- Versatility for Marin and Beyond -
We’ve all fallen in love with gravel bikes over here at Studio Velo. We also happen to live in what’s easily the most appropriate place to own one. We have beautiful fire roads and smooth trails all over and numerous interconnected paved roads to make route possibilities nearly infinite. But what is a gravel bike anyway?
The term Gravel Bike doesn’t mean gravel specifically. I honestly prefer the term Mixed Terrain since it’s more accurate. Aren’t they just cross bikes? Fat tire road? Did I hear Roaduro? These bikes, no matter what you call them, are actually different from traditional cyclocross bikes. Gravel bikes tend to have a lower bottom bracket and a tighter front end, allowing them to handle better at speed than a true cross bike. Cyclocross races are lower speed, flat courses with a lot of tight turns and barriers. That said, you can use a cross bike for gravel and vice versa. However, you should probably buy the bike that’s built for what you’re riding most of the time. Both formats have ample tire clearance, disc brakes and durable frames.
So why are we so smitten with Gravel Bikes? First, a change of pace is always inspiring. We can all relate to the excitement of a new bike and gravel bikes open up a whole new world of cycling experiences. You can ride pavement, take short cuts on trails, explore everything in between and cover large distances easily. It’s a great way to get away from traffic as well. With larger tire volumes, the ride is nice and smooth but not as slow as a mountain bike on paved roads. They’re also great for traveling. Sometimes you wind up in areas where the roads are super broken up and cycling paths are dirt so a narrow road tire might be a bit scary or uncomfortable. They truly do it all.
If you’re curious and want to explore getting a gravel bike, Studio Velo has every material and geometry covered between Parlee, Moots, Independent Fabrications and Stinner. We also have demo bikes from Parlee and Moots if you want to get a sense of how a gravel bike truly rides on local terrain. Come ride with us and see what all the buzz is about!