Video: Martha Gill Rips a Gravel Bike

Aug 16, 2021 at 8:45
by PNW Components  

We love that gravel bikes land us at the cross section of mountain and road, taking the best of both worlds and allowing us the freedom to explore new terrain in different ways. PNW Ambassador, Martha Gill, outfitted her gravel rig with our full suite of products and put it through its paces in the UK Lake District to show just how capable these bikes can be when you have the right components to unlock their full potential.

Gravel bikes need love too. They re capable of more than meandering along railroad grade trails and city paths and are eager to adventure in search of the same thrills our MTB s experience. Martha Gill s gravel rig takes full advantage of the Coast Cockpit and redesigned Rainier 27.2 as she pushes its limits in the UK s Lake District. Photo by Ben Gerrish of HDDN Media.

Get the most from your gravel rig. The Rainier 27.2 is now equipped with travel adjust to help you dial in your fit and push your gravel bike to its limits.

As Martha so deftly proved, upgrading your gravel bike with our Rainier 27.2 dropper post unlocks a whole new level of fun and adventure. With 125mm of travel, the Rainier 27.2 Gen 3 offers the most drop available in a 27.2 diameter post. While you might not feel comfortable railing berms on your 700c gravel bike like Martha, at least you can take comfort in knowing your equipment won't hold you back.

Gravel bikes need love too. They re capable of more than meandering along railroad grade trails and city paths and are eager to adventure in search of the same thrills our MTB s experience. Martha Gill s gravel rig takes full advantage of the Coast Cockpit and redesigned Rainier 27.2 as she pushes its limits in the UK s Lake District. Photo by Ben Gerrish of HDDN Media.

Gravel bikes need love too. They re capable of more than meandering along railroad grade trails and city paths and are eager to adventure in search of the same thrills our MTB s experience. Martha Gill s gravel rig takes full advantage of the Coast Cockpit and redesigned Rainier 27.2 as she pushes its limits in the UK s Lake District. Photo by Ben Gerrish of HDDN Media.

Gravel bikes need love too. They re capable of more than meandering along railroad grade trails and city paths and are eager to adventure in search of the same thrills our MTB s experience. Martha Gill s gravel rig takes full advantage of the Coast Cockpit and redesigned Rainier 27.2 as she pushes its limits in the UK s Lake District. Photo by Ben Gerrish of HDDN Media.

Gravel bikes need love too. They re capable of more than meandering along railroad grade trails and city paths and are eager to adventure in search of the same thrills our MTB s experience. Martha Gill s gravel rig takes full advantage of the Coast Cockpit and redesigned Rainier 27.2 as she pushes its limits in the UK s Lake District. Photo by Ben Gerrish of HDDN Media.

Rider: Martha Gill
Film/Photo: Ben Gerrish of HDDN Media

The Rainier 27.2 is ready to hit the gravel road and our other droppers are back in stock and waiting for adventure. Whether you're grinding gravel or hitting the trails, we've got what you need: PNW Components


62 Comments

  • 31 5
 I love the gravel bike action for the riding that is too dull on an mtb but too much for the road bike. Opens up loads of riding that would not be worth while normally.
  • 7 3
 absolutely. it also makes the rides that are half pavement for access more bearable
  • 13 3
 We couldn't agree more. Gravel riding is a fun in between when we're looking to shake things up, get a little uncomfortable, and cover a lot of ground at the same time.
  • 4 4
 @pnwcomponents: ignore the haters. Martha an amazing rider. Here's a self filmed edit from Vancouver with my Pine Dropper on my CX/Gravel rig from the heart of Covid Winter. 27.2 PNW for the win! @dutchcanadacx on insta!

vimeo.com/499480569
  • 1 0
 @dr-airtime: leuk filmpje en lekker Grolsch bier
  • 2 0
 @vhdh666: LOL. I'm actually half-swiss! Two cyclocross crazy Dutch friends pulled my into Cross hence the Dutch jersey!
  • 21 5
 Cool, Martha is an amazing rider great skills. But I watch this and think "why not an XC rig??" Has a dropper and all....
  • 10 0
 Not gunna lie... I enjoyed the clip- but had the same thought. Maybe gravel bikes like this are great for someone who can only have 1 bike for one reason or another- that makes some sense to me... but otherwise, it strikes me as kind of silly.
  • 4 0
 In this case you're probably right. But 95%+ of people aren't riding 'gravel' like that. That was probably used for cool shots for the video and definitely is a 'normal' gravel ride.
  • 28 3
 @phobospwns: personal anecdote on gravel bikes I guess. So I have a couple of bikes and I tend to lean to the gravity side of things but I also own a gravel bike. My enduro bike handles your standard xc ride fine but is a bit slow. I also enjoy true "gravel" roads which are plentiful near me and I enjoy some road riding. A gravel bike lets me take roads for a ways quickly, hop onto some unimproved road, and then maybe sneak in a little xc. If I bought a pure xc bike, I would seldom pick it over my trail/enduro bike. I grab the gravel bike and hit easy enough trails because it is different.
  • 7 2
 @adrennan: This and hitting even mildly tech stuff at speed is terrifying on a gravel bike. It makes green trails fun.
  • 5 1
 @adrennan: yep, I've got a gravel bike that is sporty that is used for 95% of my "fast road rides", my CX racing, commuting, absurdly long single day mixed surface rides where there is road, gravel, singletrack and some stuff that was once a road or trail... I have a Fargo that is sitting on knobby 2.4" rubber and that is my bike packing bike and also runs full time fenders, dynamo lights and was my commuter when that was a thing people did. I've also passed lots of full squish bikes going downhill rigid on the Fargo...

THE MOST IMPORTANT PART - droppers on all bikes makes all bikes better!!
  • 6 2
 or just, why..
  • 2 1
 @adrennan: Agreed on the right tool for the job. I can't even access tarmac road riding from my house without going down (and later back up) a half mile of 14+ grade dirt/chunk gravel driveway. I also can't do a loop without riding other, similar unimproved climbs and given that half of that loop's descending is on max speed tarmac, no way an XC bike is what I'd want. I get to mix gravel, tarmac, and single track on my daily rides, so hell yea I'll take the gravel bike, dropper and all!
  • 1 1
 I think it all depends on what terrain your day to day ride is. For me, I have lots of technical singletrack a 15 minute pedal away, so I have put 5 times the miles on my "down country"-ish mountain bike as my gravel bike. But when I lived in an urban US area, I did a lot more connecting old canal roads to the few singletracks around, so a gravel bike might have been nice.

That said, if your gravel bike really needs a dropper that means you should have an XC bike, hell we all rode with the fixed posts for years.
  • 2 0
 @jwestenhoff: to be fair it isn't til very recently that droppers for this genre became as light as they are. My gravel rides are typically 50/50 single track/tarmac. I could do the single track without a dropper but I COULD have a dropper. Long after the cost of the dropper has worn off, I will still be finding more joy in that option.

Everyone is going to have a different take on where the line is for ridiculous expenditures for bikes. And everyone is going to go down their own rabbit hole for the niche they dump money into. Gravel bikes just happen to be that hilarious niche right now.
  • 2 2
 Because they couldn't sell you a different bike , if you were inspired to use the one you already own...
  • 2 1
 @bongpill because she was riding on gravel fire roads, the exact thing gravel bikes were meant for. XC bike would be overkill for that terrain.
  • 1 0
 @adrennan: Hey fair enough, enjoy!
  • 1 0
 @phobospwns: Trail bike, dirt jumper, gravel bike. That is the "perfect" setup for me. My trail bike is currently a hardtail fat bike set up suspended with summer mode 29+ wheels. Fingers crossed, soon my new "perfect" setup will be a just less than enduro trail bike, fat/plus hard tail, dirt jumper, gravel bike. When I get a new bike after that we will see what "perfect" looks like. As I type this I am realizing that ever since we had a few paved pump tracks put in last year my gravel bike usage really went down...
  • 3 0
 My balls hurt
  • 1 0
 @ReeferSouthrland: you should probably go get that checked out...
  • 1 0
 @adrennan: At the massage parlor right now.
  • 4 0
 Another case study: I just bought a cheap gravel bike and did almost 90 miles on my first ride by accident. Probably 70% dirt roads, 20% unimproved/ancient roads, 10% beginner MTB trails. It was a joy. I think part of my long-held belief that road riding sucks was due to the fact that riding a mountain bike on the road does, in fact, suck. But riding a gravel bike on the road is efficient, meditative, and pleasant. The gravel bike sucks on singletrack, sure - a lot - but at least it sucks in a way that's funny.
  • 2 0
 @ryetoast: "but at least it sucks in a way that's funny." That made my day. When I first got into mountain biking in Ontario where everything is a very tame XC loop I ended up riding with a random group of people one of which was on a gravel bike. He had no problems keeping up and seemed to be having a great time. I'm sure it was a bit hard on the hands but any well built bike is likely capable of a hell of a lot more than you can throw at it. Don't make me link to the road bike party videos!!! lol
  • 9 0
 Gravel bikes seem practical and well liked but watching one being ridden is something I can't describe as entertaining. For those that disagree I look forward to your insightful and educational comments.
  • 2 3
 Ever seen cyclocross in person? That said. Most cx'ers straight rip if they pick up mtb
  • 1 1
 have you seen yoann barelli hit a line on one?? because that was quality content.
  • 2 0
 @AccidentalDishing: My mate used to ride cyclocross for GB, he couldn't ride for shit. I took him to the local DH spot once, he nearly died. Good pair of legs on the bugger though!!
  • 7 0
 Martha is one of my faves
  • 4 0
 Agreed, I always watch Matha's edits, there's always such a great mix of skill and good fun vibes,
  • 4 0
 as an avid bmx/mtb guy I can assure you I'd absolutely eat it trying to hit a jump while gripped into the drop bars, she rips.
  • 2 0
 The talented rider in the video made the point that many mtb trails can be ridden on a gravel bike. Trade up that 160mm dually for a road rig with cx tires. Just got back from a few days of lift assist/DH riding at a place I've not been to for a while. Plenty of new, buff, gravel bike terrain. Not a single new piece of tech that makes a real mtb useful. Our sport is trading the satisfaction of real challenge for the quick thrill of "fun".
  • 1 0
 If I didn't want to ride tech laps at deer valley, I would seriously consider bringing a dj to ride the flow trails all day.
  • 1 0
 Nice video and Martha is a fantastic rider. Maybe I am missing something, but why would I not just buy a 29er xc Hardtail and put some narrower tyres on it, pump them up Sam Pilgrim style and set the fork up very stiff with a lot of compression damping. Surely that is a light fast rolling bike that can do it all. I can always add drop bars if I feel that is necessary. CX bikes made sense when we were riding 26" bikes, but now with light well sorted 29" wheeled XC bikes, I just don't see why I should buy a gravel bike. Seems like someone in the bike industry came up with a PowerPoint presentation one day about a new type of bike they could convince people they need. Reminds me of the time that toothbrush company tried to get us to buy a toothbrush with a special side which we were to brush our tongues with.
  • 5 2
 She aired that thing out pretty nice, I enjoyed the little mini whips- that's nice shredding with drop bars!
  • 4 1
 Yeah she did! We love goofin around on gravel bikes, but we definitely don't get that zesty with it.
  • 4 0
 That big wide PNW drop bar made riding my touring bike tolerable again.
  • 1 0
 yeah I got super wide carbon cowchippers and it made a huge difference.
  • 5 1
 Gravel bikes are to MTBers what stand-up paddleboards are to kayakers.
  • 6 0
 Being a road, gravel, mtb rider and practicing both stand up paddle and kayak, I have no idea what you mean.
  • 1 0
 @opignonlibre: Its Instagram trendy
  • 3 0
 This is just the best dropper post commercial ever !
  • 1 0
 I have a gravel bike for road riding lol, I like the 40c tires and the "buzz" of the knobbies.
  • 3 0
 heck of a rider!
  • 1 0
 braze yourselves, winter is coming
  • 1 0
 no, fall is coming
  • 1 3
 Gravel bikes are new age fat bikes.. think about it. Catering to such a small portion of people who are too narcissistic to just ride a f*cking mtb or a road bike. Sqaumish to a "T".
  • 2 2
 Cool, but I wonder how easier it will be on a regular mtb?
  • 1 2
 so you are saying it is easier to ride fast on a gravel bike than on a mtb with mtb tires? are you high, son?
  • 3 0
 @Sethimus: I'm pretty sure they're saying the opposite of that.
  • 4 4
 why, why, why.... ???
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