Fortunately, you can choose – Rene Herse makes tires for both . The suspension is only a part of the control and comfort package. ~ ENVE 4.5ARs where unfortunately I cannot use your tires so run 30mm nominal Schwalbe Pro Ones Tubeless (actual 32mm mounted) which I run at about 60 PSI. You can certainly add larger gearing to a mountain bike, but soon enough you’ll be limiting its ability to excel in its intended purpose. Meanwhile, that extended reach adds further efficiencies by reducing your body profile to the wind. Is a light, cross-country hardtail MTB the ideal gravel bike? But taking that a bit off-road, are there actually any real aero gravel gains to be had in the fatter-tire, lower average speed world of gravel bike riding & racing? Better yet, we could link up different types of terrain efficiently and still enjoy the connecting road elements. A complete bike weighs 25lbs. Or do gravel bikes truly fill a gap in the market that the progression of mountain bikes has left empty? De nombreuses courses de gravel y sont d'ailleurs organisées. It’s not. At Bike-Discount you'll find a wide selection of high quality Gravel bikes - also known as Adventure or Allroad bikes - leading manufacturers such as Cube, FOCUS, Breezer or Fuji. There’s also complexity in preventing the suspension from soaking up rider energy over smooth terrain, something that’s often handled with a manual lockout switch. In a typical scenario, riding off-road is a little difficult for some people to handle. Fun, but a handful, to ride on deep gravel. Gravel bikes are coming down in price, but people are paying for premium technology so that they can be a little faster in adverse conditions. Perhaps this was a relatively early ‘all-road’ bike, I have two sets of wheels: Let’s put them on all-road bikes, where they’ll have more fun than on (slow) mountain or (uncomfortable) road bikes. Yes heavier bike is slower. For example, have you ever seen a wind vane stay totally steady in any kind of breeze? Le gravel bike (littéralement traduit par "vélo de gravier") vient des Etats-Unis où ce type de vélos correspond parfaitement à la traversée des grands espaces sur pistes en gravier. The difference in intended terrain has seen mountain bikes become far more specialised in the gearing they feature, too. I may keep the wheels; they will cut through a muddy CX course if nothing else, but when I return to the twisty, undulating terrain of the UK/Ireland with unpredictable weather I will be going back to bigger tyres and mudguards! At first glance not that different from a cyclocross bike, gravel bikes are actually distinct – and often closer to an endurance road bike. That is why aero bars and the aero tuck work so well, and why even just lowering your stem by 20 mm does more than a set of aero wheels. Is it true? The solution is simple: Use smaller wheels and lightweight tires, so the rotational inertia is the same as on a good racing bike. Modern mountain bikes rarely offer less than 100 mm of travel, while 50 mm is considered huge for gravel. Many gravel bikes these days have a 1x (single chainring) set up in the front. Too bad. You’d be hard-pressed to buy a high-end mountain bike in 2020 that offers a front derailleur. Believe me, if I thought a racing bike on 28 mm tires was faster than my randonneur bike with 42s, I’d have ridden that in Paris-Brest-Paris. I notice the extra weight of wheels and frame. If you are running a more standard racing tire, like the Continental GP 5000 (221 g), the difference to the 48 mm-wide tires shrinks to just 384 g. And you get some of that weight back, because the smaller 650B rims and shorter spokes weigh a bit less. Suddenly, it no longer seems to be enough to want to ride a bike that will simply handle everything you throw at it on an adventure. Domane: very comfortable—even on rough dirt. Paris Roubaix is out of my league, but that said, my local roads aren’t getting any better. It doesn’t matter to me whether I’m on a mountain, road or gravel bike. I have been running the 700×35 Compass/Herse tires on my bike for multiple years. 1.049,- € Cube Nuroad Race greyblue´n´orange. At 8.9 kg and more than double the price of any gravel bike we tested, if there was ever a mountain bike to outshine a gravel bike on its home turf, this was it. The (very small) increase in wind resistance of the wider tires is compensated by a (very small) decrease in rolling resistance. Instead, they keep trying the old strategy of selling bikes to those who already have plenty. Certainly, I’m no faster when I ride a test bike with narrower tires. When it came to usage, the choice to opt for 11-42 10-speed cassette seemed very accurate to us for this gravel. The bike frame never determines how fast someone is. Product Test: Velo-Orange Grand Cru Brakes. A Specialized Crux would probably have felt massively better also, but allowed wider tyres (still no useful mounts). Since 2012, I’ve had a Lynskey ProCross CX bike on 32 or 35 mm tyres, and a 2016 Trek Domane on 32 mm (before that I had steel touring bikes). The new frame handles much more responsively (fun) and responds better to accelerations… but this is due to the extreme geometry differences. Gravel Bikes Sort: Cube Nuroad Pro desert´n´black. We thoroughly test every Compass product before we release it. However, the bike feels slow, slow, slow. I changed it for a road frame with the opposite geometry (Trek Emonda – very steep and short) as an experiment. Test and compare under the same condition to find out which is best. I regularly come home thinking I feel much fresher than I expected to. My long&low road bike with aero wheels and 28mm (Compass) tires is materially faster than my gravel bike with a more relaxed riding position, low gearing and 700×42 (Compass) tires, but they are both great at what they are designed to do and without trying to perform like the other. (GCN’s table also shows that high pressures roll faster – that is only true on rollers, where the convex roller digs deeper into a softer tire.). The larger step from the 42t to 50t cog throws off the average, but this extra massive cog allows for even lower gearing for the steepest climbs. Le gravel bike est équipé de freins à disques pour un freinage plus sûr et précis même en temps de pluie. For the rest of us, bikes like the sub-17-pound Open U.P.P.E.R. Im running cyclocross legal 32c tires tubeless and works well. The 100 mm Cannondale Lefty fitted to the front of our Unno was a prime example of the control suspension adds, and where the front wheel would be bounced uncontrollably and dangerously through rocky sections while on a rigid gravel bike, the Unno just laughed it off and begged for more. Bike= 25lbs Riders average speed at 200lbs= X (call it 15mph) Riders average speed at 201lbs= X (still 15mph) You have much more to gain from gaining fitness, or even tire choice. However, if I am riding in a fast group at my limit I find I am much more likely to get dropped when it gets hard. The 14% average step shown above for the Force/Red AXS 44 x 10-50 (our Mullet Build) is a little misleading- gears 2-12 are the exact same as 1-11 on a 13% step average Force1 10-42. Could it be that the little accelerations needed to grab the wheel after being on the front are a tiny bit harder than on a bike with narrow light tyres and at the limit this is enough to mean you are dropped, which then makes a big difference to your speed. Rolling resistance: Most gravel tires today are built like mountain bike tires, with stiff casings that absorb more energy and transmit more shocks than supple racing tires. If the subtle differences between riding position and gearing aren’t enough, then the argument of suspension is a topic that just hurts my head. Really smooth out the poor road surfaces up in Ontario, and I have not noticed any diminution in speed on my rides. Differences in airflow over tire and rim can be measured in the wind tunnel, but the effect is very small compared to the overall wind resistance of bike and rider. (Due to carbon’s lower density, you need wider chainstays on a carbon bike. Speed is safe – and fun! https://www.renehersecycles.com/are-gravel-bikes-slower-than-road-bikes Drum rollers seem to deform tires more, making less supple tires appear slower (less efficient) The casing is pushed into a more extreme shape by the diameter of the roller. The difference in rider position can be huge, too. Hunt Bike Wheels was one of the first to quantify more likely real-world aero gains with the wider 28mm tires many roadies ride (and race) these days in their Limitless ‘ fastest road wheel ‘ project. I need more data before I can be definitive, but, despite my perceptions, it seems that a steel bike with fat tyres, heavier than my carbon and titanium bikes, and with a big box under the handlebars, has made no difference to my overall speed, and may have increased it. From there, a narrower drop handlebar further reduces your frontal profile compared to the wide flat handlebar of a mountain bike. The big diameter wheels feel a bit ponderous, hard to accelerate (650b would alleviate this). The result: The racing tires were faster on all surfaces. They’ll be more likely to stay engaged and become life-long cyclists. I personally feel like being above 6 foot tall that 700c wheels are much better than 650b. Not unlike a road bike, a gravel bike prioritises pedalling efficiency with the assumption that the wheels will roll over the terrain they’re pointing at. Rather than trying to fill the garages of those who already ride, we should bring potential cyclists into the sport. Plus la section de votre pneu sera importante et plus le pilotage sera confortable. That said, I’d be lying if I didn’t lust after that mountain bike for the trails that surrounded our accommodation. Which leads me to a conversation about average speed, perhaps the best metric in deciding whether a gravel bike, or mountain bike, is right for you. The complexity comes in the form of having to design the geometry around the additional height of a telescoping fork. I’m sure you’re aware of this Jan. How much slower will a set of 35mm tires be than the standard 23mm on a road bike? Of course, the use of wider mountain-bike-like 650B tyres on gravel bikes completely confuses this argument, but equally, it helps to show why such tyres are not the ideal choice for riding extended sections of tarmac and smooth dirt. For them, ultra-wide 700C tires are a great choice.). As you mention, cyclists are an incredibly un-aero shape, so all that really matters is frontal area. I guess that problem would be solved if everyone rode on 42mm tyres, and then the groups would go faster too…. Since you can’t try them all, we saved you some time and tracked down the 15 absolute best single-speed bikes. The Rene Herse Cayuse Pass is one of the lightest tires you can buy. Meanwhile, most recreational groups on a Saturday morning road ride have no problems holding that same speed. Sure, it’s not the ideal gravel riding destination, but it was the ideal gravel bike testing destination, encompassing a wide variety of terrain and proving the impressive versatility of gravel bikes. There is no reason why a gravel bike couldn’t use the same riding position as a racing bike (above). Companies are leaving no stone unturned and are experimenting with gravel-specific geometry, components and even suspension. BQ’s wind tunnel tests measured the rider, too. I love riding on babyshoe pass 42mm tyres, and I don’t notice any difference in speed for solo riding. What about rider fatigue? Litespeed Watia Any terrain. S (53cm) M (56cm) L (58cm) XL (61cm) show all. My guess is it’s just easier to sell another bike to someone who already has one (three) than trying to create a new customer? You’ll still get plenty of gears for most road riding, but you won’t have quite enough high gears for when the speeds gets very fast, like 26 mph to 30 mph or faster. Good to be reminded what real speed actually feels like.”. Rode well on any tyres, but best on 35 mm BJP XLs. I look forward to running 42 mm tyres when I know I’ll always be on gravel. They want a bike – one bike – that combines speed with comfort and the ability to go off the beaten path. Clearly suspension is a good thing when you’re on rough terrain. Can the bike industry please make the randonneur their next big thing? Then when the wind is blowing around you on the bike, in the real world, there will be eddies and flurries of wind that has changes in direction and causes a dislodgement of laminar flow over your super duper aero frame and wheels which renders the design useless. But a gravel bike is better suited to everywhere trails are not. For most of us, mortals, speed on bike is secondary. More information about the book is here. Critical Cycles Classic Track Bike. On the bright side, it feels a bit light for a gravel bike made of steel. I love riding my bike (I have completed 200 miles in one day) – likely primarily due to design / construction, but also partly due to benefits of the wider tires. Many non-cyclists are excited about the idea of the all-road bike. Of course, most already have a road bike, but that one has outdated rim brakes. On the other side, mountain bike terrain has only gotten more challenging over the years, and bikes have progressed to keep pace with this. That is why we coined the term all-road bikes and don’t call them ‘gravel’ bikes. colour: desert´n´black. Another way to look at it... A bike frame weighs 4-6lbs. From gravel bikes for mountain bike trails to time trial gravel machines, you’ll find anything you can think of in the gravel universe. 1. It’ll be easy to convince them that they need a disc road bike with tubeless tires. Likewise, the single chainring they’re set up with assumes you’ll be conquering some incredibly steep and loose terrain at lower speeds, and not pedalling midpack in a road group. The particular gravel bike I had was too long and slack. For loaded touring or more trail riding a 40t or 38t chainring can make sense while more road-biased riders have gone as high as 46t. And as long as there wasn’t far to go before hitting the trails, then the mountain bike was my preferred choice for exploring what the trails offered. My steel road bike is rolling on 30c tire while my gravel bike is 42c Chez nous, le phénomène gravel commence aussi à prendre de l'ampleur car il se révèle être un vélo ultra polyvalent. The faster average speeds and tamer terrain of gravel riding also allow for slimmer knobbed tyres that offer reduced rolling resistance, improved aerodynamics and lower weight. The rolling hills of the Cotswolds are not the same as the Scottish highlands.So hearing from someone else that their average is, say, 20 miles per hour, means very little if you don't know where they are riding.Some areas are naturally and frequently exposed to high winds. And that makes sense: a mountain bike is perfectly suited to a mountain bike destination. Aero? There is also a massive difference between an average speed of 15 and an average speed of 20 as the increased effort is exponential. Still, whether a gravel bike or hardtail is best for you will always depend on how and where you ride, and what matters most to you. In the end, choice is a glorious thing. The cornering is quick, precise, and great in the wet. Fast on rough/deep gravel, but pretty harsh. So often we joke that gravel bikes are just old mountain bikes from a time that’s now in the rearview mirror. Perhaps that will work for some riders. With a 500% or 520% range a 1x12 AXS gravel bike has wider gearing than a GRX double. We use cookies to ensure that we give you the best experience on our website. It’s the bike I tried to cobble together for years (before I knew it existed) but was always let down by geometry, tubing selection, tire clearance, decent fender/rack mounts, or all of the above. When buying a gravel bike, hoosing between a single chainring ( known as 1x) and a double chainring ( hereby referred to a 2x) isn’t a straightforward choice. Physics are physics, but the question is ‘how much slower.’ And on the other hand, a bike that vibrates less is faster. Similarly, more skilled riders or those coming from mountain bike backgrounds can find true joy in rediscovering old trails on a less-capable bike. It gets these often-divided sides partying together and experiencing a new form of cycling. I really like the tires very much. They view these new bikes with a level of excitement that I haven’t seen since the mountain bike boom. We know that with the same casing and tread rubber, wide Rene Herse tires roll as fast as their narrow cousins (at 22 mph/35 km/h). I have a nice mountain bike as well but I never hesitate to ride my cross bike on gravel over the mtn bike. It was uninspiring to ride and didn’t even have useful mounts, but it was only when the speed went over about 35 km/h that I went backwards compared to my ride buddies on top road machines. And that is good for everybody – even for the bike industry! The length of time ‘pedalling’ above 35 km/h will be a small percentage of most rides. Here we go again. With two bags on a low-rider front rack it can even go camping, filling the long lost “sport touring” role. In turn, your glutes are more easily recruited to the task of pedalling, and so you can, in theory, pedal with greater efficiency. Are you using different wheels on the same bike? A couple of years ago I treated myself to a 70th birthday present –> a Ti ‘7’ built to a design by Steve Hogg based on measurements by his Canadian fitter (Mark Dwyer) – my input being it had to allow for wider tires even when mudguards are installed. As previously covered in our grading gravel feature, not all-terrain – or even people’s perception of that terrain – is equal. Gravel is faster than trail. Why the bike biz folks don’t create a “Got milk?” type of marketing scheme to appeal to potential new customers is a mystery to me. Simply put, the better your tyre choice is for off-road use, the worse it’ll perform on smooth terrain. The position of a mountain bike is fairly fixed, while a dropbar offers up multiple hand (and body) positions to help swap things up on longer rides. Motor and battery: the right choices for a gravel e-bike One of the most obsolete post in your great blog! Why does the industry insist that racing bikes are faster? Are gravel bikes slower than racing bikes? By contrast, the fast and open terrain was slower and almost lame on our Unno Aora mountain bike, at least until the dedicated trails began. The GCN tests are merely reinforcing conventional wisdom, and uses flawed assumptions. I’m still learning how to ride this bike. If you live in Norfolk, where hills are few and far between, your experience will bear little comparison with a rider setting off to the Lake District each week. And I know I’m faster on a lot of rough descents, passing people on 40mm tires pumped up to 85 psi because they want low rolling resistance…. Pronounced /wAH-chUH/ The Inside Look Whether it’s speed for race day or versatility for the weekend escape into the unknown, Watia is the newest, most wildly capable titanium gravel bike Litespeed has ever created. For two months now, I’ve had a custom steel bike built for brevets & gravel—thin tubes, low trail, mudguards, c/p brakes &c. And 38 mm Barlow Pass XL tyres (700c is easier to replace far from home than 650b—everything is a compromise). Update 11/17/2020: We’ve just published our new book ‘The All-Road Bike Revolution’ with all the research that has changed cycling in recent years. Some of my observations (cruising speed based on a flat, paved road in good condition): 20km/h (12.4 mph) - many "occasional" cyclists ride around this speed 25km/h (15.5 mph) - most commuters For example, James Huang, the technical expert from CyclingTips.com, posted: “I’ve been spending too much time on gravel and mountain bikes lately. Surprisingly good loaded with bike packing gear. The position is identical. Colin Strickland’s 2019 Dirty Kanza success came with an average speed of 20.19mph, and at that speed aerodynamics is very important. It's easy to spec anything from a 28t to 48t chainring, but most gravel builds go with a 42 as it will handle everything from steep 4mph climbs to 35mph descents without issue. Find out why wide tires can be fast, how to find a frame that optimizes your power output, and how to get a bike that handles like an extension of your body. So we’ve seen that gravel bikes don’t need to be slower than racing bikes, if they are built to the same specs. It reduces the impact to your body, and makes a huge difference in helping to control the wheels – meaning more traction and the ability to hold the desired line. My fastest brevets were on the Domane (not by much). Yes less aerodynamic steel bike with round tubes and wider tires IS slower than proper carbon aero bike with aero shaped tubes, aero wheels and 28mm tires. The answer is: ‘It depends.’ There are a few things that can make a gravel tire slower: Aerodynamics of the bike: Wider tires catch a tiny bit more wind, but a 10 mm increase in frontal area doesn’t make a huge difference. I run moderate aero wheels with 28mm tyres. How do you test a bike like Mitch Pryor's latest MAP All-Road? Concernant les pneumatiques, le gravel est doté, selon les modèles, de pneus typés cyclo-cross allant de 36 mm à 45 mm. As for the hydraulic disc brakes, they were well-equipped with the disks of 180 mm at the front and 160 mm at the rear. Riding any kind of bike is always the right answer. I don’t feel slow on my Rat Trap Pass tires ! Often but not always with ‘guards & lights. And I intend to go to the 700×44 Snoqualmie Pass tires in the future. More and more gravel racers agree: When gravel... read more, I mostly talk about our projects in this blog, including products we develop at Compass Bicycles, but rarely discuss... read more. This is the very first time when I had the opportunity to test at the same time 4 very interesting gravel bikes. The rest of us know that swapping the heavy, stiff ‘gravel’ tires for a set of supple, fast-rolling tires will make your gravel bike as fast as a road bike. We also seek unbiased evaluations from experienced riders who... read more, We've experienced a profound revolution in road bikes in recent years: It used to be that to go fast,... read more, When we presented the new René Herse cranks last week, a number of people wondered whether they would be... read more, When the Australian Matt Hayman won the European Paris-Roubaix race yesterday, it came as a huge surprise to everybody, including... read more, [youtube https://youtu.be/MBUSuXHhsBQ?rel=0&w=640&h=360] Used for commuting, brevets, and bike packing tours on rough & gravelly roads. How did we test? In many ways, a gravel bike is arguably the perfect road bike for the devoted mountain biker, and the perfect gateway to the off-road riding world for the hardcore roadie. above are plenty light.). The contenders are Cannondale Topstone Carbon, Canyon Grail CF SLX, Specialized Diverge Comp 2021, and titanium Enigma Escape (my own build). Or different bikes? If you continue to use this site we will assume that you are happy with it. Five bikes in one! Simply, the rougher the terrain you wish to ride, the lower your average speed will likely be, and at a point, a mountain bike will become the better pick. For many cyclists, a wide Q factor makes the cranks harder to spin. I clearly have to adjust my perceptions. Taking the increasing speed of gravel riding and racing alone, the evidence for the importance of aerodynamics was clear. The thinking seems to go like this: Now that many riders have bought a gravel bike, let’s convince them that they need a new road bike. Aerodynamics of the rider: The rider is responsible for most of the wind resistance. So you trade some aero and weight for improvements in rolling resistance/suspension losses. If the terminology you’re seeing looks like a foreign language mixed with marketing hype, you need this quick guide to bring you up to speed on the current state of gravel bikes – a 10,000ft view that won’t cover every possible brand or product, but rather a Cliff’s Notes version so you won’t make any bad purchase decisions. Road cranks rarely have Q factors of more than 150 mm. on Youtube. Gravel bikes have grown in popularity for their ability to mimic the efficiency of a road bike while adding versatility for where they can be ridden. Clearly there’s a lot of ambiguity in this topic. Global Cycling Networks even did some – admittedly unscientific – testing: They ran a set of racing tires and a set of gravel tires. La section de votre pneu sera importante et plus le pilotage sera.. Off-Road as they are eating up tarmac cranks. ) est équipé de freins à pour... Changed it for a gravel bike made of steel riders feel that their gravel bikes have now truly up... 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