I'd like to share my perspective on gravel bike versatility. Before I do, we need to first understand what makes a bike a gravel bike. It is more than a bike that can be ridden on gravel, but a wide range of multi-surfaces from unpaved dirt roads, sand, to deep gravel.
A gravel bike can resemble a road bike, but if you look closer, you will likely notice that gravel bikes have more tire clearance to fit wider all-terrain tires. Looking at it head on, you will see that the wheels, frame geometry, and forks are more in line with a mountain bike than a road bike. You may see it as a cross between the two bikes built for a specific purpose, and in a sense, you are correct.
My gravel bike is an STS ADVNTR. I call it my go anywhere, do anything bike. It truly is what I ride everywhere. It is perfect when I take it to gravel races, but I've also taken it through some fast and twisty single track trails in Brown County, Indiana. I’ve ridden it through the Garden of the Gods in Colorado Springs. One day, I walked out my front door and rode it over 150 miles around my county. With the versatility of being able to put on road specific wheels and tires, I'll be riding my STS in the upcoming Hilly Hundred throughout the hills of southern Indiana. It will also be my bike of choice as I plan to participate in the RAIN (Ride Across Indiana) ride next year.
If you have a gravel bike, or are considering getting a gravel bike, but you're not sure how much use it will get, then know this: it's a more comfortable ride off the pavement than a road bike, and can be faster than a mountain bike. From commuting to work, running errands, to bike packing across long distances; the choice is easy, hop on a gravel bike and go. Nothing will stop you. It really is a go anywhere, do anything bike. With that in mind, you just might find yourself going places you never knew existed. It gives you the ability to get out there and explore confidently.