Who doesn’t want to kill two birds with one stone? And, a gravel bike allows you to do 2 things with one bike like killing 2 birds with one stone as it is a combination of mountain and road bikes. Despite offering so many benefits, gravel bike has some disadvantages too. In some cases, it is better than a road bike and sometimes a road bike gives better performance than a gravel bike. In this context, I am going to discuss in-depth conversation of road bikes vs gravel bikes to enrich your further biking knowledge.
What Is A Gravel Bike?
- The gravel bike’s drop handlebar and sporty geometry facilitate any cyclist to ride on flat roads. On the contrary, low gear, disc brake, and stable handling help you to ride off-road. Thus a biker can ride a gravel bike on an off-road and flat road.
That means it is a versatile bike, so the Gravel bikes can be ridden on various roads including gravel roads, forest tracks, dirt roads, trails, bridle paths, byways, and also paved roads. Moreover, you can ride it in city and mountain areas without facing any kind of difficulties.
- You can change tires easily which means you can replace the current tyre with a much larger tyre and turn it into an off-road bike.
- You can go anywhere office, mountain, and tour with your friend with gravels like commuter bikes.
- It will save you money because it is a versatile bike. So, you don’t need a different bike for different work.
- It is very simple and easy to control.
- The gravel bike’s tyre is wide that’s why it is slow.
- It is heavier.
- It is expensive.
Then, How To Make A Gravel Bike Faster?
A gravel bike is faster on gravel roads and dirt paths than a road bike. So the features of gravel bikes get wide tires and heavyweight which makes them slower.
Below are the essential tips for making the gravel bike faster:
- Choosing The Perfect Tires: To make a gravel bike faster, you must avoid wider tyres, because wide tires create high resistance, instead, you should use narrow tires.
- Selecting The Suitable Gearing: As the Gear affects the speed of the bike because of the increase and decrease of the gear, the speed of the bike is also reduced. Resulting, the bike cannot move at a uniform speed. Therefore, the speed of the bike But the harder you paddle on a fixed-gear or single-gear bike, the faster the bike will run. Yes, here nothing to do with gear. So, if you want to increase the speed of your gravel bike, you have to use single-speed gearing.
- Paddle Properly: Sometimes you cannot paddle properly due to not being able to select a better riding position. So, to make faster your gravel bike you have to select a better riding position.
- Think About Gravel Bike’s Weight: Due to its heavy weight, the speed of the bike decreases. Gravel bike’s weight is relatively more. So, to speed up the bike you need to avoid carrying extra weight. At the same time, the weight of the rider should also be reduced.
But Can Women Ride Gravel Bikes?
- Yes! Women can ride gravel bikes. Nowadays almost all bikes are unisex. Boys and girls can ride any bike as girls can ride a road and mountain bike. So, they can ride gravel bikes as well. Because a gravel bike is a combination of a road bike and a mountain bike. So, girls can ride specific frame gravel bikes on off-road and flat roads according to their height.
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Now, What Is A Road Bike That We All Know?
A road bike is a bicycle designed for riding on a paved surface as fast as you want. Thus it is called a road bike as it is designed to run on roads. But with the change of time, new things have come in cycling and different types of bikes have been created. But there is no change in the road bike structure.
- A road bike uses a drop handlebar, narrow slick tire, rim brakes, and high-speed gear. Because It’s committed to providing you with fast riding.
- Provides High speed.
- Having high-pressure tires.
- The ride is rough.
- Its lightweight frame can damage at any time.
- Don’t have adequate low gear.
- Uncomfortable for long riding.
Well, Can People Of All Ages Ride Road Bikes?
- Yes! All ages people can ride road bikes.
Gear, derailleur, and shifter are not used in a road bike as it is a simple and single-speed bike. So, it is hassle-free due to such an easy structure. Therefore, any age can easily do road bike maintenance because it is trouble-free. However, children and aged bikers should take some safety measures while riding the road bike.
Gravel Bike VS Road Bike: The Key Differences Between Them
At first glance, you may think that road bikes and gravel bikes are the same. But if you look closely, you will see the difference between the two bikes. Suppose you are traveling somewhere. And, the distance to the designated place is 180 kilometers. Also, there are 2 ways to reach the destination- the first path is a paved surface and the second is a hill track and unpaved surface.
- If you travel by route 1, you will have to travel 180 kilometers. On the other hand, if you take the second route to reach the destination, you will have to cover 100 km.
And, I am sure, you never want to overdrive an extra 80km. In this case, it is impossible to cover this short distance of 100 km with a road bike. Because road bikes cannot make hill tracks but gravel bikes easily do.
‘Every gravel bike is a road bike but not every road bike is a gravel bike!’ Like this,
some more differences are observed in the external view between gravel bikes and speedy bikes that are shown below:
|Difference||Road Bikes||Gravel Bikes|
|Designed for||Paved surface||Flat and hill track|
|Speed||Fast||Slow compare to road bike|
|Pricing||Less expensive. To buy a road bike you have to buy around 500$.||Expensive. To buy a gravel bike you have to buy around 1000$.|
Now Let’s Get Into The In-Depth Comparison Between Road And Gravel Bike.
- Gravel Bike: The frame is the center component of a bike that connects all the important parts of a bike. And, Gravel bikes usually use aluminum frames which are lightweight, durable, and affordable. Besides, we can see the uses of carbon frames which it is lighter than aluminum frames but costlier.
Along with aluminum and carbon frames, steel and titanium frames are also used in gravel bikes.
- Road Bike: Frame size varies according to the rider’s weight and height. When the frame size changes, other components of the bike also change. Taller riders need a larger frame and shorter riders need a smaller frame.
The road bike frame is also made of aluminum. Some manufacturers use carbon fiber for road bike frames, you have to spend a higher amount to purchase carbon frames. But older and cheaper road bikes use titanium and steel frames.
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- Road Bike: Road bike uses 700c wheels and its rim is big. As its wheels are narrow, lighter, and aerodynamic, can run on a flat surface. And that’s why it uses narrow tire and provide high speed.
- Road bike tyres are 25″, and 28″ and it doesn’t cross more than 33″.
- Gravel Bike: Gravel bikes use 700c and 650c wheels whereas 650c is shorter than 700c. But 650 c uses a wider wheel.
- If you cycling on mild off-road, then you should use a 700c wheel. Furthermore, a 700c gravel bike uses wider tire which is 35 to 40mm.
- But if you are riding extremely off-road, then it is better to use a 650c wheel which uses a 42 mm bigger tyre.
● Tips On Wheel Or Tyre Size
When a bike goes over hilly roads and rocks wide tire tolerates extra vibration and thus wide tire plays an important role in off-road riding.
Brake is another important component of a bike. By using brakes, we can control the speed of the bike at any time.
- Disc Brake On Gravel: Disc brakes are commonly used in gravel bikes as they ensure consistent and effective stopping in any situation.
As the gravel bike moves on an off-road and flat road, bikers have to brake at any time in an emergency. Also, due to the weight of the gravel bike, it needs strong brakes to stop it. And, Disc brake always gives the best performance in the case of these critical braking.
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- Rim & Disc Brakes On Road Cycle: Both rim brakes and disc brakes are used in a road bike. However, the use of rime brake is more.
- Rim brake squeezes the wheel of the bike from both sides; thus, the bike slows down. Due to the light weight of the road bike, it does not require much energy to brake.
- Although disc brakes are more powerful, road bikes are used rim types more. But nowadays the use of disc bikes is also increasing.
Gear is an important component of bikes. As it helps to speed up and down, thus the perfect Gear choice can make your journey more enjoyable.
High gear is hard to paddle but your bike runs fast. On the contrary, a low gear ratio provides you with easy pedaling but your bike runs slowly.
- Gravel Gearing: Gear plays a vital role on the gravel bike because a gravel bike moves on an off-road and flat road.
- A low gear ratio is needed for going on hilly up-down roads. Again, a high gear ratio is needed for flat road riding.
- 48/31t or 46/30t is good for flat road riding and 46/17 or 42/17 is a decent gear choice for uphill riding.
- Road Bike Gearing: Road bikes are high-speed bikes as I have mentioned earlier, the faster you paddle on a road bike, the faster your bike will go. From this, you can understand that road bikes are fixed gear or single gear.
- Road bikes are generally used on paved surfaces. But if you’re traveling a road that is a bit hilly, then you can use gear to make your journey pleasant. In this scenario, you can use 32/11 for uphill riding and a 25/11 gear ratio for more speed.
Crankset is also known as a chain set. And it is next to the front paddle where a bike has a maximum of 3 chainsets.
The position of the cassette is with the rear wheel. And, A cassette has 8 to 11 cogs. The cog and crankset have tooth-like grooves called sprockets. Moreover, a cog has 11-28 or 11-30 sprockets. On the other, Crankset has 34-50 sprockets. And, the derailleur helps in gear change by shifting the chain from one cog to another cog.
- Road bikes have two cranksets. It has front and back derailleurs. But it mostly uses a back derailleur.
- Gravel bike also has two cranksets and two derailleurs like road bikes. But it uses the front derailleur.
A handlebar is a controller of a bike. It connected with the front wheel by forks. It helps the front wheel to move. Also, the handlebar ensures the convenient location of brake levers, shifter, bell, etc.
- Gravel and road bikes both have drop handlebars. The gravel bike handlebar is wider and it also features a short reach and smaller drop.
- Road bikes have narrow handlebars. Besides, it features a longer reach and drops.
The Last Lines About Gravel VS Road Bike
There are lees to every wine. In the same way, gravel and road bikes have some limitations but both are good in their perspective and needs. So, you can select any one of them according to your riding ways. But before selecting one, check and recheck your needs, choice, riding path, and riding style.
Happy and Safe Cycling, My Dear Bike Loving Friend.