“Gravel Cycling” by former VeloNews tech editor Nick Legan offers everything you’d want from a guide to gravel: insider beta on the world’s 18 most popular gravel grinders, profiles of eight scary, big, multi-day bikepacking routes like Tour Divide and the Arizona Trail, and Legan’s world-class guidance to bike setup, tire and rim compatibility, and how to design your dream gravel bike. It’s all wrapped up with over 350 full color, want-to-be-there photographs that capture the essence of each route or show off drool-worthy rigs bound to inspire some upgrades to your own gravel machine.
Legan explores the quirky personalities of the gravel scene (Barry Wicks, Guitar Ted) and bikepacking pioneers like John Stamstad, who laid tracks that became the Great Divide MTB Route. “Gravel Cycling” includes an in-depth interview with Salsa Cycle’s Joe Meiser, arguably the founding father of the modern gravel bike, who walks Legan through design iterations of the iconic Fargo and Warbird to today’s Vaya and Cuttthroat.
While “Gravel Cycling” is an ideal guide for newcomers to gravel riding and those looking for better race results, the book also gives committed gravel junkies a way to take their riding even farther. Legan, an experienced bikepacker who is gear editor for the Adventure Cycling Association and has raced the Tour Divide, gives his overview of bikepacking gear like frame bags, shelters, and camp kitchen outfits. Legan walks through the differences between gravel and bikepacking bikes and outlines the top priorities riders must consider when planning a big ride.
Gravel riders have discovered that America’s 1.4 million miles of unpaved roads offer a riding escape filled with beautiful views and devoid of smartphone-distracted drivers. Legan’s “Gravel Cycling” celebrates the appeal of cycling’s hottest new trend and gives roadies and mountain bikers a handy way into the community and the fun that gravel riding has to offer.