Types of Adventure Bikes
Adventure road bikes are bikes that are made to handle both off-road and on-road terrains. This is a broad category, and within this category, there are three bike types, and, although, the differences between these bikes can be blurred sometimes, they each have their individual differences. These types are gravel bikes, touring and audax bikes, and cyclocross bikes.
Let us take a look into each of these bikes.
Gravel Bikes: Gravel bikes are borne of an American form of riding where there is a wide network of gravel roads, away from the city’s traffic that is prevalent on many American roads. These bikes are made to move fast across gravel roads and hardpack, these bikes usually have racks and mudguard mounts, and they are great for touring. The expectation of the gravel bike is that it is not ridden on tarmacs.
Differences Between Gravel Bikes and Other Bikes
Gravel bikes have wider tires than the cyclocross bike or the touring bike, and the starting width of the bike is 28 mm, but then they can go up to 45 mm. The gearing on gravel bikes favors the low end, good for grinding uphill when it is laden and is navigating through rough, sometimes steep terrains. The lighter versions of the gravel bike are great for the gravel races.
Touring and Audax Bikes
Touring, for years now, has been a traditional part of the cycling community. A touring bike is expected to ride across tarmac most of the time, but those who go touring are prone to bounce down less than perfect roads, or even get to explore intriguing tracks and an adventure road bike gives you that freedom, to ride without limits. Touring bikes also have wider tires, more relaxed geometry and the ability to bear heavy loads but not much clearance or off-road abilities like that of a gravel bike.
The Cyclocross Bikes
Cyclocross bikes are for racing, and they are not adventure bikes. They are light weight for when you need to carry them from one place to another, and they have high-speed agile handling to whip around the tight technical terrains and the responsiveness that is needed to accelerate at top speed. Its geometry is more relaxed than that of a road racing bike, but it does not have the comfort level of the gravel bike and the touring and audax bike. Many high-end cross bikes do not have bottle cages, probably because no one drinks in a cross race, neither does it have eyelets for mudguard and pannier racks.