“It’s a hybrid.” That’s what they’ll tell you when you ask what a gravel bike is. And you’re going to see a whole heap more of them on our local roads this summer. A gravel bike is more durable than a road bike, but much faster than a mountain bike. Gravel bikes travel both on and off road and they’re built to withstand the tougher terrain most mountain bikers love. They’ll give you more reliable access to the adventures you’ll find on our local fire roads, without ruining your bike (and likely your body) on the way back down. A gravel bike is as happy on tarmac as it is on mud, giving you an adaptable and versatile steed on which to perch yourself this summer.
Gravel biking arrives in Morzine, Les Gets and Avoriaz this summer courtesy of the team at Buzz Performance and specifically Russ Price, who has been training hard for this launch.
Russ, many locals and holidaymakers are already used to one discipline or the other. Why should they give gravel bikes a go?
Gravel biking means you get to do both. We’ll go up on trails, away from traffic and come back down on nice tarmac roads!
How do the bikes differ physically from road bikes and mountain bikes?
The bikes are similar to a road bike with fatter types. They run a lower air pressure and have a less aggressive geometry, which equates to making the rider much more comfortable and relaxed on their bike.
You’re offering beginners sessions. What do they involve?
Our beginner or introduction sessions give you the chance to try gravel biking in a safe environment on a leisurely ride but without any big climbs. You’ll also get to experience the new Cervelo Aspero bikes with expert advice from a qualified guide. Learning with an expert is definitely the most effective way to learn a new skill.
You’re also hosting weekly rides on Tuesday afternoons and for full days each Friday this summer. What do people need to know before they join you?
On Tuesday afternoons we’ll stay local, where as the Friday full day ride includes climbing routes and possibly day trips to other areas. Everyone needs a helmet, gloves and a drink bottle to join us. Of course there’ll be a coffee and snack stop, so make sure you bring along some spare change too!
What is it about our local mountains that make gravel bikes such a good option?
There are so many unexplored tracks in our valley that are inaccessible on a road bike. Gravel bikes give us efficient access to new routes and rides across the area.
Do you think gravel bikes will change the whole industry? Why buy a road bike or a mountain bike if a gravel bike combines the two?
We believe gravel bikes will compliment the biking industry. They’re a great alternative to road bikes, but they also give an off-road experience, getting you closer to nature. A gravel bike doesn’t have suspension, so it’s not suitable for downhill mountain bike trails.
Gravel bikes are available to hire from Buzz Performance for €55 per day subject to availability, but to get the most from your bike, we’d recommend you take Russ with you. He knows the local trails like the back of his hand and can offer a half day of guiding and tuition for €59 per person, including bike hire. Full days are also available for €79 per person. The Buzz team also offer beginners road biking sessions too!
Russ +33 (0) 6 62 60 75 64
Joe +33 (0) 6 42 50 38 74