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Gravel Bikes: What to Know and How to Choose
5 Ways Gravel Bikes Will Forever Change Your Biking Experience
The bike market in the US is worth roughly $6 billion.
Bikes are a great way to get around while also exercising and lowering your environmental impact. But if you're just getting into cycling it can be overwhelming trying to decide between all of the different types of bikes.
That's why today we're going to talk about some of the best bikes available: gravel bikes. Getting a gravel bike is a great choice for anyone who wants the freedom to tackle any terrain: whether it be gravel, paved roads, or soft forest paths.
In this post, we'll go over what exactly gravel bikes are and some of the ways they will completely change how you look at biking. Keep reading to learn more.
What are Gravel Bikes?
Gravel bikes are bikes that have drop handlebars, like a normal road bike, and are designed to allow you to ride over a variety of different surface materials. They have the features necessary for both on-road riding as well as off-road riding.
This is great if you're trying to go on a ride that includes different terrains, as they can handle road, gravel, forest, anything really. This means you don't have to worry about getting off of your road bike when you hit a section of gravel, as these bikes can handle both with ease. That's only one of the many benefits of gravel bikes though, here are some others:
We already touched a little on this, but the impressiveness of a gravel bike's versatility can't be overstated. You can take them on almost any kind of trail. With the only exception being super technical mountain biking trails.
This allows you to plot rides that include routes with mixed terrain. You can even comfortably take them on longer trips, as they are comfortable and have ample space to mount your gear and accessories.
If you're looking to be an elite racer, this is not the bike for you. But if you're looking for a well-rounded, everyday bike that can handle pretty much whatever you throw at it, look no further.
2. Tire Options
Another great thing about gravel bikes is that they're not limited on what tires you can put on them as you might be with the average road bike. You can put wider wheels and tires on without worrying about the tire clearance or brake calipers.
If you're going on extra rough or softer surfaces, you can put on knobby tires that have a bit of extra grip that will give you the traction you need. For gravel or other rough terrains, you'll usually want slightly wider gravel bike tires because they add more stability and comfort.
You can also use these tires on the road as long as you're not looking to be super speedy. If you do decide you want to be a little faster on the road, you can easily switch out the tires for thinner, faster road tires.
3. Better Handling
Because of the design of gravel bikes, they tend to handle better than many other bike options on uneven surfaces. Their long wheelbase, flared drop bars, wide tires, and slacker head tube makes gravel bikes overall more stable and steady.
The flared drop bars are a particularly important feature that can help you to handle tight turns and sticky situations. This is because the broader width of the handlebars provides a more natural hand position for the rider. It's also especially helpful for descending hills with sketchy terrain.
Additionally, they're well-designed so that the steering won't be thrown off even when you load up with accessories and gear. These bikes are also better able to take more abuse from rough trails since they are designed for the rougher terrain.
4. The Perfect Adventure Bike
Gravel bikes make for the perfect adventure bikes. They're more comfortable for longer rides than most other bike styles. This is because of the more relaxed, upright position that their design puts the rider in, as well as because the frames and seat posts are made so that you don't feel every little vibration and bump in the road.
Because of the versatility of a gravel bike, you will be able to handle any surface that your adventure takes you on. Also as mentioned, these bikes can handle plenty of gear while staying stable.
You can choose a bike that comes with built-in mounts, which means your gear will stay secure and won't be at risk of falling off or flapping around during your ride. You also won't risk damaging the bike itself with additional mounts that you attach yourself.
With a gravel bike, you'll be ready to go on many adventures and reach any cycling resolutions you've set.
5. Design Options
Like most bikes today, gravel bikes come in carbon or aluminum. Aluminum is affordable, durable and relatively lightweight. Carbon gravel bikes are the lightest on the market and can be engineered to provide the right amount of stiffness and comfort. What material you want will depend on what your budget is.
You can also choose other additional features like increased suspension, dropper seat posts, or even make it an electric gravel bike instead.
Buy a Gravel Bike Today
From their versatility to the opportunity for adventure, gravel bikes can revolutionize the way you look at biking. If you're looking for a bike that can take you from forest paths to city streets, you should consider choosing a gravel bike.
Come ride with us.