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Gearing is another area where these bikes diverge from the pack. Given the terrain, many gravel bikes feature compact or smaller gearing and wide-range cassettes. Likewise, many gravel bikes come with 1x gearing and wide-range cassettes. In addition to wide tyres, relaxed geometry and low gearing, many gravel bikes have active or passive suspension systems built into them.

Much like bikes in the endurance road category, these features could take the form of slender chainstays, a bowed top tube, or a skinny seatpost, all of which are designed to flex in order to absorb road chatter. Some gravel bikes take things one step further by using short-travel suspension forks such as the Lefty Oliver or aesthetically odd but very effective Lauf Grit fork. Well, that depends on what you define as a gravel bike.

Jack has been riding and fettling bikes for his whole life. Always in search of the hippest new niche in cycling, Jack is a self-confessed gravel dork, fixie-botherer, tandem-evangelist, hill-climbing try hard, and thinks nothing of taking on a daft challenge for the BikeRadar YouTube channel. With a near encyclopaedic knowledge of cycling tech — from the most esoteric niche nonsense to the most cutting edge modern kit — Jack takes pride in his ability to seek out tech and stories that would otherwise go unreported. Now officially part of the furniture, Oli enjoys bicycles of all sorts and has a keen eye for technical detail.

An unhealthy interest in older motor vehicles keeps him poor but happy. Home Advice Buying Guides Best gravel bikes 27 top-rated picks.

Best gravel bikes | 27 top-rated picks from our expert testers - BikeRadar

Best gravel bikes 27 top-rated picks 27 of the very best gravel bikes tested and rated by our team. When you buy through links on our site we may earn an affiliate commission, but this never influences our opinion. October 2, at am. The Grail 7.

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Latest deals. The Ruut AL is good on road and great off road and fabulous fun, too. Who needs carbon? Robert Smith. Mick Kirkman. The Bivi Bunker is an appealingly simple bike. The Apex 1 model offers workhorse sensibilities and good value. The Lauf Anywhere is a versatile gravel bike with a conventional fork.

The Norco Search XR is an incredibly versatile gravel machine. The Rondo Ruut CF1 was one of our headline bikes for The Cutthroat is designed for multi-day gravel races such as the gruelling Tour Divide.

Many gravel races are long and relatively flat, so aerodynamics can play a significant role — the 3T Exploro aims to capitalise on that. High volume tyres are par for the course on gravel rigs. Given the terrain gravel bikes are expected to cover, frame geometry often rests somewhere between road and cross-country mountain bikes. Felix Tranker.

Wide range 1x drivetrains are common for gravel grinding. A growing number of gravel bikes feature suspension systems, such as this Lauf Grit suspension fork. Arnold Bjornsson. Jack Luke Social networks. Daily Deals.

Best gravel bikes 12222: 27 top-rated picks

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Fitness and Training. Get started with gravel grinding. Volume vs grip. Our most anticipated road and gravel trends for Gravel bikes — hot or not? The Route de Napoleon is a stunning stretch of road that has a mixture of everything from fast straights to tight corners. The road follows the route taken by Napoleon in on his march from Elba to Grenoble, and meanders through the imposing Alps offering wonderful scenery. This road is rich with scenery and little towns along the way and despite its physical dead-end status, this drive is anything but dead-end.

It finishes spectacularly as the road turns into a pathway, the Heaphy Track. The drive has plenty of bends to keep drivers on their toes as they journey through the beautiful sub-tropical rainforests, and then a long straight along the coast opens up the view for miles out to the Tasman Sea.

5 reasons why your road-trip will be your best holidays yet

This picturesque drive twists and turns its way through unspoilt mountainous terrain devoid of many buildings for miles before opening out on a gorgeous straight along the coast. This is a beautiful drive to take, whilst challenging the driver behind the wheel. There are virtually no straights on this route, and it demands the attention of any driver due to the narrow width. One of the most beautiful Spanish coastal roads falls between the villages of Zarautz and Zumaia: the N There are superb bends of all flavours plus lots of elevation changes especially when passing through the coastal towns and villages along the route.

The route starts near the Sintra- Cascais Natural Park with its lush mountain valleys and wooded hillsides which reveal the hidden fairy-tale town of Sintra at the centre heart. With its balance of tight corners with sweeping curves and eventually longer straights as you head towards the ocean, this really is a great drive. The HU is a spectacular high mountain road with a total length of This renowned road is tightly hairpinned and bumped, but is an exquisite winding mountain drive with sharp and blind curves and hairpin switchbacks leading the driver over the mountains.

The road includes some steep sections and at times is very narrow, barely wide enough for two cars. It is best known for its incredible turns, corners and twists that impress even the most experienced drivers. The D81 is a narrow, winding road connecting Porto and Piana that hugs the impressive red rocks of Piana Calanche, giving endless views out to sea.

Caution is required when driving on this road, as in parts it's so narrow that cars can only just pass through - but the location is worth it. The best time of day to drive is at sunset, when the rocks become an event deeper shade of red, casting sharp, jagged shadows over the landscape. The seaside village of Portofino is an exclusive tourist destination, and the drive from there to Portfino Vetta, one of the highest points of the peninsula, shows why people visit time and time again.

Upon reaching the sophisticated Santa Margherita Ligure, it turns left in the direction of the "Monte" and after a few bends, Portofino Vetta is almost in touching distance. The landscape that opens up is incredibly beautiful: the view extends from the beautiful borderless Camogli built into the cliffs far below to the Cinque Terre. The road starts near the village of Bascov and ends on the crossroad between DN1 and Sibiu.

This spectacular road snakes around mountainsides, challenging drivers with hairpin bends and sheer drops, and scenery that will take your breath away. While significantly lighter than the time trial bikes from which they draw inspiration, the modern aero road bike is designed to save you watts by cutting through the air like a samurai sword. There's a lot of science involved but even the casual weekend rider will find it difficult to dispute the speed gains of the aero road bike - both from a visceral and physical sense.

However, it's not just speed, watt savings and reduced drag coefficients but also all-round comfort that has become an important factor to consider when choosing an aero road bike.


Early examples of aero road bikes were known for their unforgiving ride qualities, but that's not the case anymore. It appears as though the recipe has been mastered with all modern examples offering a well-balanced combination of speed, weight and compliance.

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The more-easily a moving object cuts through the air, the less energy it needs to keep it moving - it's simple physics really. What this means is that if the playing fields were equal and every cyclist possessed the exact same metabolic engine, the rider with the most aerodynamic bike would win the race - every time. The speed at which the benefits of improved aerodynamics become greater than that of saving weight is around 15kph, which, depending on fitness, is likely to be at a gradient of around six per cent. Therefore, in all but the steepest of mountain days, it's not necessarily the lightweight bike that wins the race, but the one that is best suited to the topography.

In the pro peloton, team mechanics are now able to get their aero road bikes close to the minimum weight limit of 6. However, for the rest of us, where that limit doesn't apply, the decision ought to be a more considered one. Here are a few attributes to look at before buying an aero road bike.

Round tubes are out and truncated, tear-drop-style tubing is in. These wind-tunnel-honed shapes have resulted in faster, more slippery bikes which have also made for some aggressive-looking facades, too.