Top 7 Gravel Riding Technique Tips
The crunch of the gravel under the wheels is the most appealing sound to an enthusiast biker. If you’re also finding it fascinating to go out and ride on the gravel, it can be tempting to resist yourself from riding gravel. It’s a nightmare for a biker to stay firm and keep riding on a road with gravel around. The bike tends to slip away too often and makes it scary to start paddling and dominating the road.
Developing the skill of cutting through various obstacles in the terrain is essential in gravel riding. You will need a lot of confidence, patience, and good gravel bikes to learn gravel biking with perfection. You will be able to avoid crashes, keep it upright, and develop free speed on the gravel with more practice. Stick to the article to know how you can get on the bike and start gravel riding with confidence:
Top 7 Gravel Riding Technique Tips
Gravel riding can be a great adventure if you can learn the skill properly and make a good catch on the techniques. Here are the tips and tricks that can help you get on the bike and start ride gravels with confidence:
1. Gravel bike with the right gear
Let’s face it; gravel riding is not like regular bike riding, where you have nothing to fear and have a smooth ride. You can learn to ride gravel quickly and master it properly if you choose from good gravel bikes and have the right setup. To get your riding rig, start by selecting the right bike with the right setup for comfortable off-roading capability. Getting a pair of mountain bike pedals and wearing clipless mountain bike shoes are the perfect match for gravel riding. Have a good bottle cage that can hold on to the bottle tight because you’re not riding on a smooth surface.
2. Tire setup and pressure option
The tires of your bike are the key thing you must think about while going out and start gravel biking. If you’re setting up a bike specifically for gravel riding, a tubeless tire setup can be a great decision for a good ride. They can help you ride with lower tire pressure, which is an important thing to consider in off-road biking. The tire pressure in mountain bikes are common these days; it will give you more comfort and good traction. Generally, no matter the tire’s size, you should have a tire pressure between 30-40 PSI on the tire. However, the pressure could vary depending on the weight you’re putting in and also your preference.
3. Chain retention and emergency tools
Gravel riding is not smooth, and it can get pretty bad sometimes with bumps that can derail the chain. If you have the chain retention technology in the gravel-specific bike, you can play with it and have a good experience. Ensure that you have the rear derailleur in the bike with a clutch that can provide good protection from bumps. If the existing derailleur isn’t working well, consider upgrading it to a better one, such as Ultegra RX. You also should have a small toolbox with emergency supplies and kits to repair a flat tire and other minor problems while riding.
4. Prepare for the ride and relax
Gravel riding isn’t a smooth experience, but you have to ride it smoothly to get a good riding experience. It’s the fundamental rule to have firm control over the bike while gravel riding. You will constantly absorb bumps because the road will be full of small rocks, loose terrain, washboards, and holes. As you have to keep the bike smooth through the gravel, a good control, smooth pedal, controlled break is important. Never take an aggressive movement while gravel biking and don’t make sudden turns or shifts to get good momentum on the wheels.
5. Choose your lines carefully
When you start practicing gravel riding, the first thing you have to ensure is the line of the ride. Pay attention to the pavement and find the best line for the ride through the gravel, and head towards the best line. Scan the surface and look for the line with the least amount of loose terrain and be sure it’s not going to collapse. It’s not easy to read the road while you’re riding fast, especially while descending from a cliff. The scanning capability will develop over time if you keep practicing and avoiding sharp bumps and deeper holes. Especially, pay attention to the debris that initially looks rigid, but it’s not!
6. Cornering while gravel riding
Cornering is the most dangerous time while you’re gravel riding your bike because you have less idea about the next bump. The key rule here is, you must try to avoid sharp turns and try to make the corners smoother because they can be dangerous. The best way to get control over the corners is to take it slow and make it smooth while turning. Picking the best line will help you in it prior because the probability for a bump goes lower with a good line. Another great tip to have in mind is to separate your body from the seat to avoid bumps and lean to the opposite side.
7. Climbing and descending
Sharp climbing is a good way to get crushed while gravel riding your bike, especially because it gets slippery. There are some ways to improve your climbing while gravel riding, such as a good 1:1 gear ratio, riding it side to side, and pedaling smoothly. While gravel riding, descending can be even harder for you because you will have less control over the speed. The slopes can be slippery, and the gravels are super thin and make it even harder to go forth. Keep on the back of the bike for better stability, and standing on the pedal can help you make small shifts and balance better.
Gravel riding is all about fine-tuning your riding expertise and practicing more control over your bike. Keep up with the momentum and do a lot of braking practice, good gravel bikes will help you get more control on the wheels. Calm yourself and stay relaxed while making a turn because it helps you take a smooth ride and confront any bump. Experiment with the wheels’ pressure and be sure to have the optimal level to get the best out of it. The pebbles and thin canals will make it even harder for you to get through and make a good momentum.