First it was an idea, then a trend, and now a whole movement: Gravel bikes are mixing things up in the cycling world! Covering the space between cross bikes and marathon road bikes, a whole new category of bicycles has been established that is just as versatile as the terrains it loves to ride on. The concept was born in the US, where fitness, exercise, and adventure enjoy a remarkably high status. The gravel bike has become the choice of cyclists who find the racing bike to be too specialized and want to travel over rough terrain. Comfort is an important aspect for this class of bikes, so frames and components are constructed accordingly The sitting position is notably more upright compared to pure racers, the top tube is shorter, and the head tube is somewhat longer. The better view and relaxed posture make the ride more comfortable. Better directional and riding stability are the result of a larger wheelbase, as well as a longer chain stays, which contribute to the bike running more smoothly. This means that the geometry is especially well-suited to long tours. Both the gravel bike’s all-rounder characteristic and the ability to clear most any terrain are possible due to its very wide tyres. It is quite normal to see tyre widths between 28 and 35 mm.
Wide tyres with a good grip have an easier time on gravel, field, and forest paths, while narrower ones are made for mostly paved roads cycling. All tyre formats with generous dimensions have the benefit of being more comfortable, which is a distinct advantage on long routes. Gravel bikes also win points in terms of safety since they are usually equipped with disc brakes. No need to worry about long descents, serpentine paths and bad weather conditions with the reliable and strong disc brakes doing their bit. And so, gravel bikes present themselves as comfortable, versatile training and touring partners that happily ride over most any terrain.