Gravel bike vs mountain bike: what are the differences?

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Lance Branquinho's picture

Lance Branquinho

Lance Branquinho is a Namibian-born media professional who graduated to mountain biking after injuries curtailed his fascination with trail running. He has a weakness for British steel hardtails, especially those which only run a single gear. Lance is an award-winning writer who has contributed to myriad piblications all over the world including Cyclingnews, Bike Perfect, MBR, Topgear, TopCar and Car magazine.

4 comments

3 weeks 5 days ago

EddyBerckx wrote:

 

Gravel bike: Ride to your off road destination then do some relatively light (compared to MTB) trails. Ride long distances.

 

MTB: Drive to your destination then have lots of fun on light or technical trails etc etc. If you're lucky you may live near to this and so can sack the car off. 

That's it basically.

 

 

Its a good way of putting it.  How many MTB's are actually designed to be ridden as ATB's these days?  Its all hyper specialisation in search of ever smaller market segments.  How many riders actually "need" progressive geometry and for how many is it a liability?

4 weeks 58 min ago

Barely any mention of drop bars being a limiting factor when the terrain gnarly?

Even with Grx levers which are awesome the hand positions on drops are much less conducive to going fast off-road. 
 

Tubeless was the real game changer that enabled gravel. Running even narrow 1.5-1.7" tyres at 25psi and below with no fear of pinch punctures massively improves ride comfort and trail compliance. 

4 weeks 58 min ago

Barely any mention of drop bars being a limiting factor when the terrain gnarly?

Even with Grx levers which are awesome the hand positions on drops are much less conducive to going fast off-road. 
 

Tubeless was the real game changer that enabled gravel. Running even narrow 1.5-1.7" tyres at 25psi and below with no fear of pinch punctures massively improves ride comfort and trail compliance. 

4 weeks 3 hours ago

Gravel bike: Ride to your off road destination then do some relatively light (compared to MTB) trails. Ride long distances.

 

MTB: Drive to your destination then have lots of fun on light or technical trails etc etc. If you're lucky you may live near to this and so can sack the car off. 

That's it basically.