Gravel Bikes provide the perfect halfway house between mountain biking, and road cycling. Does this mean that the clothing and gear needed for gravel bike riding sits somewhere between mountain bike and road bike clothing?
Not surprisingly, the clothing chosen by those riding a gravel bike can fall into both camps, depending upon personal preference. In the same way that you can get away with wearing road bike clothing on a mountain bike, and vice versa - most riders choose specific clothing to deal with the versatile performance of a gravel bike, where one moment you can be riding down a forest single track, and the next - you can be riding steep road ascents with road cyclists. The only fashion faux pas that we recommend avoiding, is a mountain bike helmet with Lycra... a combination of the two types of clothing works really well.
Mountain Biking clothing will always have advantages for those heading out on a gravel bike, with the extra distances and different terrain which will be encountered. Below, we run through some of the best bits of gear to wear when out gravel riding:
Gravel Bike Shoes
Gravel Bike shoes provide the perfect blend of road bike and mountain bike features - and specialist gravel bike shoes will provide you with a long lasting, comfortable shoe which is enjoyable to wear. These shoes are at home both on road and off road.
Our favourites are the Sidi Jarin Gravel Shoes - featuring a carbon fibre sole and plenty of design features to provide maximum levels of comfort and performance.
Gravel Bike Shorts
One of the most effective ways to layer up and remain comfortable on a gravel bike, whilst having plenty of access to storage and performance across changeable conditions, is to combine a bib short, worn underneath baggy shorts.
There are also gravel specific shorts available, which provide the streamline nature of road bike shorts - with extra storage and protection that baggier shorts can offer. There are no hard and fast rules here, so just wear whatever you find comfortable.
You can view our full range of shorts, here.
Gravel Bike Helmets
The right type of helmet for gravel riding is one of the most common questions we are asked by gravel riders. All types of helmets work fine, with most choosing to use a road bike helmet or a mountain bike helmet - the decision is down to personal preference, with some riders preferring the extra protection of a mountain bike helmet, and others preferring the lighter fit and form of a road bike helmet.
Gravel Bike Jerseys
Again, the main choice here is between mountain bike jerseys and tops - and road bike jerseys and tops. Personal preference is again our recommended answer, with both having benefits to being used. Storage again is a key issue here, and many riders prefer the more casual style of a mountain bike jersey when out using a gravel bike.
Gravel Bike Gear & Clothing
The best way to find the right clothing for you to use whilst riding your gravel bike, is to combine the two styles that gravel bikes cover, road cycling and mountain biking. When doing so, you can find the right gear for you to feel comfortable in when out riding.