Whereas today I was overtaken on a gravel track by an old Cannondale hardtail with road wheels and what looked like 25’s on…. There is a common misconception, especially among riders new to mountain biking, that full suspension is a comfort feature. Even then – there are ‘gravel’ bikes like 8kg road bikes with 32mm tyres and radical racing posture/geo, then there are ‘gravel bikes’ like skinny rigid MTBs with wide-drop bars and a fairly relaxed posture/geo, Here’s a video by a gravelfan https://youtu.be/KzeEcndVgWs, Keep the road bike and save up for an MTB as well? The nearest I got to sating it since has been with CAAD3 on semislicks or a rigid 29er (2X, 2.1 Nanos, with or without drops) There is the rub. Joint 1st the worse bike I ever had*. I think if you are looking to ride gravel events the added aero of a drop bar bike will be faster than a mtb, if you can hold the position for several hours! Cruise the tarmac & have fun seeing how tech you can get off road (plus dropper is also great for road descents too). If I had to only have one bike between the bikes I have (cross, rigid MTB, full sus, hardtail and road bike) I’d pick my rigid Stooge as it puts a smile on my face every time I ride it and despite being a weighty beast it rides lovely and isn’t all that slow either. It will be adequate and it’ll feel quick enough, relatively speaking. So, let’s take a look at them! Rigid and hardtails are usually a bit heavier than gravel bikes but are more comfortable on loose and rocky descents. Ugh. Both will be good on gravel fire roads, the gravel bike will be better on the road, the hardtail better on slightly rougher offroad. Years ago, there were bikes called ‘hybrids’. Both will be good on gravel fire roads, the gravel bike will be better on the road, the hardtail better on slightly rougher offroad. I had a hybrid Ridgeback when I worked in London and I hated it as it was (for me) the worst of both worlds. Full suspension bikes can be used as well, but could add weight (and price) and would need to offer the ability to lock out the rear suspension to avoid energy loss in flat … With the rise in popularity of gravel bikes some customers have been asking if a lightweight 29er Hardtail such as the Specialized chisel and epic, Giant xtc or cannondale fsi are worth considering if you need a light fast comfortable bike. With just a few quick changes you can optimize a mountain bike for gravel riding. Pretty much any bike can be used on road and gravel and as presumably you are riding for enjoyment then pick the type of bike you enjoy riding. With a FS bike and a gravel bike/road bike it’s pretty much the perfect combo. Choosing between a hardtail and a gravel bike for me, it comes down to what trails (or lack of) you have on your doorstep and the way you like to ride the climbs and descents. A hardtail is decent on the road, but if you plan on riding lots of road than a road racing bike is still much more efficient. It was pretty cheap though. Login/cookie issues? Full disclosure – it WAS a Raleigh X1, new at the time (early 2ks when they had first gone virtually BSO). Differences between a gravel bike and mountain bike. I feel a lot of people say oh just get a ht it will be just as fast are thinking with a mountain bike brains. Yesterday I did like 30miles from my door (zone 2 London) taking in roads, woodland, bridal way and cutting through a few parks on a mountain bike it would have been hard work and WAY over biked. When I was younger I was beyond happy with an ATB for all manner of shenanner. Personally I’d have a road bike and a mtb. This adds weight though and when the bike starts to get heavier, the hardtail becomes the option? Ultimately though (as been said many times) all bikes are a compromise and picking which one suits yourself best is variable and quite a personal thing and can change to your mood or even the weather. But that’s just my experience is that you’ll go a little faster on a gravel bike. Superfly was £1300 and weighed 11.5kg when I raced CX on it with lightweight CX tyres and chopped down bars. If your trip mainly consists of forest and gravel roads the choice becomes a bit easier. A gravel bike gives you new sensations; a hardtail mountain bike will give you more control on technical trails. I reckon my Sonder Ti, flat bar, rigid bike with 40c 29er tyres on is pretty good all round. Doesn’t help my storage problems, but at least have two quite different options (1 for speed, comfort and distance on multi-surface runs – 1 for bikepacking, light MTB/local trails/roughstuff and options for 29+ everything). Not sure whether to give it another whirl, stick flat bars on it, or just stash it in the loft for a rainy day. It sucked the joy out of cycling. Totally agree. The hardtail will be comfier on the descents and offer you much more flexibility in route choice. I have flat bars on mine and its perfect. I prefer riding flat bars to drops as I enjoy the steering and handing more and it makes lifting front wheel, hopping over things etc,. All depends on the road to offroad ratio. You’ll find a gravel bike or mountain bike noticeably slower on the road compared to a decent road bike so you might be disappointed either way. Loops give handy space for bikepacking-style packs too. I’m in love with my gravel bike right now, am still learning what it is capable of but it just feels so fast and versatile on what I call ‘U.S. Cropping up more and more is the burning question, should you buy a gravel bike or a hard tail? Or Is It Miles? A merry-go-round of near-misses. They’re great for opening up more options and it’s my most used bike, but I don’t gain a lot of pleasure from bouncing around rocky singletrack on them, holding on for dear life. Not really sure what to make of this build. Six months later swap to the other… And end up regretting that too. Too many, even. Way more fun on a bike designed to do that in my opinion. Gravel bikes are equipped with drop handlebars while mountain bikes use flat handlebars. The 650b tyres are barely slower on the road, and probably only when going at a decent speed. — 8 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT AN ADVENTURE BIKE —. RANGEFINDER Approachable Hardtail Trail. It’s possible to make a hardtail as fast as a gravel bike, but a crucial difference is the hardtail will cost almost double to achieve that same weight – then you also have the maintenance aspects of the suspension fork to contend with if you’re using the bike as an all weather frequent use prospect. Gravel bikes use drop handlebars becaus… If you’re pretty cautious and like to pick your way down a descent and often get off on the steep stuff and really enjoy a climb then the gravel bike (or even a cross bike) would probably best suit you. It’s without a doubt designed for off-road adventure. Then in the 90s I started reading MBUK. Light, comfy. The ‘gravel’ bike I saw on Gravelbikes UK Facebook page last night had 2.4 knobbly tyres on…. You don’t have to go as far as slicks to make a hardtail reasonably fast on tarmac or gravel – something like Specialized Hardpack are decent off road without being too draggy on-road. The FS covers the gnarlier end of things, I don’t actually miss the HT…, Do you not think CX bikes are just a little too uncomfortable for long rides. Modern mountain biking be it FS or HT is much quicker than it used to be, but I think that’s a function of the equipment available rather than any great change in skill or talent. Quote 0 0 0. cattiy19 Starter 7 posts. Gravel Bike or Hardtail? I have a 90mm travelled leftied 29er I got from before gravel was really a thing, its got thunderburts on it, it’ll keep up with a gravel bike on anything but be quicker in the rough – It’s a pig to maintain though as it needs some high spec parts to achieve that weight and it’s finickity…a heavier 29er hardtail would not feel as fast. Introducing the world’s first full-suspension gravel bike – the Niner Magic Carpet Ride. Gearing. Trek Checkpoint SL 6 ($3,800) Frame: Carbon. Most my “gravel” riding is through really tame woodlands. Premier Club – JARIFA² VS. THRON² Du kannst dich nicht entscheiden, ob du ein Hardtail eMTB oder ein eMTB-Fully kaufen sollst? Privacy However, was out on my 3 year old Trek Superfly today, with 17kg of toddler hanging off the back, and was reminded just how good that bike was also. Around in CycleStore since the beginning, John has a great knowledge of all the action behind the scenes. Years ago, there were bikes called ‘hybrids’. Each one is purpose built for the way you ride, whether that’s blasting berms, gunning for … In fact if you combined all of their tests into one big mixed terrain 1-2hr long ride I bet my bike would finish way ahead. How do your times compare on road and off road? But yeah, from your previous posts sounds like you already have mountain bikes covered so get a drop bar that can cope with a bit of off road. There’s the traditional cross country crowd, who want to cover the most ground in the least time. In a full suspension mountain bike a.k.a dual suspension Mountain bike, the rear wheel must come with a suspension shock. The best gravel bikes will come with wide tyres, with room for extra mud clearance, and nowadays disc brakes as standard. Hardtail Mountain Bikes From pro-level XC race bikes to confident trail tamers, these men’s hardtail mountain bikes feature lightweight frames and a focus on ride quality. With 140mm of consistent, controlled CVA suspension, progressive and adjustable geometry, increased frame stiffness, and available in two (yes, two) wheel sizes, it’s more versatile and capable and ever before. It weighs the same as the gravel bike, has 2.1 Thunderburt on rear and 2.1 racing Ralph on the front so probably rolls closer to the gravel bike (I can keep up with most riders on road bikes), yet with finesse is properly capable off road. All Road. Quote 0 0 0. In truth, they sit somewhere between the two. Slacker … Having got a gravel bike (Kona Sutra Ltd so basically a drop bar 90s mtb with better geometry) at the start of lockdown and ridden it a lot during the no-gnar period I can honestly say I’ll probably never bother with my rigid mtb or hardtail ever again. Gravel bikes are beefed up CX bikes, rigid and drop barred, and represent a less capable off road machine than a modern HT. – Tires: Mountain bike tires are designed for tires within the range of 26 inches. The kind of terrain you’ll be tackling and what the main uses are. Specialized Chisel here for exactly this purpose. Maybe you’ve had plenty of fun on the mountain bike in the past, or maybe you’re making your first venture into the off road world. Well unfortunately it’s quite a difficult one! I have had drop bars in the past and just never used the drops so got rid with my latest bike. Or a bike like the Kona Sutra LTD that doesn’t seem to have a solid place in either category, but a foot in both doors. This video discusses using a hardtail mountain bike for gravel riding. Specialized specialized.com. The fact that you say ‘hardtail’ rather than ‘rigid 29er MTB’ leads me to believe that a gravel bike won’t work out as well if your riding requires sus forks. Happy riding! Sort of like a hybrid. Round my way that’s not a big deal because we have lots of earthy singletrack and I can avoid the steep and rooty/rocky climbs, but in the Lakes personally I’d be leaning more towards flat bars, ie an MTB, to avoid being too constrained by the bike. Gravel bikes are just fun and if all you want to do it spin from your door take in pretty much anything apart from serious trail riding a gravel bike is perfect. Add drop bars to this 2013 hardtail and you’ve got a cutting-edge 2018 gravel bike Steve Behr / Immediate Media Truth is, nobody thought that short, tall, … We have a few customers who use hardtails with cross or gravel tyres. 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