Saddle Slang is sponsored by Rehook. Check out our tools, bike care and apparel

Grah-vul Grin-dur

noun, verb

Gravel Grinder is a type of off-road cycling on surfaces such as gravel, dirt, and mud.

Example usage: I'm going for a Gravel Grinder ride this weekend.

Most used in: Gravel Grinder is popular among cyclists in rural areas with access to unpaved roads.

Most used by: Gravel Grinder is most commonly used by Triathlon and mountain bike cyclists.

Popularity: 8/10

Comedy Value: 4/10

Also see: Gravel Cycling, Gravel Riding, Adventure Cycling, Gravel Racing,

What is a Gravel Grinder?

Gravel grinding is a type of cycling that involves riding on unpaved roads. It is a relatively new style of cycling that is becoming increasingly popular due to its versatility and the challenge it provides. Gravel grinding can be done on any type of terrain, including gravel roads, dirt roads, and even trails. It requires a different type of bike than traditional road cycling and is more akin to mountain biking.

Gravel grinding often involves long-distance rides, with some events such as the Dirty Kanza 200 in Kansas covering over 200 miles. In addition to the physical challenge, gravel grinding also requires riders to be prepared for the unexpected, such as changing weather conditions, unexpected obstacles, and the need for navigation skills. This makes it an exciting and rewarding experience.

In recent years, gravel grinding has become increasingly popular, with the number of gravel events in the United States increasing from just a handful in 2013 to over 500 in 2019. This trend is expected to continue as more people discover the joys of gravel grinding.

Gravel grinding is a great way to explore the outdoors and push your cycling skills to the limit. Whether you're looking for a relaxing ride on a dirt road or an epic adventure on a gravel road, gravel grinding is sure to provide an unforgettable experience.

Origin of the Cycling Term 'Gravel Grinder'

The term 'Gravel Grinder' was first used by cyclists in the mid-2000s, primarily in the United States. It is used to describe the type of cycling that is done on unpaved roads, including gravel, dirt, and other surfaces.

Gravel Grinder events can range from short rides of a few miles to multi-day events that cover hundreds of miles. They often feature challenging terrain, including hills and rough surfaces, and are typically unsupported, meaning that participants are responsible for their own food, water, and supplies.

Gravel Grinder events have become increasingly popular in recent years, and many cycling clubs and organizations now host Gravel Grinder rides and races. The term is also used to refer to the type of bike used in such events, which typically has wider tires and a more relaxed geometry than a traditional road bike.

Back to blog

Leave a comment

Please note, comments need to be approved before they are published.

Saddle Slang

Find definitions for all of the technical terms, slang, and acronyms used in cycling. From the different types of bikes and their components, to training techniques, racing terminology and put downs, this dictionary has it all.

Talk the Talk
1 of 3