PavGrav and GravPav: Mixed Surface Riding -- is it Gravel First or Pavement First

Honey Bikes coined the terms PavGrav and GravPav in order to distinguish between four similar but very different types of riding. 

We've always parsed the term "gravel riding" because that's a huge generalization of riding.  In fact we find that most riders talking about gravel riding aren't really doing much gravel riding, if at all.  If we recommend a true gravel optimized bike for anyone that talks about doing "gravel griders" we're doing many of those riders a disservice by providing a bike that's sub-optimal for the kind of riding the person does day-to-day.  It starts with better understanding what "gravel riding" means to the rider.  We find the terms PavGrav and GravPav help.

  • PavGrav:  The surfaces you ride on have more pavement than gravel or dirt roads.  About 66% paved to 34% dirt or gravel roads.
  • GravPav:  The surfaces you ride on have more gravel or dirt roads than pavement.  About 66% gravel or dirt roads to 34% paved roads.

These terms categorize pavement, gravel, and dirt roads while excluding singletrack.  We're also not talking about mixed-terrain riding, mountain biking, or four season riding. 


For Honey these are really important distinctions that help determine the ideal bike for the kind of riding you do day-to-day.  Lots of bike companies offer promises of bikes that excel at all types of terrain at all times.  This just isn't possible.  Of course you could ride the same bike in these terrains, but if you focus on one type most or all of the time, there's no reason to get a generalized bike that's not perfect for any type of riding.  Why compromise when there's no benefit to it?

If most of your rides are PavGrav we tend to recommend our MidDurance category of bikes -- mid-reach caliper brake bikes that fit 33mm tires for rough roads and gravel while also being as light as any good performance road bike.

If most of your rides are GravPav we usually recommend our Allroads category of bikes -- disc brake bikes that fit up to 45mm tires that are great for tougher gravel roads and well weathered broken pavement.

Of course, these are generalizations and choosing the right bike encompasses a lot more than just the terrain on which you roll.

We're always looking for ways to make it easier to choose the right bike for the riding you do.  We've found the Grav/Pav delineations really useful when we're helping riders choose the right bike.  We hope this helps you, too.