Blink and you’ll miss them. Trends in cycling are nothing new. If there’s one thing the industry prides themselves on it’s their marketing teams and the ability to make the seemingly mundane, a dazzling piece of genius.

The micro trends, the ideas from the thinkers who coloured outside the lines.

Think the Softride suspension system, Spinergy wheels, that if I may paraphrase Ralph Nader, were “unsafe at any speed.” Cool though, just ask Cipo.

There were the bent PMP crank arms or ‘chicken wings’ that provided no benefit whatsoever except to identify the stupid and the gullible.

Sorry, not sorry.

But! Then there are the macro trends, the ones that work, the true stayers; 28mm tyres, Etap’s Bluetooth tech is not going anywhere, disc brakes have rightfully taken over, power metres and 1x’s on road bikes are increasingly becoming normal.

Some trends may deserve legitimate respect, but the odds are stacked against them by their sheer weirdness and left of centre design. (See Canyon’s Gravel Cockpit for future scrapheap potential.) They come and go, not because they were bad, but because it’s a war of attrition out there. The weird and the wonderful push us forward and the risk takers need our support, if not our respect. If everything was slick modernist it would be boring, if we didn’t have the flights of fancy, if there were no rebels and there were no adventurers, we’d be stagnant and ultimately become the shift workers of life marching slowly towards inevitability and our collective, soul-crushing demise. We may not be physically dead, but we would be on the inside.

But we’re not. We have bike riding styles and niches to suit every personality and interest; crazy sub-genres, the cross-bred mutts that appeal to our creative spirit. Dirt-jumping freestyle on 29ers, whatever it is Red Bull does, freestyle dancing from the movie RAD. It’s all good, but serious talk, undoubtedly the biggest of these trtends over the last 18 months has been gravel riding and when Cervelo joins the party you look up.

Welcome Cervelo Aspero.

The Aspero means rough in Spanish, but the truth is, the Aspero is anything but rough. Taking all the aero knowledge and tech the company is famous for they have whittled it down into a frame that is quick over most terrains and agile in the tightest of corners.

Room for 650b tyres and 700s, the clearance and flexibility of this frame is what’s going to float most people’s boat; up to 53mm front and rear. (Cervelo recommends 48mm)

A sexy colour palette that reflects Cervelo’s recent limited-edition range and gravel/cyclocross’s penchant for jazzier colours really brings home the bacon.

There are three colours; two of which are available as complete bikes in various groupset configurations. The cool thing is whether you choose the SRAM Apex, Shimano GSX or SRAM Force E-Tap ASX (1 and 2x), the frame stays the same. There aren’t better are lesser versions, just an awesome frame spread over the range in Burgundy with Dark Orange, Mid Olive with Dune (a kind of dull gold with ecru details) and for the custom minded, a frameset in Dark and Light Teal that, with its intergalactic, white, splatter effect is not only a must see, but a way to set you apart when the roads get gravelly.

There are things to talk about like the ability to adjust the placement of the front wheel – something Cervelo calls ‘trail’ – that effectively alters the wheelbase for better stablilty or larger size tyres. It’s aero as you’d expect from the kings of slipperiness, its flexible and practical with bolts for three bottles, top tube bag mount, threaded axles! and a cool, kind of bash guard, protection piece at the BB. You can even use a dropper post if the idea strikes you. This is, as Cervelo puts it, a gravel machine, engineered not to roam the trails, but to slay them. Sheesh, there’s that marketing team, but we can’t deny that it doesn’t do that.

Here’s to the weird and the wild and those who want to do things differently and create a new normal. Ask yourself, why do you do this? If the answer doesn’t have the word fun in it somewhere, maybe you need to re-think your values. We’re all about it here and we love how the gravel makes us feel and what this means for cycling.

If you want to see more than pavement and asphalt, ome and have a chat with us to work out your spec.