Rs 200 is advisable for tours

Dirty Kanza, Hell of Hunterdon or Boulder Roubaix - these bike races have long been classics in the USA. The special feature: They don't take place on asphalt, but primarily on gravel roads. The distance of the Dirty Kanza: 200 miles - 322 kilometers. The winning time this year: nine hours and 58 minutes. A new fable course record. The racing device: the gravel bike - a bike with racing handlebars, tread tires, disc brakes and a geometry that is usually somewhere between a racing bike and a cyclocrosser.

The difference to the latter category: Gravel bikes are designed much more for comfort, long distances and continuous use. Can you be the one wheel just in case? The one all-round bike for year-round use? For long tours, bikepacking assignments, winter training, commuting to and from work? Many models are designed for this.

How do I get into the gravel and bikepacking profession? How do I find the right equipment? - The bike club theme evening on the subject of gravel & bikepacking is the ideal introduction to the topic.

Gravel bikes, all-weather jerseys and off-road pedals put to the test - plus gripping reports: the Gravel Special from RennRad-Magazin is now available here in the shop!

Gravel bike: robust & comfortable

Nevertheless, the boundary between gravel bikes and cyclocrossers is fluid. The former usually have a longer wheelbase, a rather long head tube and a less aggressive, slightly shorter geometry based on that of endurance racing bikes. The frames can usually accommodate tires that are more than 40 millimeters wide and have eyelets for mounting mudguards and sometimes even luggage racks.

In addition, many gravel riders come with so-called "flare" handlebars. These are exposed to the outside at the bottom, which can provide better steering control in the field.

More and more gravel bikes are equipped with single groups, i.e. without a derailleur, with just one chainring. The main advantage: the robustness. With the right gradations of the chainrings and cassettes, you can achieve the same range of gears as with double groups - however, the jumps between the gears are sometimes significantly larger.

Cyclocrosser or gravel bike: differences and similarities simply explained!

The choice of tires plays a major role on a gravel bike

The choice of tires plays an even bigger role with gravelers than with racing bikes. Gravel tires are usually between 30 and 50 millimeters wide and have a rather weak profile. In addition, tubeless systems are much more widespread here - which has also proven to be useful in the test. Because without the hose inside, which would be prone to punctures, it is possible to drive with very low air pressure, which increases both comfort and traction on loose surfaces.

The still young bike genre of gravel bikes is already extremely differentiated and appeals to very broad target groups - from racing drivers to commuters to bikepacking multi-day tour riders.

Order the RennRad 10/2019 in the shop now!

We tested these 16 gravel bikes

CubeNuroad SL1699 eurosPrice-performance
8BarMiddle 3 in 11799 euros
SpecializedDiverge E5 Comp1949 euros
GiantRevolt Advanced 12500 euros
ROSEBackroad test letter2549 eurosRace tip
CanyonGrail CF SL 8.0 test letter2599 eurosBuying tip
GhostEndless Road Rage 8.7 LC2799 euros
CervéloÁspero Apex1 test letter2999 euros
BassoPalta3180 euros
BenottiFuoco Gravel test letter3399 eurosRace tip
AirstreeemGraveller test letter3750 euros
GTGrade Carbon Pro3799 euros
Standertground floor3999 euros
Look765 Gravel RS4499 eurosBuying tip
KocmoDaytona X5335 eurosBuying tip
CannondaleTopstone Carbon Force eTap AXS5499 euros

The detailed gravel bike test letters can be found in RennRad 10/2019. Here you can order the issue as a print magazine or as an e-paper!

Gravel bike test: The test bikes in the picture gallery

Cube Nuroad SL

8Bar middle 3 in 1

Specialized Diverge E5 Comp

Giant Revolt Advanced 1

ROSE backroad

Canyon Grail CF SL 8.0

Ghost Endless Road Rage 8.7 LC

Cervélo Áspero Apex 1

Basso Palta

Benotti Fuoco Gravel

Airstreeem Graveller

GT Grade Carbon Pro

Standert ground floor

Look 765 Gravel RS

Kocmo Daytona X

Cannondale Topstone Carbon Force eTap AXS

An overview of the gravel bike test field

The new Cervelo Aspero, for example, has been developed with a clear focus on racing, sportiness and agility. The expectations for the first gravel model from Cervelo were high. The Canadians are implementing a number of innovations and also deviate from the usual conventions in terms of frame geometry. In addition to the usual 28-inch wheels, you can also use the 650b or 27.5-inch wheels known from the mountain bike sector.

The optically striking Basso Palta and the Benotti Fuoco Gravel are also designed for sportiness and driving pleasure in this test field.

RennRad edition 10/2019: All content at a glance!

Innovations on the Cannondale Topstone Carbon

On the other hand, at the other end of the design spectrum, the brand new Cannondale Topstone Carbon is less tight and more optimized for the highest possible driving comfort. Completely newly developed innovations are also used on it. Most noticeable: the so-called “Kingpin” spring element at the attachment point of the seat stays on the seat tube. It should allow up to 30 millimeters of suspension travel. These can also be felt on very rough surfaces in the form of a high level of comfort. However, this innovation also has its price: With the wireless electronic Sram Force eTap AXS group, the Topstone Carbon costs 5499 euros.

Two other extremely comfortable models in this test field are well below this: the Specialized Diverge E5 Comp with its "Future Shock" front suspension with 20 millimeters of travel and the light and agile Canyon Grail with its flexing hoverbar and the springy seat post. When it comes to versatility, a small manufacturer is also at the forefront: 8bar with its "middle 3 in 1".

This article was published on September 25, 2019.