How many bikes do you need? N+1!

Grand Tours Project Team

L´eroica & Bianchi Bicycles

Aug / 4 / 2021

Possibly, like me, you would have had the odd occasion where you have had to ride your precious along gravel roads, even rocky paths.

Above: Ready to hit the gravel roads of Chianti

It’s a wincing time where you hope you don't slip off, hope that you don’t get a puncture, that a rock won’t slip out and damage the delicate frame or the wheels, and where you curse yourself for taking the shortcut, for not paying attention to the route map or curse the authorities for undertaking road works today!

Above: Some off road at "Plateau des Glìeres riding the Tour de France 2018"

And yet, gravel roads existed before they were sealed with cobbles (that's another story!) tarmac and concrete. Professionals continue to ride gravel races - the Strade Bianche. And L’Eroica gran fondos around the world include significant portions of their routes on gravel.

Above: Strade Bianche professional race

Until recently, mountain bikes were an option for off road routes but they are heavy and a drag on the sealed parts of a route. Enter the gravel bike.

What's not to like about a gravel bike! Bike Radar published an article last year and I loved this bit,

"Riding a (gravel) bike designed for multi-terrain excursions means you can link together gravel routes in new ways, taking in sections of gravel roads, forest tracks, trails, byways and bridlepaths. Or you can load up your gravel bike with camping kit for multi-day bikepacking adventures".

Above: Me and Eileen who loves shortcuts

This is me! And a friend who loves shortcuts.

So here is my plan. Sell the mountain bike. It was state of the art and the best available back in 2007 in Chamonix, but now it sits hanging up in the garage and gathers dust. Anyone want to buy it?

Then I can sell the designer shoes and clothes that sit in a box in the garage... because where and when will I ever wear designer stuff from 15 years ago… and I doubt I would fit into any of it now! Bonus...more space available for other things such as a bike.

Above: L´Eroica in Gaiole... ready to explore the "Strade Bianche".

Now here is the delicious part or possibly painful too. What kind of gravel bike? What size? Gearing? Componentry? Electric or powered by me? Colour (don't laugh, you know this is important!) and finally, where in Europe can I find one since everyone has taken up riding during the pandemic and now there isn't any stock!

So n+1

Above: This is the Arcadex Banchi gravel bike! It perfectly combines an emotional communion with nature, and the exhilarating rush of Bianchi racing DNA.