Gravel bikes technology is constantly evolving and includes features like suspension forks and aero technology appearing on different ends of the spectrum.
Here we look at the current state of the gravel tech market and look at the top five trends in gravel for 2022.
The debut of RockShox’ Rudy gravel suspension fork is an essential debut by a famous brand to the realm of suspension made of gravel.
Andy Lloyd / Immediate MediaWe’ll begin our discussion with two simple phrases that, on their own, appear simple. However, when combined and placed in the people who ride, it can cause a storm of debate and controversy on the internet… the suspension made of gravel! if you want to buy Best Gravel Bikes Under $1500 review here
Yes, more and more gravel bikes are now coming with proper suspension, which in many people’s not-totally-unjustified view turns them into mountain bikes.
While the matter is a bit more subtle and nuanced, that seems to argue… however; we’ll leave it at that.
Although it looks elegant on paper, the Pinarello K8 S suspension hasn’t been able to transition from road bikes to gravel bicycles… at least not yet.
Ben Delaney / Immediate media in the past few years, there has been a constant flow of products to make it more comfortable for drop-bar bicycles on rough roads. Certain have remained in use for a while – for instance, the Cannondale Lefty Oliver fork and the Specialized Future Shock are two prime examples that have been around for a time; however, others haven’t.
2022 will be the year that gravel suspension will increase 2022 with RockShox officially joining the scene through the Rudy fork and Reverb gravel dropper posts along with SRAM’s XPLR component.
These aren’t small mountain bike parts that have been repurposed for the gravel market. They have been specifically designed to be used on gravel bicycles, which result in more practical and unique features than you could imagine.
Do you have a thought? Do suspensions make a gravel bike a mountain bike? Let us know your thoughts via the comment section.
Aero gravel race bikes
The Aspero is just one of the increasing number of gravel bikes that are aero-influenced. Race bikes.
Russell Burton / Immediate MediaThe term “gravel” can mean various things to a variety of people. In our last paragraph, people may find the gravel bike adept on trails, while some prefer to strap bags full of gear and travel a lot.
Some prefer riding them at high speed together with other riders in a sport we think is known as… the sport of gravel?
While it’s fun to be funny, as gravel has become more sought-after, as is its racing scene, with races like Unbound that attract pros from all over the world along with a multitude of amateurs who are looking for the ultimate test.
Bikes such as the recently announced Cervelo Aspero can be precisely the type of machine you’d see winning Unbound.
With PS8,000 for the most affordable option and no luggage mounts, they are geared towards the most committed gravel riders.
Tyre clearances keep getting wider.
Modern gravel bikes come with lots of clearance for tyres.
FairlightAlthough our next trend applies to gravel bikes, it may also apply to the entire field of cycling as tyre clearances continue to increase.
We’ve been banging on this drum for a very long and long time, but we hope that at this point, most people have realized the benefits of having a wider rubber.
They may provide additional comfort, decrease the risk of punctures, and in some instances, roll faster than smaller tyres.
Gravel isn’t an exception to this pattern, and clearances for tyres in some bikes being comparable to the mountain bike clearances that were popular a few years earlier.
While most racers settle on the 40mm threshold for their races, It’s good to know that gravel bikes have the flexibility that lets them take on more challenging terrain.
Are you searching for the top gravel tyres available? Would you please take a look at our review of the most effective gravel tyres available?
Clothing that is designed explicitly for gravel
Yes, gravel-specific footwear is an option.
Jack Luke / Immediate MediaYou can feel your eyes moving a complete 360 around in your head. Gravel clothes? What is this intended for? And how do they differ from road clothing?
Although clothing made for gravel can seem like it was created for the sole purpose of being something fresh to discuss, some trends are emerging in this segment in the marketplace that we’re not even a bit excited about.
More casual than the typical road bike kit and lighter and more comfortable than most mountain bike apparel, This gravel kit is made to look great on everyday rides.
Immediate MediaGravel equipment from Morvelo Overland Rapha and Pedaled emphasize comfort, functionality and casual cuts above all-out efficiency.
Even gravel-specific shoes such as the Shimano RX8 and the Rapha Explore offer little performance compared to their mountain or road bicycle counterparts while increasing walkability.
The kit is more sluggish than the go-fast kit, which is beneficial when you don’t want to be a visible cyclist while off the bike.
While there’s nothing wrong with whirling around with a million power watts in a trance but it’s nice to see companies acknowledge that not everyone wants this from cycling.
Naturally, there’s nothing wrong with wearing your everyday clothes, and some of them appear to be a bit similar to gravel kits. Therefore, before giving your credit card a smile, think about whether the clothes you’ve got is suitable. It might be the start of an entirely new trend for the fashionable gravel ladies!
Gravel receives a shot of electricity.
Electronic integration is on the way to the gravel bikes, and there’s no way to stop it.
Andy Lloyd / Immediate MediaElectronic gravel set-ups for groupings of various sizes have been in use for quite some time. Still, it was only Shimano having released a Di2 variant of GRX at the time of its launch in the past few years.
SRAM’s XPLR groupset, which is brand new, is available only in an electronic configuration using eTap.
Electronic integration is evolving beyond drivetrains only.
SRAM is the top choice with its Reverb AXSXPLR dropper posts and Qarq TyreWiz pressure sensors that work with its drivetrains to form a complete electronic ecosystem. Then add the possibility of integration with electric bikes, and you’ve got all the ingredients of an all-shredder Tron bike.
GRX Di2 has been in use since the first groupset was launched. Are we likely to see Shimano complement it by introducing an electronic dropper? It will be interesting to see.
George Scott / Immediate media in the meantime, there’s been a rumour circulating that Shimano is developing an electronic dropper and has a few patents on the system floating around the internet.
It’s like, like with road bikes, the electronic technology on gravel bikes will be around for a while, and we’re sure to witness even more in the future.
The question of whether or not this is beneficial for cyclists is up to you. Still, as long as accessible and maintained options remain, We’ll never tire of seeing companies push the boundaries of the latest cycling technology.