The Riding Gravel Forum
Register Calendar Latest Topics Chat
 
 
 


Reply
  Author   Comment  
wirider3

Member
Registered:
Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #1 
I saw this post tweeted out by Gravelbike.com yesterday - "You Don't Need a Gravel Bike" .
While I understand by what he's getting at, I think something like this is a cop-out. It seems like an elitist view masked by a "let's all just ride" veil.

The post is like saying, "You don't need a boat" when speaking of fishing. Yeah, you don't, just fish from shore. While many times, shore fishing is very productive, to get the full experience out of someone's time, they should combine the shore with some sort of boat that would allow them to do everything they need. What if the walleyes are suspending off some mid-lake structure? I'm sure that would be a great time to take their kid out and fish from shore for fish that aren't anywhere near there. How about going 4x4'ing with whatever you have in the garage. Yeah, you COULD do it, but that Ford Ranger may be destroyed pretty quickly.

Based on other posts and tweets, it seems as though Gravelbike is about just getting out there, but it's not helpful to many to just say use whatever. A lot of riders NEED something that is for their particular riding/event/style. They don't have the time or money to test different tires, different size wheels, or different steel v ti v carbon frames. They want to know what's the best to start with and what others find helpful. Naturally, they'll still probably upgrade, adjust, and find what works best, but between work, family, etc. they've circumvented the whole year of messing around with shitty stuff.

Arguably, you could say that you don't want those "types" in these types of "grassroots" events, but that's a grumpy, elitist view, and if you don't adapt and teach people, you're losing a whole group of people who could add some great experience and knowledge from their slice of life.

I guess that I'm a little tired of the attitude of "it's just marketing selling stuff." No shit. What do you think we all do for a living? What does the company you work for do? They provide services or goods to meet the demands or needs of their customers. Why is this bad?
0
GRAVELBIKE

Avatar / Picture

Member
Registered:
Posts: 57
Reply with quote  #2 
"The best is the enemy of the good." - Voltaire

My post was written as a response to all those people who say that want to dry dirt/gravel road riding, but don't know what type of bike they need (read, "purchase"). To that, I say try the one you got. Sometimes the best rides take place on the wrong bikes, if you get my drift.

If you look at my site, you will see that I split my unpaved riding between a gravel-type bike (Salsa Vaya), and what would be considered a road bike. I don't avoid dirt/gravel when I'm on the latter, and I don't skip pavement if I'm on the former.

Ride everything.

__________________
GRAVELBIKE.com - ride everything
0
wirider3

Member
Registered:
Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #3 
While I agree with you on trying something out, I would disagree on the best rides take place on the wrong bikes. I've had plenty of great rides and those were very much do to having the right tool for the job. Also, I sense the "purchase" is quoted as part of an attitude of selling or remarketing is a bad thing, which I don't agree with.

You have a lot of good info on the site. Nice job.
0
ayjaydee

Member
Registered:
Posts: 88
Reply with quote  #4 
Quote:
Originally Posted by wirider3
I saw this post tweeted out by Gravelbike.com yesterday - "You Don't Need a Gravel Bike" .
While I understand by what he's getting at, I think something like this is a cop-out. It seems like an elitist view masked by a "let's all just ride" veil.

The post is like saying, "You don't need a boat" when speaking of fishing. Yeah, you don't, just fish from shore. While many times, shore fishing is very productive, to get the full experience out of someone's time, they should combine the shore with some sort of boat that would allow them to do everything they need. What if the walleyes are suspending off some mid-lake structure? I'm sure that would be a great time to take their kid out and fish from shore for fish that aren't anywhere near there. How about going 4x4'ing with whatever you have in the garage. Yeah, you COULD do it, but that Ford Ranger may be destroyed pretty quickly.

Based on other posts and tweets, it seems as though Gravelbike is about just getting out there, but it's not helpful to many to just say use whatever. A lot of riders NEED something that is for their particular riding/event/style. They don't have the time or money to test different tires, different size wheels, or different steel v ti v carbon frames. They want to know what's the best to start with and what others find helpful. Naturally, they'll still probably upgrade, adjust, and find what works best, but between work, family, etc. they've circumvented the whole year of messing around with shitty stuff.

Arguably, you could say that you don't want those "types" in these types of "grassroots" events, but that's a grumpy, elitist view, and if you don't adapt and teach people, you're losing a whole group of people who could add some great experience and knowledge from their slice of life.

I guess that I'm a little tired of the attitude of "it's just marketing selling stuff." No shit. What do you think we all do for a living? What does the company you work for do? They provide services or goods to meet the demands or needs of their customers. Why is this bad?


because in many cases they are CREATING a need before they service it. most folks dont really NEED a new bike with 1/2 deg different HTA, 5mm more BB drop and 10 mm more chainstay length  than they already have in order to enjoy riding off pavement
0
wirider3

Member
Registered:
Posts: 20
Reply with quote  #5 
Creating a need is one thing, having several people drop $1,000's of hard earned cash on it is another. You can create needs until you're blue in the face, but if there isn't something there that customers want and/or need, they won't buy it.

And, why is this bad on marketing, companies, etc? We all have the choice to buy or not buy whatever we want.
0
ayjaydee

Member
Registered:
Posts: 88
Reply with quote  #6 
If they want to drop thousands of dollars on what someone has convinced them they must have, go for it. Don't mean I have to agree that its a legitimate need for those who already have a bike that will do a good job. But I'm looking at things from a non-racing perspective.
0
BluesDawg

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 194
Reply with quote  #7 
People buy new bikes of all types for all sorts of reasons. Many people already have bikes that will work quite well as a gravel road bike, but many others do not. If you are looking to get a new bike and if riding on gravel roads is a big part of what you want to do with that bike, how nice that there are bikes being specifically designed to perform that task well.
0
ayjaydee

Member
Registered:
Posts: 88
Reply with quote  #8 
Certainly its a good thing that these types of bikes are becoming available. i'm just glad the one bike I do have can do pretty well everything that I need it to do. 
0
ApexToApex

Avatar / Picture

Member
Registered:
Posts: 31
Reply with quote  #9 
You don't need a gravel bike, but I compare it to autocross - you can use any car you like for the most part, but having a true sports car certainly makes the experience more enjoyable. 
__________________
2014 Salsa Warbird 3
2015 Trek Émonda SL6
2013 Trek 1.2
2008 Trek 3700
0
John Despres

Member
Registered:
Posts: 24
Reply with quote  #10 
I need a gravel bike. My problem is I cannot fit tires wider than, say 28mm on my road bike. I like riding gravel in the rain and my road bike won't do it. I'll spin the rear wheel remaining in the saddle.

I get GRAVELBIKE's point in that it's certainly possible to ride your road bike with 23mm slicks on gravel. I have a friend who does just that. But he's a monster and an excellent bike handler with 30 years of riding experience. Sure, the road bike will do fine up to a point and perhaps as a way to see if gravel is to ones liking, there's nothing wrong with it. Dry hard-pack on slicks will be just fine.

Have fun!

JD
0
Crotalus

Member
Registered:
Posts: 26
Reply with quote  #11 
You don't need a gravel bike to ride gravel just like you don't need a road bike to ride the road. Run what you brung. Or are there already "gravel snobs"? 
0
ayjaydee

Member
Registered:
Posts: 88
Reply with quote  #12 
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crotalus
You don't need a gravel bike to ride gravel just like you don't need a road bike to ride the road. Run what you brung. Or are there already "gravel snobs"? 


too late , the marketing hype has already taken hold. I expect gravel specific lycra any day now!!
0
ayjaydee

Member
Registered:
Posts: 88
Reply with quote  #13 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ApexToApex
You don't need a gravel bike, but I compare it to autocross - you can use any car you like for the most part, but having a true sports car certainly makes the experience more enjoyable. 


autocross is a competitive event. gravel RIDING is not necessarily a  competitive event.
0
Crotalus

Member
Registered:
Posts: 26
Reply with quote  #14 
Quote:
Originally Posted by ayjaydee
Quote:
Originally Posted by Crotalus
You don't need a gravel bike to ride gravel just like you don't need a road bike to ride the road. Run what you brung. Or are there already "gravel snobs"? 


too late , the marketing hype has already taken hold. I expect gravel specific lycra any day now!!


Wait! You need to wear lycra too?!?
0
ayjaydee

Member
Registered:
Posts: 88
Reply with quote  #15 
how in hell can you expect to enjoy yourself with the sound of flapping cotton and merino wool roaring in your ears??
0
Crotalus

Member
Registered:
Posts: 26
Reply with quote  #16 
Or what about those guys like the Adventure Monkey who ride Kansas gravel on <look away snobs> on a FAT BIKE!! Who would do that?!? [biggrin]
0
BluesDawg

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 194
Reply with quote  #17 
Ride whatever you like. But if you had no bike, what bike would you want to get to ride on gravel? What features would it have? Would something available now be perfect or would there be something different that you would want if you could get it?
0
2slow2Bfast

Avatar / Picture

Member
Registered:
Posts: 38
Reply with quote  #18 
BluesDawg, cyclocross bikes are the go-to for many gravel riders. They're relatively affordable, easy to find and work with fairly large tires. It all depends on where you ride and where you plan on riding. I've taken to wider tires than most cross bikes can accommodate as I prefer the increased comfort of 2+ inch tires. 

A 26er mountain bike will work on gravel. Road bikes work on gravel (especially on dirt roads instead of actual gravel). A cross bike is the go-to for events like Dirty Kanza (if competition is your thing). 

Guitar Ted has a great series of articles on "gravel mutts" on Gravelgrindernews.com. His point is that many different bikes can be used with great enjoyment riding gravel and dirt roads. Doesn't have to be something labeled "a gravel bike." 

Enjoy!
0
BluesDawg

Senior Member
Registered:
Posts: 194
Reply with quote  #19 
All good points, but not really an answer to my question. What would your bike for riding gravel be if you started with a blank page and it could have whatever features and geometry you wanted, not constrained by what is available today?

My dream gravel bike would have a light steel frame with tubing just stiff enough to withstand the pounding of gravel riding, but compliant enough for a lively ride. Head tube and seat post angles would be around 72.5 degrees with a 57cm effective top tube. I would want a low bottom bracket with about a 75mm drop. I would want a head tube long enough for bars level with the saddle with few spacers and a stem close to level. The top tube would slope just enough to provide a little crotch clearance when I straddle the bike. Fork and rear triangle would have clearance for 2.2" 29er rubber, though I would generally run 32-42mm tires. Hydro disc brakes and electronic 11 speed double gearing, 44-30 front, 11-32 rear. Brake hoses and wiring would be internally routed. If mechanical shifting, cable routing would be external, under the top tube.

I may just go talk to Nate Zukas and see what he thinks. [wink]
0
Previous Topic | Next Topic
Print
Reply

Quick Navigation:

Easily create a Forum Website with Website Toolbox.