Priority Apollo Gravel Review: A Bike for Roads and Mud

Each individual several several years, the biking entire world will come out with a new pattern I largely overlook. A dozen yrs in the past, every person was likely nuts for cyclocross, or cross-nation bicycle racing. Then it was fats tires, touring bikes, and ebikes (Okay, I acquired into people).

Some time back, gravel biking turned the scorching new factor. I was skeptical. Back again at it once more, bicycle folks ended up telling absolutely everyone to expend 1000’s on a bicycle that is in between a street bike and a mountain bike. But that skepticism eroded as soon as I started off riding them.

It turns out that gravel rides are adaptable. They’re wonderful commuter bikes, and you will not experience like a dingbat if you just take it out on basic weekend trails with your good friends. Priority’s Apollo Gravel is an exemplar of the kind. It’s fairly priced thinking of the breadth of its characteristics, like an internal equipment hub and a carbon drive belt which is uncomplicated to rinse off when you get mucky.

I’ve been using it through an very damp Pacific Northwest winter, on the two socially distanced weekend gravel rides and as my day-to-day neighborhood commuter. I really like it. It feels purpose-built for my grubby life-style. This is a bike I would buy myself.

Grinder Finder

Photograph: Adrienne So
Photograph: Adrienne So

Cycling is a tribal sport, from the spandex-clad highway bikers to the clawed-shin mountain bikers and dying-defying hipsters whipping by visitors on historic fixies. New York City–based Priority Bicycles helps make bikes for persons like me. We like bikes but despise clip-in footwear. In common, its bikes are accessible—attractive, enjoyment to ride, but not overtly specialized hunting.

The Apollo is its first gravel bike. Gravel bikes seem like street bikes on steroids, with drop-bar handlebars and a long, forward-leaning body for placing in extended miles. But they usually have attributes that make them a lot less squirrelly than a highway bicycle, like bigger tires and disc brakes.

The tester Priority despatched me was a small in a mossy Floor Management Environmentally friendly. I’m 5’2″, and it fits me rather perfectly, but I did close up asking the business to swap out the handlebar stem for one that was a little shorter. My get to wasn’t quite lengthy plenty of. (You can pick out from medium, huge, and excess-substantial sizes as nicely.)

The Apollo Gravel has an aluminum body with a shock-absorbing carbon-fiber fork and seat submit. It weighs 24 lbs ., which feels astonishingly light-weight. It’s as gentle as my steel commuter bicycle, even with the weighty inside gear hub.

An inside equipment hub is a transmission program that is neatly contained—unlike the chain and derailleur most of us are familiar with, exactly where a bicycle chain skips from gear to equipment when you change. The inner technique is heavier, which is why you are more probably to see them on electrical or commuter bikes exactly where pounds is significantly less of an difficulty, and it also lets you change gears from a standstill.

If you’ve got under no circumstances carried out it in advance of, it can be intimidating to change a rear wheel that has an inside hub with a belt travel. Precedence Bicycles spokesperson Casey Raymer suggests switching a rear tire with a belt travel and interior equipment hub is a great deal significantly less messy than working with a greasy chain and derailleur, but I viewed a number of YouTube movies and am not exactly reassured about my potential to do so. At minimum the tires on the Apollo are tubeless-compatible, which usually means you can transform them into becoming a great deal a lot less probable to get a flat.

However, on a commuter bicycle, I say, “Heck yeah!” to an internal gear hub. You are not continuously fussing with chain stress, seeking to determine out why your bicycle chain keeps slipping off. Prior to the Apollo, I in no way took a bicycle with an interior equipment hub out on a path. It turns out that staying equipped to transform gears at a standstill is just as good on steep, muddy hills as it is in the center of targeted visitors.

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