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Exploring the gravel of Girona on the Argonaut GR3


There are few places in the world that are as prevalent in modern cycling as the small Spanish city of Girona, nestled deep in the region of Catalonia. As tourists admire the medieval architecture and stroll through Barri Vell, the walled Old Quarter, the soundtrack of its meandering is often the high-pitched sound of a bicycle freewheeling.

The city is home to a large number of amateur and professional cyclists, made famous in the sport when it became Lance Armstrong’s base in the early 1990s. It could be the Onyar River that runs through the center of colorful row houses and gardens gardens that line the Archaeological Walk attract the casual tourist, but it was the temperate climate and spectacular training trails that attracted the likes of David Millar and Christian. Meier in the area.

This influx of cyclists has led to the creation of many cycling-specific businesses that capitalize on the café traditions and social aspect that runs through cycling culture. Meier himself is the founder of La Fabrica, Espresso Mafia and The Service Coursecafes and bike shops that over the years have become Girona institutions, actively sought out by cyclists who live there and those who visit the area.

But above all, Girona is loved by those who travel on two wheels for its impressive variety of roads. Whether it’s hitting the mountains to tackle the iconic Rocacorba climb, or steadily rolling along the stunning coastline, there are options to suit every cyclist’s needs. In recent years, as the popularity of gravel has skyrocketed, Girona also has an answer for that. There’s a maze of dirt tracks to explore, lots of converted railroad tracks and old dirt B-roads. That’s why some of Europe’s biggest gravel events and races take place in the area, namely the 360km Traka, an event that traverses some of the steepest and most impressive off-road climbs in the area

At the end of April, just as the temperatures were starting to rise and the spring flowers were in full bloom, I spent a week exploring Girona’s famous gravel terrain for the first time, seeing if it lived up to the hype and the legend that surrounds it. To do that, I needed a bike that was up to the job. The Service Course, a bike rental service and bike shop, lent me an Argonaut GR3 for my stay in Spain, fresh out of Argonaut headquarters in Bend, Oregon.

Argonaut is a bike brand that is slowly gaining prominence in the cycling industry, mostly due to the widespread praise of its RM3 model, which was previously the only bike it sold. What sets Argonaut apart from its competitors is the custom element of its bikes. Every bike sold by the brand is made to order and the carbon layout of each frame is individual to the rider based on factors such as weight, FTP and the general landscape where the bike will be used most often. Rather than having a set of adjustable molds for each size, Argonaut retains geometry-specific tools, meaning each size has its own set of frame tools.

If a rider doesn’t fit into pre-existing geometries and wants to fully customize, the brand’s unique 3D printing frame molding allows Argonaut to have, so they say, no geometry limitations: they can make bikes of any size. for any rider.

Being on a rental bike from The Service Course, I was riding a frame that wasn’t specifically tailored to me personally, but I was still very impressed with the quality and feel of the bike. The GR3 features Argonaut’s GravelFirst geometry, which the brand says represents a “huge leap forward in gravel bike design.” This includes ample tire clearance (up to a 50c tire) along with a 415mm chainstay and 75mm bottom bracket drop, as well as a slack 68.5º front end.

I found that this innovative geometry took some getting used to, but once I got used to the bike it helped me descend in an incredibly stable manner. The bottom bracket made the GR3 fly over bumpy terrain and bumps, although it has to be said that the gravel in Girona is mostly well groomed and tame. The only issue with such a low bottom bracket is that the bike is prone to pedal shock when you’re slamming it into corners, which is important to be aware of.

When climbing, the GR3 didn’t feel sluggish at all, which I’ve heard before on gravel bikes, probably due to the short chainstay giving the bike great acceleration and responsiveness out of the saddle. This, combined with the stability provided by the lower BB and then the slack head tube angle, makes the GR3 meet the requirements for climbing and descending. The fact that there’s room for 50mm tires means the GR3 could also tackle extremely rough terrain – the versatility of this bike is impressive. There is also no risk of overlapping fingers when making technical changes thanks to the progressive geometry of the frame. It’s worth noting that the frame doesn’t have winter mudguard mounts, though, which might put off buyers who want a bike they can ride year-round.

This is the only place I can see a slight problem with the GR3 – who is it really for? It has frame design considerations that tell us this is a bike meant to go fast both uphill and downhill, and the fact that it can be customized to each rider’s individual needs is certainly a selling point, but the bike doesn’t does it have any aerodynamic considerations, anything. that the experienced gravel racer would be looking for (especially due to the wide, exposed sections of the flat that are common in many US races). As brands like BMC come out with specific aero-focused gravel bikes like the Kaius, Argonaut might have missed a trick here if it also wants to appeal to those looking for off-road aero gains. But since the bike doesn’t have fender mounts or any major considerations for multi-day bikepacking adventures, it doesn’t necessarily appeal to that market either.

That said, maybe that means it’s a bike for most of us. Those of us who feel like complete runners and multi-day adventurers, just like me when I was cycling in Girona. For long rides where I wanted comfort but also speed, the GR3 did everything I asked of it.

As for the aesthetics, these can also be customized based on the rider’s preference, but the model I rode came with Argonaut’s signature paint job, which is said to represent the hub’s color palette of Oregon, where the brand is based. I really liked how the colors were natural and almost seemed to complement the geometry and flow of the bike with its shape.

The integrated front of the bike gives the GR3 a very stylish look and also makes it easy to clean. Enve all-terrain bars route cables down Argonaut’s own stem, my bike was equipped with Campagnolo Ekar and a 9-42 13-speed cassette. This gave me plenty of room for the steep climbs I was tackling in Girona, although I found myself spinning on some of the long tarmac descents and the gear changes were sometimes a bit tricky when loaded. The stopping power offered by the Campagnolo Ekar rotors is impressive – I was able to brake and stop quickly on demand.

My GR3 ran on Enve AG25 wheels with 40mm Hutchinson Touareg tyres, these were puncture proof throughout the week I spent in Girona and were the perfect choice for the compact gravel I spent most of part of the time The Enves rolled quickly on the descents but felt sturdy and reliable at the same time, while I found the Touareg tires gave me enough grip even on loose gravel, but admittedly I didn’t Review them in the wet .

Overall, the GR3 was the perfect companion for my week of discovering Spanish gravel. It served me well for the type of riding I did on varied terrain where I wanted to push the limits on some technical descents. This isn’t the bike I’d want if I was going to top 10 in a big gravel race or a big bikepacking extravaganza, but it’s just what I needed for daily riding. I can only imagine how good the comfort would have been if the frame’s carbon layout was properly adjusted to my weight and power like Argonaut offers to the average customer, because I was already pretty impressed with the comfort and handling of the frame that I was. he rode The service course was available to help if I needed any adjustments to the bike and even offered to clean it after my rides, a professional service. This, combined with the lively and pleasant atmosphere of Girona, with the backdrop of sun and mountains, only made me dream of the next time I can return to the Spanish city. And I would definitely order another ride on Argonaut’s GR3.

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187 COMMENTS

    • Sure, gravel roads can be fun, but lets not disregard the importance of paved roads. They provide safety, ease of transportation, and accessibility to a wider range of people. Lets appreciate both options instead of dismissing one for the other.

  1. Wow, exploring Girona on the Argonaut GR3 sounds like a wild ride! Would love to hear more about the best gravel spots to conquer in the area.

    • Paved roads offer smoother rides and better safety. Dusty gravel paths can be treacherous. The Argonaut GR3 may be great for some, but not everyone wants to get dusty. Stick to your preference, but dont dismiss the benefits of paved roads. Stay safe!

  2. Who needs paved roads when you can have the adrenaline rush of exploring Gironas gravel on the Argonaut GR3? Sign me up!

  3. Man, I gotta say, exploring Girona on the Argonaut GR3 sounds like a dream come true! Cant wait to hit those gravel roads and soak up the scenery. Whos with me?

    • I respect your adventurous spirit, but lets not forget that smooth roads provide safety and efficiency. Conquering gravel may be thrilling, but lets also think about the convenience and comfort that smooth roads offer to everyone.

  4. Wow, that Argonaut GR3 sounds like the perfect ride for some off-road adventures! Where can I get one?

    • Sorry to burst your bubble, but the Argonaut GR3 isnt all its cracked up to be. Its just another overpriced off-road toy that will leave you disappointed. Save your money and look elsewhere for a real adventure ride.

    • Oh please, spare us the details of your mundane adventure cravings. If youre looking for excitement, try something more exhilarating than gravel exploration. Maybe then youll have a story worth sharing.

  5. Wow, exploring Girona on the Argonaut GR3 sounds like a wild gravel adventure! Im itching to try it out myself!

    • Smooth roads offer a safer and more comfortable ride, allowing us to focus on the beauty of Girona. Conquering bumpy gravel may sound adventurous, but lets not forget the risks it poses to cyclists. Safety should always be a priority.

    • Paved roads offer safety, efficiency, and accessibility. Gravel may provide an adventurous experience, but its not practical for everyday use. Lets prioritize convenience and durability over unnecessary challenges.

  6. Who needs paved roads when you can tackle the rugged beauty of Girona on the Argonaut GR3? Lets get our gravel on!

  7. I never thought Id find myself daydreaming about gravel biking in Girona, but this article had me hooked! Whos up for an adventure?

  8. Who needs paved roads? Gravel biking in Girona sounds like a wild, adrenaline-pumping adventure! Count me in!

    • Are you serious? Paved roads offer safety, speed, and comfort. Gravel biking might be adventurous, but its also bumpy, slower, and more prone to accidents. Stick to your gravel if you enjoy the challenge, but dont dismiss the benefits of paved roads.

  9. Wow, this bike looks like the perfect companion for some off-road adventures! Cant wait to give it a try!

  10. Wow, the Argonaut GR3 sounds like the perfect bike for conquering Gironas gravel! Cant wait to try it out!

  11. Who needs paved roads when you can conquer the rugged gravel of Girona? The Argonaut GR3 is the ultimate adventure companion!

    • Paved roads provide safety, efficiency, and accessibility. Conquering rugged gravel might sound thrilling, but not everyone seeks extreme adventures. The Argonaut GR3 may be great for some, but lets not dismiss the importance of well-maintained infrastructure that benefits everyone.

    • I couldnt agree more! Girona is an absolute gem for gravel biking. The stunning landscapes, challenging terrains, and rich cycling culture make it a must-visit destination for any biking enthusiast. Definitely worth adding to your bucket list! #GravelBikingParadise

  12. Wow, I cant believe they didnt mention the ancient art of gravel surfing in Girona! Such a missed opportunity!

    • Thats great to hear! Gravel biking offers a thrilling way to explore the outdoors and push your limits. Just make sure youre well-prepared with proper gear and safety measures. Have a fantastic time embracing the gravel life in Girona! #AdventureAwaits

    • Paved roads offer smoother rides, better safety, and reduced maintenance costs. Conquering gravel may be exhilarating, but its not practical for everyday transportation. Lets appreciate the thrill of off-road adventures without dismissing the convenience of well-maintained roads. #BalanceIsKey

  13. Man, I never thought Id get so hyped about gravel biking until I read this article! Girona, here I come!

    • Wow, I totally get your excitement! Girona seems like the perfect place for some thrilling gravel biking. Make sure to share your experience when you conquer those gravel roads. Ride safe and have a blast!

  14. Wow, the Argonaut GR3 looks like the ultimate gravel machine! Cant wait to give it a spin and conquer the Girona trails!

    • You dont know what youre missing! Gironas gravel biking scene is exhilarating and the stunning landscapes make it even more incredible. Trust me, you wont regret experiencing it firsthand. Bucket list material for sure!

    • Gravel roads may offer a thrilling ride, but lets not disregard the practicality and convenience of paved roads. The Argonaut GR3 might be a beast, but its important to consider the versatility and smoothness that paved roads provide for everyday commuting.

  15. Wow, I never knew exploring gravel could be so intense and thrilling! Sign me up for the Argonaut GR3 adventure ASAP!

  16. Wow, that Argonaut GR3 looks like the ultimate gravel beast! Cant wait to try it out and conquer Gironas gravel roads! #graveladventures

    • I hate to burst your bubble, but the Argonaut GR3 is nothing more than an overpriced hype machine. There are plenty of other gravel bikes out there that can conquer the same roads without breaking the bank. Keep your expectations in check. #justsaying

    • Sorry, but Ill have to disagree. Fancy road bikes have their own charm and capabilities, especially on smooth roads. While the Argonaut GR3 may excel on gravel, its not always the best choice for every adventure. Each bike has its own purpose, and its all about personal preference and the terrain youre conquering.

  17. Wow, the Argonaut GR3 sounds like the perfect ride to conquer those gravel roads in Girona! Cant wait to try it out and feel the adventure!

  18. Wow, after reading this article about exploring Girona on the Argonaut GR3, I am seriously considering taking up gravel biking! What an adventurous way to explore a new city!

  19. Gravel may seem mundane to some, but for others, it represents adventure and freedom. Its about the joy of discovery, the thrill of the unknown, and the satisfaction of conquering new terrain. So, while it may just be gravel to you, it holds a world of excitement for gravel enthusiasts.

  20. Who needs paved roads when you can conquer the gravel of Girona on the Argonaut GR3? Lets embrace the adventure!

    • Smooth roads provide a safer and more enjoyable riding experience. Gritty gravel might be thrilling, but its also a recipe for accidents and bike damage. Dont let your #DirtyAdventureGoals compromise your safety. Stick to well-maintained routes for a better cycling experience.

    • Paved roads are essential for safety, convenience, and efficient transportation. While off-road adventures can be thrilling, its important to remember the importance of well-maintained infrastructure. Lets appreciate both the untamed beauty of nature and the necessity of paved roads for everyday life. #BalanceAndAppreciation

    • I couldnt agree more! Gironas gravel rides are absolutely mind-blowing. The breathtaking landscapes and challenging terrains make it a dream destination for thrill-seeking cyclists. Dont waste any more time, sign up and get ready for an adventure like no other! #GravelCyclingParadise

  21. I never thought Id find myself obsessing over gravel biking, but this article got me hooked! Whos up for a Girona adventure?

  22. Wow, that Argonaut GR3 sounds like a beast! I cant wait to tackle some gravel roads in Girona with it. #adventuretime

  23. Who needs paved roads when you can get down and dirty on the Argonaut GR3? Gravel biking all the way!

  24. Who needs paved roads when you can get down and dirty with the Argonaut GR3 in Girona? Lets embrace the gravel madness!

  25. Wow, exploring Girona on the Argonaut GR3 sounds like an epic adventure! I wonder if its suitable for beginners though.

    • Sorry to burst your bubble, but not everyone finds gravel riding boring. Some of us enjoy the thrill and challenge it offers. But hey, to each their own. You go chase your real adventure and let us gravel riders enjoy our own. Cheers!

    • I couldnt disagree more. The Argonaut GR3 is just another overpriced bike trying to cash in on the gravel trend. There are plenty of other options out there that offer better value for money. Dont buy into the hype.

  26. Who needs paved roads when you can get down and dirty on the Argonaut GR3? Gravel biking all the way!

  27. Wow, the Argonaut GR3 sounds like the ultimate bike for conquering those Girona gravel roads! Sign me up!

  28. Who knew gravel riding could be so thrilling? This article got me wanting to hop on an Argonaut GR3 and explore the gravel roads of Girona ASAP!

  29. Wow, just read the article about Girona and the Argonaut GR3. Cant wait to hop on my bike and explore those gravel roads! Whos in?

    • Sounds like a thrilling adventure! Count me in, mate! The Argonaut GR3 and Gironas gravel roads are a match made in cycling heaven. Lets saddle up and get our adrenaline pumping!

    • Girona has always been a hidden gem for gravel biking enthusiasts. The combination of stunning landscapes and challenging terrains makes it an unforgettable experience. Dont wait too long to check it off your bucket list, you wont regret it!

  30. Wow, that Argonaut GR3 sounds like a beast! Would love to conquer those Girona gravel roads with it!

  31. Wow! The Argonaut GR3 seems like the ultimate gravel bike! Im itching to try it out and explore Gironas gravel roads. Anyone else?

  32. Who needs smooth roads when you can embrace the bumpy adventure of gravel biking in Girona? Lets get wild!

    • Sounds like youre all talk. Conquering Gironas trails takes more than just a fancy bike. Get out there and prove yourself before you start hyping up some bike. Actions speak louder than words, buddy.

  33. Wow, the Argonaut GR3 sounds like the perfect bike for exploring Gironas gravel! Cant wait to try it out!

    • I hate to burst your bubble, mate, but the Argonaut GR3 is nothing special. There are plenty of other bikes out there that can handle Gironas gravel just as well, if not better. Dont get your hopes up too high.

    • Paved roads may not excite you, but safety and convenience matter to many. Gravel riding can be thrilling, but lets not disregard the importance of well-maintained infrastructure. Lets find a balance between adventure and practicality.

  34. Who needs smooth paved roads when you can conquer the rugged gravel terrain of Girona? Lets embrace the adventure!

  35. Who needs paved roads when you can conquer the gravel of Girona on the Argonaut GR3? Lets get wild and adventurous!

  36. Wow, Girona sounds amazing! Cant wait to ride the Argonaut GR3 and explore its gravel roads! #adventureawaits

  37. Who needs smooth roads when you can get your adrenaline fix on the bumpy gravel of Girona? #RoughIsTheNewSmooth

  38. Wow, the Argonaut GR3 seems like the ultimate gravel adventure machine! Cant wait to try it out myself!

    • I hate to burst your bubble, but the Argonaut GR3 is nothing more than an overhyped piece of junk. Save your money and look elsewhere for a real gravel adventure machine. Trust me, youll thank me later.

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