It's summer time. Le Tour is on. The days are long, and the sun is bright, and we're craving adventure. Every year at this time, our legs feel good, just as the regular routes get boring, as if we were riding rollers in the basement.
Just a few weeks ago I was in Deer Valley, Utah, during PressCamp and I wanted to find some gravel to demo the GT Grade. As I was riding around the resort, I spotted a lick of singletrack and I hopped onto it.
There had been a surprise summer snowstorm the day before and it left enough moisture in the dirt for the trail to be tacky. The road tires gripped while the stays flexed on big hits. It's not the type of riding the Grade was designed for, but the bike did what I wanted it to do and took me as far as I could pedal. We'd love to see more bikes offer the same flexibility in riding conditions as the Grade does.
That's what adventure on the bike is all about—an epic ride, a random route, taking the long way home from work, or just hopping onto a mountain bike trial for a fast lap.
I get asked frequently about gravel and adventure. My response is
The road scene is so broken, roadies are riding off road, that's what gravel is about.
The marketers from companies like GT will tell you a more nuanced story about how they're responding to the departure from a pro-cycling emphasis. When not constrained by UCI guidelines, they can make whatever they want. The Grade offers all-day geometry with flex up to 13mm and an arching shape, that's pre s...