The endless dilemma: road bike or gravel bike?
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The endless dilemma: road bike or gravel bike?

  • technology
At first glance, road bikes and gravel bikes may seem quite similar, but upon closer inspection, you'll discover distinct differences that set them apart. While road bikes are built for smooth asphalt and speed, gravel bikes are the adventurers of the cycling world, ready to tackle rocky trails and gravel paths with ease.
Tire width

When it comes to tire width, gravel bikes typically accommodate wider tires, with 40mm to 45mm being a common width. This allows for enhanced stability and grip on uneven surfaces. In contrast, road bikes commonly feature narrower tires, typically ranging from 25mm to 28mm, to optimize speed and reduce rolling resistance on paved roads.

In terms of geometry, road bikes and gravel bikes display contrasting characteristics. Overall, road bikes prioritize a more responsive, aggressive, and aerodynamic riding position, commonly referred to as a "race" geometry. This design aims to maximize power transfer and efficiency, allowing riders to achieve peak performance at high speed. On the other hand, gravel bikes feature a more relaxed geometry that prioritizes comfort and stability.

The riding position on a gravel bike is typically more upright, providing more control on unpredictable trails and paths. This more relaxed geometry enables riders to tackle long distances and endure rough terrain without sacrificing comfort. Therefore, while road bikes are generally built for the intense demands of racing and speed, gravel bikes are crafted to offer a more enjoyable and versatile riding experience in varied conditions.


When comparing the cockpit of a gravel bike to a road bike, there are a few notable differences as well. Both bikes feature a drop bar design, providing multiple hand positions for the rider. However, the cockpit of a gravel bike differs in a few key aspects. Firstly, gravel bikes tend to have a less aerodynamic cockpit compared to road bikes, as they prioritize comfort and stability over pure speed. Additionally, the drops on gravel bike handlebars often curve outward more, creating a wider grip. This wider grip allows for a more relaxed and stable control, which is beneficial when navigating challenging offroad terrain. Furthermore, the cockpit components on a gravel bike may be slightly heavier than those found on a road bike.

Gravel bikes and road bikes offer different choices to cater to their respective needs. Gravel bikes can feature both single and double chainring Shimano or Sram setups, providing versatility for tackling various terrains. When riding offroad with gravel bikes, chain slap and derailment can occur. To address this, some riders opt for a single front chainring setup, which eliminates the risk of dropped chains and simplifies gear shifting.

Alternatively, the Classified Powershift system offers a unique solution by providing an internally geared hub with electronically controlled shifting. This innovative system mitigates chain slap and derailment issues while offering a wide gear range for gravel riding.

In contrast, road bikes typically lean towards double chainring setups, optimizing for high-speed performance on smooth surfaces. The focus is on maximizing efficiency, as chain slap and derailment are less common concerns on paved roads.

Upgrading a bike, whether it's transforming a gravel bike into a road bike or vice versa, involves considering a few key aspects.

Can you upgrade a gravel bike to a road bike or vice versa?

Upgrading a bike, whether it's transforming a gravel bike into a road bike or vice versa, involves considering a few key aspects. The similarity in geometry between the two types of bikes allows for a relatively seamless transition. However, the most significant factor to address is the tire width. For a gravel bike being upgraded to a road bike, swapping out wider gravel tires for narrower road tires can significantly improve speed and efficiency on both flat roads and inclines. Conversely, transforming a road bike into a gravel bike would require equipping it with wider tires capable of handling off-road terrains. While these upgrades can enhance the bike's performance and adaptability, it's important to recognize that each bike has its own strengths.

A gravel bike can come close to matching the performance of a road bike, but it will never fully replicate the raw speed and efficiency specifically optimized for road cycling. Likewise, a road bike, even with modifications, may lack the durability and stability needed for offroad adventures.

When it comes to choosing between a gravel bike and a road bike, it ultimately depends on your intended riding style and the terrain you'll be tackling. If you plan on spending a significant amount of time offroad, a gravel bike might be the perfect fit. With its rugged design and versatile capabilities, a gravel bike can take you anywhere a road bike can't. It excels on rough and unpaved surfaces, making it ideal for adventurous riders who crave exploration. We have a range of bikes to quench your thirst for adventures, no matter the terrain. For instance, the Kanzo Fast, which is designed for high-speed and competitive gravel racing (or riding), the Kanzo Adventure for those who prefer to really go off the beaten path and the Kanzo A, a more affordable but incredibly versatile gravel bike. On the other hand, if speed is your top priority, a road bike is unmatched. Designed for maximum efficiency on smooth pavement, a road bike offers unparalleled speed and agility. Take the Noah Fast Disc for instance, precision-engineered to cut through the air with optimal efficiency, the Helium SLX Disc for all cyclists who love steep climbs and long descends and of course or Fenix for maximum comfort during long days in the saddle over difficult roads.

However, it's important to note that the distinction between these bikes primarily lies in their terrain capabilities. If you're looking for a bike that combines the best of both worlds, an all-road bike might be the answer.

An allroad bike, like our Grifn, is specifically designed to handle a variety of terrains. With a geometry that strikes a balance between stability and agility, an allroad bike offers a comfortable and efficient riding experience. It typically features wider tire clearance than a traditional road bike, allowing riders to tackle rougher surfaces while still maintaining good rolling efficiency on the road. The combination of a road bike's speed and efficiency with the off-road capabilities of a gravel bike makes the allroad bike a perfect option for riders who want to seamlessly transition between fast-paced road rides and adventurous gravel excursions. It offers the flexibility to explore a range of terrains without compromising on performance or comfort.

Consider your riding preferences and goals to determine which bike suits you best, and get ready to hit the road (or gravel) with confidence!

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