It has been said that Variety is the Spice of life. Deep down, that is what is behind one of the fastest growing segments in the bike industry. At its core, the Gravel/Adventure discipline is about getting away from cars, expanding your comfort zone and exploring by bicycle. But it’s more than that, advances in manufacturing coupled with the technology available from other cycling areas have created a perfect storm for a bike that can do pretty much anything.
If you are looking for a do it all bike for both paved and dirt roads; one that encourages getting off your normal routes, consider a gravel/adventure bike. They are perfect for a relaxing recovery ride- you’ll find areas in your neighborhood you never knew existed. With such a wide range of gearing plus comfortable and sure footed tires you can look at a side road and wonder – where does that lead? And then check it out. When you have more time, a long adventure stringing together pavement and dirt can easily be done. I’m often encouraging athletes to try other types of racing. Gravel events are inclusive of all abilities and push you to efforts as well as experiences that are hard to replicate on a road bike. One can even install narrower cyclocross tires and give that a try. On top of that, riding on loose surfaces and narrow trails helps improve bike handling skills.
There are many brands and models of bikes to choose from and LifeSport partner, Obed, offers the Boundary series of carbon adventure bikes which are well specced and can be delivered directly to your door. Drivetrain choices are both 1 and 2x, and since this is Dan’s Picks, I personally prefer the Shimano GRX 2-front chainring setup. My experience has shown me that 1x works well for mountain bikes, but for gravel, having the extra chainring provides the right gear ratio. With wider 40mm tires, these bikes are very comfortable and disc brakes provide excellent stopping power in all conditions.
Having a gravel bike in your stable enables another choice when heading out for a ride and keeps the training fresh.
Dan Smith has trained a number of Ironman, Olympic and age-group Champions over the past two decades years. He enjoys coaching athletes of all levels. Contact Dan to tackle your first IRONMAN or to perform at a higher level.