What's going on in the curly bar world? CyclingTips Digest showcases articles from our sister site, CyclingTips. In each installment, you might find endurance coverage, power-to-weight ratios, gravel bike tech and, of course, lycra.
Gravel bike vs mountain bike: Are you just better off with a hardtail MTB?
By: Dave Rome
So often we joke that gravel bikes are just old mountain bikes from a time that’s now in the rearview mirror. And really, a look at the latest geometry, tyre widths and technology to hit the gravel riding world don’t help to make that joke any less true.
So if gravel bikes are effectively where mountain bikes came from, then why not just pick a modern mountain bike? Is a light, cross-country hardtail MTB the ideal gravel bike? Or do gravel bikes truly fill a gap in the market that the progression of mountain bikes has left empty?
These are questions we’ve pondered as gravel bikes have risen in popularity, and something we wanted to answer while at our inaugural Field Test in Sedona, Arizona.
With the push of a button, you’re faster. It’s the dream, now a gravel reality. More e-gravel bikes are hitting the market all the time. We’ve got the Specialized Creo SL Evo, the Orbea Gain, the Yamaha Wabash, an e-version of the Giant Revolt we recently tested, and lots more.
As part of our gravel bike Field Test, our goal was not to test specific e-gravel bikes, but to suss out the quirks of the sector as a whole, and, hopefully, provide some insight into what you may want to look for if it intrigues you.
You can now get oversized jockey wheels on Zwift, because of course you can
By: Iain Treloar
As Zwift continues its steady march toward global dominance, setting new records for user numbers along the way, it stands to reason that the lines between the virtual cycling world and the real world will begin to blur. As proof, consider this fact: you can now accessorise your virtual bike with virtual oversized jockey wheels to save virtual watts.
Forget the S-Works, Pinarellos, and Colnagos of the world: there’s a new dream machine to aspire to.
Handcrafted by Danish firm Lego under the guiding artisanal hand of the Christiansen family, this premium mountain bike features the finest high-modulus machine-laid acrylonitrile butadiene styrene frameset.
I’ve taken some pretty deep dives into the topic of chains over the past few years, and the common theme throughout is that having a clean chain is not only a more cost-effective way of riding, but it’s also more efficient, too.
While the cost savings from using a good lube suited to your riding conditions have been tested and discussed, the impact of contamination on efficiency has been glossed over. So I’m back today with some long-lost data to put efficiency numbers to that gritty chain.
The outcome? Well, it’s a story that’s been told before: research the best chain lube for you, and keep your chain clean.
Niner MCR 9 RDO bike review: Does full suspension make sense for gravel?
By: James Huang
The Niner MCR 9 RDO is a distinct outlier in the world of gravel bikes, a full-suspension heavyweight bruiser in a field of pared-down welterweights. To be completely honest, I went into Field Test fully expecting not to like it for all the reasons you’d expect on paper: it’s too heavy, it’s too complicated, it crosses too far over into mountain bike territory. When all was said and done, though, my opinions of the “Magic Carpet Ride” were far more nuanced.
It’s still too heavy. It’s still too complicated. And it still arguably crosses too far over into mountain bike territory. But it’s also its own unique beast, with its own unique merits, too.