Gravel cycling is continuing to experience an unprecedented surge in popularity, with a growing number of enthusiasts mixing up their weekend road rides by embracing the thrill of traversing rugged terrain. This trend is further fueled by the emergence of bikepacking adventures and the rise of ultra gravel races like Unbound, Across Adres, Badlands, and the Traka. And it is no surprise that gravel is growing. Gravel offers cyclists adventure and exploration, allowing them to veer off the beaten path and uncover hidden treasures that are unreachable by road alone.
This year at Rouleur Live, in collaboration with Panaracer, a number of brands will be showcasing its gravel bikes used by some of the most exciting and boundary-pushing athletes from the gravel racing and ultra-distance cycling scene.
For over 70 years Panaracer has been producing the highest-quality bicycle tyres and tubes. From utility to the high-end bikes, Panaracer has constantly taken on new challenges to create products that use new and innovative manufacturing methods that has been used by many cyclists. Still to this day, Panaracer manufactures 90% of its products from its factory in Japan, continuing to grow its offering across road, gravel, MTB, e-bike and wheelchair with its brand philosophy of pleasure, fun, safety, and peace of mind.
We take a look at which bikes will be at this year’s show and the stories behind each one.
Designed in London but handmade in Italy since 1948, Condor has firmly established itself as one of the top bike manufacturers in the UK, having crafted bikes for some of cycling's biggest stars such as Bradley Wiggins, Tao Geoghegan Hart, and Ed Clancy. After perfecting its road cycling offerings, the British bike brand ventured into the burgeoning gravel scene in 2017 with its Bivio-Gravel model, and since then, they have continued to expand its range of bikes tailored for off-road adventures.
The brand's Odyssey aluminium bike is renowned for being light, smooth, and versatile, offering outstanding performance for those fortunate enough to ride this meticulously crafted frame. British cyclist Neil Philips, who currently holds two Fastest Known Times on the King Alfred's Way and West Kernow Way in the UK, recently rode the Odyssey when he broke the FKT on King Alfred's Way. This 350km circular trail includes ancient bridleways once used by King Alfred in Wessex and Hampshire. Philips completed the route in an impressive 15 hours, 15 minutes, and 17 seconds, surpassing the previous record by a remarkable 30 minutes. You’ll be able to see Philips record-beating Condor Odyssey at Rouleur Live in the Panaracer gravel gallery.
Swift UniVox GR
Swift Bikes was founded by former professional cyclist Mark Blewett, driven by his desire to create bicycles with exceptional ride characteristics. With a racing spirit deeply embedded in the brand's DNA, Blewett embarked on a mission to gather feedback from professional athletes and experienced engineers to understand what makes an outstanding bike, one that marries performance and aesthetics.
In 2023, Brazilian cyclist Léo Pedando pelo Mundo undertook a monumental journey riding Swift’s UniVox GR, which he nicknamed "Bella", across the vast expanse of the Americas. Covering an astonishing distance of 22,434 kilometres, Léo accomplished this extraordinary feat in just 95 days, averaging an impressive 240 kilometres per day on his trusty bike. Throughout his epic adventure, he conquered diverse terrains and weather conditions, cycling all the way from Alaska to Ushuaia. Léo's journey served as a testament to the UniVox GR's versatility, proving its ability to handle whatever challenges the trails threw at him. Léo gave his bike away in a raffle for charity, but you can still see the UniVox GR in person on display at Rouleur Live in the Panaracer gravel gallery, and imagine yourself embarking on your own adventures, inspired by Léo’s awe-inspiring journey.
Ribble Gravel SL Marble Hero
Ribble is a brand steeped in British heritage. First founded in the 1800s when it became a manufacturer of steel frames to provide an alternative to the traditional Penny Farthings that dominated the market, the brand has gone from strength to strength ever since. From providing the bikes for the England Olympic team in 1956 to creating some of the most stunning and forward-thinking frame designs on the market. Ribble has a traditional history, but it isn’t afraid to think differently and excel in the modern era. Evident with its latest CustomColour Stone Collection for its gravel bikes – a unique series of hand painted finishes that represent the natural landscape that have come to define gravel.
The brand unveiled its unique gravel bikes at the Gravel World Championships, where Team GB and Ribble Collective Elite competed. Maddy Nutt, who represented Team GB and will also be on stage at this year’s Rouleur Live, has been riding this bespoke bike across the world in races such as Unbound, Gravel Earth Series and Raiders Gravel, and now Rouleur Live, where you’ll be able to view this work of art up close.
Pearson Around the Outside
Pearson, established in 1860, holds the esteemed title of being the world's oldest bicycle manufacturer, with an enduring legacy that spans over five generations of the Pearson family. As a family-run business from its inception, Pearson remains committed to maintaining the highest standards of quality and fostering innovation, even in an ever-evolving cycling industry landscape. Throughout its illustrious history, Pearson has not merely adapted to changing times but has also been at the forefront of driving transformative shifts within the cycling industry, all while proudly preserving its rich British heritage.
In recent years, Pearson has ventured into the realm of adventure cycling, introducing a range of bikes crafted from premium materials such as titanium, carbon, and aluminium. One creation is the Around the Outside (ATO) adventure bike, inspired by a line from the iconic 1980s hit song Buffalo Girls by Malcolm McLaren. This bike is engineered to empower riders with the freedom to explore new horizons, embodying the spirit of adventure. One individual embarking on a remarkable journey with Pearson's trusted steed is Tim Wortmann, who plans to complete the Silk Road Challenging in 2023 on this bike. After suffering a high mountain fall in an ultra-marathon two years ago and breaking multiple bones in his body, Wortmann is now coming back to full health and fitness and has recently tested his endurance on the ATO in Iceland and will head to the Silk Road Challenge in 2023.
Argonaut is an emerging player in the cycling industry, gaining prominence thanks to the widespread acclaim for its RM3 road model, which was initially its sole offering. However, the brand has now expanded its portfolio to include the Argonaut GR3 gravel bike. What sets Argonaut apart from its competitors is the custom element to its bikes. Every bike the brand sells is made to order and each of the frames’ carbon layup is individual to the rider based on factors such as weight, FTP and the general landscape where the bike will be most commonly used.
The Argonaut GR3 is said to address the needs of the modern gravel cyclist and is the new standard in gravel bike design, combining rowdy enduro style descending with crit-like acceleration. Notably, gravel racing sensation Sarah Max has harnessed the full potential of this bike, securing numerous podium finishes this year, including a remarkable first-place victory at Rebecca's Private Idaho. Max's race-winning bike has been meticulously tuned to match her unique physiology, thanks to the GR3's GravelFirst geometry.
Factor Ostro Gravel
Factor Bikes emerged as a brand in 2013, making its initial mark with the Vis Vires. In 2015, when Factor was acquired by former professional cyclist Baden Cooke and Rob Gitelis, their primary goal was to transform the Vis Vires into the aerodynamically advanced Factor One. Then expanding its range was priority two. Over the years, Factor has continued to innovate, introducing remarkable models like the O2 road bike, Ostro VAM, and the Ostro gravel bike, all meticulously crafted with a relentless focus on achieving pure speed and optimal aerodynamics.
At Rouleur Live will be Danni Shrosbree’s Ostro gravel bike which she has raced on through 2023, completing Unbound, a gruelling 200-mile gravel race, and demonstrated her remarkable prowess by securing an impressive fourth-place finish against a highly competitive field.
3T Exploro RaceMax Italia
In 2016, 3T introduced its first gravel bike model, the Exploro, at a time when gravel riding was still in its infancy. This release marked a revolutionary design that has stood the test of time over the past seven years, even as gravel cycling has continued to grow in popularity. This innovative bike brand proudly claims that its gravel bike shares the same aerodynamic prowess as its road bikes, affirming that riders can maintain impressive speeds regardless of the terrain they encounter. The 3T Exploro range has since expanded to include the Exploro ULTRA, Exploro RACEMAX, and the Exploro PRO/TEAM models.
The Exploro RACEMAX is the weapon of choice for those who want to go as fast as possible on tough terrain, including David Van Orsdel, who raced on this exact model in the Gravel World Championships for the US national team. Not only will you be able to see the bike that David Van Orsdel rode at this year’s Gravel World Championships in the Panaracer gravel gallery, but you’ll also be able to meet David himself at the 3T booth.
Reilly Gradient T47
Reilly Bikes, originally founded in the late 90s by Mark Reilly and Neil Fitzgerald in south east London, has established itself as a prominent name in the realm of titanium bicycle manufacturing. Sadly, Mark Reilly passed away in 2021, prompting Fitzgerald to chart a new course for the company. The Gradient was Reilly's original gravel bike based on Mark Reilly's groundbreaking blueprints and pre-dates the whole gravel phenomenon. Then, as gravel riding grew in popularity, the Gradient evolved to Gradient T47.
Former professional and World Champion mountain bike racer, Petra Wiltshire rode the Gradient T47 gravel bike throughout 2023, conquering epic rides such as the UAE gravel series, Dirty Reiver, the Gralloch, King’s Cup and the UCI Gravel World Championships. Her cycling career began when she suffered from a knee injury playing national league hockey, and she started downhill mountain biking. Before long, she had a number of national, European and three World titles to her name in the sport. No longer a pro, she now is part of the gravel scene, and Wiltshire admits that she just loves to race, especially when it comes to biking downhill, fast. She her Reilley Gradient T47 in the Panaracer gravel gallery at Rouleur Live.
Santa Cruz Stigmata
Santa Cruz was an early adopter of SRAM’s Universal Derailleur Hanger (UDH) for it gravel bikes, already common on mountain bikes, as it offers not only a simple ‘single-product-for-all’ derailleur hanger, but is also compatible with SRAM’s next-gen Eagle Transmission. Using the wider-ranging MTB gearing at the rear – known as ‘Mullet’ setup – is becoming a preferred choice amongst gravel riders as the 10-52T cassette permits the use of a larger chainring up front. This makes the new Stigmata gravel bike with Mullet setup fast, light, and nibbles, with versatility at the heart of its design.
Even before the bike officially launched, it gained worldwide acclaim with Keegan Swenson riding it to victory at one of most gruelling gravel races on the calendar, having fought his way to victory in atrocious conditions to top the podium at this year’s Unbound.
You will also be able to see J Laverack's GRiT GRX Mechanical, Argon 18's Dark Matter, Scott's Addict Gravel, and GT's Grade gravel bike, all at Rouleur Live.