Gravel bikes are often marketed as all-terrain bikes that aid your adventures on the roughest grounds. Although the design of the Gravel bike is similar to a road bike, it functions as a mountain bike. And bike suspension is a common part of regular mountain bikes.
But do Gravel bikes have suspension? Some Gravel bikes have bike suspension of the front fork or rear, but most don’t feature bike suspension. It adds extra weight to the bike, affecting the performance on bumpy and rocky terrains. Also, suspensions are costly and difficult to maintain.
In this article, we will discuss the functions of bike suspension and why Gravel bikes don’t have it. Let’s dive right in.
What’s The Purpose of Bike Suspension?
It mainly serves two purposes. First, the suspension provides extra control over the bike on rough surfaces. Second, it offers more comfort by absorbing the shock.
While riding on a mountain, your bike will bounce up and down. So, it’s essential to maintain a strong grip over your bike to avoid chances of accidents. The suspension helps to minimize the effect and absorb the shock to give you better control on rough terrains.
Besides, if the wheel vibrates less, there will be less fatigue even on longer journeys, and you can enjoy a more comfortable ride. It also adds extra safety on those harsh terrains.
Why Gravel Bikes Don’t Have Bike Suspension?
Now, you might wonder why Gravel bikes lack bike suspension despite the advantages? There are not only one but a few reasons. Instead of using bike suspension, Gravel bikes increase comfort and control with their unique frame design and wider bike tires.
Here are the reasons why Gravel bikes don’t have suspension-
1. Added Weight
Since the Gravel bikes are designed to ride on roads, mountains, and races, it’s super lightweight and features simple gear. Bike suspension adds some extra weight that makes it difficult to climb high roads and hills.
Due to this added weight, the gear fails to pull the bike with sufficient power. This can be particularly troublesome when you’re participating in a race.
To compensate for the lack of suspension, Gravel bikes include drop bars and a longer frame with stable geometry. These components help the bike ride faster on uneven and hilly terrains.
2. Reduction in Acceleration
Bike suspension often creates a bobbing motion to absorb the shock on big bumps and rocks. This extra movement wastes a lot of energy, and you need to provide more power than regular to keep the bike moving forward. It results in slower wheel movement and a lack of acceleration.
3. Costly And Difficult to Maintain
Of course, this extra gear will cost you more than regular. Gravel bikes are popular for their simplicity and functionality. If you add an expensive part to it, you need to spend more and take proper care of it.
Rubber seals, regular oil changes, cleaning, etc., are some troublesome aspects of maintenance that come with an extra bike suspension. This means more money and time spent on an otherwise simple yet effective bike.
Now you know the answer to your question, do Gravel bikes have suspension or not? Most of them don’t have any suspension for obvious reasons. But there are a few models available out there that feature bike suspension.
While this equipment has a few advantages, we recommend not to add it on a Gravel bike. That’s because this bike has a comfortable design and wider tires that effectively fulfill the purpose of adding a bike suspension. Hence, no need to spend anything extra on that costly gimmick.