Information on buying gravel bikes
Would you like to purchase a gravel bike? Finding the ideal dirt bike for you should be made easier with the help of the advice, suggestions, and answers to key questions provided here.
The new form of road mobility
Early on, following the discovery of cycling as a pastime, the practical mode of transportation evolved in two different directions: road bikes and variations for off-road use.
Today, road bikes and mountain bikes specifically cover these two extremes. With the development of the gravel bike, a new class of bicycles has been created that excels on both paved and unpaved surfaces by fusing the roadworthiness of a road bike with elements of the mountain, cyclocross, and enduro bikes.
Theory and practice of the new type of bicycle
Flexible bicycles are now slowly but surely making an appearance in Europe after the gravel bike has already established itself in the North American region for a number of years. Several structural characteristics distinguish gravel bikes from other types of bicycles.
- Wider wheels than road bikes (between 28 and 35 mm)
- No active suspension as with the MTB
- Frame geometry between cyclocross and road bike
- The sitting position tends to be more upright than on a road bike
- Typical road bike handlebars, often particularly low-lying
This combination results in a bicycle that can be ridden safely on paved roads and, if necessary, at high speeds – but not on unpaved roads. Such a bike is unlikely to reach the speed of a true road bike and is unsuitable even for extremely difficult terrain.
The bike, however, impresses from the tarred road to the trail as the ideal road bike, with stable handling, high speed, and efficient pedal power transmission.
The frame geometry of the road bike wonder
A gravel bike’s usual frame geometry is difficult to identify because it is a hybrid of numerous sorts of bicycles.
However, most road models currently contain a number of traits that can be considered essential for this sort of bike. Popular bicycles, in particular, feature an enlarged back end.
In addition, the wheelbase is often long. As a result, gravel bikes have excellent handling stability.
In almost all situations, the essential design of the frame corresponds to the diamond frame shape, which was made known and famous by road cycles.
This form provides great structural thickness while minimizing frame damage from large stresses. As a result, the specific frame form of a gravel bike is frequently described as a combination of standard cyclocross and endurance bike characteristics.
On the gravel road despite the lack of suspension?
The suspension and dampening characteristics of a standard gravel bike distinguish it from off-road bike varieties. In almost all cases, off-road bicycles have at least one suspension fork, and in the case of full-suspension mountain bikes, the suspension fork and rear suspension are combined.
Best performance on every track – racers, trekkers and commuters swear by gravel bikes.
Gravel bikes often lack active suspension and utilize a stiff fork because they are not intended for off-road riding.
However, manufacturers are experimenting with specifically engineered frame sections that absorb and reduce tiny vibrations so that the driver does not have to feel every blow, even on uneven roads.
This suspension effect is frequently reliant on the correct carbon or aluminum material composition.
Braking and shifting on the gravel bike
Most dirt bike models now include disc brakes to guarantee a particularly safe braking effect, which is an important component of any road bike.
As a result, even on bicycles with extremely thin wheels, this technology does not produce excessive wear on the rims.
Mountain bike gearshifts, which typically have at least 20 gears, provide exceptional flexibility depending on the terrain. Ready-made Gravel Bike bicycles are frequently equipped with Shimano or SRAM gearshifts, depending on your preferences.
The shifting behavior of the two variations varies depending on the manufacturer: Shimano versions provide for extremely smooth shifting that has no discernible effect on driving stability, however many riders like the relatively jerky SRAM gearshifts since the gear change is particularly safe to feel here.
How does a gravel bike ride?
On high-quality models, the new road bike design rides exceptionally softly on both paved and muddy trails.
Riding comfort is usually a major issue, as dirt bikes should be capable of covering longer distances.
This sort of bike may also be used for longer excursions and treks due to the strong frame forms and thicker wheels – even if most models require a baggage rack to be adapted to haul luggage on the bike.
By the way, many gravel bike models have a frame geometry that allows for extremely flexible saddle height adjustment.
Bicycle saddles can be set exceptionally high for rapid rides or particularly low for a more comfortable upright seated position over extended distances.
The right bike for every road
A bike manufacturer’ stated goal is to achieve the best possible performance on all roads and pathways. This ambition could finally be realized by combining road bike, cyclocross, enduro, and mountain bike characteristics.
Road bikes must be cautious of dangerous cobblestones and rooted woodland paths, trekking bikes are frequently too heavy for the everyday commute to work, and mountain bikes often require substantially more leg force due to wide tires and suspension on roads.
All of these issues are addressed by the Gravel Bike.
Here, you can easily transition from the road to the gravel road and back again — there are no longer any restrictions on bike mobility on the road.