Knowing gravel bikes adapt the drop bar handlebars similar to road bikes, some might be curious about how capable this bike is for a race. Hence questions such as are gravel bikes fast on the road are becoming a topic of discussion, especially among beginners.
If you are considering buying a gravel bike for personal use but are unsure if this bike is worth the investment, don’t rush to make a decision. Spare a few minutes of your time to read through this article before you decide which to buy between road or gravel bikes. Enjoy your reading.
Are Gravel Bikes Fast?
Before we talk about the speed of a gravel bike, as a starter pack, we will be giving a brief introduction to what a gravel bike is. A gravel bike is the type of bike manufactured to offer an adventurous ride. It can handle various types of roads and surfaces while capable of carrying additional loads for a short touring trip.
After reading a few fantastic features that the gravel bikes offer, the main concern is addressed in the discussion table. Some riders mentioned that a gravel bike is slow. The truth is, a gravel bike comes with a moderate speed, neither too fast nor too slow, but of course, depending on the trail you are riding and to which type of bike you compare its speed.
The gravel bike is manufactured with a gear that will allow riders to gain enough speed over most terrain, including rough surface roads. But if you want to compare the gravel vs road bike speed, then you probably will not get the same range of speed.
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What Is a Good Average Speed on a Gravel Bike?
When you read about the gravel vs road bike speed forum topic around the internet, you might see some people mentioning the different speed ranges for their gravel bikes. The difference in speed is a normal thing to happen because the average speed riders will get from their gravel bikes will be very versatile depending on the road conditions and surfaces as well as the rider’s physical conditions, riding positions, and pedaling power.
If you can get an average of about 13mph to 14mph, it is considered a good start, but you can train to push the limit. Most riders can maintain the speed of a gravel bike between 15mph to 18mph over 50 miles on flat surfaces or tarmac roads.
After gaining this information, of course, you will be curious about how fast can a road bike go if the average speed of a gravel bike is as mentioned above. Considering riders are riding the road bike with over the same power and efficiency, the average speed should be one to two mph faster than those you get from a gravel bike.
Although the exact speed will depend on many other factors, riding a road bike will give a faster and lighter feel as the bike is built to be fast for a race. The other determining factors of speed are:
Compared to a road bike, the gravel bike offers riders a more upright riding position. Since being aerodynamic is not reasonably possible with a gravel bike, it directly affects the speed range of the bike. On the other hand, road bikes allow riders to have a more aerodynamic riding position, making “cutting through the wind” possible.
The model of the bike tire is one of the determining factors of how fast a bike will roll on the ground. A road bike has a slick tire, providing far more traction over dry roads, while a gravel bike has a wider and slightly treaded tire, allowing it to ride a better grip over a wide range of roads.
While it couldn’t guarantee the same level of speed, if riders choose a gravel bike that is built around light material to create a stiffer frame that is designed to be aerodynamic, riders might get a speed close enough to a road bike.
Sometimes, the gravel bike is equipped with lower gearing than a road bike, affecting its speed on the smooth pavements. But regardless, the gravel can still perform well on the smooth pavement while descending steep hills as fast as a road bike.
Are Gravel Bikes Faster than Mountain Bikes?
If you ask which is faster between the mountain bike and the gravel bike, we will confidently answer that a gravel bike wins. Here are some factors to support the claim:
- A gravel bike has a drop bar handlebar that supports a more aerodynamic riding position. Although it is not at the road bike level, still more aerodynamic than the mountain bike that has a more upright riding position;
- The tire in a gravel bike is not as knobby as found in some mountain bikes, allowing it to have a lower rolling resistance and roll faster than a mountain bike on most terrain, such as gravel roads, forest tracks, trails, and many more.
To conclude, the gravel bike is faster than the mountain bike as it has drop bar handlebars that support the aerodynamic riding position combined with slicker tires that are lighter in weight with lower rolling resistance. But when it comes to descent, a mountain bike will be faster than a gravel bike because the lower gearing on a gravel bike will cause descending on steep hills to be more difficult. After all, riders need to pedal harder.
Regarding descending, riders might be curious about how good a gravel bike is when climbing. So, are gravel bikes good for climbing? The speed of a gravel bike during the climb will depend on the build and gearing that the gravel bike has.
In general, a lighter bike will climb better. So, in most cases, the gravel bike should climb faster than a mountain bike. Aside from this, you will need to look at the gearing of your gravel bike. If it only has one chainring, it might be a little difficult to claim. You can combine it with a huge cog to make it easier to climb.
Gravel bikes are fast because they are designed with a more aerodynamic riding position, lightweight frame material, and tires that are slicker than those found in mountain bikes. Although the average speed will depend on the rider’s fitness and power, combined with how your gravel bike is built and designed, maintaining the 13mph to 15mph speed should be possible.
When asking about “how to make my gravel bike faster on the road,” some people might tell you to change your bike wheels and tires and then use lower gearing to reduce weight as the solution. But we don’t highly recommend this.
Replacing wheels and tires will risk breaking your bike’s warranty and might cause your bike not to perform as it should. If you are aiming for a bike that will be fast for racing, then it will be best for you to go for a road bike instead. If it is only for casual road riding, a gravel bike will suffice.
Now, are you looking for the fastest gravel bike for your investment? You can look at Polygon Bend R5, which is manufactured with a lightweight and durable ALX alloy frame and carbon fork combined with a 1×11-speed Shimano GRX group set. This bike will perform well with a good speed on the smooth pavement while dependable on rougher terrain. The flat mount and carrier ready on the frame make this perfect bike for short touring, too.
Get the original piece of the Polygon Bend R5 only at its official distributor: Rodalink. At Rodalink, you can have various options as they offer a wide range of bikes selection from the world’s renowned brands. They also have the best price offer that guarantees you get the best bike without breaking your bank account.
Rodalink is also the only official distributor that offers the services of assembling your bike before delivery, so when you receive your bike, it will be ready for a ride. Don’t forget to submit the free registration to be part of Rodalink’s community members so that you will get special offers and the best deal for a more beneficial purchase. Start your cycling journey without any worries, only with Rodalink.