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    Endurance Vs Gravel Bike

    Sophia Willmes
    Sophia Willmes
    Mar 4, 2024 4 min
    Endurance Vs Gravel Bike

    Which is your dream bike?

    Endurance samurai or gravel hero, what are the differences between the two notorious bike types and which one suits you best?

    1. What is an Endurance bike anyway? And what is a Gravel?

    An Endurance-bike is essentially a road bike, which is designed for longer rides due to its more relaxed geometry. A gravel-bike is also a drop-barbike, but allows riding on a variety of surfaces, with an emphasis on off-road terrain.

    2. Tire clearance.

    One of the most important and noticeable differences between the two bikes is tire clearance. Since an Endurance-bike is built for comfort on longer rides, you can use wider tires than on aero- and speed-oriented road bikes. Most enduro bikes have a tire clearance of 32/35 mm, but some bikes like the Trek Domane even 38 mm. That's already wide enough to fit gravel tires and handle light/well-maintained gravel.

    Gravel bikes have greater tire clearance. Most gravel bikes are able to accommodate 40-45mm wide tires in 700c and some, like the Canyon Grizl, even 50mm wide tires in 700c. Then there is usually the option to mount smaller 650B wheels and use slightly wider tires. With these wide tires you can handle extreme terrain and even comfortably cope on light mountain bike-terrain.

    3. Mounting options.

    Another difference between an enduro and a gravel bike are the mounting options. These can vary from brand to brand. However, a gravel bikes usually has more mounting options than an endurance bike. Most Endurance bikes have only the standard two bottle mounts, though some brands add versatility with top tube mounts and rack and fender mounts. A Gravel bike, on the other hand, usually has all of the previously mentioned mounts plus a third bottle mount on the down tube and fork mounts. This makes the gravel bike more suitable for the packing bikes and longer tours. However, there are also race- and speed-oriented gravel bikes like the Cervélo aspero that do not have fork, rack, and mudguard mounts.


    4. Geometry.

    Although the two types are quite similar in terms of geometry, there are a few differences that make for a different riding experience and can thus be an important decision criterion. All in all, both endurance and gravel bikes put you in a more upright position compared to pure aero road bikes. This provides more comfort on longer rides, but also more stability. However, the Gravel bike has a longer wheelbase, longer chainstays and a flatter head tube angle. This provides even more comfort, control and stability when riding over rough terrain and also minimizes toe overlap. The shorter wheelbase, shorter chainstays and narrower head tube angle of the Endurance bike, on the other hand, make for a more agile, aggressive and faster feel.

    5. Components.

    Gravel bikes usually have 1x Gravel specific groups like Shimano GRX with a low gear ratio similar to that of a mountain bike to easily tackle technical trails and climbs. So for example, a 42 chainring mixed with a wide range 11-42 cassette. Most prefer the 1x gears for their simplicity and ability to hold the chain better on rough terrain. However, there are also gravel bikes with 2x drivetrains and slightly higher gearing for more versatility.

    An Endurance, on the other hand, has a typical 2x drivetrain with a higher road gear ratio. So, for example, a mid-compact 52/36 chainring with a narrow 11-34 cassette. With this gear ratio, you'll reach higher top speeds than with the Gravelbike gear ratio and be able to tackle steep climbs, but you'll struggle in slow technical situations. Finally, the handlebar of the gravel bike is usually more flared. This increases stability, comfort and control when riding off-road. Endurance bikes have less pronounced handlebars to put you in a more aerodynamic position.

    6. So which bike is better for you?

    Well, the simple answer would be if you only ride on asphalt, then go with the Endurancebike and if you only ride off-road, then go with the Gravelbike. But it's best to do some soul-searching, think: what surface do you want to ride more on, what will you have to ride more on in your area, how much are you riding your bike at all? If you want to spend more time on pavement, occasionally ride light gravel, and have a more maneuverable/faster bike, you should get the Endurance. If you want a very versatile bike, you know you'll be spending a lot of time off-road, and you want to do longer bike rides or bikepacking then take the Gravel-bike.

    If you already have a better feeling about your bike-decision, or even want to make it now, then have a look at our website! If you have any questions we from buycycle or want to sell your bike we always there for you and wish you for now: Happy browsing, happy cycling!