Although Mountain Biking can be good fun whatever the weather - and there are some great days to be had when riding mountain bikes in winter weather conditions - there are many reasons why you should think about jumping on a gravel bike VS a mountain bike during the winter months - providing all of the benefits and enjoyment of winter off road riding, without the drawbacks.
One of the biggest issues with riding in winter, is that mountain bike trails and tracks become quagmires of mud, which not only makes progress incredibly difficult, but also means that you need to take regular breaks to clean the mud out of your bike. It’s the same story when you get the mountain bike home from a day out in the mud, a pretty extensive clean needs to be carried out to ensure that your bike not only looks clean, but the components are protected and continue to operate as they should.
Another thing to consider is the damage done to trails and rights of way during the winter months - singletrack and downhill trails can be decimated during the winter months and chewing up muddy rights of way can cause friction between mountain bikers & walkers.
Gravel Biking in Winter
Gravel Biking is the perfect way to get out during the shorter winter days - although gravel riding can be seen as slightly softer than mountain biking - it’s the perfect way to get into the great outdoors without becoming completely caked in mud, or sliding all over on the bike. There are plenty of trails which are rideable on a gravel bike whatever the weather, fire roads, unsurfaced paths and roads as well as normal roads are all rideable and enjoyable on a gravel bike.
With a bit of forethought you can plan a route which is mud-free and can take all day to ride, and once you get into the great outdoors, there is no stopping you and you can find plenty of peace and quiet.
One of the most exciting things about riding a gravel bike is how close you can get to doing ‘mountain biking’ without actually doing so. Skinnier tyres and the lack of suspension on a gravel bike, makes riding a gravel bike exciting - meaning you can still get plenty of adrenaline-fuelled riding in, on trails which a mountain bike would make light work of. Pretty sedate trails on a mountain bike, become incredibly exciting on a gravel bike.
Modifying Mountain Bike for Winter
If you do not want to invest in a gravel bike, you can make some modifications to your mountain bike which can make it better for the ‘gravel bike riding conditions’ . You can choose skinnier tyres and lockout suspension to make the mountain bike quicker and more efficient across light off-road conditions. Although these small changes will help, nothing can compete with a gravel bike when it comes to balancing off road performance and speed.
Gravel Bikes Online
At Westbrook Cycles, we stock and supply an excellent range of gravel bikes that we supply online - these bikes are shipped directly from our warehouse, and all have been handpicked to provide excellent levels of performance, reliability and value - helping you have great days out.