|Just because you can doesn't mean you should. Case in point- The Alex Moulton "Gravel Bike".|
It's getting bad when you get press releases for "gravel specific clothing" that is just cycling clothing done in muted colors with small details changed from full on race kits. You know......how cycling clothing should be done anyway? Yeah..... That's another subject.
But what I wanted to zero in on today was that I am seeing more and more companies jump on the gravel train with bicycles that are, well......interesting in some cases, but downright goofy in others. I've seen no less than three different e-biked gravel rigs offered. To me , that is the epitome of weird. A bike that, in all likelihood, the battery won't last for more than one ride, since, well, range is limited with many of these rigs.
Then there is the Kinesis brand out of the UK. They have had a great business doing bikes for the UK's Winter season and Audax riding for years. Suddenly these bikes became "gravel bikes" and they just introduced a new, more "road-ish" version. To be fair, these bikes get rave reviews, but the marketing..... Yeah. Also- I've nothing against those Kinesis rigs. I wouldn't mind trying one myself. They look great. Especially the titanium version, which I think would be really lovely.
|The State Bicycle Warhawk|
But the thing is, the term "gravel" is beaten to death, and I am growing weary of it. Especially when it gets tagged to everything, or so it seems, in cycling these days. I figure if it is burning me out, it is wearing on many of you as well.
What's worse, it takes energy away from what could be a liberating movement in cycling. The whole "not-roadie, not mtb" thing could be the marketing boon that cycling always has wanted. Getting away from the racing thing, or the "make it easier" thing, when it could be about something more life changing, world changing, and yes- revolutionary.
Of course, average marketing people aren't interested in this. They look for the low hanging fruit and blast it with the "AK-47 of Advertising" until our eyes and ears bleed. Then they find the next thing to hook consumers into with, whatever seems easiest, whatever is trending, and blast away at that.
You could say I was part of the problem. I may resemble that remark, but I could also point you to several blog posts done circa 2011-2012 where I expound upon how an "all-road" approach to cycling could bridge the gap between roadie racer and mtb shredder, inviting a wider swath of the public out to cycle for adventure and fun.
But whatever.....Just stop it with the pasting of the term "gravel" on to all your products already!