Can Gravel Bikes Really Do It All?


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Published: 6 days ago
The rise of competent do-it-all gravel bikes has raised the question, can one bike be your only bike? With two wheelsets, different tyres and a modern clutch derailleur groupset with disc brakes, on paper it seems more than capable of mountain biking, gravel riding and road racing.

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comment  Comments

Do you have one bike to do it all?

6 days ago

I played with the idea of multiple bikes before but realised I don’t like cleaning and maintaining more than 1 bike.

On the question of gravel or road bike as do it all, I’ll go for a road bike that fits 32mm tires as that’s all the wide I need for the off-road terrain available at my area. Your mileage may vary

6 hours ago

@Philip Ruys They're an OK for me. Despite the fact that in the first week I spilled WD40 on the pads (probably lost 30% breaking power).

22 hours ago

I have 6 bikes (3T Exploro, Cervelo S3 Disk, Cervelo S3 for work commuting, Old bike for Tacx trainer, Cannondale Scalpel for Mountain-biking in heavy terain and a bike to go to the bar:) ) and honestly I would not want to sell any of them. I did however just bought an 3T Exploro including a 700cc and 650B wheel-set. So in theory I could sell my Mountainbike and Race bikes as the 3T could do both but I noticed at my last 270Km ride with lots of front wind that my wife had advantage on here Cervelo S3 Disk while riding 80Km with head wind due to more aero but on the other hand my 3T with 700x40 tires where more comfortable during the 8 hours. So as I see all bikes as my little babies I will keep them for sure but it could be an option for sure :)

1 day ago

No, a gravel bike will never replace a proper mountain bike. Anything harder than a trail centre blue and you need (want) at least front suspension. Normal trail & enduro riding warrants having a full sus mountain bike. That being said I have a gravel bike for everything else. The only thing I can't do well on either bike is off road bike packing. The gravel bike can do gravel (obviously) but even little bits of rough terrain rattle all the frame bags and it gets a bit unsteady. I can barely load any luggage into the ful sus as it don't have an empty front triangle and dropper post means no saddle bag. For that a hardtail 29er with 130mm forks and a fixed post would be ideal. For me, the gravel bike combines the daily commuter, the road bike and the bike packing tourer with some added light offroad ability into the best all rounder.

2 days ago

@juan velázquez Have the same experiences with my Diverge (also the Aluminum one!!)

2 days ago

you are amazing

3 hours ago

#askgcn why didn’t Si wrap his race number plate around the headtube for aero gains?

7 hours ago

Nice work Si

8 hours ago

Isn't Emma the best cyclist in Si's phone?

8 hours ago

What a fantastic video!

I think in the future I will switch to having two bikes (not three!), one cyclocross/gravel/winter road bike (WITH MUDGUARDS!) and one road specific bike with deep wheels.

12 hours ago

N+1 every time

12 hours ago

cyclocross bike: Am I a joke to you

23 hours ago

How did you mount the GoPro to the Wahoo Elemnt?

1 day ago

I got a roadbike and a gravelbike at home. At my dad I got a do it all bike. Dreaming of getting a gravelbike good enough for road at home, like a Factor Vista :)

1 day ago

If only they did this 2 weeks ago before i bought a new Emonda!

1 day ago

Simon, the gentleman philosopher of GCN. Bravo!

1 day ago

Got rid of my road bike for a gravel bike & never looked back! And actually, I am faster on the road with my gravel bike - I have no explanation. Also, have a full suspension mountain bike

1 day ago

9:13 Young people today don't know how good they have it. When I was his age, my idea of bike heaven was to have a bike with a cantilever brake.

1 day ago

Yup, sold four bikes, 29 HT, two ccx bikes and one road bike and bought a Ibis Haaka MX w two wheel sets. When I want to shred some serious mtb trails, I’ll just demo a sweet high end full suspension bike for the day at $80-$100 and keep the extra $8500 bucks. 😎. I just mounted some Schwalbe G-one’s in 30mm on my 700c hoops for road specific rides. I’ll find out how they work soon. Great work as always Si!!

1 day ago

great looking footage, excellent presentation, some cinematic drama choir music --> super entertaining video, on one of the most interesting topics at the moment (for me). Thanks again GCN :-)
My new Merlin GX-01 will be shipped very soon, so I start my own Do-it-all bike experiment ...but I already feel the hesitation to sell my proper carbon roadbike (even though it's pretty old :)

1 day ago

Yes, the 3t exploro can do it all. But for the price of two bikes!!

2 days ago

Gravel bikes are excellent on packed dirt as long as it's not too bumpy. They are also good on cobblestone and old tarmac. However, they are terrible on loose gravel and absolutely useless on sand and rocky trails. They are more like all-roads bikes than all-terrains bikes.

2 days ago

I ride some pretty out there edge of terrain gravel (Welsh mud and hilly rubble roads eg Sarn Helen) and long distance Audax rides, yes my gravel bike could do both with just a wheel/tyre swop, but as Simon concludes lots of time would be spent wading and servicing the one bike. Having 2 bikes, one gravel, one Audax (road) does allow me to keep riding even if 1 bike is out of action due to servicing

2 days ago

Aero gravel bike? Ever so slightly sceptical 😂

2 days ago

My Brodie Romax does it all. It is a cross bike - I've bike-packed with it, cyclocross, a couple of loops in a mountain bike race, I commute on it, and in a month 's time I'll do an IRONMAN 70.3 on it. I love this bike!

2 days ago

Hello im a newbie in road bikes and im planning to build my own GRAVEL BIKE. Can someone help me please answer my questions.
1) What tire size should i choose for my gravel bike if i want more tires to dampen the ground and reduce slipping
2)What rim size should i get for my gravel bike?
3)Does the rim breaks can fit with larger range of rims and tires for example 20mm rims and 36 or 38x700c tires?
4)Since i dont have that much of a budget how can i get a rim brakes for my gravel bike for example im buying tiagra how to make it a rim brake?
I don't need that much speed i just want to enjoy riding road bike in rocky roads specially here in my country philippines

2 days ago

1 Bike 2 Cups

2 days ago

Good point on the wear of one bike. My do it all bike is almost two years old and has been through hell and back!

2 days ago

A gravel bike isn’t a road bike and neither is an Aussie a Brit.

2 days ago

My trek checkpoint sl5.

2 days ago

I use my gravel bike on tame single track all the time. It is more capable than the mountain bike I started on way back when.

2 days ago

Bought Hybrid bike imagining it's what I needed, then a year later bought a Gravel Bike, added 2 road wheels. I rarely touch the Hybrid Bike. The Gravel Bike is awesome and fit for all purposes. Unless one does extreme road of MTB, a Gravel Bike is fit for all purposes, including touring.

2 days ago

Might I add I had a road bike which I loved and it definitely faster than the Gravel bike, but couldn't handle what the Gravel bike handles.

2 days ago

I wish I wouldn't have noticed the vocal fry.

3 days ago

What else can u say, great vid Simon

3 days ago