I'm pretty sure everyone that is currently reading this can all agree with one major truth in all our lives. We love bikes. We love having bikes, we love getting bikes, some of us even love working on bikes. When it comes to training, exercising, or just getting outside, we probably all spend more time on a bike than anything else. I’m also pretty dang certain that as of late the world in general has started to rediscover its love for bikes more so than any other time before in my lifetime. Bike manufacturers, shops and everyone else in the industry can barely keep up. Of course, we had some major supply chain issues disrupting items, but that didn't stop the demand of people wanting to buy, ride and enjoy a bike.
Naturally, when I get a new bike, I’m pretty dang excited. And despite my connections in the industry, the one bike I still haven't gotten yet is arguably the hottest segment in cycling: gravel. I just couldn’t decide on features: 700c or 650b’s? Shimano GRX or Sram 1x? Do I need huge fat tires? How many bags will I want to carry? Will I even like riding on dirt for that long? I'm pretty sure everyone has had these questions and thoughts as well. So while Dan is teaching everyone about the major tech behind some of these bikes, I figured I would use my (very limited) video skills and convince my good friend and neighbor Ryan Finley (who happens to be a complete carbon fiber composite geek) to start a Gravel Review Series that focuses on a couple of simple things.
#1 Overall rating of the bike;
#2 Visual story of us enjoying the bike;
#3 Some of the things we learned.
The disclaimers: these companies don't pay us to do these reviews. Most of them aren't Slowtwitch Partners; they might become one in the future, and there may be a review or two of Partners bikes. For the most part, though, they are just bikes that I have seen and thought, “I want to test out that bike because it looks pretty legit.” And the process is: they send us a bike, we put it together, ride it, and then make a little video with the idea that we can share our opinions with you, our viewers.
First up: the Niner MCR 9 RDO.
Lastly: if you haven't checked out our YouTube channel please do. We have some really new and exciting content on it, and we are going to do much more moving forward: from our Wrenchwork series with Dan, to our INSCYD the Numbers features with Sebastian Weber, and additional guest presenters down the line. In addition, we'd really appreciate your comments and feedback on what you would like to see more or less of in our upcoming reviews in this series.