Top 5 – 2019 Gravel Bikes

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greville bikes are no longer classed as a fad by anyone but the very grumpiest YouTube commenters investment in developing new standalone models by the biggest manufacturers out there is testament to this and that includes a number of very affordable bikes with this in mind and a deluge of new bikes released in the wake of Euro bike we thought it was about time to round up the top five gravel bikes of 2018 and beyond the top stone is Kalin dales all new very recently announced line of affordable and adaptable alloy gravel bikes with generous clearances rock and mud guard mounts and a comfort focused geometry on paper at least the top stone looks like an ideal bike for touring gravel racing and year-round road riding but what makes this affordable yet fairly on adventurous gravel bike one of the most important of 2018 the keenly priced CAD X a more traditional cyclocross focused model is a hugely important bike for Cannondale and in the UK at least is supposedly one of the best-selling bikes out there we suspect the top stone with its more all-round geometry improved clearances and increased versatility could dethrone the CAD X as number one so this is one we’ll be watching very very closely [Music] Trek tentatively dipped its toes into the world of gravel bikes in November 2017 with the launch of the domani gravel which we quickly called out as well not really a gravel bike fast forward to March 2018 and trick properly through its hat into the gravel coated ring with the checkpoints a range of alloy and carbon gravel bikes the Check Point features massive clearances for both 650 B and 700 C tires and adjustable wheelbase and mounts for three to four bottles mud guard racks and bags this highly adaptable nature and it’s great ride quality has won the heart of a number of bike radar testers and is one we’re looking forward to spending even more time on how could we talk about the most important gravel bikes of 2018 without mentioning the canyon Grail the Grail is without doubt one of the most divisive bikes to be launched in any category in recent years the main talking point is of course the wacky double-decker hover bar unlike every other drop bar in existence where the stem attaches to a camping area in the middle of the tops of the bar the hover bar places the tops of the bar above a stem that connects to an additional bar that in turn connects to the apex of the hoods if that sounds confusing that’s because it is and we recommend you closely examine the freighters of the bike to actually understand what’s going on the bar was developed in a bid to improve front-end comfort and control without the added complication and weight of a suspension fork and by the accounts of a number of bike radar testers that have ridden the bike it does work to a point the Grails divisive aesthetics means that it’s unlikely to have mass-market appeal but we applaud Canyon for trying something totally new continuing with the odd-looking but oddly compelling theme we turn to Laos true grits this bike has been around since last year but it’s crazy carbon leaf spring Fork continues to turn heads today it’s not just unique looks that separate the true grit from the pack the bike is a real performer too with a suspended front end making for a uniquely nimble and confident ride over rough terrain who would have thought gravel riders could learn something from mountain bikers on that note here’s one that’ll really ruffle a collective feathers of the comments section whenever we report on a new gravel bike there’s an inevitable deluge of commenters keen to weigh in on the similarities between modern gravel bikes and XE mountain bikes of only a few years ago the thing is there’s truth to that statement with the introduction of more progressive geometry suspension and dropper posts onto production gravel bikes the boundaries between mountain and gravel bikes are becoming increasingly blurred there will of course always be a place for spelt go-fast gravel race bikes ie cyclocross bikes with fat tires but we digress as the terrain riders want to tackle on gravel bikes becomes increasingly adventurous gravel bikes could soon be incredibly close to mountain bikes just with drop bars so if you want to get ahead of the gravel curve it could be best to dig out that old XC bike put on some drop bars and call it a day.

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