It’s often said - that the current range of gravel bikes are just old mountain bikes - and we can see why this is said (even when tongue in cheek!) Gravel Bikes do share a lot of the geometry and design from older mountain bikes - such as tyre widths, upright riding position and the absence of suspension.
Gravel Bikes first rose to popularity in America - where long farm and fire road tracks made for the perfect long distance routes to ride. One of the biggest choices for our customers looking to make an informed decision about the right bike for them - is the choice between a lightweight hardtail mountain bike, and a gravel bike.
Gravel Bikes are massively diverse, and there’s definitely a line to where a more specialist mountain bike should be used - and a lot of this depends upon rider confidence and preferences. Some riders would feel comfortable tackling downhill loose and rough estates on a gravel bike, whilst others would feel more comfortable tackling such terrain on a full suspension mountain bike.
One of the biggest things to consider is just how much mountain bikes have changed in recent years - with the widely accepted belief that mountain bike terrain has become harder - mountain bikes have had to improve, with increased suspension performance in response to greater demands by the industry. This can mean that riding a mountain bike on gravel and fire roads - can become a very underwhelming thing to do. A Gravel Bike without suspension, provides a more fun, more efficient and more exciting performance across gravel tracks and fire roads.
If you spend a lot of time climbing on your bike - it’s likely that you will prefer the geometry and design of a gravel bike - which makes climbs easier thanks to gearing changes, as well as the absence of any suspension. On that note however, there is something to be said for riding on a mountain bike - where you do not have to consider the terrain that you are riding on.
Gravel Bikes Online
At Westbrook Cycles, we stock and supply a massive range of Gravel Bikes online - all of which have been handpicked from the very best bike brands. Alongside our range of gravel bikes, are both mountain bikes and road bikes - ensuring that we have everything you need for every type of ride.