GRAVEL BIKE VERSUS MOUNTAIN BIKE: Which Is More Fun to Play Off-road?

GRAVEL BIKE VERSUS MOUNTAIN BIKE: Which Is More Fun to Play Off-road?

Mountain Bike Has Competitors

Cycling in the mountains is fun. We can maneuver on the hill to break through the gravel track. Mountain Bike (MTB) is said to be the toughest for dirt track matters. The width of the large tires makes the bicycle speed stable even though the road is potholed and rocky.

But wait, MTB now has competitors who are said to be superior in hitting extreme paths in mountains or hills. The curved handlebar and tire width of up to 40 mm make this bike no less tough for a comfortable adventure.

Yes, Gravel Bike is the name. in the United States (US) this bike is really booming. As the name implies, this bike can be invited to quickly pass-through gravel or dirt roads. The physical form is far from MTB. The shape of the Gravel Bike is more typical like a road bike but uses a disc brake like an off-road bike. So, which one is more exciting for the dirt track? 1

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GRAVEL BIKE

Gravel Bike is not only famous in Uncle Sam’s country. This trend then developed in Europe and other countries. Gravel managed to win the hearts of the cyclist because it can be invited to adventure and fast for long distance touring. So, you could say this bike is really ‘yes man’.

If you want to speed up on paved roads, all you must do is change to a thinner tire size, for example, the size of 28 mm. Well, if you want to take this bike to be roughed up on rocky roads, you can also replace tires with fatter sizes such as 35 mm or 42-45 mm, depending on the maximum capacity of the bicycle frame.

Several brands of this Gravel Bike type bicycle have applied Future Shock suspension under the stem and dropper posts. To be even tougher, recently manufacturers in the United States created a Gravel Bike frame with two choices of materials, namely carbon and aluminum.

Especially for this carbon material, a shock absorber system is used at the junction of the top tube and seat tube. This feature was once popularized in endurance dominance bicycles. It is perfect for long distance touring. The standard Gravel Bike handlebars are drop bar type because they provide rider flexibility.

In terms of comfort, Gravel Bike is designed to provide a wonderfully comfortable riding position. But for those of you who are more comfortable with a more upright position, park this bike, then choose MTB. Gravel Bike will feel fun when driven on a single track.

MOUNTAIN BIKE

MTB is very suitable to be ridden in hilly or mountainous areas with heavy terrain. Technically, this mountain bike uses flat handlebars to provide maximum control on off-road or dirt and gravel trails. The flat bar is also wider than the drop bar, so it provides maximum stability. What is more, when driving on a rough single track, the driver can maneuver very easily.

With the flat devil type, the rider can be more upright but less optimal and aerodynamic when driving at higher speeds on asphalt roads. Flat bars or flat handlebars are better for slower speeds.

Then for mountain bike tires have a greater weight which offers better comfort and traction. Like the comparison on the handlebars, Gravel Bike tires have the advantage on faster and smoother terrain, while mountain bike tires can conquer extreme terrain.

Affairs of the suspension, MTB mostly applied to the fork. A typical mountain bike suspension fork can add two to three pounds over a stiff carbon fork.

QnA GRAVEL BIKE Vs MOUNTAIN BIKE

What is the difference between a mountain bike and a gravel bike?

Gravel bikes are equipped with drop handlebars while mountain bikes use flat handlebars. Mountain bikes use flat handlebars because they provide more control in off-road terrain. Flat bars are wider than drop bars and provide stability and leverage.2

How much faster is a gravel bike vs mountain bike?

Maintaining an average speed of 25 km/h (15.5 mph) on a mountain bike, over rocky and technical terrain, would put you in a very elite category. Meanwhile, most recreational groups on a Saturday morning road ride have no problems holding that same speed.3

Why gravel bikes have drop bars?

The most compelling reason for a gravel bike to have drop bars is primarily for stability and control. These bars are boasted as being wider with flared drops, providing the rider natural positioning.4

Can you put drop bars on a mountain bike?

Yes, drops can be slapped on any mountain bike, but they shouldn’t. For instance, most MTBs have a geometry with a much longer reach, and generally don’t fit as well with drop bars.5

Can I turn my mountain bike into a gravel bike?

Did you know you can convert your mountain bike to a gravel grinder? You do not have to buy a gravel bike if you already own a mountain bike. If want to relocate to a milder terrain, you can convert the latter into the former through just a few steps.6

Do I really need a gravel bike?

Those who live in riding range of gravel roads and manicured off-road trails can justify a gravel bike but if you don’t have the land access, it is pointless. Even if you aren’t going to roll it much off-road, many gravel bike designs could make for a comfortable general-purpose bicycle.7

References

  1. https://www.theproscloset.com/blogs/news/choosing-a-gravel-bike-vs-a-hardtail-29er-mtb
  2. https://www.theproscloset.com/blogs/news/choosing-a-gravel-bike-vs-a-hardtail-29er-mtb
  3. https://cyclingtips.com/2020/05/gravel-bike-vs-mountain-bike-are-you-better-off-with-a-hardtail-mtb/
  4. https://cyclingvitality.com/this-is-why-gravel-bikes-have-drop-bars/
  5. https://bikepacking.com/index/drop-bar-mountain-bikes-29er/
  6. https://www.bestbikepicks.com/converting-mountain-bike-to-gravel-grinder/
  7. https://www.cyclingnews.com/features/should-i-buy-a-gravel-bike-the-pros-and-cons/