Leave cycle lanes in the dust astride a gravel bike
No road too rocky on a gravel bike
Cycling in the UK changed up a gear in 2020. According to analysts GlobalData, over 1.3m of us have purchased a set of wheels since the start of the pandemic. Additionally, many accomplished riders have sought to separate themselves from the chasing pack and go off-road on a gravel bike.
Built for long slogs in the saddle on routes less travelled, with chunkier tyres and heftier frame geometry than road equivalents, a gravel bike is enjoyably versatile in its ability to ride faster and smoother on tarmac, gravel roads and forest trails. It’s a bike that encourages adventure unconstrained by terrain — an appealing idea when the alternative is dodging traffic in Lycra.
Gravel biking isn’t a new concept, but the recent upsurge in demand has led to many brands specialising in gravel models. Stayer Cycles, an independent bike builder based in Leytonstone, east London, crafts its gravel bike frames from Columbus steel and fits them with hand-built carbon wheels. Colour schemes such as Swamp Dip (dirty green) and Chillymanilly (ice blue), are inspired by the British outdoors (obviously).
Stayer’s latest model is the Groadinger UG (below), a handsome gravel-cruncher for longer days out on the trail or bikepacking (mountain biking and camping), with wide 47mm tyres and a tough frameset prioritising stability and comfort. Prices start at £1,700 for a frame and £2,500 for a rolling chassis. For the full kit, Stayer’s experts will build each bike bespoke to your brief.