Have you ever seen a road bike that has the tires of an MTB? Yes, road bikes usually have thin tires but this bike that we are going to talk about has no thin tires rather big tires, like the tires of a mountain bike. What is this bike? It is called a gravel bike.
Related Article: Are gravel bikes comfortable?
Gravel bikes are also called adventure bikes. They have the same look as the road bike because of its handlebar. But the size of their tires is different. If this bike has a resemblance to a road bike, is it also great for long-distance rides like road bikes?
Are gravel bikes good for long-distance? Yes! Gravel bikes are great for long distances. They are designed for tough and long-distance rides. You can ride a gravel bike on roads, and even on trails! They have larger and more durable tires compared to road bikes that can go way more places!
Today, we are going to talk about gravel bikes. We will talk about how fast they are, how much they weigh, and many more related to gravel bikes! Now, if you are ready to learn more about gravel bikes, let us proceed!
Table of Contents
Are Gravel Bikes Good For Long Distance?
Gravel bikes are designed for long-distance and tough rides. They are very versatile and not made strictly for gravel roads. You can use it anywhere! Gravel bikes are great for road biking, trailing, and mountain climbing.
If mountain bikes are great for long-distance, there is no reason for gravel bikes not to be good for long-distance rides. Also, a cyclist that rides on a gravel bike reaches its destination faster than a cyclist that uses a mountain bike. Why?
Because the drop bars of a gravel bike offer a more aerodynamic profile, have narrower tires, and have harder gearing, which is better for high speeds. However, when it comes to trails, mountain bikes are the winner.
I have a friend who owns a gravel bike. He also owned a road bike and a mountain bike before he switched to a gravel bike. Guess what? He rides anywhere he wants! In his experiences, he said that gravel bikes are more efficient than road bikes and mountain bikes.
The reason why is because you don’t have to worry if the road is uneven or rocky, unlike road bikes where you need to avoid rocks and uneven pavements to not ruin your tires. Also, my friend said that it is faster and less tiring than riding a mountain bike because of its aerodynamic profile.
My friend’s experience is proof that gravel bikes are indeed good for long-distance rides. If you want a versatile and easy to use bike that can go for long distances, try gravel bikes!
Is A Gravel Bike As Fast As A Road Bike?
Gravel bikes are great for roads, and you can use them as a road bike. However, gravel bikes are not as fast as road bikes. Why? Because gravel bikes are heavier compared to road bikes, and it is harder to pedal a gravel bike than a road bike.
Yes, you have plenty of gears to choose from on a gravel bike. However, you won’t have quite enough high gear when you speed up. You will spin out because you will be unable to pedal fast enough. It is a disadvantage for a gravel bike user when they race against a road bike user.
However, if you are only riding with your friends, like what I do, who keep a more reasonable pace, a gravel bike will work just fine. Even though a gravel bike is not as fast as a road bike, it is still more comfortable than a road bike. Why? Because it has bigger tires so you will not get stressed when you travel on an uneven or rocky road.
Now, if you are asking how fast are gravel bikes, I cannot answer that. It is hard to predict how hard you will be on your gravel bike because it depends on many factors, such as your weight, fitness level, terrain, experience, and more.
However, let me tell you that gravel bikes are among the fastest bikes after road bikes. Why? Because gravel bikes allow you to get into an aerodynamic position. A fit and experienced rider can effortlessly reach and maintain 18-25 mph speed on a flat road.
Are Gravel Bikes Good For Commuting?
Yes! Gravel bikes are versatile, which makes them excellent for commuting. They are very comfortable on long road rides, even on rough and rocky terrains. They have the speed of a road bike with the toughness of mountain bikes.
Advantages Of Gravel Bike As A Commuter
Let us take a look at some of the advantages of gravel as a commuter. The advantages of gravel bike are:
- Comfortable to ride
- It has a wide gear range that makes it easy to climb uphills and fast on flat roads
- Wide tires that will less likely to get pierced
- You don’t have to get stressed avoiding uneven or rocky pavements
- You can ride anywhere you want
- Have better stopping and easy to turn
- Have drop bars that offer several hand positions and easy on the hands
Where Can Gravel Bikes Go?
Like I have mentioned above, gravel bikes can go anywhere! They can go to rough, rocky pavements, roads, and even on trails. You can ride them on the road without worrying about the uneven pavements you might encounter along the road.
Many cyclists ride a bike without a certain destination or end. They ride anywhere, and when they see a good and enticing view, they will go there. However, some road bike users can’t go to an enticing place that they spot even if they want it because it has rocky roads and uneven pavements. Why? Because their tires can get flat if they force themselves to embark on that rocky place!
However, because gravel bikes have been invented, you don’t have to worry about this. If you are going for a long ride without any certain destination and want to let your knees take you anywhere, whether it is a rocky place or a trail, a gravel bike is the best! You can enter a rocky and rough road without worrying about your tires getting punctured.
How Much Do Gravel Bikes Weigh?
Gravel bikes usually weigh 20-30 lbs. The parts of gravel bikes are more robust than road bikes which is why they are slightly heavier. The weight of the gravel bike comes mostly from their big tires. However, even though they are heavier than road bikes, they can still keep up with the speed of road bikes. It depends a lot on the cyclist’s strength.
Are Gravel Bikes Good For Beginners?
Yes! Gravel bikes are great for beginners. Why? Because of its versatility, it is easy to use. You can ride anywhere you want, whether on a trail, train rails, or rocky roads. Also, it is much easier to turn the front wheels than road bikes. Gravel bikes are just like mountain bikes that have no suspension and have drop bars. They are the second easiest type of bike to use after mountain bikes.
3 Reasons Why Gravel Bikes Great Bikes
Let me list down to you the three different reasons why gravel bikes are great bikes!
Gravel Bikes Are Versatile
The number one reason why gravel bikes are great bikes is because of their versatility.
You can enjoy riding a gravel bike in almost any kind of place. You can ride on a bike on the smooth or rocky road, on trails, and even in muddy places. You can enjoy every bike adventure you have in mind with a gravel bike.
You can also go on a bike tour! Gravel bikes have plenty of mounts for all of your luggage and accessories that you need.
Gravel bikes are in the first place when it comes to versatility. The second is mountain bikes or cyclocross bikes. However, if you want to win a bike race, then gravel bikes are not for you. But if you only want to have an unforgettable bike adventure, then gravel bikes are all you need to fulfill that!
You Can Use Any Tires
The second reason why gravel bikes are great bikes is that you can use any tires for them. Gravel bikes can use any type and size of tires without too much trouble. However, you need two different wheelsets.
But even though you need two diverge wheelsets, it is much cheaper than buying another whole bike. If you want to go for trail, use tires for trails. But if you have a drag race with your friend, use road bike tires.
You Can Ride On Any Position
The third reason why gravel bikes are great bikes is that you can ride in any position you want! Whether you ride it with a mountain bike position or road bike position, it is all applicable with the gravel bike.
If you like to go road riding, buy a slightly longer, negative rise stem and some narrower bars to make you more aerodynamic. But if you are going for long-distance, off-road touring, get a shorter stem. Some cyclists use flat bars on their gravel bikes, making them look like riding on an old-school mountain bike.
Gravel bikes are great for long-distance rides because of their versatility and style. It is also great for beginners who have difficulty riding on a road bike but likes to have an aerodynamic position while riding on their bikes. Based on the positive experience of my friends about gravel bikes, I would say that gravel bikes are indeed great bikes!