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The Gravel Bike Test

Which gravel bike suits me best? We present you Gravel bikes for men and women in this 2022 gravel bike test.

The Gravel Bike Test
Photo by Dmitrii Vaccinium / Unsplash

Which Gravel bike suits me?

Gravel bikes: They are considered the perfect combination of dynamic road bikes and robust mountain bikes and have been an integral part of the cycling world for the past two years. In this blog post we take a closer look at the trendbike and present some models!

1. all-rounder and all-roader

It is sporty but comfortable, agile but stable, light and off-road at the same time, masters asphalt, gravel and forest paths. It can be ridden at speeds similar to those of a road bike, even though the two types differ considerably in terms of construction.

2. components and special features

Gravel bike tires are wider and allow a better grip even on wet and uneven terrain due to their coarser profile. In such conditions, the handlebars and braking system of a Gravel also come in handy: The outward angled lower handlebar absorbs shocks the wide handlebar gives you more control over your bike. In addition, some grip rubbers are provided with a special anti-slip surface for better grip.
The now common disc brakes are particularly reliable in changing weather conditions and are also an important safety factor in wet conditions. With regard to gear groups, you can find both single and dual drive.While the first is easier to use, the latter grants you more leeway especially for long distances and greater differences in altitude.

Compared to the road bike, the frame geometry of the Gravel bike is designed more for comfort, with the longer wheelbase helping you to run more smoothly. This makes them ideal for long tours and bikepacking. Most models have special mounting options for bike bags and extra bottle cages.

3. gravel speed dating: we present the test winners

BMC URSThis bike has a suspended head tube and rear and a stiff frame. It weighs about 9.5 kg and is thanks to MTB-inspired frame geometry ideal for hill climbs and trail descents. It is bikepacking-ready and by the existing tire clearance can be retrofitted tires with up to 45 mm width.

Cannondale Topstone Carbon 5: The Topstone is designed for brisk riding at a weight of 9.5kg. The carbon frame provides a good combination of stiffness and compliance, which together with the so-called KingPin suspension allows the rear up to 30mm travel. It is bikepacking-ready, fender compatible and convinces with a clean look.

Canyon Grizl: The carbon seatpost, which runs through the entire Grizl family, absorbs vibrations and dampens shocks. The frame geometry is designed for a more upright riding position, making it ideal for comfortable riding. Depending on the model, the weight varies between nine and ten kilograms. Those who want to master more demanding trails or cover further distances will find the perfect bikepacking and touring companion here.

Cervélo ÁsperoWith a weight of about 8.5 kg, this Areo-Gravel is a real lightweight and a real racer that convinces both on gravel and in easy terrain. A special feature is the so-called Trail Mixer, which allows the adjustment of the track in two positions. The Áspero is suitable for bikepacking, only trail descents can be mastered less well due to the very sporty frame geometry.

Cube Nuroad: The frame geometry of this gravel and trail hero favors a more upright, comfortable riding position. Long chainstays and wheelbase feel somewhat sluggish in corners, but favor the stability of the bike. In addition, the Nuroad offers a large tire clearance with possible tire width up to 45 mm. The total weight is 10 kg and this model is also bikepacking capable.

Giant Revolt: Despite a rather upright seating position, the Revolt models are agile and smooth-running, convincing on straight stretches and also on downhill rides. Especially the standard version stands for a good price-performance ratio. This model ranges around 10.4 kg, the Advanced variants with carbon frame are lighter, but also more expensive. Wider tires can be retrofitted if necessary.

Rose Backroad: This bikepacking-ready Gravel Bikemit carbon fork offers above-average flexibility with tire clearance for up to 50mm width. Depending on the material (only the "AL" models are equipped with aluminum instead of carbon frame), the total weight varies around 9kg. The Rose Backroad performs on asphalt as on dirt roads and shines with excellent price-performance ratio.

5. is a Gravel bike worth it for you?

A Gravel bike guarantees riding comfort and is still sporty and fast. The special features in the design increase the ride comfort and allow you a wide range of use. For any surface and any weather you should be prepared. So if you are looking for a faithful companion for bikepacking, competitions, trips or just the way to work, a Gravel bike could be the right choice for you.

If the Gravel-bike is now your new dream bike, you may find one for you on our website today. More information can be found on our YouTube channel and our experienced buycycle team is always available to help and advise you. Happy browsing, happy cycling!

Gravel Bike Test | buycycle

A racing bike can be both a curse and a blessing. Rides over endless switchbacks bring the absolute feeling of freedom, but due to the narrow tires, little can be done with the racing bike off the asphalt on gravel roads. Bike manufacturers have recognized this problem and brought a solution to the market - about 10 years ago the first gravel bikes appeared in the USA. They are considered the perfect combination of speed-oriented racers and off-road mountain bikes. Here you can find out everything you need to know about the trend bike. We also present some popular models in detail.

What is a Gravel bike?
The Gravel is a real all-round and all-road talent. Sporty and comfortable at the same time, it lets you cross asphalt, forest or gravel roads, many models are also suitable for trail descents. The Gravel bike is agile, light, comfortable and yet off-road. Wide tires with tread extend the range of use that you know from road bike rides, without deductions in the speed with it. Due to more grip, weather changes are also associated with less risk, because tires with profile bring more grip on slippery paths.

Is a Gravel bike worth it ?
While road bikes can be challenging for inexperienced riders, Gravel bikes are also suitable for beginners due to their special frame geometry. A Gravel guarantees riding comfort while still being sporty and fast. The outwardly curved shape of the lower link increases driving safety and stability, while thanks to the profiled tires all-weather use is possible and an unpaved road can be ridden without any problems. Routes can thus be planned flexibly and spontaneous path changes can be accepted. A Gravel bike is also worthwhile for competitions such as triathlons, especially if the bike course contains gravel or off-road elements. When riding on asphalt, only competitive and professional cyclists will notice a difference between a road bike and a gravel bike , a good riding experience is delivered by both types.
So, if you are looking for a true all-round bike that is suitable for bikepacking, competitions, family outings or commuting in wind and weather, a Gravel bike could be the right choice for you.

What are the differences between a gravel bike and a road bike?

Wheels and tires: The most obvious difference between the road bike and the Gravel bike is in the tires. Tires on the Gravel bike are wider and treaded and thus provide a stable grip even in wet and unpaved roads. With a Gravel Racer it is also possible to ride with tubeless tires. The tire manufacturer Schwalbe, for example, has created a tire collection with its G-One series, which is designed for the versatile demands of a Gravel bike .

Grips and handlebars: The handlebars of the Gravel Bike are also special. Unlike the treadless handlebar tapes on road bikes, the grips of gravel bikes have a kind of ribbing. This gives a better grip even when wet or dirty, which is particularly advantageous for off-road excursions. In addition, the handlebars of the Gravel Bikes are wider. The bike can be controlled better, and the comfort is increased by the outwardly angled lower handlebar, which pleasantly absorbs shocks or vibrations that occur in the terrain.

Brakes: Disc brakes are common on the Gravel bike . They are particularly reliable when riding through dirt, puddles or changing weather conditions. Brake discs are mounted on the hubs of the wheels, and when the brake lever is pulled, two brake pads press on them from both sides, slowing the bike down. Meanwhile, all modern performance bikes make use of this braking system.

Pedals: There are no classic gravel pedals, because in order to keep up with the versatile applications of the gravel bike, the pedals must also be true all-rounders. It is a matter of taste whether you use clipless pedals, which ensure improved use of the entire leg muscles, or flat pedals. In any case, however, it is advisable to wear MTB shoes, since you tend to explore off-road trails with the Gravel bike where it is necessary to dismount or push sections of the trail.

Frame geometry: Gravel bikes have a longer wheelbase than road bikes, which results in a smooth ride. The frame set of the gravel bike is designed more for comfort, for example, through a longer head tube, while the road bike favors more of a sporty riding position. How one's own seating position ultimately turns out and whether one has chosen the right frame size for oneself, however, also depends on the handlebar including stem or the height of the saddle.

Mounting options for panniers: There are usually no holes on the road bike that act as mounting options for bike bags. However, storage space is especially important if you want to travel by bike or go on a bikepacking adventure. Ideally, you attach many small bags with little weight directly to the bike frame itself so that neither maneuverability nor speed or freedom of movement is lost. Common mounting options for gravel bikes include top tube, down tube, fork, seatstays and seat tube. Many models also offer the option of retrofitting a luggage rack.

What is the best gear group for a gravel bike?
The term gear group refers to all parts that are responsible for the drive and braking: The shift and brake lever on the handlebars, the rear derailleur, the brake caliper, the cassette, the crank, the chain and, if necessary, the front derailleur. Gravel groupsets (e.g. sram rival, sram force, grx rx810 etc) are commonly available with 1- or 2-speed drivetrains, i.e. with one or two chainrings at the bottom bracket. The single drive is easier to operate, which is particularly useful in the terrain. The two-speed drive provides more gears, ideal for long distances and elevation changes.
If you want to learn more about shifting groupsets on the Gravel bike , you can find detailed information on various models and the respective advantages and disadvantages on the buycycle YouTube Channel.

What should I look for when buying a gravel bike?
To find a gravel bike that suits your individual needs and requirements, you should make some considerations before buying.

  • Which gear group do I prefer?
  • What material should the frame have?
  • The choice between carbon or aluminum frames is primarily a matter of price. While the aluminum frame is inexpensive and sturdy, carbon makes the gravel bike a lightweight, but if you crash clumsily, the frame can be a total loss.
  • How much money am I willing to pay?
  • Prices have skyrocketed on the bike market in recent years, especially in the test winner segment. A higher willingness to pay is rewarded with high-quality components and a low overall weight, but cheaper models can also be just right for you.
  • Where can I buy the Gravel bike ?
  • buycycle offers a wide selection of used bikes, including some gravel bikes. Check out our website and contact our customer service if you have any questions.

The best gravel bikes in Review: Which models have proven themselves?

BMC URS: URS stands for unrestricted, so an unrestricted rider life, which this model does pretty well. The bike has a suspension in the head tube and at the rear triangle and a stiff frame from, which converts the power invested by the driver well into drive. Overall, the bike weighs about 9.5 kg and is ideal for hill climbs and trail descents thanks to the special frame geometry reminiscent of MTBs. Through mounting options and the option to retrofit a rack, the BMC URS is also bikepacking capable. Thanks to the existing tire clearance can be retrofitted tires with up to 45 mm width.

Cannondale Topstone Carbon 5: The carbon frame of the Carbon 5 provides a good combination of strength and compliance, which together with the so-called KingPin suspension allows the rear up to 30mm of travel. The road bike thus also achieves off-road comfort, control and traction without sacrificing power transmission when going uphill or accelerating on the straight. Components include parts from the Shimano GRX and 105 groupset.
The bike frame offers many mounting options: on the top tube, seat tube, down tube, suspension fork and seat stays, making the Cannondale Topstone very suitable for bikepacking. The Carbon 5 is also fender compatible, which can be worthwhile for frequent use in the rain or on muddy dirt roads. It convinces thanks to the internal cable routing and the elegantly integrated seatpost clamp with a clean look, also the bike geometry ensures an upright seating position. Weighing in at 9.5kg, the Topstone is designed for speed-oriented riding and is a great choice for your bikepacking adventures.

Canyon Grizl: All models in this range are equipped with a carbon seatpost that absorbs vibrations and allows comfortable riding on dirt roads. Depending on the model, the weight varies between 9 or 10 kg and the price also varies depending on the choice of components. However, even the cheapest version of the Canyon Grizl still offers a high level of performance in terms of precision and operation. The geometry provides an upright riding position and thus stability and comfort. Luggage can be attached to the fork, down tube, top tube and makes these models the perfect bikepacking and touring companion.
Those who want to cover more extreme trails or further distances are in the right place. Who is rather looking for an all-rounder, is certainly better off with the Canyon Trail.

Cervélo Áspero: The Cervélo Áspero is considered the manufacturer's Aero Gravel bike . With a weight of about 8.5 kg, it is a real lightweight. Four pairs of holders for bike bags allow bikepacking, but there are no mounting options for mudguards or racks. Tires up to 45 mm wide can be retrofitted.
A special feature of this bike is the so-called trail mixer: this allows the trail to be adjusted in two positions. This is to compensate for the wide range of possible tire sizes that can be ridden on the Áspero. The Cervelo Aspero is a true racer, but gravel roads and mountain climbs are no problem. Only trail descents can be mastered less well with this model thanks to its sporty frame geometry.

Cube Nuroad: The frame geometry of the Cube Nuroad favors a more upright, comfortable riding position. During the ride, this leads to more stability, especially when it comes to unpaved roads or trail descents. Long chainstays and wheelbase, on the other hand, feel a bit sluggish in corners. In general, the geometry of the Nuroad resembles that of an endurance road bike. The bike has mounts on the seat tube, down tube, fork and seat stays. Thus, it is ideal for bikepacking trips and is also compatible with mudguards, bike racks and luggage racks. Depending on the model, the Nuroad offers great tire clearance with possible tire widths between 40 and 45 mm. The wider the tires, the more comfort and grip the bike brings on uneven terrain, but at the cost of slight speed losses. The overall weight varies, but hovers around 10 kg.
Although it holds up well on paved roads, the Cube Nuroad is worth it especially if you want to spend more time on gravel roads and trails.

Giant Revolt: Giant offers three models: the Revolt, Revolt Advanced and Revolt Advanced Pro. The Advanced variants feature a carbon frame. The frame geometry is kept rather compact, which allows a rather upright and comfortable riding position and a high tire clearance allows wider tires to be retrofitted.
The Giant Revolt is agile and smooth, convincing on straight stretches and also on downhill rides and thus stands for a good price-performance ratio, especially in the standard version. This model ranges around 10.4 kg, lighter but also more expensive versions can be found in the Advanced variants.

Rose Backroad: First of all, it is good to know that models from this series with the additional designation AL have an aluminum frame, while all the rest are equipped with carbon. Depending on the material, the total weight also varies here, even if it is basically convincing with an average value of 9kg. The fork is made of carbon in all models. At the same time, the frame offers more flexibility than most other Gravels with tire clearance for up to 50mm wide. The Rose Backroad offers the possibility of attaching bottle cages and bags to the frame. It performs on asphalt as on dirt roads and shines with excellent value for money.

On our website you will find beyond the models presented here a variety of gravel bikes from different bike manufacturers and also our YouTube channel offers a lot of additional information and tips on the subject of gravel bikes. Feel free to look around, maybe you will find your dream bike at an excellent price. If you have any questions about the Gravel bike , please feel free to contact the buycycle team. We are here to help you with words and deeds.