Produced in association with Canyon Bicycles
Yes it’s true that there’s a lot of crossover between the new breed of gravel bikes and cross-country mountain bikes. Both have chunky tyres designed to roll fast off-road, hydraulic disc brakes for wet weather stopping power, and suspension or frame compliance for traction and comfort.
But there’s still a whole load of differences, not least the fact that one has drop bars and the other has significantly more suspension.
- Best gravel and adventure bikes
- Top 5 gravel bikes of 2019
- Gravel bike vs hardtail vs CX bike at Grinduro Scotland
So, if you’ve got a gravel bike and your mate has a mountain bike, is it possible for you to ride together and enjoy yourselves on the same trails, or are they still different enough that you need to ride your own way?
Of course, it needs to be a fair test, so we found a route that would play to the strengths and challenge the weaknesses of both types of bike. The 46km route, which included 1,100m of climbing started at the scenic Llyn Brianne dam in beautiful Mid-Wales and headed out around the Cym Rheadr trail centre, blending gravel roads, hard climbs and techy trail centre descents.
So, can two riders separated by their preferred riding disciplines and respective bikes have a good time riding together, or would they always end up waiting for each other? You’ll have to watch the video to find out.