THE BIRTH OF GRAVEL BIKES
Unpaved roads are almost impossible to conquer with a normal racing bike. That's why 10 years ago cycling fans from the USA came up with the idea of racing on unpaved roads in the future. The so-called "Gravel Grinder" races were born. Since such gravel roads could hardly be conquered with a racing bike, an alternative had to be found. The alternative was cross racing bikes, as used in cyclocross ("cross country racing"). Now you mix in some comfort to ride long distances comfortably and the Gravel Bike is born.
A gravel bike offers a much more relaxed riding position than a cyclocross. The upright riding position resembles, thanks to the higher head tube and shorter top tube, is more like riding a marathon marathon road bike. Due to wider tires, however, a gravel bike offers better better damping than a road bike. The tires can range from 30 to 47 millimeters and a long wheelbase results in stable straight running. directional stability.
Gravel bikes are very versatile and offer you all kinds of possibilities. Semi slicks (tires with tread on the outside) allow you to master a wide variety of surfaces without any problems. This makes the Gravel Bike a faithful companion in the city. In addition, gravel bikes usually offer the possibility of attaching mudguards, which is again interesting for commuters.
THE WEIGHT ISSUE
Gravel bikes are significantly heavier than cyclocross bikes or road bikes. So if the competition idea is in the foreground, it is better to fall back on a cyclocross - Compared to a trekking bike, the gravel bike is also a lightweight.
GRAVEL BIKE VS. RACE BICYCLE
Tyre width: More tyre clearance for wider tyres.
Frame: The frame geometry of gravel bikes has a longer wheelbase, a lower bottom bracket and a flatter head tube angle.
Brakes: Hydraulic disc brakes are a must.
Accessories: Mounts for accessories such as extra water bottles, mudguards and luggage racks.
Steering: The lower handlebar is often flared to allow more control and stability.
Saddle: Some gravel bikes have a dropper post so the saddle can be lowered for technical descents.
Tyre width: Optimised for speed and efficiency on asphalt roads, racing bikes usually have narrower tyres.
Frame: Racing bikes have a steeper head tube angle and shorter wheelbase.
Brakes: Most racing bikes today are equipped with (hydraulic) disc brakes. However, there are also models with rim brakes, which are much lighter.
Accessories: Usually only space for two water bottles.
Steering: Here the handlebars are designed for speed and efficiency.
Saddle: On a road bike, the rider sits in the saddle during descents, so a normal seat post is used.
Bikepacking - On tour with your Gravel Bike
Whether spontaneous or planned down to the smallest detail - with your Gravel Bike you can easily start your adventure for one or several days. Gravel bikes are the alternative for all cycling fans who like to ride on asphalt and off-road. A gravel bike makes it possible to cover long distances or ride trails outside of paved roads.
Bikepacking is a special kind of bike travel: decelerated and also reduced to the essentials, because the bikepacker takes care of himself, the call of freedom on the trail. What you need for bikepacking is nothing more than the properly selected equipment and your personal luggage. Attach your bags and go! If not now, when?