Cycling

Putting the 2022 Ridley Kanzo to the test: gravel riding in and around Girona

By January 12, 2022 No Comments
Ridley-Kanzo-Test-Ride-2022-Gravel-Cycling-Girona-Nafent-Eat-Sleep-Cycle

Nafent Magazine, the bilingual cycling magazine in Catalonia, tried Eat Sleep Cycle’s new Ridley gravel bikes for a week and tested them on all terrains and surfaces. Our conclusion: The Kanzo, whether it is electric or not, is your ideal gravel bike for both performance riding and bike packing.

Looking back on a great week of graveling in Girona and its surroundings, Nafent found its journey to the Puig Segalar (close to Albons) iconic for all their rides. The Ridley Kanzo faced all kinds of terrain on that 90-kilometer route towards the northeast: asphalt, good gravel, single tracks, steep ascents, technical downhills and rocky roads and it resisted all.

It is our second day on gravel bikes we sail out for the ‘Puig’, a fantastic viewpoint in the south of Alt Empordà, and approximately 35 kilometers away from Girona. That day we barely see any paved roads, practically less than 10% of our whole ride is planned to be on tarmac as soon as we leave the city.

The route to Puig Segalar is quite hilly. It contains a few steep inclines, which can tickle the muscles. We visit our favorite towns when we depart from Girona by road bike: Gaüses and Pins. Later on, we see a few other old towns like Saus and Ventalló. However, the destination that strikes us the most is the abandoned castle close to the Puig Segalar. On our route builder that seemed to be a great place to go.

Ridley-Kanzo-Gravel-Electric-Bike-Rental-Girona

The serious climbing starts when we are getting near to the ‘Puig’ itself. We first cross the tiny town Palauborell (six houses and a church), and then find the abandoned castle on our way. It turns out to be less abandoned than we thought beforehand, it is a private place, but that does not take away its beauty. We wonder from that moment on what the function of such a big castle in the middle of nowhere was in the past.

From there it is a bit steeper towards the ‘Puig’. The gravel gets a bit rockier here, but the Kanzo’s do not have any issue with stones that take away some of the speed. Climbing to the highest point in this area is definitely worth the effort: from Puig Segalar one can pretty much see all the places in the north-east of Catalonia: from the Pyrenees to Roses and from l’Escala to Rocacorba.

It is an easy-going downhill towards another small village called Marenyà, before we start to ride back towards Girona on flatter gravel roads. We are developing some speed on our way back, and the Ridley Kanzo seems to enjoy that too. The stiff frame and aerodynamic build, that the Kanzo inherited from the Ridley road bikes used by WorldTour-team Lotto-Soudal, makes one use the biggest gears on the gravel bike on the flats. Via Jaffre and Flaça (unfortunately partly paved) we find ourselves on the classic gravel route back to Girona. Five hours later we are back where we started: at Eat Sleep Cycle’s cafeteria.

Ridley-Kanzo-Gravel-Electric-Bike-Rental-Girona

The electric Ridley Kanzo is nearly empty when we order our coffees, however, with a range of around 90 kilometers, including over 1200 meters of elevation, we must say that we are impressed by the battery.

An extensive report on Nafent’s three-day bike packing tour through the Alt Empordà can be found in the second edition of the magazine. Volume 2 of Nafent Magazine can be found at Eat Sleep Cycle by the end of April.

Ridley Kanzo Adeventure & Kanzo Electric Gravel Bikes

Nafent got a Ridley Kanzo and a Ridley Electric Kanzo from Eat Sleep Cycle in Girona for this gravel bike packing tour. Nafent was particularly impressed by how stable the Kanzo is and how reliable the electric support. On steep uphills, the electric variant wants to keep going, also if small rocks reduce your speed. In downhills, both models go very smoothly through the corners.

The single gear chain ring in the front is not an issue, as the biggest and smallest rings in the back are more than sufficient to overcome 98% of all the climbs and downhills.

The Electric Kanzo has a range of around 90 kilometers, depending on how much power you need and how hilly your route is. For our distances it was more than sufficient. Bringing the charger allows you to recharge the battery during coffee stops. Recharging, in the beginning, is fast, however, to fully recharge the battery, you need a few hours.

The Kanzo turned out to be an ideal bike for gravel bike packing. The bags from SKS Germany perfectly fitted onto the bike and after a few minutes, we forgot about our bags. The thick tires, disc brakes and stiffness of the frame result in a very comfortable riding experience.

Bike Packing Set Up

Nafent chose German quality for their bike packing tour through the Emporda. All products for the bike packing trip were from SKS Germany. On the normal Kanzo, we mounted the Explorer saddlebag, Explorer bar bag, Explorer Edge, and the Explorer Smart. This was enough for a small bike packing trip like ours, especially while sleeping in comfortable hotels or apartments like Hotel Empordà Golf and Bravissimo.

For more sophisticated bike packing tours, for example, with sleeping bags and tents, SKS Germany offers plenty of possibilities to make your trip successful. For example, the Explorer Experience Framebag has a maximum load capacity of 5 kilograms, is waterproof and keeps space for your water bottles. An extra feature from the Ridley Kanzo is that there are additional alternative places to mount bottle holders on the frame.

The only product we did not use from SKS Germany was the Mudrocker. It did not rain and the roads were not wet, so Nafent decided to leave the mudguards at home.

Girona Gravel Route to Puig Segalar

Nafent planned the route on Kommot – check it out & download it below:

Experience gravel cycling in Girona

If you’d like to experience this ride you can rent a gravel bike or book a gravel cycling tour. Give us a call now on +34 972 754 301 or contact us online for more info!

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