Cyclocross vs Gravel Bike: Comparison

Updated on March 15, 2023

Cyclocross vs Gravel Bike: Comparison

Gravel bikes are essentially beefed-up cyclocross bikes. They typically have wider tire clearance (up to 42mm), and disc brakes. This allows for a much bigger range of tires to be used, which is ideal for gravel roads.

Gravel bikes also tend to have a longer wheelbase and lower bottom bracket, which makes them more stable on rough terrain. They are also slightly heavier than cyclocross bikes, but this extra weight isn’t really an issue since gravel riding is generally slower anyway.

Overall, gravel bikes are the perfect bike for anyone who wants to do some light road riding, but also wants the option to take on some light off-road trails as well. Cyclocross bikes are great for racing, but they’re not as versatile as gravel bikes.

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If you’re looking for a bike that can do it all, a gravel bike is a way to go.

Which is better cyclocross or gravel bike?

Both cyclocross and gravel bikes have their benefits, but ultimately it depends on what you’re looking for in a bike. Cyclocross bikes are designed for racing and have a more aggressive geometry, making them faster and more nimble. Gravel bikes are designed for exploration and longer rides, and have a more relaxed geometry that allows for greater comfort over long distances. So it really depends on what you’ll be using your bike for most often. If you’re mostly interested in racing, then a cyclocross bike is probably the better choice. But if you’re looking for a bike that can do it all, then a gravel bike is the way to go.

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Can I use a cyclocross bike as a gravel bike?

It depends on the specific cyclocross bike and the specific gravel roads you plan to ride on.

Generally speaking, a cyclocross bike will be more versatile than a gravel bike for riding both on and off-road. Cyclocross bikes are designed to be fast and efficient on paved surfaces, but they also have enough clearance to handle some light off-road terrain. Gravel bikes, on the other hand, are specifically designed for off-road riding. They typically have a wider tire clearance and a more relaxed geometry that makes them better suited for navigating rough terrain.

If you’re only going to be riding on gravel roads, then it might make more sense to invest in a gravel bike. But if you want a bike that can do it all, a cyclocross bike is the better choice.

How much does a cyclocross bike cost?

Cyclocross bikes typically start around $1,000 and can go up to $10,000 or more for high-end racing models.

How much does a gravel bike cost?

Gravel bikes typically start around $1,500 and can go up to $10,000 or more for high-end models.

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Pros and Cons: Cyclocross


-It’s a great workout.

-It’s relatively affordable.

-There are races all over the country, so it’s easy to find one near you.


-The weather can be unpredictable and it can be difficult to race in extreme conditions.

-The races are often quite short (30 minutes to an hour), so they can be over quickly.

-It can be difficult to learn the course if you’re not familiar with it.

Pros and Cons: Gravel Bike


-You can go anywhere. A gravel bike can handle any terrain–from smooth pavement to loose gravel, to dirt trails and beyond.

-They’re comfortable. Gravel bikes have a bit more relaxed geometry than traditional road bikes, which makes them more comfortable to ride on long rides.

-They’re versatile. A gravel bike can be used for commuting, weekend rides, centuries (100-mile rides), and even racing.


-They can be expensive. Gravel bikes range in price from around $500 to $10,000 or more. But there are plenty of good options in the $1,000 to $2,000 range.

-They’re not as fast as road bikes. Gravel bikes are designed for comfort and stability, so they’re not as quick as traditional road bikes. But that’s not

-They’re relatively new, so there’s not as much selection as there is for other bike types. But this is changing quickly as more and more brands are entering the gravel market.

Can You Race Cyclocross On A Gravel Bike?

It depends on how you define “race.” If you’re talking about a sanctioned cyclocross race, then the answer is no, you can’t race cyclocross on a gravel bike. However, if you’re talking about an informal race or just riding with friends, then sure, a gravel bike can be used for cyclocross.

The defining feature of a gravel bike is that it has wider tires than a traditional road bike (700x35mm or more), which gives it more traction and allows it to handle rougher terrain better. So if your course includes lots of gravel roads or trails, then a gravel bike would be the better choice. But if your course has more pavement than anything else, then a road bike would be a better choice.

In the end, it comes down to personal preference. If you’re more comfortable riding a gravel bike on all surfaces, then go for it. But if you want a bike that’s specifically designed for cyclocross racing, then you’ll need to get a cyclocross bike.

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