Your guide to riding gravel – Trek Bikes

Gear to get ya goin’ 

Gravel riding is all about having fun and exploring off the beaten path. Wear what you want, ride what you want, but make sure you have these essentials before getting out there.

A gravel-capable bike

A gravel-capable bike is essential for off-pavement exploration. It should have tires that are big enough to comfortably ride on a variety of surfaces and a wide gear range for powering up any hill that comes your way with confidence. 

Fuel for adventure

Make sure you’re equipped to explore off the beaten path with plenty of water and snacks. Gravel bikes have multiple mounts for water bottles, so you can carry enough hydration to stay out longer. 

Your quick fix in a pinch

Flats happen, especially while riding on dynamic road surfaces like gravel. Make sure you’re prepped with everything you need by carrying a flat kit with a spare tube, a hand pump, CO2 cartridges, tire levers, and a multi tool.

See and be seen 

Rural roads and changing conditions make unique challenges for every rider. Riding with daytime running lights makes it easier for cars, trucks, motorists, and sometimes even tractors to see you — dawn to dusk.  

Go with guidance

There are millions of miles of gravel roads around the world, which means endless opportunities for exploration. A GPS unit isn’t required but can make it easier to stay on course even when cell service is low.  

Haul it all

Many gravel-capable bikes come equipped with mounts for carrying gear like top tube bags, frame bags, and even racks. Pack accordingly for every adventure and let your bike carry the load.  

The graveler’s pre-ride checklist

Tips for getting your bike ready to roll off-road 

Dial in your fit

A great-fitting bike can be the difference between a good ride and a great ride. Small adjustments to the seat and handlebars can do the trick. If you need more guidance, your local Trek retailer can help you get the perfect fit. 

Check your tire pressure  

Make sure your tires are pumped up before every ride to ensure comfort and stability.

Learn how

Clean and lube your chain

Prolong the life of your drivetrain by regularly cleaning out grit from the road and applying a thin coating of chain lube

Load your bike

Depending on how long you’re out, you may need something extra to keep you going. Make sure you’re prepared all the snacks, food, and gear you’ll need for a day out on the bike.

How to pack for big ride

How to ride on gravel
Terrain-tackling tips and tricks

Focus up front

Riding off the beaten path can take you to some pretty incredible places, where service is limited, and terrain is ever-changing. Make sure to keep your eyes on what's ahead to get the most out of your ride. 

Less pressure. More fun.

Taking the air out of your tires allows for more grip on variable terrain. If you find yourself sliding through turns, let some air out. 

Good vibrations

Gravel is rocky, and it’s important to stay loose when you roll. While passing over variable terrain, relax your arms for a more comfortable ride.  

Saddle up

Looser terrain means less traction. Try sitting while climbing up steep hills to prevent your wheels from spinning. You’ll get more power, too

Stay fueled

Variable terrain can make it harder to eat and drink on the bike. Make sure you’re fueling up the same way you would for a normal ride to keep your energy up.

Have fun

Don’t forget to enjoy the ride, get off the beaten path, and soak it all in.

More resources. More gravel.