To take full advantage of your Gravel, you need to add some very useful accessories that will allow you to make the most of it and take advantage of all its possibilities.
Like all bikes, the Gravel is sold naked. You have to add pedals, emergency equipment, gps, bottle holders so that it is ready to roll! Let’s see how to choose these supplements and useful accessories.
The shoe pedals
Why not use shoes and road pedals on your Gravel? Nothing actually prevents it technically. But from a practical point of view, this is different matter! Indeed, on the bitumen no difference with a road bike. But with the Gravel you can stop to eat, visit… but also walking with road holds is painful. In Gravel, we also ride on uncoated.
There, you can walk on soft floors but you can also get your foot out to regain balance. So we need shoes and pedals that drain the mud and snap on both sides. That’s better. We will therefore equip ourselves with a bicycle-cross or mountain bike type. It’s up to you to see if or not you need metal spikes under the soles.
On the road you always find a way to cope. In the undergrowth, not really. To orient yourself, you need a GPS meter capable of giving traces off the roads. You can also take a picture of the maps of the area on your smartphone before you go, remembering that the wooded areas where the Gravel evolves may be white areas in terms of GSM coverage… It is therefore recommended that you be self-sufficient.
If you are planning very long outings, also plan to purchase a charging battery. There are very autonomous GPS. But the standard is around 15/20 hours. Otherwise a map and a compass, it’s good too!
The recovery equipment
You can burst, have something that goes wrong on the bike, and as with the Gravel, you venture away from the beaten path, you have to be autonomous. And foresight! Even if you’re in Tubeless, still bring a suitable air chamber (at least) and enough to disassemble the tires. Your multi-tool will need to be complete and have a chain drift and possibly a radius key in addition to the most common keys. Put it all in a well-strapped bag! We won’t forget the mini pump. Even if you use CO2 cartridges, it can be used to restore tire pressure.
The bottle holders and saddle bags
Take solid and adapted ones to this practice. Everything is put to the test and the few grams earned with lightweight components won’t really be useful if the hardware is not held in place. This applies to bottle holders that are very exposed and to different bags. For these, think about the volume you’re really going to have. No need to stuff them, at the wrong time you can be sure that the closures will let go! So incorporate the material you’re going to take with you, the clothes, accessories and foods you take with you and feel free to take several bags. One saddle for mechanical assistance, one frame for feeding and one hanger for clothing for example.
Wheels and tires
Of course your original Gravel is equipped with wheels and tires, but as with a road bike, you may be trying to customize it to suit its practice or the changing terrain. At the wheel level, it will be on the weight gain and ease of maintenance that we can work. In some cases we can also move on another dimension, the Gravel are in 700, but they are also sometimes compatible with the 650 B or 27.5. If you ride on very brittle cake terrain can be very helpful. The tires can also be adapted to your practice. If you are on soft ground, you will not have the same needs as a practitioner on hard floors and vice versa. Now the golden rule is to keep a cap with a fairly rolling central part.