Staff Rides: The N+1 Bikes of Pinkbike Editors

Mar 3, 2021 at 15:41
by Alicia Leggett  

You’ve already seen some of the Pinkbike staff's mountain bikes, and the list isn’t too surprising given that we’re all into mountain biking. Most of us prefer bikes that excel on the descents but can still pedal, with some nice unusual shiny bits. Those bikes will take us where we want to go without holding us back on the descents or dragging us down too much on the climbs. Those bikes are fun.

But there are bikes in the other areas of our lives, too. Brian has his dadmobile and a sweet gravel bike. Sarah, Levy, Daniel, and Seb all have gravel bikes, too. Kazimer and I chose to show off our town bikes. Henry says he has a road bike, though I’m left to fill in the details with my imagination, and Jason has a truck, which also falls into the category of 'not a mountain bike,' I guess.

Let’s take a look.


Brian Park

Brian’s dadmobile is the winner of this round, with a kid carrier and all the literal bells and whistles on his Powerfly.

bigquotesMy dadmobile is a Trek Powerfly FS 9 Equipped. Our little guy loves cruising around with it. The core mountain bike audience wasn't too keen on this bike when it was launched, but to me the SUV category makes sense for eMTBs. It's like a Subaru Forester—not the ultimate off road machine, not the perfect commuter, but it'll move your kids around comfortably and handle most anything you throw at it. Honestly it's even pretty fun on Seymour once you get over the fear that someone might see you on a bike with a kickstand.Brian Park


Brian 3D printed those pedals himself.

Brian’s gravel bike is only a tiny bit less intriguing than the dadmobile. I love the dropper post solution.


bigquotesI got a gravel bike after I broke my humerus a few years back and wanted to get some winter miles in while I was recovering. It eventually turned into this thing. Niner RLT Steel, Stans carbon wheels, GRX drivetrain, etc. The SQlab mtb saddle got installed for zwifting but ended up staying on. I have it routed for a dropper (the left brifter pulls dropper cable), but only put the dropper on sometimes. Spurcycle bell, Apidura bags, Light & Motion headlight, King Iris cages and Garmin on an F3 Cycling mount... Hutchinson Touareg tires have been really good this winter, and I get along with the Pro gravel bar shape a lot. Oh and I stole Levy's nemesis SRM X-Power pedals to find out how much power I don't have.Brian Park

I agree with Brian here. SQlab saddles are the greatest.


Brian also wins for the best photos. The image quality and quantity in this article only deteriorates from here. Sorry.


Mike Levy


bigquotesMountain bikes will always be my first love, no doubt about that, but twenty-five years of pedaling has shown me that I need to be a versatile cyclist who can appreciate all sorts of machines, regardless of how curly their handlebar might be. Also, a string of annoying injuries over the last few seasons, as well as them being "work," means that sometimes I need to do anything but ride a mountain bike. And that's where Big Blue comes in.
I love that I can slip into the sausage suit and cover all the miles, that it turns tame trails into a great time, and that I can explore all sorts of places that I probably wouldn't bother with if I was on a mountain bike. And while many riders only see Lycra, intervals, and zero fun, there are many days when I'm rocking baggies on the BMC, inside foot out and the rear wheel locked. Don't let the curly bars fool you; this thing is just a hooligan road bike.
Mike Levy


Mike Kazimer


bigquotesIt's a 1970-something Sentinel that I've had for almost 15 years. When I lived in Colorado it was set up as a brakeless fixie, complete with the requisite baby blue deep dish Velocity rims, but I switched it over to a coaster brake setup after moving to Washington. Turns out it's helpful to have at least one working brake when dealing with steep hills and rain.

The Sheldon Brown sticker on the seat tube might be my favorite part, and the fact that it barely requires any maintenance is also a nice trait.
Mike Kazimer




That saddle is so, so blue. I wish I'd seen it when it had blue rims.

Daniel Sapp


bigquotesMy Specialized Sequoia is my go-to for gravel and light trail use. I enjoy getting out on longer adventures with it and taking it on trails that push the limits of what could be considered a good idea. With 42c tires, I've gotten it down most of the trails in the area although there are certainly times I've found myself on foot. I like that I can cover a lot of distance and have a totally different experience than on a more capable mountain bike, even though it's quite a bit more sketchy in some situations. I appreciate the difference in pace. Plus, the drop bars make descending flowy trails really fun.Daniel Sapp

Seb Stott


bigquotesThis is my insanely sensible Canyon Grail AL6.0. It's my gravel/road/commuting/touring/shopping bike. I don't see much point in riding rigid drop-bar bikes off road (in fact over anything rougher than a well-surfaced logging road it's pretty torturous), but the Grail's 40mm tubeless tyres give it far better comfort and safety when riding poorly-maintained British B-roads. I don't think there's much of a speed sacrifice when compared to a proper road bike either.Seb Stott

Sarah Moore


bigquotesI jumped on the gravel bike bandwagon since Levy and Brian (and every other cyclist I talked to) seemed to be having so much fun on them and replaced my road bike with a Salsa Warbird. Mostly, I just wanted a bike that I could put this sweet Rapha x Outdoor Voices bar bag on. I’ve gone on some casual carry-baked-goods-or-craft-beer-around rides on it a couple times and have some grand bike packing adventures planned, but to be honest most of the time I choose my mountain bike over the gravel bike when I’m heading out on a ride and the majority of the hours I’ve spent on the Warbird have been while it’s sitting on the trainer in my garage.Sarah Moore



Alicia Leggett


bigquotesThis is the least practical bike I own, and I love it for that reason. A friend gave it to me when another friend of ours gave him a different town bike. I gave away an old steel gravel bike of mine that day, too, so the free bike chain continued. The bars are about 100mm wide (give or take 400mm). If you knew how sketchy I feel riding it around with the narrow bars and perpetually-wrong gear, you'd be concerned to hear I ride mountain bikes.

This bike is not for shredding or for racing, but it does get me to farmers markets and friends’ houses. In a few hours, I’ll put my speedwing in the milk crate and ride it to the trailhead for my current favorite multi-sport routine. I’m comfortable leaving it places because I'll only be medium sad if it disappears. This goofy bike’s name is Hobbes.
Alicia Leggett



I also have a gravel bike, but it’s dirty right now so I’m ashamed to show photos of it.


Henry Quinney

Henry didn’t send me a photo of his road bike, but he says he has one, so I'm including an interpretation of Henry's bike as I imagine it. His road bike, I imagine, has the perfect balance of sensibility and style. I also imagine it has disc brakes, a dropper post, and a 4000-lumen headlight. Why not? Henry can be his own sunlight. He didn't specify the material, so we can assume it's probably something new and mysterious that the rest of us haven't heard of yet.

It looks like the rear wheel is just a bit larger than the front. Is Henry pioneering the reverse mullet road bike? That just might be the new frontier of aerodynamics. You heard it here first.

bigquotesI have no good snaps of my roadie and it's currently sat in my parents house.Henry Quinney


Jason Lucas


Does anyone have a sticker maker? If so, feel free to make Jason some stickers that say “My other bike is a truck.”

bigquotesMy non-MTB is a truck.Jason Lucas



199 Comments

  • 283 0
 @brianpark, I’m still confused about why you used a stick to prop up your dadmobile and then photoshopped it out. What about that perfectly good kickstand? This is one of the deep questions that keeps me up at night.
  • 50 0
 kickstand would make it lean to the side and eliminate the perfectly squared perspective that is required for his own good sleep
  • 11 0
 literally, 1 am thoughts
  • 4 4
 @brianpark really should have to do 100 push ups for every single kickstand he owns. there! I just gave you an idea for more content! I will sit back and wait for the royalties...
  • 10 0
 top 10 questions that science still can't answer
  • 29 0
 Ahaha Devan shot those, blame him for your inner turmoil Kaz.
  • 45 0
 Kickstands for show, sticks and photoshop for dough.
  • 4 0
 He missed a perfectly good opportunity to show off one of this bike's many features.
  • 6 0
 The "stick" looks to be an old Reverb... Does your neighborhood have them just laying around? Smile
  • 5 0
 @Darkside70: hah no it’s the 27.2 PNW that I sometimes have installed on my gravel bike. I keep the cable routed for it.
  • 5 0
 Thanks Kaz for keeping it real!
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: what fenders are those on the niner rlt?
  • 5 0
 @nrb251: SKF. They're nice and the breakaway feature has saved me at least once, but I swear the front one is never straight.
  • 2 0
 @brianpark: Why would you attach the child seat directly on to the rear wheel instead on to the frame?
  • 8 0
 That's the tailpipe, not a kickstand.
  • 2 0
 When are you gonna pull the chain and run that fixie down dirt merchant. Inquiring minds would like to know
  • 1 0
 There are two kickstands on that thing!
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Just when we were about to congratulate you on some AMAZING bike images...
  • 2 0
 AND he did a shit photo shop job, look at the line in the concrete... Come on Park...
  • 2 0
 @Hardnacks: Devan is fired. Shame really.
  • 1 0
 Nice bikes. Wonder if all this free (or mega bro dealed) product ever influences reviews. Probably not...?
  • 2 0
 That dad mobile needs a stem mounted kid seat, not a rear mount. I’m two kids in and the front mounts like an “ibert” kid’s seat are so much better for both you and your child. Just my 2cents.
  • 5 0
 Bunch of closet roadies... the shame
  • 2 0
 @pakleni: He's suspended from the child who gets to track the ground.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Hey Brian, I need to know what fenders those are and what width tyres they fit on!
  • 2 0
 @mtb-jon: the gravel bike has SKF ones that work really well. Fit 42s in there just fine, would probably take bigger but I’m happy with this setup. Not that I’m super dialled in on gravel stuff.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: non-proprietary, non-alloy fenders never stay in one spot and I’ve had rubbing issues all over the place on various commuters over the years. Really enjoyed this article.
  • 1 0
 @mtb-jon: sks has the 75mm width full fenders. They come with (almost) everything you need to attach them to a real mountain bike.
  • 81 1
 Brian, the Dadmobile is truly hideous. It's the Pontiac Aztek of bikes, and reminds me of those techno-aliens on the bike path with an Amazon full face helmet and a loud bluetooth speaker hanging off the bars. 100% function over form here though - the fenders look rad, and I'd be prepared to guess my kids would have a lot more fun riding around town if we could go faster up hills.

I would like to own one of those eyesores. With a kickstand.
  • 53 2
 Is it bad that I kinda want a Pontiac Aztek too?
  • 9 0
 @brianpark: You have to get the optional tent that was available for the liftgate. Does this bike have that feature?
  • 6 0
 @brianpark: Careful, Brian. That might lead to breaking bad....
  • 1 0
 Commuters are the Swiss army knife of bikes. My Electra Townie Commute is basically Brian's bike sans motor and baabe-bucket. Fenders, racks, lights and even a hub dynamo to power the lights. Usually carrying towels and lunch to the beach, stuff home from work, or even just a case of beer... It makes a rad daily driver.
  • 3 0
 The problem with this one though is that the poor kid has to endure all the irregularities of the road while dad enjoys a full suspended ride :p . Wouldn't a ride shot-gun kind of seat be better ?
  • 1 0
 Hoenstly, on paper (without all the E-SUV junk) the powerfly seems like it could be pretty shreddable with the right suspension and proper tires. I'd own one.
  • 3 0
 talk about sprung mass
  • 2 0
 @husstler: We can't forget about the optional Aztek center console cooler. You know for those post ride sodas..
  • 12 0
 Does Levy fit in the child seat?
  • 11 0
 @dldewar: I'd need a lot fewer donuts to fit in that thing. But I'll still try.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Maybe you can ride on the handlebars then Smile At the Timmies Drive through you could get the donuts handed to you....... PS -I get hungry looking at you - you are doing just fine in the body fat department.
  • 1 2
 Mangina mobile
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Walter White had one and he did all right.
  • 64 1
 Thanks for not making this into a video
  • 8 0
 The day's not over...
  • 75 2
 Video and three-part podcast incoming Smile
  • 6 0
 @mikelevy:

Only three parts? PB is slipping with the milking content game with these rookie numbers.
  • 56 9
 Jason gets it
  • 48 2
 "I play real sports, not tryin to be the best at exercising."

-Kenny Powers, Jason Lucas, and me.
  • 35 0
 My dad said you ruined baseball.
  • 3 5
 @OneUpComponents: Cool, check back in with me after I turn 200k miles. I'll let Wes Siler keep tilting at windmills while I drive a stock truck.

Edit: OneUp ninja edited some Taco hate out of their comment. Smooth....just like their bars.
  • 8 0
 @texag: haha, when you're logged into the wrong account Wink
  • 24 2
 Thanks bud. I can fit more bikes in that truck than in my tiny one-bedroom apartment. Plus it does donuts real good.
  • 1 0
 @jasonlucas: Well, it doesn’t look like a Trek..... or a Hilux for that matter.
  • 24 0
 Love to see the respect for Sheldon @mikekazimer
  • 10 0
 I'm glad another person noticed that. I still have (and use) a print out of how to lace a wheel from Sheldon Brown's website from many years ago. His website was an important tool for many of us in those early 2000's years.
  • 3 0
 But it was on a *gasp* brakeless fixed gear bike! I can hear Sheldon rolling in his grave.
  • 2 0
 @defconfour: same. I learned so much from Sheldon back in the day. The site looked terribly homemade, even at the time, but so much great info on there.
  • 3 0
 @rifu: I thought I remember reading some very pro fixed gear commentary from Sheldon when I was researching how to build up mine Y2K+5. I run a front brake because I’m not too proud to do so and like the bail out brake although I try not to use it. Was brakeless what Sheldon didn’t like? Cause I swear I remember reading his comments on how riding fixed improves “leg suppleness”
  • 5 0
 @OldDert: My recollection is that he loved fixed geared bikes but did encourage including at least the front brake in the build.
  • 10 0
 That old site painted a portrait. The whacky nicknames, embellished helmets, and family bios told you everything that you needed to know about Sheldon. There were so many hyperlinks to other pages within the site that I never quite learned how to navigate it in a straight line. You'd always emerge from the rabbit hole having learned more there than you had intended when you arrived. Sheldon was the ultimate boomer bike geek and early worldwide web adopter, trawling bulletin boards when 6-speed freewheels were de rigueur. it was all so informative and charming. I kinda wish he had run the whole internet.
  • 1 0
 @cdussault: very well said!
  • 1 0
 @n00bmtbr: haha even at the time it looked so homemade (I was an HTML/ASP coder at the time)! But tons of great info. And it is still a great read.
  • 6 0
 @OldDert: yup, what @pmhobson said.

Sheldon was a big proponent of fixed gear. I remember reading about how going fixed will get you in tune with rear wheel traction. Not to mention all kinds of Sturmey Archer fixed internal gear hubs.

He hated manufacturer spelling of derailleur and preferred derailer instead. He also hated manuals and wheelies due to stresses to the headset, and said that downhill is a fad.

He might be highly opinionated, but I still refer my newbie friends to his site for cold hard data sheet. Headset standards? Check. BCD patterns? Check. Tire sizing? Check. I actually find that 28 inch wheels is usually larger than 29 inch wheels there.
  • 3 0
 @rifu: I'm with Sheldon on derailer vs derailleur
  • 44 27
 Am I the only one around here who doesn't get what gravel bikes are about? Like, why limit yourself? Why be horribly uncomfortable? Why not just ride a fullsuspension XC race bike?
  • 34 42
flag ADGproductions (Mar 5, 2021 at 8:16) (Below Threshold)
 You are not. It's all about the trend....a dumb one I might add.
  • 65 1
 Because an xc bike doesn't have drop bars and isn't fully rigid. "Horribly uncomfortable" is perspective (they are a lot more comfortable than a straight road bike) and depends on the quality of the gravel roads. Also, the gravel bike is just faster, and faster is funner.

I challenge you to get a good gravel bike with proper fat tires (my rig runs 650b wheels and 2.1" rubber), do a ride that mixes in pavement, gravel, and flowy trail, covers 40 miles, and tell me you didn't have a blast.

Just my two cents. Sold my road bike and opted for the gravel rig and so happy. My other bikes are an xc race machine and an enduro sled. This is the perfect spread for me, but whatever works for you!
  • 15 21
flag aceface17 (Mar 5, 2021 at 8:28) (Below Threshold)
 over summer i tried road biking and gravel riding. I honestly have no clue why gravel bikes are popular. They arent road bikes, slower on the road and you cant go as far or as fast, and if you want to go off roading with your buddies why not go on a perfectly good mountain bike ride? Will never understand.
  • 6 2
 @Lokirides: Tend to agree. Eleven years ago, I did a bike tour around the Bavarian Alps in Germany. Gravel bike would have been perfect for the bike trails, which were a mix of everything you said -- pavement, gravel, cobblestones, etc. And we have a few of those types of bike trails and pathways here around town.

That said, when I finally get around to building a gravel bike, it's going to be set up more around road specs than an XC bike with fat tires and a dropper post. If it comes to riding single track, I'd rather be on a proper mountain bike.
  • 15 2
 On actual gravel roads a XC bike is overkill. And you have a lot more to service (shock, fork) compared to a rigid bike. Curly bars are also nice (and look horrible on a mtb).
  • 5 5
 Agree 100%. I've been scratching my head on the whole "gravel bike" trend for years (which is really just a road-bike with slightly fatter tires). Have to think that a properly set-up XC hardtail would be nearly as fast as a "gravel bike" for any application that actually involves going off a paved road. And way more comfortable/versatile.
  • 3 4
 It's the same principle that the marketing swamis pull on us for shoes. Gotta have shoes for each individual sport. No, I don't need golf shoes. I'll just wear sneakers.
  • 20 1
 Have you ever ridden an XC bike on a grave/road ride? Its inefficient and kind of annoying unless the gravel is really rugged. Same goes for a road bike on a gravel ride....really uncomfortable and beats you up. Yes, its a trend sure, but they 100% allow you to do more than a road bike and much more efficiently than an XC bike...assuming you are actually riding what they are meant for. I don't mind being slightly slower on pavement (im not doing any road races) if it allows me to easily and comfortably hit gravel as much as possible, and it allows me to plug in some tame single track as well if its around.
  • 12 0
 @BentheSwabian: This will help you understand gravel bikes: think of them as a far more versatile alternative to a "normal" road bike, not as an alternative to an XC mountain bike.
  • 5 0
 I use my gravel as a multipurpose bike; as a turbo trainer first!
then for the winter rides when everything is so muddy that you prefer to get only on the light trails in the woods. so easy to clean!
it's fast, doesn't put in the risky descents if don't want to - and because you can't.
it can be the perfect and comfortable adventure bike or the easy one on the cycle paths around town.
good 2nd bike when the roadie is offline or its to wet out there.
ah!! it makes gravel roads fun, where a XC or a Enduro bike would be just MEH. It slides and skids all over the place yeahhh
  • 12 0
 Assuming you've not got some insane / hardcore racer setup, they're really uncomfortable at all. Why should they be, any more than an aggressive XC bike or road race setup? (e.g Think about what non cyclists say whenever they see a quality, minimalist saddle, or a low bar/high saddle ride position - "doesn't that thing hurt to ride? I'd want a saddle with loads of padding!" sort of thing. It's simply their uninformed perspective leading those questions, but thats not reflective of the reality of the situation).

I don't think they're exactly limiting, one could argue they're even the reverse: they encourage exploration and in a world of super capable MTB's, it's kinda nice to ride a bike that you can really feel the limits of, without having to be going a zillion mhp or off huge jumps. I mean, you're not going to hit a black rated DH route (probably) but some gravel setups are more capable off road then you might think (off the top of my head, Evil's Chamois Hanger springs to mind). And if you're riding a variety of surfaces and over distance, like when it comes to mixed gravel backroads, access fireroads, or good/bad tarmac, then a gravel bike will dust a FS XC bike for the same rider.

Some people go bike packing, some explore their local woods. Some race or take part in distance events like the DK100 or Midsouth 100. Others will have replaced road riding with gravel miles for training rides. Some people live in areas (like here in rural OK) with poor tarmac and a lot of gravel routes on the door step, so a gravel bike makes complete sense for training (vs a road bike). Some just get out for a gentle tootle in the woods with family and friends, who knows?
To me it's a really useful and enjoyable N+1 bike. I've got mine setup single speed at there moment for simplicity/reliablity and it's fun off road in the right places and great for getting some training miles in, taking the dogs for a light off road adventure or just nipping put for a quick spin to clear the mind. The Midsouth 100 event last year (won by Payson Mcelveen of XC fame, in the Men's cat) was one of the best off road events I've done too.
I guess they work one way or another for a for whole lot of people, as evidenced by the huge rise in available bike models, brands and investments a whole from the bike industry into the gravel side of things.
  • 2 0
 Don't think too hard about it. They are just baby steps (or a flat bar...) away from mountain biking. Let everyone go towards the light at their own pace. They will get there eventually. It's how we all go mountain bikes originally. Just be cool and welcome them to the club at their own pace.
  • 6 0
 I use my gravel bike for from-the-front-door rides. If I want to ride any MTB trails then I have to do a total of at least 60 mins of driving (in good traffic) round trip, and when you can only spare an hour or two for a ride then it makes more sense to go for a local spin than drive and try and cram in some rushed laps and potentially have to sit in traffic.

Also depends on what is near you. The surrounding countryside where I live is very flat for 100’s of kilometres in every direction, but we do have a lot of decent gravel roads, forest paths and very easy trails that would be totally overkill on an XC bike. You need to ride some road to get out of the city and onto the dirt so a gravel bike is a perfect compromise in that scenario.

I’m an MTB guy at heart and always will be, but if I only have an hour or two to ride then I’m jumping on the gravel bike and will try and catch up with the MTB crowd when I can make more time to ride.
  • 46 0
 @ADGproductions: You don't get it, and there's nothing wrong with that. I'm sure I don't understand things that you get up to, but they're still not dumb.
  • 1 0
 @MTBJR: Maybe some will do. Which is nice, and I have seen it on the gravel forums. But I have several XC bikes, enduro, road and dirt, and my latest was the gravel one. It's the only one bike I have where I can do anything without committing too much and as other have said, it brings you back to the basics, that 90s feel, and it can also preform quite good on other tasks. I think it's the perfect balance for a go outside without thinking too much, no matter the weather. And I emphasise, a really good bike for the turbo trainer (if you live in a harsh winter country).
  • 1 0
 My friends always ride away from me when they are on gravel bikes and I am on my 10 year old Salsa el Mariachi with a Jones bar, equally old Sid, and semi slicks. Then we ride some trail and I catch up very quickly. I hate road shaped bars and skinny tires, live is just better with a Jones bar and fat tires with shallow knobs.
  • 4 0
 As someone who does a lot of trailwork, gravel bikes are my favorite venue for guilt free skids. Also Levy is right, it's about how you ride. gooning it up on dirt roads with a bunch of friends is a blast, it's like being 10yo riding bikes with your friends again.
  • 2 0
 @Lokirides: That's why I got myself Specialized Roubaix with Future shock and flexy/elastomer seatpost.

Fits 38mm tires, even bigger if you go 650B and is superior on both comfort and speed over regular rigid gravel bikes.

Rides like a road bike on road and you can still hit unpaved paths.

Unless you live in USA or some other country with loads of unpaved smooth roads, gravel bikes suck balls.

Go ride any trail with protruding cobbles or stones and your gravel adventure is not going to be any fun.

For smoother trails Roubaix is going to be as good or better but blow the gravel bike when you hit the road.

This makes gravel bikes least versatile because you have that narrow window of trails which feel good on gravel and you're severely limited otherwise (poor gearing for road, knobby draggy soft tires that don't last long on pavement, upright posture with loads of air drag at faster speeds).
With hardtail mtb you're not having much fun on road but can still ride any trail you like, jump, drop and ride aggressively without fear of dying unlike gravel where your need to plan a route not to hit rough sections of the trail...
  • 3 0
 @wilsonians: exactly. Mountain bikes suck on the road. Part of the fun of road riding is going fast. Mountain bikes on the road are slow AF.
  • 6 0
 I wondered this for a while, but finally realized that a lot of the people raving about gravel bikes have terrain to suit it. I don't have gravel roads or easy single track to explore near me. I can either drive 20-40 minutes to trailheads for mountain biking or ride out my door on a road bike. A gravel bike wouldn't change my riding at all (after learning that a full on race road bike doesn't suit my awful road conditions) but what works for me and my surroundings may be different for others. I filled my in between with a fat/dad bike. I get to ride almost year round and it allows me to have fun on easier trails while towing my munchkin. Fat bikes were all the rage for a bit too and a lot of people realized they didn't suit their riding, but for many they're a game changer. In summary: to each their own. If it's got wheel(s) and you pedal it, you win.
  • 1 0
 @aceface17: Sometimes I want to ride from my house without driving to a trailhead. From where I live, that means roughly 40 miles of asphalt, 5 miles of gravel road, and 5 miles of singletrack on a hard tail with MTB tires doesn't sound as fun as a dropbar bike with medium-volume semi-slicks.
  • 3 0
 @aceface17: I didn't get it either until I moved somewhere that has a lot more gravel roads than paved ones. Unless you specifically plan out a ride for paved roads, you're going to hit gravel after a few miles, so you might as well enjoy it more with geo and tires suited for it. Pretty soon you prefer the gravel roads due to better scenery and less traffic. Also a great setup for rides that mix pavement, gravel, minimum maintenance roads, and singletrack right from your front door. Not the straight to your veins joy of mtb, but still a good time
  • 6 0
 @dwbaillar: This is 100% true. Its all about location. There are hundreds of miles of pristine gravel roads where I live that take you to much remoter areas than anything on a paved road. Also tend to see far fewer cars on these roads, and rarely cars exceeding 40 mph. They're great vehicles for exploration, and you don't fear death with each passing car. But hey, haters gonna hate, potatoes gonna potate.
  • 9 0
 @levifranz: The number of people who hate on bikes on this :: check notes :: bicycling-focused website is just astounding.
  • 1 0
 @superman-4: Anyone who actually rides road bikes knows how horribly incorrect your statement is. And your comparison with a hardtail XC bike misses the whole point. Gravel bikes do more with less, and make it all fun. Having no suspension and drop bars makes seemingly tame trails an absolute blast, it is a completely different experience.
  • 4 0
 @wilsonians: This right here. So many people on this site completely miss the point and have clearly never actually tried to ride a gravel bike to it's full potential. It's a f*cking blast.
  • 3 0
 Riding road bikes on dirt was sweet when I was 15, but now they hurt my neck and spine. No thanks
  • 1 0
 @pmhobson: Notes are wrong. This is not a general interest bicycle site. It is quite specifically mountain bike focused. No mystery here.
  • 3 0
 @man-wolf: Perfect way to describe it.
  • 1 0
 @jaycubzz: People hate on all kinds of bikes here. My statement is not limited to non-mountain bikes. Click on article that mentions a mountain bike with less than 120 mm of front travel and you'll see what I mean.
  • 1 0
 @levifranz: Where you live the gravel roads are more remote than pavement? What kind of jedi mind trick is that?
  • 11 0
 I'd love to ride a road bike, if there were never any cars on the road. I have no desire to share space with traffic for any longer than necessary.
  • 11 0
 Yep, I think that's why gravel riding has become so popular. Way less traffic.
  • 9 0
 Props to Levy. That BMC is sick... I really wanted that drivetrain for my All City Macho King but I cheaped out and went for a M9000 XTR RD with GRX 810 hoods.
  • 2 0
 GRX hoods are the most worthwhile part of GRX. the rest doesn't suck, but the more comfortable brifters are the game changer.
  • 1 0
 @groghunter: Agreed but that eagle range is nice to have, let alone the wireless perks.
  • 4 0
 @groghunter: It was a lack of range for me. The BMC can't take a front derailleur.
  • 4 0
 @mikelevy: I greatly value 2x on my outback, though the fact that i have no chainring size options, because shimano decided to make another BCD design that's incompatible with everything else, and only makes one chainring set for them, is kinda frustrating. a 31t up front is just too big still when i'm going on stupid hill climbing missions.
  • 5 0
 only respect is for the shitbox commuter, this is the bike everyone needs, pure, who gives a fuck, smash it up, pub bike. some of my favorite times have been ripping frankenbikes over to a party... love it
  • 6 0
 Are we going to ingnore the casual mention of Alicia's Speedwing? With no further information?
  • 9 0
 That'll have to wait for the 'Non-MTB Sports Gear of PB Editors' article I guess!
  • 2 0
 My question: is it a rust coloured chain or a rusty chain Smile

There is no rust on the chain ring which leads me to the former but I gotta know.

#1amquestions
  • 1 0
 @Pa-ul: I like how it matches the grips personally. Oilslick chains are so 2020, Tanwall chains are where it's at now.
  • 1 0
 @alicialeggett: I thought I was looking at my bike when I first saw yours. Mine has an xl milk crate though. I had my Milwaukee blue tooth speaker, a 6 pack of bodhizafa and a pizza in it the other nite.

m.pinkbike.com/photo/20249330
  • 1 0
 @Pa-ul: I know this reply is late... but it's orange paint. Fashion over function here, but I'm not a total savage.
  • 1 0
 @alicialeggett: Ha! Imagine how loud a chain with that much rust would be. It would be like riding with 200 cicadas chirping you as you climbed!
  • 5 0
 @brianpark when your little one is big enough the Mac Ride is so much fun! And you can hear all the chatter and talk to them better.
  • 3 0
 I can't wait!
  • 3 0
 So take away from this is Sarah Moore is all about hydration, 3 beer and 2 water bottles. Unless she has beer in the water bottles, then 5 beer. And Mike Kazimer is due for a pay increase. The homeless people have better bikes than that here in Vancouver !
  • 2 0
 I am starting to really like my commuter as well it was bought so I would drive less. The least I have spent on a bike in 20 years. I am on it every day to work ex find I am on it more often then my mtb. With a family ext so eazy to grab my helmet go for a quick spin. I don’t have time to get all mtb gear together it is great
  • 5 0
 Digging Kazimer's coastie and Jason's Tacoma. Hard pass on the rest of these bikes.
  • 6 0
 Kaz, chain tension bud, come on!
  • 10 0
 I know, I know. The coaster brake needs a rebuild one of these days too...
  • 1 0
 @POWsLAYER - how do you think it is okay to publicly comment on Pinkbike after ripping me off in the buy/sell? I sent you a spring on trade, you never sent one back, that is disgraceful, shame on you.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: If you actually know @POWsLAYER Zoe Taylor you should be embarrassed too, she is a thief.
  • 1 0
 @coachphillip, this seems like something that would be better handled via private message. And no, I don't personally know @POWsLAYER.
  • 1 0
 @mikekazimer: Sorry to drag you into it then, nice bike though! I have a similar vintage Apollo, awesome to see these still in use decades later. @POWsLAYER has ignored my private and text messages for months, I will continue to pursue this.
  • 2 0
 @brianpark @mikekazimer @mikelevy @danielsapp @alicialeggett (I’d tag others but I have to keep scrolling up on my phone) I’d like to hear more on staff rides. Why bikes were chosen, why that bike, what else is in your fleet, etc. Do you get to buy some of the test rigs at discounts? Pro deals? What’s a bike you wished you kept?

I clicked on the staff rides tag and there actually aren’t that many articles on it. What about other people in the industry? What do the people at Cane Creek, RockShox, Fox, I9 ride?
Going down the rabbit hole, what are some of the other personal choices you pick? Pack? Gloves, pedals and shoes, glasses?
  • 3 0
 Some awesome suggestions in here. Maybe for a podcast. Most industry people at brands will use their OE partners’ equipment, both for testing and for the deals.

I’ve got two staff ride bikes to write up in the next little bit: both my RAAW and my Cotic are done-ish.

Personal choices for me: Specialized Ambush helmet, Five Tens for flats, Shimano for clipless shoes and pedals (want to try Lake soon though, for my wide feet), basic t-shirts rather than jerseys, NF pants (so good), Ryders Roam glasses do well in the dark forests we have here, currently searching for better gloves (RIP Fox Ascent) and knee pads (just bought some Chromags), generally prefer push on grips (currently have Hoders on the RAAW), and really like High Above’s hip pack.
  • 6 1
 where’s Christina Chapetta’s other bike? Or truck?
  • 4 0
 We'll be doing another instalment for sure!
  • 5 0
 I just want to see what Taj is riding.
  • 2 0
 dropper is so crucial on dad mobiles. Nothing worse than pulling up to cross a busy road and trying to put your foot down with the extra weight of a little person and their seat.
  • 1 0
 Since 12 year old me saved up and bought myself a Specialized Rockhopper in like the mid 90's, I literally have never pedaled a bike that was not a mountain bike. I just don't get pedaling on roads and such. To each their own. So I'm with Jason on this one. Except my truck is actually a 20 year old Rav4 with manual locks and windows.
  • 1 0
 Hey @brianpark two things....... I assume those pedals are the ones you sent to Levy and are under embargo.... so these are ‘spy shots’.... Second, how much to print and send a pair to Australia? They look perfect for ‘Dadcountry’ riding.... perfect for the kid carrier.
  • 2 0
 Secret pedals! lol I’ll send you the STL file if you like, then you can print them yourself and not blame me when they spontaneously combust.

I’m trying to do a more MTB version with M3 hardware and ti axles for maximum sketchiness.
  • 1 0
 The reverse mullet road bike has already been done. A lot of teams tried it for TT in the 80ies-90ies. I remember my Dad racing triathlon on a Cannondale (I guess, my parents had to many bikes) with a 26‘ front wheel and a 28‘ backwheel. I was super proud because I had the same size of front wheel as the adults on my 26‘ roaf bike and my Mtb.
But cool job to show those bikes that are often used but rarely featured everybike has his story and it‘s cool to show those sometimes.
  • 1 0
 Just for the record, my commuter is my old 2013 Giant Reign. Converted with 26x2.35 big apple tires, front, downtube and rear fenders (Zefal's Deflector is quite good for full suspended bikes), front and rear supernova lights, transmission converted from 2x10 to mono, U-lock, frame bag for rain clothes, behind stem bag for keys. I have no racks for now, wondering if I need one and if so which one.

It may look trivial and ugly but the rack and bags on a city bike are really handful to pack all you need without having to carry a backpack, which gets you really hot and sweaty in the summer.
  • 1 0
 Two days that Ibis cockpit is still grouped with the Trek e-bike/ dad tractor photo group. The bar tape should be a bit of a give away.
Bar end plugs? $2 part. Install em and that way your bike will be setting a good example to the kiddies.
  • 5 1
 Levy's BMC and Lucas' Tacoma take the win for this 40something
  • 2 0
 @mikekazimer is the only one here with the real commuter bike. I run my fixie but with riser bar and front brake together with mudguards all year round
  • 3 0
 The first and the last "bike" is actually the same, if you look closely. ;-)
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy what bars do you have on Big Blue? I am builing up a CX/Townie/Gravel-Roadie machine and curious as to options. I am looking for the flat tops (ergo?) and possible flares.
  • 3 0
 It's an Easton EA90 flat top, I think. Very comfy.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy: Thanks!
  • 1 0
 Ok I really like Mike's sentinel, but Sarah Moore has 2 water bottles AND beer so I think she wins. But if Alicia said she carries around a case or atleast a sixer for her and her friends then that would change things
  • 2 0
 Where are the dirt jumpers? I know that Kaz has a dj bike, and there's got to be another one among this crew?? If not you're missing out, so fun!
  • 3 0
 Yep, I’ve got a Transition PBJ that I’ve had for a few years. This theme of this article was our non-mountain bikes, but a follow up dirt jump / pumptrack bike version could be cool.
  • 1 0
 I think Brian Park should rethink mounting a Light & Motion Seca light upside down. That really defeats the purpose of having those engineered double arrays of led lights. The dimmed ones are supposed to point downwards.
  • 1 0
 You’re probably right but it’s mostly as a DRL because drivers here are psychopaths. I really like L&M but wouldn’t mind something more minimal and meant for mounting this way. Anyone have good suggestions?
  • 1 0
 I love the dropper for a bike prop. But the drawing and related speculation on the bike it depicts is my favorite. So good! Also Kazimer's bike. Might even be able to get by without a lock for that thing. Sweet.
  • 2 0
 @brianpark I guess you don't set the rebound too fast if the kid's in the back seat?
  • 2 0
 One of the downsides of the rack on this is that it's attached to the wheel/seatstay rather than the front triangle. It'd be awesome if the kids seat could be suspended. Anyway, the big tires smooth out most of the rough for the little guy, he just laughs and babbles the entire way every time we go somewhere.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Hi Brian, which bike/toddler seat is tat? Which model? Much appreciated!
  • 2 0
 @cky78: Thule Yepp Nexxt Maxi. SO many consonants, but it's really light and he seems to like it a lot.
  • 3 0
 @brianpark: as much as Thule kids seats cost, they can afford to buy a vowel.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Super, thank you! I didn't know there was options available for the FS bikes. Much appreciated!
  • 7 4
 Child as unsparing weight = child abuse.
  • 5 0
 You know what I meant.
  • 7 0
 @RobbyRideGuide: Hahahaha! Suspend the rider not the child.
  • 1 1
 Not to mention..what is holding that child carrier on to the bike? not much...
  • 1 0
 I think I speak for many of us who have gotten an education here over the past 2 years when I say I really want to see Dan Roberts personal bike.
  • 2 0
 Ahhh gone are the days when parents pulled them up the hills on leg power alone
  • 4 1
 Why is Jason driving a Toyota?

Because it's the law.
  • 1 0
 I drove a Ford F-150 for a year to the trailheads. I have never felt so weird in my life.
  • 2 0
 @alicialeggett are we all just going to sit here and ignore the expensive beautiful orange anodizing on your chain?!?!?!?!
  • 1 0
 @jasonlucas really has no excuse to not already have that sticker, considering how many IFHT stickers I have and will continue to stick to things.
  • 3 0
 jason knows where its at. obviosuly only rides parks. ????
  • 1 0
 turns our emojiis show up as ????.. and i can't spell obviously.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark picture says it's in Flagstaff Arizona, but there seems to be a Peugeot 206 parked there. Really ? Or is the location wrong ?
  • 1 0
 it's refreshingly pleasant to see a couple of gravel bikes without every single conceivable luggage/storage solution attached to it.
  • 1 0
 @alicialeggett: Dirty is actually the preferred prep for a gravel bike pic on PB.
  • 2 0
 no swing bike? sting ray? tandem? retro MTB, side car, shit bike? cum'on..
  • 4 1
 Of course its a Tacoma
  • 4 1
 Are you surprised? Tacomas and 4runners are ubiquitous in the PNW. Everybody and their dog has one or knows someone who has one.
  • 4 0
 @imnotdanny: True, which is a bit mystifying because the Tacos are so overpriced for what you get. Janky transmission, underpowered, and every wannabe bro has one. So many road queens. Don't get me wrong, they aren't bad but Toyota is definitely milking the Tacoma's reputation from years back.
  • 2 1
 @highfivenwhiteguy: Yeah for sure. They're not the cheapest midsize truck either, the base MSRP for 2021 is at least $1k more than a Ford Ranger or Chevy Colorado. And I don't think the Tacos have a super great interior either. There is a ton of aftermarket support for them though.
  • 2 0
 @highfivenwhiteguy: They are the only midsize that allows you to have a clutch pedal on a non base model though. Which takes care of the "janky transmission" part.
  • 1 0
 @LeviathanSmiles: whaaaat you can get them with a stick? In the 2021 model? No waaaaaay. Save the manuals!
  • 3 0
 I really like Hobbes.
  • 2 0
 Brian's fly mobility scooter.
  • 1 0
 I need that rear fender off the dadmobile. I mean, my mudhugger does an ok job but dang that's clean and all-surrounding.
  • 2 0
 I enjoyed this article immensely. Thank you Alicia! Like yer bike, too.
  • 1 0
 @alicialeggett The chain matching the grips is sweet. At first I thought it was horribly rusty!
  • 1 0
 When I see e-bikes my eyes bleed...the struggle is real - the PB e-bike filter needs further refinement...
  • 1 0
 "I also have a gravel bike, but it’s dirty right now so I’m ashamed to show photos of it."
Not making any sense to me
  • 1 0
 The Toyota Tacoma: For when you need to remind people that you overpay for things and love craft beer.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark: Getting stingy on the suspension privliges? Suspend yourself, not the kiddo?
  • 1 0
 @brianpark how do you prevent that kids seat from rotating backwards? It seems like a brace is missing?
  • 1 0
 Not so sure the kid loves slamming his head into Dad's back.
  • 1 0
 There better be a turbo under that hood!
  • 1 0
 I want to see the backup bikes built from old spare parts.
  • 1 0
 @brianpark Dude I think we're neighbors
  • 2 0
 Interesting
  • 1 0
 Jesus, Kaz...if your excitement were any more subdued, you'd be in a coma.
  • 1 0
 @mikelevy did you yoink that bike from CyclingTips in Sedona?
  • 1 0
 So Henry Quinney works for pinkbike? Is that a new thing?
  • 1 0
 Gravel bikes are 2021's fat bikes.
Also: luuuve the truck.
  • 1 0
 I think I need to go back and read more of what Alicia Leggett has to say.
  • 1 0
 Gravel bikes are 2021's fat bikes.
Also: luuuve the truck.
  • 1 0
 My other ride is your dad
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