You must be wondering now why should one go for a gravel bike instead of a hybrid one, and to answer your question we will talk about gravel bike vs hybrid bike. Adventure bikes are the talk nowadays. Many types of adventure bikes are found depending on the frame type, usage, etc.
Gravel bikes are very common nowadays. People of all genders and ages prefer to use these bikes due to several reasons. To the untrained eye, the gravel bike looks like any other road bike due to the classic handlebars.
On closer inspection, though one can notice that it is much larger and has knobby tires that can be used in mountainous terrains as well. This bike also comes with additional accessories such as bottle cages, frames, bags, etc.
These gravel bike features disc brakes much like many of the bikes do now. You will not have to worry about getting a backache as the upright positioning of the bike’s features helps with your posture. It should also be noted that many companies make specific bikes for women now too that cater to the needs of women and provide a comfortable ride for them.
There are some sub-categories of gravel bikes, such as:
1. Gravel: These are the all-rounder version. They can be used for al kinds of activities and terrains including rough and wet surfaces.
2. Cyclocross: These are more specific. This is because they are solely made for racing purposes. To cater to that function there aren’t many accessories on these bikes and have two bottle cages to facilitate the racing.
3. Bike packing: This is the extreme adventure version of the gravel bike and features 29 x 2-inch tires. There are also many mounts featured and a suspension fork to provide more control and stability to the bike.
The gravel bike can be used for just about anything. It is an all use bike that can be used for daily commute as well as racing purposes.
They can be used for all kinds of racing except on the road. Some of the models that have been made contain racks and fenders that make it even better for commuting purposes.
If we talk about the price range of bikes, you will be pleased to know that there is a bike for everyone.
The price goes as low as $1000 for the simple aluminum-framed bikes that contain disc brakes and can go as high as $9000 for the carbon fiber versions that can be further upgraded.
Hybrid bikes are one of the best bikes in the market for those who mainly want a bike for commute purposes. It is neither a road bike nor a mountain bike but has the pros of both.
The riding position is based on the design for a mountain bike whereas the wheels are attributed to the road bike. This bike is perfect to be used for traveling purposes as it keeps your body in shape and does not become a cause for backaches.
Some people may argue that the upright positioning is a downside as it doesn’t increase the speed at which you can ride the bike.
But, it helps you get a better view of the traffic up ahead so we think it is still a win. Apart from this is the handlebars. These aren’t the usual drop handlebars that you see in most bikes.
Again this does not help with the aerodynamics of the bike but it must be kept in mind that most of the people buying it want to use it for daily commute and not for racing purposes.
The bike also has powerful disc brakes that improve the performance of the bike regardless of the weather conditions. The hybrid bike is suited to carry luggage easily and may hence be used for long-distance traveling as well.
THE BEST GRAVEL BIKES BUYER’S GUIDE
There are many bikes available in the market and it can become a hassle picking out the right one so we have created the best gravel bikes buyer’s guide to help you out.
Gravel bikes are still fairly new and hence there are select options so you need to be even more conscientious about which bike you invest in.
USAGE OF THE BIKE
The first and foremost thing that you should think about is your usage of the bike. You need to know or at least have a brief idea about where and how you will be using the bike.
Some of the options include mountainous terrains with complicated turns and rough and uneven surfaces.
Another scenario can be racing or it may well be on the road driving. Your use could also be a combination of all the options mentioned before.
Identifying the use matters as the accessories and features of the bike depending on that. For tarmac and other paved surfaces, smaller tires are the way to go. Whereas for rugged landscapes, your choice should be larger tires.
All bikes cannot accommodate different sizes of tires. This is why you need to make sure that the bike you opt for can also feature the type of tire that you would require.
To have larger tires, if your bike is on the larger side then you will face no problems. But if it is a small bike then you need to make sure that your bike has extra clearance.
You also need to think about the frame of the bike. As gravel bikes are used mainly in muddy areas so they must be prone to fending off dirt, moisture, etc.
There are many frames available for gravel bikes. Some of the bikes are just updated versions of adventure bikes. Others have been designed specifically for racing purposes. It gets a little hard searching for the right bike that is perfectly suited to your requirements.
STABILITY OF THE BIKE
The next thing you should think about is the stability of the bike. A bike that contains a shorter wheelbase and chainstay is more likely to be fast and less stable. This is because it responds more quickly than the one without. The bikes that contain longer frames have a higher level of stability. But they are slower than the shorter framed bikes.
Do not worry as you can get the best of both worlds. Some bikes are fun and stable at the same time. However, they also cost more.
One of the most important questions that come into one’s mind is the price of the bike. No one wants to end up spending a lot of money on something that will not provide enough benefit. Certain factors determine the price of a bike. These include the features, accessories and of course the brand of the bike.
If you have a limited budget, you may have to compromise on some parts of the bike. If you can afford to spend then you should go for the carbon fiber frame as it the best that money can buy. For those with a budget under $1000, a steel or aluminum frame bike would work. The steel bike would be heavier than the aluminum one.
The steel frame can absorb a lot of the sound that the wheels create and that is why many bikes contain a steel fork. The aluminum fork increases the aerodynamic feature of the bike. The bikes higher up in the hierarchy have better shifting and longer service life and require less maintenance.
Some bikes are available for as low as $300 but they would not work for a long time and will create problems for you sooner rather than later. This is because cheaper models are less durable and faultier.
Bikes in the $600 – $1000 range are considered midrange and have a better output. They also last longer than the ones mentioned in the paragraph above and have better accessories to facilitate a comfortable ride for the rider.
THE IMPORTANCE OF A GRAVEL BIKE
You may be wondering why we consider gravel bikes so great. This is because it is very fast, even faster than the traditional mountain bikes. It also offers much more control than road bikes. This bike is what you may call an all-rounder.