New Trend : Gravel Bike
Have you ever heard of gravel bike? Are you ready for new adventures and to take up new cycling challenges in 2019? Gravel bike is a new trend in the cycling world, and let me tell you that it’s starting to become more and more popular with sports enthusiasts! Even I bought a gravel bike at the end of Winter and I already had the chance to try it in different routes. Already, I’m loving it!
What is it?It’s a mix between a road bike and a mountain bike; a bike designed for adventure, training and fun! It has no suspension, which looks a lot like a road bike, but is different in its geometry, the width of its tires is a little larger and it has disc brakes.
Whether you’re just starting your cycling journey or you’re intermediate or experienced, the gravel bike is for everyone. Renowned as a discovery and adventure bike, you will not go unnoticed with a gravel bike!
Where to get one?
Available at most bike shops in your area.
Advice : Buy it used! For less, you will have a great bike. Especially if you want to try this new trend. That's what I did and I'm very happy with my choice. I sold my road bike and replaced it with a gravel bike.
8 Reasons to Join This New Trend
1. Uncrowded Roads
Gravel rhymes with uncrowded country roads. Indeed, you can ride for miles and miles without meeting any cars! Isn’t this paradise for any cyclist? You can ride two by two, chat and admire the landscape in peace. All this brings a relaxing aspect to your ride, since the sound of cars is replaced by birds singing!
2. Combine Road and Gravel: Expand the Possibilities!
Are you more of a routine person or more on the adventurous side? Personally, I like change and I get bored when I ride the same routes again and again. I’ve ridden all the interesting roads of my region and have now ran out of options. The gravel bike allows you to get off the beaten track, to discover secret spots and considerably increase your ride options. All terrains are accessible: you can mix road with gravel and choose to discover the route you find most interesting!
Plan ahead: Before you go, navigate on Strava or Google Maps to explore the different gravel paths that cross your circuit. You will then be able to bifurcate on these new paths and discover new places!
Go with the flow: You randomly cross a gravel path as you ride? Start your exploration! Go with the flow and follow your guts and you’ll find amazing gravel paths along the way. Your rides will suddenly become a lot more captivating!
3. Discover Hidden Landscapes
When riding your bike along these country roads, you will discover secret, quiet and peaceful places, hidden rivers, distant mountains, isolated farms, cornfields... in short, new wild landscapes near you that will amaze you! You may even find yourself stopping for a quick swim on the way.
4. Keep the Speed
Believe it or not, gravel bike will barely reduces your average speed on the road: it's proven! In fact, new studies show that there is no difference in resistance between the larger gravel tires and the road tires. Wider tires result in less shock due to bumps in the road, so the pedal stroke is more effective. So, in addition to being no longer limited in your rides, you will retain substantially the same speed. Personally, since I've been riding my gravel bike, I have not seen any difference compared to my riding partners who have road bikes.
5. Greater Comfort
Potholes will no longer be your worst enemy (though still try to avoid them)! This type of bike absorbs more shock than a road bike, due to wider tires. You can even install tubeless tires, which greatly reduces your chances of punctures. The geometry of gravel bikes also allows you to install different tire sizes: more robust for muddy and soft-grounded, thinner for dry terrain and road rides. Finally, the elongated geometry of the bike provides better stability and the fit is a little more relaxed than on a road bike.
While you’re at it, add to your comfort a touch of style! The all new PEPPERMINT Break the Pattern Tank Tops are ideal for your gravel adventures. The casual look and relaxed fit will help you fight the heat without compromising on the style... so you're always ready for festive after-rides!
6. Change Up Your Routine
Do you use your bike as a means of transportation? Great! With a gravel bike, you’ll be able to try new routes to get to work and vary your itinerary, a great way to change up your routine! Often, shortcuts are small and bumpy roads that are difficult to access by road bike. Plus, with the increased comfort of this bike, your commute to work will be more comfortable and you won’t be afraid of potholes no more!
7. Focus on the Fun Part (Not Performance!)
This bike, designed for adventure, brings a specific goal to each ride: to have fun on the bike and see where it leads us. Although a gravel bike is less performance-oriented, it can still be used in a performance context. But really, grave is all about discovering, finding new routes, getting excited and challenging yourself (because yes, hills on gravel roads are sometimes steeper than those on the road).
8. Bring Your Friends Along
Do not underestimate the power of a community! A large community of gravel cyclists has already begun to take shape in different regions. Many of these cyclists are women who are sport enthusiasts. So, bring your friends along and show them your new discoveries! Use gravel rides to motivate your friends and create community meetups. Through this community, other cyclists will share their favorite rides with you and you will end up discovering so many new paths! And pssst.. it is because of the community that I decided to buy a gravel bike: my friends seemed to have so much fun that I wanted to be part of the group!
Have a good season!
Sarah Dostie-Ménard, proud ambassador of the PEPPERMINT Collective