• Congrats on staying warm and your 1st RPI. I’ve got this one on my list, along with Tushar Crusher. I’m sure I could ride my MTB, but would love to add a gravel bike to the stable. Congrats to Rebecca on such a successful event and 30% women.

    • winkybiker

      No real need for another bike. Ride it on your road bike. Seriously. Put on the widest tyres that will fit (make sure they have enough clearance for wet dirt roads, though) and go for it. I’ve ridden plenty of dirt miles on my C59 with 23mm tyres and never had a problem.

      • We have a few guys try this on the Roslyn Ramble every few years as part of the Hares (Hares on faster, less reliable road bikes & CX bikes vs. Tortoises on more reliable MTB bikes). Every year they flat frequently enough that the Tortoises give them a run for their money.

        I’m not saying don’t do it, but plan accordingly.

        • Winky

          Yep. There is definitely a compromise to running skinny tyres on rougher and softer surfaces. I run mine pretty hard, even on gravel to avoid pinch flats. Works less well when it is soft, and I suffer traction issues on steep grades. Teaches you to pedal smoothly, though! All I am saying is that road bikes and tyres aren’t retricted to tarmac. In RAMROD this year we saw people walking their bikes 60m across some gravel to the food tents (presumably) because they didn’t want ride their road bikes on it. In general, people seem to underestimate the capability of road bikes on gravel. It is in the interest of the bike sales industry to continue to compartmentaise and segment riding types to sell more bikes.

          • Joel Dudgeon

            As someone who lives in an area with busy paved roads, I’ve been experimenting riding my road bike on some sidelines that are primarily gravel/hard pack. In the past I’ve avoided this entirely and saved those roads for when I’m on my CX bike, but lately, due to road closures, construction, and diverted traffic, I’ve been trying these alternate gravel routes on my road bike.

            I’ve got to admit, my Trek Madone w/23mm Conti GP4000s II @ 100-105psi has very little problem handling most of these gravel roads. Yes, the ride is certainly harsher than my CX bike with 33mm PDX tires, but these roads are very navigable on a road bike. The only terrain I find impassable on the road bike is sand or thick fine crushed gravel, as you can’t get any real traction or stability. Riding gravel roads on my road bike has opened up new options for me to reach less travelled paved roads without having to use very busy (and fast) main arteries to get there.

            The only thing I dislike about gravel is all the paint chips and nicks in the carbon, so I started using 3M clear bra film (the stuff used on cars) and it really protects the finish and integrity of the frame from getting sandblasted. It’s not very expensive either, especially when compared to the price of a carbon frame; $30 worth of material covers the chain stays, down tube/BB area, inner and leading edges of fork … for two bikes.

  • soomelbourne

    Really found this article inspiring and am definitely in the market for a gravel grinder. I am a 157cm woman and have found WSD bikes work well for me. However seems like the gravel grinder designers are not into WSD design yet (except LIV giant) Does anyone have suggestions for bikes in this category that might work for me and are available in Australia?


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