Gravel Bike Vs Cyclo-Cross Bike | What Really Is The Difference?

Gravel Bike Vs Cyclo-Cross Bike | What Really Is The Difference?

The cyclocross bike is the original off road, drop bar bike. A versatile bike that can ride on road, and off. Back in the day, they had knobbly 25mm wide tyres, powerful cantilever brakes, which were so ineffective that a cross race was about 40% running. As you can see, they have evolved.

In association with Canyon.

Subscribe to GCN Race Pass now, 100% Racing, By Fans, For Fans.

Subscribe to GCN:
Register your interest in the GCN Club:
GCN Sale – Up to 50% Off. Hurry to avoid disappointment!

They have wider tyres than road bikes, for more grip and more comfort, they are a little taller to give greater pedal clearance for when riding off road, they have slightly more stable handling so that you can keep control when sliding around in slippery or lose conditions.

But now, there’s a new off road bike in town. The gravel bike. Wider, grippier tyres than a road bike, geometry that makes it easier, safer and more fun to ride in lose conditions, more comfort, either from the frame, or the components on them…

Hang on a minute, wider tyres, more stable geometry, longer wheelbase, comfortable… That’s what mine’s got. You could be forgiven for wondering then, just what on earth the difference between a cross bike and a gravel bike really is.

Canyon have kindly lent us an example of each, their Inflite cross bike and their Grail gravel bike, so we can really get to grips with this issue, one that’s really important to a lot of you out there looking at their next bike purchase. It’s going to be tough Si, riding these two brand new bikes on the finest dirt that the Dolomites has to offer isn’t it? Well it might be for you, given that off road is pretty new territory for you right? Yes, I would describe myself as thoroughly green. It will be particularly interesting to get our two different perspectives on it. Mine, fresh, yours, more experienced.

If you enjoyed this video, make sure to give it a thumbs up and share it with your friends. 👍

If you’d like to contribute captions and video info in your language, here’s the link –

Watch more on GCN…
📹 Gravel Bikepacking in Iceland

Music: Wild in seattle – Victor Olson
Rolling in the retro jam 2 – Victor Olson
Animal – Suffer City
Calling it out – Sebastien Forslund
Funny views – Johan Hynynen

Photos: © Velo Collection (TDW) / Getty Images & © Bettiniphoto /

About GCN:

The Global Cycling Network puts you in the centre of the action: from the iconic climbs of Alpe D’Huez and Mont Ventoux to the cobbles of Flanders, everywhere there is road or pavé, world-class racing and pro riders, we will be there bringing you action, analysis and unparalleled access every week, every month, and every year. We show you how to be a better cyclist with our bike maintenance videos, tips for improving your cycling, cycling top tens, and not forgetting the weekly GCN Show. Join us on YouTube’s biggest and best cycling channel to get closer to the action and improve your riding!

Welcome to the Global Cycling Network | Inside cycling

Thanks to our sponsors:

Alta Badia: // Maratona Dles Dolomites:
Assos of Switzerland:
KASK helmets:
fi’zi:k shoes and saddles: and
Topeak tools:
Canyon bikes:
Orbea bikes:
Trek Bicycles:
Vision wheels:
Zipp wheels:
Wahoo Fitness:
Park Tool:
Continental tyres:

Suscribirse a GCN en Español:
The GCN Club –
YouTube Channel –
Facebook –
Instagram –
Google+ –
Twitter –
GMBN Tech –
GCN Tech –

Leave us a comment below!

Readers Comments (50)

  1. 34/34 ?

  2. Yes, Minister! April 2, 2021 @ 11:12 pm

    Let’s be honest Canyon make some seriously fugly bikes lol

  3. I don’t see any difference at all.

  4. "ok, should we ride the bikes then dad?" I’m dying😂😂

  5. There are literally thousands of these British GCN videos. In fact the volume is …wait for it… MASSIVE! Yet with the dodgy (that means crappy in English) weather in UK, might I venture to say that there are more hours spent watching biking videos, than actually riding bikes? Its ok, in America, we do the same thing with fishing.

  6. If only I could afford one!

  7. Tactical bushcraft April 2, 2021 @ 11:17 pm

    There is no any gravel bikes. Cyclocross bikes exist.

  8. A comment two years later. Cyclocross bike vs Gravel bike is like TT vs. Trathlon bike. Why not say it clearly then? UCI compliant vs. modern research driven. Result: Less comfortable vs. more comfortable, or physically more demanding vs physically more efficient or more traditional vs. simply better…

  9. XC bikes with shitty geometry and handlebars

  10. I’m still laughing at "What a stupid sport"😂😂😂

  11. My choice is an XC-bike. That just looks awkward…

  12. 8:04 "oh shi…" 🤣

  13. i am getting my mid range gravel bike in a few days from now. giving up my downhill bike. but i am keeping my road bike 😀

  14. Riccardo Piazza April 2, 2021 @ 11:28 pm

    This looks a lot like the Italian Dolomites and more precisely Cadore, am I right?

  15. Callsign Seawolf April 2, 2021 @ 11:28 pm

    Chain ring size difference is also a factor right?

  16. Ilenia Kallenia April 2, 2021 @ 11:29 pm

    Where was the mud? 🤣

  17. Why hasn’t G R A V E L C R O S S taken off yet?

  18. Summary:
    Gravel bike for most people
    CX bike for those looking to race at UCI events

  19. Elvis der Blasehase April 2, 2021 @ 11:34 pm

    90s crosscountry beats them all

  20. 4:24 did the singer just crack their voice?

  21. Let’s be honest they’re all going to be used mostly on the road – the cross bike with slicks vs the gravel bike with slicks on the road is what I want to see. I suspect the cx bike is way faster.

  22. This is bad compairing, you always started by the cyclocross bike. And endend by the gravel. The runner used to know the track better after 1 lap

  23. ricketyrawd dawg April 2, 2021 @ 11:42 pm

    Naw bruh I would had bust a lung half way through 🤪🤪🤪

  24. Global Cycling Network April 2, 2021 @ 11:43 pm

    Cross or gravel, what’s your choice?

  25. The best still

  26. Turturing myself by frequently checking the bikes i cant even afford 🤣

  27. Just found these guys, funny as hell, sounds like my friends

  28. Not a real sport.

  29. Great video. Guys, I want to have it still very racy on the road, coming from racy road bike, so less mountainbiky. Am I good off with a cayon inflite gf sl 6? Ist it faster in general on the road than gravel, for example the rondo ruut al 2? Hope someone can answer my questions. Xx

  30. Чужеземец April 2, 2021 @ 11:51 pm

    Спасибо!! 👏👏👏👍👍👍

  31. I have taken narrow tubular tires in many places, albeit decades ago when a silk carcass was not uncommon. Bike packing was something we did in Minnesota… because there were no Relais & Châteaux. Today? The clothes on my back and in my back pockets… debit card… and a bottle of fine wine each evening, with a view. No mosquitoes.

  32. Cross bikes out perform gravel on any road. Gravel out performs cross on trails, simply due to more stability from being shorter and from having wider tires. Let’s be honest, if you’re riding trails than consider a mtb instead.
    Unless you’re racing, it’s really just preference and what fits your style. For adventuring/bike packing, gravel has more comfort and low speed stability; whereas cross allows higher speeds and leaves more room for bags/gear. It all just depends on what you want to ride. Get yourself a bike, get comfortable with it, buy some gear, and go adventure! Don’t be afraid to drop your seat off-road and raise it on the blacktop. It’s more important to adapt to the conditions than it is to have the right bike

  33. i mean honestly, why not just buy a mountain bike with nice big shocks and serious comfort

  34. Also nails in tyres are banned in cyclocross and not in gravel

  35. Gravel lover….

  36. Or, buy a mountain bike

  37. What is this location?

  38. GRPPLINGBJJ327 April 2, 2021 @ 11:57 pm

    These people can’t be trusted And the answer is boring and boring!!!

  39. ‘Comfortable’ *laughs in mountain bike*

  40. This channel is pure marketing

  41. Leo_inter_Hyaenaem April 2, 2021 @ 11:58 pm

    The biggest difference is this: Cyclo-cross bikes are ugly; gravel bikes are much prettier (and some, i.e., the Salsa WarBird 2019 and newer – are absolutely gorgeous!).

  42. these differences are artifcially created by the uci 33m tire clearance. because on gravel and non pavements 2" > 40 > 33. a hardtail is the fastest of the three. they want to sell everyone more bikes. so they creating new categories.

  43. Is this GMBN or GCN? Lol😅

  44. Boots on the Ground UK April 3, 2021 @ 12:02 am

    What model was the green grail version?

  45. i spit my food when ollie calls cyclo-cross a stupid sport. hahaha

  46. A mountain bike?! With drop handles?! I want one!

  47. Can I turn my road bike to one of these bikes?

  48. In five years companies will install suspension forks and reinvent the mountain bike 😂

Leave a comment

Your email address will not be published.