Mix it up
For those who want a fun ride and to not be held back by road's surface, these bikes are for you. Cyclocross and gravel bikes are made for off the beaten track - a bike for explorers. Go forth and conquer!
The best thing about these bikes are their ability to do pretty much everything. They make good road bikes as they're sporty, light and share a similar geometry, indeed it's quite common for folk to use them as their 'winter bike.' Larger tyres allow for more grip and comfort in the colder months and obviously when the road runs out, you can carry on going with no fear!
These bikes come in aluminum (light and more affordable) and carbon (very light and comfy but pricier) or steel (comfy and resilient at all prices).
Cyclecross bikes describe the more traditional racing variant and they are characterised by closer ratio gearing - clustered around the middle range, with many brands now switching over to so-called 'one-by' systems. The common features of classic cyclocross bikes are: aluminium and carbon frames; 32-35mm tyres with an off-road tread; road bike drop bars and controls; non-compact frame design so the bike can be 'shouldered' during races.
Gravel bikes describe a newer variant, designed to be more versatile - generally with wider ratio gearing and luggage and mudguard mounts plus: framesets in all types of material - aluminium, carbon, titanium or steel; 32-42mm tyres with smooth or semi off-road tread; road or mountain bike drop bars and controls; compact and semi-compact frame designs for better crossbar standover clearance.