Yes, Interbike was rife with gravel specific that, gravel grinder this, and talk about the category was only rivaled by that about fat bikes. You could walk through the aisles of the Mandalay Convention Center and hear the chatter amongst Interbike's attendees. They either were gabbing about fat bikes or gravel stuff.
I had a very interesting and in depth conversation with Steve Hed, (yes....the HED Wheels guy), about gravel. I won't get into the entire thing here, but what was very interesting was that Steve described what I am also thinking about these bikes directed at being used for gravel: That is they are really the bike most folks should have for most of their riding outside of mountain biking. Calling them "gravel bikes" is, perhaps, not the best name.
I'll have a comprehensive look at what I found on the gravel scene on Gravel Grinder News soon, but for now just know that this deal is getting into the spotlight with the industry. Folks in the industry were talking me up one side and down the other about gravel stuff, and wanted to get my take on it. As stated above, I feel it is the bike most folks should be riding and works for places most folks should be riding. Namely, off busy paved highways and blacktop roads where vehicle speeds are high and traffic counts are vastly higher than backroads/gravel roads.
For instance, John Tomac was recently quoted in an article in the trade paper, "Bicycle Retailer and Industry News" on this very subject:
"It is a model, (gravel grinder bike), that I find very useful personally as it allows me to get out on so many more county or forest roads and away from most traffic which is a huge bonus when road riding," Tomac said. "The amount of riding this bike opens up is amazing and although it is road geometry-based it also becomes quite useful in 'cross, touring, commuting and winter weather riding applications."(See the entire article here)
3GR: Yes, late notice and all, but I'll be there.....