The advantages of gravel for road cyclists
The advantages that can be derived from the practice of gravel are innumerable, for any type of cyclist. Today, however, we want to look at the specific advantages of gravel for road cyclists. Believe me when I tell you that they are not few.
1. New visions
The gravel bike allows you to switch between asphalt, dirt road and even some single tracks and rougher sections without any problem.
Therefore, it brings new visions for those who are normally used to pedal only on asphalt: the possibility to reach remote and inaccessible places with the road bike, giving space to adventure.
With the use of different platforms (Koomot, Strava, Garmin connect, etc.) it is possible to explore new routes, and stay in the saddle for many hours, if not whole days, without having to be knowledgeable about the area.
2. Improves endurance
The rhythm is very rarely crazy. However, we spend hours and hours on the saddle, riding for miles and miles, enjoying what we like to call a ride rather than a training session.
In doing so, without even realising it, we are training endurance: one of the essential characteristics for good performance on the road. When? In a Gran Fondo, for example.
3. Improves sensitivity and handling
It is true that the geometry of a gravel bike and the wider tyres offer more stability, but let’s not forget that grip is still limited and the bike is prone to slipping.
You have to pay much more attention to cornering and braking.
Every time you go out, your confidence will increase, and you’ll find yourself doing things unimaginable just a while before, having a lot more fun.
In short, all this leads to a better driving sensitivity that will be useful in any occasion. From city traffic to being in a group in a Gran Fondo. But it will also be very useful on a simple descent on asphalt, perhaps on a wet or rainy day. As well as in any situation that we can define as critical.
4. Reaction and Look
A bit like the road for those who run on foot, driving on unpaved roads requires active and proactive behaviour, always being ready to face potholes and obstacles.
It is essential to know how to choose the best trajectory to tackle a curve at speed and, even in flat and presumably calm situations, to overcome a rock or a forest.
Therefore, it is necessary to know how to “look further forward” and anticipate, that is, not to think about what is happening to us currently but about what will happen to us.
Along the way these are tips that will be very useful.
Gravel, from this point of view, is really a school camp!
5. Improves strength
Being on the saddle for many hours on a gravel bike helps endurance, as we said. But some situations, which often occur off-road, also develop strength.
A climb, maybe not too long, but very hard, to be faced without the right gears: you find yourself pushing like crazy, making a maximum effort at a low cadence.
Or, imagine you have to stop for an obstacle… and you have to start again, standing still, facing a sudden climb.
Without even realizing it, you’ll find yourself training your strength without specific training. No repetitions, no benches, nothing. It will be a natural and valuable workout.
If all this hasn’t made you want to buy a gravel bike… did you know that with a few tricks you can modify your road bike and do some testing? In the following article we explain how to do it: here.
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