“Gravel” refers to essentially any non-paved road: jeep trails, utilitarian public or private country roads for farming, ranching, or oil/gas companies, and even roads that have been decommissioned. Surfaces can be gravel, mud, packed dirt, sand, and pebbles. Gravel bikes are ready for anything: washboards, singletrack, bikepacking, and pannier-loaded errand runs.
One of the biggest differences between road, mountain bike and gravel riding are that conditions can vary more on gravel rides. Due to weather, the different types of gravel roads, and the limitations of skinnier tires when compared with mountain bikes, gravel riders must be ready for any adventure. Several gravel events have required the participants to carry their bikes for miles due to mud and difficult terrain. This is all part of the “unknown” adventure that appeals to many gravel riders! Read more