Gravel bikes for the UK: Just get a hardtail

If you’re interested in off road cycling you may well have ‘gravel bikes’ being marketed at you. They can supposedly ‘do it all,’ because all it takes to tame the UK’s off road terrain is some wide knobbly tyres, flared bars and some hydraulic disc brakes. I was persuaded by this and persevered with trying to make a Surly Midnight Special a ‘do it all’ bike for more than a year, and learned the hard way that life is too short to try hammering square pegs through round holes. This is a short article about how I ended up trading it in for a cheap 2nd hand hardtail and why I think you’d likely be best served by opting for the same.