Six ways to ride gravel

Red Kite Cycles’ pick of the best gravel machines

Are you gravel-curious? Wondering what gravel riding is all about? Well, here are six different bikes to get you going . . .

Gravel riding is a broad category but essentially, it is cycling on mixed and unpaved surfaces – that means back lanes, woodland tracks, canal paths, trails and more.

As a category it falls somewhere between mountain biking and road cycling. It will have fast flat sections, but interspersed with rougher surfaces and maybe some more technical riding at times. With the diversity of surfaces and places to ride gravel, you can choose from a variety of bike styles. Here’s our pick of six different – but equally great – ways to gravel happiness from Red Kite Cycles. 

Option #1 The classic aluminium Checkpoint from Trek 

This is right bang in the middle of what people think of when they consider gravel bikes. A premium lightweight but robust chassis, with the longer wheelbase that gravel bikes need, added to the slacker steering angles to keep you in control on rougher surfaces. Note that the bike has a 1x drive train (that means a broad range rear cassette with just one ring at the front). Simple and efficient gearing for reliability.

Option #2 The carbon upgrade: Trek Checkpoint

Upgrading to a carbon chassis makes the bike that bit lighter. But the magic of carbon fibre lies more in the shock absorption and damping it gives the rider.

Your carbon gravel bike will remove the sting of rough surfaces from backside and hands and improve grip and traction at the same time.

Option #3 The titanium Enigma Edge: high-performance gravel bike

This most modern interpretation of the titanium gravel all-rounder is just about the most impressive on the market. The quality of castings and design details is beyond where the rest of the market is in this class. Built beautifully, Enigma are the UK’s only significant scale titanium frame manufacturer. The bike is total class and will carry the biggest volume tyres.

Option #4 The Bullfinch V6: new steel platform ideally suited to all round road and tough gravel

This all-rounder is built here in the UK by the well-established Bullfinch. Gains its name from being the sixth model from the manufacturer. With tons of customisation options in build, wheel size and colours, the V6 offers you the chance to ride your very own unique UK gravel steed.

Option #5 The flat bar gravel hybrid: Trek FX4 Sport

The all round versatility of a hybrid gives you multi-surface ability for those that prefer a more upright position. The FX 4 comes out of the box with a 40mm gravel tyre and is ready for most of what a cyclist can ever encounter. It can double up as a city bike too, with great handling and more upright visibility in the traffic.

Option #6 The lightweight cross-country MTB: Trek Procaliber

If you want to ride gravel but need a bike for tough trails, consider the lightweight end of cross-country mountain bikes. The Procaliber comes in carbon and aluminium and will be biased towards the tougher end of your gravel adventures.

You can always tweak your tyre choice for something less gnarly, whilst being able to lock out the suspension on the smoother sections of your ride.

Choosing the right one for you

To see any of these great bikes in the flesh, visit the shop or book a consultation using the button below. One of our friendly team will talk you through all their features and let you try one out for size – you can also go out for short test ride. We have good availability of size and colour choices, plus affordable ways to purchase via finance or using a cycle to work scheme voucher.