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RidingAgain

What is Gravel Biking?

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Been looking at this matter for a few weeks now and found it interesting in the various thoughts different riders have about what gravel riding is.

Here's how one article begins...

"Gravel riding, aka gravel grinding or adventure riding, is an increasingly popular form of cycling that combines elements of road- and mountain-biking, and consisting mostly of distance riding over unpaved roads. Whether dirt roads or gravel roads, trails must consist of non-technical and unsurfaced roads to qualify as gravel riding. Since cities mostly have paved roads for commuters, gravel riding trails are usually located in rural areas. This tends to afford opportunity to discover some incredibly scenic sites that one can only witness during an adventure off the beaten path."

Okay, but that doesn't sound like it covers all that I've read from riders on this and other websites, or seen in some videos, where riding on what is seen as mtb-specific trails is the focus. One person's thought regarding this that I came across was on a video that speaks about how riding on mtb trails really helps improve your overall riding/handling ability for riding on less technical gravel type trails/roads.

But I also came across a video that suggested that maybe mountain biking was becoming boring and that switching to gravel bike made things more exciting again. The presenters even compared gravel riding to what it was like to ride old mountain bikes 20 or more years ago... This being more challenging/rugged than riding newer bikes.

It's strange... Everything always seems to get categorized.

But when I look at this video of Chris Akrigg — granted his skill level is just off the charts — the first thing that I think is that he's just having fun on a bicycle out on some trails.

The bike he's riding has a suspension fork vs. a rigid, and although I'm sure there may be specific gravel geometry, his bike kind of just looks like a normal hardtail mountain bike with skinny tires and drop bars. But the article heading is "This The Best Gravel Riding Video You'll Ever Watch".

To me, it just seems like a gravel bike another way to enjoy riding a bicycle.


https://www.singletracks.com/mtb-videos/best-gravel-biking-video-will-ever-watch/

Edited by RidingAgain

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I prefer "adventure cycling".  That way I'm not restricted to gravel.

Roll a rigid 29er SS that's been modded for 3x9.  Most fun that I've had on a bike.

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Gravel bike = road bike.

The common nominal size of a road bike tire is 700c which, according to the old French sizing system, has an outside diameter of 700mm and a bead seat diameter of 622mm. From this, we can infer that the height of an actual 700c tire was (700 - 622) / 2 = 39mm. Assuming the tire width was comparable to it's height, a traditional general purpose road bike tire was about 39mm wide, which today would be marketed as a gravel bike tire.

Somewhere along the line roads got smoother or cyclists just chose the smoother roads where they could roll a bit faster on skinnier tires. But here in CenTex where every gutter (AKA bike lane) is strewn with excess chip-and-seal chips, I think those old French people were on to something. I'm pretty happy riding shitty roads on 40mm Nano's, but even though they're up for an occasional lap around Point6 or Inner Log, it's still very much a road bike.

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For me it's a road bike that can handle the roads around Central Texas. I got to where I was enjoying the number of miles I could put in versus the difficultly of the routes. So I got a gravel bike and have been enjoying it a lot.

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16 minutes ago, csmceuen said:

Not exactly sure what it is, but I built this thing up this week and I am going to find out tomorrow.

1655176385_Bianchi2.jpg.aaf209dfdc9c97df7d45a6bce9ad9fdf.jpgBianchi.jpg.721eb672b80661d12e65a53e47d5d5b4.jpg

Very cool looking... Got a bit of a retro thing going on. Let us know parts, costs and other build details.

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12 minutes ago, RidingAgain said:

Very cool looking... Got a bit of a retro thing going on. Let us know parts, costs and other build details.

Thanks! Looking forward to getting some rides in on it. Cost was free as a I scavenged all the parts I did not already have from my family/friends who ride cx/road.

2005 Bianchi SASS frame (SS)

Scavenged 26" wheelsetwith rebuilt DT 240s with Maxxis DTH 2.2 tires. I also have a 700c wheelset, but thought I would try these first.

Identiti 26" rigid fork

Zee crankset

Specialized CG carbon seatbost.

Shimano mech brakes (BR-CX-77)

Easton carbon bar/stem with fizik wraps

Random origin 8 seat to match.

Edited by csmceuen

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@csmceueun it is gorgeous!  post it in the gravel rigs thread!

 

Also, I found some more pieces for the bike box that will allow different bikes to be mounted to the frame.  I can't remember if you're up north or down south, I'll keep them handy if you want them.

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1 hour ago, csmceuen said:

Not exactly sure what it is, but I built this thing up this week and I am going to find out tomorrow.

1655176385_Bianchi2.jpg.aaf209dfdc9c97df7d45a6bce9ad9fdf.jpgBianchi.jpg.721eb672b80661d12e65a53e47d5d5b4.jpg

Pretty nice scavenged bike! Looks like it will be fun!

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11 minutes ago, 4fun said:

Pretty nice scavenged bike! Looks like it will be fun!

It really is a cool bike.

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48 minutes ago, St.Bernardo said:

Good lookin' Rig.  Where's the maiden voyage going to be?

Thanks!

Not exactly sure yet. I am thinking I will start by just riding from my house in Lakeline area and ride the entirety of Brushy and see how I feel at that point. Never done any gravel riding before so I am open to suggest routes in North Austin as well.

Edited by csmceuen

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5 minutes ago, csmceuen said:

Thanks!

Not exactly sure yet. I am thinking I will start by just riding from my house in Lakeline area and ride the entirety of Brushy and see how I feel at that point. Never done any gravel riding before so I am open to suggest routes in North Austin as well.

I like right there close to you and grind gravel weekly. I’ll pm you. 

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