Vigilante observation...gravel bikes are freaking everywhere these days! With good reason too—if you wanna cover a huge amount of ground on dirt that isn’t technical singletrack, a drop bar gravel grinder is a terrific option. Which leads them to being used often on bikepacking missions. But are they well utilized in that role?
Gravel bikes definitely lend themselves to long days in the saddle at speed, and have an advantage there over flat bar mountain bikes, especially with the multitude of hand positions drop bars allow. But mountain bikes are often a better choice if the terrain gets tricky, or if you aren’t entirely sure what to expect.
Okay, so maybe that all lends itself to some confusion. Perhaps you have both kinds of bikes in your stable and aren’t sure which is the one to load up with gear and head for the nearest hills. Or maybe you’re looking to buy a bikepacking rig and aren’t sure if a gravel bike makes sense.
This video, from our buddies at Bikepacking.com, can help with that calculus. Although, at the end of the day, the answer is: go bikepacking.