Call yourself a cyclist?

yello

Legendary Member
Location
France
I didn't know until quite recently that there was such a thing as a gravel bike. Admittedly, I don't read cycle mags/press these days so I'm undoubtedly out of touch. They look/seem quite cool really but I won't be buying one (not even as an N+1) as my rare hankering for off-road is adequately met by my MTB.

Is adventure off-roading where it's at these days? You know, light camping and bivvies etc becoming increasingly popular or whatever. Or are UK roads becoming increasingly daunting and discouraging old school cyclo-touring?
 

Milzy

Guru
I didn't know until quite recently that there was such a thing as a gravel bike. Admittedly, I don't read cycle mags/press these days so I'm undoubtedly out of touch. They look/seem quite cool really but I won't be buying one (not even as an N+1) as my rare hankering for off-road is adequately met by my MTB.

Is adventure off-roading where it's at these days? You know, light camping and bivvies etc becoming increasingly popular or whatever. Or are UK roads becoming increasingly daunting and discouraging old school cyclo-touring?
Most people now want to tour off road. Wild camping & gravel biking really do work brilliantly together. Adventure bike packing is really snow balling right now & your gravel bike will carry a lot of gear & go almost anywhere.
 

figbat

Slippery scientist
My gravel bike also works as my winter road bike, but in truth whenever I ride it I always venture onto at least a gravel or farm track, if not something more gnarly. What I like about it is the ability to link up roads with byways/tracks to make routes that (1) a road bike couldn't comfortably do and (2) are too 'easy' for an MTB.

BTW, I also have a full-sus and hardtail MTB plus a road bike - all of my bikes get ridden at different times based on various factors such as the weather, trails condition, effort, mood, phase of the Moon etc. My gravel bike is probably my favourite of the whole fleet - in part due to its incredible flexibility but also because I designed and built it out of an old MTB. It's the cheapest and heaviest of my big wheelers, yet I love riding it.
 
A lot of the riding I do involves a mixture of road and off-road riding. The off-road is mostly forestry commission gravel roads or hard-packed trail not lumpy enough for an mtb but a bit too lumpy to be comfortable for a narrow tyred road bike.

My gravel bike with 32mm tyres is a very good compromise for this type of riding. The 32mm tyres also take a lot of the harshness out of the crappy roads around my city.
 
OP
yello

yello

Legendary Member
Location
France
I know next to nothing about this. How far can you get wild/adventure camping? I don't think of the UK as a network of gravel tracks. Or is it more overnighters and such like.
 
OP
yello

yello

Legendary Member
Location
France
OK, so I think I'm getting a better picture of it now. A gravel bike is used, in practice, more as an all-rounder then? An all terrain bike perhaps. I can get my head around the 'linking up' aspect of roads and tracks.
 

fossyant

Ride It Like You Stole It!
Location
South Manchester
Gravel bikes are the new 'name' for cross bikes, which is the proper name.
 

Saluki

I've run away with my friends to..
Location
...New Tealandia
I will take my Genesis CDF places where I wouldn’t dream of taking my Mercian, or even my Dronfield. I have been known to carry those on really nasty bits of road if it’s really muddy. My CDF goes anywhere and everywhere. It’s genuinely the best bike I have ever had. It gives me options.
I don’t really get along with a MTB, due to the bar position, my cranky wrists don’t like it, even with bar ends. Might be tempted to try one with those butterfly, figure 8 bar things.
 
I know next to nothing about this. How far can you get wild/adventure camping? I don't think of the UK as a network of gravel tracks. Or is it more overnighters and such like.
There's about 32000 km of bridleways across the UK and back in the day (30 years before the 'gravel' bike was invented) it was pretty easy to map out multi-day trips that incorporated back roads, bridleways, byways and the odd footpath. I think folks have also successfully completed LEJOG's mostly offroad. So you can go very far wild/adventure camping.
 
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