Gravel riding or adventure riding is a fast growing form of cycling that consists of distance riding on rural municipal gravel roads, jeep track, forest roads, private farm roads and the occasional tar road. The gravel surface should be non-technical and easily navigable on a gravel bicycle.
The Western Cape has an incredible network of hard-pack gravel roads connecting farmsteads and small out of the way towns with a rich cultural heritage. The gravel network also connects through numerous World Heritage sites, reserves and breathtaking landscapes. It is a really safe way to cycle as the gravel roads are off the beaten track and this affords group banter and good times.
The biggest difference between a road bike, a cyclo-cross bike and gravel bike is the frame and fork clearance for wider tyres, sometimes up to 55mm. Most road bikes max out at 28mm tyre clearance. The wider tyres can handle most surfaces you throw at it. The frame also has a more relaxed head angle, taller head-tubes for a more upright and comfortable position on the bike. The gravel bike has a longer wheelbase and a lower bottom bracket for better stability and cornering. The beauty of the gravel bike is their efficiency over distance on gravel roads as well as doubling up as a road bike. Two bikes in one!
The short answer is no. There is no reason to exclude other bike types from the off-road adventure. Lightweight mountain bikes are capable to cover the distance for the moderately fit. For those not so fit or just beginning with back-country adventures, the E-bike is fast becoming the bike of choice. Vivid do provide Gravel and E-bikes for rental on the tours. If you come from road cycling, then we suggest putting a smile on your dial and rent a gravel bike.