Mountain biking is an incredibly exhausting activity that often leaves people thinking you must be a super-human to be good at it. This may seem true, but at the end of the day it really comes down to determination and training, no matter how hard you train. Some people go to the gym and eat healthy and expect it to help them out, and it does, but what really gets you in good shape to completely conquer any mountain ride is really just getting out and pedaling your butt off. Anybody can coast downhill but not everyone can pedal. As many people have found out, road bikes and now the “gravel bike” have increased in popularity and everyone seems to be flocking towards spandex and cutting off traffic on his or her way to the microbrewery 20 miles down the road. If you already own a road bike, then you may be aware of just how dangerous and expensive this type of riding can be. As a result, people have moved onto gravel riding to avoid the dangers of distracted drivers. The issue is that most gravel bikes are still pretty expensive, just look at the OPEN frames we have to offer. Most mountain bikers have already spent their last dime on a sweet mountain bike behind their wives back. What money would they have left to spend on a gravel bike? Luckily Pure Cycles has done what everyone has hoped for and created a very cost efficient gravel bike and our boy Zack was lucky enough to grab the Pure Cycles Gravel Adventure Pro. As a result, Zack is probably the fastest he has ever been and he didn’t have to spend thousands of dollars to do so! Let’s see what he had to say about the bike.
I was lucky enough to score one of these sweet gravel bikes a couple months back! Before getting the bike I really didn’t know what to think except for being very excited. I’ve never had the chance to own a gravel bike before. All my money always went to nice and high-end mountain bikes (my real passion). I thought why not try to own an affordable bike that isn’t going to have me eating top roman for the next few months.
The day finally came and FedEx dropped the bike off at work! Right away I was excited to take it out on the local fire roads to see what the thing had but first, I had to build the bike. If you know me, I’m not the most mechanical guy out there. I always have Liam (WC mechanic) build up my bikes and do the maintenance on my Yeti’s. Lucky for me, Pure Cycles bikes come pretty close to being fully built out for you already for same day gravel time. On my lunch break, I went in the back started unboxing the thing. It was my lucky day! The bike was all put together and all you had to do was mount the handlebars to the stem, and then put the wheelset on the frame. I mean, it can’t get much easier! I had the bike out of the box and fully built within a matter of 20 minutes. I was so excited I took it outside and started pedaling around and shifting the gears. This is where I came into a little bit of a problem……
After building up the bike I realized there was a reason why this bike is so affordable (please remember that I do have a jaded view from riding high-end mountain bikes and I apologize). Unfortunately, this does come with cheaper components because it is a more cost efficient bike, which means it came with mechanical disc brakes. Instead of what we are all used to with hydraulic. To be honest it is more of a luxury to run hydraulic and at the end of the day, they are doing the same thing. I didn't notice much of a difference in performance though! If I was a little more of a mechanic I think I could have probably set this up better at first but I was unable to figure it out. I had to turn to Liam once again to do some adjusting to get the brakes working great! Finally, after about 15 minutes of him working on them, they finally were able to get me to stop going down the small hill in the parking lot. This was the ONLY hassle about building this bike myself and if it came with a little better brakes I would have had this thing built and on the gravel in 30 minutes time.
That next morning a few guys that already had gravel bikes and I went on the maiden voyage. I was so excited I think I woke up earlier than usual and was drinking coffee at 4:30 am. When I first started the peddle the bike felt really fast and was super comfortable to sit on while riding over loose and rocky singletrack. The Pure cycles tape that they put on the alloy bars were very comfy, didn’t wear any gloves at all. The bike comes with a Shimano drivetrain with a front derailleur. This allows for really easy pedaling when faced with a long steep fire road climb.
Liam was on his nice $4,000 gravel bike and I was on the $799 Pure Cycles. I don’t think I was really at a disadvantage one bit. I’m not sure if I was feeling it or it was the bike, but on one of the long 30 minute climbs I absolutely killed it and put down a PR first day out. The Gravel Adventure can handle rough roads and jagged rocks while still pushing speeds up to 35mph on the dirt roads. I was all smiles that morning and couldn’t wait to get back out and throw some more miles down.
Since I don’t go out and ride 100-mile gravel rides/ race at all, I didn’t need another expensive bike in my garage. With already having a nice hardtail and full suspension bike there was no need to go out and spend another 5k on something I might ride every other week. This bike is either meant for the beginner who is just starting out with gravel riding and want an affordable bike or...for someone like me: a guy who rides mountain bikes 5 days a week and can’t afford another expensive bike. If you are just wanting a bike to put more miles down on the weekend, or maybe just have a few friends who gravel ride and want to join every now and then, I would highly recommend jumping on one of these and always having the option to join on those weekly/monthly rides.
After about 2-3 months of owning this bike, I have probably put in a few hundred miles on it. Haven’t really had to do any maintenance on it and I’ve only made one upgrade. I couldn’t stand having tubes in the tires. Since this bike does come with WTB Tubeless ready rims I went ahead and upgraded the tires to some WTB Resolute TCS Light Fast Rolling Tires and made them tubeless. This allows the bike to run even smoother and I don’t have to worry as much about flats (still haven’t gotten a flat by the way). The Gravel Adventure has done exactly what I’ve wanted it to do. It has allowed me to do long rides through the Santa Monica mountains while still being able to take my girlfriend out to dinner. I highly recommend this bike to anyone who wants to get into the gravel scene or someone who just wants to have the option of riding with the boys in the morning without going broke. This has been an awesome bike to have in my garage and I can’t wait to have more adventures with her.
If you are looking into a new mountain bike, the Yeti SB4.5 is the best bike in the world!!!