Longtime GRAVELBIKE readers know that I’m a big fan of Spurcycle’s products. The company’s multi-tool was featured in 2018’s Pocket Tool Roundup, and the Spurcycle Bell earned a coveted, Things I Like endorsement back in 2017. Recently I had the opportunity to sit down with company co-founder Nick Slone to discuss the Spurcycle’s history, their design process, and what we can expect from them in 2020.
Gravel Wheel & Tire Trends
After spending three days perusing booths at the 2019 Sea Otter Classic, I can say without hesitation that it’s a very good time to be a (gravel) tire nerd. Nearly every tire manufacturer–both big and small–now offers (or will be offering) dedicated gravel tires. But it’s not just tire companies that are sliding into the gravel space. Rim and wheel vendors are responding to gravel riders’ needs with dedicated models designed for mixed-surface use.
Gravel–The New, Old Hotness
California’s Sea Otter Classic (SOC) has long been a major source of new product announcements (at least for North America). But with the demise of the Interbike trade show, Sea Otter can now claim the crown for the premiere cycling event in the United States. In previous years, the gravel segment was represented by a relatively small group of companies. This year’s event, however, saw a major increase in gravel offerings. And as gravel matures, we’re seeing more diversification in the types of bikes being offered. The traditional, road-inspired gravel bike continues to dominate, but specialized models such as dedicated gravel racing machines and bikepacking-influenced rigs are gaining traction.
Here are GRAVELBIKE’s top-9 Instagram photos for 2018.
The recent Camp Fire has become the deadliest wildfire in California’s history. As of November 19th, the death toll has risen to 80, with 993 people who are unaccounted for. To help support the relief efforts, GRAVELBIKE is donating 100% of the profits from the sale of limited-edition stickers to the Sierra Nevada Camp Fire Relief Fund and the North Valley Animal Disaster Group.
“All about that personality crisis, you got it while it was hot” — New York Dolls
Who would have thought that a line from a 45-year-old song by a bunch of gender-bending glam rockers would so eloquently capture the state of gravel and adventure bikes in 2018? Gravel–and now, adventure–bikes have historically been difficult to define. Only a few short years ago, many gravel bikes were simply re-badged cyclocross rigs fitted with marginally wider tires and lower gears. While some companies did take chances and design their gravel/adventure bikes from the tires up, many were merely derivatives of someone else’s opinion of what a gravel bike was supposed to look like. Continue Reading “2018 Sea Otter Classic — The State of Gravel”