All kinds of different cycling disciplines are fantastic in their own way - and much in the same way that it’s not a fair comparison to compare mountain bikes to road cycling - there are some products in the cycling industry which bring our customers the best of both works. Gravel Bikes are one such area.
Gravel Bikes are often described as being very similar to old school mountain bikes, with thinner tyres and no suspension. This means that they are quicker than the mountain bikes of today. Gravel bikes also are more durable than road bikes, and unlike a road bike - they can be used off road with ease.
Here in the UK, there are plenty of service and fire roads in large blocks of forestry and across ancient countryside - which are fantastic fun to ride on. The difficulty is, that with a road bike - these tracks and trails cannot be ridden on. As well as being almost fatal to a road bike, with so many different breaking points - riding a road bike off road is also pretty dangerous, so is not recommended.
Gravel Bikes seem the perfect compromise for cyclists looking to explore off road routes and sections - and the Gravel bike is also capable enough to ride on the road with both speed and comfort in equal measure. Gravel Bikes feel good to ride on tarmac.
There are however some drawbacks to some cyclists, the geometry of a gravel bike is much less race biased than many road bikes - so a gravel bike will not be the ideal choice for road cyclists who want to race, compete or simply cycle as quickly as possible.
All gravel bikes, unlike some road bikes - all have disc brakes - providing the extra braking power needed when braking across rougher, off road surfaces. The tyres of a gravel bike are also wider and thicker than road bike tyres, sacrificing some efficiency in order to provide a more durable tyre option.
Gravel bikes also have less gears than road bikes, so although you will be able to ride a gravel bike on the road without too many complaints - if you are a racer, it’s likely that you will find the lack of gearing frustrating. Gravel bikes can spin out due to this lack of gearing as speeds head upwards towards 30mph.
For this reason Gravel Bikes are usually purchased as second bikes, with cyclists keeping either their main bike - be it a mountain bike or a road bike - as their main focus. Gravel bikes do however have a place in any bike collection, and their broad range of capabilities makes them the perfect training bike.
You can view our full range of road bikes and gravel bikes across our site, and as always - if you have any questions at all about the collection, please do get in touch and we will be more than happy to help out wherever we can.