I am curious to hear what extras a rando bike offers.
Permanent lighting for one. I think most of Europe requires headlights (at least) on their bicycles. IHGs are the norm there but not here in the United States. Once someone gets to the higher distances where they ride overnight U.S. riders usually convert their lighting systems to permanently integrated systems. Seems like fenders, or mud guards if you prefer to call them that, really only come on touring bikes in the U.S. whereas Europe again treats them as necessary. (I've seen local riders here in MN with centrifugal cup holders mounted to their bikes.) Who knows... probably shrader valves...
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Old 01-13-22, 09:12 AM
  #148  
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Originally Posted by MNHarv View Post
Permanent lighting for one. I think most of Europe requires headlights (at least) on their bicycles. IHGs are the norm there but not here in the United States. Once someone gets to the higher distances where they ride overnight U.S. riders usually convert their lighting systems to permanently integrated systems. Seems like fenders, or mud guards if you prefer to call them that, really only come on touring bikes in the U.S. whereas Europe again treats them as necessary. (I've seen local riders here in MN with centrifugal cup holders mounted to their bikes.) Who knows... probably shrader valves...
I sitting right next to two commuter bikes with everything you describe. One is marketed as a touring/gravel bike the other is more of a gravel bike. I guess the lack of schrader valves keep them from reaching rando status. lol
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Old 01-13-22, 09:16 AM
  #149  
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
This thread has got me thinking. Does anyone here ride road, gravel and mtb? If so, do you have dedicated bikes for all 3? I'm 50/50 road/mtb and gravel is something I just happen to ride on my mtb to get to the singletrack. I've never really given gravel any thought as a primary riding terrain, but I can still see the attraction. Some of the mtb rides I used to do around the South Downs would probably suit a gravel bike better.
Yes. Carbon road, Di2 systesm, 25mm tires. Topstone grave, has both 32mm road tires and 2nd wheel set with 44mm gravel tires, I take this bike on vacations. Aly HT for mt biking single track.
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Old 01-13-22, 09:16 AM
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Originally Posted by PeteHski View Post
I think of Rando bikes as more like vintage touring/gravel bikes. The market for bikes specifically designed and equipped to be ridden 200km+ is pretty niche. You could say that a Rando bike is an over-equipped touring/gravel bike for 99% of the cycling population.
Yes.
I think the gravel bike evolved from the earliest modern designs. Taking the best of what people need today and eschewing the rest. While rando specific bikes evolved on their own path for the reasons set out by that newspaper (in order to sell more newspapers). A long unsupported ride within a limited time frame. No winners, no losers except those who DNF within that time frame.

Wait! I participateded... Don't I get a trophy?
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