Last week, for Training Tuesday, we helped you start getting your body ready for a long gravel event, but what about your bike? Preparing a bike for a long gravel event takes some planning and preparations as well. For today's Mechanical Monday, we've got five top tips to get you ready for hours of gravel grinding.
5 Tips for Getting Your Bike Ready for a Gravel Race:
Gear Up by Gearing Down
Too often gravel racers make the assumption that just because they face steeper hills in a cyclocross race than what they’ll face in an upcoming gravel course, their cyclocross gearing will be just fine.
It might be. If you’re strong, fit, and familiar with the terrain, you could just “run what you brung.”
However, it’s worth stating the obvious. After several hours of riding, your legs might feel different than after 30 minutes of racing cyclocross, and being able to sit and spin up a long gradual climb is a godsend when you’ve still got another 30 miles and 4 more climbs to go.
We’ve written a lot already on options to go lower, whether it’s adding more range to your 1x setup, or extending the range of your double chainring drivetrain. Check out those prior Mechanical Monday pieces for specific component recommendations to reduce (and possibly add) gearing inches.