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What to LOOK for in a Pedal for Gravel Bikes
Gravel is a unique type of bike riding that is often associated with the outdoors. It’s often lower traffic and filled with less traffic noise than a road bike, but still offers the same amount of grip and stability. It’s also great for training on dirt and loose gravel because it doesn’t require a great deal of maintenance—you can actually use it as a training tool! But gravel bikes don’t just work well in the dirt, you can also use them on concrete and gravel. Although, it’s probably better to use it on concrete than gravel as the traction is just not there.
Stiffness and Flexibility
One of the most important things to consider when it comes to the stiffness and flexibility of your gravel bike pedal is the rider. For example, a harder pedal will provide a more stable platform for your weight to sit on, but it will also make the bike harder to ride. This can be a risky choice in hot weather or during training sessions when you’re looking to develop your skills. On the other hand, a softer pedal provides better traction but is less stable because it has less spring in it. It’s probably best to err on the side of stiffer pedals on a gravel bike—you don’t want to be walking on eggs!
Weight vs. mobility
One of the most important things to consider with regards to the mobility of your gravel bike is the weight of the rider. Generally speaking, a heavier rider will require a more stable bike to balance due to the weight of their body on top of it. On the other hand, a lighter rider can actually move around more quickly on a heavier bike because they don’t have as much momentum due to the extra weight on the rear wheel. This is especially useful if you’re looking to train on your bike (i.e., for greater agility and coordination).
The Right Spring Rate
Another important thing to consider when it comes to the resilience of your gravel bike pedal is the spring rate of your fork. You want your fork to be springy but not so bouncy that it does more damage to the trails. Ideally, you want it about half way between the springiness of a hardtail mountain bike and the Springy behavior of a road bike. Most forks are between these two extremes, so it’s hard to say for sure. A softer spring rate will make your gravel bike pedal easier, while a stiffer one will make it work harder. This is probably the most debated aspect of all when choosing the right pedal for your gravel bike.
What Are the Different Types of Gravel Bike Pedals?
There are several different types of gravel bike pedals to choose from. There’s a chance that any given bike will come with a mix of all of them. A mix of soft and stiff, springy and plastic, heavy and light—it’s easy to get confused by this alone. Because of this, we’ve broken down the types of Gravel Bike Pedals into three different categories to help make things a little easier—each with a different purpose. Stiff Pedal: This type of pedal is intended to provide a very stable platform for your bike. It’s typically made of aluminum or steel, and is stiffer and heavier than a soft pedal. While it’s not intended to be used on the trail, it is still beneficial to have around when working on the bike in the garage or on the track. Flexible Pedal: This is the opposite of the stiff pedal, and is intended to be used on the track or in the garage. It is usually lightweight, but has soft springs in it, making it flexible and less dense than a stiff pedal. Sidewinder: This type of pedal has no difference between stiff and flexible, and instead has a single spring for both actions. It is best used on the track or when you’re in a hurry.
The choice of the right pedal for your gravel bike can be difficult. There are many different types of gravel bikes, and the right pedal can make a big difference in terms of how well your bike rides. You want it to be stiff enough to hold your weight, but flexible enough to move around on the trail. Whether you’re a competitive rider or just want to get around on your bike more often, a gravel bike is a great choice. It’s low traffic and easy to maintain, and is best suited to light training rides. But before buying, make sure you know what kind of riding you like to do, and then shop around—you may be surprised at the price difference between different retailers.