Gravel Bike vs. Road Bike


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It is said that a bike is better than a girlfriend. If you live in the countryside or in a place where transportation is not much available, bikes are very much helpful to you. You can ride on this nature-friendly transport for both exercise and recreation. You can park it very easily and it will not take too much place in your garage.

Bicycles are of different kinds. Each type has its unique characteristics and versatile advantages. So, you need to be careful about choosing the right bike for you. If you are not sure about choosing your bike and asking yourself that gravel or road bike, then this article is for you. Let’s check out the pros and cons of both bikes.

Gravel Bike

Gravel bikes are a combination of cyclo-cross bikes and road bicycles. It is generally made for people living in the countryside. Besides, these bikes are for traveling in the muddy and bumpy roads around the countryside and also to go to your workplace using paved ways.

Features of Gravel Bikes

Gravel bike has its unique features. Like as-

  • These bicycles have relaxed geometry as mountain bikes but lighter.
  • Gravel bikes have longer wheelbases which make them more stable on unpredictable tracks and comfortable for long-distance cycling.
  • It has a taller head tube and a slicker head angle which enables relaxed steering and greater comfort in an upright position.
  • Gravel bikes have sloping top tubes for more stand-over height which is useful in getting off.
  • Hydraulic disc brakes are used to provide more braking power and better control on speed. However, this brake is more useful and efficient on the muddy roads in the rain.
  • The wider and bigger tires will give you more comfort on bumpy and rough roads as these tires grip the road more.

Road Bike

Bicycles designed for riding on tarmac or paved roads at a higher speed is called road bikes. As paved tarmac roads are comparatively smooth and plane, road bikes are designed for being speedy, better braking control, and keeping a smooth pace.

Features of Road Bikes

Road bikes have special features for city tracks. For example:

  • They have narrow and smooth tires kept under high pressure to decrease the rolling resistance.
  • Road bikes are available in derailleur gears for better speed control. Though single-speed fixed-geared road bikes are also available.
  • Either disc brake or rim brake is used. Caliper brakes use shorter but wider pads.
  • The handlebars are dropped. So the rider can lean forward and downward. As a result, the forward vertical cross-sectional area is reduced, and thus the air resistance.
  • And after all these, it is light-weighed.

Comparison between Gravel Bike and Road Bike

Bike construction varies from company to company and merged with some modification adding brand uniqueness. But here, the comparison is done using some general features. 

Gravel Bike

Road Bike

  • Made for riding on all kinds of tracks including gravel and tarmac roads
  • Made for cycling on paved paths and not for gravel roads
  • You can go on a tour with your gravel bike
It is not suitable for traveling
  • Wider and bigger tires are added
  • Tires are narrow and smooth to decrease the resistance between the tire and the road
  • Headtube is taller and the head angle is slicker
  • Headtube is not as tall as gravel ones
  • Sloped top tube
  • Generally horizontal top tube
  • Generally, handlebars are upward or horizontal
  • The handlebars are bent down to reduce the forward vertical cross-sectional area and thus the friction with air
  • Hydraulic disc brake with large and wide pads are used
  • Disc brake or rim brake with shorter and wider brake pads are used
  • Derailleur gears are available as well as fixed gears
  • Both derailleurs geared and fixed geared road bike is available
  • Weigh more than road bikes
  • Usually, light-weighted


  • How much these bikes cost?

Gravel bikes costs from 1500 to 6000 dollars. Where road bikes cost only 200 to 1000 dollars.

  • Gravel Bike’ or ‘Road Bike’– which one should I buy?

It depends on where you live and for which purpose you are buying the cycle. If you live in the countryside or if you have to ride on muddy, bumpy roads often, you should choose a gravel bike. Whereas if you live in a city and use your bike only to go to the office or school, road bikes are best for you.

  • In which bike, derailleur gear is available?

Derailleur gears are available in both gravel and road bikes. So it is not a big deal. Ask your dealer for the configuration you need.

  • Which bike is more durable?

As gravel bikes come in carbon fiber, they can withstand stony and gravel roads. Besides, road bikes are durable too.

  • What if my gravel bike does not have wide tires?

You can change the tires very easily. Firstly, remove the brake caliper. Then you can design a frame and fork for you to accommodate bigger and wider tires.


However, each bike has its specialties to sustain and give comfort in its recommended tracks. Road bikes are for paved tarmac roads where gravel ones used to ride on all sorts of tracks. Choose your bike according to your need and take good care of them.