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Ribble takes a steely approach to gravel
By Dave Land, December 2022

Dave Land looks at RIbble’s Reynolds 725 version of its gravel bike range

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Ribble has made some impressive inroads, as it were, into the gravel market. So much so that one of the regular JRtB riding buddies bought a Ribble CGR earlier this year. Admittedly they bought the titanium version (a trend amongst gravel bikers looking for some cushioning in their offroad riding). They were immensely happy with it and tested it thoroughly on three days of gravel riding - well, mostly gravel - around and across Dartmoor. The only off being a mud-drive slow dismount. Which was definitely rider-error. 


If titanium is something that is beyond your price bracket, or your inclination, then the world of steel could be something worth considering. Steel might be the perfect material for making a gravel bike - flexible, offering some give on and off the trail and relatively inexpensive compared to carbon and titanium, depending on the tubing options. And, if you have a mind to, or a welding kit, you can fix it if it breaks. 


It is good news then, that Ribble are expanding their range with the introduction of three new gravel models made from Reynolds 725. ​​The Gravel 725 Pro, Gravel 725 Enthusiast and Gravel 725 Sport. Each one provides another reason to buy a steel gravel bike.


Reynolds 725 has almost legendary status amongst the steel cognoscenti (watch out for these guys!), being an amazing combination of toughness, flexibility and lightness. Obviously lightness is relative, 725 is still steel, but the weight is more than offset by the other benefits. Bombproof - check. Supple - check. Timeless - check. Fixable - check. 


The Sport is the entry level bike - priced at a reasonable level, and equipped with SRAM Apex 1, and matching hydraulic brakes, so it’s good to go straight out of the box, or the door. The Enthusiast ups the ante with SRAM Rival, and a ‘gravel specific finishing kit’. Whilst the Pro steps the component up again, offering an outstanding gravel experience, without any need to swap out any component or worry about an upgrade in the future. Loaded up with  SRAM’s XPLR eTap AXS groupset, that’s the wireless one, and Mavic Allroad wheels wrapped with Halo GXC gravel tyres. 


Nevertheless, at JRtB we’re always interested in getting more people cycling. So we tend to focus on the quality of the entry level offering, rather than the super swanky model, as that’s always going to be good. We’re pleased to see there’s little to be disappointed about here. Mavic wheels are a solid offroad choice. We particularly like the Level gravel specific handlebars. It’s frustrating to see lower specced gravel bikes with standard road bars, and there’s none of that here. 


Unlike the CGR, all the bikes here come with 650b as standard. Which makes a strong claim for it being majority offroad based, rather than a compromise bike. The only question we have is about the Halo tyres. They are a perfect choice for the entry level bike, as they are a solid all round performer and an easy tubeless set up. However, if the bug bites are you get to know what you like, then some more specialist rubber is probably a decent investment. To be fair we ride enough that we get through at least one pair of tyres every year on the gravel bike, so we’d keep them until they’ve worn through, then we’d look at something more specialist. 


Ribble have nailed their steel offering with the Gravel 725. At all three specs it offers a cracking off road experience. 


As Jamie Burrows, Ribble’s head of Product claims “Overall, this addition provides greater choice and diversification across the whole platform alongside an exhilarating enhanced riding proposition for whatever your chosen style of off-road riding”. 


If you want gravel, and you fancy steel, this is a bike to put on your shopping list. 

visit for more details and to buy. 

Ribble Gravel 725 Rival AXS B s.jpg
Ribble Gravel 725 SRAM Rival XPLR 1 s.jpg
All photos: Ribble, 2022

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