Gravel is definitely the bike category of 2022. With gravel races popping up everywhere, we thought it was about time we try and simplify the equipment choices for our crew of #yoeleobuddies. This is a non-exhaustive list of factors to consider on race day to optimize your G2 or G21 frameset and Yoeleo Offset Gravel Wheels!
Are you more of a gravel racer-weekend warrior or interested in bike-packing?
-G21 has a bike packing geometry with accessory mounts and wider tire clearance vs G2 which is a gravel racing machine. Also, keep in mind that for light gravel your best choice will be a R11-R12 which clears up to 32mm tires.
Are you mostly riding flat gravel roads or roads with many meters of climbing?
If you are mainly riding flat roads go for a profiled rim such as a C50, but if a lot of climbing is involves go for a lower profile rim C30 with a light DT Swiss hub.
How loose is the gravel?
If it is very loose and/or your parkour is rain soaked, you may want maximal clearance and wide tires with an aggressive tread. Keep in mind that for maximum performance, you want to run the narrowest tire possible with the least aggressive tread that will allow you to maintain control around corners. Gravel tires range from 33mm to 50mm so keep in mind you have many different choices in tires.
Tubeless vs Clincher:
For gravel riding, you should always be riding a tubeless setup. It will allow you to run lower pressures for maximal performance and avoid pinch flats. You can also easily solve a flat tire using a tire plug.
650b vs 700c:
650b is gaining some traction in the gravel world. It is mainly used in very muddy conditions or parcours that include very technical-rugged single track. 650b is also very popular for riders transitioning from MTB. Keep in mind that if you are spending the majority of your ride-race in a peloton, you will be disadvantaged using a smaller diameter wheelset and should opt for a 700c.
Tire pressure will range from 25psi to 60psi. The goal here is to use the lowest tire pressure possible without compromising speed in the faster sections. Keep in mind that a comfortable tire pressure that keeps the contact patch of the tire to the ground will always be faster than a bike bouncing around. Tire pressure is also highly influenced by temperature and rider weight.
Evaluating tire tread?
As long as you can see the knobs while cycling through muddy sections, you do not need to opt for a more aggressive tread. The tire should clear mud and maintain cornering performance, if it does not, you are going to wash out.
Evaluating tire width?
Very muddy course? Widder tires might not be the solution! In fact, often times a narrower tire will get to the bottom of the puddle and give you additional grip. A very large tire will be buoyant and cause an aquaplaning effect.
Different types of gravel:
Cat.1 Smooth, well-maintained dirt roads with little to no small gravel chunks.
Go for the road bike with low pressure and 28-30mm tires on R11-R12!
Cat.2 Dirt roads with potholes, washboards and loose corners
G2 with 700c tires and low pressure.
Cat.3 Poorly maintained roads with bigger rocks, ruts and/or sand
G2 with 700c tires with tire-tread optimized for the most important portions of the parcours.
Cat.4 Non-maintained tracks or roads with deep layers of sharp gravel
G21 with 650b wheels or 700c maximizing tire width and lowering pressure, bring tire plugs!
For more information contact about GRAVEL
Gravel Cycling enthusiast and all-round cool guy