I finally decided to see what Gravel riding was about. Went tubeless, got some 35c gravel tires to fit on my Domane, and joined two group rides over the past two weeks.
Just wondering, has anyone seen any improvement or benefit to their road riding based on what they are doing on the gravel?
I have to say there is more of a difference than I expected in terms of how you ride and cadence.
One benefit is I’m getting in more climbing. My average road ride might have 1,500 - 2,500 feet of climbing over 30-60 miles depending on the route. My last gravel ride had more than 3000 feet of climbs over 30 miles.
But I do have some concerns about cadence.
Even in my lowest gear and trying to spin, seems like hitting those steep climbs I end up grinding out the hill with my cadence dropping from 90-ish to 70-ish and sometimes in the 50’s when it gets really steep. Seems every gravel hill is a 12% grade for the last 20 feet of the climb… lol! Seriously, we had one hill so steep that we had a significant portion of our group of fairly strong riders walk the last 50 feet.
With the very hilly nature of gravel seems like your cadence is constantly shooting up and down.
I’m running Shimano 105 with a compact cassette but I think I could actually use 1 or 2 lower gears that MTB and some gravel bikes.