What bike to buy and why?
We all know what it costs to pay for a bicycle. Prices are high and it seems that the limit to having a "decent" bike is getting higher. To the usual doubts of brand and model is now added the commercial uncertainty of whether to opt for a gravel bike or road. Gravel is in fashion and it seems that manufacturers' commitment to these types of models is increasingly powerful. A promising future is glimpsed but to what extent is it worth buying a gravel bike? It is better buy one road bike or gravel? A lot of people are faced with this doubt and it is that the versatility of these bicycles seduces anyone ...
Advantages buy a gravel bike
-Versatility: I think nobody is going to question me this first point. Gravel bicycles are much more versatile. The versatility offered by gravel is its great attraction. With a gravel bike you can get into all types of terrain, while with the "road" bicycles you are limited to the asphalt and everything that is to flee from it is a desire to complicate your life. If you are looking for a wild card that is worth it for everything, head towards a gravel model.
-Fun: Is there anything more fun than riding a bicycle to the eyebrows on tracks and goat roads? I doubt it very much, so if yours is adrenaline, fun and it is cool to put a touch of madness at each exit, it would be time for you to start trying this gravel. In the United States, the gravel is killing it and races like the Diry Kanzas begin to be a worldwide trend.
-Comfort: Gravel bicycles are the closest thing to big-bottom bicycles. Manufacturers have thoroughly studied the geometry of the frame so that it offers the best possible comfort to the cyclist. Gravel bicycles are not particularly aggressive and tend to have a fairly high steering pipe and a perfect wheelbase for user comfort.
-Braking: If the controversy about disc brakes is still open in road cycling, there is no doubt in the gravel. All gravel bicycles come with disc brakes. The quality of braking is immensely superior and rolling on tracks I can assure you that it is appreciated and much to have a good brake. If the improvement is noticeable dry, in rain and wet terrain the disc brakes take the palm. With this system you can speed up the braking much more and have a step through a quieter curve.
-Bikepacking: With the arrival of good weather many cyclists begin to seriously consider the option of making routes and bike trips in bikepacking format. For this discipline gravel bicycles are more prepared than conventional road bikes. They are more resistant and the frames are easier to attach luggage carriers or suitcases.
-Resistance: The fragility of carbon bicycles is well known to all. Gravel bicycles are more reinforced and for loading ballast or for rolling on uneven terrain they are much more reliable. If you want something reliable and resistant I recommend that you look for your bike among the gravel catalogs.
Advantages buy road bike
-Lightness: When it comes to climbing mountain passes we all know the importance of the power to weight ratio. Losing body weight with cycling is an option but you should not underestimate the possibility of lightening your bike. In this sense, road bicycles weigh less than gravel. The frames are not as reinforced and the materials used are the lightest. At the same product range, gravel bicycles have nothing to do.
-Speed: For clues I assure you that you can go much faster than you think, but obviously asphalt is still the surface when we talk about speed. If you compete or want to improve your records on a climb or on a cycle tour clear your doubts and buy a road bike
-Aerodynamics: There are many types of bicycles and each one has its own design characteristics. Aero bicycles are the most aggressive and are designed to make the most of each watt of power on favorable terrain. The gravel ones closely resemble large-bottom bicycles but road bikes continue to show improved geometry in terms of aerodynamic efficiency.
-Esthetic: Gravel designs are cool, but you will admit that they have nothing to do with a good road bike with profile wheels. The "road" bikes are spectacular and a joy in the eyes of the amateur.
Opinion and conclusion
I imagine that if you have reached this point you will not be surprised by a hair that says that there is no single true truth about whether it is Better buy a road or gravel bike.
Each cyclist corresponds to a different athlete profile, so it is important that you know yours and that you can decide based on your interests. By interests I mean mainly the use that you are going to give the bicycle. If the use is occasional and recreational, it may be best to opt for a gravel bike. You will always have the option to mount a road decks and roll comfortably on paved roads.
On the contrary if the use that you are going to give it is intense, you will probably fit a road bike more. The set is much lighter and it is clear that in terms of performance and aerodynamics the superiority over a gravel is unquestionable.
On the other hand the budget is another factor in mind. Gravel bicycles require more complete assemblies so they also tend to be more expensive. In the world of the road you can find decent bicycles for 1000 euros, while in the gravel the limit to enjoy an “acceptable” bicycle is somewhat higher. Summarizing; Very tight budgets, road. Budget somewhat higher, value between gravel and road.
Finally I would like to comment on the market of second hand. Gravel-specific bicycles have been on the market for a short time, so browsing wallapop the probability of finding a “bargain” is much lower than what you have if you are looking for a road bargain.
Take your time and value consciously the different purchase options that arise. If you need a cable do not hesitate to ask me through the comments 😉