Last updated on May 27th, 2023
Gravel bikes, also known as adventure bikes or all-road bikes. Relatively new category of bicycles that are designed to be ridden on a variety of surfaces. Including paved roads, gravel paths, and even single track trails. These bikes are often referred to as “do-it-all” bikes. Because they are capable of handling a wide range of terrain and riding conditions.
Why Gravel bikes
One of the key features of gravel bikes is their versatility. They are designed to be fast and efficient on paved roads, but also capable of handling rough and rocky terrain. This versatility makes them a popular choice for bike packers, commuters, and recreational riders. Who want a bike that can handle a variety of different surfaces and environments.
Gravel bikes are typically built with a longer wheelbase and a more relaxed head angle than traditional road bikes. This geometry provides a stable and comfortable ride on rough terrain, while also allowing for a more upright riding position. Many gravel bikes also feature wider tires and lower tire pressure, which helps to absorb shock and increase traction on loose surfaces.
In addition to their rugged construction and versatile geometry, gravel bikes are often equipped with a wide range of accessories and features that make them well-suited for adventure cycling. These can include racks and fenders for carrying gear, as well as mounting points for bottles, bags, and other accessories. Some gravel bikes even have provisions for attaching a trailer, making them a great choice for bikepacking and extended touring.
While gravel bikes are not as fast as traditional road bikes on pavement, they offer a much more comfortable and enjoyable ride on rough and uneven surfaces. This is due in part to the more upright riding position and the ability to run lower tire pressure, which helps to absorb shock and reduce fatigue.
One of the biggest advantages of gravel bikes is the freedom they offer to explore and ride on a variety of different surfaces. Whether you are tackling a rocky and technical single-track trail, or cruising along a smooth and fast gravel path, a gravel bike can handle it all. This versatility makes them a great choice for riders who want to mix up their rides and explore new trails and roads.
Gravel bikes have exploded in popularity in recent years, and it’s easy to see why. They offer a fun and exciting way to explore the outdoors, and are a great choice for riders who want a bike that can handle a wide range of terrain and riding conditions. Whether you are commuting to work, tackling a multi-day bikepacking trip, or just looking for a fun and versatile way to ride, a gravel bike might be just what you need.
When considering a gravel bike purchase, there are a few key factors to consider
- Geometry: The geometry of a gravel bike can greatly affect its handling and ride quality. Look for a bike with a longer wheelbase and a more relaxed head angle for a stable and comfortable ride on rough terrain.
- Tire clearance: Gravel bikes typically come equipped with wider tires, which can provide increased traction and comfort on rough surfaces. Make sure the bike you are considering has sufficient clearance for the width of tires you want to run.
- Components: The components of a gravel bike, such as the drivetrain, brakes, and wheels, can greatly affect its performance and durability. Look for high-quality components that are suitable for the type of riding you plan to do.
- Frame material: Gravel bikes are typically made from one of three main frame materials: carbon fiber, aluminum, or steel. Each material has its own unique characteristics and benefits, so consider which one is best suited to your needs and budget.
- Suspension: Some gravel bikes come equipped with suspension forks or seatposts to help absorb shock and improve comfort on rough terrain. Decide whether or not you want a suspension-equipped bike, and consider the type and amount of suspension that is best for your needs.
- Fit: A bike that fits well will be more comfortable to ride and will also perform better. Make sure to try out several bikes to determine which one fits you best, and consider getting a professional fitting to ensure that you get the perfect fit for your body.
- Budget: Finally, consider your budget when making a purchase. Gravel bikes can range in price from a few hundred dollars to several thousand, so decide how much you are willing to spend and look for a bike that fits within your budget.