Featured Any Gravel Riders Here?

Discussion in 'Road, City, and Gravel Bikes' started by Ken_R, Sep 25, 2017.

  1. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    I have recently discovered the awesome world of gravel roads here in the Denver/Boulder area. I mostly ride road but have started to combine road and gravel more and more and honestly starting to prefer gravel riding for its serenity compared to road. Yes, I still only have my road bike with 25c tires but that will do for the next few weeks until my gravel/cross bike gets here.

    Any other gravel grinders here?
     
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  2. BGreen

    BGreen Out on the slopes Skier

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    Not yet, but I’d like to. Hopefully in the spring. If nothing else I may pick up another set of wheels for 27 mm tires.
     
  3. luliski

    luliski Out on the slopes Skier

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    I love riding gravel on my road bike, but it's difficult to get others to do this with me. I've ridden Levi's Gran Fondo here in California a number of times. There's a gravel/dirt road section which is optional and lots of fun (and gets you out of climbing Coleman Valley Road, one of the worst climbs on that ride). I like balance sports/activities, and it's nice to get away from pavement, but some of my riding friends just feel scared on gravel. What bike are you getting? A friend just got a Specialized Diverge, and he loves it.
     
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  4. CalG

    CalG Getting off the lift Skier

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    I've got no choice. It's a mile to pavement, and I don't like going that way.

    There are a couple of 5 and 10 mile loops that never cross asphalt. No traffic either, so Gravel is the treat!
     
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  5. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    Cannondale SuperX SE. Tested a few other bikes and loved it. Felt like it was one piece and the geometry was perfect for me. There are more and more really good bikes in that segment. Overall I really preferred the 1x drivetrain over the standard road 2x drivetrains. It was quieter and just felt more solid on the rough sections. Another alternative to factory offerings is to just get a steel frame and build it with a 1x group and wider rims and gravel specific tires. Cross tires are a bit narrow IMHO for general gravel riding. They are restricted to what is legal for Cross Competition. 37-42c tires seem great for overall gravel riding.
     
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  6. Bill Talbot

    Bill Talbot Vintage Gear Curator Industry Insider

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    The narrow gauge rail beds littered throughout the CO mountains are some of the very best riding there is!!!
    In Boulder, Four mile Canyon to the wonderful 'town' of Sunset, then Switzerland Trail winds UP to Gold Hill Rd. into Gold Hill and then down Sunshine Canyon back to town. One of my all time favorite loops :wag:
     
  7. Tom K.

    Tom K. HRPufnStf Skier

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    I do a fair bit of gravel riding for variety. Not my main passion, but it's very enjoyable. I think my favorite part is lack of traffic!

    Our gravel roads are STEEP, and sometimes rough. My favorite mount is my Trek Procaliber hardtail mtb, fitted with some 40c gravel tires. For me, this is far more enjoyable than my "gravel" Domane, which ends up functioning as a good winter fender bike for mostly pavement rides (and lots of mixed surface rides).
     
  8. vtrich

    vtrich At the base lodge Skier

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    Timely question. I'm a long time roadie but have been exploring the many dirt roads south of my house outside Burlington. I'm constantly amazed at the variety of terrain and the lack of vehicle traffic. One can easily put together gravel loops of 25 - 45 miles,....from kinda hilly to serious vert. It has been eye opening and revitalizing.
     
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  9. luliski

    luliski Out on the slopes Skier

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  10. LuliTheYounger

    LuliTheYounger Putting on skis Skier

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  11. luliski

    luliski Out on the slopes Skier

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    I can't put any wider tires on my Trek!
     
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  12. Jim Kenney

    Jim Kenney Travel Correspondent Team Gathermeister Industry Insider

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    I bike once a week or so (including possibly this afternoon) on the C & O Canal towpath, which is crushed stone and flat as a pancake. It's probably a bit busier (more walkers than bikers) than the lonely mountain dirt roads you guys are talking about, but enjoyable because it's still much lower traffic than local streets or asphalt covered multi-use trails and mostly has a nice nature/scenic environment. Here's a trip report from a day I spent 9 hours riding this trail in 2016: https://forum.pugski.com/threads/c-o-canal-bike-trail-ride-8-10-16.2478/#post-55018 (oops, photos hosted on epicski are gone)
    Getting ready for C & O Canal towpath ride, moi in center. The guys on either side kept going for several more days and made complete 335 mile ride from Wash DC to Pittsburgh via canal path and Great Allegheny Passage rail bed trail.
    [​IMG]
    Section of towpath and canal near Great Falls, VA
    [​IMG]
    Near Harper's Ferry, WV
    [​IMG]

    I have a slow hybrid, which normally I commute with on streets or ride asphalt multi-use trails. I haven't gotten into mountain biking. Do you guys have any clean-up protocol for your bike after riding gravel/dirt/crushed stone? My bike gets pretty dirty riding the C & O Canal towpath and I worry about what its doing to the chain and gears. I try to hose it down afterwards.
     
    Last edited: Oct 11, 2017
  13. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    Love my new Bike! So much more comfy but still very fast. The tires are perfect for the gravel roads around here.

    Screen Shot 2017-10-10 at 7.01.14 PM.png
     
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  14. luliski

    luliski Out on the slopes Skier

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    My new bike is also orange, as was my previous road bike. They were both discounted due to color issues (one a return due to color, the other I think a leftover), but I actually like orange, so it works out. How wide are your tires?
     
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  15. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    They are 700x37c 's. The tread is not super aggressive which makes it pretty good on the road as well.
     
  16. luliski

    luliski Out on the slopes Skier

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    I think my friend's Diverge has 38 mm tires on it. Maybe someday, I'll get a gravel bike...
     
  17. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    Today was my first ride on it. It was so much fun. Worth it IMHO (if there are gravel roads around where you are). The gearing was perfect (40t and 11-42 cassette)
     
  18. luliski

    luliski Out on the slopes Skier

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    There are gravel roads, but I just bought a new road bike and a new mountain bike. I'll have to wait. I have 25 mm tires on my old road bike (that's as wide as i can fit on there) and it works on gravel, although I can see how wider tires would be smoother and less sketchy.
     
  19. at_nyc

    at_nyc Getting off the lift Pass Pulled

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    My gravel grinder just turned 10! :)

    It’s getting pretty popular here in the northeast, where there’re many dirt roads. The bike clubs I belong, their annual bike ride now features a “dirty” version which has many miles of dirt roads.

    Some people do them on mountain bikes. But it’s hard work to keep up on a mt bike on the paved sections when the group casually cruise along at 20 mph.
     
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  20. Ken_R

    Ken_R Living the Dream Skier

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    I love fall weather :D

    IMG_8851.JPG IMG_8853.JPG
     
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