At some point, every race, every career and every phase of life comes to an end, and so has the work on this GRAN FONDO issue #023. That’s exactly why now is a good time to address a question that we don’t ask ourselves often enough: What kind of game are we actually playing?
Die neue Ausgabe könnt ihr ab sofort in unserer Magazin-App herunterladen – natürlich wie immer kostenlos! Wer die App noch nicht hat, findet sie hier im App Store (iPhone/iPad) bzw. im Play Store (Android Smartphones & Tablets).
As trivial as this question may sound, it is of fundamental importance. Whether you are a world champion or a rookie, a millionaire or a student, a company focused on sustainability or on profit and, of course, a newbie roadie or a pro – we all have a similar goal: we all want to be successful. Right?
But are you really such a winner because you made your first million, were the first to cross the finish line or the first to use recycled marine plastic (greenwashing alert!)? As you can probably guess, the answer is no.
For this reason, we have once again explored the limits for this issue, intensively tested the latest technologies, and, incidentally, organized our own Gravel World Championship. But we were very quickly confronted with some major questions: Why is it so hard to define gravel racing? Why have gravel race bikes changed so dramatically in recent years? And what makes a good gravel race bike anyway? Are gravel race bikes also the right choice for those who don’t want to put a race number on their bike and jersey? Gravel racing is really trendy now, becoming more professional and commercial. But is this a success for the scene, or is the gravel spirit at risk in the face of growing budgets?
As you can see, this issue is all about success. And while our GRAN FONDO editor enjoyed his champagne shower, we asked ourselves many inspiring as well as critical questions, and invite you to do the same: What is your definition of success? What feels right and what feels wrong for you? When you are clear about this, you create the basis to play your own game – and isn’t that the most fun? Hopefully, this issue will provide you with some impulses on how to achieve this!
The king of the desert – Which is the best gravel race bike of 2023?
Oversized – The ultimate fashion fixes for those who are more plus-size than pro peloton
Revolution or seat tube crippler? – In search of a better life: a dropper post on your road bike?
Shaking off your demons – How riding can make your whole life better
What’s the best tailwind? – The differences between hub motors and mid-mounted motors on e-road bikes
The free, digital magazine is at the heart of what we do and undoubtedly the best way to experience our content. It comes with lots of interactive features, high-resolution images and videos, and a unique design. We’re sure that if you like our website, you will love the app. By the way, you’ll also find all the back issues of GRAN FONDO in the app – there’s definitely no shortage of reading material!
Gravel-Racing, Oversize-Fashion, Greenwashing, E-Enlightenment and Dropper-Posts – This issue is full of new perspectives:
Champagne burns in your eyes, lactic acid courses through your legs, and on the podium perches the king of the desert: the best gravel race bike of 2023. We found out what to look for to make your gravel race dreams come true. To do so, we hosted our own world championships with 9 of the hottest gravel race bikes as the contestants. Ready, set, go!
Skinny tires under a not-so-skinny rider? Hell, yes. Road cycling historically hasn’t catered to the plus-size rider, but luckily times are changing. No longer the exclusive reserve of gaunt, hungry-looking waifs on wheels, it’s now widely held that all bodies are welcome on bikes (duh!). We’ve put together and road-tested three outfits for riders who demand a little more from their kit.
Dropper posts have become integral to modern mountain bikes, and are quickly gaining popularity in the gravel sector. When Matej Mohorič secured victory in the 2022 Milan-San Remo with a dropper post, he ushered in a new era in the road bike world. Is the dropper post bound to become every roadie’s new secret weapon, or is it doomed to failure? We’ve thought, tinkered, and tested to find out.
Ever feel like a dark cloud has swept in and darkened your mood? Whether it’s for a matter of days or longer, you don’t want it to last. But when self-help books and well-intentioned conversations with friends don’t bring any relief, we’ve got the perfect panacea: your bike. Spin the pedals and leave your negativity in the dust.
Who doesn’t love a bit of tailwind? A new generation of e-road and e-gravel bikes is just establishing itself on the market – and there are big differences in function, performance and price. We sat down with the electric motor experts at MAHLE, who offer both hub and mid-mounted motors, to shed light on this exciting topic.
The bike is the icon of emission-free mobility par excellence. But just how sustainable is our passion for bikes really? We took a fresh look at 6 aspects of cycling, including some new eco-friendly approaches, and reflected on the way we want to get around in the future.
So there it is, the roadmap to everything that moves and occupies the drop bar world. Sit back and enjoy the stories about fast bikes, a new riding experience and the break with outdated norms – who knows, you might even find inspiration for your own path to success. We had an awesome time and a lot of fun producing the new issue, but now it’s your turn to devour it!Cheers and best wishes from the desert.
Read the new issue now – for free!
Enough with the spoilers! These stories (and many more) are just a few swipes and taps away. If you’ve already installed our app, you can download and enjoy the latest issue immediately. If not, we strongly recommend installing it from the App Store (iPhone/iPad) or the Play Store (Android Smartphones & Tablets) and downloading issue #021 now. With that done, you can sit back and enjoy the latest stories and reviews (ideally with a well-tempered glass of wine or delicious coffee in hand)!
Did you enjoy this article? If so, we would be stoked if you decide to support us with a monthly contribution. By becoming a supporter of GRAN FONDO, you will help secure a sustainable future for high-quality cycling journalism. Click here to learn more.
Words & Photos: Calvin Zajac