4 Reasons Why Road Bikes Are Better Than Gravel Bikes | The GCN Show Ep. 296

– From the 24 hour race at
the Nürburgring in Germany, welcome to the GCN Show. – Hello, and welcome to the GCN Show, brought to you buy our friends at Wiggle. – This week, we book the trend and tell you why we think that road bikes are still better than gravel bikes. Ha.
Do you agree? – Yeah, we’ve also got two
more doses of controversy in cycling shorts plus a hack that’s genuinely blown our minds. I say our minds, Ollie’s
looking less than enthusiastic about the stone in the
(mumbles) than I am, but, you just wait, it’s cracking. (adventurous music) This week in the world of cycling, we learned that some of the new climbs featured in this year’s route in España are really steep. This is pro cyclist Ivan García Cortinez struggling to keep his front wheel down. (crowd cheering) – Weirdly steep. (laughs)
– Yeah. – Eat your heart out, sags. We also learned that we
often talk about the hazards of riding in Australia, such
as spiders, snakes, thylacines. – Crocodiles, great white sharks. – Drop bears.
– Drop bears. – Yep. Well we also learned that kangaroos are, if not more dangerous than
all of those things… (eerie music) (cyclist shouts) (cyclist shouts) Now seemingly every week this year has seen a new gravel bike
unleashed upon the world. And most of the major manufacturers have brought out gravel
bikes as well this year. This is for good reason, too. Because more and more riders
are waking up to the joys of riding off-road and
without having to don heavy body armour and ride big,
slow, heavy mountain bikes. – Yeah, it’s not a lie to
say gravel bikes are great. They’re fun, they’re versatile. They can literally do almost anything. But, and it’s a big but. Are road bikes still just better? Well here are four
reasons why they might be. – Right. Reason one. Road bikes are faster. There’s no denying it. With narrower, skinnier
tyres, narrower handlebars, more aerodynamic frames
and wheels available, you can go much faster on a road bike than a gravel equivalent
for the same effort. – Yeah, let’s face it. Everyone loves going fast. The sensation of speed, the actual speed, and given that road bikes are faster, that surely makes them
a little bit better. It’s a bit like putting a 4×4 SUV against a mid-engine sports car, except for no more money. I mean, who wouldn’t want
a mid-engine sports car for no more money? When the wind’s in your hair, yeah it might be a little
bit less practical, you might not be able to
put the dog in the boot, but doesn’t really matter, does it? – Yeah I mean, I’ll take the sports car every day of the week. When you jump on a road bike
after you’ve been riding a gravel bike, the difference
in speed is so tangible you struggle to hold on. Such is the acceleration
as it surges you forward. I mean, you’d be at like 10
kilometres an hour faster. – That’s a bit of an exaggeration. Just a bit. – Maybe a slight exaggeration. But in essence, a road
bike just makes me feel like I’m a better cyclist. – Reason number two. You don’t have to clean
your road bike as much. ‘Cause inevitably, if
you ride a bike off-road, on gravel, then it’s gonna
get covered in way more dust than it would if you ride it on road. – Or mud, if you’re British. – Yeah, true. Now, admittedly, gravel bikes are designed to cope with this. They’ve got greater tyre
clearance, they’ve got disc brakes, but you still have to
clean all the crap off. Whereas, if you ride your
road bike in dry conditions, you barely have to clean it at all. So we’re told. – Well that’s basically the main reason why I haven’t dipped
my toe into cyclocross. Just can’t be bothered with
all the cleaning of the bike. I mean the fact that I would
be totally rubbish at it has nothing to do with it. – No. Now, as a cross fan, I do have to say that I consider the cleaning
like a worthwhile trade-off. The broken washing machines
at the end of the year do annoy me slightly, but the fact is, get a bike muddy, and it’s
gonna wear out quicker. So if you’ve got a gravel
bike and you ride it off-road, you do have to look after it. – Reason three. They’re lighter. So gravel bikes are designed to be strong, rugged, reliable, and durable. Much like Si. Consequently, being lightweight
is a secondary priority and not the sort of
first design objective. – No, and that is a shame. Because the feeling of dancing up a climb on a lightweight bike was great, isn’t it? – Yeah, I mean, in the
UK I often run a reliable but heavy winter bike in
the wetter, colder months. – Which are they, all of them? – Yeah. And when I put my better bike, when I take my better bike
out and on the nicer weather, the sensation of being
on that lighter bike, it’s like coming out of hibernation. It feels amazing. The way you’re able to dance
up climbs on the lighter… It’s just… It just puts a smile on me face. – It does. Once you’ve ridden a lightweight bike, heavy bikes and gravel bikes do tend to be significantly heavier. They just feel like a bit of a burden, and then they’re holding you back. Because let’s say, like
a top-end road bike now is gonna be about seven kilos. When you factor in the
gravel bike’s heavier frame, heavier tyres, at the
very least, you’re looking at another kilo, two
kilos, potentially on top. – Yeah and that’s before you’ve festooned all your worldly
possessions to every orifice and sort of nook and cranny on the frame. It’s like riding a pack mule compared to a thoroughbred race horse. – I’m not totally sure you have to put all your worldly possessions on it just ’cause it’s a gravel bike. – You do.
It’s one of the rules. It’s one of the rules of gravel bikes. – Is it?
– Yeah. – Reason number four, potentially
the most important reason, if not the most controversial. Road bikes just kinda
look better, don’t they? I mean the sleek, classic
lines of a road bike or maybe the modern,
cutting-edge technological lines of a cutting-edge road bike like your new Trek Madame. – Oh man I love that Trek Madame. I just think… Yeah, road bikes. They’re sleek, they’re sharp,
they’re aggressive-looking. Gravel bikes in comparison,
well they look a bit slow. It’s like, a sort of
baggy pair of Y-fronts compared to a thong. – Yeah. When I feel more comfortable
going on about SUVs and sports cars than your
choice of underwear, Ollie, but yeah, okay.
Anyway. Those are four reasons
why we shouldn’t forget why road bikes are flipping cool. But let’s have in the comment section whether you think that actually road bikes are still better, or are
you a committed gravel rider and if so, why are gravel bikes better? I think this one can get pretty heated. In fact, should we have a poll? On screen now, very simple, vote. Are road bikes better than
gravel bikes, yes or no? – How was your gravel biking trip to Iceland last week? – It was so cool. Amazing. Absolutely brilliant. I’ve gotta say, I flipping
love gravel bikes. They got us to places that road
bikes could never have gone. It was cool. – It did look really… I was really jealous
of that trip, actually. Can I come gravel biking next time? – Next expedition? Be a pleasure, Ollie. Just don’t pack too much
stuff and no thongs. – Oh. You may remember that
last week we launched our amazing competition to win the trip of a lifetime to Oman. Ride the Haute Route Oman,
and do it on your brand new 3T Strada Bike. Well that competition is still open, so you still have a chance to enter, but we can now reveal the route itself. – Yeah it sounds like an
absolute (mumbles) to be honest. The first stage is 83 kilometres long and includes the fearsome
climb of Jabal Akhdar, which averages 10% for 14 kilometres. – Sounds fun, that one. – It does, isn’t it? Yeah the Tour of Oman goes
up that one, actually. But it only goes halfway up. They can’t do the whole thing. Pros aren’t good enough. Anyway. Day two, 145 kilometres long. Again, in the Hajar Mountains,
before the final day, day three is a time-trial through
the historic Alhambra town and yeah, sounds great. – That sounds awesome.
– It does, doesn’t it? Do you know who’s excited for it as well? – Who? – Emma’s excited for it. – I’m super excited to be
riding the Haute Route Oman in March 2019. Just sounds like the most
amazing place to ride a bike. Firstly, of course, the
winter weather is perfect. Secondly, culturally, really interesting, but very welcoming and very friendly, and of course, Oman has huge mountains, and I really like mountains. But I thought I better
start training because… Well it’s not ’til March next year but you can’t start too early, can you? So that’s why I’m riding
up this hill again. – Now as well as that amazing prize up for grabs from Oman, we’ve actually got an amazing
prize with the results all ready for you. The Schindelhauer Ludwig
Urban Bike with Brooks saddle that we gave away just the other week, but we never told you who won it. You ready for it? – The winner is Dimitri Kavour. – Dimitri Kavour, congratulations to you. That is a bike so stylish
it made even Dan Lloyd look cool when he rode it. That is how cool that bike is. So, yeah, enjoy it, very much. Send us a photo as well. (horn fanfare) – It’s now time for cycling shorts. – We begin cycling shorts this week with some controversial news in Milan as coffee chain Starbucks
opens its first Italian branch. – Yeah, controversial
perhaps, but also apparently hugely popular, because
people queued for hours around the block in order to get in. We will leave the coffee
debate to one side, though, and instead steer you to this: the Bianchi Starbucks Reserve. A collaboration between
the legendary Milan-based bike brand Bianchi and the coffee chain. It is, as you can see, a steel, and yes, you guessed it, gravel bike. – And if you want one, you’re gonna have to go visit Starbucks. We also had some bad news this week. So a study that was published in the Journal of Outdoor
Recreation and Tourism– – Oh that’s a good one. – Was titled “The Influence of Tyre Size “on Bicycle Impacts to
Soil and Vegetation.” – Crikey that. I hope that is more interesting
than it sounds, Ollie. – It’s incredibly interesting. It says that narrow cyclocross tyres apparently cause more damage to trails and fatter mountain bike
tyres and apparently even more than hikers. – Well that is quite
interesting, actually. Fair enough. And also, slightly bad news indeed. To slightly take away from
the new positive drugs test that has just come out
of the Pro (mumbles). Unfortunately Kanstantsin
Siutsou with Bahrain Merida and I think it’s important to say, formally of Sky and Highroad before that, returned a positive for EPO
in an out-of-competition test earlier in the summer. – It’s quite unsettled me, that one. I mean, I’ll be honest,
yes Kanstantsin Siutsou is a rider from an older generation, but in recent years he’s
not really done much. And I just don’t really understand it. But perhaps someone who
would understand it better is David Miller, himself a former doper, and in recent years, a staunch
advocate of anti-doping. And he’s just announced
that he’s gonna be running for president of the CPA,
which is the riders’ union. – Yeah, I think he’d do a really
good job of that, as well. He is a super bright guy, and also clearly passionate
about racing and rider welfare. So it’ll be interesting
to see what happens, partly because it sounds a
little bit like the election process is something of a lottery. And I’m basing this only on
Tweets I saw from Garrett Thomas over the weekend, but if he was right, it sounds like riders have to either be at the world championships
to vote in person, or from certain
longer-established cycling nations like France and Italy and Spain, a delegate actually votes on their behalf, and they don’t really
get a direct say in it. Seems really weird for
their own union, but okay. – It’s a bit strange. But speaking of Garrett
Thomas, he’s just announced that he’s extended his contract
at team Sky by three years. So I wonder if he’ll
win another grand tour. It’s gonna be difficult
considering Chris Froome is still there and also tonnes of riders like Egan Bernal coming up
through the ranks as well. – Yeah, you wonder whether he
kind of put personal ambition to one side before he signed that one, but anyway, time will tell, undoubtedly. Interestingly, time has also told, we’ve Dimension Data’s
hiring policy for this season as it became clear they
now signed all three of the riders from the
podium of this year’s Absolute Gold Race following the news that Enrico Gasparotto, himself
a former winner, actually, of Absolute Gold, has now
joined Michael Valgren and Roman Kreuziger for
Dimension Data’s 2019 roster. – Not a bad recruitment policy, that, if it gets you riders of that standard. We’ve said it before, Michael Valgren, he’s a super talent.
– Super talent. – Two other super talents,
Larry Warbasse and Conor Dunne, we’ve been following
them closely this week on social media as they
completed their #NoGoTour. So for those of you who are unaware, both riders were members
of the now-defunct Aqua Blue sport team which, well, ended quite suddenly (mumbles). – Well, yeah. Just the other week, isn’t it? The rug was pulled out
from under their feet. Literally days before their
last race of the season of the Tour of Britain. But rather than sulk, they went out and went bike-packing instead. So they went for one week, racked up 50 hours of saddle time, clocked up 1150 kilometres
and by all accounts, they had an absolute riot. Some of the stuff they
posted on social media was absolutely genius, including pictures like this one from Conor. This is the Lac de Roseland, which… Well, it kinda looks better
than many of the views they would’ve seen at tour of Britain. Not all, but… – Looks pretty nice. I like this one from Larry. Wedding crashers. I can’t tell if the groom
was happy or annoyed by that gesture. I think something might’ve
got lost in translation. – Yeah, the hand gesture could
go either way, couldn’t it? Also, some bad news,
actually for Larry and Conor, as the Finish Cycling
Resource, (speaks Finnish), or however you pronounce it in Finnish, pointed out that unfortunately,
their times up (mumbles), they weren’t good enough to
break the top 200 of all time. Probably, in fact, not even the top 1,000. – Gutted. To be fair to them, though, they were riding fully laden… – Road bikes. They were on road bikes, not gravel bikes.
– No gravel bikes. Yeah it’s a nice sentiment. I think the life lesson learned here is that when life gives you lemons, just go on a bike-packing adventure. – [Si] And also make sure
you have a catchy hashtag on social media so
everyone can see you do it. – We also learned the sad news
that double Olympic champion Kristina Vogel has been left paralysed following a training crash
in June of this year. – Yeah, a hugely decorated cyclist, Vogel won the team sprint Gold in 2012 and the individual sprint Gold in 2016 and all of us here at GCN
would like to wish her the very best for her recovery
and her rehabilitation. Tech of the week now. But before we head over
to John in the workshop, we’ve got some new tech
of our own right here. It’s from Fizik, but
unfortunately all I can tell you is that you’re gonna find
out what is inside this box on Monday. – I can’t wait that long. I’m gonna have a look now. (heavenly riff) – Over to you, John. – Cheers, lads. Well, this week, we’ve got cracking content for you, as ever. We’ve got some custom shoes,
we’ve got gold rollers, we’ve got two new bikes
spotted on social media, plus, should you be riding with a bike computer on your bike? Also, don’t forget, there’s
a poor kid out there who now has to sleep on the sofa. Yep, that’s right. Anyway, more on that this
Thursday on the GCN tech show. It’s not to be missed. (enthusiastic music) – It’s now time for
our weekly inspiration. Where you submit
inspirational cycling photos for a chance to win 50, 75, or 100 pounds in vouchers from our friends at Wiggle. I basically love this
’cause we just get to look at great photos. – Well yeah, basically.
– It’s brilliant. – Now, if you want to
enter the competition, actually before we start, then either submit your photos on Instagram with the hashtag gcninspiration or using our uploader, the link to which is in the description beneath this video. Right then. Without further ado. Who has come third in this
week’s competition, Ollie? – So in third place this week we’ve chosen Janssen_WCC on Instagram, who submitted this really cool picture. While riding in the rain. – [Si] Yeah, taking a
Killington stage race in Vermont in the USA. I tell you what. I don’t particularly like riding
in the rain all that much, but that has inspired me to do so. That is a cool photo, isn’t it? There’s something about
the big, wide, empty road, the corner, the feeling of speed. I think that’s great. – [Ollie] Sweeping bend through there. I mean, I unfortunately
have to ride in the rain, well we have to ride
in the rain quite a bit ’cause of where we live, but
that makes it look great. – Yeah it does.
Funny that. Miraculous photograph, that. Right then.
In second place we’ve got this one, which, something a little
bit different perhaps, it’s just sent in by Ian, and it’s taken at the Melbourne cricket rally, saying, “17 degrees centigrade
for the start of spring. “Heading home like I normally do, “crossing the walkway of the train tracks, “I couldn’t help but
notice this stunning day “Melbourne turned on for us.” So there we go. Then he says the bike is
his runabout pub bike, a Reid Harriet. But that’s cool, isn’t it? There’s something about
that shot, not just the banging weather and
the nice sunset there. – [Ollie] Yeah, I wanted… We picked this photo
because it’s inspiration. It sums up what cycling can be about for a lot of people. It doesn’t have to be up a mountain on an amazing, super race bike, you know? That is an inspirational piece of cycling, and it’s in a setting
where a lot of people, that is their riding. – Yeah, to my mind, that
photo spells out freedom. And not in the Braveheart kind of way. Right then. The winner then, the winner of
100 pounds of Wiggle vouchers is Jon from… We don’t know your surname, Jon, but you might recognise
the photo you sent. This is from Los Osos, California. And that is cool, isn’t it? – [Ollie] Yeah, it’s great. He’s riding his Argon 18 Gallium Pro, and he’s just riding it through the trees on a quiet training ride. But that photo, I just love
the tranquillity of it. And that road just looks
absolutely beautiful. – [Si] Doesn’t it? – [Ollie] I’ll tell you
what it reminds me of. If you’ve seen this film, but
The Place Beyond the Pines, the Ryan Gosling, where
he’s going through… I mean he’s on motorbike,
but it’s that sort of like coastage. – [Si] I haven’t seen that, but if it looks like that photograph, I’m gonna go check it out. – It’s now time for hack
forward-slash bodge. And first up this week, we
have Nick Perkins who… Well, this is pretty impressive. – He smashed it out of the park, Ollie. This is what I was so excited
about in the introduction to the show. So basically, that horrible
feeling when you snap your gear cable and your
de-railer plunges all the way down to the 11-tooth sprocket. Now we got hacks here on GCN already about how you fix it, involving
wrapping your cable around, pulling it through the other way. But simply, stick a stone in it. Why didn’t we think of that one? – [Ollie] I know. It’s one of those things of, how has no one thought of this before? Or perhaps they have. But anyway, Nick has
brought it to our attention, so thanks for that. – [Si] Well yeah, not
only that, it’s a stone with two, with different dimensions. So basically, he can put
it in one orientation to put it in his 25 for climbing, flip it, and he can get it in his 16. – [Ollie] He should make
these stones and sell them. And people have them in
their saddlebags permanently. – [Si] Yeah. Amazing.
Genius. There we go, anyway, thank you
very much for sending that. – [Ollie] What were you
saying, hack or bodge? – Oh it’s a hack for me.
– Absolutely hack. Grade-A hack.
– Right then. – [Ollie] Next up we have– – [Si] Oooh, bodge. – [Ollie] (laughs) This, which is… Well it’s like a sort of empty can that’s been bolted on
to the back of the bike to act as a chain capture. – [Si] That looks nasty. I’m not gonna lie.
I’m not a massive fan of chain-keeps at the best of times, but yeah, anyway, that one was
sent in by Jérémie Trottier. So, sorry, Jérémie. – [Ollie] Yeah, thanks, man. – Next up, we’ve got this
one from Mulal (mumbles) which is, when you go
camping and you forget your umbrella holder. Well, I mean, that does get you out of a sticky situation, doesn’t it? But that… – [Ollie] It’s a lot of seat post. – [Si] Yeah, big seat post, isn’t it? That’s some serious saddle-to-bar drop. Presuming the saddle’s under his umbrella. Anyway, I think, is that a bodge? – [Ollie] It’s a bodge, but I do like that he’s put one hashtag and
that hashtag is #macgyver. (both laughing)
That’s great. – [Si] Anyway, right, next up we’ve got this one sent in from Sara from Greifswald, Germany. Now that is another like
people-carrier of a bike. – [Ollie] Another breech
of the UK highway code. But it’s okay, because it’s in Germany. – [Si] Yeah. Maybe it breeches that
highway code as well, – [Ollie] What, do you reckon? – [Si] Well it’s also slightly scary ’cause it’s kind of sprayed up
like a ghost-bike, isn’t it? Which, given that it
looks like it’s probably a death trap, feels like a bit of a… – [Ollie] The saddle… The rear tyres look a bit flat, as well. That’s a bodge, for me. – [Si] Well, except
it’s done with welding, by the look of it. – [Ollie] Yeah. (laughs) – [Si] They welded that bike. Someone’s gone to great lengths. – [Ollie] Still a bodge. – Alright, bodge. Sorry, Sara. Okay anyway, this one… I feel like we’re gonna
finish on a high, aren’t we? This is sent in by Colin, and
this is actually a follow-up, isn’t it, from a previous entry
for his custom wahoo mount, I believe. And now, he’s 3D printed… – [Ollie] Well, a light mount. – [Si] Sorry, I’m speechless. Two lights mounted. It looks like a fighter plane, doesn’t it? Not a bike. – [Ollie] Yeah, well
it’s aero and it’s neat and it just looks very
cool on the front of his well, what is already a very neat cockpit on the giant Propel. But rather than sort
of festoon lights to it in a sort of ungainly
fashion with big sort of rubber straps and cable ties, he’s got a really neat,
narrow solution there. That’s pretty cool, isn’t it? – [Si] It is, isn’t it? It’s one of my little pet
hates, is having my lights mounted off-center on my bike. Given that my lights
are mounted off-center on any bike that I ride. It’s like a pet hate
for the entire winter. – [Ollie] Top marks for symmetry. – But anyway, get involved. If you wanna submit
something for judgement , frankly, in hack or bodge, then do so, either via GCN upload, link
to which is in the description beneath this video, or
using the hashtag gcnhack on social media. – It’s now time for the
caption competition, where you have the chance to win a CamelBak GCN water bottle. – Oh yeah. – Last week we had this picture
of a very ripped-looking launcher two of a Cofidis team. And the winning caption is… – It was sent in by Sean Svadlenak, and it was, “It’s going
to take a lot of sunscreen “to Cofidis whole area.” (drum riff) Yes.
I love it. Just our level of humour. I.e., rubbish. But anyway, there we go. Good enough to stand out and get yourself this CamelBak water bottle,
which we will send over to you, so get in touch with us on Facebook and let us know your address. Right then. What about this week’s caption photo for you to get your teeth stuck into. Well it’s a bizarre one, isn’t it? – Yeah.
– Any idea what he’s protesting there? – [Ollie] Not sure, but
I think I’ve got one. – [Si] Go on, then. – [Ollie] This welt has been well hard. I’m absolutely dead at
the end of today’s stage. – Don’t know what to
say about that, Ollie. – I thought it was good, though. – Well, I mean… Thanks for trying. – I tried really hard. – Yeah, well, you’ve done your best and that’s what counts, ultimately. Pop that out of reach. No, seriously, if you
think you can beat Ollie and by god, I hope you can, make sure you stick your comment in the caption section down below. We will read them all and then pick out our favourite next week. That was a good effort, mate. I couldn’t have done better. Which everyone will agree with. Before we get on to what
is coming up on the channel this week, let us, as per
tradition, take a bit of time to go through one or two cracking comments that you left under last
week’s videos like this one, which Charles Meadows wrote
underneath your mega video, actually, about whether you can fix carbon fibre frames after they’re broken. And he has said, well yes, clearly, “Duct tape.
“Lots of duct tape.” Was any duct tape used
in any of the fixings? – [Ollie] Categorically, no. – Really, no duct tape?
– There was no duct tape. Don’t think they had any duct tape. – They must’ve done. Everyone’s got a bit of duct
tape stashed away, don’t they? Maybe not for fixing frames but, you know. A properly pro outfit, clearly there. – Do you know what, I
should admit something. I only learned that it
was duct tape last week. I thought it was duck tape for my entire life.
– Really? – Anyway. SAF1981– – I can just hear a lot
of people switching off. – Yeah. (laughs) I shouldn’t have admitted that. – I thought this guy knew stuff. He’s got PhDs. – SAF1981 wrote this comment
on one of Opie’s videos, wasn’t it? Saying, “Rumour has it that
Chris dropped 1.2 kilogrammes “off his bike by cutting the
sides of his Travolta hair.” – Well, it’s a fair point, actually. I think we should probably
ask the man himself. What does John Travolta think about that? (sultry music) Yeah I thought he might have
something interesting to say. Right, lastly. Sticking with hair. Steffan Harries. Well he said that “Si is the Lantern Rouge “of the GCN Hair Classification.” Which… Well, it’s no surprise, but… You know, even though
I’ve got low expectations. – I think your hair’s great, mate. You’re trying really hard and you know… – The question is whether my hair is better or worse than your
caption competition effort, which would not be saying
much for either, would it? But anyway, there we go. More to the point, what is
coming up on the channel this week, what have you
got to look forward to? – Well on Wednesday,
how to hide on a ride. – Oof.
Useful tactics if you ride in a group, that. Everyone needs to know
how to hide on those days when you haven’t quite got it. – Yeah, sax is great, that as well. Thursday, five car park
tricks to impress your mates. Friday is another Ask GC Anything. Saturday, why do you need to track stand? – Well I tell you what,
gonna be an interesting one, that one. Sunday is my own little KLM challenge that I have set myself, which I am exceedingly nervous about. So please, everyone, join
me in keeping your fingers firmly crossed all week that
I manage to pull that one off. Monday is of course GCN racing news show. And then Tuesday is the GCN show where we’re gonna be in (mumbles), mate. – Yeah. – Oh yeah, we’re going out to Italy. Chris and James have
already gone, in fact. Emma is joining them soon after. Oscar is going out, then we’re going out. It’s gonna be good. But whilst we’re out there,
don’t forget that Loydlie is gonna be still back here
doing all the Vuelta stuff, isn’t he? – Yeah, so there’s Vuelta
highlights each day on Facebook so you can catch the previous
days that we’ve done already, if you’ve not already seen them. And there’s also gonna be
Vuelta content on the ground from Chris Opie, who’s
gonna be there as well. – Yeah, that’s right. God it’s a lot of stuff
going on, isn’t it? – And speaking of the Vuelta, well there’s still a chance to get a hold of our Spanish-themed t-shirts, but they are limited edition, so if you want one, head
over to the GCN shop. – That’s right. Shop.globalcyclingnetwork.com. And unfortunately that
brings us towards the end of the GCN show, although one other point of business, Ollie. As we film this, we have just ticked over 1.5 million subscribers,
which is utterly amazing. And so we wanted to thank all of you for your continued support for GCN. It means the absolute world to us. So yeah, a genuine, heartfelt thank you from all of us here. Right. I suppose the only thing
left to say then, is, if you fancy another video right now, then you could do far worse than check out Ollie’s
absolutely banger of– – Oh cheers, mate. – Whether you can fix
a carbon fibre frame. It’s just down there.

100 thoughts on “4 Reasons Why Road Bikes Are Better Than Gravel Bikes | The GCN Show Ep. 296

  1. Make sure you enter here for your chance to ride in Oman here: http://gcn.eu/WinOman and let us know here – are road bikes king?

  2. Millar is not anti-doping hes never spoke to the CIRC report, he's never stated the source of the doping products he used or whom assisted him or knew.. He's a hypocrite and a self promoting one at that. Tell me GCN what has Millar actually done towards cleaning up cycling which has not directly benefited him

  3. 10:34 proof that there are idiots in Italy as well as the rest of the world…the home of good coffee, and some absolute dog's p155 from Starbucks. PS: try paying some tax.

  4. This is a 100% personal taste question. The better question is: What is better for YOU?
    That said, for me – Gravel > Road. I find a million times more smiles winding my way between road and off road than all on pavement rides. Gravel activates my inner child and a sense of fun and play. Meanwhile, pure road riding feels like *endurance athletics*, where a seemingly unavoidable aspect is hating everything and everyone, including yourself – not to mention much more chance of dealing with dangerous drivers.


  5. Road bikes are for open roads and long marathon rides. Gravel bikes are great for every road, every type of weather, every season; Easier to maneuver on the sidewalk, around tight corners, avoiding pedestrians, if I have to jump on or off curbs onto dirt, grass, rocks in a moment's notice… Great for the city, suburbs, prairies, forests, mountains…nothing more enjoyable.

  6. I'm thinking a steel road bike gets the job done better than the high end road bike or gravel bike. A steel bike that comes with 700×28/32c. My VaLite 1986 Fuji Allegro has 27 x 1 1/8 (28-630) and it's just surprising sweet on a gravel road, anything is blissful on freshly paved asphalt. You can run 700-32c on it just the same. Brakes ? Rarely use them, so how necessary is disc brakes unless the mud is caked on the rims. Dry gravel and there's no reason for disc brakes. How many times do you see gravel bikes in mud being carried instead of ridden thru it. 700x42c isn't any better than 700x32c if it's deep gravel or sloppy mud. Most people (99.9% of the cycling world) aren't turning or riding thru that without the tire slicing the terrain and just digging in. I really couldn't tell the difference between 26×1.75 vs 26×2.10 if the terrain is too loose or sloppy. So if I'm getting a gravel bike, I'm getting a gravel like the Salsa Vaya before a gravel racer like the Salsa Warbird. But why not get a Pure Fix road bike and get a steel mid weight road bike that is lighter than a gravel bike but a little heavier than a race road bike ? End of the day, the Pure road bike is affordably faster and is going to keep up with the gravel bike on crappier roads. The Pure comes with 700x28c, but can take 700x32c, has the modern 50/34 compact and can take up to a 10 spd cassette, even though it's a 2×8 crank & cassette.

    Just me, for an everyday bike that you intend to ride decades after buying new, steel is the only thing you really want, aluminum & carbon are for people that get free bikes from sponsors. I'd get aluminum before carbon as well.

  7. Quit the kilometre crap… we don't use it here UK and don't know why cyclists use it when their cars (those who drive) don't

  8. Yeah!!! My buddy's pic of me was selected! It is funny that Jon said he was from Los Osos, ashamed of his Nipomo roots, haha. Thanks GCN, you guys are welcome to ride with us on the central coast anytime.

  9. If you're a roadie that wants a bit of off-road action complement your road quiver with a hard tail or full sus xc bike rather than a gravel ine. You can even wear your lycra.

  10. I use a cyclocross carbon frame from Canyon infinite with 40c tubeless tires custom bike. It does feel less faster, but isn't, because of the tiers probably, but is damn comfortable. I don't use it out the road, I just like the tire clearance and disc brakes. Total to 8kg.

  11. Gravel bikes = B. S. marketing tool to sell more bikes. Gravel bikes have not been created out of need…. What's wrong with just creating more Cyclocross bikes? Still rocking my steel-framed Bianchi San Jose SS, weighing in at a "Heavy" 22 lbs. And don't even get me started on E-scooters, commonly known as E-bikes (ugh!)

  12. The "Gravel bike" hack converted me to SS several years ago….. Derailleurs are sooooo finicky and problematic, especially in a CX race through a Muddy corn field….

  13. Versatility!!! 80% of my riding is on gravel and hardpack. So 40c tires fit the bill. I occasionally put on 28c for riding Gran Fondos. Once a year I put on racks for a week-long tour.

  14. Even if it was meant to be tongue in cheek, road vs gravel bike was so f**king lame. A waste of bandwidth and that's 5 min of my life I'll never get back…nor the time to write this….hmmm. "Horses for courses" and just "ride your ride". Roadies are just arrogant assholes anyway….you like pointless generalizations, right?

  15. I don't even get the purpose of gravel bikes. Short of a cyclocross course there is nothing I have seen in a video that a gravel bike rider could do that I wouldn't do on my road bike. Every time I hit a gravel road I just keep going, but I think "this is what those of us who have ridden a long time will do. Only a new rider won't go on dirt with a road bike." In fact, when I moved to Vermont in 1990 I was excited to finally do some real mountain bike riding. The first guys I met up with took me on some gravel roads. The same ones I had already found and done on my road bike.

  16. Sure, need for spped will always be a temptation but personally i love the gravel bikes. It's just a perfect combination of feelings.. like secure, comfort, versatile. It just works for me 🤗🇮🇳

    – Marin Gestalt 1

  17. OK gravel/cyclocross is more usable all around bike and if you need to go fast get an extra set of road wheels .its like l can use cooper S /golf GTI for everything l need to get around including gravel back roads and still offer enough for sportscar fun on back roads 🙂

  18. Still trying to find out why a gravel bike is any faster than say a hardtail with slicks or even a hybrid with a wider tire, some treads? Why the drop bars make it faster? I would think once you got very wide it wouldn't be any faster than a mountain bike or hybrid. The main difference seems to be the tires and too thin not trail worthy, too wide drag on the roads. Looking at giant toughroad gx and nobby tires must be slower than a hybrid on road, and something like a specialized diverge with thinner tires couldn't handle much more than fairly smooth hardpack. Wouldn't a hybrid beat the crap out of a knobby tire gravel bike on roads? I sure as hell wouldn't want drop bars on some of the downhills on even my xcountry trails.

  19. I just ordered a gravel bike I used to do road bike racing a lot but since I have seen other's drive on gravel bike even though it's a bit of a speed compromise I really like the idea of it and I could still keep up with everyone. And if I really want to go faster I could always change the wheels/tires out for thinner/slicker one's.

  20. This is their excuse for using the same old bikes we keep seeing. These blokes are out the loop. Not everyone uses those skinny overpriced frail bikes. These dudes are basically gay fish that hate disc brakes.

  21. Not everyone is into N+1. In fact we apartment dweller may have room for only 1+0 so the most versatile bike wins hands down and of course, that's the gravel bike with a 2nd set of road wheels and tires or perhaps just tires. Here's the kicker. A REALLY great gravel (all purpose?) bike with an extra wheel set will cost far less that 2 almost great bikes of any sort.

  22. I live in an amazingly bike-friendly city, but even still, the roads here make me worry for my roadbike-riding compatriots. I ride a big-box Hybrid bike, and say what you will about them, at least I can go over a pothole or even a smaller curb and not eat pavement.

    I would love to give a proper road bike a whirl around the block once, though, one that's actually sized close to what I'd need. The ones I've ridden where horribly uncomfortable.

  23. I personally think the best breed of bikes are the trek dual sport editions. They are extremely versatile. For example i hit trails that were not even mbt trails then hit the gravel to go to my farm and then i can go out and do 11 miles in 1 hour and 4 minutes.

  24. Hey GCN! Ok I hear what you have said. I have a full suspension bike, and have been on the fence for either a gravel or road bike. Here is my question… Are there a road bikes out there 2014+ that have more room for tires and hopefully more than one bottle cage mount? Thanks for all your videos!

  25. You seem to have missed the point. The reason a gravel bike has compromised road performance and the qualities you subjectively view as worse compared to a road bike is to facilitate it's greater versatility (i.e: It's greater ability to go off road).

    In the old days, if you wanted a bike but didn't intend to ride it exclusively on the road, you bought a mountain bike (now referred to as a rigid mountain bike). The modern mountain bike has become more specialised and even the most road friendly category (the XC hard-tail) has arguably become less of an all-rounder than mountain bikes of old (taking into account the technology of the time).

    The gravel bike bridges the gap and is suitable for someone that doesn't intend to ride exclusively on the road but only requires light off road capabilities. When I was younger and relied on my bike for transport, a gravel bike would have been perfect for my usage. If I were to own one bike (I already own an XC bike) it would most likely be a gravel bike.

  26. You pair made me laugh on road vs gravel lol .. I like love mountain bikes, but I'd rather have a gravel bike than a road bike any day .. I've watch ton vids on them both .. more fun on gravel bike plus they are fast and look Awesome… great show lads

  27. Caption 1: Behold!! Infinite power to weight ratio!!

    Caption 2: .. feed zone, schmeed zone.

    Caption 3. XTREME!! Road rash.

    Brian A

  28. Man up on your road bike go off road, on long rides I’ve encountered the odd section where I cut across a messed up tractor trail to save daylight / 3-4 miles, 15mins daylight in central England vs 3min across tractor trail is well worth the puncture risk, and aids Road bike handling skills once back on the smoother stuff, unless you just do loops in Amersham #worst tarmac roads in anywhere, more stones than McAdam

  29. Chance of getting killed by an idiot driving a massive black Range Rover while cycling off road is almost zero.

  30. If I buy a gravel buy is only for the tramway in the city. Nothing in the world is more annoying than a wheel stuck in a one.

  31. I like road bikes and have one or two, depending on how you classify my "Straggler" (Surly). The problem with road bikes are simply the roads, and here is the USA the roads are populated by people who think that the roads are their private domain. Bicyclists are often that way, and almost all bicyclists are slow to be aware of cars approaching from behind.
    I relocated to Minneapolis in Minnesota to find that many roads had lost a lane for bicyclists and in addition, a large number of eight to ten foot wide asphalt trails had been made available to bicyclists. There are dog walkers on the trails too, but they are fairly rare and often polite and keep their dogs from us. This is a much safer riding venue, but sometime they end without warning and continue on the other side of the street without notification.
    Road bikes with 23mm tyres are horrendous because the narrow tires get caught in cracks and expansion joints. 25mm tyres are hardly better. Additionally, we are marketed road bikes when we weigh 90kg and up, so preventing snake bite flats requires 7 bars (100+ psi) of pressure. Might as well ride on a granite wheel.
    High pressure tyres work especially poorly on our rough wooden bridges that extend hundreds of feet just above the marshes near our many lakes. Even 28mm tyres are fairly rough on such surfaces, with a more proper tyre being 32 or even 35mm. Part of our extensive trail system is packed dirt and gravel, not too bad of a ride on a road bike.
    Road bikes are fair weather friends, and for daytime. I designed my Straggler to have a dynohub and appropriate lights so I could see in the dark. So I could be seen in rain. And the disc brakes allow use of studded tyres in winter when my Specialized stays home and goes on a trainer.
    Road bikes are fast and can be fun. They lack flexibility and are often in the company of cars. As a non-racer, road bikes have a more limited appeal to me. And if I think so, everybody else should 🙂

  32. Here in Asia you'll have 5 minutes of good road and 1 hour of road with patches of asphalt. Gravel bike takes the cake here!

  33. Road bikes might be ‘ok’ IF you didnt have to deal with idiot motorists and the detritus and trash of ‘society’. I quit road because several friends had life changing accidents no fault of their own. I only ride road to get someplace or to trails. The trash on the side of the road depresses me. It reminds me of the pigs some people are. The state of the pavement reminds me where politicians put my money

  34. I just ride my MTB on comfiest setting in order to avoid traffic and to use any road. might look into gravel bikes someday. roadbikes would limit my degree of freedom too much.

  35. There was a story today about an giant spider that ate a possum in Australia. https://www.insider.com/spider-eating-possum-australia-photos-2019-6

  36. You know you can have a road bike and a gravel bike? My road bike mostly lives on my trainer now I have a gravel bike but it's there if I need it.

  37. OMG! So very funny! Great segment. Love the reasons and comparisons…. “thong versus baggy wide front!” Ha!

  38. Where I'm from there is a brand of Duct Tape that's labeled as Duck Tape…and has little smiling yellow ducks all over the outer wrapping.
    ps… it is crap tape though, barely sticks to anything…Gorilla Tape is far superior.)

  39. I come from mountain biking so my gravel bikish cannondale slate is lighter and less fussy than my mountain bikes.
    That plus the ride position means I get around much quicker in general commutes and it retains hydraulic disk brakes and an awesome carbon lefty (Oliver) inverted suspension to smooth things over and it does the job.
    If course, if I were a proper cyclist I'd be biased in favour of a road bike but for my riding style I could never choose a road bike over a gravel bike. My slate won out. 🙂

  40. I loved my gravel bike so much (I still do) that I bought a road bike, which is more gravel bike than a purebred road racer :):)

  41. Funny reasons. Love it. If you go from a an SUV to a lambo, you will notice it big time. However, if you put off road tires on a Toyota 4WD Impreza you can have a lot of fun on dirt/gravel. Put some pilot 4's on it and you will have as much fun as on smooth roads as most sports cars. At 52, I have discovered that my low back and ass are becoming the decision makers when it comes to choosing which bike/tires I will ride.

  42. Let me toss another point of view: A cyclocross bike. Endurance-Roadie-like driving position with bigger tyre clearance and I don't need more than 35mm. Stiff like a roadie but thanks to the bigger tyres, also comfortable. Double chainring groupset and it is also fast. Also the area I ride isn't that great in tarmac quality. With middle-slick and side-toothed tyres I can do tarmac and head to the trails if I want to so I rest my case 😀

  43. Are we short of topics to make videos of?
    I stopped watching @ 4 min.
    This is like saying Exotic Sports Cars are better than SUVs .

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