Newbies / Beginner’s Corner, where the Gravel Cyclist crew will attempt to unravel some of the mystery behind riding, racing and having fun on gravel roads.

Beginners Corner2015-1
Gumby enjoying the view on a South Australian gravel road.

Thus far we cover:


  1. Avatar Mike Sadlier

    I have been using Sturmey Archer’s 70 mm drum brakes on my bike for 5 or 6 years now and love them. Pros, they take all of about 30 seconds max to adjust to very little lever free-play, they are more immune to dirty, water, mud or snow than any other bicycle brake, more than enough power for me to stop, 240 lbs 6’3″, with very good modulation, less likely to be damaged compared to other type brakes. Cons, they are heavier than rim brakes, due to needing heavier forks and chain stays to take rotation from reaction arms, just as do disc brakes, and like all drum brakes, they do not shed heat as well.

  2. Avatar Jon Giddis

    I am not sure how to fix my lack of YouTube comment ability, so I will leave you with this. You are providing me with great ideas and inspiration in my quest to get away from asphalt. Hit in 2020 by a pick up truck while riding a loop from Gun Barrel City, Texas around Cedar Creek Resevoir, made me buy a gravel bike. It arrives some time early winter 2021/22. In the mean time, I’ll keep riding my old Cannondale around Dallas and in organized weekender road rides. Keep up your brand of humor and I will see you…In the next video.

    • JOM JOM

      Thanks Jon! Those DFW area levee roads are definitely worth a look.

  3. Avatar Ken

    Hi JOM
    Been watching your videos but just subscribed. Very helpful. I’m 65 and am switching to gravel from road in Wisconsin and SE MN.

    Curious, how fast are you riding I the Georgia red clay ramble video?

    What was your tire width?


    • JOM JOM

      Hello Ken, good luck with the transition. I’ve ridden a couple of different editions of the Red Clay Ramble. The faster editions have averaged close to 18mph, tyre width was anywhere from 35mm in the early days, up to about 38mm / 40mm later. Hope this helps!

  4. Avatar Herbie

    Hi Jom,

    I’m currently sourcing out parts for my first gravel/ adventure bike. Just wondering what your thought on the set-up that I have in mind. I currently have an 11-40 11s cassette and GRX810 fd and rd already. Do you think I can pair it with a 48/32t crankset or do you have any other suggestions?

    Thanks! Fan of your videos!

    • JOM JOM

      Hi Herbie, I recorded a video on my YouTube channel and cross posted here, that demonstrates GRX Di2 at least, with the standard GRX 48/31 crankset and an 11-40 cassette. Worked perfectly, I don’t see any issue with 48-32T. Good luck, thanks for the kind words!

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