It’s a cliche to say that happiness shared is happiness doubled, the sort of phrase you’d see on a generic postcard or in a hotel breakfast room, but what’s so bad about embracing collective cheesiness every now and again? In this issue, we take a deep dive into good vibes.
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Everyone reading this magazine harbors some sort of passion for road or gravel bikes and all of us invest time, money and sweat into the sport we love – but no two of us are the same in our approach. And that’s not a bad thing.
Take our wildly diverse goals: you’ve got some aiming to finish their first sportive, others planning a ride across the Alps, and then a whole cohort who are happy if they manage to cram in a few pedal strokes into their packed schedule (we hear you!). But whatever your ambitions are, you need the right ally – and while we usually use ally to refer to your choice of bike, this time we’re talking about human contact. With the rapid growth of cycling, the responsibility is on us to welcome newcomers to the sport – whether that’s by sharing a group ride or instilling a smile on the face of a lone wolf as your text message of encouragement pops up on their GPS screen, it’s up to you.
- The best gravel bike of 2022 – The 19 hottest bikes on test
- Allroad vs. Gravel – What’s the difference and what’s right for you?
- Tecta x OPEN – When Bauhaus design meets gravel bikes
- Factory visit MET Helmets – Function driven form
- Design & Innovation Award 2022 – The Oscars of the bike industry
Our free, digital magazine is the centrepiece of our work and definitely the best way to experience our content, with interactive features as well as beautiful photography and videos all packed into a unique design. If you like our website, we’re sure you’ll love our magazine app. By the way: the app even gives you access to all of our back issues – hours upon hours of first-class content!
All the bikes in this issue
3T Exploro Ultra | BMC URS LT ONE | Cannondale SuperSix EVO SE | Cannondale Synapse 1 RLE | Canyon Grizl CF SLX 8 eTap Suspension | Cervélo Áspero GRX Di2 | Cervélo Caledonia-5 Force eTap AXS | CUBE Nuroad C:62 SLT | Curve Kevin of Steel III | Falkenjagd Aristos R | Felt Breed 20 | FOCUS ATLAS 6.8 | GIANT Revolt Advanced 0 | OPEN WI.DE. | Ridley Kanzo Fast | ROSE BACKROAD EKAR LTD | SCOTT Addict Gravel Tuned | Specialized S-Works Crux | Stelbel Nina XCr | Storck GRIX.2 Platinum | Wilier Rave SLR
What else is there to discover in this issue?
Inside this issue, you’ll find the biggest-ever test of gravel bikes in the history of GRAN FONDO. On par with the gravel world champs, 19 models went into the ring, with only one coming out on top as the steeziest all-rounder. But that’s not to say that the other 18 models didn’t put up a solid fight, and at times make us really pay attention. While we don’t separate good from bad or put bikes into boxes, what we do is outline clearly and comprehensively which model suits which type of rider and what it can or can’t deliver.
The gravel and all-road bike markets keep growing. But what’s the difference and what should you look for? We interviewed the product managers of Cervélo and FOCUS, providing insights that will help you navigate the complex world of bike categories and make it easier for you to decide which bike to buy.
Timeless, beautifully built designs and careful attention to functionality – bike manufacturer OPEN tap into the Bauhaus philosophy with the help of furniture maker Tecta. Released in strictly limited numbers and featuring eye-catching paintjobs, this approach reflects the mindset of Tecta and Open’s founders – and is also very much in line with the zeitgeist. What’s it all about?
To understand the meaning of design, talk to an Italian. To understand the importance of bike helmets, talk to MET, who have established themselves as a guru on the topic of safety and, as an Italian family-run company, have safety-conscious design as their core premise.
We’ve also published our trend article from this year’s Design & Innovation Award. Dubbed the Oscars of the bike industry, it’s a forecasting article looking at where cycling will go next, tapping into future products, communities, travel and more.
Over in THE LAB, we’ve had sophisticated compliance-focused components from Ergon and Redshift on long-term test, as well as bikepacking bags from CYCLITE and a hard-as-nails travel bag from ORTLIEB.
So, that’s it: the roadmap to your next escape. Get comfy, pour yourself a large one and enjoy the read. We’ve had a blast making this issue – so here’s to sharing the passion.
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Words: Benjamin Topf Photos: GRAN FONDO-Team