Gravel cycling is the ‘next big thing’ in cycling right now. However, the term ‘gravel’ has a number of interpretations depending on who you speak to; for some gravel riding constitutes riding on any non-paved road whereas for others it can range from that all the way to technical single track. It is therefore pretty difficult to speak broadly of ‘gravel’ and incorporate everyone’s individual preferences and equally difficult for a bike to cover all bases defined as ‘gravel’. However, at its most basic definition a gravel bike is one which can be ridden both on and off road seamlessly, so where does the Ridley X-Trail sit?
Ridley X-Trail Review – Comfort & Versatility
Defined by the brand as an ‘all road’ bike the Ridley X-Trail truly is a bike for those who like the option to be able to explore off-road rather than those who want to leave the tarmac almost completely behind. You would be forgiven for mistaking it for a cyclo-cross bike, but what differentiates it from a cross machine is the absence of an aggressive, racy geometry which allows for more comfort when taking things off-road. Indeed, comfort and versatility are the name of the game for the X-Trail, made for long days in the saddle exploring new roads which may not all turn out to be paved ones but will certainly not be too technical.
Ideal for Both Paved & Gravel Surfaces
In terms of gravel cycling in Girona the Ridley X-Trail is perfectly suited to taking on the Pirinexus route which is mainly off-road but on purpose-built gravel paths constructed over a disused train line. However, there are plenty of excellent trails around Girona too which the Ridley X-Trail would be perfectly at home on so long as the terrain doesn’t take too technical a turn or indeed to steep, at which point the weight of the bike can prove cumbersome. The maximum tyre width (36mm) also inhibits you from delving too far into MTB territory however it’s a trade-off between that and the speed on the tarmac and purists would argue that if you want to ride MTB trails then you should be riding an MTB.
All in all, if it’s out-and-out gravel cycling that comes closer to mountain biking that you’re looking for then a bike such as the Basso Palta might be more suitable, but for those who want the option of exploring both paved and gravel surfaces and aren’t worried about catching KOMs the Ridley X Trail is a great option.
Ridley X Trail Review Analysis
Overall the Ridley X Trail is a great bike, especially for riding on both paved and gravel surfaces and in this section we’ll look at the positives and weaknesses of the bike.
- Fun to ride
- Fast on the road & looks good
- Option for mudguards
- Max tyre width – only clearance for 36mm
- Quite heavy
- Not particularly responsive.
Want to try the Ridley X-Trail for Yourself?
You can rent the Ridley X-Trail or the Basso Palta from us during your next Girona cycling vacation – we run gravel tours in Girona all year around and are we’re heading Trans Alps on gravel this July which is going to be epic! Give us a call now on +34 972 754 301 or contact us online for more info!
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