Sugar and salt look the same but test different. In the same way, Cyclocross and Gravel bikes may look the same but they are different in characteristics as both bikes are used for different purposes and are suitable for different roads. Moreover, they have a lot of advantages but also have some disadvantages too. Today I am going to discuss Cyclocross vs Gravel bike. Thus to know more about both of them, read my sayings attentively till the end.

Cyclocross Or CX Bike With Its Benefits & Drawbacks

Cyclocross is a bicycle that is specially designed for a cyclocross race. It is also known as CX or CXB.

Cx bike is similar to a road racing bike. And Cyclocross biking is a cross between road biking, mountain biking, and steeple chase. So yes, the CX bike has a wider tyre, single gear, and high bottom bracket to run easily on steep hills, snow, rain, and wide as well as muddy roads.

Advantages:

  • Can ride on the rough road like in any season.
  • Wider clearance.
  • Powerful break.
  • Great riding position.
  • Lightweight.

Disadvantages:

  • Harder to ride.
  • Can’t carry extra components.

Gravel Bike With Its Conveniences & Inconveniences

As we know that a gravel bike is a combination of a road bike and a mountain bike. But don’t think of it as a hybrid bike as it is made from a combination of two cycles. The gravel bike is designed for off-road and paved surfaces. Thus it is a Multipurpose bike, as You can ride on gravel, bridle, byways, and paved surfaces with a gravel bike.

It has various features to ride comfortably on off-road and paved roads. So, you can use it for commuting, traveling, off-road biking, and park streets for refreshment.

Benefits:

  • Easily changeable tire.
  • Easy control.
  • Versatile.
  • Fit for almost all kinds of cycling.

Drawbacks:

  • Slow in speed.
  • Slightly heavier.
  • Costly

Gravel Bike VS Cyclocross Bike: The Key Differences Between These Spectacular Cycles

Though Gravel bikes and cyclocross bikes feel similar, they also have differences, and they are used for different purposes. That’s why their structures are also different.

CX Bike:

A cyclocross bike is mainly used for cyclocross racing. In this race, the rider has to dismount, and bunny-hoping and sometimes has to carry the bike on the shoulder.

  • Besides, CXB goes through mud, rocks, sand, and even snow.
  • As it faces different situations. So, it has special features or characteristics to survive.
  • That’s why the CX bike has a high bottom bracket, wider clearance, single gear, lightweight, and so on.

Gravel Bike:

On the contrary, a gravel bike is used for off-road and paved surface riding. This bike provides the benefits of two bikes (road bike and mountain) at the same time. Since the gravel bike offers the convenience of two bikes, it has the characteristics of both bikes.

  • Gravel bike sometimes faces the plane road, and sometimes faces fluctuate surface and hill track.
  • That’s why it has a lot of gear, strong brakes, wider tires, and heavy storage for carrying necessary components like water, snacks, etc.

Let’s see the following table to understand the difference between a Cyclocross bike and a Gravel bike clearly.

Parameter Cyclocross Gravel Bikes
Weight Lightweight Heavier
Designed For Off-road racing such as mud, rain, and snow. Flat and hill track
Speed Faster than gravel bikes. Slower
Pricing It is expensive. To buy a road bike you have to spend at least 2000$. Less expensive than Cyclocross. To buy a gravel bike you have to buy around 1000$.
Comfort Less Comfortable More comfortable

In-depth Comparison Between Cyclocross And Gravel Bike

Frame:

We know the frame is an important part of the bike.  It plays a prominent role to provide you with comfortable riding.

CXB:

  • Cyclocross bikes always try to be lightweight. Because during cyclocross racing you have to run with the bike for a while.
  • But if your bike is heavy, then your riding will become more difficult. So, an aluminum frame is used in cyclocross bikes.
  • Nowadays, carbon fiber is also popular.
  • CX bike has a flatter top tube. And, for this flatter top tube, you can easily shoulder the CX bike and push forward over all obstacles.

Gravel:

  • Gravel bikes also used aluminum frames. But other materials are also used such as steel, titanium, and carbon fiber.
  • It has a sloping top tube that allows for more seat post extension.

Storage:

CX Bike:

  • Cyclocross bikes don’t have any space to include baskets, fenders, or any other components.
  • It’s totally a simple bike.
  • Even CX doesn’t have a bottle cage.

Gravel Bicycle:

  • They have fenders, and bottle cages.
  • And it has also space to include a basket. So cyclists can carry essential things at the time of riding their Gravels.

Tyre and Clearance:

How the bike tires will look depends on the direction the bike is going.  Different paths lead to different problems. So different bike needs different tire for riding on different roads.

Cyclocross Bike:

  • It mainly uses in cyclocross races. That’s why it has to follow the rules and regulations of a racing tournament. But Gravel bike tire sizes are limited by UCI rules. And, UCI rules say that a tire can’t be wider than 33 mm.
  • Therefore, the CX tire is not more than 33 mm. Since cyclocross racing is held on mud, rain, and snow roads, it has wider clearance to clean mud.

Gravel Bike:

  • As Gravel bike used for off-road and paved surface traveling. That’s why it doesn’t need to follow UCI rules. So, gravel bikes don’t have any limitations.
  • Since gravel bike runs on various roads, various tires are needed. But you can easily change the gravel bike’s tyre.
  • When a gravel bike ride on hilly terrain, it faces Stone, rolling resistance, fluctuating road, and many other obstacles. So, in that type of situation, it needs a wider tire.
  • Typically, it uses 700c tyre, and sometimes use 650c tires. But its tire can be wider up to 47mm.
  • These bikes’ tyre also has wide clearance to make the journey easy.

Gear:

Gear is another important element to make your journey easy as it plays a prominent role during long-distance cycling and hilly terrain biking.

CX Cycle:

  • We know that cyclocross bike is used in racing. Thus it is used for a short time like 30 or 60 minutes, and also it runs on a mud road. That also means this bike is used only on one road. So, there is not much need for a wide range of gear.
  • That’s why CX uses single gear. CX bike has a cantilever brake because it is approved by UCI. The cantilever brake pretends like V-brake.

Gravel Bike:

  • Gravel bike is used on off-road and flat roads. And usually, it faces the fluctuating road- sometimes the road is uphill sometimes the road is downhill, and sometimes flat.
  • And the biker needs a different speed. Therefore, gravel bikes use various gear as they also face various barriers like stone, passersby, cars, and many things.
  • For the same reason, it needs a strong brakes. Thus most gravel bikes use disc brakes.

You May Like: Do Gravel Bikes Have Hydraulic Brakes?

Bottom Bracket:

A bottom bracket is a bearing system.  It is located below the set tube.  In other words, it is located between the cranks.

  • Cyclocross’s bottom bracket is higher than gravel bike. Its bottom bracket is situated higher because it runs through mud roads. So, the bottom bracket is high for the convenience of paddling.
  • Gravel bike’s bottom bracket is also higher. But it is slightly lower than CXB. As it faces stone and others on the road, its bottom bracket tends to be higher.

Well, Is A Cyclocross Bike Good For Road Riding?

Yes! A cyclocross bike is good for road riding. Because by building, the cyclocross bike looks like a road bike. Though they have a lot of differences, you can use CX as a road bike.

  • Nevertheless, CX is heavier than a road bike, but CX’s geometry is better than a road bike.
  • Therefore, you feel comfortable using a CX in road riding.

Last but not should be on the list- you have to remember that CXB is not a substitute for a road bike.

But Which One Is Faster: A gravel Bike Or Cyclocross?

In a word, the Cyclocross bike is faster than a Gravel bike.

  1. CXB uses in races. On the contrary, gravel bikes use for long riding.
  2. CX Bike has a single gear. But gravel has various gear.
  3. Cyclocross bikes ride not more than 75 minutes. But gravel bike rides all day long.

Considering all these things, we can say that the cyclocross bike is a more aggressive structure than the gravel bike. So now, it’s clear that a cyclocross bike is faster than a gravel bike.

The Last Word On Gravel VS Cyclocross Bike

Gravel bike and cyclocross bike both are good in their respective places. They will give you the best performance in different situations. And, you can use a CX bike for road riding but it will not perform like a road bike. So, select your preferred bike based on the environment you will be riding. Happy Biking, My Friend but with proper safety and required skills.

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