Video: Shredding Gravel Bikes in the Snow

Apr 5, 2021 at 15:04
by Jonas Demuylder  

Words: Jonas Demuylder

Who said gravel bikes are boring? Point it downwards, add some snow in the mix and you'll have a hell of a ride!

Belgian enduro riders Alexis Roukens and Jonas Demuylder defied the cold in order to prove what their Kona Libre CR gravel bikes are worth, in this two minute, what we call a #gravelduro shreddit.

We truly hope you enjoy their winter project filmed by our friend Thimeon Lepers!


110 Comments

  • 72 7
 Gravel bikes are fun. Especially one's designed around 650b. As a fitness tool for a dedicated MTB'r you really cant go wrong. The real boring thing would be limiting oneself to merely one type of riding. Life is short. Take ALL the experiences!... Especially those involving 2 wheels.
  • 17 65
flag Neale78 (Apr 6, 2021 at 4:25) (Below Threshold)
 No.
  • 5 0
 @Neale78: like what. A fish?
  • 47 6
 Yeah, the 650b ones are better. Then, when you switch to flat, wider bars, they get even better. Then you can add suspension front and rear to make them better still.
  • 19 7
 100%

Weird how narrow minded so many people seem to be about gravel bikes.

All bikes are fun, I have gravel/road, enduro and a hardtail. The gravel bike allows me to get out with the Mrs and enjoy the countryside as and when I want.
  • 4 21
flag Neale78 (Apr 6, 2021 at 5:08) (Below Threshold)
 Perhaps. Some laughable logic on this site.
  • 10 16
flag Neale78 (Apr 6, 2021 at 5:11) (Below Threshold)
 You don't need a 'gravel bike' to do that!
  • 11 4
 @CaptainPugwash89: I have no problem with people having multiple bikes, but with that logic, surely you could just use the Enduro bike for that.
  • 29 1
 @CaptainPugwash89: People are tribal jerks. I have a gravel bike that I can ride a hell of a lot farther and faster than I can ride my MTB, and is great for the garbage roads in my neck of the woods, and I can string together low traffic routes with dirt roads and single track. Most of my 'road' rides are on days when the trails would be too sloppy to ride, or I just need a break from the trail beating. Keeps me pedaling.
  • 24 1
 But... A loud minority of the cycling community pressured me into disliking it because it looks too much like a road bike. And for some reason (than no one has explained) we’re supposed to hate cycling disciplines other than the ones we like.

Are you telling me that I am allowed to just enjoy bikes and not get pressured into disliking something because someone else told me to?
  • 9 25
flag Neale78 (Apr 6, 2021 at 5:57) (Below Threshold)
 All you need is a hardtail with the right tyres. Not some road/mtb hybrid with limited capability.
  • 3 10
flag Neale78 (Apr 6, 2021 at 6:00) (Below Threshold)
 @TrailFeatures: What you do is up to you. People have their opinions.
  • 3 35
flag Bighill2015 (Apr 6, 2021 at 6:02) (Below Threshold)
 100% disagree with you on this one when a enduro bike does it all and looks sexy doing it.
Gravel bikes are just like fat bikes -ugly and a for people that don’t use real trails..
  • 5 18
flag KalkhoffKiller (Apr 6, 2021 at 6:17) (Below Threshold)
 @TrailFeatures: the thing is that gravelbikes and the people that like them are more like roadies. I think it has little to do with mountainbiking and its not fun in the same way as hauling down a single trail on a full sus mtb. Personally fireroads are boring to ride.
  • 8 22
flag Bighill2015 (Apr 6, 2021 at 6:22) (Below Threshold)
 @KalkhoffKiller: spot on bud, road cycling is so feking boring this is them pretending it’s exciting.zzzzzzzzz
  • 16 1
 @Neale78: Who sh#t in your cereal bud?
  • 7 3
 @KalkhoffKiller: comparing mountain biking and gravel biking is like trying to compare shots fireball to a measure of 25 year scotch.

You drink one to enjoy an experience, the other you enjoy the experience of drinking it.
  • 3 20
flag Bighill2015 (Apr 6, 2021 at 6:38) (Below Threshold)
 @Leo48333: your mum Smile
  • 9 1
 @Bighill2015: Congratulations you get to put $1 in the douche bag jar.
  • 2 19
flag Bighill2015 (Apr 6, 2021 at 6:49) (Below Threshold)
 @Leo48333: oh thanks your so sweet like you’re mum
  • 7 0
 @Bighill2015: really firing up the old keyboard this morning eh? Keep going. I’ll wait
  • 2 20
flag Bighill2015 (Apr 6, 2021 at 6:55) (Below Threshold)
 @Leo48333: lol keep those legs smooth ladyboy for that gravel bike
  • 18 0
 If anyone was wondering. When people talk about toxic bro culture, harassing people for what bike they ride is part of the behavior they are referring to.
  • 3 17
flag Bighill2015 (Apr 6, 2021 at 7:12) (Below Threshold)
 @TrailFeatures: grow a pair bud Smile
  • 8 0
 @Bighill2015: Keep your brain smooth, homophobic man-child.
  • 1 16
flag Bighill2015 (Apr 6, 2021 at 7:18) (Below Threshold)
 @steveczech: oh so sensitive @stevezech definitely a roadie biker
  • 5 0
 @Bighill2015: Hahaha. Homie don't road bike, but I understand my preferences don't have to be someone elses. I prefer to be in the mountains, where it's just me trying to kill myself, instead of everyone else. Hey, I have an idea: you should get a road bike!
  • 1 11
flag Bighill2015 (Apr 6, 2021 at 7:28) (Below Threshold)
 @steveczech: love the homie talk lol you sound like a gangster.
  • 3 12
flag Bighill2015 (Apr 6, 2021 at 7:30) (Below Threshold)
 @steveczech: lol you can keep your road bike and it’s all about going downhill.
  • 4 1
 @KalkhoffKiller: I thought of a better way to explain it.

MTB is like pushing the limits of a sports car through an epic mountain pass. While gravel bikes are more like driving a convertible though Pacific Coast Highway with some of your best friends riding along.

Both are fun, but for different reasons.
  • 1 9
flag Bighill2015 (Apr 6, 2021 at 8:04) (Below Threshold)
 @TrailFeatures: good way of putting it.
But Don’t think gravel bikes are in the same league as trail bikes.
I challenge anyone to see the difference between road bikes and trail bikes where I stay... that’s like saying you’re enduro bike is faster on the road than a road bike..so sounds like the fat bike riders telling you there for the trails not beaches..
  • 1 0
 @SJP: Just imagine! The future!
  • 1 4
 @Leo48333: Nobody. Unlike all the 'downvoters'. Nuff poop? Look at 'em all!
  • 3 0
 I'll use the money and winter to snowboard thanks.
  • 4 1
 Hilarious how anti some people are to gravel. Reminds me of the conservative old roadies on CyclingTips. Same attitude, different discipline.
  • 4 0
 @TrailFeatures: the problem with your analogy is that @Bighill2015 doesn't have any friends to understand what that feels like. Most likely, he's not even old enough to drive.
  • 1 1
 @CaptainPugwash89: lol lots of friends homie would you like to join the team.PS you’ll definitely wider tyres to keep up Smile
  • 29 5
 Yes this is all fun but have you ever tried to eat an edible at the bottom of the mountain, ride up and 1.5h later you become molded into the crankset, feeling like you won't be able to put your foot out, while being desperately thirsty? So you want to reach for the water bottle but you are afraid that your hand will get glued to it? So you decide to try anyways and now you ask yourself why won't you grab a water bottle from the frame, and there is no bottle in the cage so you ride around in circles for an hour looking if you dropped the bottle somewhere, and it takes you two hours to drop that plastic object you held in your hand, and after few more circles you find the bottle but can't reach it while pedalling being stuck in the pedals? So you crash and can't get up? So you just lie there enjoying the crystals forming mandalas? That's what I call a good gravel ride.
  • 2 1
 I want the kind of edibles you’re having over there. The kind I get make me feel like my cranks make an infinity symbol and I want to eat everything in sight.
  • 7 2
 Please tell me this is the real Waki
  • 1 1
 Sounds like Wakimm.
  • 3 1
 I mean Waki...sounds like Waki.
  • 2 1
 @cycling-jokester: He’s baaaaaAAAACK!
  • 3 0
 Still skeptical, not enough downvotes
  • 1 1
 @chrod: this Fly Agaric in your profile picture... are you one of us? Are you familiar with the arts? Methods?
  • 1 0
 @justwaki: Just bookwise Wink
  • 2 0
 @justwaki: baby, where have you been?
  • 19 5
 Doesn't every rider on a gravel bike really just wish they'd taken their mtb out instead as soon as they hit the first descent?
  • 12 1
 Not when the descents on your local trails are 60s long. They make stuff that is easy on a mtb challenging again
  • 12 0
 I think of mine as more of a run road bike than a boring MTB. For the commute to work I can take the interesting route and cut through the woods and the fields, rather than just slog it out on the road with the traffic. In the off season I can take it out for some fitness and not be limited to just road riding. They can be great fun and versatile in that sense. But I agree, using it as an MTB, it's just much worse
  • 8 0
 No. At least I don't. That would be like I would wish I'd taken the enduro bike when I go out riding some undulating easy trails with some gravel/double-track on the short travel bike. If I was going to shred downhill, I'd take the big bike and kneedpads. Up-and-down trail intervals and cross country is the short-travel trail bike. Long gravel rides with maybe, just maybe some super-easy singletrack I like the gravel bike more. On the other hand, if all you ride is an mtb I can understand it just looks like a boring mtb. But then again, maybe it's your viewpoint that is the issue and not the bike

Like with everything else, you pick the right tool for the job and not treat all rides as a nail that needs a hammer.
  • 10 0
 @RonBorger: When we got locked down last year we weren't able to drive anywhere, my local trails are about 45 mins in the car - riding there on a mtb would take about 2 hours. I sold my road bike and replaced it with a gravel bike and haven't looked back, means I can ride out to the trails in about 70 mins (mainly off-road) and cover twice as much ground around the hills before heading home - so I'll get 3-4 hours riding in the same amount of time as I would spend on a 90 min mtb ride with all the faff that accompanies driving somewhere with a bike. It's not as capable or as fun, but it allows me to explore more, find better trails, map better loops for the mtb and it's improving my line choice etc. It's about 20% slower than my road bike on the road, and about 20% slower than my mtb on most trails, which is a good crossover imo
  • 1 0
 This is how I feel on most gravel rides. I think it'd be different if I could find smoother and more gradual descents to cruise down.
  • 8 0
 To be honest there's something extremely fun about being unreasonably underbiked for the job. Well that's the case with gravel bikes. It's a different experience, especially if if you only have mellow trails nearby.
  • 2 0
 @nhlevi: Absolutely! I get to the bottom of most long technical-ish descents on my gravel bike laughing my head off. Two years ago I dumped my broken road bike, sold my mountain bike, old hardtail/commuter, and my dirt jump bike. Bought a gravel bike and having way more fun than I was with four bikes. Much less mucking around maintaining complicated bikes - just get out and ride to the trails, ride the trails, ride home.
100% what @lloydyb said about that.
It helps that I'm surrounded by endless forestry roads, back-country sealed roads and mountain bike tracks here in Nelson NZ.
And then one day I'll buy a new bouncy mountain bike and it'll probably blow my mind... just like when I first got elastomer suspension forks fitted to my rigid mountain bike in 1991...
  • 22 10
 Well... this doesn’t look like fun
  • 9 1
 I've been riding my gravel bike a lot, it's so fast and fun. I can hop on and ride trails straight from my house that are too flat and tame to be any fun on a real mtb. They accelerate super fast and narrower tires mean you're drifting every other corner. I was not expecting to either enjoy it this much or use it as much as I do, but I find myself picking the gravel bike frequently. I can go on long rides and ride wherever I want using pavement sections to link trail sections together since pavement is less of a chore to ride on. I even have a top 20 Strava time on a local flow trail descent with berms and jumps, which is perhaps an indictment of "modern" mtb trail design, but whatever, I have a great time shredding on it.
  • 10 0
 #RideAllTheBikes
  • 1 6
flag Neale78 (Apr 6, 2021 at 4:30) (Below Threshold)
 Master of none.
  • 5 0
 Looks like they had fun, video has good vibes. Now did you see the part where they were pushing the bikes up the hill? Or the part where they slid and crashed? That would be 90% of your ride if you have normal person skill levels.
  • 6 1
 I'd bet the naysayers of Gravel bikes are predominantly under the age of 30. That burning passion to be an X-games only outlaw will fade. You'll see. You'll open your eyes to things that once you couldn't possibly fathom... Mark that down.
  • 8 1
 i dont know who this Jonas Demuylder is but he must be a good guy. Destroy all Gravel.
  • 3 1
 Hahahahah he is a legend here in Belgium! Alexis Roukens is an upcoming talent too, must follow! Smile
  • 1 0
 @RedBurn: oh a real Legend, iam sure that Manu Warnet guy is one too. where is his Pinkbike Video??
  • 4 0
 I've got a gravel bike and every year I get snow... but this is honesty not a great use of either. Pros in an edit aren't usually the best place to get ideas to actually try, for me at least, and while this is more attainable than road gaps and the gnarliest trails in the gnarliest places... sliding around on a 700c bike in the cold is a recipe for bruises and maybe a repair or two. I think marketing your gravel bike as overlapping with MTB capability is usually part of what gets people in a hate mode - because it doesn't work out that great in reality.
  • 7 0
 Looks like a fun day.
  • 2 0
 Riding gravel bikes myself (quite "progressive" as a MTB Enduro rider) I'm really surprised to See that they are descending on the hoods and not in the drops of their bar. I was always surprised to see Akrigg, etc ride in the drops but it just gives you so much extra stability. Even with dedicated hooks like the GRX it's no comparison, lower center of gravity is just so much better.
  • 2 0
 Riding bikes is fun. Getting out to ride is fun. who cares what bike you use to ride what makes you smile. Ride your MTB on the road, gravel bike on MTB trails, use your commuter bike for road rides etc. At the end of the day whatever makes you smile and it usually involves a bike.
  • 1 0
 So these Gents seem to be the pioneers in riding on the hoods in The Proper Terrain Wink A sign they probaby have had first time on the drop bars Smile and same time a sign they have a lot of skills either Smile
(Normal poeple and dads would choose the bottom of the drop bar to get a minimum amount of safety)
  • 5 5
 Yeah, we know you can ride a trail on a gravel bike, we know you can ride a pumptrack on a road bike as well as on bmx, we know you can pull a manual on that heavy beach cruiser and you can ride a dual slalom on your downhill bike. In the end it is still a bike. But luckily, we know there is the right tool for the right job availability nowadays. Looking at those tires, I don't see a single reason for not going with rigid mtb with a sensible geo instead of jumping on this trend train
  • 6 4
 Or, you can pull that old 90's Iron Horse or Spec Stumpjumper hardtail from the garage and start riding that again. Basically the same thing.
  • 4 1
 What about total weight, wheel size, brakes and drivetrain?
  • 3 3
 @szec: My late 90's Iron Horse ARS I am bringing back is alu frame, XTR V brakes, XT everything else, and an old Marz Atom 80. It is incredibly light weight. Got some 26x1.9s on it. I can "shred" it just fine.
  • 3 2
 I've tried to ride my gravel bike like a mountain bike to be "cool." It gets really expensive really fast! Now it collects dust as my enduro bike has become my enduro/trail/gravel/road bike.
  • 2 0
 When I hear the word Gravel bike
I can’t help but think of Fred Flintstone
Workin
In the rock quarry
And Wilma, she was soooo hot
  • 1 1
 I own a gravel bike - other than smashing out the miles in the countryside they're not much good nor fun for anything else.

99.999999% of people who own a gravel bike own a mountain bike which is 100% better suited for shredding!

Pink bike should get some articles on some good routes and adventures you can do on a gravel bike instead Smile
  • 14 13
 So its just a Kona advert with two guys pulling wheelies then. I could ride an XC bike down a WC DH track and that might be fun but hardly worth a video.
  • 43 1
 YouTube has videos of people opening boxes that have millions of views, I dont think anyone can can argue what's "worth a video" anymore.
  • 7 10
 More like taking a down-country bike to an XC course and act as you have reinvented the sport. This is nothing new and the word "gravel" is kinda iritating. Cyclo-cross riders have been shredding in snow like this since way before MTBs were invented.
  • 3 5
 Well, you commented on this video, so it must be worth something... Or you didn´t like it because there is too much snow and you just love dust.
  • 1 1
 They forgot the MUST WATCH
  • 9 6
 Seems to be the same video phenomenon as fat bikes couple of years ago
  • 8 1
 Gravel bikes are cyclocross bikes without the restrictions, or XC bikes with drop bars, formally known as tourers many years ago.
Gears and disc brakes are an evolution thing as is the change in geometry, the rest what my parents rode around the dirt paths to old youth hostels (now bothies in many cases) in Scotland in the 1960's and 70's.
Essentially, flat pedals, skinny nobbly tyres, drop bars, geometry good for all day and decent tyre clearance.
  • 1 0
 @betsie: I think he is referring more to the marketing of "its the wrong tool for the job, but thats what makes it fun, and thats why you need one". You never see gravel bikes being sold as the best bike for riding gravel, its always "OMG the trails you were to bored to ride on your regular bike are going to be the best now".
  • 1 0
 @RonSauce: I know, I remember when I had my IH azure with 2.0 or 1.9" tyres and I ran the suspension very hard on it, tyres at 50psi+ for red trails centres.

I could ride Glenlivet red in 55 mins on that bike, the speeds were frightening, then on my "Enduro" bike it would take 1hr15 to ride and the descents seemed lame... they were lame as the Enduro bike just would not go fast enough to get anywhere near the limit of grip.

Wheels: Tune/ZTR355 Olympic with superlight tubes, race king, speed king tyres, 160mm rotors and XTR 11..32 cassette was the combo to ride, should never has sold that bike, it was a short travel rocket ship for the XC reds, lighter frames were available but the DW link is just ace.
  • 1 0
 @betsie: True I just referred to the inflationary video production in that regard these days
  • 1 0
 Legitimate random question for the day, do you get brake fade in the snow? Seeing as I live in a rather warm part of the world...
  • 1 0
 You can get brake fade in the cold/snow, but it is less likely and takes a longer descent.
  • 1 0
 Nope, hydraulic brakes work just fine. You can easily get some squeeky noises when the pads get wet, though, but not more than in regular wet conditions.
  • 2 0
 On hard braking, they are technically more efficient in the cold as your brake rotors will dissipate heat more effectively than on a hot day. My only trouble with brakes in the snow is road salt. Not sure how, but my gravel bike honks like a goose by the end of every ride
  • 1 0
 More importantly, you get dropper post freeze all the time meaning you are stuck with the saddle up, or, maybe worse, down depending on your dropper type. And when it's really cold the fork will get sloooooooooooooow.
  • 1 1
 This is the next thing the bike companies will push to be the cool thing just like they did with e-bikes, get ready to see everyone jump on the gravel bike band wagon.....
  • 3 1
 Gravel unter alles
  • 4 3
 I guess I just don't get it
  • 1 1
 Show me them going down Fort William/Glen Coe in one piece and that would be impressive not some railway walk
  • 7 7
 Oh God, now I understand how all the e-bike haters feel.
  • 15 1
 That people are out there having more fun than you? I'd be mad too.
  • 7 6
 Why?
  • 9 1
 Why not?
  • 5 0
 Because
  • 1 0
 Nota
  • 5 5
 What next pink bike Lycra reviews
  • 4 4
 So buy a gravel bike if I want to crash on mild trails. Got it.
  • 7 8
 I’m sorry but just no...
  • 5 6
 Gravel bikes are boring... still
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