Whereas gravel bikes may seem to be a trend in Italy, in the USA they are the result of a practical need because almost all secondary roads and not tarmacked, and many cyclists use these roads to avoid increasing traffic. That’s why in the USA many people are rediscovering the pleasure of cycling on white roads, and sales of gravel bikes are rising at an exponential rate.
So what are gravel bikes? To put it simply, we can say that their origin is in racing bikes and cyclocross bikes, with a focus on cycle tourism. From the technical aspect, the design of the frame allows a more upright and less extreme position, and a more comfortable and stable ride. The wheels are fitted with larger and slightly rough-textured tyres, with disc brakes and superior overall sturdiness. Finally, it is a highly versatile bike, as it is used not only for cycling on dirt tracks but also on roads.
A gravel bike is still new but gaining a fair share of the market in Italy and this may suggest that it will not be just a passing trend. Although many people consider it a mere fashion, others see it as a real passion, a lifestyle. It is still too early to know whether gravel bikes will remain a temporary phenomenon or not: only time will provide us with some definite feedback.