Hot answers tagged

20

GCN had a funny take on this recently: Gravel bikes exist because mountain biking is now boring. Or to give slightly more nuance, mountain bikes make it so easy to ride over difficult terrain that they remove the challenge. Coming at it from the opposite direction, road cycling may be losing some popularity because A) roads in many places are poorly ...


18

For me, a gravel bike is the perfect commuter bike. Before, I had a road bike and a hybrid (normal) bike. On nice days I could maybe use the road bike, but mostly I would use the hybrid one because of rain/snow, having to carry stuff or whatever. However, going up the hills back home, and even the flats, the hybrid feels sooo slow and heavy. So I recently ...


17

This is why people recommend not going to Halfords. (For the benefit of people outside the UK, Halfords is primarily a car accessory shop, which also sells bikes). If you go to a proper bike shop, the staff will insist on fitting the bike to your properly, rather than coming up with excuses not to. They'll also let you take the bike on a proper test ride, ...


16

Google 'cyclocross'. The primary difference between a road bike and a CX bike is the size of the tires. You can ride your road bike anywhere your skills will allow. There are some gotcha's though. Skinny tires only have so much traction. Gravel flats won't be an issue for all but the lightest of race tires, but pinch flats from hitting larger rocks at ...


11

As other answers and comments have indicated, you can successfully ride a road bike on loose gravel. There are five main factors, and they are all interconnected: The depth of the gravel. The key to riding in gravel is smooth lines. Avoid sharp turns: the deeper the gravel, the more your front wheel digs in and accentuates any steering movement you make. ...


10

In all honesty, you can use any disc you like, and from practically any manufacturer as long as the dia. (and fitment type) is the same.


10

I think you are asking two separate questions: What's a gravel bike and why are they popular? Why are off-road tires designed they way they are? (Which applies equally to mountain bikes and hybrids) Gravel bikes have longer seat stays and more relaxed steering geometry than road bikes, which makes them a little more stable on loose surfaces. They have ...


9

My theory and it is just a theory. In the U.S. at least there has been a proliferation of unpaved bike trails due to the conversion of abandoned railroad rights of way to bike paths. They are for the most part either flat or have a slight grade. Most of these trails are too uneven for a conventional road bike. At the same time they are not much of a ...


8

The strength of a carbon fiber composite frame is not the problem. There are many CFC gravel, cyclocross and mountain bikes, so obviously CFC as a material can take the impacts. If you ride a road bike on a harsh, bumpy paved surfaces it does not break. If you want to be convinced of how tough CFC frames are, google for videos of the testing that ...


8

What is called a "gravel bike" is really a new word for a cyclocross bike, but with maybe a tad less aggressive geometry. And cyclocross goes back pretty much to the beginning of bicycling, as the first races were held on unpaved courses and no roads were paved yet, or at best cobbled. The original road bikes looked a lot more like today's ...


7

Braking is always stronger from the drops than the hoods, as you noted only your lower fingers have mechanical advantage when braking from the hoods, when braking from the drops you have much better mechanical advantage for all your fingers. That said, when properly set up, you should have no problems locking up both wheels on gravel from the hoods. You ...


7

There are several answers to this question. The one is fair use. Like you wouldn't ride a roadbike on a severe downhill or in a cyclocross race. Or have a 150kg rider on a lightweight racebike with flimsy, sparsely spoked wheels. The other answer is given by the limitations imposed by the manufacturer of the bike and the components, mainly the wheels but ...


7

The logo is from a Carrera (Halfords) bike, so the wheel will have been on a Carrera originally. You can google the Carrera logo and see that the C is styled in the same way on their full logo. The 29 is simply referring to the wheel size, a mtb '29er' which has the same ETRTO rim diameter as a typical road/gravel bike, though widths can vary.


6

The specific word you need is 'rotor'. If you search for 'Shimano 105 disc brakes' you tend to get the calipers rather than the rotor (which is confusingly actually the 'disc' part). The latest 105 series rotor part name is SM-RT70. See the Shimano 105 series page. There will be other rotors that are compatible with 105 calipers, in case you need a 6-bolt ...


6

28mm wide tires are perfectly suitable for riding hard-packed fine gravel trail surfaces. You do have to be more careful when braking and cornering than on tarmac as the top surface is loose. Larger rocks and potholes should be avoided of course. As the size of the gravel particles gets larger or the depth of the loose gravel top surface gets deeper the ...


6

You may start breaking spokes in the rear wheel after putting some miles on the bike. That seems to be where the effects of load shows up first. You can plan to mitigate this by budgeting for a new rear wheel. If this is the bike you are talking about it has 28 spoke wheels. You'll want a 32 or even a 36 spoke replacement wheel, hand built. You don't have to ...


6

When riding on the hoods reducing the reach of bars is equivalent to using a shorter stem. Only when riding on the tops a shorter stem will lead to different steering compared to shorter reach bars. A change of 2 cm to 3 cm will change steering. However, it is not so dramatic that you will hit the dirt right away. Especially on gravel bikes that typically ...


5

You are asking two questions, one about the bike and one about the tires. Road bikes can easily go on gravel, or even off road. However, the ride quality and handling will be compromised the more "off road" you go. As far as the tires, the more you have "road" tires, the more flats you will have. This is due to the thin nature of road tires for less rolling ...


5

I have a 2011 Jamis Xenith Endura 2. It is a carbon frame with rack mounts embedded in the frame. I have been commuting with this bike for 5 years, maybe twice a week, most of the year. I also run errands and take recreational with it. I use Ortleib Panniers and often have them loaded up. So far no problems.


5

There is no such thing as 'your' bicycle seat tube size, except as a very rough approximation. Bikes of different models and from different manufacturers that are specified as the same seat tube length say can actually vary quite a lot in size. Seat tube length is a poor sizing system, and only really works to differentiate frames of the same model. This ...


5

Don't just look at the stack and BB drop, consider the steering geometry as a whole (chainstay length, BB drop, head angle, front-center [BB axis to front wheel axis]) which will affect how the bike handles; and the cockpit geometry (stack and reach) which will affect your position. Cockpit geometry and steering geometry are interrelated obviously, a bike ...


5

I think you are confused about the frame 'technologies' that Giant offers. More boxes checked does not mean a better frame, the choices are mutually exclusive. 'Advanced Composite' means a carbon fiber composite (CFC) frame. 'ALUXX' means an aluminium alloy frame. CFC frames are generally held to be superior to alloy ones. I'll give you that the 'SL' and ...


4

To me, gravel bikes seem mostly like cross bikes with a bit more money they can take from your wallet. 1) Road and mountain shifters and derailleurs don't play nice with each other at 11 speed, so this question is moot. If you want to check a particular crankset on the bike, look at the width and the type of BB setup. I don't see why you'd want to switch ...


4

There is no tool that I know of that solves your problem for you. The way I solve the problem of finding out what a road is like, is to use Google maps to find a route. then use Street View to check the roads at important points. Of course, if the road is gravel, Street View is probably not available. if the route is not what I want, drag the route ...


4

Good quality road maps will differentiate between paved and unpaved roads. I really like my Gazetteer State Maps


4

Gravel riding does not have to involve getting over 'technical' obstacles on the bike, although even on straightforward trails you may find you have to carry the bike over obstacles such as mud, steps or stream crossings. It's good to ride with others to get to know trails and techniques and have some technical backup, plus it's just good to ride with ...


4

Welcome to the Bay Area! First, you should become a member of Bike East Bay - they provide advocacy as well as produce bike trail maps for the east bay. Being a member gets you a discount at most east bay bike stores. Second, the gravel trails around here are all fairly gentle in terms of terrain except for some steep hills. You could do them all with a ...


4

It's entirely plausible that you are experiencing muscle pain and fatigue on a bike with a substantially different and more aggressive riding position. If riding on the drops is very unfamiliar and difficult, try riding on the hoods most of the time and switching to the tops to get a different hand position occasionally. (A lot of riders spend most of ...


4

Answering 'How to be certain if a <insert bike model here> would fit without prior road bike experience? You have to rely to a large extent on bicycle shop staff advising you, taking to account what kind of riding you want to do as well as your height and relative proportions. If going to a store like Halfords, it's a good idea to arm yourself with some ...


4

If you want to stick with Shimano, the line-up charts for the GRX groups suggest an SM-RT64, SM-RT70 and RT-MT800 for use with RX400 and RX600 and RX810 groups respectively. None of those discs have the 'bladed' look of the SM-RT800 rotor.


Only top voted, non community-wiki answers of a minimum length are eligible