Priority Apollo Gravel Review: A Bike for Roads and Mud

Just about every several years, the biking globe will come out with a new development I generally ignore. A dozen years in the past, anyone was going nuts for cyclocross, or cross-region bicycle racing. Then it was extra fat tires, touring bikes, and ebikes (Ok, I got into individuals).

Some time in the past, gravel biking turned the incredibly hot new point. I was skeptical. Again at it once more, bicycle people today had been telling anyone to shell out 1000’s on a bicycle that is in involving a street bicycle and a mountain bicycle. But that skepticism eroded as quickly as I started using them.

It turns out that gravel rides are adaptable. They’re good commuter bikes, and you will not come to feel like a dingbat if you just take it out on basic weekend trails with your close friends. Priority’s Apollo Gravel is an exemplar of the form. It’s reasonably priced contemplating the breadth of its options, like an internal equipment hub and a carbon generate belt that’s easy to rinse off when you get mucky.

I have been using it by means of an exceptionally damp Pacific Northwest winter, on equally socially distanced weekend gravel rides and as my daily neighborhood commuter. I love it. It feels function-crafted for my grubby way of life. This is a bicycle I would buy myself.

Grinder Finder

Photograph: Adrienne So
Photograph: Adrienne So

Cycling is a tribal sport, from the spandex-clad street bikers to the clawed-shin mountain bikers and dying-defying hipsters whipping by means of traffic on historical fixies. New York City–based Priority Bicycles helps make bikes for people today like me. We like bikes but detest clip-in sneakers. In normal, its bikes are accessible—attractive, enjoyable to ride, but not overtly specialized seeking.

The Apollo is its first gravel bicycle. Gravel bikes search like street bikes on steroids, with fall-bar handlebars and a lengthy, ahead-leaning body for placing in lengthy miles. But they generally have options that make them less squirrelly than a street bicycle, like greater tires and disc brakes.

The tester Priority sent me was a small in a mossy Floor Regulate Eco-friendly. I’m 5’2″, and it suits me rather perfectly, but I did end up inquiring the company to swap out the handlebar stem for 1 that was a minor shorter. My arrive at wasn’t pretty lengthy more than enough. (You can select from medium, large, and excess-large sizes as perfectly.)

The Apollo Gravel has an aluminum body with a shock-absorbing carbon-fiber fork and seat article. It weighs 24 kilos, which feels astonishingly gentle. It’s as gentle as my metal commuter bicycle, even with the significant internal equipment hub.

An internal equipment hub is a transmission system that is neatly contained—unlike the chain and derailleur most of us are common with, wherever a bicycle chain skips from equipment to equipment when you change. The internal system is heavier, which is why you’re a lot more probable to see them on electric powered or commuter bikes wherever fat is less of an challenge, and it also lets you change gears from a standstill.

If you’ve got never done it right before, it can be overwhelming to alter a rear wheel that has an internal hub with a belt generate. Priority Bicycles spokesperson Casey Raymer claims transforming a rear tire with a belt generate and internal equipment hub is a ton less messy than working with a greasy chain and derailleur, but I viewed several YouTube films and am not specifically reassured about my potential to do so. At minimum the tires on the Apollo are tubeless-appropriate, which usually means you can convert them into staying a ton less probable to get a flat.

However, on a commuter bicycle, I say, “Heck yeah!” to an internal equipment hub. You’re not constantly fussing with chain rigidity, attempting to figure out why your bicycle chain keeps slipping off. Right before the Apollo, I never took a bicycle with an internal equipment hub out on a path. It turns out that staying ready to alter gears at a standstill is just as pleasant on steep, muddy hills as it is in the middle of traffic.