Gravel bike on the road

Discussion in 'Road Cycling' started by Uawadall, Sep 16, 2019.

  1. Uawadall

    Uawadall Well-Known Member

    Jun 14, 2015
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    hello, it’s been a while. Just curious to see who on here have a gravel bike. I’ve just purchased one a month ago and would highly recommend one for several reasons

    1. The versatility is great, can do semi technical mountain bike trails, bike trails, etc... on the road, you’ll only lose around 1-3 mph depending on terrain. You’ll lose way less speed on the flats

    2. Will make a great winter bike. More puncture resistance and rolls over potholes like they were nothing.

    3.Can be adjusted to make for a great climbing bike. My bike has a 46/30 and a 32 at the back. Even with stock cross tires, I’ve taken it up plenty of steep climbs on the road. With a road Wheelset, it basically becomes an endurance bike with mountain goat gear range.
    4. Disc brakes and wide tires are a great combination. I’m a very cautious descender. Went down a mountain with hairpin turns on my bike with caliper brakes and felt like I walked the bike down. With my gravel bike and confident braking, I descended in half the time.
    5. A little gravel will help improve your bike handling. After a month or so, I’m feeling more confident on my road bikes than I have in the last 4 years of riding. You start to realize that descending a smooth road is much less intimidating than descending roots and rocks. I’ve also become way less reliant on my brakes. Did a tour Sunday and upgraded to an average descender, lol.

    Really liking the new bike, any of you have a gravel or cross bike?

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    CAMPYBOB and steve like this.

  2. BrianNystrom

    BrianNystrom Member

    Aug 13, 2013
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    There are a lot of gravel bike owners here and a lot of related threads if you do some searching. You've reiterated many of the reasons that we like our gravel bikes. I'm glad you're enjoying yours.

    OTOH, I'm not a timid descender and I find that on pavement, my gravel bike doesn't descend as well as my road bikes. Even with wide (35mm) slicks that provide plenty of traction, it simply isn't as confidence-inspiring in high-speed corners as my road bikes, though it's fine in a straight line. It requires more effort to turn, doesn't change lines as easily and it's significantly slower. However, that may be specific to my bike and setup, and isn't necessarily true of others. It's also possible that with more road miles, I'll become more familiar with the quirks of this bike and more confident descending on it. For the most part, I only use it on pavement if there are paved sections in gravel rides (in which case, it's equipped with off-road rubber, which isn't great for cornering on pavement) or if I'm traveling and I can only bring one bike for both on and off-road use (along with two sets of tires).

    Don't get me wrong, I love gravel bikes and wouldn't want to be without one. If I could only have one bike, it would be a gravel rig.