Gravel bike frames are designed for off-road riding and adventure cycling and are similar to road bike frames in many ways but with a few key differences.
Gravel bike frames typically have a more relaxed geometry than road bike frames. They are designed to be more stable and comfortable on rough terrain, with a longer wheelbase, slacker head tube angle, and taller head tube. This results in a more upright riding position that is less aggressive than a road bike, which helps with stability and control on uneven surfaces.
Gravel bike frames also have larger tyre clearance than road bike frames. This allows wider tyres to provide better traction and control on rough terrain and more cushioning for a smoother ride. Gravel bike frames typically have enough clearance to fit at least 40mm wide tyres, and some can accommodate even larger tyres.
Frame Material: Gravel bike frames can be made from various materials, including aluminium, carbon fibre, and steel. However, many gravel bike frames are made from steel, which is known for its durability and comfort. Steel frames can absorb more shock and vibration than other materials, which can be beneficial on rough terrain.
Mounts and Braze-Ons: Gravel bike frames often have more mounts and braze-ons than road bike frames, which allows for more gear and accessory options. Gravel bikes may have mounts for racks, fenders, water bottles, and other useful accessories for longer rides and bikepacking trips.
Disc Brakes: Gravel bike frames usually have disc brakes instead of rim brakes. Disc brakes provide more stopping power and better control, which can be important when riding on rough terrain or wet conditions.