It seems that we meet more and more cyclists and triathletes who are looking for a new adventure. Whether it's feeling like they need to take on a new challenge, concern about safety on the road, or just curiosity about a different type of cycling, off-road riding is on the rise.
Atlanta Tri Club member John Rutledge was one of those customers looking for a new adventure in 2017 and has this to say about his experience,
'Swimming, biking & running has been a huge part of my life since 2009, with all of my biking taking place either indoors or on the road up until last year. I had never considered mountain biking and had honestly never heard of gravel biking. My friends at Podium got me set up on both of these styles of off-road bikes and I can honestly say my eyes have been opened up to a whole new world of fun, challenging events. Can’t wait to compete in my first Xterra in about a month and finish up the summer with my 6th off-road biking event of the season!
The two most popular types of bikes for off road cycling are mountain bikes and gravel bikes. You'll immediately notice the difference in the type of bike. A mountain bike is heavier with wide knobby tires and has the ability to traverse very heavy terrain. A gravel bike is going to look very similar to a road bike with a more relaxed geometry and slightly wider, more rugged tires. Gravel bikes are known for their versatility.
A mountain bike is built to take you go from gently rolling single tracks to heavy terrain in a single ride.
A gravel bike offers versatility. Go from the road to exploring a dirt path or easy single track trail in the same ride.
If you're looking for the adventure of trying out some of the area's single track trails, getting lost deep in the woods, or even venturing into the Xterra Off Road Triathlon scene, then a mountain bike is a good choice for you. Team Podium member and 26-year road cycling veteran, Tony Orru tells us why he enjoys mountain biking.
I love the freedom of being in the woods, the technicality of the ride: drifting, jumping, climbing off road is a lot of fun and I do not have to share the trail with any cars or trucks, just with my fellow off road bikers. Georgia is a beautiful land and mountain biking offers the possibility to see some very nice parks, mountains etc, not to mention the benefit given by riding off road in terms of improving fitness and skills that will be useful on road cycling and tri racing.
A relative newcomer to the scene is the gravel bike. This bike allows you to traverse a variety of surfaces (farm roads, gentle single tracks, cobblestone, gravel, etc) while sustaining comfort. It offers you the versatility to be able to go from one surface to another seamlessly. Team Podium member Jennifer Lesser made the investment in a gravel bike last fall and has this to say about her experience,
I enjoy gravel biking as a way to get on quiet safer roads. They are often quite beautiful and challenging. It has also helped my bike handling and my twitchiness. I get a little nervous going fast on gravel roads but the moreI ride it, the better I feel. It is also a great way to get to know a different group of people.
So whether you are ready for a new adventure, feeling a bit burnt out or even want to mix up your riding to see some fitness gains, off road cycling has an option for you.
Right now is the time to explore off road cycling with our Summer Bike Sale! We have great deals on Orbea and Santa Cruz Mountain bikes and Parlee or Lightspeed Gravel Bikes. See prices here.