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WHAT IS A GRAVEL BIKE?
Not only road bike freaks have discovered the gravel bike for themselves, but mountain bikers can also be convinced by the off-road sportiness of this trendy type of bike. “Gravel” stands for gravel – and it is precisely for this surface that these bikes were created.
SO A ROAD BIKE FOR DIRT ROADS?
The cranked handlebar only looks like that of a road bike at first glance. A typical gravel bike handlebar has outward-facing handlebar ends and leads the gravel car quickly and safely over unpaved paths.
A relationship to the cyclocrossers who also ride off the asphalt is undeniable, but the gravel bikes are clearly the enduring variant. While the cyclocrosser is more of a sprinter, the gravel relies on the long distance.
A bike with which you do not have to search for adventure, but which also does not stop you from one.
THE FEATURES OF GRAVEL BIKES:
- cranked handlebar with outward-facing handlebar ends
- wide, moderately profiled tires
- long wheelbase and “comfortable” control head angle
- sporty, but relatively relaxed seating position for long tours
- Possible installation of mudguards and luggage racks
THE GEOMETRY OF THE GRAVEL BIKES
Even if a gravel bike looks like a road bike with thicker tires at first glance, there are still some differences in terms of geometry and ergonomics. When sitting up for the first time, it is immediately noticeable that the seating position on a gravel bike is quite relaxed and comfortable compared to the road bike.
The manufacturers are looking for a compromise between comfort and sportiness, which is why gravel bikes are suitable for long tours, but at the same time can also be moved quickly. In order to improve the rolling characteristics in the terrain, the steering angle is flatter than on the road bike.
This makes it easier to roll over obstacles. In addition, the wheelbase is larger, which improves straight-line running and brings a lot of stability, especially at high speeds. The cranked handlebar with outward-facing handlebar ends also helps here. This can be grasped more ergonomically and prevents rapid fatigue of the forearms.
Due to these characteristics, a gravel bike is suitable for all cyclists who like to ride extended tours without being limited to paved roads. Where the road bike gets stuck, the fun on the gravel bike really begins. Forest and gravel paths, sometimes even easy trails, make you really happy on these playful bikes.
WHERE DO YOU RIDE A GRAVEL BIKE?
The substrates in brief:
- Changing substrates
- Asphalt, gravel, and mud, but no challenging trails
FOR WHOM IS THE GRAVEL BIKE SUITABLE?
You want to be fast, your routes consist of asphalt as well as forest, field, and gravel roads, you like longer tours, but do not want to be completely shaken up and wind and weather do not stop you from your passion for cycling? Then you will find a benevolent companion with the gravel bike!
- Sporty drivers who also feel comfortable beyond the asphalt
HOW MUCH DOES A GRAVEL BIKE COST?
The price of a gravel bike depends of course on the requirements and the installed components. We would like to help you find out what you can expect from the three price ranges: beginner, mid-range and high-end in terms of components and prices.
HOW MUCH DOES A BEGINNER GRAVEL BIKE COST?
The entry into the gravel world makes the wallet about 1200-1500 USD easier. In this price range, of course, you should not expect any precious parts, but the bikes are already suitable for extended tours.
So you get a high-quality frame made of aluminum, but you have to be satisfied with cheaper components for add-on parts and drive. For example, you can often find the Shimano Tiagra group on these bikes.
As befits a gravel bike, the cheap models are also equipped with powerful disc brakes.
However, mechanical stoppers are used on some bikes, which cannot quite keep up with the hydraulic versions in terms of braking force. They are still suitable for use on easy trails, gravel, and forest paths.
The same applies to the tires, which do not have the best carcasses but are quite valuable and functional. In terms of weight, a beginner gravel bike weighs about 10 kilograms.
HOW MUCH DOES A GRAVEL BIKE FROM THE MIDDLE CLASS COST?
Between 1700-2000 USD you can look forward to gravel bikes, which shine with a beautifully processed aluminum frame. Carbon is still rarely found here, but the wheels are still pleasantly light and powerful. S
peaking of the drive: high-quality groups are already used here, such as Shimano’s Ultegra Group or SRAM Apex components. Usually, however, you have to settle for a mix of Ultegra and cheaper parts.
Perhaps the most interesting improvement to the entry-level bikes are the hydraulic disc brakes. These are virtually standard in this class and bring even more safety and self-confidence in the downhill. The remaining components are also of higher quality, such as the impellers.
Thanks to better bearings, they can withstand many trips in the mud. Better tires also ensure a lower susceptibility to punctures. In terms of weight, the wheels come to about 9-10 kilograms.
HOW MUCH DOES A HIGH-END GRAVEL BIKE COST?
However, aluminum frames are still used, as they are also light and put away a little more in the event of a fall (which happens quite once when graveling).
In terms of drive, however, you will find noble components on all wheels throughout. In terms of drive, this is usually called Shimano Ultegra and Dura-Ace or SRAM Force or Rival.
Also, the disc brakes are not stingy. Hydraulic stoppers from Shimano or SRAM provide the necessary level of braking force.
When it comes to tires, most manufacturers rely on top models from Panaracer, WTB, or Vittoria, which shine with low rolling resistance, good grip, and excellent puncture resistance. This makes a high-end gravel bike suitable for every tour: whether at home, in the Alps, or at a race.
A weight of 8-10 kilograms makes the wheels very sprinting strong and easy to handle. This is especially noticeable off-road and on extended tours.
ON WHICH TIRES DOES THE GRAVEL BIKE MOVE?
- wider tires
- a good compromise for changing substrates
- moderate profile
THE USE OF SAFE DISC BRAKES:
- hydraulic disc brakes
- easy to dose
- very high stability even in wet conditions
GRAVEL BIKE TEST WINNER IN OUR RANGE
In various trade magazines and Internet portals, you will find a variety of test reports on gravel bikes.
For many of our customers, these are the first source of information before buying. We do not want to deprive you of the test winners available in our shop and have gone on a search and compiled the best gravel bike tests.