Gravel bikes aren’t new. But with each passing year we see manufacturers redefine what constitutes the gravel class. When the category was first created you saw companies slapping wider tires and disc brakes on endurance road bikes and calling it a day. This worked. It gave riders looking for more versatility a bike that didn’t lose the performance characteristics they’d become accustomed to. Fast forward to today and the category has morphed into what many call drop bar mountain. Sporting far wider tires then ever before, geos that perform better on rugged off-road terrain and part specs that virtually mimic modern mountain bikes gravel bikes offer riders the ability to literally go wherever they want. So let’s take a look at some of our favorite bikes in the 2019 gravel category.
When the Norco Search was first released it had many of the traits found on first gen gravel bikes. Road gearing, more (but not significantly more) tire clearance and a road oriented geometry. Enter 2019 and the bikes have evolved to say the least. Now boasting a spec and geometry optimized for true, back country service the Search XR is ready for any adventure you want to throw its direction. We currently have the Search XR Alloy 105 and Apex in stock as well as the Search XR Steel Apex. These bikes tend to go fast so stop in and check them out before they head out into the wild.
New to the Cannondale family of goods is the Topstone - their certified, load capable gravel smasher. Using the same alloy construction found on their Synapse and incorporating a full carbon fork, Cannondale sought to create a gravel bike that was light and compliant without removing its utilitarian function - offering 3 bottle cage mounts, rack mounts and fender mounts. It’s pretty much a touring bike, mixed with an endurance road bike that prefers to ride in regions unknown. In short, its a must see for anyone looking to make a gravel bike their next purchase. We currently have the Topstone 105 and Sora models available.