Adventure bikes are the next big thing… well, sort of.
We have been watching and working with this category of bikes for a few years now and it seems to be finally gaining traction here in the Midwest. So, what’s the big idea?
The adventure bike is the do-all bike, the gravel bike, the cyclocross bike…they are all in the family. From a function perspective, we’re talking a machine that is not limited to 28mm or less tires and is designed with stability and comfort as primary concerns. This group of designs springs from the idea that you may want to jump off the pavement, onto gravel, rails to trails, or even dirt tracks and keep on riding. In short, it embraces the
dirty part of the ride.
So, what should you be looking for in an adventure bike?
Engineered Steering Stability
An adventure bike needs to make it easier for you to hold a straight line on bumpy surfaces. You’ll want to be able to reach for you bottle without swerving around. The trade-off is a bike that is not quite so quick to dive into the curve (not a bad thing unless you are blasting criterium corners).
Superior braking power
Disc brakes are the best way to go because they handle the off-road conditions, especially stopping power for wet weather and terrain. They also give you:
- finely modulated braking
- no brake deficit with a damaged rim
- no rim load/wear from brake pads
- greater clearance creates options for tire/wheel size
There’s always a trade off in these things. The downside of disc systems is a slight increase in weight, air drag, and a lack of wheel interchangeability with non-disc systems.
Is it New or Retro?
One inspiration of these bikes is bike design from the heroic age of cycling, machines designed to be raced over the white gravel roads in Italy or the rough pavement of France that proliferated between the great wars. Indeed, you will find the dimensions and steering geometry is very much retro. In our modern age, we look back to the less trafficked, mellower times and places…perhaps these bikes can take us there.
Cronometro Adventure Bikes
We have 3T, Open, Seven Cycles, Cervelo, Scott, Colnago and Parlee, all of whom make these versatile bikes.
Come by the shop or give us a call, and we can talk about which
might be best for you!