For so many people, getting on any type of bike needs to be as safe as possible for them to feel like they are getting the most out of it. That is why when purchasing a new bike, they want to make sure that there are some safety precautions put into place.
Is riding on a gravel bike safe? While some risks go with any type of bike riding, what people quickly realized is that there is not any additional risk when riding on a bike like this. In fact, investing in a bike that is more specifically designed for multiple uses can make a big difference in keeping people injury-free.
How is that possible? Here are a few leading reasons why gravel bikes are actually safer than most realize.
Less Time On The Road
A lot of road cyclists are getting pretty frustrated with the number of safety concerns they run into when they are on the road.
Cars and trucks indeed seem to be zipping by riders more than ever. Even with dedicated paths, they can still sometimes feel pretty dangerous overall.
Riding on gravel roads is much safer since there is usually zero motorized traffic on them whatsoever. They are also usually in much more remote locations, so people can avoid moving targets that might make their travels more complicated.
A lot of riders love the simplicity of having nothing but open trails to explore.
Of course, actually going on a road once in a while is not a problem at all with a gravel bike. People can hop onto a road and not give up too much speed overall.
That is just part of what makes the cycling process such an interesting one overall. It is just not a must that a rider has to stay on the road all the time.
New, Safer Technology Emerging
The gravel bike industry is still trying to learn some of the ways to make cycling as safe as possible. Riders want to go faster, have a smooth ride, and be safer in general without having to sacrifice anything they love.
With more competition joining the ranks, gravel bikes are becoming much more enjoyable and safer thanks to new technology.
Gravel-specific components are becoming more and more of the norm for major companies. Think about Shimano as one example, as they have a GRX groupset.
While this is mostly dedicated to people who are racing, GRX is becoming more and more of the norm so that people feel safer as well.
Tire Choices Make a Difference
Go on any gravel road, and a non-gravel bike is still going to do an adequate job of getting a person where they need to be. However, gravel-specific tires are going to be able to tackle just about any type of terrain that someone comes across.
Not only do they have a grippy build to them that makes them perfect for paved or unpaved roads, but there is outstanding puncture protection as well. Going tubeless is always recommended, and it makes a huge difference in tire longevity.
Tubeless tire options for gravel bikes are pretty much essential for some riders because they do not want to deal with a huge problem out in the middle of nowhere.
Tire choices are also available in various widths, allowing shoppers to get exactly what they need for the type of riding they gravitate towards.
Those almost exclusively off-road will undoubtedly go with thicker tires than those on roads the majority of the time.
Safe For Any Type Of Ride
It can be argued that a gravel bike is the most versatile bike on the market today. That means it is perfect for those who want to invest in one bike that is built to do just about everything.
There are still ways to log miles and miles of fast-paced action like on a road bike, sacrificing only a little bit of speed along the way. When going off-road, most people are not tackling huge mountains.
That means instead of a mountain bike, a person can go with something a bit easier to pick up speed with and knife through different situations.
Commuters are even gravitating towards using a gravel bike because they do not know what they are going to come across. There might be different terrains to get from point A to point B, so it can be a workhorse for just about any ride along the way.
Staying safe should always be a huge quality with any bike. Those who are casual riders and want something that fits into any group ride will be more than satisfied with what a gravel bike brings to the table.
Chances are, there might be others asking questions about the bike and possibly purchasing one as well.
Smooth Rides For a Healthier Body
No one likes to ride on extremely bumpy terrain and feel like their whole body is shaking around with move. It can be extremely frustrating for any rider, which is why the built-in protection with gravel bikes is perfect.
Whether it is the suspension, a carbon fork, the right tire set up, or all the above, a smoother ride will make for a safer, healthier body overall.
A big part of smoothing out the ride is making sure that a person has the right setup for them as far as their size is concerned.
More of the importance of sizing is talked about below, but gravel bikes are always going to help people feel more comfortable in general.
Gravel Bikes In All Sizes
Since gravel biking is still relatively new, there was a time just a few years ago where they were limited sizes available. That has changed with more and more brands coming on, as now anyone from kids to grown adults can get exactly what they need.
Instead of learning on a different type of bike, riders can actually grow up with a gravel bike and understand their versatility from the beginning. That keeps riders safer overall.
Like with any bike, finding the right fit is going to only help a person as far as safety is concerned. Being able to have control and stop on a dime when necessary will be a big step towards staying safe.
It also helps when younger riders are getting their first taste of riding on a gravel bike before they become adults. The more someone gets used to a specific type of riding, the better off they will be overall.
Gravel bikes are actually a solid option for younger riders to learn to feel confident. The first bike for a lot of kids should look a lot like a gravel bike since they will have a little bit of tire thickness to play around with to help with balance.
Helmet Safety Is In Style
One of the biggest differences that people see with a gravel bike compared to a hybrid or commuter bike is that a lot more people are willing to put a helmet on and wear it all the time.
It might not seem like the cool thing to do when just commuting, but a gravel bike adds a different level of exploration that a lot of people like to take advantage of. Since so many other people wear a helmet, it entices people to put one on as well.
No matter how safe the bike actually is, it is always important to have a helmet to offer protection. There are so many people who get in the habit of not wearing a helmet, and it can come back to haunt them in a big way.
The more people who wear a helmet religiously, the more people are staying safe and not feeling like there is any type of stigma to putting one on.
Is a Gravel Bike Actually Necessary to Ride on Gravel?
There are plenty of people who believe that a gravel bike is still nothing more than a marketing term for bike manufacturers trying to sell another bike to consumers.
While other bikes might work perfectly fine on gravel and similar terrain, this is going to be the best option by far. Not only will it keep people safer, but it will help with efficiency as well.
A road bike can withstand some basic off-road issues, but they are going to have a lot of problems when trying to go on any long rides overall.
Not only are the roads too rough, but the gravel is usually a bit too deep. That is not even factoring in the other chance of running into mud or other troublesome issues.
Mountain bikes are also a bit too clunky for people who are not riding anywhere too crazy. While a mountain bike might theoretically keep a rider a bit safer because they have thicker tires, they will not be satisfied with the overall performance.
Final Tips on Staying Safe With a Gravel Bike
Just like with any bike, people need to stay safe by doing the little things to keep them in a perfectly safe situation. That means not taking any huge risks that could put riders in vulnerable situations.
A lot of people who are just starting out know that they need to keep things under control, and the good thing about a gravel bike is it is just challenging enough that people will not feel like they can push the limits too much right away.
Once a person is comfortable picking up speed and going on challenging terrains, they can start to try different rides in general.
As time goes on, people get pretty comfortable in what they can and can’t do. Everyone is inevitably going to fall off the bike at least once, but a gravel bike does everything possible to keep riders as safe as they need to be to prevent any major injuries.