Gravel Bikes: Here to Stay
It’s no secret; 2020 saw a cycling boom like never before. COVID-19 secured the bicycle as the preferred, socially-distant method to exercise, commute, and adventure seek (see how to safely cycle here). If you’ve been eyeing a bicycle recently, it’s time to manage expectations on a delivery timeline; demand is so high that some bikes are back-ordered through Summer 2021!
Industry analysts highlighted that the booming electric bike (eBike) sector received an even greater boost this past year. However, another fast-growing sector is also emerging; Gravel Bikes. Gravel is the only segment besides electric bikes to have over 100% growth this past year.
A NEW CATEGORY
Gravel Bikes modify a road frame to achieve geometries more oriented for comfort and off-road. The gravel segment tends to use larger tires and lower gearing than their road counterparts. These “do anything” bicycles have taken the place of once-common light, front-suspension mountain bikes, providing all-terrain prowess with less complexity in a more svelte package. Gravel bikes are typically used in bikepacking, adventure, mixed riding, and in some race series (cyclocross bikes are performance-oriented gravel bikes).
A CHOICE FOR MANY
Gravel offers a wider range of options and intensity levels for their riders. Road bikes used to be the quintessential performance category. However, their comfort trade-offs and hyperfocus on “watts,” “cadence,” and “cutting grams” have historically initimated novice riders. Gravel has a wider intensity range than their road counterparts. A fixation in adventure and comfort allows Gravel riders to grow into their bicycles without the intimidation factor. However, competitive riders do have their place in Gravel at the other end of the spectrum. Competitive events within the Gravel sector grew significantly, with over 450 U.S. events held in 2019 (Source).
Safety is also pushing the adoption of Gravel Bikes. Nearly half a million U.S. cyclist traffic accidents occurred in 2015 (Source). As paved roads and highways become more dangerous for riders, alternative routes without the worry of cars are becoming preferred. Gravel bikes are best suited for riders to tackle these new terrains.
EXPLORE WITHOUT BATTERY ANXIETY
Gravel Bikes are growing at a break-neck pace. Their comfort, adoption, and flexibility benefits are appealing to most riders. As Gravel cyclists explore away from populated roads, their devices must remain powered to stay connected and safe. This can prove difficult, as devices can consume up to 7X more power while biking (read here for top cyclist battery killers).
PedalCell is the ultimate bicycle power source. Its patented CadenceX technology converts rider motion into continuous and stable charge. PedalCell mounts in minutes on nearly any Gravel Bike frame and is housed in a weather-resistant housing to survive mother nature’s worst. PedalCell ensures that Gravel riders keep their smartphone, lights, GPS, cameras and other USB devices powered. Go on adventures worry-free with PedalCell.