No matter whether you’re riding on roads or trails, racing cyclocross or heading on a cross-country tour, a gravel bike has you covered. These adventure bikes are designed to handle any type of terrain smoothly so that you never have to worry about having a quiver of bikes in your garage.
Combining Road and Mountain Rides
Gravel bikes bring together the lightweight speed of a road bike with the durability and ruggedness of a mountain bike. In doing so, they borrow some of the best features of each style of bike:
Drop Handlebars: Gravel bikes feature the drop handlebars common to road bikes. This allows you to ride comfortably, with easy access to the brake levers and shifters whether you’re riding on road or trail.
Hydraulic Disc Brakes: All of the gravel bikes offered by bikester.co.uk come standard with hydraulic disc brakes. Adapted from mountain bikes, disc brakes offer superior stopping power to the caliper brakes found on most road bikes – perfect for riding in wet conditions or on steep terrain.
Carbon Forks:Instead of a mountain bike’s full suspension system, most gravel bikes opt for a carbon front fork. Carbon forks reduce vibration without dissipating your pedaling power in the process. That’s an advantage for riding on smoother terrain, although you may be bouncing around on rocky trails.
Comfortable Geometry:The geometry of gravel bike frames mirrors that of road bikes, putting you in a comfortable position over the pedals and allowing you to get the most power out of your legs when climbing.
Lightweight Frames: One of the most notable differences between gravel and mountain bikes is that gravel bikes are significantly lighter. Most adventure and cyclocross bike models are built with lightweight aluminum or steel frames so you can climb and descend with far more speed relative to a mountain bike.
Choosing the Right Gravel Bike
When it comes to choosing between gravel bikes, there are some important differences you need to take into account.
Wheels and Tyres
The width of the wheels is the biggest difference between gravel bike models. Wider wheels with highly studded tires are better for using your gravel bike on muddy, rocky, and gnarled trails, while narrower wheels with smooth tires are better for cruising on smooth roads. Typically, gravel bikes will accept only a small range ofwheel widths, so you’ll need to choose whether you will typically need wider or narrower wheels for your riding.
The gearing you opt for on a gravel bike should reflect your style of riding. The most important thing to consider is how many gears you need - it’s simple to change out your front and rear cassettes to give you more easy or hard gears, but changing the total number of gears on your bike is a large and costly project. If you tend to ride steep terrain, you’ll want an 11-speed bike for more gearing options. On the other hand, if you ride easier terrain, a nine-speed gravel bike may work just fine.
Gravel Bikes at bikester.co.uk
Most bike shops only carry a handful of gravel bikes, limiting your options when it comes to manufacturers,wheel sizes, and gearing options. Here on bikester.co.uk you’ll find a huge selection of adventure and cyclocross bikes. Plus, our quick delivery options make getting on the road or trail fast and easy.