Isn’t that the whole idea? I don’t get it when people say “gravel bikes are just 90s mountain bikes” in a disparaging context. Anyone tried to buy a decent second hand 90s MTB lately? They’re harder to find (at reasonable prices) than chains and cassettes!
Just listened to another great episode of Nerd Alert, but again there’s a lot of talk about how gravel bikes should all be like Cervelo Asperos. I think it’s great those bikes exist of course; but to me they are clearly ‘all road’ bikes and have little appeal to people who want one bike to do most things.
Maybe I’m just being a grumpy old-skool MTB rider that completely doesn’t ‘get it’, but nearly every ride I do tends to be about one third gravel, one third bitumen, and one third rough double / singletrack. To me (where I live in rural Australia) that’s just completely normal, and I’m hardly the Lone Ranger. More of ‘us’ riders than roadies in fact. I simply cannot afford multiple bikes. I also have zero interest in driving 45 minutes to be able to pull out a trail bike and go for an hour ride. That’s kinda against every reason I love cycling. I’ll ride to the park, do the B-lines instead, and be perfectly happy.
I wonder if we should categorise bikes as road / all road / adventure and MTB instead? If I am riding on smooth gravel roads then that’s a ‘road ride’ in my head. I could do that on a modern road bike with 32mm tires. An adventure bike to me would be drop or flat bar with tire clearance of between 45mm and 2.1" tires and used for nearly everything including commuting, gravel, road, real adventuring/exploring and bikepacking.
Anyway, I’m an old mountain biker and probably just being retro, but I love the ‘adventure’ of cycling. My ‘gravel’ bike is my first ever drop bar bike, and I really like it. I enjoy long road rides on it also even if I’m not fast enough to keep up with the roadies.
For those who seem to hate the bikes in the ‘adventure’ category… I get your POV, but not everyone can afford three bikes. Just seems ludicrous to me. The biggest barrier to cycling is absolutely cost of entry. Especially now. Let’s embrace the ‘adventure bike’ for what it is; it’s not just a fun, frivolous toy as the Nerd Alert crew seem to think it is. My 2c