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Gravel Bikes – A New Generation of Bikes

   Words by Beth Noy

   on 22/04/2016 10:00:04

The gravel bike market has in recent years taken the USA by storm. America does have many connecting roads that are dirt and gravel tracks which is where this style of bike has been born.

That by no means makes the gravel bike in the UK redundant. With our roads deteriorating at a rapid rate and the possibility of short cuts on your commute to work the gravel bike can come into its own!

With a more relaxed geometry to a normal road racing bike, the handling on a gravel bike is stepped up to a new level. Wider tyres and disc brakes means you can tackle any weather and road condition with confidence. All of these great features whilst still being super fast when the road is clear make it the ultimate all rounder!

Cannondale Slate Gravel Bike

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The Cannondale Slate Gravel bike was recently featured in RCUK’s top 100 and after seeing this bike at The Bike Place earlier this year it’s not hard to see why… A smart-formed 6069 aluminium alloy frame, 30mm travel fork in Cannondale’s signature Lefty design and 650b wheels. “650b wheels?!” we hear you say… yes! This gives the Slate even greater movability and with the addition of 42x tyres you can rip through any terrain no problem!

All of this is finished off with great specification packages including the Slate 105 at £2499.99, Slate Ultegra at £2799.99 and the top end Slate Force CX1 at £2999.99.

Specialized Diverge Gravel Bike

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The Specialized Diverge first arrived on the scene last year and it’s the perfect model that sits between the Roubaix and the Crux ranges.

The Diverge feels like a road bike on the roads but when heading off into the unknown it eats up the bumps thanks to the damping effect on the front fork. This gravel bike handles confidently and smoothly across any terrain.

With 7 models to choose from with a price range of £800 – £4500 you really can get a package to suit what you want.

Santa Cruz Stigmata Gravel Bike

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The Santa Cruz Stigmata is the ultimate all rounder that will take on the road, CX and gravel adventures. With three models available from the Stigmata Carbon C Rival at £2999 to the Carbon CC Red at £5499 there are some great packages depending on your budget and specification desires.

What’s the difference between Carbon CC and Carbon C frames?

Both are almost identical in design but the key difference is the grade of carbon used in their manufacturing process; CC models are made with a higher modulus carbon which achieves the required stiffness levels, but at a much lighter weight. The C models also offer this same level of stiffness but at the cost of an approx 250 grams.

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