The diversity of the Vallès region can make it difficult to choose the right bike. On weekends, we pedal along roads and paths but during the week we cycle around the city.
How many bikes do we need, then?
Choosing the right bike based on the terrain
Vallès is a valley surrounded by cliffs and mountain ranges that has a lot to offer those who enjoy touring the world on two wheels.
In the flat areas of the valley, the terrain offers easy slopes with some hills of low and medium difficulty. This is where we find the most important cities such as Granollers, Mollet and Montornès, connected to each other by a bicycle network, sections of which are paved with asphalt.
Heading upwards towards the cingleres de Bertí (cliffs of Bertí), Montseny or the Coastal Range; the slopes become steeper, and the tracks are combined with paths and forest areas to venture into if you have the right equipment.
So, if you want to fully enjoy each terrain, you need different types of bicycles, which isn’t an option for everyone.
It doesn’t have to be perfect to start off
When we start to introduce cycling into our routine as a replacement for cars, we usually dust down the one we have in the garage that we haven’t used in years.
That’s why we often see people riding mountain bikes on asphalt, for example.
But that’s okay, the most important thing is to stop delaying and start pedalling.
Later, when we’re convinced of the benefits of this new lifestyle, that’s when it’s time to go a step further and look for a bike that gives us more benefits. Efficient and comfortable transport will make our lives more enjoyable.
For example, when you cycle every day, you want to find some wheels that reduce your journey time and require minimal effort. Maybe the seat isn’t comfortable or the handlebar or the pedals.
Being aware of these aspects means that we have gotten to know our needs better and that it’s time to seek professional advice in order to choose the most suitable bike.
That’s why we approached T-Bikes in Parets del Vallès.
We talked to them about the ideal bike for each occasion and how the variability of the Vallès terrain can be overcome. The conversation was most revealing, as we were told about a new style of bicycle that serves all your needs.
Gravel bikes: perfect for riding in Vallès
For those of you who are looking for versatility and adaptability to the demands of a changing terrain such as that of Vallès Oriental:
What would you think if you were told that there is a bicycle that looks similar to a road bike but adapted for trails and with wheels of a width that makes them adaptable to different terrains?
“Gravel bikes are bikes that were made for travelling and right now we are seeing
how they’re eating into the market for road bikes,” Albert Padró, technician and consultant at T-Bikes.
The first gravel bike was made in 2015 in the United States and evolved out of the cross cycle. These bikes are aimed at the general public who value their versatility:
With a gravel bike, you can pedal quietly both on asphalt and on the road, without fear of breaking the frame or going too slowly because of the wide wheels.
In addition, they allow you to carry equipment.
As with all bicycle styles, we find gravel bikes of all ranges, where the basic and medium range usually have aluminium frames of different qualities, up to high-end, carbon frames.
As far as prices are concerned, they can range from €650 to more than €8,000, depending on the materials and accessories.
Choosing the right bike to reduce the risk factor.
According to Albert, the main reason that people are turning to gravel bikes is because of the danger to which cyclists are exposed when riding on heavy traffic routes.
Although, in general terms, cycling accidents have decreased over the past fifteen years, the increase in bicycle users caused by the pandemic has resulted in an upturn in accidents in the past two years.
This is why the cycling community is increasingly opting for less busy roads and looking for alternative routes, both for their daily journeys and their weekend leisure circuits.
These behavioural changes have resulted in a decline in the market for road bikes in favour of gravel bikes.
“Gravel bikes can be both electric and or non-electric. Their sustained sales give us reason to believe that they’re not a passing trend but a new style of cycling that has come to stay and that may even be the best substitute for the car.”
And with this comment, Albert opens up another world of possibilities, that of electric bikes.
Electric bikes: the best way to get uphill.
To go biking, you must be at least minimally fit; while it’s true that the more you cycle the stronger you get, it can be tough going to do it every day.
Going uphill is a good challenge if you do it once a week for sports and fun, but after a day at work and in rainy or hot conditions, facing the same climb every day can be a compelling reason to park your bike and take the car instead.
Therefore, once you’ve chosen the bike as a means of transport, an electric bike can be a great ally for those difficult climbs.
7 benefits of electric bikes
- You don’t need a driver’s licence, insurance, road tax, or ITV to ride them. This gives them an advantage over motorcycles if you’re in two minds over which to go for between the two.
- You can ride on the bike path, on the road, and on trails with total freedom of movement.
- They are lighter, cleaner and more reliable than petrol-powered vehicles.
- Each charge of the battery costs 6 cents, making them more economical than public transport.
- You exercise and enjoy the ride but rely on the electric motor for the more difficult moments.
- They don’t cause pollution. They can easily be charged with solar or wind power.
- You can take them on most public transport, like buses, trains and trams.
The key question for choosing the right bike
In this post, we’ve talked to you about gravel bikes because we believe that their versatility makes them the most suitable for the changing terrain we have in the Vallès Oriental, but the most important thing to ask yourself before buying a bike is:
What do I want a bike for?
Reflecting on the answer is more important than it seems, as it will be the basis of your purchase decision.
Do you want it for exercise on weekends? to take the kids to school? to go to work?
If your answer is that you want it to do different things, chances are that you will end up choosing a gravel bike, but, in case you want it for something specific, here’s a link to an article that will help you decide for yourself.
That’s it for today. We hope we have helped to answer any questions you may have and that you set off on two wheels as soon as possible.