Wednesday, March 13, 2013

The Hardware

A couple days ago I decided to hit up Facebook and post a page for Gravel Grinder News. The news spread, and within 24 hours of the page creation there were over 200 likes. Not too shabby, I would say.

The site keeps breaking daily hit records all the time as well. It's been crazy. People are turning on to gravel riding and racing, (apparently), in numbers I thought were unfathomable only a year or two ago. Heck, I had no idea at all this was going to happen, to be quite honest.

And the events show this as well. Several events are approaching, or are over the 1000 rider participation mark. More new events are happening all the time. I posted a half dozen new events within the last week to the Events Calendar on GGN. Gravel grinding, back roads events, "ultra-cyclo cross", and "all-road" events are springing up everywhere. I don't even count all of these types of events as being fodder for GGN, (must have half the course as gravel or dirt road), but the point is, these are the events that seem to be gaining ground now with cyclists and adventurers alike.

All that to say that, in my opinion, this is becoming a significant bit of the cycling populace. Generally, where there are grassroots, the hardware follows. I think this is going to happen slowly, but I do think it is going to happen. I know that tire makers are into it- Clement and Challenge to name two- but bicycle companies are starting to take notice too. I know a few things that are rumbling in the background for bikes, and I'm sure there are things I don't know about as well. Of course, HED Wheels also jumped in with their offering, and I suspect we'll see a bit more in the wheel department from others touting certain wheels as being good for things like gravel roads.

So, I look for more developments in the coming months and years. The folks are out there doing this specific kind of riding on all sorts of equipment, and that's good. The marketing to them will follow. Of course, many will ask "why do these folks need anything else?". The answer is that they do not need anything specifically built for gravel riding. Just like you do not need a specific bike for mountain biking, road riding, or for hauling groceries home, but as we know, those bikes not only exist, but have sub-species that run on for days. So "need" is a moot point. Making the experience better? I think there is room for improvement there, and we'll see what manufacturers do, or do not do, to enhance the gravel riding experience.

1 comment:

Your Name Here said...

Hey GT. You're familiar to me from MTBR posts over the years. I'm one of those that discovered GGN through the Facebook Page. Definitely a good find for me. Thank you.

I'm enjoying seeing different components and bikes popping up that are great for grinding gravel. Volagi has been a company that I've kept an eye on. I also liked reading about the Calfee Adventure and its development.

Having great resources come up like your blog and local resources like we have in the Washington DC area (

Gravel Grinders have also started showing up as a means for supporting charity too:

Thanks for the event calendar. It gives me a few things to shoot for as annual events.

Specific gear and bikes, on-line resources and an amazing collection of events. Very cool to see the gravel grinding community growing.

Thanks again!