Gravel bike: Safe on trails and in the city

Tips on driving behavior and road safety

Anyone who wants to ride a bike both in traffic and off-road will quickly end up with a so-called gravel bike. The current trend bike is versatile and can be put together individually. Dimitar Gouberkov, accident expert at ERGO, knows what cyclists should consider when buying, on trails and in the city in order to avoid accidents.

Suitable for many things

The gravel bike is characterized by wide tires, a racing handlebar and a construction that enables an upright sitting position. This makes it suitable not only for gravel roads in the field, but also for everyday trips on paved roads to the supermarket or to the office. Dimitar Gouberkov recommends getting advice from a specialist dealer when putting the bike together so that the cyclist can use the diversity of the bike properly and adapt it to his or her wishes. By the way: The gravel bike is also available as a motorized e-gravel bike.

The right riding technique on trails

Wide tires mounted, handlebars and saddle in the right position: let’s go off-road. But be careful: “Driving on uneven roads and inclines requires special driving technique,” ​​Gouberkov informs. Otherwise, it can quickly lead to a fall and injuries. For example, if you want to drive up a steep gravel road, you should shift your weight forwards with your back straight and arms bent, but at the same time be ready to move it backwards if, for example, the rear tire spins on the slippery path. The ERGO expert recommends that beginners off-road to practice driving on slopes only on simple stretches in order to get a feel for cycling and driving behavior.

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Roadworthiness is mandatory for road traffic

If you want to use the variety of the gravel bike in everyday life, you should make sure that it is equipped for road use in accordance with the Road Traffic Licensing Regulations (StVZO). That means: a brightly sounding bell, two independent brakes, non-slip pedals with reflectors and bicycle lighting consisting of a white front light and a red rear light. Mudguards protect you from arriving at the office with soiled clothes. A luggage bag makes it possible to carry spare clothes, shoes, but also a laptop or shopping on the two-wheeler. “For everyday drivers, a deeper frame can also be suitable to make it easier to get on and off at traffic lights, for example,” adds Gouberkov.

Not without a helmet

Although helmets are not compulsory, the accident expert from ERGO recommends always wearing a helmet – whether off-road or in everyday life on bike paths and roads. Because in addition to a forward-looking driving style, a bicycle helmet is the best protection against life-threatening head injuries. According to the German Society for Orthopedics and Trauma Surgery (DGOU), up to 70 percent of fatal brain injuries of cyclists can be avoided by wearing a helmet.
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About ERGO Group AG
ERGO is one of the large insurance groups in Germany and Europe. The group is represented in 30 countries around the world and focuses on the regions of Europe and Asia. With ERGO Deutschland AG, ERGO International AG, ERGO Digital Ventures AG and ERGO Technology & Services Management, four separate units operate under the umbrella of the group, in each of which the German, international, direct and digital business as well as the global management of IT and technology operate -Services are grouped together. 40,000 people work as salaried employees or as full-time independent agents for the group. In 2018, ERGO received 19 billion euros in total premiums and provided its customers with gross insurance benefits of 15 billion euros. ERGO is part of Munich Re, one of the world’s leading reinsurers and risk carriers.
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