LCP

Are gravel bikes old-school mountain bikes?

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Liam Mercer's picture

Liam Mercer

Tech Editor here at off.road.cc Liam can also be found photographing bikes as well as revelling in cycling's intricacies. Whether it's gravel, mountain, or e-MTB as long as it's a bike on dirt, he's happy.

6 comments

9 months 3 weeks ago

Old school Mtb with tubeless tyres, clutch mech, 1x groupset disc brakes and bigger wheels. Get back to the feeling of not being over-biked with the safety and reliability of modern-tech 

1 year 1 month ago

I rode the Dirty Reiver on Saturday. In my part of the field there were indeed quite a few MTBs, I think the pointy end would have been 100% gravel machines as they are simply more aero. Saturday was my 3rd participation since 2016. The 2016 event was a puncture apocalypse as almost everyone was riding tubed wheels (tho not me). By comparison, this event showed far, far fewer people stopped with mechanicals. The bikes and especially the tyres have come a long way in recent years.

I'll be adding my own youtube vid in a day or two - still editing.

1 year 1 month ago

I rode the Dirty Reiver on Saturday. In my part of the field there were indeed quite a few MTBs, I think the pointy end would have been 100% gravel machines as they are simply more aero. Saturday was my 3rd participation since 2016. The 2016 event was a puncture apocalypse as almost everyone was riding tubed wheels (tho not me). By comparison, this event showed far, far fewer people stopped with mechanicals. The bikes and especially the tyres have come a long way in recent years.

I'll be adding my own youtube vid in a day or two - still editing.

1 year 1 month ago

Yes. They are, specifically, John Tomac's old school mountain bike.

1 year 1 month ago

All bikes used to be "gravel" bikes where I grew up in Essex, that's because many of the roads at that time (late 60's early 70's) were unadopted gravel roads and you just had to get on with it, riding whatever your parents could afford. I do admire the industry's ability to morph a whole new market out of sticking knobbly tyres on a road bike.

1 year 1 month ago

They're not the same as old school mountain bikes... Watching the recent youtube vids of the Dirty Reiver event, I'd have been wishing for an old school mountain bike over a gravel bike in those conditions!