Everything you would like to know about gravel cycling

Everything you would like to know about gravel cycling

What is a gravel cyclist?
A gravel cyclist is a person who rides bikes off-road and on the road. We are not talking about trails here but more like country roads that aren't paved.

What is a good cycling speed on gravel?
18-20 Mph would be considered a good average speed over a long distance on a gravel bike. Typically gravel cycling has two challenges, one is the difficulty of drafting relative to road cycling, and two is the increased rolling resistance due to the terrain and tires. So going 18-20 miles per hour is excellent.

How do I cycle my gravel?
The truth is that you can cycle gravel even if you have a road bike or mountain bike.

Is biking on gravel hard?
I would say that relative to road cycling, gravel cycling is more beginner friendly. It sits somewhere between road cycling and mountain biking in terms of beginner friendliness.

Why is gravel biking so popular?
Gravel cycling is so popular because road cycling is declining for some precise reasons. Reason number 1 road cycling is falling is the danger. How many friends have we lost to cars and drunk drivers? And reason two is that as infrastructure crumbles in the USA, the roads become less suitable for narrow tires and more suitable for big gravel tires.

Which is faster, MTB or gravel bike?
Due to the geometry of gravel bikes and the tire usage, gravel will be faster. This is because a gravel bike doesn't need to constrain its geometry due to sharp inclines and declines. Think of it this way, if you're riding on relatively flatter terrain, which you will be on a gravel bike, the bike's geometry can be more aerodynamic with a higher seat and lower handlebars. This will make you more aerodynamic.

Why is my gravel bike so slow?
Relative to road bikes, aero bikes are slow because the tires are wider, they have more relaxed geometry, and need to be built tougher and therefore heavier.

Can I ride a gravel bike on the road?
I've done it before. It ain't fun, but it's doable.

Can a gravel bike be as fast as a road bike?
I think the new Cannondale super six answers this question.

Are gravel bikes a fad?
Gravel bikes have been gaining popularity steadily over the last 10-20 years. I would honestly say they are not a fad.

Does weight matter on gravel bikes?
Absolutely it does. Not all gravel rides are flat. But what I can say is that if the course is flat, a nice sturdy, the strong, compliant comfortable bike will be what you want.

Why is it called a gravel bike?
It's called a gravel bike because it's typically ridden on gravel roads.

Is a gravel bike faster than a hybrid?
Yes, a gravel bike will have more aerodynamic capabilities if set up properly.

Do gravel bikes have gears?
Yes, they usually have between 8-12 speed drivetrains, depending on their price/level.

What's the difference between a road bike and a gravel bike?
Generally speaking, there will be four main differences between a gravel bike and a road bike. The first difference will be the hub-to-hub length. Gravel bikes have longer wheelbases because they need to be more stable at high speed.
Point number two is that the geometry is typically more relaxed and less aero than a road bike.

Point number 3 is that they accommodate larger tire widths
Point number 4 is that they will have a higher bottom bracket.

Is a gravel bike good for long rides?
Gravel bikes are great for long rides. They are more comfortable than road bikes.

Can gravel bikes be used for touring?
Yes, in some ways, they're made for that.

What is the difference between a hybrid and a gravel bike?
Hybrid bikes typically have flat bars and narrower tires.

Is gravel riding safely?
Relatively speaking, it is safer than road bike riding since you're not with as many cars. But both can be dangerous.

How long does it take to cycle 20 miles?
If you go 20 MPH, then you will cycle 20 miles in an hour. Cut that speed in half, and it takes you two hours.

Is a gravel bike the same as a cyclocross bike?
No. Gravel bikes will have longer wheelbases and lower bottom brackets and usually accommodate larger tires. The tire width difference is because most CX bikes are built around cyclocross rules for tire width.

Why are cyclocross bikes so expensive?
Cyclocross is a niche.

What does CX mean in cycling?
Cx means Cyclo-Cross

Why do cyclocross riders change bikes?
Cyclocross riders change bikes because they get so caked up with mud. It's easier to change it out than to clean them off. A clean bike runs faster.

Are cyclocross bikes slower than road bikes?
Generally speaking, yes, they're less aerodynamic.

Do cyclocross riders clip in?
Yes, absolutely. Cyclocross riders generally use the same shoes as mountain bike riders.
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