Gravel Bike vs. Hybrid Bike

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You may not find a lot of adventure bikes around. This is why it cannot be easy choosing between a gravel bike and a hybrid bike. Many people would prefer the gravel bike over the hybrid because of its ability to switch between terrains. Still, we will look at these two bike’s capabilities, so you better understand the differences.

Gravel Bike vs. Hybrid bike

The difference between a gravel bike and a hybrid bike can be subtle. The Hybrid bike is a mix of a mountain bike and a road bike, has straight handlebars and is often used to commute. The gravel bike is more closer to a mountain bike, do not have a straight handlebar, are more expensive, and are designed for on-road and off-road riding coupled with comfort and stability.

Gravel Bike vs. Hybrid Bike 1

This article will give you an insight into the gravel and hybrid bike.

Which is Better, a Gravel Bike, or a Hybrid Bike?

They are both adventure bikes and can be used on all types of terrain. The hybrid bike is designed to have both road and mountain bike qualities and take on all kinds of terrain, while the gravel bike is built to have control in smooth and rough terrain. This does not mean one is better than the other. Bikes have their specific features and geometry, which make them better for any cycling experience.

Gravel bikes have great control over off-road than hybrid bikes that are built for paved roads.

What is a Gravel Bike?

Gravel bikes are designed as on-road and off-road bikes. They are adventure bikes that can go for long distances and provide the rider with great comfort. They have elements borrowed from road bikes and mountain bikes, which makes them suitable for all-round cycling.

Gravel bikes are typically lighter and versatile, built with features of other road bikes to create an all-encompassing option for users

Features of a aGravel Bike

1. Geometry

A gravel bike is a middle ground between mountain bikes and road bikes, making them viable for on-road and off-road cycling. The geometry of a gravel bike is targeted at providing comfort and endurance. Their wide tires help on long travels. The geometry of the gravel bike makes it possible to ride on any surface in the world.

2. Frame

The gravel bike frame comes in aluminum or titanium form and is strong; therefore, it becomes resilient to carry any extra load for a longer or even multi-day trip.

3. Tires

The tires are large and are up to 26 inches to improve stability, grip, and comfort. The tires are assisted with disc brakes, mostly hydraulic discs. The disc brake helps in all weather conditions to maintain stability.

What is a Hybrid Bike?

The word “hybrid” defines the hybrid bike. The hybrid bike is designed with characteristics of road bikes and mountain bikes. This design has a flat handlebar like the mountain bike, which helps in cornering and braking components, and wider tires like road bikes for comfortable riding. Being a mixture of road bikes and Mountain bikes, it can tackle various surfaces effectively. It can take on gravel roads and rough terrain. The bike is popular among commuters, novice cyclists, students, teenagers, etc.

Features of a Hybrid Bike

1. Gearing:

Hybrid gears are mostly derailleur gears; they have mechanisms that move the chain on the rear wheel. They are light and susceptible to damage; some manufacturers design the hybrid with fully enclosed gears to prevent the damage. The straight handlebars have controls on them, making it easier for the rider to reach; this ease of use makes the hybrid bike popular.

2. Frame:

Hybrid bikes are mostly made with aluminum frames to ensure low weight and strength.

3. Brakes:

Hybrids borrow brake types from mountain bikes; they use either V-brakes or disc brakes. Both provide good braking during the dry season, but the disc brakes perform better in wet conditions because the braking surface is not close to the road.

4. Tires:

Hybrid bikes have the same wheel size as road bikes are usually between 35mm–45mm. The tires are generally skinny or slimmer, and it makes it faster on paved roads.

Key Differences between a Gravel Bike and a Hybrid Bike

The differences between the two bikes are based on their riding capability and features. Though they are adventure bikes, they have limitations and are better than one another in different areas.

1. Geometry

Gravel bikes are built for comfort and endurance. The wheel, gearing, frame, and brake type provides comfort for the rider and gives it the ability to endure all terrains effectively. The Hybrid bike is designed for comfort and commuting; commuters in busy cities or towns often use this type of bike. This bike has better control on paved roads.

2. Control

Gravel bikes have drop handlebars, which is more comfortable for cyclists to control than flat handlebars. Most people prefer hybrid bikes because the controls are easy to reach due to flat handlebars. The gravel bike tires are designed to ensure stability and give the rider full control on all kinds of terrain. The hybrid bike only has skinny tires but can get you through traffic fast.

3. Speed

The handlebar positioning and terrain determine the speed. A gravel bike is moderately fast on all terrains because the drop bars put the rider in a bent position while riding and minimizes the effect of wind on the face.

Hybrid bike, on the other hand, has a flat handlebar that puts the rider in an upright position because it is ideal for towns or busy cities and keeps the rider aware of what is ahead, and this makes it the fastest on paved roads.

4. Gearing

The gravel bikes have a wider tire and wide-range gearing to conquer any typography. Bikes with a single chainring are 38 to 42 teeth combined with 11 – 42 cassette and cycles with two — 50/34 and 48/32 paired with 11-34 cassette.

The hybrid bikes have slimmer tires but wide-range gearing to ensure better commuting. They usually consist of 48/38 chainring paired with 28 teeth.

Similarities between Gravel Bikes and Hybrid Bikes

1. Both bikes are crossbreeds of road bikes and mountain bikes.

2. Both bikes opt for disc brakes

3. Both bikes are adventure bikes

Functions of a Gravel Bike

Riders of gravel bikes can use it for any riding, whether on mountains, rough terrains, or unsealed roads. This is why they are described as versatile. The wide-range gearing and wider tires make off-road trails, gravel, and fire roads manageable. The majority of comfort comes from the tires. The large tires have more air volume and can contain lower pressure to absorb vibrations and bumps.  They promote comfort and stability, which makes them ideal for adventures.

Functions of a Hybrid Bike

The hybrid bike is a bike for the everyday rider who wants a bike for commuting. The bike is ideal for riding on paved roads, especially within cities and towns. The bike has a carrying capacity for taking luggage while going on adventures or long-distance riding.

Gravel Bike Comparison Table

The following bikes are the top 5 gravel bike with their specific features:

Bike
Frame Material
Gears
Tire
Brake
Cannondale Topstone 105
Aluminum
2 x 11
700c x 37mm
Hydraulic disc
Giant Revolt Advanced 2
Carbon
2 x 11
700c x 38mm
Hydraulic disc
Salsa Journeyman Claris 650
Aluminum
2 x 8
650b x 2.1 inches
Mechanical disc
Trek Checkpoint SL 6
Carbon
2 x 11
700c x 40mm
Hydraulic disc
Canyon Grail AL 7.0
Aluminum
2 x 11
700c x 40mm
Hydraulic disc

Hybrid Bike Comparison Table

The following bikes are the top five hybrid bikes with their specific features:

Bike
Frame Material
Gears
Tire
Brake
Carrera Subway Hybrid Bike
Aluminum
48/38
700c x 48mm
Mechanical disc
Priority Bicycles Continuum Onyx
Aluminum
48/38
700c x 32mm
Hydraulic disc
Carrera Crossfire 2
Aluminum
48/38
700c x 40mm
Mechanical brakes
Specialized Sirrus
Aluminum
48/38
700c x 32mm
V-brake
Triban RC500 Flat bar disc
Aluminum
50/34
700c x 25mm
Promax Disc

Is a Gravel Bike faster than a Hybrid bike?

Gravel bikes are faster than hybrid bikes on rough terrain, they have the structure for tackling rugged surfaces, but they are moderately fast on paved road. The hybrid bikes are the fastest on paved roads, so it is mostly used for commuting.

Final Remarks

These bikes are adventure bikes and crossbreeds of road bikes and mountain bikes. This could mean they possess the same attribute, but they do not. They differ in purpose and build-up, the gravel bike gives the rider control on all kinds of terrains, but the hybrid bike is ideal on paved roads.

If you need a bike for adventure on different surfaces, you need a gravel bike, but if you need a bike for commuting, you need a hybrid bike. These bikes provide different cycling experiences when used on their specific terrain.

We hope you know about these adventure bikes.