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How To Nail The Gravel Riding Basics

How To Nail The Gravel Riding Basics

– Whether you’ve tried your
hand at gravel riding or not, gravel is taking the world
by storm, seemingly there are events popping up all over the world. So what are the basics? – Well, in this video we are
going to show you some tips from before you leave your
front door to when you’re out having fun on the bike. And hey, with Jeremy here
too, I’m having to learn a thing or two myself. (guitar music) So first off, you need to know what you’re getting yourself into. Research, map, and be prepared, okay? 50 miles of riding on the
road is a lot different than 50 miles of riding on gravel, because gravel goes a lot slower. You may be out in the middle
of the boondocks, who knows? You need to make sure that
you know where your food, where your water is and where
you’re going to take rests, unlike being in the UK, for
a tea stop every four miles, you need to be prepared. (guitar music) So with the internet and all
of its resources route mapping is made so much easier with
Commute, we’re able to plan our ride, check road
services and plan distance really easily so that we’re
100% ready for our adventure. (guitar music) – You should always check
the weather forecast before you ride, but it’s
even more important on gravel, for two reasons. Firstly, if you’re going
into the middle of nowhere, you need to be more self reliant. So that might mean taking extra layers, in the case of bad weather
or more water if the weather is super hot, ’cause you’ve
got to stay hydrated. Then secondly, there’s also
the issue of road conditions, because in the wet, gravel
can become soft, muddy, even un-ridable, which
means that your gravel epic might actually become
impossible, leaving you with no phone signal, wishing
for a four by four Uber or worse, bustin’ out
the hatchet and matches. – Or, your chainsaw and bear spray. This ain’t the UK Sy, this is America. (guitar music) So when you’re riding gravel,
you always want to keep space between your riding partners,
so that you’re able to see any holes or potholes
that are in the dirt, any big rocks or stones
that are out of place that could be in your
way that you could flat or crash out on. Which brings us to our next point. We know the benefits of
riding on roads like this, catching a draft from a 100
years of Tour de France racing, but, you really have to ask
yourself, if you’re riding on gravel, does it make
any sense to be so close? With all these tree lined
roads that are cutting down on all of the wind, I don’t really think it
makes a big difference. – Yeah, plus, your speed
is lower on gravel, so that also reduces
the benefit of drafting. But ultimately, it kind of
comes down to the question, how much time you actually
going to save from drafting, versus how much time you going
to lose from changing a flat, or worse, picking
yourself up out the dirt. (guitar music) Because of all of the
preparedness that we have talked about, it’s super important
that you get a good pair of cages that can really
hold your bottle tightly so if you do hit an unexpected pothole that you don’t send your bottle flying. (guitar music) – Bottle cages are just
the tip of the iceberg. We could talk for days
about gravel bike set up, but one of the basic,
but yet important point, is tire choice. If they will fit, my
personal recommendation is a 40 millimeter wide gravel tire. No it’s not so fat that
it’s going to feel sluggish, or be heavy, but that extra
volume over a narrower tire means that you just have
to be much less careful. It’s much harder to puncture,
gives you a lot more control and it’s also much more
comfortable as well. Truthfully, I don’t think
there’s much that you can’t do on a 40 millimeter wide gravel tire. (guitar music) – In a similar theme,
hold back on the descent. The best way to flat a tire
is to be going hog wild at 50 miles an hour down a gravel descent. You’ll flat at the bottom and everyone will be waiting for you,
which is a huge party foul. (Sy whooping and yelling) Sy! – Sorry mate, I’m sorry. – You have to control your speed and your braking throughout. What, seriously, what came over you? – I don’t know. Could have been the Dunkin Donuts? I dunno. – It was definitely the Dunkin Donuts. – Yeah. – Dude, speed, you have to
be in control of the speed. It’s the rocks and the speed combined that get a flat every time. – That is true. And in all seriousness,
we’re not tryin’ to kill the fun of gravel riding here, but if you just hold back a fraction, you can serve your bike,
and also your body, and that is going to make
your ride a better ride. (guitar music) – All right, so hopefully
you’ve got your gravel rig all set up, you’re ready
for a big adventure and some of the tips and
tricks that we ripped through today are going to help you to have a perfect day out there. Don’t forget to bring your
bear spray and your chainsaw. – Yeah, a load more gravel
how to videos’ll be coming up on GCN very soon. In the meantime, if you want
to see an epic gravel ride, then you can click through
to video on screen now.

52 comments on “How To Nail The Gravel Riding Basics

  1. This video just made me think how gravel bikes are less and less atractives to me and how im choosing right to have a 25mm road bike, a single/fixed with 32mm clearance for comuting in some bad roads, and if i want to go wild i will get a MTB. Im aint rich by any means, just wanna enjoy things in full, and dont have a duck bike. For last, thats what i think now maybe in the future i change my mind and biketech will surelly improve.

  2. I wish I could afford a new bike.. My last was stolen a month after I moved to Hollywood.. Had it almost a decade. Upgraded it every other year because I loved that frame.

  3. You need to make a Gravel Cycling Network channel It would be a lot of fun seeing everybody try gravel and Si would probably love it.

  4. Hello!! Please take a look at my MTB ride in Estonia

  5. #AskGCNAnything I always get home from work, eat and then fall asleep – therefore having no time to train. Its recommended that you wait 1hr+ after eating before going out on the bike, but why? You dont sit around for an hour after eating at the cafe for an hour.

  6. I found Lasty … check out the 30s mark on this GCN Japan video. He is in the background on the right hand side. #yourwelcome 🙂

  7. To paraphrase an old backpacking joke, you don’t need to outrun the bear, just your riding partner. 😏
    How about a show on how to ride up steep gravel inclines – without spinning your tires (tyres), out of the saddle …

  8. Gravel Grind the end of the discussion between roadies n Mtbikers… Gravel hell yeah… best of both worlds.

  9. Guys, I have a question: why this bikes doesn't have front suspension? Doesn't that lack of suspension made the ride more hard for your shoulders?
    Excellent video, as always!

  10. GCN’s gravel vids are excellent. Just getting started on the gravel from mtb and been using all the gravel vids for info and learning. Thanks GCN 👍🏼

  11. Jeremy is such a New Englander except if it wasn’t a pg video he would’ve said bumfuck Egypt 😂😂🤪 like we said in Boston growing and other colorful phrases. And yes battery chainsaws are very manly they work amazing for all the haters I’m pretty sure my man crush I have on Si has moved to Jeremy 🥰 sorry Si 😂😂🤪🤩

  12. I frequently reach 40+ mph and I have never flatted from going fast while descending (knock on wood). I would imagine this is much more common for running clinchers rather than tubeless. As long as you keep a clear line of sight and keep your eyes scanning and looking well ahead, you can steer around, bunny hop, or slow down in time to react. Seriously, go tubeless for non paved surfaces. More comfort, more grip and plenty of speed for the application. You can flat in any cycling discipline. Being aware of obstacles in the road and having control over you bike are the keys to keeping pressure.
    Gravel has also adopted the "mullet protocol" which really allows riders to chose whatever speed/bike set-up that makes them happy. Business in the front and party in the back! Ride your bike and everyone wins.

  13. Gravel riding is more about the scenery and the sense of adventure.. don’t worry about time and speed, you’ll ruin the whole point!

  14. this isn’t a brand new thing . it’s called mountain biking . Or more aptly named here – XC Riding .

  15. I’m tired of Si’s gravel fetish. We’re in the middle of road racing and with the tour beginning and every other video is about this gravel bike scam.

  16. As much as I like these videos, let’s be honest….western Massachusetts isn’t exactly like the rest of gravel riding country. And there surely are not any people who wear cowboy hats there.

  17. Remember Gravel biking is a gateway drug the next thing you know you will be wearing baggies and saying words like Rad Knarly and sick!!
    Just say NO to gravel biking 😀

  18. Don't worry Si, we're all jealous of the fact you /can/ stop for tea every few miles.

    Without having to pack along a set (not that I've considered doing so *cough*)

  19. I llove the addition of Jeremy and american gravel riding! I just started cycling 3 years ago and have learned a lot from GCN and GMBN. Because of where I live in Michigan, gravel riding is what I do most. These videos are great! Can’t wait to see more. Thank you!

  20. There is some FAST and well groomed gravel near me, and it's fun to form up and really haul ass. The concern here is sticks, rocks, and dirt flying into your face from the guy in front of you. Eye protection is essential – and even then it can get dicey.

  21. Nice video. I just have two things to add:
    1) Regarding speed – if you're already where you want to be, why push hard to be somewhere else? Gravel riding is great for enjoying a day on the bike and getting in the scenery. When mountain biking you have to focus on the trail and road biking avoiding getting hit by cars.
    2) In the US the dept of Agriculture puts out traveler's maps for each national forest (living in Montana I have those for the Helena, Beaverhead-Deerlodge, Lewis and Clark, Flathead, Gallatin and Lolo national forests. These maps show all the old gravel and dirt mining and logging roads which infiltrate the national forests and which are missing on most highway road maps. These can help plan a route. Komoot does cover most of these and can help with the elevation gain/loss etc aspects of planning (as can an old-style Topo map).
    I love your channel. Keep up the good work.

  22. So many #merica jokes since Jeremy joined the channel. lolol. As an American, I love it. All in good fun.

  23. I switched from a touring bike to a gravel bike this year. Bought the Scott gravel speedster 30 and I´m very pleased with it. Thanks to your advices, I have much more fun on my graveltours in the Swedish landscape than Before. I also use Kamoot nowadays and it works so much easier than Google Maps for planing my routes. Thanks for Jeremy for this useful informations about Graveling.

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