Gravel bikes

Oct 28, 2018
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Pardon my ignorance, but what is a gravel bike? I learned as a kid that bicycles and gravel don't mix. Especially on curves and turns.


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The first type of gravel bike is basically a cyclocross bike with more slack geometry and fatter tires.
The second type of gravel bike is a hardtail mountain bike with drop bars. (sometimes thinner tires as well.)
The third type of gravel bike is a road bike with fatter tires and shallow drops.
 
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Apr 28, 2019
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@Grant you already know mine ;)


I'll be building another one in 2020. This time from the predecessor of Wagant - The Romet Kobuz, this time with fatter tires, one disc brake, and my favorite 3-speed Sachs Dreigang hub.
 
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Apr 28, 2019
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Pardon my ignorance, but what is a gravel bike? I learned as a kid that bicycles and gravel don't mix. Especially on curves and turns.


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Gravel bikes are basically bikes made to give you fun of riding both in the city and in light terrain, like the older MTB bikes. Since new & expensive MTB bikes are very high-end machines, they need a very rough terrain to give you a lot of fun from riding them. Gravel bikes were designed to give you more of a feeling of the MTB bikes from the nineties - hardtail, or no suspension at all, mechanical disc, cantilever, or caliper brakes, and usually not a lot of gears.
 
Jul 16, 2019
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Designed for the dirt roads of North America, which I assume a Horsefarmer is surrounded by. Made to grind out long distances on rough terrain comfortably. Suspension seems frowned upon, but if your roads are "corduroy", well, you get the picture. Some guys use them for the trails too, but I can't imagine riding drops on drops!
They popped up when mountain bikes started becoming too downhill specific to be used for flat-land riding.
 
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Oct 28, 2018
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Yup. I'll take the Vanilla SS and the Breezer. I like green grinders
I have a Breezer like that one in the picture, but a smaller frame. It has gone over steep rocks and through some thick mud. The rear tire is almost bald!:rockout: I would also like to own a fat bike with drop bars like the grey one.
 
Jul 16, 2019
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My fear is the bars. I have a lot of stainless steel in my shoulder, not sure if I could use them for a long ride. The gravel guys think I'm a heretic for wanting a straight bar gravel bike
"What's the freaking point?!"
 
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Apr 1, 2014
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Designed for the dirt roads of North America, which I assume a Horsefarmer is surrounded by. Made to grind out long distances on rough terrain comfortably. Suspension seems frowned upon, but if your roads are "corduroy", well, you get the picture. Some guys use them for the trails too, but I can't imagine riding drops on drops!
They popped up when mountain bikes started becoming too downhill specific to be used for flat-land riding.
1960s Murray on gravel 2.jpg

Maybe not a gravel bike, but a bike (1960's Murray) on gravel. :)
1960s Murray on gravel 1.jpg
 
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A lot of people are building as a way to keep the old "obsolete" steel mtbs rolling.
Before:
View attachment 109946
After:View attachment 109947
Now that Trek is sweet!

After riding mine since July, daily from home to work (about 8,5mi one way) I noticed a few things:

- Really fast since the only choice of sprockets in the front is 42t & 52t. Even for me, riding on the "High-7" (eyup, mine is a 14 speed) is very tough, but the speed on asphalt - sweet.

- Breaking, even with on Weinmann Symmetric & Altenburger Synchron caliper brakes is not that great - you really need to get used to less stopping power, especially if you are like me - used to hydraulic disc brakes, coaster brakes & roller brakes.

- I don't have to worry about going over potholes, and otherroad bumps - the steel frame takes it all, plus if it ever brakes, I can buy another whole bike to swap the frame for about 10-20$.

- I have a one short pass trough gravel along the way (about 1,5mi), and I don't even have to slow down - it rides the same on gravel, as on any other road.

Very fun type of a bike to ride, and you can build it very cheap. I spend like 130$ on building mine, and it also was a lot of fun!
 
Dec 27, 2017
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My fear is the bars. I have a lot of stainless steel in my shoulder, not sure if I could use them for a long ride. The gravel guys think I'm a heretic for wanting a straight bar gravel bike
"What's the freaking point?!"
You just need more rise on the stem or more spacers to get the bars up higher. IMO there is no reason dropbars can't be as comfortable as flat bars. It is just most of the time the bars are set low because of road racing.
 
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