In the world of cycling, you will be overwhelmed with the long list of options and different specialties each bike can be custom fit for. The good thing is, most bikes are really specific or limited in what they can accomplish well, so you can do small amounts of research to get on the right path for a bike you want.
Can you jump a gravel bike? Technically, you can jump any bike. The problem you will run into is landing the bike and having it hold up for more than one jump. If you want your gravel bike to last, no, we don’t recommend jumping it.
While gravel bikes are not specifically made for jumping, there are bikes that are built for just this activity. Cycling is intense and, at times, an expensive hobby. When you get into cycling and do your research, it is definitely worth it, but oftentimes, research doesn’t happen. Certain bikes are made for certain activities, and not doing your research could destroy your bike, or cause you some injuries.
What Bikes Are Made For Jumping?
Cyclocross bikes are specifically designed for technical off-road handling in mud, dirt, sand, and grass. These can be interchanged with racing or just all-around riding in general terms. If you wanted to, you could modify a few things like chainrings or tires, and allow them to be used as all-road bikes
Cyclocross bikes are a bike you could buy if you aren’t set on one hobby, or not sure what kind of bike you need Check out this video to see a cyclocross bike in action. They can jump.
Gravel bikes are specifically made to handle the roughest of terrain. These bikes are built to be lower to the ground, with greater tire clearance so they can take the brunt of any terrain you may stumble upon while biking on a lesser traveled road. The way gravel bikes are built also allows for increased stability when off-roading.
Mountain bikes are specifically built to take on mountain areas. You can literally climb a mountain and ride back down it on this bike. For those who are really into biking, it’s not uncommon for one person to own 2 or 3 different bikes that are for all different specific terrains and areas.
However, mountain bikes are the bikes you can customize the most to fit your needs. They have specific options for suspension and builds that help you cater the bike to fit exactly what you have in mind for that bike. These bikes are what you want to use for jumping, climbing mountains, and tricks.
Types of Mountain Bikes
Cross Country Mountain Bikes
These bikes are going to be the bikes you see most commonly in shops. Cross Country bikes are lightweight and made specifically for speed. These bikes are going to mostly fall below the $1000 mark. However, some of the pro bikes can cost upwards of $7500. Cross country bikes can basically be divided into two subcategories.
XC race bikes
Race bikes are always fast, lightweight, and are built to be as efficient as possible in reference to racing. They are built for taking tight corners, ascending, and handling weight-forward riding to help with speed. Are built to handle moderately rough terrain, mainly small rocks or the occasional pothole.
XC trail bikes
Trail bikes are heavier than race bikes but still lightweight overall. These are built to handle everything from dirt roads to single track riding trails. This is the outlet that most of the mountain bikes will fall into, but distinguishing the difference is important.
If you are having trouble deciding what bike would be the best for you, or exactly what you want to use your mountain bike for, this is going to be the best option for you. As the name says, this bike does it all.
These bikes are very similar to XC trail bikes, but they have stronger suspension, and their frames are built with a stronger material to handle the rougher riding terrain. These bikes can also handle a steeper climb even when coupled with heavy obstacles.
Downhill Mountain Bikes
Downhill mountain bikes are for people who just want to go downhill, very, very fast. Their riding style and build are specific to steep downhill trails with rough terrain. Now, these bikes are not meant for climbing mountains, so usually, you will find someone carrying or walking their bike to the top, sometimes even being dropped off at the top of the mountain.
Due to the material, these have to be made with, plus all of the additions and extra suspension that gets put on these bikes, they are not cheap by a long shot. For a downhill mountain bike, you would be looking at $3000 to start with. This price will increase depending on if you want anything custom or want to upgrade suspension or tires.
Freeride Mountain Bikes
Freeride mountain bikes are built very similar to downhill mountain bikes; except they focus less on weight due to not being built for speed. The frames on these bikes are much more compact so that the rider can easily maneuver and control the bike. These bikes are built for tricks, stunts, and jumping, so the rider needs to be able to easily control every aspect of the bike.
Dirt Jump Bikes
These bikes are a kind of mix of two separate bikes. Since these bikes are made for aerial stunts or getting decent air time, they are a mix of BMX bikes and freeride mountain bikes. They have one gear, one brake, oversized handlebars to maximize control and lower seats to help with the impact of landing.
Cycling and Research
Some of us just want to get out there and ride – who needs research? Well, you do! That is, if you want your bike to last and if you want it to be able to do what you want it to.
Cycling is an expensive hobby and can be very time consuming, starting with research, and continuing into shopping, and finding time to use your bike. However, the research is wholeheartedly worth it. Buying a cheap bike won’t last you very long, and you will likely spend more money in the long run going this route, especially if you want to use it on rough terrain.
Buying a more expensive bike is the way to go, as it will last longer and be more fitted to specific uses. However, you need to make sure it will support your desires and needs. Buying a $3000 bike that is made for road use won’t help you when you try to use it for mountain trails.
Without research, you waste money, and possibly risk injuring yourself, or demolishing your bike.
Overall, while using bikes for rougher activities can be fun and worth your time and money, it is worth doing your research and getting a bike made for the activity. While you can jump a regular bike, it won’t last long.
Jumping a bike that is made for that specifically will save you money, and possibly even a few injuries depending on how intense the jump or airtime is. Buying a more expensive, more specifically made bike can save you thousands in doctors and hospital visits over time, and really when you think about it, you can’t put a price on your safety.