If ever there was a discipline where tyre choice can make or break a ride it's gravel or multi terrain riding. In a single ride you can encounter a full range of surfaces from paved roads and dirt tracks, to gravel, mud and rocks. And with seasonal or daily weather variations, the conditions can differ drastically from one ride to the next over the same terrain. While no tyre can cover every situation perfectly, there are now some great options out there that can handle a huge range of surfaces very well.As gravel and adventure bike enthusiasts ourselves, we've spent [...]
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So far Epic Cycles has created 36 blog entries.
One of the main questions I was asked before, during, and after, my ride on the GBDIVIDE was what kit I was taking. Whether it was my camping setup, the bike itself, or the bags I was carrying, people seemed to be interested in what I took with me for fifteen days on the road and trails. I didn't have any 'rules' for how I was going to do this ride, but I ended up taking a self-supported approach. Although I purchased food and drink along the way, I carried everything else that I needed with me on the [...]
A month ago I set off to ride GBDURO, and a couple of days after that it was all over. I had injured myself, scratched from the event, and the journey was left incomplete. As I sat at the side of the road the sense of sadness and disappointment set in, and I couldn't quite reconcile how big of an anticlimax this was. I had envisioned completing the GBDIVIDE and rolling into John O'Groats with a sense of achievement that easily overwhelmed the exhaustion. This was a ride that meant a lot to me, and it represented so much [...]
We couldn't be happier to announce that Salsa Cycles has joined our growing line-up of epic adventure bikes. Whenever we discussed how we could add more depth and diversity to our range of gravel, all-road, and adventure bikes, the name at the top of everyone's list was Salsa. Salsa’s strapline sums them up perfectly: “Adventure by Bike”. They fundamentally believe that a sense of adventure makes life better – however you personally define adventure. Salsa view the bike as “a path to new places, new people, and amazing experiences”. And who are we to argue! At a time when [...]
The week(s) in riding: It’s been a few weeks since my last installment of The Gravel Diaries. I’ve been busy preparing for the upcoming GBDuro, and it’s turned into a substantial undertaking. For those who don’t know about the event, I (and around 15 others) will be setting off from Land’s End on the 1st August to ride self-sufficiently all the way to John O’Groats, via Wales, over a mixture of road and gravel. In light of the current Covid-19 situation, we now have to carry everything we need with us from start to finish, and are not permitted [...]
The Week In Riding: After taking a few days off the bike, followed by a couple of shorter days to ease the legs back into it, I embarked on my biggest ever week of riding. I wanted to do a run of back-to-back long rides to see how my body adapted to the build up of fatigue. Having historically always stuck to a pretty regimented training plan, where I would take a recovery day every three days on average, I'm not that accustomed to getting back on the bike day after day and riding very long hours again and [...]
Getting Into Gravel: For a lot of people, including myself, gravel riding is a pretty new concept. Coming from the road, I had to change my style of riding a lot, and embrace the fact that I was a beginner again. Bike handling was always something I felt confident with on the road, so I was surprised by how many new skills I was having to hone for gravel. When it came to making the transition into off-roading, or when I was heading out into some more difficult terrain for the first time, I went with the approach of [...]
The week in riding: Without planning on it, over the past week I spent more hours in the saddle than ever before. I might have trained harder in my former life as a full-time cyclist, but I've never ridden as much. And I've definitely never enjoyed myself on the bike more. It's taken a long time for me to unlearn my previous way of riding, and to be able to just kick back and have fun with it. There always had to be a strict plan, a watching of the numbers, and a constant analysis. There's definitely a place [...]
Since its initial launch last year, the Cannondale Topstone Carbon has been a genre-defining bike. Taking the world of gravel riding by storm, the innovative and reliable KingPin suspension allowed people to venture into new territory on the trails, whilst maintaining the speed and agility of a drop barred bike. We fell in love with the Topstone Carbon from the first pedal stroke, as it opened up a new world of adventurous fun. Given this bike's runaway success, it would have been easy for Cannondale to rest on their laurels. However, they've stepped up the gravel game once again [...]
Who am I and where am I starting from? Before launching into the riding, routes and reviews of this series, I realised I should quickly give a little background on myself. I was formerly a professional road racer, and spent all of my time on skinny tyres and tarmac. During my years spent riding in the World Tour, and those spent getting there, I barely touched the rough stuff. In fact I didn't even own a mountain bike, let alone a gravel bike, until the last couple of years. For the past six months I've been riding long distances [...]