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Are Gravel Bikes Relevant?


By , 30 November 2022

As the saying goes, beauty is in the eye of the beholder and the same can be said for the new kid on the cycling block, the gravel bike. Detractors will say that this hybrid machine falls uncomfortably between a road bike and a mountain bike so why even bother? Most hard-core cyclists generally have both variants and hence is there a need for this ‘abomination’

Gravel bikes trace their origins to the Minnesota based Salsa Cycles, who designed and created the ‘Warbird bike’ in 2012. From its humble beginnings, it systematically gained popularity and becoming what is today one of the most sought after derivatives of bikes amongst cycle enthusiasts. So, what is a gravel bike then? Their chief benefit is that they offer far more stability off-road than a road bike whist having the ability to travel considerably faster on-road than a mountain bike which really equates to complete versatility. One of the main features of gravel bikes is the size of their tyres which typically measure between 35-40mm in width allowing them to navigate seriously gnarly surfaces. I personally can attest to their functionality having used one to successfully negotiate several hundred miles of smooth road, gravel footpaths and muddy towpaths of the End to End. Whilst the gravel bike is similar in appearance to a road bike, it differs insomuch as a rider enjoys a more upright posture (once again perfect for long distance touring) thanks to a longer head tube combined with a shallow head angle, a longer wheelbase and by implication better steering control and comfort on rough terrain. The obvious advantage of owning a gravel bike for those that are not serious road or mountain bike competitors is that it obviates the need to purchase both variants (not to mention a nifty way to cut down on storage space usage for those who do not devote pride of place to their bikes).

Gravel bikes are certainly satisfying a niche in the cycling industry and judging by the sales of these rugged machines, they are certainly more than just a fad. As previously stated, they are likely to be shunned by the racing snakes of the world but then again, judging by the plethora of organised gravel bike races, there’s a whole new community of gravel bike racing snakes training right now for the next big event.

At Eversure, we take cycling really seriously (why wouldn’t we?) and as such our cycling insurance cover is continually evolving to exceed our client’s expectations. For those that are not already part of the Eversure community check out our website eversure.com, you’ll be amazed at our competitive rates and broad cover.