The Shimano Gravel Alliance

Meet the Shimano Gravel Alliance - a group of 16 multi-surface cyclists sharing their cycling adventures and stories from events and rides around North America.

Gravel Gearing Explained

A versatile bike setup is an important element to surviving and even thriving with gravel’s unique physiological demands.

Gearing is at the forefront of this versatility with a plethora of options ranging from single to double front chainring setups as well as determining a gear range that allows for a successful and fun gravel riding experience.

In Their Own Words

Stories from the Alliance.

My Gravel Bike

By Stevil Kinvel

Gravel Packing to the Museum

By Erica Mueller

DK200

By Kieran Andrews

So, You're From New Jersey - What Exit?

By Dave Lyons

Shimano Gravel Alliance member, Dave Lyons shares the story of an epic ride through remote New Jersey landscape. Bypassing busy roads and crowded towns, this “death march ride” is founded in adventure, discovery, and exploration, all in the name of a birthday request.

The Crunchy Stuff

By Phil Thomas

Phil Thomas shares the story of his first gravel experience back in 2013 and the evolution of the gravel bike over the years.

Mosaic Cycles

By Kristen Legan

Each year the North American Handmade Bicycle Show (NAHBS) sparks inspiration and excitement by gathering the best frame builders and bike artisans from around the world. This year, NAHBS landed in Sacramento, California and one builder swept the show with a tidal wave of colors, sparkles, and fun.

Gravel Events

Our #ShimanoGravel ambassadors will been attending Gravel events around North America, putting our new multi-surface specific components to the test in all conditions.

The Rock Cobbler

Feb 10 - Bakersfield, CA

A stupidly hard ride, bordering a race. 100+ miles consisting of country asphalt roads, trails, private land, a river, a creek, a ride through someone's living room and a brewery.

Countering Doubts with Pure Stoke

Ambassador Ben Popper shares his experiences from the 2018 Rock Cobbler, where he first got introduced to his fellow gravel ambassadors and dove head-first into his first gravel event of the year after a cold winter in Seattle.

"When you've made a commitment to bring the party to the entire course, you can't stop early."

Ben Popper's foolproof training plan for the Almanzo 100, set to take him straight from the couch to conquering 160km of Minnesota's finest gravel roads through the small town of Spring Valley.

Shimano Footwear and Apparel are available through your local bike shop. Visit our Dealer Locator to find a location near you.

What is a Gravel Bike?

Any bike can be considered a gravel bike, whether it was sold as a road, cyclocross, mountain, or gravel bike. But distinct characteristics and components have helped define the new category, making bikes more capable and more fun to ride on mixed surface terrain.

Any bike can be considered a gravel bike, whether it was sold as a road, cyclocross, mountain, or gravel bike. But distinct characteristics and components have helped define the new category, making bikes more capable and more fun to ride on mixed surface terrain.

Most dedicated gravel bikes have drop handlebars and, from a distance, they resemble a road or cyclocross bicycle. They often use disc brakes, clutch-equipped rear derailleurs, and dual-sided SPD mountain bike pedals. Most gravel bikes also offer clearance for bigger tires, additional water carrying capability, a more compliant construction, and longer, lower geometry for stability on rough roads.

Disc Brakes

Disc brakes deliver all-weather stopping power and superior modulation for all riding conditions. They also open up frame designs, allowing for wider tires while maintaining superior mud clearance when the roads get soggy.

SPD Pedals

Some gravel riders prefer road clipless pedals and shoes but most opt for efficient mountain bike shoes and dual-sided, SPD pedals. Mountain bike shoes offer additional grip for tricky gravel hike-a-bikes and creek crossings. Shimano’s SPD mountain bike pedals also provide reliable engagement and release in even the muddiest of conditions.

Clutch Rear Derailleurs

Shimano developed the first clutch rear derailleur for mountain biking and now brings its Shadow Plus technology to the gravel scene with its Ultegra RX rear derailleur. It delivers reliable shifting even during bumpy sections of a tough ride. The Ultegra RX derailleurs also offers a quieter drivetrain, allowing you to focus on the ride.

Wider Tires

For maximum speed, comfort, and control on loose, inconsistent surfaces, most gravel riders look to tubeless tires with a variety of tread patterns in widths from 32 to 45mm. Some go even wider, opting for 29er or 650b mountain bike tires sizes.

Frame Geometry

Longer wheelbases help with tire clearance while also offering a smoother ride. Lower bottom brackets lend stability and confidence-inspiring handling. All these features combine to tame the fatiguing effects of riding gravel, allowing you to ride farther and faster.

Extra Bottle Mounts

With the remote nature of many dirt roads, the ability to carry an extra water bottle or two makes the riding more fun. Instead of worrying about the next convenience store, you can explore further.

Frame Compliance

Whether your gravel rides are all-day epics or quick local jaunts, all of us can appreciate a more comfortable ride. Many gravel bikes are made with design features that help take the edge off the road. Suspension has also started to creep into the gravel world in the form of soft-tail frames, forks, stems, and seat posts.

Shimano Gravel Adventures

Stories and Words from the Shimano Gravel Alliance

By Ben Popper

By Stevil Kinevil

By Jared Porter

Alliance Spotlight: Kieran Andrew

All Roads Lead Back to Peterborough

Summer Rides on Canada's Gulf Islands

Parker Bloom explores the Gulf Islands or Canada - an archipelago of steep-sided, droplet islands – furry with forest, salal, and mossy rock slabs – spread across the strait that separates the coast of British Columbia and Vancouver Island.

Ride to Washington

By Dan Hughes

It's Like a Jungle Sometimes, It Makes Me Wonder..

All Hail The Black Market // Stevil Kinevil

DK200

By Kieran Andrews

Embracing a Lost Mind

Rock Cobbler 2018 // Stevil Kinevil

Couch to 160k

The Almanzo 100 with Ben Popper

The Grass is All Green

Kieran Andrews

What In the World Am I Doing Here?

Vermont Gravel Expedition

Discovery Rediscovered by Kieran Andrews

Describing the Indescribable at Gravel Worlds

Erica Mueller shares her experiences from the infamous Gravel World Championship in Lincoln, Nebraska.

My Gravel Bike

By Stevil Kinevil

Peak-Bagging In Seattle

By Ben Popper

The World's First Dedicated Gravel Component Group

Instead of telling gravel riders what they needed, we asked them what they wanted.

Explore Beyond

Shimano GRX Brand Anthem

Gravel Your Way

GRX Drivetrain Options

Choice. Shimano GRX is all about choice.