Gravel Bike Vs MTB | Iceland Bikepacking Epic - Which Is The Ultimate All-Rounder?

Gravel Bike Vs MTB | Iceland Bikepacking Epic - Which Is The Ultimate All-Rounder?

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Gravel. Bikes are becoming, more and more popular as riders are increasingly, looking beyond, the road to, routes less traveled, and to meet this need rope bikes are effectively, evolving, to give more comfort, more control, and the, ability to ride over anything. What, like a mountain bike some, mountain bikes are invented for mountain. Bikers do well. That that, is a fair point Neil but is a man bike actually the best tool for the job what can a gravel bike do, better Can I grab a bike do anything better off-road, in fact I've, a feeling it probably can but, with, the help of these two hand-built. Titanium, bikes from, moot and 200. Kilometres of epic, Iceland, gravel we're, going to find out we. Will find out but it, could be quite a challenge Iceland. Is a remote, and inhospitable island. In the North Atlantic there. Is road riding here you could do a lap of the island in a week or so or perhaps explore, the northwest, fjords, but to really make the most of the very short summer season, we're heading for the highlands a land of glass, ears and volcanoes. Our. Route is split, over two days but with the weather hovering, at around about freezing, and the, fact that there is no guarantee that it will even stay as warm as that overnight we're, gonna aim for a remote Hut for, our nighttime stop, rather. Than sleeping, in a hedge. Sorry, but. Actually also don't really feel very qualified to, head off into the wilderness given, my still, very limited, experience. Hence the, support from Neil Donohue who you will no doubt recognize from, our system, and by channel at GMB n as well, as being an ace mountain, biker, Neil is also an experienced, Piper yes I triumph for you as Pat my bike is loads of bag oh I, thought you mean now, I get it not very done it once I went to Wales with Blake was great we stopped in pubs every half an hour Bell Road, 50 miles in two days right well. We've got a pretty good idea of what's in stores well I don't we we've consulted with the local experts we then plotted, and planned our, route on kamut where it's giving us the, breakdown, apparently. 40, percent of this route is on gravel. 60%. Is unsurfaced, and interestingly. 284. Meters, are, on, tarmac boom, now they've classed it as a mountain bike ride but, when you try and investigate a little bit more closely using. Google satellite imagery, well, frankly it just looks terrifying, but cold would be a problem for both bikes Jonny's both cyclists, what, I'm worried about is if it gets too rough and too, rocky then. I could well come unstuck on this gravel bike where's Neil he's gonna absolutely, fly on his fat bike fat, bike it's, our fat bike size a plus bi out sorry it's, gonna be great when they go and get some roughage all bomb, dynam, when, it comes to the gravel roads or should we say even volcanic, ash it's been compacted roads, I think, when I struggle a little bit be, a lot slower rolling, in than your tires and actually 200 K could feel like 400 K Oh 400. K that's. Quite that's a long way Neil good. Look at that and so. The, adventure starts. Conveniently. At, the highest point of our whole ride at nine hundred and twenty metres above sea level, if nothing, else you got to say mountain, bikers know the, value of gravity it. Does however mean that it's really, really, cold we're on the snow line and we can see our nice warm support, vehicle, disappearing. Off into the distance, shall we let's. Do it me you. Lead on fatty where, we go though it's possible. Well. That's. Cool Arty's and water back home. We. Can't go too far, into this video without, addressing the, burning, question just what a gravel, bike actually, is now, unfortunately there is no easy answer, but I think they, have to have drop handlebars they, have to have tires that are thinner than a mountain bike tires and the, geometry of the bike so, the combination, of angles, and dimensions, of the tubes has, to bear a resemblance to.

A, Road, bike, this. Moots looks, kind of like a robot doesn't it although when you look closer the. Change days are quite a bit longer and the front end is a little bit more relaxed and both of those combine, to, give a bike that, has a lot more control a lot more fun in fact when, you're riding fast, in loose, conditions. But yet it is a long way from, a mountain bike although. You've, got to say I see that there is a lot of tech here that comes straight for a mountain biking so the, wheels they, are tubeless, compatible, which means that we can run less pressure in our tires and we, still reduce the risk of punctures, and then, although those Reynolds carbon ATR rims have a similar, silhouette for, us roadies, I mean they're 40 millimeters deep the, fact that the internal, width of them is so broad to support that wider tire that's, tech that comes straight from the mountain bike world just, like the disc brakes straight, from mountain bikes even the rear derailleur borrows, technology, from, Shimano's, mountain, bike group says this, is the Ortega rx, and it has a clutch mechanism on, there which is designed to keep the chain on the control when, you're bouncing, around over. Bumpy, ground but. Yet despite all of that mountain, bike influence, like. I sell it beginning it is still very much like, a Roebuck it feels fast it feels agile it, feels, responsive, like, a road bike. It's. Just more capable, more. Like, this mountain bike this, is a moots Mountaineer. Yvb it's. Hard to help but not hard tell such a soft tale so no pivots on the back of this bike you've. Just got flex and this titanium frame that damper on the back just to smooth those things I a proper, adventure bike these. Reynolds, Black Label total, Plus, wheels on here actually, the. Inner width of these are 40, but the actual external. Width of this is 45. Millimeters. Famous sized hires so, I've got some 2.6, inch tires on air but. Actually renamed ball and surprisingly. Good really. Good taken, out the bumps on these gravel trails I was, it. Let's. Get one that's, pedal. I realize, he was sitting, on the front. Oh. Oh my, god. And so yeah go. Make yeah. We've. Been descending, for what feels like ages, on. A fairly. Rough, mix till either super, smooth tracks or, some pretty gnarly rocky stuff I think our. Turnings, just here they'll on the right this is our hiking trail link oh yeah it's on a stop and double check I've got yeah boot up on the phone yeah good plan, how. You finding it Neil and that we're pretty much halfway through, now yeah I think three honest I've sort of forgotten about my cuz really the breathtaking scenery, but I love. Bobby knows descents, those like double tracks and there guys. It's mazing and the grip and the comfort, struggling, slightly, compared to a bike on the clients but not massively no no, it's funny I see they don't really, feel like they're not evenly, matched inevitably, probably, cuz you're a bet down in any way but, you're bombing in a sense whereas, I'm running out gears but on the climb so I'm gapping you a bit there but actually given. How different, the bikes are yeah, it's quite easy to have quite a social riding it I can say hi everybody I reckon there's the Starbucks, alright, yeah. Heard that although, Neil we do know that there is not a single McDonald's, in the whole of Iceland I did, know right yeah missing sight. Would. You recommend so I've seen a variety of scenery, it's changes, thought the, trails I was on they really they have a new one it's been perfect, because I think we've, seen the, strengths of the gravel bike and strengths, of your mountain bike already like. This. One does get. Over, face when it's really rocky but I've. Been giving it a lot of thought because there's a seed disappearing, off into the distance I kind. Of think well like you're. Going faster, but I reckon you're probably having the same amount of fun true yeah just because this is slower it. Doesn't mean you. Know like I have to go slower, to pick my way through rocks and stuff but. Actually I'm on the limit still so it's kind of I'm still getting the same kind of the.

Same Vibes that you're getting maybe some, of these gravel, trails are in like the double tracks and ride have been surprisingly. Really, good fun ever though yeah. And. Some of that single track is why. It's not Sam does it it must be volcanic, dust but soft and I feel like I'm floating. Nicely. Over the top really, enjoying it away you must be digging in a little bit yeah it's. I'm. Getting there bitch cyclocross, yeah. Reminiscing. I've got some good shots for the rest of you go sideways, I was going over the past. The. Scenery, I can't. Be real sometimes, no, mistake, and had it. Cuts. It through finally, after winter. I, tell. You one night out it's like pretty, banging, puffs. Kids. Do that still want it. Oh, look. At this place. Right, day two coming. Up once again Iceland, has come up trumps on the weather, although looks, might be exciting to see think it's bitterly. Cold this morning well, having said that we, had an amazing night's, sleep in that, Hut's just, next to us there now, according to commute, today is, a little bit shorter, than yesterday, which given, all, the filming we did we finished properly late yesterday so that's a bit of a bonus just 63, kilometers. And also, this, is a little bit less technical, so probably gonna go, in the favorite the gravel bike as opposed to yesterday's, three star technical, difficulty, this is just one, star and, then otherwise we, are entirely. Offroad on gravel. Or, unpaved. Roads so potentially a little bit more of that lava field dust action, which we had yesterday so, I can't. Wait to get started. Right, now shall we push off. This. Is the last river we'll see today so I say two. Of these should do us right it yeah, it's weird isn't it like it's. So dry, like. The trails. Is dry like, the air is dry but yet like. It rains a lot here it's weird isn't it it's like so, anyway, we're, going through quite a bit of water even, though it's cold we're fortunate I think it's the two dry stays about in ages and we're here too right yeah.

Man. You know when you just feel like you destruct it's so lucky there's. Basically no point going back to Iceland it's never going to be this good again. It's. We. Can't come all the way to Iceland, ride, for a couple hundred kilometers and not talk about geology, so bear, with me for one minute behind. Me those rocks there they're probably younger, than, many of you watching at home that is magma, that cooled, in. 1970. And it erupted from. That. Mountain behind this which is actually Iceland's, most active, volcano, Heckler, and it erupts, like clockwork apparently. Every 10 years except. It last erupted 12. Years ago so. We won't hang around too, long. The. Road today has been pretty different - yes around there Neal we've had a lot more yeah. Big wide open gravel. Tracks and an awful, lot more wind and Scots. Thinking about two more really important points differences. Between the gravel in a mountain bike and the first one is, position. So this. Bike is allowed me to pretty much get my Road position, on it so. I've got quite a big drop between the saddle and the bars and. It's impossible, to replicate that position on a man bike isn't it yeah I definitely feel like I'm much more sat up and when you, have told me in that window, Scott see over your shoulder most the time that's. Good when, it comes to riding fast or, riding long distances, the, fact that you are so much less aerodynamic. Makes. Quite a significant, difference you are having to work an awful lot harder not just because you're fatter tyres but. Also because. Of that wind resistance, and people, think about aerodynamics and spin about you know pro racing and stuff but it's not just, riding a 10k an hour into a headwind yeah, makes, a difference and then the other thing is the weight of the bike a man, bike is always going to have a weight penalty, over gravel bike so, again you've. Got that penalty when climbing, as well and it's also just going to change the way the bike feels again. That. Missus. I. Saw. We're in an abandoned, pool that Magne all of you guys find us and it's 42, degrees I'm boiling, yeah. It's bit like swimming in a bath isn't it but before we get to with that I think we should address our, initial, question which is he's a man Pike the best point for riding off-road what. Kind of ground white do better can a gravel bike do, anything, better well, we wrote some really varied terrain first time I've ever ridden gravel roads all that was fair but I just loved that bike for me at home especially the. My invited more versatile to bike that I would choose it's, in seeing that you're, right technically the. More a bike can do the more versatile is because there's nothing stopping it riding on the road but. What. Can i gravel bite do better, gravel bikes can, do Road better which I know Tech is not off-road but they can also do simple, gravel trails better and actually I think they can make simple. Matter bike trails more fun too as well because there you have make things a little bit difficult and they reduce that, kind of the, speed that you can sustain but. Without doubt you know anytime they've got technical, or downhill. You were absolutely flying past what I love by that mountain as well as I could swap out the 29th wheel so I can imagine that bike at home my travels at NIH will actually, fly as well so it's great versatile bike yeah what, I think was super interesting name it was the fact that we did ride these vastly, different bikes yeah on this incredible. Ride that touched and loads of and terrain and actually, both of us were.

Super Happy with the bikes that we were on yeah there were times when you could drop me there are times when I could drop you but actually the inter day we both had a massive grin in our faces I loved it great experience, I've fallen in love with that biking out there I love it. Yeah. So no surprises then perhaps that the mountain bike is better, at riding off-road but where the gravel bike comes into its own I think is the variation so, the longer the rides are doing and the. More of an influence of tarmac, and faster. Smoother, gravel roads and the less you want to actually do, proper, mountain biking, the better that bike is your, mountain bike could, not feel like a road bike my gravel bike would, be super, fun with 28 mill tires and I'm sure yeah right, just, get a bit of a sweat on which is never out and haroon pool before. Do. Make sure that you head over to GMP, n because Neil's got another perspective on our ice and epic class and over to the tech channels, yeah there's more info on your mooks Mountaineer, there's more info on my boots, route 45. So. Basically you've, got an, evening, to fill with amazing, bike, ride and videos yeah farmers, often kill I watched us having a great time. It's. Gonna be the least dumb down video ever new.

2018-10-30 06:54

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This is an absolutely amazing video. Back in the 80s, I lived in Iceland for a year -- time to head back w/ my gravel bike. (okay, it's a CX bike, but it'll work.) :) Again, breathtaking footage.

Damn this is such an amazing video.

Upped your music game for this video. Me likes!

Dropbars? Jones bars says hello! They are amazing on gravel/road bikes

Looking at the terrain and the road conditions a bike like the Salsa Cutthroat looks like the ideal bike for this. It's a combination of both of those bikes.

Who's bearing the ring?

so basically any bike will do, just get out there! :D

Insane vid boys, goosebumps!

If this isn't an advertisement for tourism Finland i dont know what is! Wow

What a wonderrfull video. Thank you

Yes, cracking video. More content like this would be great.

Si and Neil in a pool topless most uncomfortable moment ever on GCN

As many have said, the cinematography and production value of this is absolutely breathtaking. Probably not what Si or Neil thought they'd be doing for work at this point, but holy shit what an experience

This was just amazing

One word... WOW!

3:42, Squeaky brakes?

I've ridden MTB trails on my gravel bike, and loved it except that I didn't have enough ground clearance for some of the rocky bits. Road cornering on a gravel bike feels much more controlled, so there is an overlap in capabilities, it is very much up to the route as to which is more suited. Re: video - amazing how much better the music sounds when you look at the picture!

4 of 5 Videos are ads you are so quickly becoming just an industry whore never objective because your are being paid to sell just a fancy youtube marketing company. I fear this is the outcome for any channel that becomes popular it becomes advertising and that is sad.

I'll opt for Lanzarote Thank you very much.

Awesome bikes, great views and an epic adventure. Keep it coming! More more more ride journey please.

Thank you. I thoroughly enjoyed that video. The cinematography and brilliant use of the drone footage was some of your best to date. Well done to all involved.

Hands down! My favourite video so far! I am just overwhelmed. My favourite country, channel and sport combined in the same video. Just... Thank you.

Sounds perfect for you Carlos!

Amazing scenery! Due to where I live and lack of time for travelling to do proper mtb riding, I mainly ride a 10yr old titanum on one inbred 29er with 100mm front suspension, old school XC narrow rims (Stans 355) and use 2.25" schwalbe xc tyres (tubeless of course) . I am still impressed how these roll quite effortlessly even on road (and I do have proper road bikes to compare). At 10.5kg my bike is closer to gravel bike weight also. I can't help thinking this sort of setup would be quite a bit closer to the more modern 'longer lower slacker' bigger forked mtb in this video on rough, tech and downhill, whilst being a lot closer to that gravel bike in the areas where that had advantages (blasting along smoother surfaces). Particularly with a slightly wider modern xc race rim say 25-26mm I think there is a halfway house between the two bikes in this video that would be a little better than both. I've not actually tried a gravel bike or newer school mtb recently though :)

Loved watching this. What a great adventure! Just wondering what is the app that was used to map the route?

Honestly, the gravel bike is simply a rigid MTB with drop handlebars. Which is great fun to ride, I'm sure :)



Epic video, the scenery is amazing.

Two words that are over used to describe landscapes are epic and awesome, so I'll just say that it looks very nice. The only niggle I have with this video is the background music was quite often sh**e but I'm not a spring chicken and I don't need music to enhance the beauty of nature and scenery. Really good video overall

Love this film. This is the best of cycling: passion, gentlemanly controversy, scenery and speed

Beautiful documentary gents. Well done.

Every episode of Bear Grylls says not to drink straight from the stream.... and Si drank straight from the stream. How did you know it was clean water?

Who would of won in a race across same route?

I am strictly road, but i thought this was the best show ever. Thanks!

When are you giving the bikes away?


I’ve been lucky to visit this stunning country twice now, this year we took a camper van and toured around the ring road over a week, it’s a truly stunning place. I saw plenty of riders whilst there and my next trip may well be aboard a bike! Superb video too

Wow, what a place

That was epic. I totally have to go to Iceland.

Really great video and scenery, but I can't help but thinking that you should have swapped your bikes to get better undestanding of pros and cons of each, plus the terrain does not seem to be really that bad to really require all the might of the XC bike. Should be more stones, battered roads and uneven grounds, like 50/50.

"Fat bike." I think Blake would take offense to that.

Those sand tracks remind me of riding along Cleethropes beach. Although Cleethropes is arguably more deadly. #Greatwork

i have raced road bikes competitively for 26 years but have just turned 40 ,purchased a fat bike and are loving the slower pace but the same effort and just enjoying my time on the bike!

unless you are competing aerodynamics is a lose, lose situation, you go quicker which shortens the time one the bike and this is the place i would like to be for longer and by going quicker means you get home quicker which means back to reality quicker (another loss). So in conclusion , be comfortable , take your time and prolong your time on the bike, so often i hear people try and go faster and are dissapointed if they cant, There is nothing as pleasurable as time on the bike so why try and get to your destination quicker!

Col collective quality

Wow. Fantastic video, stunning photography & what a place! Gravel bike for me thanks, short upright mtb's kill my back over distance.

The better bike would be my Mountain Cycle San Andreas wich has actually 150 mm f/r travel, 28 inch rims with 23 x622 tires.

There were some jarring handheld landscape shots like at like at 12:51, but other than that the camerawork was great.


Great video stunning views makes me want to go to Iceland But what would it have been like if it had been p'ing down with rain a lot of the time ?

Bucket list material right there. Sorry Si, I liked your bike, but how beautiful was that Mountainbike? Said it before, but I love the adventure bicycle video's - beautifully produced too!

hope Iceland tourism helped paying for this - looks amazing, and everyone will want to go there!

Thanks GCN & GMBN, that really was epic. I'm just going and dust off my gravel bike and book a trip to Iceland....

what's the app you're using?

The "winner" was of course the scenery, but Neil's posture, arm position and ability to cope with any conditions was in stark contrast to Si's. Neil was diplomatic enough not to tease Simon - on camera at least - but he must have known that he had the better bike for the conditions.

Great video - love the cycle packing stuff. For those who may not have seen it, the guys from North South did around a dozen or so videos on their road trip a few years back. The promo is Their channel

I called it 'pussy challenge'. 2 pro riders on super bikes under 70 km per day and 2 days only? Even weather was ideal.

Give Si the mtb and Neil the gravel bike then see if Si still gets dropped on the downhills and Neil on the ups

GCN Question - the black Assos jacket Si is wearing, what model is it? Great scenery, great content.

BTW can l put shocks on the cross bike??


love it, great vid

Amazing!!! Well done gentlemen.

Is it me or is GCN's video production getting really good?

what is the bike of the cameraman? i want that one.

I've thought it before and this video absolutely confirms it - the GCN presenters have the best jobs in the world. What an adventure!

Bikepacking/Touring, isn't really about speed. It's about the journey along the way, at your own pace.

Amazing views, I bet that was a blast to 'work'. Great job!

Great story. Natural and authentic performances from Simon and Neil. Fantastic cinematography and editing and music choices. One more example of why YouTube is the new TV for so many. Fantastic job guys!

Thank you for such video.

what a cinematography. super. long live GCN GMBN

Can you just fill up your bottles from a river?

One word WOW

Absolutely loved this video. Thanks! GCN could take a lesson from GMBN on getting their tan on.

Mountain bike better for mountain biking Gravel bike better for gravel Got it

Mountain bike, gravel bike, who cares? Iceland looks stunning! Great video. Pedalling through that landscape must be like a dream.

So a monstercross bike with a lauf fork or an xc 29er with off road dropbars or some short tribars fitted for when you need to get aero would be the ultimate setup compromise between your two bikes.

Makes you want to get a gravel/ cyclo-cross bike and go to Iceland !!! shame its 17,000 km away

Is a gravel bike the same thing as a touring bike (except for the tires)?

Are those two naked in there? Wait!!! I don’t want to know!

great show

I feel like watching Lord of Ring on two wheels when that music cues in 12:20.

OK, you teased this video for so long I was skeptical that it would live up to all the hype. I have to admit that the cinematography was so outstanding that I've already had to watch it twice. Something tells me that my viewing of this video will not stop at two. Great job!

Great video

Some of the best audio and video content to date that you guys at GCN have put together, but Iceland has stolen the show, loved it and appreciate the fine work.

Simon sounding like he's fully converting to road plus.

This is like watching Top Gear with bikes!

Wow guys, this is epic. Incredible shots. Super happy to see how much GCN has evolved. Wow. I still miss Matt though.

I'm at a loss for words so beautiful ,just brilliant

Was it Iceland that payed for the video? Because I want one.

What an astonishing place..

Completely inexplicable why you wouldn't trade bikes the second day. You're both about the same size.

I see that Si has dressed up as a ghost for Halloween.

Here are the Komoot routes:

just put skinny tyres on the mtb bike : PROBLEM SOLVED

Thanks for the great adventure and stunning footage of your trek in Iceland. This was a fantastic collab with GMBN. Si and Neil were a perfect team to have for this video!


Very inspiring video, doing something like this is on my bucket list. One thing you didn't touch upon (that much) is comfort. Which bike do you think is better suited for a more realistic bike packing situation? The gravel bike is lighter and that's a plus, but the MTB has a more comfortable riding position. What about parts on the bike that can break? Is the MTB with its extra mechanical complexity (i.e. suspension) less ideal in that case?

Gotta say guys, if there was a YouTube Oscar for best cycling video EVER, this one would win it - hands down! Superb!

Next time do something similar but you should swap bikes!

The music, the vista at 8:00. Just incredible. This is why we bike.

This was informative, thanks, Si and Neil. Now, could you please do it again on folding bikes in the middle of winter?

Si says Iceland is inhospitable. It's a country of 300 thousand people.

At 7:52 I heard a squeaky sound from one of the bikes, what could that be?

The arthouse cinematography and ominous music was so Black Mirror I was waiting for the moment when your Strava tried to kill you. And from now on every GCN video should end with two men in an outdoor pool discussing who is going to get the most thumbs up. "That looks like a pretty banging hut."

Great video. It makes me want to go to Iceland.

This looks gorgeous enough, but being an Icelander we are very well aware what it is they left left out from the video and that is the wind and the cold which is constant in Iceland.  Truth be told, most Icelanders would much rather do their cycling in France or Spain than here.

Wow iceland. I wish i can take my bike there and bask into its beauty... ride like the wind on iceland

I'm sure I'll meet some resistance on this but...why ARE there gravel bikes?? I think it was just somebody's idea to squeeze more money out of us. It just seems to me that if you want to venture off the pavement, a mountain bike can tackle about anything you want to take on. Including RIDING ON GRAVEL!! And it can handle the rougher, more technical terrain that a gravel bike can't. Personally, I would never spend the money on a gravel bike. If I'm going to drop the coin, it'll be to get a nicer mountain bike.

Great vid of what looked a great ride! Think alot of the MTB little disadvantiges could've been fixed with just putting other tires on it tho. Bit thiner and smoother nobbles to suite the terain. Then again, thicker ones on the cyclocross bike with a straight handle bar would've given more confidence on the bumpy downhills aswell i think. I'm not a seasoned rider at all, just my first thoughts on it. But again, great vid !

Terrific cinematography with the landscape scenery. Discussing the bikes and their riding abilities is good but there is another video to be made from this. Equipment. In the extreme freezing conditions clothing and other mechanical stuff suffers badly. Although supported it cannot be easy to ride on abrasive roads in zero degrees. And thats their summer?

Doesn't matter which bike, Iceland

1 minute into the video and basically you forget and dont really care about the bikes, absolutely outstanding adventure

What an epic adventure!!!!

Brilliant video guys!

You guys both need to get your hands on a Velo Orange Piolet, with your preferred handlebar setups.

This is not a race, it's not about the speed...It's a bike tour in incredible scenery, you want to be comfortably cruising, I'm sure the plush MTB ride plus more upright position, would be far nicer and enjoyable, The MTB would be far less sore at the end of the day than the gravel bike's hunched over position, and much harsher ride ;-)

personally, I think a 650b gravel bike with some pumpkin ridge compass tyres (or similar) would have been a much better tool for the job but i guess the distinction needed to be made between the 2 but I think it would have made a better comparison (just maybe) and the ride wouldn't have been so clear cut as to what can handle what

Interested to know your thoughts on butterfly bars. And this was great loved it. Thanks.

Slightly awkward end there with Si and Neil getting sweaty together in a bath. Awesome film though guys- I’m adding this to the bucket list, in fact, given how epic this looked, I’m going to need a bigger bucket.

Cool vid!

A great video and a cool choice of bikes, but the old saying horses for courses comes to mind.

I so want a ti bike but every time I go out on my old, rigid Lava Done I think again. Would I have any more fun? I doubt it. However to get into the spirit of things I put drops on my 90's rigid Cinder Cone and still had a blast. The moral of my what you bring. As much as I subscribe to n+1 (I have seven bikes!) you are still on two wheels so enjoy. PS at nearly sixty years of age steel is real for me.

Очень хочу это видео на Русском посмотреть!

Dudes great job with this. Had no real opinion on Iceland prior to this. And now I really want to go on a bike tour there. EPIC.

The best Bike for this Region is a light 29 Hardtail with Racing Geometry.

video is great. Thanks a lot. I always want to repeat your experience

Two guys, sitting in a big hot tub, two feet apart because they're... wait... Jokes aside, great video, guys. Nice collaboration, lots of informative insights and even more beautiful scenes.

where are the tents and cooking pots? i see only a small bag on your bike.. is that bikepacking? i tought you are suppossed to bring all of your survival equipment on your bike, specially on such a hostile climate/country .That would have been the real deal testing those bikes in a bikepacking mood. It would have changed the whole situation in themes of comfort/speed/bike behavior. i can understand that you had a car, a house and a whole crew behind, but still tho, it would have been very interesting to see those bikes fully packed. Thank you very much for those epic cinematics, but i find it lacks on the testing. my respects and best regards !

Great video! Loved everything about it. The scenery was fantastic and the music was good!

What's the song starting at 18:48?

i get stunned by these views! No such things like this in my country. Thanks! GCN

Beautiful video but must have been difficult to travel with the orchestra and choir.

Travel sized, luckily.

Great video and as mentioned the cinematography and editing is EPIC! As a Gravel /Cross minded rider. I think the better choose would have been the MTB. You would be able to keep you head up more to see the beauty of the place and not have to be looking at the ground dodging rocks.

Si, how did you like the feel of the titanium frame? I remember you saying in a prior video that you had never been on a titanium frame before. Amazing video as always. Iceland is on my bucket list for a mtb trip.


I dont't know what happened to GMBN all they do is jumps and shreds nowadays. Seeing their video thumbnail is just all the same shit.

Great video, exceptional soundtrack. A departure from your other videos.

Epic music choices. Spot on.

Simon. Whats the name of that navigation app please?. I think you called it commute... But I have not found it. Cheers.

Hey Matthew, it's Komoot -

Best video on GCN. Absolutely stunning landscape. Love you guys !!

I hav a ridley x-trail a20 gravel bike, i ride mostly on roads and i'm planning to purchase a mavic aksium disc wheelset that accomodates only up to 28c tires, would it be a good upgrade ? And won't it look ugly for a gravel bike frame having a smaller tire like 28c tires? Thanks #askgcn

Agree that's some amazing cinematography and editing. Reminds be of the great work done by Top Gear during their heyday. That team really deserves their own video - or at least a mention.

Lava fields...cycling on an active volcano


I am going to assume that riding the mountain bike with dual suspension that there will be more susustained energy and comfort while the Gravel bike lacking suspension, will lead a rider to a bit more riding discomfort and more energy consumed.

You all should do some rides like these with fans!! Either fans local to where you travel or take a fan on an adventure

You lucky such and such!!! Thanks for sharing the incredible scenery. Good on ya!

Been binge watching old Top Gear all watching this. Awesome. Hi from the US.

Bucket list!

This video showed a bunch of cinematography and very little about the comparison between the two. The bike industry likes to saturate the market with fat bikes, e bikes, gravel bikes ect. Road/fixed gear, MTB or BMX are the only options and consumer should consider. GCN failed in this wack video. You can clearly see the guy on the ugly MOOTS fly downhill faster. Unless you want to risk injury or you are pro, steer away from gravel bikes. Go MTB with lock on forks. You would imagine GCN would steer the consumer towards a nice bike, not gimmicks. Try going downhill on steep turns on a gravel bike vs a MTB. This is ridiculous, no comparison. Ugly MOOTS wins. GCN, the colors on the jersey are soo far off... who did you hire!? Johnny I can't make videos! Not to mention they literally don't speak of BMX with their cumpets and tea corny arses.

Gravel bike is for COMPETITION. MTB you are overall safer, more comfortable. I ride to work daily, 29er MTB for life. 27.5 you get faster take offs, 29er you ride faster more constantly when you catch speed and rolls over obstacles smoother. Saved you time.


the guy in the orange is so smart!

Damn that view

That. Was. Awesome. So well done and inspiring.

Epic, lord of the rings.

is the support car travelling the same path?

Try this build on for size. Trek carbon procaliber frame. Trek 1120 fork. Salsa wood chipper bars. Dropper post actuated by left hand shifter (1x drivetrain) schwalbe g one allround 29x2.25. I’ve had it for a couple weeks now and it’s super comfortable on gravel and on road I lose maybe 1-2 mph vs my old cross bike with 38s.

You guys should try something like this again but swap bikes half way to see what you both prefer and why - absolute banger of a video tho

I just wonder, how about a cyclocross bike with a suspension fork? Some weight penalty of course. Anyone had already experience that kind of set up? Thanks

Si, the model of bike you rode is actually pronounced "Rowt" or "Ra'out", named after Routt county where the Moots factory is located in Steamboat Springs, Colorado. Not pronounced like a "route" on a map.

Wow iceland is so beautiful thanks for the amazing experience! Love my mtb btw.

Wow Just wow

Awesome cinematography. I'm adding Iceland on my to-do list.

Reminds me a bit of the old Top Gear challenges. Absolutely loved, it hope you do more like these

Si the Kamoot can be linked with Wahoo Element and Bolt... set your route on Kamoot save ride make it public, head into Wahoo Element app link with Kamoot, then head into Wahoo Element and Bolt, go to routes Sync and your routes will pop up , click on route where you can change direction to go clockwise or anti clockwise.. job done

The production value of this video is insane even by GCN standards.

Awesome, guys. Great location, great camera, good and suitable music.

Awesome video lads. JAF!

WoW, what a view !!

Please can your film crew follow me on my next touring holiday? kthx =P

Great adventure and some excellent filming. Brilliant, keep up the good work.

Most awkward gcn moment ever, Si and Neil in the bath together!

Should have swapped bikes for a while..?

I loved every second of this.

Wonderful promotion for Iceland and bike tourism. I too liked the overhead shots and long shots of the ride to put the ride in perspective. I was wondering what you chose to carry in the bike packs, given the conditions, remoteness, and the fact you slept in huts.

You guys get paid to do this - I am so jealous - I would give anything to do that ride. It is so beautiful it takes my breath away. Thank you

And the winner is............well, neither bike actualy, but that! Great production qualities too, more like this please

Ollis Everesting, Hanks Red Hook Crit, now this, GCN is on a different level now, keep it coming! oh and this is Buck List.

do you think they locked thoes bikes up?

some stunning camera work on this

I've been waiting impatiently for this video to drop! Totally awesome! Now for the long-term campaign to convince my wife that I need a Moots.

By far the most stunning video you've made, GCN. Your camera, production, soundtrack etc. skills have leaped forward immensely. Well, honestly Iceland played a major role in this video but if you could convince everybody with such a video to go cycling I wouldn't know what to do more to do so. Great job, thanks for bringing cycling into my living room, when there is no possibility to go cycling outside my living room.


You got it all wrong. You are not riding these terrains and want to be fast, you want to enjoy the ride with whatever bike you are riding.

Brilliant video! One of your best yet - epic scenery and a well reasoned “decision” on which is best, neither, cycling is the winner, however big your tyres and whatever shape your handlebars!

Superb filming and scenery and commentary

amazing place and video, good job guys

This video should have a NSFW tag. First the bike porn, then the scenery porn, and finally an awkward hot tub scene. I'm lucky my boss didn't walk by.

I do not own one myself but have always heard them called Cyclocross bikes in the US...

What an epic ride! Have been waiting for something like this from you guys

Does anyone know the brand of overshorts si has on, gcn branded of course but do we know manufacturer?

Hi Stewart, they're Assos.

#Torqueback #AskGcAnything 1.)if a gravel bike is slacker and with more clearance. Couldn't we just, repurpose all the old bikes from years ago? Ebay special from 70/80s? Angles are less aggressive, can fit wide tyres 27" to 700c especially. 2.) you said tyres smaller than MTB. So are monstercross bikes, too extreme to be gravel bikes? Personally I'd just put them further on the spectrum

Not a single tree to be seen.

That was rather epic. You went to Iceland and rode gravel bikes and tested gravel bike technology. But you somehow managed to miss talking to or testing Icelandic designed and made Lauf gravel bike and fork? Your editorial content here appears totally crowded out by the sponsorship of the video. Rather like if someone did a video on American cuisine and overlooked hamburgers because they're sponsored by a pizza company. Worse actually, because the Lauf actually would have shown that neither of your bikes was the right one for the terrain you found in Iceland. Good thing is that Lauf is sponsoring a race in that same area next summer, so you can do a reexamination.

+Global Cycling Network ty for the response. Great to hear that you're looking at Lauf. As for niche, well $7000+ bikes are not exactly in the choice domain for the typical cyclist either... And who better to inform the cycling masses about niche products than you!

As the comment underneath notes, we've got a video with Lauf coming up. And yes, a suspension fork would change the gravel bike, but it's still relatively niche and so it doesn't really represent the kind of choice that most of us face when buying this kind of bike.

In the GMBN version of this video, they mention that Si was going to talk to Lauf.

GCN takes it up a notch, superb....with exception to the end. Maybe stick to a beer in the cafe as apposed to a skinny flat white in the pool!

Music at 15:09?

handmade of titanium... on island.... you have toooo much money! ;)

Amazing Video. Places where a proper bike can take you.

A beautiful place...with a great bike.

What app are they using?

Any chance of making the GPX files available, please? Ideally the Morocco ones, too?

not jealous

Lush video! I'd be interested in seeing a making of video or the crew behind you guys how an epsisode/show goes from storyboard to live along with what equipment you use etc?

Awesome video! did you lock the bikes at the hut? :)

Day 1 is 70 km, Day 2 is 63 km... Maybe I need to brush up on my math but how is that a 200 km ride?

Epic scenery, loving this video format once in a while ! huge fan of yours !

I think they should have swapped bikes at some point, otherwise you are only getting 1 set of opinions on each bike. Of course they will pick the bike for their preferred discipline.

Switching bike would've been a good idea then you could seen the difference between them

Great filming and cinematography, actually camped near Hekla many years ago, bought back good memories, now tempted to head back out there with a bike after watching your film!

11:50 sounding like an apple fanboy.. "its worse but I convince myself its better because hype".

Love the video, you guys got some amazing shots! Saw the one on GMBN first (sorry guys mountain biker at heart) and had to watch yours to see if I missed anything cool! Glad I watched both! Keep up the beautiful work!

Wow, that's a fantastic video! Thanks.

What an awesome ride! And such amazing cinematography. Thank you guys for bringing us along for the ride.

so beautiful

wow, what a great filming location! Do it again anytime!

Yes more of this! Great video. Would like to have seen the mtb set up more like a gravel bike: smaller tires, longer stem and maybe even some bar ends???

amazing landscape!!! wow wow want to go here. great shots

Since watching this video I have planned a bike touring trip around Iceland for summer 2019 on my gravel bike!

A lot of that looks like you could be riding on the moon. That said, you guys get to ride the coolest places!

I want to know where that cabin is. Just spending a couple of nights there with some riding out and back in the day would be amazing.

First rate production GCN. Absolutely amazing. Despite my being a road bike fan, I think I'd choose that Mountain bike for the trip.. :)

Wow. Excellent production values. What a great ride clip.

Absolutely amazing footage guys. Woot woot!

Some very excellent cinematography! GCN post production really is peaking. I can say without reservation that you two gentlemen are certainly lucky for the experience.

Truly an outstanding production; well done guys. As to the merits of a gravel bike .... ok, sure. If you want to add another to your collection. On the other hand, if the Boss, space, budget limit you .... or practicality ... nope. As it says on the box; works for traveling on gravel, but very restricted elsewhere. And if the point is to get off the paved, well-beaten path, nothing touches the versatility of a half-decent mtb. And at higher presures, an mtb can roll pretty darn fast. Who could miss seeing the much bouncier ride on everything but smooth gravel? I have both a road and an mtb; just no way i see a case for adding a gravel. There! Another useless opinion lol

Iceland has been on my bucket list for years anyway, just added a bit of gravel riding to the itinerary

WOW!! Thank you for doing this..

Lovely bikes aside, this video has reminded me just how much I need to revisit Iceland. Such a stunning place ❤️

One of the best videos you guys have ever produced, nice work.

More of this please, GCN!


What prodigious scenery! New entry to my bucket list. Thanks gents for the wonderful video.

Did you guys have Hanz Zimmer write the music score for this video?

best GCN vid so far

Definitely shot on DJI Mavic2 zoom for aerial shots.


Stunning landscapes, top notch cinematography, clean audio makes it the best bike travel documentary ever.

Beautiful work, enjoyed very much.

complete track listing would be fine

This is truly gorgeous and awe inspiring. Nice one GNC.

So the gravel bike is the ultimate all-road bike if you do more road orientated off road, and the mountain bike is the ultimate all-road bike if you do more off road orientated off road? Yep, it is indeed very 'Top Gear quality content'. Not sure thats a good thing though.

That is the best video you have ever made!!

amazing shots and edit, anybody know the name of the song starting at 10:10?

I don't buy the whole flared drop bar ends giving more control thing. Cannot see many people hold bars there when they need control. Surely being more upright with access to brakes wins the 'control' debate? Its a style thing. At best an angled hoods thing. Ti is mainly a snob/nerd/style thing too. Carbon (like the fork and wheels) would be more than adequate.

Glad you had a great time.

Upload these better ones in 4K just for the bitrate bump.

Interesting stuff.. is your GMBN pal related to the Yates’s? What a place to visit.. Beeyoutiful! It just needed a bit of Sigur Ros in the soundtrack..

what song starts a 3:40?!!

Wonderful video, beautifully made. Good choice of GMBN presenter as well

Can we get the .gpx files tho

Damn, those "gravel roads" are smoother than the asphalt we got here :o

Gravel Bikes are a JOKE ! Its a Marketing GIMMICK.

8:40 music straight out of the lion king?

Who is filming this. Pease say it’s not pore jack

GCN's Top Gear moment... nice!

I would really like to try a bike with plus size wheel setup (could be 27,5x3.00, that's what I have on my new MTB and I really like it) AND the aero riding position (including the drop bars) of a gravel or CX bike. :)

Great video, not sure if Moots could have provided a second set of bikes to accommodate different frame size requirements? but it would have been interesting if you switched bikes on day two and gave your impressions. Again, great video

It's like Top Gear for cyclists. Great!

Iceland is just unique and epic. Thought I would get bored to this scenery by end of this video, I didn't.

Those drone shots are nicely done!

You may have Pleurisy.

I honestly don't even care about the outcome, that scenery is amazing

Who watched this and didn't want to ride their bike in Iceland? Thought so, no one!!! awesome adventure!

Would of been good for a tour of The hut you guys stayed in.

What is it with GCN/GMBN presenters and their complete lack of fear regarding giardia infection risk? Use a waterfilter, you absolute madmen!

Amazing "short film". Good guys (Si & Neil great together). Fun adventure, gorgeous rugged lanscape, informative, and inspiring. More like this


My God! This video quality is amazing! Great job GCN GMBN!

One does not simply walk into Mordor... one cycles.

sorry but gravel bike vs MTB.... starting at highest elevation.... that would be like lightweight vs aero bike.... all climbing.

So the Cannondale Slate is the one for this adventure then

glad Neil isn't wearing any lycra bollox

That gravel bike looks flimsy as fuck, another unnecessary product market, you need wide handlebars...

As an Icelander it gives me great pride to see foreigners make such fantastically scenic videos about and from Iceland, thanks guys

Great film and scenery... wonder why they didnt swap rides for day 2 and then compare...

Really enjoyed this video, absolutely amazing views, loved both bikes, well done guys

Thanks GCN and GMBN for this epic content ! Any chance you can share your routes with us ?

Simon gets to do all the fun stuff

What's the name of the track at 8:21?

So obviously that ride can be done on a gravel bike, but, do you want to do it on a gravel bike? I bet the mtb is way more comfortable. MTB wins.

What time of the year was it?

The sheep at 20:48 - challenging Dan for best hair?

This was absolutely breathtaking cinematography. Great video.

Just stunning...brought a tear to my eye.

Stupid comparison. Fatter tyres every time on surfaces such as this which means MTB or fat bike. Surly ECR 29+.

Were gravel bikes previously known as cyclo cross bikes?

Made me cry with envy. A reason to get fit.

that landscape is beautiful i am so jealous

Great video, scenery and music - especially Day 1. I did loads of what's now called bike-packing in the 80s and 90s in the Scottish highlands. On an old Ridgeback mtb - hardtail, rigid fork, with 1.9 tyres, 600mm flat handlebar and bar ends. 120mm low rise stem, so the geometry probably very similar to a modern gravel bike - could pull on the climbs, and avoid the worst of the headwinds. But it had the versatility of a mtb on the rough stuff. Basically a halfway house between Neil's soft-tail and the gravel bike. The bars on modern mtbs are too wide and the stems too short.

De loin le meilleur épisode jusqu'à maintenant. De très beaux paysages et j'ai aimé le format petit débat entre les deux vélos qui a fait ressortir les arguments.

GMBN vs GNC I prefer the first, mountain bike is like a religion. This is not a comparison of different bikes, a comparison of different religios.Sincerely.

That bit of film at 23:34, superb. This is one of the best cycle tour videos I have ever seen.

Amazing Video Guys! If i could only have one, i would go for the gravel Bike. I need to be effective on my comute, and everything else is just fun, and as you mentioned, you might be slower on the gravel bike but the fun stays the same.

You guys seem to have it made. You get paid on top of all expenses and probably going to Tazmania or Patagonia to ride to test if the new SramRed derailleur is better than the DuraAce. How about the rounding of Madagascar to compare steel and carbon disks?

On my bucket list!

12:27 nice ratcheting

Stunning footage! Anyways, you can still mount an aero bar on your mtb to get a more aero position.

0:25 so they're becoming mountain bikes?

This could have been a documentry. Mind blowing cinematography!

Brokeback mountain 2.0?

Some sections of this video remind me of the TV show with the greatest videography ever... Top Gear!

Just put it on the list of my all time favorite GCN videos. Thumbs up.

Went bikepacking for 25 days around the country on a road bike last summer and it was by far the most incredible but trying experience I’ve ever had, and seeing this brought back a lot of memories and feelings. Great job guys

Give me that Fox in the front every day of the week.

The scenery is awesome. I was carried away by the landscape. I could not focus on your conversations. Iceland. Lovely place.

Epic content, few minutes into the ride video and I completely forgot it was about MTB vs Gravel comparison. Would you guys hire me?

Also, 10:20 - jawdropping

Good thing you're not eligible for GCNinspiration because we could have done a pause on almost any shot and you would have win!

What app did you use at 14:57?

Watching that video I assume Neil is still a growing lad. Seeing him next to that bike reminded me of me and my first MTB when I was 13. I bought the next size up to grow into it which I wouldn't recommend. Personally I wouldn't ride anything technical such little room between my groin and the crossbar. I guess Neil has the skills to avoid anything too unfortunate. Great video once again though folks ! An Iceland off-road tour has been on my bucket list for years and sadly still is :/

Can anyone tell me what gloves they wear in the video?

I put the video on my very top3 GCN video, absolutely brilliant, cinematography is awesome

Mike Faxholm Thank you!

Komoot - navigation app

Definition of desolation.

When did you throw the ring of power into the volcano?

Guys well done, this video inspired me, not to mention the world class edit. I would pay to see this. It reminds me of a high quality movie . Speechless, regards Steve

Wow! Amazing video.. good to see you Neil on GCN! As for the gravel bike... still not convinced, I love my Hardtail and also my TCR, they are both great in what they do.

Well produced! Really nice, guys!

Surely this is ideal fatbike territory Neil......

Si and Neil should try do the Cape Epic one day

Actually, more like great advert for Iceland. If I lived there I'd have the mtb all day, if I were globetrotting on a bike with light luggage across vast continents, the gravel bike would be very interesting ..

Stunning! What month were you there? I wonder if replacing the MTB handlebar with something like a Jones Loop, would improve the aerodynamic positioning? Beautiful videography!

Thanks for the kind words Sandra; we visited during early September.

Great vid Si! Loved it!

You should have the "Bicycle Touring Pro" join you on one of your future bike touring or bikepacking trips.

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