It’s safe to say that the most enjoyable way to ride your bike to work takes the route with the least busy roads, but commuting on gravel and mixed surfaces can be as daunting as riding busy streets. Questionable traction, the fear of hitting sharp objects and flatting your tires, and the extra friction of riding offroad can all be deterrents. We sought the advice of some of LTP Sports’ mountain bikers, most of whom also commute to work. The result was five tips to make your multi-surface commute easier, safer, and more enjoyable.
1. Confidence is key
Any time you’re riding loose or unstable terrain, you need to make sure your weight is centered on the bike, and that you don’t tense up too much. Staying loose on the bike will allow the bike to track better over bumps and ruts, getting you through safely.
2. Steer with your belly button
This is a trick that really helps offroad when trying to keep speed high through corners. If you think about angling your torso in the direction that you want to go
3. Invest in tires with more traction
Tires like the WTB All Terrain boast better cornering traction due to large side lugs, while retaining a smooth center ridge for faster rolling. The best of both worlds- fast on concrete and grippy in gravel.
4. Wide bars help with traction
Wide bars serve a couple of purposes- they keep your weight father forward, and more central to the bike for better balance, and they increase your leverage and control. Going slightly wider than your standard bars can help a lot, and shouldn’t negatively impact your commute. Consider a handlebar like the 3T Riser 740 Pro, which will offer extra confort and stability to your ride.
5. Consider lower tire pressure
Lower tire pressure will allow your tires to conform to the ground better and give you more traction. It can be a challenge finding the balance between grip and rolling resistance, but our article on road tire pressure will be helpful in that regard.
We hope these tips will inspire you to get off the beaten path a bit with your commute, and infuse a little adventure into your daily routine.