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Gravel bikes have quickly become one of the most popular bikes out there. They are a near-perfect blend between a road bike and a mountain bike. They are able to ride on the pavement with little issues and continue riding when the pavement ends and the dirt begins. While they aren’t designed for full-on mountain biking, they are still fun to ride on hardpack dirt trails.
Which brands make the best gravel bikes?
Many brands make exceptional gravel bikes. Some brands will make higher-end models while others will make more beginner-friendly versions. These bikes are made from either steel, aluminum, or carbon fiber. When looking for a gravel bike, check out the drivetrain, frame material, and which wheels it comes with. Some of our favorites are from brands like Niner, Marin, Orbea, Ibis, and All-City.
What are gravel bikes used for?
Gravel bikes are used for a little bit of everything. They are truly versatile bikes that can cruise on the pavement with no issues and hit up the dirt trails. These are perfect for the rider who doesn’t want to be stuck with one type of riding.
What makes a gravel bike different from other types of bikes?
Gravel bikes look like a typical road bike with drop bars, but they have the ability to use much wider tires so you can ride in dirt with ample traction. A gravel bike isn’t as fast as a road bike on the street and not as fast as a mountain bike in the dirt, but they have the ability to do both with little compromise.
How do I choose a gravel bike?
Gravel bikes are highly versatile and diverse. They are offered in several frame materials including steel, aluminum, carbon fiber, and titanium. Some of them even come with suspension for extra cushioning while riding. If you plan on going bikepacking or touring, then a steel gravel bike might be the best option. If you want to race gravel bikes, then a carbon fiber version might be better.
Why are gravel bikes heavier than most bikes?
Gravel bikes are built more robust than typical road bikes. They are built for offroad riding and some are even built for touring, which involves loading your bike up with racks and all your gear for multi-day excursions. They are often lighter than a mountain bike though, making them a perfect hybrid between the two.
What brands make the best lightweight gravel bike frames?
Many brands make lightweight carbon fiber gravel bikes. Brands like Niner, Orbea, and Santa Cruz all make lightweight gravel bikes that can be used for racing. While weight isn’t the end all be all when it comes to ride quality, carbon fiber tends to be the lightest material and is also highly durable.