Gravel Bike vs Road Bike – What’s The Difference? GCN’s Epic Gravel Ride
Articles Blog

Gravel Bike vs Road Bike – What’s The Difference? GCN’s Epic Gravel Ride

October 21, 2019

♪ [music] ♪ – [Matt] What can a gravel bike do that a
road bike can’t? Well, we’re going to find out the answer to that very question
whilst tackling a gravel epic ride. – [Dan] Yeah, that’s right. It seems that
somehow Si has managed to persuade Matt that what he’s been missing in all these
decades of riding a bike is a gravel bike, and not just because it’s got
double-sided pedals will make it easier for him to click in. – [Simon] I think I can persuade
you too by the end of the day. I’ve been wanting to explore these
mountains in Mid Wales for a long, long time. So what I’ve done is consider
this a good excuse to do just that. So I’ve got a little route, some nice road
riding, some effort gravel riding and we will find out exactly what a road
bike can’t do that a gravel bike can. How many inches you got today, Dan? – Oh, I’ve put in, you know, kind
of… I put 6 inch same as normal. – Same as normal. ♪ [music] ♪ – If you’ve got the feeling that I’m a
little bit skeptical about all road bikes, then you’d be right. So I’m going to
tackle Si’s so called epic ride on my road bike while Matt and Si is going
to ride their new Ridley X-Trails. They’re kind of like road bikes
but with clearance for wider tires, a bit more stability, practicality and
Sram 1X Drivetrain for reliability. – All right then, Dan, first of all
let’s tackle the road question, just how much faster is your road bike? Well,
our X-Trail’s have got 40 millimeter-wide tires on there whilst your road bike,
obviously, has 28. Now, a greater width in itself doesn’t really add much rung
resistance. So we’re not going to be losing out too much here. We do, however,
have a bit of tread on there so that is going to add a bit of extra resistance,
admittedly. Although, I am pretty sure that tread is going to come in
handy. You punctured yet, Dan? – No. You punctured yet? – No. How about now? – No. Look, seriously I’m
fine. Just stop bothering me. – Actually, skinny road tires on gravel
like this are far more puncture resistant than you might think. We’ve actually
shared that before, but puncture resistance is only just
part of the equation. – That’s right. Tire pressure is the
other, and see, Dan is probably having to run about a hundred PSI in his tires in
order to avoid pinch flats. And hopefully, touch wood, it’s going to be quite
successful, but what about comfort? You see, Matt and I have got about 40
PSI in our tires. That’s about three bar, meaning that although they still roll
very well on tarmac, they are now also comfortable on gravel. – And it’s not just about comfort,
because me and Si are running on lower tire pressure, it means we get a
lot more traction both uphill and down. You get punctured yet, Dan? – Sod off. ♪ [music] ♪ – All right, I’m going to admit it, I’m
normally very happy to use my road bike on short gravel sections how
they…whatever really. I mean, did I mention that I once finished top 10
outside of Yonker? Yeah, I probably did. But the route that Si has designed for us
today certainly isn’t one that’s meant for road bikes. So whilst here, Matt really
aren’t suffering any extra at all on the asphalt road, when we get off-road,
I’m rattling about like a gooda. – He’s got a fair bit of pace, isn’t he? – Do you think he can stop? – I’m not sure. We’ll soon find out. – Enjoyed that, Dan? – Yeah, I’m loving it. Where
are we going to next, Si? – Set, just that way mate. – All right, come on then. ♪ [music] ♪ – Right, well according to Si, we are now
coming towards the end of this God awful ride. Now I have to say, I’ve been
pretty impressed with the way that this road-specific machine has held up
over some fairly rough off-road terrain. In all honestly though, I’ve had quite a
good fun this day. I’m starting to see the idea behind these gravel bikes. It’s been
quite enjoyable, which is a new play too that you haven’t done this over quite
sometime. I just wonder though, if actually I might have enjoyed it
a little bit more on one of those. – Yeah, I think you would. Definitely.
Now, although this is a durable bike, I personally wouldn’t trade my fast road
bike for this. But then there are plenty of people out there for whom I
think this would be the perfect bike. It’s a little bit more comfortable and
it’s a little bit more stable even if you don’t take anywhere near gravel.
It’s got slightly more stable handling. It can fit longer mud guards. You
got slightly more reliability from your hydraulic brakes, and also
you’re one bi-groupset. – I think it’s worth adding as
well that it feels really niffy. It feels very, very fast, in fact,
and to me the bike has the feel, has more related to a road bike
than a cross bike, in fact. Anyway, you fancy giving that a nudge? – I think we should. I say, last one
to the town sign buys the pints, and let’s be honest, nothing says
epic gravel ride better than a sprint. Let’s go. – Cheat! ♪ [music] ♪ – That’s such a [inaudible 00:06:52]. – There’s no tires. ♪ [music] ♪ – Well, I think this is going to be a
rather fitting end to a quite epic ride. So cheers, lads. – Cheers. – Cheers. – I’m not cheersing that glass. – I’ll cheers, mate, don’t worry. – Anyway, our last epic ride, mine and
yours, Si, was Colle delle Finestre remember that one? Over in Italy. Eight
Ks of gravel roads. Arguably the finest, most beautiful, spectacular climb
I’ve ever seen. And in Italian, it means, “Window to the world”.
If you fancy watching that video, click just up here. – That was beautiful actually. – Thanks, mate. – Now, if tech is more your bag,
then if you click down there, then you get through to a video about Sram
1x we’ve been riding all day today, and Neil’s at the launch of their product,
you can get a load more information just down there. – Yeah, and if you’ve enjoyed this video,
you can let us know by giving us a like which is the thumbs up icon just down
below this video. And if you haven’t already subscribed, it’s free. All you’ve
got to do is click on one of us gnarly gravel grinders. – I like that. – Groad riders. – That’s going to catch on. – Who’s paying for this anyway? And who’s
paying for my first one more importantly? – Oh, it’s not me. I haven’t
got my wallet actually. – Yeah, sorry mate.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. I'm thinking about buying a 2017 Kona Roadhouse. I just have no clue in what category it is. Several i guess. Classic road bike, endurance road bike, adventure bike, gravel bike.

  2. you guys should revisit this and have Dan on a gravel bike… see if his scepticism has been answered after riding one

  3. guys, I've always loved single/ double track but alot of my mates do road and a pure off road i donit fancy so a gravel sounds perfect for me, what would you recommend for about a grand.
    hard to find anything as im guessing its still so new hereI'

  4. how far apart are smaller sized towns spaced apart as it seems you guys are always going from the middle of nowhere to a town with a nice pub or getween towns on your ride? Is there a town every 5 miles or so?

  5. I love this channel, please stop asking people to subscribe because "it's free". All YouTube subscriptions are free right?

  6. Hi guys, any chance you've got a GPX/map/verbal description of some of these gravel roads? They look superb but very difficult to work out where they are without some help. Cheers!

  7. This has me interested in a gravel bike. My town has some awful pavement which might make a gravel bike the better choice.

  8. I have a road bike but now i think a cyclocross bike is of more use than road bike. My next bike would be a cyclocross which i can make my touring bike.

  9. back in my day if you wanted to go cyclocrossing you take your road bike put put a 28 tooth sprocket on the block at the back and for the vets it was a 30 and swap your 18 or 20 mm tires for a set of 32 or 38 knobblies and jobs a goodn… and one more thing ,, what is it with these sloping top tubes… what a load of bolloxs . how on earth do you carry the damn bike ? someday people will wake up to the fact that a triangle with one 90 degree joint in it is also inherently more stable, my 2 cents

  10. I'm 58 and I am returning to cycling and phasing out ice hockey (at least for the summer months April-October). I was quite avid in my twenties and I still own, and occasionally ride my 1982 Peugeot CP 12, my first real bike. I love this channel, and the guys who are the presenters. It's entertaining, informative, and makes you crave a ride every time I watch. I'm a fat old guy on his way to being a fit old-guy cyclist. Thanks for such great fun!

  11. IMO there's no need for a specialized machine for "gravel", unless your current road bike is super-steep and/or unable to fit more than a 25mm tire. Sadly, the marketers suckered us into these skinny-only bikes that were good for one thing on one kind of surface — racing on perfect roads. Had the frames and forks provided just a bit more space, one bike could handle 90% of riding just by fitting biggish, supple, smooth tires. Really, I hope to see bikes get back to a bit of sanity, though I shouldn't hold my breath.

  12. GCN gods (Matt, Si and Dan, maybe Lasty – in no particular order) I'd love to know your thoughts on the Cannondale Slate for this very kind of riding.

  13. Not very helpful. It was more of a tire size comparison than a bike comparison. What I want to know is how does a gravel bike with road tires compare to a road bike with road tires (on the road, that is).

  14. Has the UCI allowed gravel bikes in the pro tour? Seeing if you ride a gravel bike, with a double ring in front. You can swap wheels at any point (UCI allows this). Meaning enter a section of dirt and gravel in say the Tour de France, swap to gravel spec wheels and swap back when you returned to smooth conditions. Before anyone misunderstood that, I don't mean a 2/5/10 km area but a 40 or more. Much like disc brakes in rain, you would have an advantage. I know some local races do allow this and more riders are swapping wheels as I stated. If the frame geometry is the same, except for a wider chain and seat stay area…it could be faster and the future or road racing.

  15. You should have shown us who won the race to bar, what was the distance, and by how much…(Assuming the Roadie would have taken you both) to give us and idea how the large, 40# tires was dragging you down.

  16. I have a CX bike for winter rides. Great as it has discs and plenty of room for good mudguards, but it is slower than my road bikes.
    Have Road slicks on but haven't tried it off Road yet. I wouldn't fancy doing a 100 mile sportive on the CX bike though.

  17. Were the tires glue on's or tubeless? If the road bike had tubeless, were sacrifices made to the on road performance of the tire in order to prevent side wall cutting, as some top brand tires are susceptible to cutting by gravel.?
    7:05-1st beer on left: Ginuess Stout Draft?
    Sub'r: 1.2M+1

  18. Not a single word about the single chain ring and no forward derailleur on a gravel bike vs the twin rings and derailleur on the road bike. What’s the impact of that on the ride, on handling, on weight and maintenance?

    My question is does a road bike have more shift range than a gravel bike?

  19. was there … and done that… I just feel epic … tons of fun… and looking for a proper bike to do more of that here at home.

  20. I think I might just buy a Gravel bike, and then buy an extra set of road wheels to switch back and forth.

    Im primerally and MTBer so I only really use my road bike for fitness. Plus I prefer the slacker geometry and the 1x gear set up.

  21. That was an awesome video. Very professional job. Good job. I’m just a poor person that loves to ride bikes. It’s amazing how marketing works. Slightly wider width with minimum grip tires. Just go ride. Who cares except people paying way to much money to enjoy the freedom of riding a bike. Love to see smart people acting so ignorant.

  22. the slow motion of rolling over the cattle gaurd at 1:33 says a lot! The gravels roll over smoothly and the road bike bounces violently.

  23. Beer after a ride? Cmon bois we should be carbing up and getting nutrition in the body! cycling burns a ton of cals!! Anyways, I did enjoy the first 99% of the video. Thanks and keep it up!

  24. i would take a gravel bike over a road bike all day every day even if you gave me a road bike for free, i have 40mm gravel tyres and a set of 28mm slicks for rides that i know are going to be all road and it's just the perfect bike no matter what kind of ride i'm doing

  25. The roads of Britain seem worse than most off road gravel trax. I find my heavy 13kg bike fine on and off road now I got a 40m front tyre and a 47m rear tyre at 50 psi. My voodoo limba can realy shift when I need it too.

  26. There's something positively and delightfully macaque-like about Matthew's facial features and expressions. Not an insult at all: monkeys are beautiful animals in their own right. A bit comical sometimes, I should concede. A shame he left GCN, by the way.

  27. I biked 36 miles today on a stock giordano libero 2.0 road bike on a dirt and gravel trail that had sections of flooding. Had orientation for a new job so I at least had a 3 hour break between each 18 mile run. Definitely going to opt for the 20 mile route on road only come Saturday when I start. Only now I'll have 12.5 hours between rides for 3 days in a row. 120 miles a week with no road biking experience. But hey at least I saved a bunch of money on my car insurance by switching to cycling.

  28. The lower psi also acts as a shock absorber… Always run low psi on my mtb hardtail, massive difference! Just make sure they are tubeless though otherwise you'll get snake bite punctures!

  29. According to Dan, if you get a high tech aero super bike and put MTB tires and wheels on it, it will be a master off roader but hmm can I trust him?🧐

  30. I'm old school Road and at 62 yrs of age I'm never going to change, anything over 20 mm I call a balloon tire.)
    I expect the Roads in Hell are gravel/crushed bones…while in Heaven freshly paved with top grade asphalt.

  31. So I'm looking for a new bike and gravel bikes seem to be the best for my use but the thing is I'm on a low budget, so does anybody know if there is a gravel bike under 500€. if not, any recommendations?
    Thx in advance

  32. Gravel Bike. An ingenious way bike manufacturers take the hard earned money from the not so ingenious cyclist.

  33. Or, you could just get a xc bike and that will be far more comfortable and open up opportunities to ride amazing terrain.

  34. I've just build a gravel bike for the winter, and I'm actually preferring it to my road bike in a lot of ways. With the state of the roads round here, it's a lot more comfortable, plus I don't cringe when I hit any uneven surfaces. I haven't even really noticed a reduction in average speed.

  35. Soo.. gravel bike is technically just a slightly fancier pixie with gear eh? (considering the wheel thickness similar to regular classic basic bike)

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *