What Is The Ultimate All Rounder Bike? GMBN Vs GCN

What Is The Ultimate All Rounder Bike? GMBN Vs GCN

– Right, I think cross
country mountain bikes could be the ultimate off-road bikes. They’ll go up anything,
they’re super light, and you can pretty much ride
down everything as well. – Alright, I’m not gonna
disagree with that, Neil, but if you ask a roadie
what the ultimate do-it-all bike is, they’re probably
gonna say a gravel bike. Yes, that is really a thing. Roadies do need special
bikes for riding on gravel. They can do pretty much
what a road bike can, but they can then start straying into mountain bike territory. Treading on your toes, Donny. – Well, I think cross
country bikes are more fun, they’re versatile, they’ll win hands down. – Alright, well, I’m gonna stand up for the humble gravel bike then. I think we should probably
put this to the test. What a place to do it as
well, in the Dolomites in the Sudtirol Region
in the North of Italy. I think we can find out
which one is gonna be best. – This is gravel bike
versus cross country bike. (rock guitar music) – Before we get started then, what actually is a gravel bike? Let’s clear that up, shall we? At first glance, definitely looks quite a lot like a road bike,
and it does certainly share an awful lot of the same DNA. Drop handlebars are a must
on a gravel bike, I’d say, because otherwise you then end up having an XC mountain bike. Tyres, however, are normally
an awful lot thinner so generally between
35 mil and 40 mil wide, so that’s about 1.5 inches. The size of the wheels are
actually the same as a 29er, so also the same as a road bike, but you can get gravel bikes
that have 27.5-inch wheels and proper mountain bike tyres on. So that does start to blur the boundaries and a little bit more towards XC. Then, the position on here,
actually the bike itself, the top tube is an awful lot shorter than you’d find on an XC bike, then that’s because, when
you’re riding drop handlebars, you spend most of your time
holding onto the brackets here, so that’s an awful lot longer. The position that you end up in, then, is probably quite similar. Otherwise, the only other thing is that gravel bikes tend to be fully rigid. Not always, but generally. And actually when you ride
one, it feels an awful lot like mountain biking did back in 1991. (wheel whirring) Right, Neil, challenge number one. A flat, five kilometre gravel time trial. – What is that gonna prove? – The supremacy of the gravel bike. – And what is a times trial? – It’s like downhill but flat on gravel. (upbeat instrumental music) Okay, so riding fast on the flat on gravel might not be like fun fun, but being able to go quickly more easily, which you can do on a gravel
bike compared to an XC bike, means that you can also go
further more easily as well. And that is one of the big things about riding gravel is
that you can explore, you can get to new and different places, and you can do it all
without stressin’ yourself too much out on busy
roads or technical trails. (upbeat instrumental music) – This is not fun, and rubbish, in fact, ’cause Si has got me beat on this one. (upbeat instrumental music) ‘Kay, Si, you have me beat
on the 5K flat time trial. Right now, this test is about versatility, so we’re on the single track,
it’s rocky, it’s rooty, it’s what a mountain
bike was designed for. – Yeah. (upbeat electronic music) Hang on a minute, Neil. Hold up, wait, Neil, wait! (upbeat electronic music) – Hey, so that was a
lovely bit of single track, bit rocky, bit rooty. Obviously, I want a cross country bike, but I’ve still got pretty
wide tyres, suspension fork, loads of traction, loads of comfort. Also, I’ve got 720 mil wide
bars so loads of control. I wouldn’t fancy ridin’ that
on a road, sorry, gravel bike. How was that? – Well, it was good fun. I’m not gonna lie,
though, I would have loved to be riding my mountain bike down there. That is for sure, but,
although you’ve definitely proved that cross country mountain bikes are technically more capable, I think gravel bikes,
just slightly different. You could just do a bit more
adventuring on them, Neil. – Adventuring … – So with that in mind,
to prove the supremacy of the gravel bike over the XC bike, I challenge you to a 10
kilometre gravel climb. (wheel whirring)
(mellow electronic music) – Si, are you sure this
is gonna prove anything? – Not completely sure but
it’s gonna be good fun, mate. Everyone loves a 10K gravel climb. Come on, let’s go. Aw, crikey, whoa, easy,
mate, whoa whoa whoa! (upbeat electronic music) I was a little bit concerned
that that might happen. I know firsthand just how fast lightweight cross country hardtails
can, in fact, climb. The only difference really
between these two bikes is the position. Are you more comfortable
with wide handlebars, they’re a little bit more upright, or do you like to be a little bit narrower and a little bit lower? – Well, today my bike felt
good, super light still, obviously, tyres felt really fast rollin’, so, yeah, cross country
bike climbs really well. I think actually the
next challenge as well, tyres might come into play a bit more. This is the technical climb. (mellow electronic music) Right, here we go, I’ve
got big tyres, 30 psi. I’ve got suspension,
I’ve got really low gear, should I need it, while
tryin’ to get up this hill. – Alright, so I’ve got
slightly skinnier tyres with quite a lot of pressure
in so I don’t pinch flat. But I do have aerodynamic wheels on there, so I’m looking cool. – Alright, the person who gets
the furthest is the winner. – [Si] You probably wanna go a bit faster! – [Neil] No. Hare and the tortoise. – [Si] I could probably walk quicker! – [Neil] Grinding the gears. (mellow electronic music) This is what you call I’m
King of the Mountains. – [Si] Is he still goin’? – [Neil] Oh, not bad. (mellow electronic music) – [Si] (laughs) Well, hell. (laughs) Alright, fair enough, Neil. Alright, Neil, I won’t argue. You have successfully
proved that cross country bikes are technically more capable, but I would just say at this point, I see that that’s part of
the beauty of gravel bikes is that they don’t make things so easy, so you don’t need difficult trails. They make even the simplest and more basic trails interesting. – Sounds like quite a poor excuse to me. – Well, yeah, it’s the best I got, Neil, it’s the best I got. How many gears has your bike got? – [Si] I’ve got 11, but I
could have 22 if I wanted. – Well, I’ve got 22. How wide are your bars? – 440 millimetres – [Neil] 720. – Alright, how many hand positions have you got on your 720 millimetres? – One, I got one pair of hands. – I’ve got five, and one of them is that built-in bar end, beat that. – (laughs) How heavy is your frame? – It’s about 1200 grammes,
but it’s kind of relatively inexpensive aluminium.
– Mine’s 870 grammes. – Alright, how heavy if
your front fork, though? – Well, that’s 1800 grammes. – [Si] Mine’s 440 grammes. – How much travel has your front fork got? – Like, that much? – Dear, oh, dear. – We are going ’round in circles now. Do you know what we need? We need a decider, like
an ultimate challenge. Something like 113 kilometres of gravel, off road, like a mountain bike marathon race or something. – What, do you mean in the Dolomites? – In the Dolo–you know what? I’ve been sittin’ on this all lunch time. What about it, Neil,
the Dolomiti Superbike 113 kilometre mountain bike marathon race? – You’re on. – Let’s do it, right, if
you wanna see that video, then make sure you check it out. You can click just down there, in fact, and you get straight through to it. Who is gonna be the winner,
gravel or mountain bike? – Who knows, click on the
GMBN logo to subscribe and over here for more
information about the bike I ride at the Superbike Dolomiti. Thumbs up, I’ve got this bike. – Yeah, good luck, Neil,
you’re gonna need it.

Only registered users can comment.

  1. It's all down to what kind of riding you do really (duh!).

    If you have a lot of gravel paths and stuff in your area but still have to ride your bike to them first, or if you use your bike on paved roads as well as gravel or as a commuter, I think the gravel bike wins easily. It's much, much better for paved roads, cycle paths etc.

    But if you drive your car out to trails or just live right next to them and also like things to get a bit more rough than just the gravel paths, then it has to be the XC bike.

    The only real crossover is the gravel path itself, that's the only place I see them being remotely comparable.

    In all fairness I also think some of the differences would have been larger if pro riders have gone all out during the tests. I think there's a bigger difference on that long climb for example, that seemed a bit "planned for effect" tbh. 😛
    I can't imagine the XC keeping up that well if you put a pro rider going all out on the bikes. The position on the bike has to make a bigger difference than that, notice how "jerky" the XC riding is, how much drag/wind resistance that position has etc. It just looks way harder and way less efficient.
    It'd also have helped if the gravel bike had been one of the lighter ones, like the XC bike was. That's not a light gravel bike at all, I was quite surprised at the weight of it, it's not like there's really more frame than on the XC bike after all.

  2. Totally agree with Neil. XC bike far more capable than Gravel bike and a lot more fun to ride trails. It is pointless riding a gravel bike on technical trails to begin with.

  3. Well, let's just ask ourselves this question:

    – You have to go for a 50 miles bike ride and you don't know where to, what kind of weather will you get nor the kind of pavement , roads or paths you will have to take. What bike would you chose?

    Safe to say that the overwhelming majority would pick the XC because it's the only one that actually can be reliable in ALL conditions. Either it is on tarmac or downhill, you'll be able to manage with a XC.

    The same can't be applied to the gravel bike even though they are a good option for touring and commuting.

  4. im a mountain biker who has a road bike and i just ride it on mountain bike trails and its fine so i feel like gravel bikes arent really necessary unless you race CX

  5. Im waiting for my Orbea Terra 2019 to be delivered to USA. I hope I will get it in February. I have my BMC Teamelite 2016 and im delightful to ride it, but here in Los Angeles we don't have many technical tracks unfortunately. I really want to ride road, but when I sick and tired of the road, I want to go to the mountains; and cross bike will handle it without any doubts. Dont try to replace mountain bike with cross bike. Road will be road, mountains will be mountains. We are talking about can you mix it? Yes you can! You will loose a little bit from each side, but you can do it. Follow our channel and as soon as I get my Terra, ill make video review and I will tell you my experience. Thx guys! Do sport, not drugs! https://www.youtube.com/channel/UCtPQRhV089S4VWW7glOEZiw

  6. Gravel bikes are perfect for road /fire roads then back onto road, if you want a technical off road day then jump on a full suspension bike.

  7. I get it why it was made with these two bikes in particular, but I would've been more interested if it was a mountain bike vs a hybrid, perhaps a hybrid with bigger tyres.

  8. so surely the answer to the ultimate all rounder is to get the lightest XC MTB you can afford and put drop bars on it
    with a set of all round tires and lockout suspension it should be fast on the road and fully capable of all off road riding

  9. Is there a big difference between a "cross country" mountain bike and a normal mountain bike? Or is cross country just another word for hardtail? I'm kinda lost. Awesome video as always though!

  10. Making things harder isn't cooler, it is just harder! For versatility and fun no way does a gravel bike beat a good mountain bike.

  11. Whatever suits everyone. I want to get from point A to B so I have road, gravel, forest trails, choice is obvious.

  12. if the thing goes about ALL round bicycle why there was no tarmac challenge??? gravel/cx bike with ~38c tires or quality hybrid is ultimate all rounder nr1 🙂

  13. My cross bike is. With a 48t large chain ring, suspension fork and 28×1.5 semi slicks. And a short flat bar with inner mounted bar ends 🙂

  14. A gravel bike is a rigid cross-country bike with drop bars and narrow tires so in reality the best all-rounder is a cross-country bike

  15. Funny! Missed some of the road crossover to gravel, and the down-hilly parts… obviously not hard enough – nobody crashed!

  16. If they went on the road too, that would be another point. I suppose the easy gravel is already showing that generally aspect though.

  17. A bit of a friendly competition here, makes for a fun video. Truth be told – bikes are just amazing in general. Road bikes, gravel bikes, cyclocross, MTB of all calibers, commuters, BMX, trials you name it – I really do love them all. I don't ride them all, but I just love seeing people getting out there and having fun. Bicycles are liberating. Your bike will take you anywhere you want, give you hours of fun, and in the evening – take you home. Never ever in my life I had more good times with any sport than on a bike. It's just that feeling of not being bound by limitations of a motorized vehicle, but you can still get places. See the sky above your head. Wind in your face. Broken ribs…err, sorry that's from experience 🙂 Why am I rambling about this? No idea. I just love cycling. My XC bike has been my best friend for the past 6 years or so 🙂

  18. awesome video! keep up the good work guys. I'm really inspired to build/buy my first cross country bike in $300. can anyone help me out to choose right bike? I'm 178cm. Thanks

  19. Road bikes for the road. Mountain bikes for off road. Gravel bikes are just companies trying to get you to waste money

  20. I’ve been riding the SRAM Rival 1×11 groupo on a gravel Bike for a year almost daily. The shifting is truly great but the brakes are very poorly designed and do not provide reliable consistency under ideal conditions. And when the conditions degrade (rain, winter…) the braking power fades really bad. The brake levers reach adjustment screws needed an abnormal amount of adjustments over the last year. And last comment, the left non-combo lever (brake only) is almost always flapping around making the kind of noises you’d expect from a $50 Bike if you don’t cover it with your finger.
    So there you go, a honest long-term review. Some good (great shifting) and some bad (awful brakes) on the Rival 1×11 groupo.

  21. A lot of hype around these shows, but they are just marketing tools for different companies, while occasionally providing some useful information

  22. But cyclers are just mostly faster than moutain bikers in Easy trails but mtb is better because you can also do some tricks on it and have more fun which isn't present on a gravel bike or whats it called

  23. I saw a bike once, I don't remember what it was called, but it had road bike bars with knobbly tires and some very stiff front suspension I reckon road bars are really good if you have stiff or no suspension because your arms can absorb bumps better (for me at least)

  24. What abouth the Cross Trekking Bike (hybrid bike )? How is good bike the Cross Trekking (hybrid bike )? Test please.

  25. Very nice vid and the humor is fantastic 👍👍
    I have a Raleigh Willard 4 $1400 us dollars
    And a Santa Cruz tallboy 27.5” $2200 US dollars , not very expensive bikes but I love my bikes 🚴 both bikes brin joy to my life ❤️🙏

  26. Great video Brothers. Funny, stylish and very informative. You just helped me decide: I'm gonna join the XC community next week. 🙂 Thanks a lot Mates! Greetings from the tropical paradise of Scandinavia: Hungary.

  27. I am in the same size as Niel but I still don't understand how he ride this 29 mountain bike… I mean the 27.5 already looks big enough to me.

  28. Drop bars never really worked for me. The stated benefit is that they offer multiple hand positions but the only effective one is the lower hand position as that's the only one with ready access to the brake levers. And that position I've never found comfortable at all for long distances. Old roadie bikes compensated for that by having the brake lever extension just below the top, or cross bar but you never see those anymore.

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *