Road bikes are faster than gravel bikes on gravel- Mtbr.com
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  1. #1
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    Road bikes are faster than gravel bikes on gravel

    It seems that the KOMís on a few gravel roads has been set by guys on road bikes (pretty much everybody in the top 10 did it on road bikes)

    And it somehow makes sense. If it hasnít rained and the gravel roads are bone dry, road bikes should have enough grip.

    It is only when it is raining and the gravel roads turn into mud when the trouble starts.

  2. #2
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    Oh nooooooooooo

  3. #3
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    Okay. Neat!

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  4. #4
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    Quote Originally Posted by Zest28 View Post
    It seems that the KOMís on a few gravel roads has been set by guys on road bikes (pretty much everybody in the top 10 did it on road bikes)

    And it somehow makes sense. If it hasnít rained and the gravel roads are bone dry, road bikes should have enough grip.

    It is only when it is raining and the gravel roads turn into mud when the trouble starts.
    It's more than just wet vs dry. Gravel is a broad term, ranging from well graded secondary roads to rough and rutted mountain fire roads. It's not surprising that a road bike would do well on the former but be less than ideal on the latter.
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  5. #5
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    For me, who cares about who has the KOM on which kind of bike. I donít use Strava, & and I donít care about being faster than anyone. I ride a gravel bike on the road, dirt roads, & trails. Sometimes itís too much bike, sometimes itís not enough. All the time, itís a ton of fun & it makes me smile.

    40 miles yesterday in sloppy spring runoff, wet pavement, snow, & mud. Every roadie I passed waved & smiled, & I did the same.

    For me, riding bikes is about having fun outside. Period.


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  6. #6
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    Road bikes are faster than gravel bikes on gravel-5.jpg


    What's next?

    1 cog frog is right. Not everyone is all about KOMs.

    Give me a gravel bike any day, and i'll enjoy the ride more compared to rattling my brains out on a road bike with skinny tyres.
    Last edited by HollyBoni; 2 Weeks Ago at 11:31 AM.

  7. #7
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    This is exactly like that $30 vs $6,000 bike thread, the fact that a road bike took a kom only means that the guy riding it was stronger. Silly.
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  8. #8
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    Aye, road bikes are much faster on gravel than gravel bikes, it's true.

    I usually can only overtake them when they're trying to fix their snakebite puncture, or straightening out their rims, or trying to scrape out the debris caught up in their close clearance chainstays, or simply stopped to caress their bruised arses.

    And only a self-romancer cares about KoMs.
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  9. #9
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    This post is just bait.
    There is not much choice between rotten apples.

  10. #10
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    Quote Originally Posted by Rod View Post
    This post is just bait.
    Yeah he just wants attention. I'm not his real dad so I'll respond.

    You didnt provide any examples of your claim. Were they 10 foot segments on packed dirt?

  11. #11
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    What about 29r's? I heard they're even faster on gravel roads.
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  12. #12
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    I mean, if that is what is important to you, then ok.

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankout View Post
    What about 29r's? I heard they're even faster on gravel roads.
    I don't find my gravel bike any quicker than my 29er over a 30 mile 65% road 35% gravel ride thatís for sure and the 29erís much ďnicerĒ to ride on the more lumpy bits.

  14. #14
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    What about the fact that these KOM's were won by guys wearing spandex. That's not right.
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  15. #15
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    Quote Originally Posted by Lopaka View Post
    What about the fact that these KOM's were won by guys wearing spandex. That's not right.
    I know, they were probably being complete jerks and running little old ladies off the road while doing it.
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  16. #16
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    Cool!

    I still like gravel bikes.

  17. #17
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    I know, they were probably being complete jerks and running little old ladies off the road while doing it.
    Wait, can you run people off the road when you are off the road?

  18. #18
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    Wait, can you run people off the road when you are off the road?


    Well I assumed they were on the road, I suppose they could have been riding in the ditch though. Just to make things fair
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  19. #19
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Well I assumed they were on the road, I suppose they could have been riding in the ditch though. Just to make things fair
    To be fair, that's where the old ladies belong.

  20. #20
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    Come on, the roadie had a better attack position.
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  21. #21
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    Quote Originally Posted by J.B. Weld View Post
    Well I assumed they were on the road, I suppose they could have been riding in the ditch though. Just to make things fair
    I hate it when little old ladies are in my way when I'm riding my new carbon ditch bike.
    You change your own flats? Support your LBS and pay them to instead.

  22. #22
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    Quote Originally Posted by Volsung View Post
    my new carbon ditch bike.
    Wait, you got the new Specialized Ditch?

  23. #23
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    it's cause roadies are assholes...


  24. #24
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    The return of Hacksaw Reynolds?

  25. #25
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    What if the gravel bike had a motor?

  26. #26
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    I made a Strava segment once that was just my driveway so I could get a KOM. Next time I looked, 2 guys were already ahead of me. I donít know if they were on road bikes or gravel. I find Strava useful to keep up with how far I have ridden. Other than that, it just reminds me of how slow I am. I did a ride at 18 Road in Fruita last fall and was somewhere around 10,000th on the kom chart in one segment.
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  27. #27
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    Quote Originally Posted by Witterings View Post
    I don't find my gravel bike any quicker than my 29er over a 30 mile 65% road 35% gravel ride thatís for sure and the 29erís much ďnicerĒ to ride on the more lumpy bits.
    HT or FS? There's no way I could touch my time on my gravel bike using my FS on the ride you mentioned above.
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  28. #28
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    To the OP. If you really want a reason that your gravel bike is cool, and you do seem to want that justification based on some of your other posts, here it is.

    Gravel bikes are almost never the best weapon for speed. They fit a narrow window of dirt but not trail, road but not pavement. Yes, they work fine and move forward on some trails, and on paved (or hard and smooth) roads. But the places where they have an advantage are pretty slim. On the other hand I can't ride 2 or 3 or 5 bikes at one time. I also don't want and can't afford a chase vehicle so I can swap out for my n+1 bike in the back of my van every 6 miles. My county is covered with paved and gravel roads, and a lot of trails. There is no one bike that can traverse the biggest mix of all of them over my gravel bike. It is the best fit if I want to go wander and hit everything I encounter.

    More bad news. If a rider took a significant dirt road KOM on a road bike, it is extremely unlikely that you will take it back even if you rode the same bike they did.

  29. #29
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    Quote Originally Posted by adaycj View Post
    But the places where they have an advantage are pretty slim.
    I know you're not sh*tting on gravel bikes, but when I read something like this I always think "define advantage". For example yes a gravel bike with wider tires is most likely slower on paved roads than a road bike, but it's so much more comfortable, and to me more enjoyable to ride.
    I'm at a point where i'm pretty sure i'll never own a bike with tyres smaller than 35m even if my plan was to only ride pavement.

    I just finished working on my friend's road bike which has 25mm tyres, and I test rode it a few times. I haven't been on a road bike in a while, but man it's torture. Even on just a slightly bad paved road the judder is sooooo bad.

  30. #30
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    Quote Originally Posted by HollyBoni View Post
    I know you're not sh*tting on gravel bikes, but when I read something like this I always think "define advantage". For example yes a gravel bike with wider tires is most likely slower on paved roads than a road bike, but it's so much more comfortable, and to me more enjoyable to ride.
    I'm at a point where i'm pretty sure i'll never own a bike with tyres smaller than 35m even if my plan was to only ride pavement.

    I just finished working on my friend's road bike which has 25mm tyres, and I test rode it a few times. I haven't been on a road bike in a while, but man it's torture. Even on just a slightly bad paved road the judder is sooooo bad.
    I guess it really just depends on what you want out of it. I ride my Diverge a lot, mostly for commuting. Tubeless 38mm tires with discs means I don't have to worry much about road and weather conditions.

    On the other hand, I prefer to ride my Super6 with 25mm tires. I am going to use the S6 on the Belgian Waffle Ride, even though the Diverge is the better bike in every way except speed.

  31. #31
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    Quote Originally Posted by Sidewalk View Post
    I guess it really just depends on what you want out of it.
    Yeah, i'm definitely not the Strava KOM race-y type, I just want to go out and enjoy riding my bike.
    Gotta say tho where I live the roads are famously bad pretty much everywhere in the country.
    But I still see road bikes everywhere even with 23s so I guess i'm the odd one out.

  32. #32
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    I really don't care about Strava or who is KOM, but lets use some common sense here. First just because some dudes on road bikes got fast times, doesn't mean that they wouldn't have been faster on a gravel bike. They may just be fast riders, so you really have no ability to say it was the bike. There are plenty of pro riders who can ride hardtails faster on trails that most people would use a 160mm FS on, does that mean a hardtail is faster? No it just means the rider is faster/more skilled. Have you seen people winning the Dirty Kanza on a Trek Madone? Secondly, if someone wants to be an idiot and have sore hands, wrists, butt and neck for the next day because they want to ride a road bike on gravel, good for them. I did a 60 mile ride on gravel on a road bike with 28mm tires one time, I was actually slower than on my gravel bike and I was sore as hell the next day.
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  33. #33
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    Actually, gravel bikes ARE faster than road bikes or MTBs on gravel roads. Check out the winners of Dirty Kanza, Trans Iowa, Barry Roubaix, ect. All the KOMs/QOMs are on gravel or cross bikes.

  34. #34
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    Quote Originally Posted by Crankout View Post
    HT or FS? There's no way I could touch my time on my gravel bike using my FS on the ride you mentioned above.
    'Just curious as to how much faster you think the gravel bike may be over a 29erFS. I recently started riding some local gravel roads (groomed) and canal banks on my rkt9rdo and pushing, I can average around 20-21mph, over 20min. With same effort on a gravel bike, do you think 22 0r 23 mph would be possible ?

  35. #35
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    Quote Originally Posted by Surfdog93 View Post
    'Just curious as to how much faster you think the gravel bike may be over a 29erFS. I recently started riding some local gravel roads (groomed) and canal banks on my rkt9rdo and pushing, I can average around 20-21mph, over 20min. With same effort on a gravel bike, do you think 22 0r 23 mph would be possible ?
    In my experience - Yes

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  36. #36
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    I guess the question is do you want your ride to be a fun and comfortable hour, or a miserable and sketchy 59 minutes?
    15mm is a second-best solution to a problem that was already solved.

  37. #37
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    Quote Originally Posted by kapusta View Post
    I guess the question is do you want your ride to be a fun and comfortable hour, or a miserable and sketchy 59 minutes?
    59 minutes of course #KOM

  38. #38
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    Part of the problem is some people seem to have have gravel that's like a pool table surface.

    Alas, that's not what it's like everywhere else...
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  39. #39
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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker. View Post
    it's cause roadies are assholes...
    ...but we're pretty decent on MTB days!!!

    j/k we're always assholes ;-)

    Although I'm the only guy in the roadie group to pull out a beer for the post ride recovery drink so I may just be bike-gender confused? :-)

  40. #40
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    Quote Originally Posted by .WestCoastHucker. View Post
    it's cause roadies are assholes...
    Fair go mate, if you were cocooned in skin tight lycra with your gentleman's appendages getting beaten to a pulp by a rock hard saddle and getting every impact from the road on a bike with 23mm tyres pumped to 150 psi, you'd have a problem looking cheerful too.

    Especially when your strava KoM has just been blasted into extinction by an anarchist on an eMTB.
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