Tips and resources
Gravel riding can be tackled on a wide variety of bikes, but the rougher it gets, the more you should consider the equipment you’re using.
What bike is best?
Depending on the terrain you’ll usually be comfortable on a gravel bike or a cyclocross bike, set up with a broad gearing range, disc brakes and wide tubeless tyres.
To modify a road bike for riding on gravel, you should fit tyres as wide as your frame will allow (usually about 25mm or 28mm). This will give you better comfort and grip. Also consider fitting some thicker bar tape to take a little sting out at the handlebar.
Rougher terrain typically requier gravel and CX bikes (or mountain bikes, if you want to bust out the heavy artillery).
Picking your pedals
Gravel riding takes you to wonderful places, but many of them are inhospitable to road shoes/pedals. We advise using mountain bike pedals (SPD, Crank Bros Egg Beaters, etc) and mountain bike shoes with recessed cleats instead of road shoes and pedals.
Some stretches of the route may not be rideable, and rest stops are likely to be muddy. If you don’t have mountain bike pedals, consider installing some flat pedals on your bike.
Some tyre talk
As a general rule of thumb, lean towards wider tyres at lower pressures, and experiment with what you feel comfortable with tread-wise.
If you are able to set your bike up tubeless to eliminate pinch-flats on rocky descents, this would be a wise move; just bring some spare tubes in the event of sidewall gashes.
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