So while I’ve been convalescing after an accident, and ordering many replacement (some upgraded ) parts for my road bike to do a full rebuild being needed after the crash, I’ve been contemplating what I may but as a 2nd bike.
I was intending to buy an aero road bike this year (to use only for short course Crit racing and ‘best weather’ outdoor group rides) however since I’m not going to be doing any racing until 2021 at the very earliest plus my fitness has plummeted to new depths, I think I will park that idea for a while. Also, as part of my endurance bike rebuild I may invest in some aero handlebars and some carbon aero wheels given they are hardly that much more expensive than the straight replacement parts I need to buy due to the crash, which will sort of ‘cover’ the scratching of that particular itch.
Anyway … with that dealt with, my mind and heart are swinging towards a gravel bike as a second set of wheels. I’ve done a handful of rides this year that had some gravel sections, both short and longer, partly on purpose and some by accident.
I really loved the experience and it brought back lots of fond memories of my old school MTB rides as a kid during the mid to late 1980s. There are huge amount of MTB and gravel bike suitable routes and paths / tracks in the area I live so the opportunity for use is considerable.
A quick scan of the forum reveals a few threads on buying one, plus other aspects, but doesn’t really cover the ‘experience’ aspect I am seeking to understand (see below)
So my questions are open to anyone of you who went from roady to gravel …
How does a gravel bike ‘feel’ on the road, given many of the gravel routes around where I live require road routes to reach them and / or road sections - IE is is massively slower and noticeably different, or not so much?
Are the maintenance costs / issues similar / the same over the longer term of ownership?
What are the biggest transferable lessons you’d recommend anyone take heed of when moving from road to gravel - either in terms of broad ownership / riding risks and challenges / fitness and power delivery changes / equipment such as pedal and cleat choice / things to consider when creating a shortlist of bikes to try out before buying within my price range etc?
My aim here is to understand the ‘experience’ of ownership which will help me to better decide if I take the plunge or not, and if so what to gravitate towards.
Im tending towards a ‘Yes’ and pressing the button at the moment as it seems an attractive prospect, but I’d like to hear about what the downsides and other considerations might be that I wouldn’t have considered as someone who has (as an adult) only ridden road bikes .