So is a Gravel Grinder a CX bike with larger tyres and geometry skewed more towards comfort/endurance? Or is there more to it?
In 2006 I bought a Specialized ‘TriCross’, which was what Spesh called a CX bike back then. But their marketing categorization of it was ‘Free Ride’, and the surrounding blurb was about riding anywhere, regardless of road surface. They’ve dropped that idea, and their CX range, called ‘Crux’, is included under ‘Road’. Loved the bike, very versatile. Never raced it, but commuted and toured. Had pannier mount lugs.
Nope thats about it, they are great and very versatile bikes. You can also take them bike packing if you like.
Gravel vs CX usually have different gearing standard, too. Frame-wise, I’m not sure how different they are, but it can’t be all that much, right?
Just put fatter tyres on your road bike.
Yeah, but how fat?
Most road frames, and standard brakes, top out about 28mm.
These kinds of bikes seem to come with 32mm tyres as standard and will go up to 35.
Or curved handlebars on your mountain ou hybrid bike.
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Bikes labeled as CX can have vary in geometry a great deal – some having excellent handling off road so it’s not very accurate to say that something that was labeled a CX or touring bike would be all that different than a “Gravel Grinder”. A 29er could be a gravel grinder. Any bike you can tolerate and handle on a dirt road is a “Gravel Grinder”.
I’ve fixed that last sentence for you:
“Any bike the sales team can plausibly label as a gravel grinder is a “Gravel Grinder”.”
I assume we can expect to see a few teams riding normal road racing bikes stickered up as their sponsors’ gravel bikes in Strade Bianche, Paris-Roubaix etc in 2016.