Who doesn’t love a good bandwagon, am I right?
Gravel Grinders are a distinct breed. Perhaps not to your partner who already doesn’t understand the difference between your XC MTB, your DH, your CX and your Enduro Bike – but to those with an eye for detail and a desire to acquire more bikes, it’s a must have for your collection.
To be ridden on longer off-road events (largely on gravel, hence the name), Gravel Grinders are different to CX bikes with more of an all-day build and often less aggressive angles.
So, when choosing a Gravel Grinder for grinding the gravel in your life, stick to the ABCDs:
A is for Angles. Not all Gravel Grinders are created equal. Depending on what you are going to use it for, make sure the angles of the bike are suitable. For example, slacker head angles and better seat angles make for more comfort and stability over a long distance. You don’t want to be riding a bike for 9 hours which isn’t fit for purpose. Trust us.
B is for Bolt-Through Axles. Better tracking, stable, can take a beating and a more secure fit, a Gravel Grinder with Bolt-Through Axles will ensure your gravel can be ground for many years to come. Not sure what benefit these offer? Check out our recent article here
C is for Clearance. One of the great things about Gravel Grinders is the leeway for tweaking. Check that forks and rear stays have enough available space to run a wide variety of tyres. Wider tyres create more grip and more comfort. Some circumstances require AT LEAST a 700 x 35C tyre or else risk being stranded in the middle of nowhere with 2 flats and no more patch kits.
D is for Disc Brakes. Making sense since 1980. Disc brakes give better braking, control and all-weather certainty. Beneficial for Gravel Grinders too for when a big pothole appears out of nowhere or a significant stack is in your immediate forecast, you can still roll and brake with a buckled wheel. Beware the last year ‘bargains’ on Gravel Grinders and CX bikes flooding the market right now. If they don’t have discs, they’re already years behind.