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How to Ride on Gravel

You’ll probably find gravel on the surface of hard pack trails but it is generally is an unpredictable and unfriendly surface. It usually forms in patches and it is very hard to determine its depth or to even see it at all. But as some tracks are entirely covered by gravel or have large unavoidable patches of the stuff, you need to develop a technique for riding through it.

The best way to tackle gravel is to avoid it. If there is an alternative line then take it. Gravel usually gets pushed off the frequently used part of the track. On corners it gets pushed to the outside of the bend. You’ll be fine if you ride in a straight line, and you can ride as fast as you like. If you must steer, pedal or brake you need to very smooth and light. Sudden actions will result in the tires slipping.

When cornering, do not use the front brake if you are cornering. It’s best to arrest your speed before the corner and not use the brakes at all when actually turning.

For climbing, remain seated and shift to a low gear with a cadence of around 90 revolutions a minute to prevent the rear wheel from slipping.


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