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Riding on the road can be great fun but a lot of us are missing out on everything that our fine countryside has to offer. Dirt tracks, bridleways, unpaved roads are just some of the areas that you can explore with a gravel bike.

Component changes from a normal road bike, like larger tyres, wider handlebars and the addition of disc brakes all feature in making an off-road machine tick.

So why go gravel biking? Road riding is a great way to train but we can all fall into a rut of plying the same old roads making gravel biking a great way to spice things up. Taking the beaten path instead of the tarmac road can force your body to adapt to a new riding style.

Similar to cyclocross bikes, gravel bikes are built to endure the tough stuff and their component choices reflect that.

However, while cyclocross bikes are built for racing, gravel bikes are very much built for a fast but leisurely ride.

Gravel riding is an ever growing facet of our sport, mostly thanks to the versatility that gravel bikes offer making them not only great for off-road riding but just as capable on the road.

The mid-compact chainsets and ability to use slick tyres mean that you won’t be bogged down while chasing your mates on their finickity road bikes.

Their robust nature and solid stopping power also makes them great for things like bikepacking, prolonged tours or commuting where carrying heavy kit becomes paramount.