When it comes to commuting, you have many unique bikes to select from. You can use folding, hybrid, single-velocity, and cargo bikes if you require to carry a large amount of luggage. We are normally questioned, “Is a gravel bike great for commuting?”

Gravel bikes can manage a broad array of terrain, have gearing that enables for effortless up-and-down hills, and, with the suitable baggage, can have a lot of items.

For some riders (myself incorporated) they make the fantastic commuting bicycle, but they occur with negatives that mean they won’t be great for each individual commuter’s scenario.

I have been blessed more than enough to commute with a gravel bike for many many years. I employed a Lynskey GR270, a Specialized AWOL, and not long ago acquired a Yoeleo G21. I am a big admirer of gravel bikes and have a tendency not to continue to keep considerably else apart from a street bike.

In this article, we will be telling you every thing you need to know by telling you all about gravel bikes for commuting. We will be talking about:

© Robbie Ferri/BikeTips

What Is A Gravel Bike?

Gravel bikes appear identical to highway bikes at to start with glance, but have a number of adaptations that allow for them to tackle gentle off-street terrain.

The most crucial of these are wider tires, far more comfortable geometry, and (usually) disc brakes, whilst these are turning into ever more widespread on highway bikes much too. They usually involve mounting points for racks and fenders, which are significantly less widespread on road bikes.

They come in all distinct shapes and measurements, and some expense as minimal as $500, many others and other people as significantly as $10,000.

In the earlier 10 years, they have become progressively preferred. The purpose is not just for the reason that gravel biking has turn into so well-liked but mainly because they make an wonderful do-it-all bike. As an alternative of having three bikes to obtain and preserve, a gravel bicycle can do the task of a lot of. 

My gravel bike during a commute.
© Robbie Ferri/BikeTips

The Positive aspects Of A Gravel Bicycle For Commuting

The advantages of applying a gravel commuter bicycle are big, and for numerous yrs, I have caught by them. Here’s why I am this kind of a huge enthusiast. 

Ability

When it arrives to commuting, I in no way feel held again by my gravel bike. It’s light-weight, can have all the things I will need, has disc brakes for inadequate climate situations, and handles truly effectively when I need to have it to.

Versatility

Gravel bikes are pretty perfectly-suited for the two street and off-highway using, which is quite useful when commuting. Badly taken care of cycle paths, potholes, and sneaky trails that provide a shortcut are no dilemma when you’re on a gravel bike.

Comfort and ease

Then we have comfort and ease. Gravel bikes are great for consolation since they have wider tires that soak up bumps in highway surfaces, an upright riding posture, and with wider flared bars, you get a whole lot of regulate. They’re ideal for more time commutes, these as 30 to 40 minutes.

Durability

Gravel bikes, primarily metal gravel bikes, are incredibly resilient. They are excellent for carrying hefty loads and difficult enough to be locked up towards a metallic railing and still be alright when other bikes are locked up next to it or if it will get knocked. 

A great deal Far more Tailor-made To You

Lots of bikes marketed as “commuter bikes” are incredibly simple and occur in limited dimensions with quite basic parts. When gravel bikes occur in lots of additional styles and measurements with several part mixes, you get much far more choice in general. 

The Ability To Experience Much more For Leisure

As opposed to a common commuting bicycle, gravel bikes can be used for bikepacking, cycle touring, gravel biking, street biking, and even likely on the off on trails. A regular commuter bike is considerably harder to use in this way.

A white gravel bike on a muddy track.
© Robbie Ferri/BikeTips

The Negatives Of A Gravel Bike For Commuting

While gravel commuter bikes have some wonderful benefits, they also have cons. Here’s what I found in my experience.

Price tag

Commuting bikes tend to be affordable. Gravel bikes are typically much more pricey, and for just one with some first rate parts, you are looking at in between $1000 and $3000. You also have upkeep expenses, which are essential to issue in.

Safety

Gravel bikes are sought after by numerous, and whilst excellent for commuting in some strategies, they are not excellent if you approach on leaving it locked up in public. They could be a solid goal for burglars and not always the greatest in a city. 

Rolling Resistance

If you are commuting in a metropolis or town on a gravel bike and are not needed to off-road at any issue, then you will obtain the bigger tires to be really laggy. You could commute marginally more rapidly on a road bike at times. 

Not All Characteristics Are Expected

Gravel bikes are great for mixed-terrain riding, bikepacking, and journey cycling. On the other hand, if you commute 20 minutes just about every way and the terrain is flat and clean, a gravel bike could be overkill.

Most Have Fall Bars

If you are preparing on finding a gravel bike, you will probably have fall bars. These are not normally the very best for commuting, and extremely several gravel bikes arrive with flat bars. Drop bars do supply several positions and are good, but not normally for metropolis driving.

Not Fantastic For Trains

If you want to commute by bike and there is a quick practice trip associated, a gravel bike will be tricky as opposed to a commuting bike this sort of as a folding bicycle. They are not quick to retail store on transport or, for that matter, even at home.

Commuting on my white gravel bike.
© Robbie Ferri/BikeTips

My Personal Expertise Commuting With A Gravel Bicycle

I have been blessed more than enough to devote a ton of time doing a gravel bicycle commute, and it has been fantastic for my 30 miles of using on rolling hills each individual day. On my gravel bicycle commute, I had little lanes and some rough cycle paths, and when I got to do the job, the bike was stored in a staff space. 

This type of commuting was perfect for a gravel bike, and as an avid bicycle owner, I would use it at weekends and when I took a holiday break and went bikepacking. I even place bikepacking baggage on to have a transform of dresses all set to get to perform.

If I ended up to function in a metropolis with a short commute, a gravel bicycle would not have labored for me. It would have been dangerous to leave it locked up, the tires would have built it laggy, and it would have price tag a large amount of cash for not several miles. 

Is A Gravel Bicycle The Top Commuter?

A gravel bike can be the final commuter bicycle, but only in the appropriate circumstance. For me, who experienced a more time commute on blended terrain, it was great, and nothing at all could have completed the career as effectively. That is not usually the situation for every person.  

It’s important to recognize that for a regular commute in a town or city, you might obtain a single-pace or “proper” commuting bicycle, these types of as a folding bike. With this in head, in other methods, it is not a good commuter.

It will come down to the demands of the rider!