|From the mountain to the smooth paved surfaces- a bike like this can cover a lot of ground.|
I've been saying that since 2012-13 or so and I even went as far as "crowd sourcing" an idea for a different name for these bikes which came up with inconclusive results. Why? Because calling these bikes "gravel bikes" is like calling fat bikes "snow bikes". If you don't get snow, or would never consider riding on/in it, then you are going to instantly eliminate such a bike as a possibility for you. That's what happens when we say "gravel bike". It is limiting and unnecessarily puts people off the idea of owning, for all intents and purposes, what is probably the smartest bicycle they could buy.
So, what name should we use? (Here we go again!) Well, I thought long and hard about this and I came up with something. It has to be easy, not really exclusive, but inclusive, and maybe the less understood it is the better. This name follows a similar convention to "mountain bike" which is often abbreviated as "mtb", although it is possible that a lot of folks really don't think what those three letters actually mean.
So, my idea is to call these bikes "All Purpose Bikes" or APB's in short. They serve the wide and varied gulf between mountain and road racing. The anywhere, do almost anything" bike that can be a gravel road going rig, a commuter, a light touring rig, a CX bike in a pinch, can do light single track, and also keep up on the club ride or Gran Fondo ride. RAGBRAI? A perfect bike for that. Skinny tires fit, but this bike would be defined by an ability to swallow 35mm tires at a minimum and 45's max, or then it becomes something else.
Okay, I've put that out there, that's my suggestion. What's yours?