And the answer? Whatever you decide, the cycle store sales team are always happy to help you make an informed decision and point you in the right direction. Learn More. The rigid mtb fork is stiffer, the frame is stiffer, and the bars are stiffer. I think if you are looking to ride gravel events the added aero of a drop bar bike will be faster than a mtb, if you can hold the position for several hours! Gears: 2 x 11. We did the research to highlight the best, but you can see all 32 of our complete reviews of hardtail electric bikes listed here. The fact that you say ‘hardtail’ rather than ‘rigid 29er MTB’ leads me to believe that a gravel bike won’t work out as well if your riding requires sus forks. I’m in the same position regarding buying a gravel or short travel ht. The 650b tyres are barely slower on the road, and probably only when going at a decent speed. A post shared by Bez (@mashing53) on Jul 23, 2020 at 11:32am PDT. Doesn’t help my storage problems, but at least have two quite different options (1 for speed, comfort and distance on multi-surface runs – 1 for bikepacking, light MTB/local trails/roughstuff and options for 29+ everything). The hardtail will be comfier on the descents and offer you much more flexibility in route choice. HARDTAIL ODER FULLY? Rigid and hardtails are usually a bit heavier than gravel bikes but are more comfortable on loose and rocky descents. Which probably explains why it’s my favourite bike, I can ride from home doing roads that are now so rough a road bike is not the tool for the job (my local roads are so rippled and potholed that a sus fork is applicable) It’s light and fast enough that a 40mile road loop on the road if it’s wet won’t irritate – but usually I’ll incorporate some ace offroad single track and remote hills, and the bike is in it’s element, like it’s in the early 90’s…. more fun. Maybe tri bars for the road sections if you can live with the aesthetics…? Anyway, I think it just gets us to the point that your two main decisions (based on your local terrain and what you want to do) are tyres and bars, and anything else is just gravy. You don’t have to go as far as slicks to make a hardtail reasonably fast on tarmac or gravel – something like Specialized Hardpack are decent off road without being too draggy on-road. Slacker … Let’s talk about the major differences between gravel bikes and mountain bikes so that you can understand which one is the best option for you - Geometry. Joint 1st the worse bike I ever had*. All depends on the road to offroad ratio. If you’ll be doing road and light offroad, gravel bike. Evaluating electric bikes is our specialty, and EBR has the most complete and unbiased reviews in the industry. A fast hardtail is never going to make a good road bike whatever tyres you put on it. Possible unpopular opinion: everyone should learn to mountain bike … Boneshaking heavy POS with tiny flat bars. Funnily enough, the additional 4″ of suspension fork doesn’t seem all that significant, and the only thing I really missed from the gravel bike was the hand positions of the drop bars, and the smoothness and range of the 2x drivetrain. Yep – I came here to write this too. But if you love to ease off the brakes and attack the descents but find climbing a means to an end then choose a mountain bike. If it is the bars that are the only problem then a flat barred gravel bike would sort that out. I am very tempted to add a hardtail but mainly as a winter bike so my FS bike doesn’t get caked in mud for 6 months of the year. And as much as I love the versatility of ‘gravel’ bikes, I’m not a fan of riding them off-road for the sake of it. I used to have a steel cross bike before gravel bikes existed, and it was much more forgiving than my hardtail. Share; cattiy19 Starter 1484482970. Epic Hardtail Pro. You know it makes sense . If speed/performance is your ultimate goal then stick with an expensive roadbike for roads and an expensive FS for offroad. The best gravel bikes will come with wide tyres, with room for extra mud clearance, and nowadays disc brakes as standard. But that’s just my experience is that you’ll go a little faster on a gravel bike. Even then – there are ‘gravel’ bikes like 8kg road bikes with 32mm tyres and radical racing posture/geo, then there are ‘gravel bikes’ like skinny rigid MTBs with wide-drop bars and a fairly relaxed posture/geo, Here’s a video by a gravelfan https://youtu.be/KzeEcndVgWs, Keep the road bike and save up for an MTB as well? Specialized Chisel here for exactly this purpose. Both will be good on gravel fire roads, the gravel bike will be better on the road, the hardtail better on slightly rougher offroad. A hardtail is okay off-road, but on really rough trails you will want a full-suspension bike. +1 on this. I haven’t found the maintenance a pain, although don’t ride it much I guess. And it was only £1400 for a 9.6kg bike. I have a 90mm travelled leftied 29er I got from before gravel was really a thing, its got thunderburts on it, it’ll keep up with a gravel bike on anything but be quicker in the rough – It’s a pig to maintain though as it needs some high spec parts to achieve that weight and it’s finickity…a heavier 29er hardtail would not feel as fast. Weird gearing. I'm currently building a dedicated steel gravel bike for this very reason. What is a gravel bike and why do I need one? This is because they feel more comfortable with a suspension fork, a little like an expensive lightweight hybrid really. Gravel bikes are fantastic for the “smoother” off-road sections. Das E-Mountainbike Magazine hat diese beiden Bikes verglichen und gibt euch Tipps, worauf ihr im Zweifelsfall achten müsst.. I should qualify my statement, my hardtail is a 9kg full race spec kinda thing that I luckily didn’t have to pay much for, this is what makes it fast enough to cover a wide range of riding and makes it similar to a gravel bike…a normal Hardtail would be slower, still nice though. 29″ wheels, a MTB chain set – but a road bike frame. I have a FS and a gravel bike (and 2 road bikes). Many mountain bikers value the simplicity of a hardtail, but not all want the same ride. The main question to ask yourself, is what is the intended use going to be? Look what other people ride. You must be logged in to reply to this topic. I’ll keep my fs for proper mountains and fun days out but for most exercise routes that are a mixture of back road, gravel and singletrack the gravel bike is wonderful. It will be adequate and it’ll feel quick enough, relatively speaking. In fact if you combined all of their tests into one big mixed terrain 1-2hr long ride I bet my bike would finish way ahead. An imperfect pursuit of perfection. Next time round I’d get a big tyred gravel bike 45-50mm tyre with as comfy frame as poss, probably Ti, and just take it easy in the rough, for the benefit of durability, simplicity and less outlay. Clued up on trends & changes in the industry over time, we love his invaluable insights! Some bikes like the new Cannondale topstone even come with a dropper post to make them even more off road capable. At first glance not that different from a cyclocross bike, gravel bikes are actually distinct – and often closer to an endurance road bike. Specialized specialized.com. Narrow tyre clearance. All depends on the road to offroad ratio. It weighs the same as the gravel bike, has 2.1 Thunderburt on rear and 2.1 racing Ralph on the front so probably rolls closer to the gravel bike (I can keep up with most riders on road bikes), yet with finesse is properly capable off road. Reckon it’s similar speed on road to my 9kg gravel bike when on the loops, but so much more fun and more controllable on anything remotely off road. Happy riding! Gravel bikes are just fun and if all you want to do it spin from your door take in pretty much anything apart from serious trail riding a gravel bike is perfect. It is noticeable though that my XC style bikes are faster than it (they’re also lighter though) on most off-road sections – all my current KOM’s are rideable on gravel bikes but the KOM was set on a mountain bike. Whatever came along. We have a few customers who use hardtails with cross or gravel tyres. Great for cruising over gravel and dirt roads or covering large distances at speed. There won’t be much in it in speed – or not enough to change the enjoyment of what you are riding. Way more fun on a bike designed to do that in my opinion. Link Removal With the help of your smartphone and the COBI.Bike app, the Bosch SmartphoneHub on the JARIFA² turns into an intelligent control centre for … Though this isn’t always the case for a lot of riders. Having watched that GCN video I’d say my bike is actually in-between those two. Pipedream’s New SRS48 Fork Has Zero Millimetres of Travel. Or just a general hate for anything that isn’t a mountain bike. Round my way that’s not a big deal because we have lots of earthy singletrack and I can avoid the steep and rooty/rocky climbs, but in the Lakes personally I’d be leaning more towards flat bars, ie an MTB, to avoid being too constrained by the bike. It sucked the joy out of cycling. And then there’s the rowdy good-times trail crew, who care more about having fun tackling tricky sections of singletrack. Not saying to put drop bars on a hardtail, just use the flat bar or riser bar that you normally use. With the rise in popularity of gravel bikes some customers have been asking if a lightweight 29er Hardtail such as the Specialized chisel and epic, Giant xtc or cannondale fsi are worth considering if you need a light fast comfortable bike. typically wide gravel tracks that you could probably nurse a car along. This video discusses using a hardtail mountain bike for gravel riding. There is a common misconception, especially among riders new to mountain biking, that full suspension is a comfort feature. I feel a lot of people say oh just get a ht it will be just as fast are thinking with a mountain bike brains. Superfly was £1300 and weighed 11.5kg when I raced CX on it with lightweight CX tyres and chopped down bars. For me the term gravel needs to change I live down south and there are very few gravel roads unlike America where they have miles and miles of gravel fire road. The most distinguished part between both these bikes is their frames. Oddly enough the one bike I’m not missing at present is a HT MTB. Full disclosure – it WAS a Raleigh X1, new at the time (early 2ks when they had first gone virtually BSO). And that can mean a lot of fun and a fresh look at where and how you ride.A gravel bike can raise a smile in so many ways… there are lots of I get this. Expect anything up to 47c on either 700c or 650b wheels. Hardtail Vs Full Suspension Bike Frame. Forum Rules Gravel bikes such as Cannondale’s Topstone Lefty have dual-suspension, yet the available travel remains comparatively low at only 30mm. Can you ride what you want to ride on it? With 140mm of consistent, controlled CVA suspension, progressive and adjustable geometry, increased frame stiffness, and available in two (yes, two) wheel sizes, it’s more versatile and capable and ever before. If you like riding drop bars and the handling feel of road bike like geometry then gravel bike, if you like flat/riser bars, front suspension and MTB geometry then get the MTB. It’s ridiculous fun on skinny muddy singletrack but I don’t have much faith on anything steep or rocky. The hardtail will be comfier on the descents and offer you much more flexibility in route choice. The biggest difference over a road bike are the 650b 47mm tyres, flared, wider bars, and the slightly slacker geo all of which makes it more capable offroad. Premier Club The suspension will swallow any big holes or rocks, whereas the gravel bike may not. I’ve been riding my XC hardtail with some On One Mickey bars (which do push it to about 10kg..) as a gravel bike for the last few months. Probably why some people own so many bikes (says a man with five bikes). Add drop bars to this 2013 hardtail and you’ve got a cutting-edge 2018 gravel bike Steve Behr / Immediate Media Truth is, nobody thought that short, tall, … Agreed, here’s the future of rough terrain ‘gravel’, a bike that can do everything surprisingly well…medium irony intended. If you put a gun to my head I’d probably give up the gravel bike first, on the proviso that I could put some funky bars on the Superfly, and stick some gravel slicks on it too. Choosing a cross country race bike used to be simple – it was a case of fat tyres, rim brakes and hold on for dear life. The kind of terrain you’ll be tackling and what the main uses are. When I was younger I was beyond happy with an ATB for all manner of shenanner. The rest is twistory. All in all it was kind of unsatisfying. Thing is that when I get to the offroad bits, it’s rough enough that i’m not convinced that a gravel bike would be that good – I’m thinking it would either have to be a twangy Ti frame with clearance for something like the 2.1 Thunderburt, or something with active suspension like the new Diverge. They prefer a slacker, comfier position, even if it comes at the cost of some rolling resistance. Weird geo. With a FS bike and a gravel bike/road bike it’s pretty much the perfect combo. Not great for anything properly technical. Just about to put a set of carbon rigid forks on. Classifieds Rules How do your times compare on road and off road? You’ll find a gravel bike or mountain bike noticeably slower on the road compared to a decent road bike so you might be disappointed either way. Main reason for wanting to try something different is to get more hand positions, as flat bars do get uncomfortable after a while. Cropping up more and more is the burning question, should you buy a gravel bike or a hard tail? I recently built up a “spare” frame as a sort of gravel bike on steroids (or at least on big tyres) and to be honest what it did for me was help define the point where gravel bikes don’t really work: if the trail is challenging enough that 700x42ish tyres don’t cut it but fat knobbies do, then it’s also challenging enough that drop bars become the thing that holds you back. Of course a gravel bike would be your top choice but don’t rule out a hardtail MTB or a rigid MTB. To be fair, its case wasn’t helped by the fatigued rider or the motley crew of components casually plundered from the spares pile. Six months later swap to the other… And end up regretting that too. Kids Hardtail Adventure. Thinking of selling my road bike to buy a gravel bike, but would a short travel hardtail with slicks be better for riding in the Lakes on and off road?? We know where the two sides are: many will think that gravel is a fashion to sell more bicycles; others that a hardtail mountain bike will never bring that experience of bending over on the road and jumping to the first forest road that there is without fear of driving the wheel. A gravel bike gives you new sensations; a hardtail mountain bike will give you more control on technical trails. Having got a gravel bike (Kona Sutra Ltd so basically a drop bar 90s mtb with better geometry) at the start of lockdown and ridden it a lot during the no-gnar period I can honestly say I’ll probably never bother with my rigid mtb or hardtail ever again. Gravel bikes are equipped with drop handlebars while mountain bikes use flat handlebars. Not really sure what to make of this build. Maybe alpkit as I think they remove the hire price from the purchase? Better in every way (except for fork-servicing issues – but the lockout worked so rode it rigid). The hardtail frames make it lighter and ensure full speed, while the suspension frame is just like a shock absorber to maintain balance in bumps and rough terrain. I really don’t think thats right the geo is different, they can take bigger tyres and also don’t weigh the same as a car. Is there anyone who has raced both a hardtail and gravel bike in a gravel race? Well unfortunately it’s quite a difficult one! 9 Bike Locks, Chains and Anchors to keep your bike safe, This topic has 44 replies, 28 voices, and was last updated. The Gravel bike can go anywhere (and could accept a pair of road wheels if necessary), but has its limitations with rougher stuff of course. They were kinda like a cross between an MTB and a road bike. Quote 0 0 0. cattiy19 Starter 7 posts. Gearing. Newsletter Settings, Viewing 40 posts - 1 through 40 (of 45 total), Premier Partners for Singletrack issues & exclusive subscriber perks, Metcheck MTB Weather Forecasts At A Glance, Singletrack Wisecracker Headset Spacer Bottle Opener, https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=u1upx1BUZ3c, Vali Höll Joins New RockShox Trek Race Team of Youngsters. It’ll depend on quite a lot of factors, so we had a closer look at what you might want to consider below. Too wide for bar ends, but could be solved by centre bar ends or mini aero bars. I have had drop bars in the past and just never used the drops so got rid with my latest bike. Still missing the Vagabond/drop-bar fun though. Hardtails are great for learning. Full suspension bikes can be used as well, but could add weight (and price) and would need to offer the ability to lock out the rear suspension to avoid energy loss in flat … Consequently, it beats me up on chunky surfaces more than a true gravel bike would. Loops give handy space for bikepacking-style packs too. Gravel … — 8 THINGS TO KNOW ABOUT AN ADVENTURE BIKE —. I reckon my Sonder Ti, flat bar, rigid bike with 40c 29er tyres on is pretty good all round. Mostly light offroad with some more rough stuff, and not much road, hardtail. For tires within the range of 26 inches you ’ ll be doing post shared by (... To write this too a Raleigh X1, new at the time ( 2ks. On either 700c or 650b wheels sus fork a full suspension MTB is right for you on!, who want to ride, to have fun and to explore lanes, mountains, distance local. Descend and climb this well for off-road adventure gravel riding course, there needs to be a massive.... Building a dedicated steel gravel bike the frame is stiffer, the handlebars are most obvious new sensations a! Comfortable on loose and rocky descents able to play to its strengths with lower. Everything surprisingly well…medium irony intended my hardtail d have a steel cross bike gravel ’, a gravel bike and! 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