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Must Watch: Gravel Riding Like You've Never Seen Before in Gabriel Wibmer's 'Gravel Mania'

Dec 13, 2023 at 6:57
by rasoulution  

New tricks, new lines, new best times. Boundaries are there to be pushed. This applies in the world of mountain biking, as in any other extreme sport. When street trials and freeride pro Gabriel Wibmer sets his sights on such a limit, it is usually spectacular - often with the attribute “don’t try this at home”. This is also the case this time, when everything revolves around the Austrian’s choice of bike. Instead of enduro or downhill, he sends his CANYON gravel bike on a tour de force through some of the most famous bike parks in Austria, Germany and Switzerland.

The Lienz and Kals bike parks in East Tyrol, the Bike Kingdom Lenzerheide in Switzerland, the Innsbruck and Serfaus-Fiss-Ladis bike parks in Tyrol, and the Samerberg bike park in Germany are true mountain bike paradises. But instead of full suspension, wide flat bars and knobby tires, Gabriel Wibmer relies on the exact opposite: no suspension, drop bars and - at least for him – an unusual geometry with significantly narrower tires. That's right, Gabriel Wibmer rides his CANYON Grizl gravel bike. In fact, only two identical bikes were used in the entire edit, both of which survived filming unscathed.

And that’s saying something, because Gabriel didn’t spare himself or the material:

bigquotesRiding trails on the gravel bike was intense. I'm used to zero suspension from the trials bike, but the drop bar and the geometry were quite a challenge. Your head is so far forward that you're almost hanging upside down on the bike, the brakes on the drop bars are elsewhere than I'm used to and that combined with single trails and jumps - that was pretty intense. The low weight of the bike was also a problem when jumping, as even the tiniest gusts of wind could cause real trouble. Estimating the right speed wasn't easy either - the gravel bike is so much faster than a downhill bike. Also, you feel every single stone and every brake bump.Gabriel Wibmer

Credit Stephan Wibmer wibmer studios
Credit Stephan Wibmer wibmer studios

The most difficult scene turned out to be the Crankworx Whip-Off jump in Innsbruck. Despite Gabriel and his team only needing two attempts, they were primarily a mental challenge. For more “normality”, Gabriel held the bike at the top of the handlebars and therefore had no chance to brake during the roll-in. Bottom line: he had to jump, whether it was too fast, too slow or just right.

bigquotesWe wanted to do something completely new that no one had done before us. And since gravel biking is generating a lot of hype right now, it made sense to do something cool with it and take it into a new level. At the beginning we didn't really know how far we could push things. I'm super happy with the result and how we made every idea come to life. However, during the video shoot, I also realized how cool it is that mountain bikes exist.Gabriel Wibmer

Gabriel Wibmer:
YouTube: https://www.youtube.com/@wibmergabriel
Instagram: https://www.instagram.com/wibmergabriel/
TikTok: https://www.tiktok.com/@wibmergabriel

Credit Stephan Wibmer wibmer studios
Credit Stephan Wibmer wibmer studios

Credit Stephan Wibmer wibmer studios


Author Info:
rasoulution avatar

Member since Oct 25, 2010
487 articles

119 Comments
  • 136 1
 Don't let my wife see this. She'll never believe me again when I say that my bike is holding me back.
  • 41 1
 On one hand, if your wife is looking at PB....that is kinda cool.
  • 11 1
 When it comes to biking you have to make it so your spouse will never believe you about anything IE... The number of bikes you have, the amount of parts in your parts bin, the price you paid for ANYTHING, how far the trails are, who are your riding buddies etc etc etc. That way they just give up and let us have our own little delusional world we can escape to.
  • 11 2
 @johnnyrox: well said, I've gotten to the point where she is so confused she doesn't even know when I get a new bike....nirvana
  • 12 0
 @RadBartTaylor: Another great tip. ALWAYS make sure all your bikes are the same color and stick with that.
  • 4 0
 @johnnyrox: My bikes are the same colour as the car
  • 5 0
 @RadBartTaylor: all my bikes are black and gold with identical component spec for a reason
  • 6 0
 @johnnyrox: I made the mistake of loudly announcing "Hey! We have 27 bikes! Cool!"
Now I'm having to justify them...
  • 8 0
 @bluemonkeywrench: that is your mistake....we all know the math is N+1 but when reporting out its N/5....clean up your accounting Mr. Smile
  • 8 0
 You guys should get divorced.
  • 2 0
 @scotteh: this is the way.
  • 2 0
 @RadBartTaylor: oh, she knows.
  • 2 0
 @johnnyrox: that! Same reason why New parts on my bikes are always black. No exception.
  • 69 1
 Roadies: YEEEAH look how capable gravel bikes are! We can do anything mountain bikers can!

MTBers: That would be a lot more fun on a MTB.
  • 9 0
 PBers: maybe t's not the bike that matters ...
  • 17 7
 Oh yes, the part where the "cool kids" of pinkbike tell me how uncool I am for gravel/road riding, despite the fact that probably every pro mountain biker, from downhill, enduro, to xc, all train on drop bar bikes. Why are you so afraid to admit skinny tires just might be a lot of fun?
  • 12 3
 @Lokirides: Skinny tire on road.......not fun. Skinny tires on dirt - fun.
  • 7 6
 This video sorta destroys the whole concept of a downcountry bike.
  • 4 0
 @Lokirides: It's more on the attire that I'm afraid of.lol I cant do roadie shorts. haha.
  • 3 1
 @Evo6: if you're not able to have fun on skinny tires on the road you're doing it wrong.
  • 4 4
 @Lokirides: clearly it’s far cooler to shit on people for enjoying riding a different type of bike.
  • 3 1
 @Lokirides: I dont train on a road because its fun, its just the best way to get miles in. Everyone is welcome to enjoy the things they enjoy, if road and gravel is your thing, thats great for you, but youre wrong, and I hate you....(sarcasm implied)
I'm not a fan of the road bike, but it is a means to an end, much like eating chicken and rice.....
  • 4 1
 @Lokirides: there's a big difference between "train on drop bar bike" and "fun".
  • 1 0
 @Lokirides: i’m not telling you you’re uncool, I’m just pointing out the actual reactions that are going on in most peoples heads probably on this here mountain biking website
  • 2 2
 @onawalk: bro. don't put rice as a example. lol t many Asian riding bikes man. haha.
  • 14 0
 @rickybobby19: I just get annoyed with the divisive clan bs of "mountain bikers" vs "roadies" - which goes both ways - when I think cycling should be a big tent kind of sport. I just LOVE riding bikes. I love enduro bikes, xc bikes, gravel bikes, road bikes, dirt jumpers, bmx, trials, etc - they are ALL so frickin' fun! So I hope to discourage you from the stereotyping / us vs them mentality that creeps into all levels and kinds of human culture. At the end of the day, these labels are just a bunch of bs, which a video like this proves. Sending the whip-off jump on a gravel bike? Straight mind-blowing. Get rad and stay rad everybody, if it's got two wheels I hope it makes you smile.
  • 2 0
 @Tumal1: Thats a weird reply
  • 1 1
 @Lokirides: I would like to point out that you started your original comment with "the part where the "cool kids" of pinkbike tell me how uncool I am" thereby making a divisive claim.....about others making divisive claims, while reading about divisive claims, and then posting further about your hate for divisive claims...Apologies, got stuck in a god damn circle of divisiveness there!

Youre falling into the sterotype that you seem to hate, see how easy it is (or fun maybe)

I have a hard time believing that theres this huge group of people hating on road or gravel cycling, and if they do, why would you possibly care about them?
  • 3 1
 @onawalk: Yes, there are massive amounts of people that hate on road bikers. That negativity wouldn't bother me so much except the dehumanization of roadies leads to the deaths of countless cyclists, and I see it frequently in various forms on Pinkbike and social media. Even gravel bikes get loads of hate on Pinkbike - the original comment implied (to me) that only roadies ride gravel bikes and don't have fun like mountain bikers. My original comment was not intended to be divisive - just calling out some toxic culture. I say again, love your roadie brothers and sisters, we're all just having a good time on two wheels.
  • 2 5
 @Lokirides: Some of us are having a good time on two wheels, unless of course youre on a road or gravel bike, then.....thats a strange sort of fun. But so is a full suspension BMX bike built for bike park trails, or friggin trials bikes (might as well just be on a damn pogo stick)

and what about our brother, er, half brothers...on unicycles, why are you trying to drive a divide between us by not hoping theyre also having a good time...

Honestly, I think you took the OG comment a little too seriously, and if you cant laugh at yourself (especially while dressed in your colour coordinated grape smuggling uniform), this might not be the place for you, or it is, what the hell do I know....

(you gotta give me props for the half brothers comment)
  • 51 0
 This is top tier content. This is a top 5 video of the year. The fist pump jump and the total front wheel squirrel sketch moment on landing at 2:28 - 2:30. I would have wrecked for sure, but Gabriel makes it look like no big deal. Videos like these make me want to go ride my bike; aka take the wrong bike on your favorite trails.
  • 4 0
 Couldn't agree more. Thoroughly just enjoyed every second. Nuff said.
  • 2 0
 Not quite sure it didn’t get a “must watch” label. It was pretty damn rad.
  • 5 0
 Absolutely. I sometimes think the "must watch" headline is a little overused, but this is genuinely amazing in every way.
  • 1 1
 It is top tier, well filmed, amazing riding, great scenery...but most of it has been sped up when there was no need to do that. Down vote away...
  • 44 0
 Let’s not let this obscure our mission on PB comments, which is to argue about half degrees of head angle and mm of travel.
  • 12 0
 That thing probably has a self modulating head angle now
  • 2 0
 The 67.492 degree Head Angle on the 143.756mm Travel got robbed!!!!!
  • 2 0
 The standout feature of this gravel bike is the cable routing
  • 3 0
 The Grizl’s HA is 72.5! That’s some commitment.
  • 37 0
 I think I get the message if this video. "Kids, you're overbiked" but really can we talk about the wheels he is riding, those are the real champs of this
  • 7 0
 I saw them flex in a few of those corners! I’m guessing he destroyed a couple sets along the way.
  • 2 1
 @TheR: there was a couple of times you could hear the wheel rub the frame, It brought me back to a time of the Trek Liquid/Gary Fisher Sugar. The flex in those bikes was unreal!
  • 2 0
 @onawalk: and so cozy
  • 1 0
 @onawalk: I think those sounds were the thin sidewall tires folding/burping. I ride very thin XC tires, and when cornered hard the sidewalls start to buckle and fold.
  • 2 0
 I don't know about this case in particular, but 29 and 700c are the same thing, so its entirely possible to build a 'downhill' wheelset with a narrower hub. It's hard to see his spoke lacing in this video but I wouldn't be surprised if they did this. It doesn't make it any less impressive
  • 28 1
 Well sh$t...... tosses enduro bike in trash can.
  • 28 2
 .... Quietly pulling his enduro bike out of the trash can ~ SCORE!
  • 19 1
 Super skilled but I'd love to know how much shit he broke during the filming of this.
  • 1 0
 Do you mean bike parts or body parts? Something tells me it's almost equal between broken wheels and broken ankles.
  • 2 0
 At first I was disappointed that the full face helmet wasn’t gravel. Then I quickly understood.
  • 1 0
 NGL I watched to see if the bike would break into pieces.
  • 2 0
 Two bikes were used, both of which are unscathed (structurally at least)
  • 1 0
 @Jules15: Very impressive. I'm guessing you were on the shoot team. Any idea what wheels were used?
  • 2 0
 @artursagat: pretty sure they are the standard Dt Swiss gravel wheels on the 90s throwback model he's riding
  • 2 0
 @artursagat: I wasn't on the shoot team I'm just relaying what's stated in the article
  • 12 0
 Is it possible? Yes. Will your body be able sustain decades of riding like that? No. Some of those impacts looked brutal..really shows how amazing his bike handling is to rip those trails on that bike, bravo.
  • 16 2
 Always knew gravel was the future of mountain biking
  • 11 0
 That manual landing... unreal.

I like to wheelie a road/gravel bike when I'm on them; the positioning makes it pretty tough compared to a DJ/trials/MTB. Landing a jump in a manual on one is next level.
  • 3 0
 that's true. I've had my gravel bike for two years but it still feels so sketchy to wheelie with it. I've seen a few crazy gravel videos, but Gabriel looks incredibly composed here
  • 1 0
 I thought the lanual was the coolest part of the video. The pitch of a gravel bike on a wheelie is insane. I must admit I have looped out on mine.
  • 2 0
 Next level? there is at least 5 levels in between, all of which have me spending time lying on the ground.
  • 13 0
 That needs a "Must Watch" tag. Totally ridiculous and highly entertaining.
  • 8 0
 Extreme gravel is rad. But, my teeth and bones feel loose and rattled after watching that.
  • 7 0
 My Gawd, that was a bit crazy! Well done.
  • 7 0
 Well deserving of a Must Watch tag,that was proper full send action.
  • 6 0
 The first few seconds were unreal, the scenery was something else, and then it was 5 minutes of being totally blown away.
  • 6 0
 Insane!
  • 4 0
 That was some sick riding and that dude has some mad skills! I still don't want a gravel bike though.
  • 1 0
 In my best "Bob" voice...what if - and believe me this is a hypothetical - but what if.....drop bars on a dh bike? Get them to proper height, work on geo a bit.....I dunno, may be something to it?
  • 2 0
 It's hard for me to explain to my Enduro bro friends how much fun I have just ripping a path on my gravel bike... this video comes close to demonstrating that feeling Wink
  • 1 0
 Gotta say I'm thinking about get a gravel bike every time I ride the one I pushed my gf to by. Then comes the comparing to xc bike
  • 3 0
 1. Will canyon attend all warranty claims on broken gravel bikes for 2024?
2. Is this Fabio's Wibmer's Cousin?
  • 1 0
 Incredible and fun video! To do what he did with drop bars is amazing. No brakes when your hands are up on the bars is sketchy, and landing some of those features with your hands so close together is difficult too.
  • 1 0
 I owned a gravel bike for a year. While watching this video, it had me terrified and anxious. Good hell that's some scary stuff to do with wonky gravel bike handling. I can't even do some of that stuff on a DH bike.
  • 7 3
 Poor bike park etiquette
  • 4 0
 The dudes got talent
  • 1 0
 "Gravel Riding Like You've Never Seen Before"... apart from in "Road Bike Party 3" with Sam Pilgrim...

Still... Love it and great vid nonetheless Big Grin
  • 1 0
 For sale add reads :
"For sale, like-new custom Canyon Grizzle, ridden once. Super-ultra capable bike. Pedals and dropper post not included."
  • 1 0
 That's super impressive, make me want to ride simpler bike! Awesome video !
  • 1 1
 Wait, isn't that Fabio Wibmer's cousin? /s

Great riding! I'd be scared of the bike folding in half at one of these harder landings
  • 1 0
 Great, just what we need. Another classification of bikes.....call it Gravel Park. Or adventure DH?
  • 2 0
 Being under biked is actually really fun.
  • 1 0
 I really wanted to hate this, but it was really flippin’ rad! Great video!
  • 1 0
 Golden Raspberry award noms for all the bystanders in all of the Wibmer videos
  • 2 0
 Best gravel edit of the year.
  • 2 0
 If he had fillings, he doesn't anymore.
  • 1 0
 I know money is tight for professional mountain bike athletes at the moment, but there's no need to resort to that.
  • 2 1
 This is how lycra clad gravel riders imagine they look while riding flat gravel roads.
  • 2 0
 Looks like the steeper HTAs are working...
  • 1 0
 Great, great editing! And the riding was of course amazing! Keep up the great work on these fun videos!
  • 2 0
 This is proof that most mountain bikers are over biked.
  • 1 0
 More MTB than most MTB videos! I enjoyed that more than I thought would. So much steeze, lol awesome.
  • 1 0
 He's just proven a point that you don't need full sus bike to hit those manicured trails!
  • 5 6
 Was it their intention for this to be an indictment on how smooth bike park tracks are now? Because that’s what I’m taking from this. ‍♂️
  • 3 0
 Honestly, I am amazed because from my experience Austrian bikepark is the Home of Braking Bumps, so I wonder how he could possibly find it so smooth, they my be so max for a week Smile
  • 2 0
 Rowdy.
  • 1 0
 Is this Levy's (aspirational) future?
  • 2 0
 Big wheel BMX
  • 1 0
 His poor back lol. Seriously, incredible riding.
  • 2 0
 Well that was insane
  • 2 0
 This guy gravels.
  • 1 0
 This shit was full on impressive!
  • 2 0
 Props for the bar hump
  • 1 0
 Slacker headtube angle warriors left the chat.
  • 1 0
 I'm starting to appreciate modern advertising...
  • 1 0
 Nice salto
  • 1 0
 Wicked
  • 1 1
 lol why'd they keep staging him being a dick to children
  • 1 0
 mind blowing!
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