What is a Gravel Bike?
What is a Gravel Bike used for?
Flared Drop Bars
Bars that flare out to the drops are a popular feature on gravel bikes.
The drop bars on Gravel bikes are also quite shallow when compared to those seen on road bikes. This compact setup keeps everything close by so you can concentrate on controlling the bike in a more upright position.
Areas where you will be able to see these design differences are in the slacker angles of the frame and fork, making the bike longer.
This slacker geometry also naturally encourages a more upright position on the bike, which is good for long days in the saddle and off-road exploration.
Gravel bikes have wide chunky tyres (up to 40mm) and feature a grippy tread pattern. The size lets you run lower pressures and this helps cushion the ride when things get bumpy as well as aiding with traction and control.
A popular choice is the middle ground tyre combining a low-profile centreline, for speed on the road, with traction boosting outer knobs, for when things get rowdy.
Disc brakes are seen on most road bikes nowadays so its not surprising to see them on all grave bikes where powerful brake control is a must. Disc brakes offer dependable and powerful stopping. They perform in a wide range of weather and terrain conditions and their format how they are mounted to the bike, provides space for the wider tyres.
Gravel Bike VS Road Bike
Although the terrain you might be riding on a gravel bike could be described as aggressive, the geometry of a gravel bike when compared to a road bike is much less aggressive. What this means is, unlike the tight, disciplined angles seen on road bikes to promote a tucked down, aerodynamic position, a gravel bike's upright and relaxed positioning gives improved stability and off-road control as well as being more comfortable.
As mentioned before, gravel bikes feature much more tyre clearance than road bikes, capable of housing wide tyres with extra grippy tread, opposed to the super thin and slick tyres on road bikes.
This said a good gravel bike won't feel that much different when on tarmac but as we've covered already, getting off-road is when gravel bikes truly shine!
So there you have it, Gravel bikes combine the best features and functionality of both road and mountain bikes into the form of incredibly versatile and well equipped do-it-all adventure machines.
These are probably the most versatile bikes you can buy and they are capable of tackling any towpath, track, trail or tour route that you can think of.
There's an adventure waiting for you every time you throw a leg over a gravel bike.