The cyclo-cross vs gravel bike conundrum: understanding the differences

Trek Boone vs Trek Checkpoint
Trek Boone vs Trek Checkpoint (Image credit: Trek)

Riding drop-bar bikes in an off-road setting is nothing new but recently more cyclists are venturing off the beaten path to get away from traffic and explore new roads. Gravel riding as a concept has become hotter than a habanero and drop-bar bikes now possess enough space for fatter tyres.

According to the data from the Bicycle Product Suppliers Association Sell-in Report from 2018, the uptick in gravel cycling is more than just a casual observation. In fact, gravel bikes carried a large portion of the eight per cent growth in dollars spent on 'road bikes'.

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Based on the Gold Coast of Australia, Colin has written tech content for cycling publication for a decade. With hundreds of buyer's guides, reviews and how-tos published in Bike Radar, Cyclingnews, Bike Perfect and Cycling Weekly, as well as in numerous publications dedicated to his other passion, skiing. 

Colin was a key contributor to Cyclingnews between 2019 and 2021, during which time he helped build the site's tech coverage from the ground up. Nowadays he works full-time as the news and content editor of Flow MTB magazine.