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Want to ride just about anywhere? Gravel and adventure bikes are the type of bike that you need
  • Descended from touring bikes, endurance bikes and cyclo-cross bikes, gravel/adventure bikes are go-almost-anywhere machines for riders who want to explore and race on dirt roads, and ride Tarmac to get there.

  • Disc brakes allow frame clearances for fatter tyres, making for a bike that can cope with a very wide range of surfaces and that points & laughs at potholes.

  • With even the tiniest lanes infested with motor traffic, gravel bikes get you properly away from dangerous drivers.

  • At the adventure end of the spectrum, these are the rugged successors to traditional long-distance touring bikes.

  • Some manufacturers are exploring short-travel suspension and 650B wheels to improve comfort and traction.

Gravel/adventure bikes have gone very quickly from the latest craze to a significant part of most bike companies' ranges. These bikes are tailored for long-distance comfort, with disc brakes, big tyre clearance and geometry honed to excel both on the road and off, whether it's a gravel, forest or dirt track.

Why you might want a gravel or adventure bike

Their adaptability, versatility and ruggedness makes them the perfect commuter bike, an ideal light touring or audax bike, a great winter training bike, or simply one bike that can tackle any sort of terrain you care to take it along. If ever there was a case for the one perfect bike for the British non-racing cyclist, then an adventure bike is probably it.

The US gravel racing scene hasn’t been much emulated in the UK yet, but the style of bike has piqued the interest of British cyclists. The idea of the bigger tyres and relaxed geometry that promotes extra comfort when the going gets rough and bumpy is very attractive given the generally poor state of repair of UK roads. Let's be honest, in many places they're almost gravel anyway.

Mavic Ksyrium Pro Allroad 1st ride 1

Mavic Ksyrium Pro Allroad 1st ride 1

They can be ridden anywhere, these bikes, on the road and off it. The idea of adventure (or allroad, roadplus and enduroad as some people are calling this style of bike) is also finding fans, with the ability to dart down a bridleway or over the plain or along a fireroad to mix up a regular road ride appealing to cyclists keen to get away from the congested streets and into the wide open countryside.

Of course, the idea of riding a road bike across any sort of terrain, be it smoothly paved roads or rough and bumpy gravel tracks, woodland trails laced with roots or edge-of-field bridleways, is nothing new really. Road cyclists have been doing it since the dawn of the bicycle. How do you think cyclo-cross was invented? Gravel and adventure bikes, though, are better suited to the demands of on and off-road riding. They split the difference between an endurance road bike and a cyclo-cross bike, with space for bigger tyres than an endurance bike and geometry better suited to road riding than a cyclo-cross bike.

Don't confuse a gravel and adventure bike with an endurance road bike like the Cannondale Synapse or Saracen Avro. While they do look similar, the key difference is in the bigger tyres the former accepts and the modified geometry. It's worth taking a look at our roundup of endurance road bikes for examples of bikes that come close to a gravel and adventure bike.

Jamis Renegade Elite - riding 1

Jamis Renegade Elite - riding 1

Call them what you want, these bikes are all about having fun and exploring the beautiful countryside we’re fortunate to be surrounded by. You could be riding along smooth tarmac one minute, then hurtling down a tree-lined bridleway the next, then trucking along a fireroad in deepest Wales the next. And that really appeals to a growing number of British cyclists.

What to look for in a gravel and adventure bike

For a start, gravel and adventure bikes aren’t simply rebranded cyclo-cross bikes. While there’s no single blueprint that adventure bikes follow, they generally sit between an endurance road bike and a cyclo-cross race bike, if anything leaning more towards the former. They’re designed with longer wheelbases, so they’re stable on the road and when riding over an unpredictable surface like gravel, and provide comfort over long distances. The geometry is more relaxed than a race bike, the head angle slacker and the head tube often taller. The bottom bracket will usually be a little lower than a cyclo-cross bike.

Specialized Diverge Expert Carbon10

Specialized Diverge Expert Carbon10

They all feature disc brakes. By removing the rim brake caliper you can easily design a frame and fork able to accommodate bigger tyres. Disc brakes, especially hydraulic discs, offer more power which provides more confidence when riding off-road and are useful in mixed conditions.

Gravel and adventure bikes will have space for bigger tyres, but how big varies from brand to brand. Endurance road bikes go up to about 32mm as a general rule, but gravel and adventure road bikes increase the clearance up to as much as 55mm. That provides a vast range of tyre choice options, including many rugged touring and cyclocross tyres, as well as road slicks, so you've got plenty of options for setting the bike up for your riding demands. In some cases you can even fit 29er mountain bike tyres.

Jamis Renegade Elite - seat stays

Jamis Renegade Elite - seat stays

Tyre choice very much depends on the riding you want to do and the terrain in your local riding spot. There’s nothing to stop you fitting light 25mm or 28mm tyres if you want it to be fast on the road. Or you could use a 35mm treaded tyre if you want to include some gravel and dirt paths in your rides. We’re seeing more tyre choice as well to go with the bikes, such as the Panaracer Gravel King, to name one example of the growing selection aimed at gravel and adventure riding.

While this new breed of bike has stemmed from the gravel racing scene, manufacturers have been wise to cotton on to the do-it-all appeal, and many equip the bikes with eyelets for fitting racks and mudguards. That means you could build up the perfect winter or commuting bike, or add a rack for some light touring and explore further afield. With events like the Transcontinental Race proving popular it’s this sort of bike that is becoming the go-to choice for long distance bikepacking or lightweight touring, where you want a rugged bike able to tackle any sort of terrain you might encounter, the comfortable riding position a bonus when going the distance.

See the sidebar to the right for more reviews of gravel and adventure bikes

>>Read more: all reviews of gravel and adventure bikes

Some bikes for your consideration

Reilly Gradient — £2,399

Reilly Gradient.jpg

Reilly Gradient.jpg

South Coast-based Reilly Cycleworks has produced the Gradient as a do-everything adventure and gravel bike, with a lovingly finished titanium frame and smart specification in this £2,399 complete bike. It provides a ride that is as lovely as the bike is to look at, with space for wide tyres for heading off into the wilderness or adding dirt and gravel roads to your route, and a high level of refinement.

The Gradient provides a lovely ride. It's composed and comfortable, the titanium frame providing a sublime balance of stiffness and comfort. The carbon fork and oversized head tube gives the handling a crispness and it changes direction quickly when you want it to.

Read our review of the Reilly Gradient

Ribble CGR — from £799

Ribble CGR.jpg

Ribble CGR.jpg

Cross, Gravel, Road, that's what the CGR initials stand for on Ribble's all-rounder. A disc brake-equipped, mudguard-shod 'do a bit of everything' machine that makes a lot of sense for the rider who doesn't always want to stick to the tarmac. Thankfully, this jack of all trades is no master of none.

The CGR is a very easy bike to ride thanks to some neutral and balanced handling. This might make it sound dull but it's far from it, especially when you go off-road.

With a long wheelbase, mounts for mudguards and racks plus being designed for disc brakes, the Ribble is likely to see a lot of use in the wet and cold of winter where the road surface is often less than ideal. It's a bike that's dependable and trustworthy when it comes to the handling.

Read our review of the Ribble CGR

Giant Revolt — from £849

60150417-2016_giant_revolt_3.jpg

60150417-2016_giant_revolt_3.jpg

Giant describe the Revolt as a bike that can tackle “road, gravel or dirt”, and with an aluminium frame that can accommodate up to 50mm tyres it can certainly take bigger tyres than most. Giant switched their Defy platform over to disc brakes this year with an all-new frame, but that bike only takes up to 28mm tyres, so it doesn't fall into the gravel and adventure bike category like the Revolt does. The Revolt has a carbon fibre fork with disc brakes, a wide ergo-shaped handlebar and full-length cable housing to keep crud out. There’s even an integrated down tube mudguard to keep splatter out of your face.

We like the look of the £849 Revolt 2, above, because it comes with a triple chainset which provides lower gears and gives you the option of going even lower still if you replace the 30-tooth inner ring with a 24- or 26-toother.

Read our first look at the Giant Revolt 2
Find a Giant dealer

Genesis Croix de Fer & CdA — from £850

genesis-croix-de-fer-20-2017-adventure-road-bike-blue-EV289582-5000-1.jpg

genesis-croix-de-fer-20-2017-adventure-road-bike-blue-EV289582-5000-1.jpg

British brand Genesis was doing adventure road bikes long before it became the latest trend, and the most recent changes to the Croix de Fer - a lower bottom bracket and taller head tube - took it further away from its cyclo-cross roots and closer to an adventure bike. And is there any adventure bigger than riding around the world? That's something that Vin Cox did in 2010, setting a new record in the process, aboard a Croix de Fer. Steel frames feature across the range with a choice of steel or carbon forks, plus disc brakes, external cable routing and eyelets for racks and mudguards.

Find a Genesis dealer
Read our review of the Genesis Croix de Fer

Specialized Diverge — from £725

Specialized Diverge Expert 2017.jpeg

Specialized Diverge Expert 2017.jpeg

Introduced in 2015, the Specialized Diverge is a series of adventure and gravel bikes with space for up to 35mm tyres. Production bikes are specced with 25mm and 28mm tyres, though, as Specialized apparently — and probably rightly — believes they'll get most of their use on the road. Carbon or aluminium framed, depending on price, the top-end models have thru-axle dropouts for extra stiffness, but all models get mudguard and rack mounts so they’ll double up as a touring or commuting bikes. Specialized have included the vibration-damping Zertz inserts of their Roubaix bikes in the Diverge to take the sting out of bumpy roads. For 2017 the range has expanded to include the £650 Diverge A1, which looks like a great entry to the adventure bike idea.

Find a Specialized dealer

Raleigh Mustang — from £650

Raleigh Mustang Elite.jpg

Raleigh Mustang Elite.jpg

We really liked the Raleigh Mustang Elite when we tested it. It does everything a regular road bike does, but it does it with the added comfort of the big tyres. It's part of Raleigh's expanded four-bike range of gravel/adventure bikes and a great example of the booming category. Its 6061 double butted aluminium frame is designed for both on and off road riding so if you're getting tempted by your local dirt roads and trails, or a canal towpath commute, it'll take it in its stride.

Along with an all-carbon fork with through-axle and TRP HY-RD Semi Hydraulic disc brakes, it has SRAM's Rival 1X transmission with a single 44-tooth chainring and wide-range 10-42 11-speed cassette. It's the ultimate Keep It Simple, Stupid derailleur gear system and just the thing for a do-it-all bike.

Read our review of the Raleigh Mustang Elite
Find a Raleigh dealer

GT Grade — from £595

GT-Grade-AL-CX-Rival-2017-Cyclocross-Bike-Cyclocross-Bikes-Red-G11337M5051-0.jpg

GT-Grade-AL-CX-Rival-2017-Cyclocross-Bike-Cyclocross-Bikes-Red-G11337M5051-0.jpg

Another bike range introduced in 2015, the GT Grade is available with an aluminium or carbon frame (which features a frame design and carbon layup designed to provide comfort in the rough) with disc brakes and space for up to 35mm tyres. You could fit a slick tyre in there or a treaded cyclo-cross tyre if you want to inject more dirt and gravel into your riding. The Grade has versatility too, with mudguard and rack mounts neatly incorporated into the frame and fork. The top models have a carbon thru-axle fork for added stiffness.

We like the 105-equipped model  for its combination of Shimano's excellent gears with TRP's cable-actuated hydraulic brakes. If you're looking at the Cycle to Work Scheme sub-£1,000 level, check out its £950 Tiagra-equipped stablemate.

Read our review of the 2015 GT Grade Alloy Tiagra
Find a GT dealer

Kinesis Tripster ATR £1,850 (frame only)

Kinesis Tripster ATR - full bike (2).jpg

Kinesis Tripster ATR - full bike (2).jpg

ATR stands for Adventure-Tour-Race and it's a bike built for adventure riding, cyclo-cross, touring and sportives. Kinesis build the frame from custom drawn 3AL/2.5V titanium tubing, with geometry featuring a low bottom bracket, long head tube and relaxed head angle, something that all these adventure bikes have in common. There’s space between the rear stays and carbon fork for up to 40mm tyres (but we’ve comfortably fitted wider) along with full-length 45mm mudguards, and there are rack mounts too.

Read our review of the Kinesis Tripster ATR here
Find a Kinesis dealer

Surly Straggler — £1,350

Surly’s Straggler is a sturdily built and eminently adaptable steel all-rounder. It boasts a handful of interesting design touches, an unusual amount of tyre room, plentiful luggage rack mounts and a very comfy ride. It has a strong bias towards rough roads and trail use, but weight-weenies should look away now.

Read our review of the Surly Straggler
Find a Surly dealer

The Light Blue Robinson Rival 1x — £1,500

The Light Blue Robinson Rival 1X.jpg

The Light Blue Robinson Rival 1X.jpg

The Robinson, from British company The Light Blue, offers a really smooth ride, with steady handling and tyres that provide a good balance of fast road riding pace and off-road grip. In this SRAM Rival 1x build with cyclo-cross tyres it's an ideal all-terrain bike, at home on the road or tackling more challenging countryside terrain, or for just tackling rough roads in comfort. The Light Blue also offer a Shimano 105 build of the Robinson which they describe as an audax/light tourer.

The Robinson has very assured handling, not darting or flicking about the road. It's more measured than a race bike, with a long wheelbase producing the sort of stability that makes it a very easy bike to ride along back roads and over more challenging trails.

There's a lot to like about a good steel frame with a steel fork, and the Robinson doesn't disappoint. There's a suppleness you just don't get from stiffer carbon and aluminium rivals. The skinny steel tubes go a long way to isolating you from the small vibrations that can intrude into the ride quality, and, combined with the 30mm tyres, result in an ideal bike for making you feel at ease on many of the poorly maintained roads around the UK.

Read our review of the The Light Blue Robinson Rival 1x

Find a The dealer

Raleigh Roker Pro — £2,000

Raleigh Roker Pro.jpg

Raleigh Roker Pro.jpg

The Raleigh Roker Pro is a really fun riding bike with a fast pace on the road and enough capability to explore off-road trails. With hidden mudguard mounts, it also has the versatility to suit a number of uses, from daily commuter to weekend grinder.

This middle-of-the-range, £2,000 model is well equipped with a reliable SRAM Rival 1x11 drivetrain with a huge 10-42t cassette, powerful hydraulic disc brakes, a tubeless wheelset and Schwalbe's fantastic new 35mm G-One tyres.

Read our review of the Raleigh Roker Pro

Find a Raleigh dealer

Niner RLT 9 — from £2,099

Niner RLT 9.jpg

Niner RLT 9.jpg

We’ve seen a few mountain bike companies getting into the adventure road bike market, like GT with its Grade, and Niner is another one to add to the list. RLT stands for Road Less Traveled and the RLT 9 is designed to tackle any surface you care to ride it over, from forest tracks to muddy bridleways, and has a slacker head angle and longer chainstays, resulting in a longer wheelbase, than a road bike. There’s space for 45mm tyres and it has disc brakes. It can be used with either 700C or 29in mountain bike wheels and tyres, but that’s the same of the other bikes here, it’s just Niner make a thing of it.

Read our review of the Niner RLT 9
Find a Niner dealer

Norco Search 105 — £1,189

norco-search-a-105-hydro-2017-adventure-road-bike-black-green-EV277743-8560-1 (1).jpg

norco-search-a-105-hydro-2017-adventure-road-bike-black-green-EV277743-8560-1 (1).jpg

Canadian firm Norco is best known for its mountain bikes, and its Search bikes have been designed as adventure bikes able to tackle a multitude of paved or unpaved surfaces. Combining a carbon fibre frame and ‘endurance’ geometry with disc brakes and thru-axles at both wheels, it’s a bike ticking a lot of boxes. Comfort has been factored in with a 27.2mm seatpost and bowed seatstays, arcing chainstays and a tapered seat tube.

The three-model 2017 range kicks off at £750 with the Search Alloy Sora and peaks with the £1,399 Search Alloy 105 Hydro above with hydraulic brakes. 

Find a Norco dealer

Shand Stoater — from £2,550

Shand Stoater

Shand Stoater

The British made Shand Stoater offers a steel frame and fork that has been designed for “the pure enjoyment of go-anywhere riding… refined enough to be your main road bike but rugged enough for off road trails and singletrack, it could be the only bike you ever need,” according to the company. It’s available in several builds, we tested one with a Rohloff hub and Gates Belt drive costing £3,595, but other builds are available. Tyre clearance is good enough for 45mm tyres and the frame is decked out with rack and mudguard eyelets and three sets of bottle cage mounts.

Read our review of the Shand Stoater

Jamis Renegade Elite — £2,465

jamis-renegade-elite-2017-adventure-road-bike-black-EV275150-8500-2 (2).jpg

jamis-renegade-elite-2017-adventure-road-bike-black-EV275150-8500-2 (2).jpg

The Renegade Elite packs a carbon fibre frame with space for up to 40mm tyres, and with disc brakes and rack and mudguard mounts it’s got the versatility box well and truly ticked. A carbon fibre frame and fork keep the weight low and, as we’d expect from an adventure bike, the head angle is slacker than that of a road bike. There’s a 15mm through-axle fork as well.

Available exclusively from Evans Cycles, the Renegade is available in three versions, starting at £700 with the Renegade Exile. If you have deep pockets, the Elite offers stunning value for money and a great ride.

Read our review of the 2015 Jamis Renegade Elite

Mason Bokeh Force — £3,100

Mason Bokeh.jpg

Mason Bokeh.jpg

The new Mason Bokeh is a highly capable adventure bike with a feature-packed aluminium frame, splendid aesthetics, and handling that ensures it's as at home on the road as it is on the trail.

The Bokeh combines an aluminium frame and carbon fork with all the key ingredients of an adventure bike, including wide tyres, disc brakes, thru-axles, relaxed geometry and mounts for mudguards and racks. The Bokeh goes the extra mile with a front dynamo mount, third bottle cage mount, 700C and 650B wheel size compatibility and fully internal cable routing.

As lovely as the Bokeh undoubtedly looks, its appearance is pointless if it's not backed by a high-quality ride. Fortunately, a high-quality ride the Bokeh most certainly does deliver. In a nutshell, it's a lovely bike to ride, whether on tarmac or gravel roads, or woodland byways.

Read our review of the Mason Bokeh Force

Genesis Datum 30 — £2,499

Genesis Datum 30

Genesis Datum 30

The Genesis Datum joins a class occupied by the brilliant Cannondale Synapse and Giant Defy, but while both those bikes limit tyre size to 28mm – and lack mudguard eyelets – the Datum accommodates 33mm tyres and has mounts for full-length mudguards. Add a beautifully finished carbon fibre frame and fork, a slick shifting Shimano Ultegra drivetrain with hydraulic disc brakes, Clement Strada tyres, and you have a hugely capable bike that is loads of fun over all sorts of terrain.

This is a bike that has a very sure-footed approach, whether cruising along a smooth road or exploring gravel paths and singletrack.

If you don’t race and you like a slightly taller front end, you’ll be right at home on the Datum. Long rides are dispatched with ease. We were impressed with how comfortable it was during a 190km ride during which the Datum revealed a quick turn of pace with lively handling that makes it a fun bike to ride.

Read our review of the Genesis Datum 30
Read our review of the Genesis Datum 10

Find a Genesis dealer

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

34 comments

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Arno du Galibier [76 posts] 3 months ago
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I'm interested in this kind of bikes. Do you know what the maximum tyre size the Croix de Fer will take?

Any reason why the Cotic Escapade didn't appear on the list?

Also has anyone tried using 27.5 in wheels with narrow MTB tyres to make some kind of rigid 80's style MTB for the lower end of the technical riding scale?

Avatar
alotronic [510 posts] 3 months ago
1 like
Arno du Galibier wrote:

Also has anyone tried using 27.5 in wheels with narrow MTB tyres to make some kind of rigid 80's style MTB for the lower end of the technical riding scale?

 

Funny you should say that, I have two of these bikes (!) Tripster and Datum. The Datum is more 'roady' and I have it set up for ditance riding, but the Tripster I currently have set up with flats and a long stem and 35c tyres. It's actually a very good 'light MTB' and I was blasting the dry tracks in epping forest today and having a great time. Bit like MTBing back in the day - your arms are the suspension. Setup like this it's a great runabout, commuter and gnar-road (just made that up) and I wouldn't hesitate to pop luggage on it for a European tour.  I could easily get some 4os in there with knoblies, so wouldn't feel the need for 27.5 myself - IF they worked it would be a sweet ride though...

 

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andyp [1495 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

'gravel bike'. Godawful marketing shite. It's this generation's 'All Mountain'.

 

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Forzamark [14 posts] 3 months ago
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Im really interested in getting a gravel bike for my new winter bike. Does anyone have any recomendations for an Alu framed bike that has mudguard mounts, disc brakes with thru axles  that can be used mostly on road but with some easy offroad?

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JimD666 [48 posts] 3 months ago
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Forzamark wrote:

Im really interested in getting a gravel bike for my new winter bike. Does anyone have any recomendations for an Alu framed bike that has mudguard mounts, disc brakes with thru axles  that can be used mostly on road but with some easy offroad?

If you can live with out thru axels the Merlin Axe7 Pro (https://tinyurl.com/mbsz6wq) may fit you. Can fit upto 35c tyre with guards.

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gthornton101 [143 posts] 3 months ago
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Forzamark wrote:

Im really interested in getting a gravel bike for my new winter bike. Does anyone have any recomendations for an Alu framed bike that has mudguard mounts, disc brakes with thru axles  that can be used mostly on road but with some easy offroad?

I had this thought last winter, but instead of buying a trendy gravel bike aka more expensive (from what I found) I went with a Cannondale Badboy secondhand off ebay.

It is more hybrid frame than road-orienteered with flat bars, but it has hydraulic discs, 35mm tyres and full mud guards.  Does my winter commute superbly on the road, and manages cutting through the woods or along tow path without issue.

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HowardR [132 posts] 2 months ago
1 like

Alotonic - "gnar-road" - Definitely deserving to going in the Dictionary. I shall be attempting slip it in to as many conversations as possible.

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Arno du Galibier [76 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

Sonder Camino looks pretty good to.

Merlin have a CX bike 105 equipped which is quite competitive too th a similar range of gear IIRC. Can't quite recall the clearance.

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Tojo [10 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

No mention of the Cube cross race pro.......!

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tinguinha [1 post] 2 months ago
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Arno du Galibier wrote:

I'm interested in this kind of bikes. Do you know what the maximum tyre size the Croix de Fer will take?

 

A staff member at Evans says here that the 2017 CdF will take up to 40mm tyres (see the Ask A Question section). 

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Arno du Galibier [76 posts] 2 months ago
0 likes

Thanks for the pointer Tinguinha

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Initialised [314 posts] 2 months ago
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My 'Gravel' setup is a 2013 Specialized Secteur Sport Disc running a 2.1 Thunder Burt up front and a 33mm Tracer at the back, both tubeless with Orange Seal on Mavic Allroad Pros gearing is 50/34x11-34.

It got me round Moors & Shores last weekend (30% road, 30% gravel, 30% farm/fire road, 10% single track) and should cope well with the Dirty Reiver later this month.

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1961BikiE [320 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Planet X/On-one do an alloy frame and carbon fork adventure bike for about £299 I think as well as some more spendy carbon machines.

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LastBoyScout [177 posts] 1 month ago
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My only criticism of my hybrid - Whyte Portobello - is that it doesn't have the chainstay clearance to put CX tyres on it. Yes, I know it's one of their "fast urban" series, but there seems to be plenty of clearance on the forks and seatstays and the ability to put something knobblier on would be fantastic for family rides to/round the local park and varying my commute with some tow path action.

I do wonder whether a hard-tail 29er would have been a better choice, but the Whyte was a bargain at the time and does most of what I want it to do very well.

I mostly use an old road bike for commuting and winter training - as and when that gives up, I will definitely replace it with some sort of CX/gravel bike

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1961BikiE [320 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

Just checked. Full Monty £349 frame and fork. £549.00 Bish Bash Bosh full carbon f&f, Space Chicken full carbon 650b+ full carbon f&f £699.00. I am not an employee of the company. I have had a PX superlight carbon road machine for 10 years. Done a fair few thousand miles under my Clydesdale body mass with no complaints. Replaces saddle 2 years ago, seat post last year. Rest has been drivetrain wear items. For the money I have no complaints. If I can't raise the cash for a Bokeh I will certainly be looking at these On-one machines.

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ianguignet [13 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes

just buy a cross bike for fks sake...

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ROOTminus1 [3 posts] 1 month ago
0 likes
LastBoyScout wrote:

I do wonder whether a hard-tail 29er would have been a better choice...

 

I keep thinking the same, as these CX inspired Graventure bikes become more off-road capable, at what point should we start slapping drop bars on XC bikes? Will it even be worth keeping RS-1s instead of solid carbon forks?

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dgmtc [24 posts] 1 month ago
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While I am sure the Mason Bokeh is a better bike, I personally went for the (cheaper) On One Bish Bash Bosh as I wasn't sure how much I'd be using a gravel/adventure/monstercx bike. Was lucky to get the frameset at £370 during a sale.

 

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Geraldaut [24 posts] 1 month ago
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Strange that GT Grades get more and more expensive. I have the 105 2015 model that I got for 900 EUR last year. 

Changed wheels and ride 50/50 road and single trials. Fantastic bike!

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Oleschroder [16 posts] 1 month ago
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For a low budget but fun gravel bike (without thruaxls) I can recommend the Mango Point AR, I use it as a winter bike with 32c slicks and a summer gravel bike with 40c knobly tyres. So much fun to ride!

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BehindTheBikesheds [328 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

These bikes are very limited in some respects, quite a few don't have much clearance for a really wide tyre (despite the continual statements that discs afford wider tyres to be fitted), some have barely any clearance for reasonably wide tyres plus mudguards or indeed have no proper guard mounts or eyelets for a pannier rack either.

None are a match for the specialized Tricross in the high end models for flexibility, comfort and the ability to have 55mm wide tyres, even wider at the rear.

I can fit 60mm wide tyres on a 29 rim to my globe expert drop conversion which is a rock solid but fairly lightweight audax/tourer/winter racer/utility machine with a set of guard/pannier mounts plus low rider mounts, carbon forks/stays/seatpost plus a sturdy alu triangle.

To pique my interest you'd have to match all the functionality, keep the ruggedness and comfort as well as to a reasonable pricepoint and frankly none of the above come close to matching framesets such as the Globe or Tricross that are 10 years old now.

 

Avatar
alotronic [510 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

These bikes are very limited in some respects, quite a few don't have much clearance for a really wide tyre (despite the continual statements that discs afford wider tyres to be fitted), some have barely any clearance for reasonably wide tyres plus mudguards or indeed have no proper guard mounts or eyelets for a pannier rack either.

None are a match for the specialized Tricross in the high end models for flexibility, comfort and the ability to have 55mm wide tyres, even wider at the rear.

I can fit 60mm wide tyres on a 29 rim to my globe expert drop conversion which is a rock solid but fairly lightweight audax/tourer/winter racer/utility machine with a set of guard/pannier mounts plus low rider mounts, carbon forks/stays/seatpost plus a sturdy alu triangle.

To pique my interest you'd have to match all the functionality, keep the ruggedness and comfort as well as to a reasonable pricepoint and frankly none of the above come close to matching framesets such as the Globe or Tricross that are 10 years old now.

 

 

Yeah, but you're kinda crossing into expedition tourer territory there. These are all day (or several day) bikes and 60mm tyres are not generally chosen by many people for the road  - not knocking you for liking them! If I wanted a bike like that I would be looking at a Salsa La Vaya or something more 'boss'. I know you're going to tell me that a 60c tyre is great for x and y, but most people are simply not going to put something that heavy on a road bike that is not for touring. I have two of the above bikes and find anything over 32c a bit of drag, though I would certainly go out to 42c for a off roady tour on the Tripster. 28c seems a good balance between weight, comfort and reliablity on Uk roads. So writing these bikes off because they won't take 60s seems a little, er, edge-casey.

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ideax [2 posts] 1 month ago
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Why no Reilly Gradient.?  It got a great review here only a couple of weeks ago. 

 

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DoctorFish [42 posts] 1 month ago
1 like
ianguignet wrote:

just buy a cross bike for fks sake...

 

With mudgaurd mounts and rack mounts?  I'll stick with my adventure bike thanks.

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SirruslyFast [13 posts] 1 month ago
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I've been happy with a £450 Revolution Cross.

Done the C2C a few times, hundreds of miles commuting on bridleways and wagonways, road days, lanes, gravel paths, stony paths, forest tracks, beaches and Northumberland hills.

Sometimes with racks and guards, sometimes with niether. Sometimes with 35mm  unpuncherable Conti Tourers, other times with 28mm tyres.

Deals with anything. This latest craze seems just another fad and excuse to flog more £1,000 bikes.

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BehindTheBikesheds [328 posts] 1 month ago
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alotronic wrote:
BehindTheBikesheds wrote:

These bikes are very limited in some respects, quite a few don't have much clearance for a really wide tyre (despite the continual statements that discs afford wider tyres to be fitted), some have barely any clearance for reasonably wide tyres plus mudguards or indeed have no proper guard mounts or eyelets for a pannier rack either.

None are a match for the specialized Tricross in the high end models for flexibility, comfort and the ability to have 55mm wide tyres, even wider at the rear.

I can fit 60mm wide tyres on a 29 rim to my globe expert drop conversion which is a rock solid but fairly lightweight audax/tourer/winter racer/utility machine with a set of guard/pannier mounts plus low rider mounts, carbon forks/stays/seatpost plus a sturdy alu triangle.

To pique my interest you'd have to match all the functionality, keep the ruggedness and comfort as well as to a reasonable pricepoint and frankly none of the above come close to matching framesets such as the Globe or Tricross that are 10 years old now.

 

 

Yeah, but you're kinda crossing into expedition tourer territory there. These are all day (or several day) bikes and 60mm tyres are not generally chosen by many people for the road  - not knocking you for liking them! If I wanted a bike like that I would be looking at a Salsa La Vaya or something more 'boss'. I know you're going to tell me that a 60c tyre is great for x and y, but most people are simply not going to put something that heavy on a road bike that is not for touring. I have two of the above bikes and find anything over 32c a bit of drag, though I would certainly go out to 42c for a off roady tour on the Tripster. 28c seems a good balance between weight, comfort and reliablity on Uk roads. So writing these bikes off because they won't take 60s seems a little, er, edge-casey.

But a road bike that is lightweight, reasonably agile AND flexible in terms of its use/fittings is far more advantageous than those that aren't.

There is nothing in the list here that is any better than the frames I mentioned, currently my Globe is set up for Audax/light touring duties but it could be used for expedition, it'll take 140kg all up without batting an eyelid plus it has a 24 tooth inner ring that with a 36T sprocket can get you up/along pretty much anything (and with a normal long cage rear d).

I could use it for commuting, I can and have used it during winter and warmer months for general road riding (albeit at my meagre 16-17mph av.), it can be used as an offroad 'adventure' bike as the ones listed are pitched at and with all those types of cycling have the ability to fit a huge range of tyres widths on anything from a 27.5 to the current 700C and 29er type rims AND be able to have a proper pannier rack fitted and normal full length mudguards whilst still having clearance for 45mm+ tyres with them fitted. none of the bikes here can do all that can they accept the Jamis Renegade which can 'only' accomodate 40mm tyres without guards and is best part of £3k.

Why wouldn't you want the best all-rounder you can have (especially valid to those that can have only one bike) why compromise to spending upward of £2,000 and still be woefully short in terms of flexibility compared to that of frames that do everything these do and more but were designed 10 years ago?

my point is, it's all well and good pitching these bikes but losing the practicalities so that you can have a bike for all occasions means compromise.

Make a bike the equal or better than what has already being made previously and I'd be interested. none of these interest me because of the reasons I've stated.

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abracingwalk [1 post] 1 month ago
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Forzamark wrote:

Im really interested in getting a gravel bike for my new winter bike. Does anyone have any recomendations for an Alu framed bike that has mudguard mounts, disc brakes with thru axles  that can be used mostly on road but with some easy offroad?

Hi there,
I've just come back to cycling after quite a long break and after doing my research I chose a Trek 920 for my new bike. I've been very pleased with it, despite a couple of minor niggles. It meets your stated criteria and comes already fitted with its own sturdy front and rear racks.
I did first suffer regular punctures with the OEM tyres but solved this with Schwalbe replacements - seems like a common experience with other owners too - and I've fitted 65mm wide SKS Bluemels. (Thank you to Walthamstow Cycles!)
Bottle cage mounts are strangely placed - yes you can fit four cages on frames sized 56cm and above, but in practice their positions affect the size of bottle you can use.
Some complain about the standard saddle but it suits my body shape comfortably although I do wear padded cycling shorts.
The reach of the standard stem was too long for me so I opted for a shorter one.
Other than that, it's been great for my fully loaded touring needs as well as longer day trips.
Hope this helps.  1

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Morgoth985 [20 posts] 1 month ago
1 like

"super-versatile bikes that are at home on lanes, potholed streets and dirt roads"

Which given the way the surfaces are deteriorating will soon be everywhere other than the M23.

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bornagainst [13 posts] 6 days ago
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Sadly Jamis / Evans seemed to have stopped selling the Renegade Expert - the cheaper of the carbon bikes in the range. I've got one from a year or so back, still with hydro discs, thru axles, tubeless rims, mudguard mounts etc.  Bloody brilliant as a commuter/winter bike.. and half the price of the Elite model.  Very strange.

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logomomo [4 posts] 5 days ago
1 like
bornagainst wrote:

Sadly Jamis / Evans seemed to have stopped selling the Renegade Expert - the cheaper of the carbon bikes in the range. I've got one from a year or so back, still with hydro discs, thru axles, tubeless rims, mudguard mounts etc.  Bloody brilliant as a commuter/winter bike.. and half the price of the Elite model.  Very strange.

 

Fully agree with you - i bought a 2016 renegade expert for £1300 from evans, upgraded the wheelset to hunt four seasons and have a bike that's fantastic for endurance riding, a bit of cross and light touring.

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