Gravel/adventure bike or MTB?

Trips, adventures, bikes, equipment, etc.
bisikletci
Posts: 24
Joined: 30 Sep 2014, 4:28pm

Gravel/adventure bike or MTB?

Postby bisikletci » 8 Jun 2016, 11:33pm

I currently do three kinds of cycling - getting around town (mostly pretty short trips), bombing about some paths in a forest near my house, and the occasional day trip (mostly along tow paths, bridle paths and so on).

Currently I use just one bike for all three, a hybrid designed for commuting. However it's really not up to the forest paths at all, and it's also not that comfortable a ride for long trips, so I'm looking to expand my stable.

Ideally I'd buy an MTB for the forest (though I'm not sure if I really need even front suspension - I'm not dealing with an technical paths or much in the way of roots etc, just a lot of rough surfaces and sometimes pretty muddy paths) and a tourer or something along those lines for the long day trips; however budget and space considerations dictate that I can only get one more bike, for the time being at least.

I was therefore thinking of getting a gravel/adventure bike with some fairly wide tires and using it for both the day trips and the forest, probably the Mango Point AR: https://www.mangobikes.com/bikes/point-ar/. Does anyone have any thoughts on how well such a bike will cope with forest paths of very varying quality, and how comfortable it would be on them? The forest is also quite hilly, so gearing is another potential concern.

Or does anyone want to try to persuade me that I should buy an XC MTB instead and use it for the day trips as well (they are after all mostly off-road, though the surfaces tend to mostly be pretty decent)? If I went down that route I like the look of the Btwin Rockrider 580: http://www.btwin.com/en/mountain-bikes/ ... range.html.

Or any other suggestions of something that could be the best of both worlds/another way I could best combine two bikes (one of which being my existing hybrid) for three fairly different types of riding?

bisikletci
Posts: 24
Joined: 30 Sep 2014, 4:28pm

Re: Gravel/adventure bike or MTB?

Postby bisikletci » 8 Jun 2016, 11:37pm

Or another option - should I just admit that I'm being sucked in by marketing hype into wanting a fancier new bike, stick a better saddle, some bar ends and some slightly fatter tires on my hybrid (won't take much fatter as it has mudguards on it) to make it comfier, and carry on using it for all three purposes until it eventually falls apart? :D

Trail Beater

Re: Gravel/adventure bike or MTB?

Postby Trail Beater » 9 Jun 2016, 7:54am

It would be MTB all the way for me.
I have never ridden one,but my jury is still out on Gravel/Adventure bikes.Im not seeing the usefulness of a skinny tyre with limited grip at best.
This is only my own opinion of course.
And I would not buy a B-Twin either.
People will wax lyrical about them,but really I see them as the kind of bike people buy because they saw it in a retail park.In other words,the first they see.
Another Halfords I suppose.Dont get me started on their brands :P
If you feel you need a bigger wheeled bike,then I would suggest a Specialized Rockhopper ,or a Cannondale Trail model.Going on the price of the B-Twin of course of £600.
Both have a great pedigree ,and are good frames.
You can also lock out the suspension if you wish,but it is there if you need it.

bisikletci
Posts: 24
Joined: 30 Sep 2014, 4:28pm

Re: Gravel/adventure bike or MTB?

Postby bisikletci » 9 Jun 2016, 11:47am

Thanks for the response.

"I have never ridden one,but my jury is still out on Gravel/Adventure bikes.Im not seeing the usefulness of a skinny tyre with limited grip at best."

The AR takes tires up to 45mm (equivalent to 1.75 inches I think). That's on the skinny end of MTB tires but it's still in the MTB universe, no? Still too skinny for proper forest trail enjoyment d'you think?

Thanks for the MTB recommendations, will have a look.

Trail Beater

Re: Gravel/adventure bike or MTB?

Postby Trail Beater » 9 Jun 2016, 12:16pm

Again,in my opinion,1.75 is way skinny in this day and age,on a bike in forest trails.In a straight line ?
They will skip through muddy conditions fine,but once you hit a muddy corner they would struggle.

Labrat
Posts: 183
Joined: 3 Mar 2014, 11:58am

Re: Gravel/adventure bike or MTB?

Postby Labrat » 9 Jun 2016, 2:21pm

MTB all the way for me too

A couple of ideas might be to stay away from the recent trend for single ring setups and stay with double or triple chainset and front mech, which would retain the versatility (back to the velo tout terrain concept rather than a trail centre enduro gnar sled) and maybe consider a couple of sets of disc wheels - 29'ers with some fairly narrow tyres for 'hybrid' riding and 650's with a big tyre, even 650 plus, for proper MTB - as an example, pivots new switchblade is designed around this concept, though some of us were doing it with 700c road wheels (eg. Mavic speedcity) running 28mm and 26"x2.35" years ago

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 3263
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: Gravel/adventure bike or MTB?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 9 Jun 2016, 4:44pm

The way I see it, gravel/adventure bike = road bike which is decent off road, mtb = off-road bike which can be decent on road.

Like Labrat I would head for "ATB" rather than "MTB" but how many shop staff will understand the difference I don't know. But then I'd say gravel bikes should be really called mud bikes for typical UK conditions! (which I guess is one reason the adventure label has taken off).

Bmblbzzz
Posts: 3263
Joined: 18 May 2012, 7:56pm
Location: From here to there.

Re: Gravel/adventure bike or MTB?

Postby Bmblbzzz » 9 Jun 2016, 4:47pm

Oh, to actually answer your question -- at least sort of -- I'd say sell the hybrid, buy a MTB for town and trail, because MTBs are great around town too (the not too extreme versions anyway) and a gravel/adventure bike for the longer trips. I don't know whether that could be made to come in under your budget, but selling the hybrid would keep it within space limitations as well as funding the new purchases a little. Buying secondhand would bring cost down a lot, obviously.

grahamf01
Posts: 9
Joined: 28 Aug 2015, 5:30pm

Re: Gravel/adventure bike or MTB?

Postby grahamf01 » 9 Jun 2016, 9:54pm

I went to Evans who where doing a good deal on their Pinnacle Arkose adventure bike last Decenber. I've used it as a winter bike, and for off road 'adventures' on forest track and rough moorland, I've found it great both on and off road. The tyres it came with grip grass and loose surfaces really well. For the winter on the road I fitted a set of touring tyres. I was unsure about buying it but really glad I did now, it comes in various specs to fit different budgets and I'm sure there are other brands that are similar, but it's maybe worth a look and much lighter than an MTB.

I'm a trendy consumer. Just look at my XT1068 using hovercraft full of eels.

Bonefishblues
Posts: 8002
Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:45pm
Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: Gravel/adventure bike or MTB?

Postby Bonefishblues » 9 Jun 2016, 10:14pm

I am much taken with this prototype. Sounds like the sort of thing you might be interested in.

http://www.oxfordbikeworks.co.uk/new-page/

Labrat
Posts: 183
Joined: 3 Mar 2014, 11:58am

Re: Gravel/adventure bike or MTB?

Postby Labrat » 9 Jun 2016, 10:24pm

Bonefishblues wrote:I am much taken with this prototype. Sounds like the sort of thing you might be interested in.

http://www.oxfordbikeworks.co.uk/new-page/



ooh, nice - very reminiscent of the original Overburys Pioneer

Bonefishblues
Posts: 8002
Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:45pm
Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: Gravel/adventure bike or MTB?

Postby Bonefishblues » 9 Jun 2016, 10:25pm

Yes indeed, now you mention it.

Labrat
Posts: 183
Joined: 3 Mar 2014, 11:58am

Re: Gravel/adventure bike or MTB?

Postby Labrat » 9 Jun 2016, 10:26pm

Though I think that Disc brakes would be far more sensible, as they really do offer an advantage for offroad.
Last edited by Labrat on 9 Jun 2016, 10:32pm, edited 1 time in total.

Bonefishblues
Posts: 8002
Joined: 7 Jul 2014, 9:45pm
Location: Near Bicester Oxon

Re: Gravel/adventure bike or MTB?

Postby Bonefishblues » 9 Jun 2016, 10:30pm

None of his bikes have them nor is there any mention of them anywhere I note.

Labrat
Posts: 183
Joined: 3 Mar 2014, 11:58am

Re: Gravel/adventure bike or MTB?

Postby Labrat » 9 Jun 2016, 10:34pm