By Ambassador Jorge Toledo

Read his full, original post on his blog here.

Gravel bikes are not known for having the best features to tackle tough descents. They are designed rather to go on dirt tracks without much difficulty. Even so, I think it is important to give you some tips so that you can better go downhill with Gravel Bikes.

The above video is in Spanish, but you can easily turn on your native languge subtitles in the closed captions/setting box in the lower right corner of the video.

Hold on to the bottom of the handlebar

The first mistake that many make, especially cyclists who come from road cycling, is to put their hands on the brakes. It is true that in this position we are more up, at a point less prone to coming out of noses on our bike. The problem is that this is less common than a hand slipping over the brake, due to fatigue or sweat. Putting your hand on the lower part of the handlebar or handlebar, we will be much safer. Our hands will hardly slip away.

Have at least one finger on the brake

This is essential to modulate the speed. A good practice is to reduce or brake progressively and thus avoid loss of traction due to unwanted skidding. We will also brake more quickly in the event of an unexpected obstacle.

Use proper tires and pressure

Gravel Bikes are known for being very versatile. But the saying of Who much covers little squeezes is also known and true . In other words, tires that are good on the road because they are very rolling, go bad on gravel. And therefore, they go bad on the descents with the Gravel Bike. On the other hand, it will help us a lot to lower ourselves better, bring adequate pressures. As we would put it on XC bikes, very little pressures are used above 1 kg. Obtaining greater grip and braking capacity. Unfortunately this will also create more drag on our gravel bike. Still it is one of the best tricks to go down better with a Gravel Bike.

Delay your position on the Gravel bike

Carrying a more rearward position, according to the slope we are descending, will help us better overcome certain obstacles without lifting the rear wheel off the ground. In this way we will also maintain more inertia, which leads me to the next tip.

Keep inertia to overcome obstacles

This is a small mental barrier that we all have to overcome little by little, without crazy things. The faster you go over an obstacle or group of obstacles or potholes, the less we will notice the obstacle. For example, a group of roots with holes in the center, that if we go at low speed, the wheel will enter completely inside them. Which will make us notice this obstacle to the maximum. However, if we go faster, the wheel will not have time to bury itself in this hole. It will happen in a more superficial way and we will notice it less. We will also go faster and safer.

Always wear glasses and gloves

Oddly enough, wearing glasses and gloves helps us avoid having to dodge, as if it were the Matrix movie , all kinds of branches, brambles or stones (Let’s see who dodges one of these). Not having to pay attention to the safety of our eyes and hands, will make us be more focused on the road, choose the correct lines and go down much better.

Do not exceed your limits

This goes against all energy drink slogans . We have to overcome our limits little by step. Step after step. I have been riding a high level bike for more than 25 years. I’ve seen people who make the biggest jumps in a week, and finally get crushed against a rock. It is much more advisable and healthy to go little by little, knowing yourself as a rider and knowing the limitations of your bike. Adapt your style to it or vice versa. Finding safety downhill through practice. Everything comes!

I hope that these 7 Tricks to go down better with a Gravel Bike have served you and that you start applying them to improve. Don’t forget to subscribe to our Telegram channel!