As Informed by Gravelfanyuying
If you’ve been riding for a while, you may have noticed that the fast set looks a lot different now. The reason for this is that, in recent years, cycling haute couture has undergone a profound transition, whereby the skinny-tired Euro-informed aesthetic has drifted to the back of the fashion peloton and a distinctly American sensibility has taken its place at the front. The look is rooted in the need to optimize both bike and wardrobe for riding over tiny pebbles, and collectively, we refer to this attitude and lifestyle as gravel.
The bicycle industry made a huge breakthrough when it figured out how to market a bike that split the already tiny difference between a road bike and a cyclocross bike by creating the gravel bike—and it continues to slice and dice the category even further by incorporating features such as suspension, dropper posts, and even adjustable dropouts that let you change the geometry, depending on which wheelset you’re using.
So do you need any of that? Well, don’t worry too much about the details. By far the most important consideration when setting up a gravel-compatible bike is this: it must have plump tanwall tires.