What is the Difference Between a Cyclocross Bike and a Gravel Bike?

Cycling is a fun activity for everyone. But, for doing this fun activity, you will need a bike, right?

Now, your concern is the right bike, considering the cost, flexibility, and comfort. There are two popular types of bikes: Cyclocross and Gravel Bike.

In this article, we will primarily focus on the differences between these two types of bikes.

Consequently, you can conveniently choose between those types. If you are further interested in Gravel bikes, you can look into the best gravel bikes under 1000.

What is the Difference Between a Cyclocross Bike and a Gravel Bike?

Some sources will portray Gravel bikes as the best. On the other hand, some will say, Cyclocross bikes are the best.

Which one should you believe? Well, if you have enough knowledge on comparing those bikes, you can make decisions quickly.

For doing so, let’s dive deeper into what is the difference between a cyclocross bike and a gravel bike.


The comfort and the feel of riding depending on the geometry of the bikes. That’s why it is crucial to understand the geometrical differences first.

Are you anxious that you may not understand the description because you didn’t take your geometry class properly? Don’t worry. We will explain everything patiently here.

To understand the geometry facts of the bikes, you must think about their design purpose. For example, the cyclocross bikes work well in muddy fields.

Those fields can’t deteriorate its speed because it has unique features of forty-five minutes to one hour fighting against muddy fields.

This bike also has some lightweight features which may excite you. However, since it possesses specific handling and perfect power transfer, people tend to use them primarily for racing.

While cyclocross bikes follow European and North American geometry, gravel bikes are not. Gravels are appropriate for long rides, trips, or even just for chilling out.

It has wider scopes for you. Longer lowered bottom brackets and wheelbases, combined with a slacker head tube angle – all help make your ride stable in case of rougher terrain than your expectation on a cyclocross bike.

Gravels will also give you a more upright riding position.


When it comes to selecting bikes and asking, “what is the Difference Between a Cyclocross Bike and a Gravel Bike,” gearing is the most critical factor for consideration.

The 11-36 cassette paired with a 46/36 chainring combination is the most common organization of the gearing of cyclocross bikes.

If you are experiencing cyclocross bikes for the first time, you may think a 46-tooth chainring is small.

However, considering the highest speed of cyclocross races, this chaining is okay.

On the other hand, gravel rides may reach those levels.

You will find 38 to 42 teeth prolonged chaining, along with 11-42 spread cassettes in a gravel bike.

Its teeth and cassette chain vary depending on the size of the drivetrains (for example, whether drivetrains are 1X or 2X.)

Tires and Wheels

If you think of any vehicle, what is the first thing that comes to the top of your mind? Its wheels or tires?

Yes, since the bikes run on those parts, the sizes of the tires and wheels are essential too.

Cyclocross bike’s wheel size is 700c, but the gravel bikes can come with dual-wheel compatibility.

Therefore, you can lean on both 650c and 700c. This also means you can get two different bikes in one!

The larger tire between those two gives support in rocky or uneven places.

Additionally, you will find most cyclocross bikes with a 33m standard.

Moreover, you will discover tubeless wheels in both cyclocross and gravel rides.

Comfort and Flexibility

In your short life, you may want to enjoy every moment.

And comfort is a massive part of your happiness.

Similarly, it is applicable in the case of bikes also.

In many ways, cyclocross bikes are less comfortable than gravel ones.

However, it depends on a lot of factors.

As a general fact, cyclocross bikes need a lot of effort in paddling.

After all, these bikes are for racers, who are expected to work hard.

Cyclocross bikes have a chassis, which is stiffer, for augmenting the paddling power towards momentum.

However, you will find gravel with a much more comforting setup.

It protects you against the big hits from the dirt and obstacles of the roads.

To Conclude

After reading the above four significant differences, you may have got the answer to your question: What is the difference Between a Cyclocross Bike and a Gravel Bike?

As you can see, the cyclocross bikes are usually for racing purposes, whereas the gravel bikes are for travelling and other fun activities.

However, the choice is yours.