13 best gravel bikes

Last updated: Jan, Mon, 2021

You’ve come to the right place, I list the best gravel bikes for beginners if you’re looking for a great mix experience at an affordable outlay.

best gravel bikes for adventure

Gravel riding has been given a multitude of synonyms, such as adventure, all-road and gravel grinder. Well, that depends on what you define as a gravel bike.

The gravel bikes epitomise the new discipline and are vastly more capable than their pavement-dwelling siblings.

They’re nimbler on paved sections of road compared to fat-tired MTB steeds, but more confidence inspiring when it comes to tackling rough surfaces than endurance road bikes.

Here we’ll try to demystify these hybrid bikes 2.0, and help you to figure out which one is best for you.

best gravel bikes under 500

Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno Pro Single Speed bike

#1 Motobecane Fantom Cross Uno Pro Single Speed gravel bike

Motobecane Fantom is perfect for gravel short distance commuter.

This bike made of 4130 Chromoly steel. Chromoly steel is naturally shock-absorbent that’s great for gravel ride.

Instead of adding bulky shocks to your front wheel, the frame itself catches unpleasant road vibration, leaving you with a smooth ride.

One-speed not for long-distance travel. The gearing is 38/16t. Just only suitable for pedal on flat roads.

Looking for the best gravel bikes under 500 is not good ideal, as the bike frame and drivetrain erodes most of the budget.

However, this is a single-speed gravel bike, keep the simple and designed for riders who have little chance of climbing from city side.

  • 49CM=5’2″-5’5″, 52CM=5’5″-5’7″, 54CM=5’7″-5’9″, 56CM=5’9″-5’11”, 58CM=5’11”-6’1″, 61CM=6’1″-6’4″.

best gravel bikes under 1000

diamondback HAANJO 1 gravel bike

#2 Diamondback Haanjo 1

Diamondback Haanjo 1 is a best entry level gravel bike starts with the commuter-oriented, and shred gravel.

The bike flat-bar handlebar is ideal for commuting across the urban.And the wide 38mm tires will help you get to work even on snow days.

The bike is build of aluminum and keeps the whole lightweight. But with a steel fork to neutralize road bumps.

Don’t worry about the lack of speed by 1×9 drivetrain. It’s not a snub to help you cope with a 20 mile commute daily. But the gears may not be enough to cope with an excessively sloping hillside. You can jump to the haanjo 3 or haanjo 4.

  • XS/47CM=5’1″-5’4″, SM/50CM=5’4″-5’8″, MD/53CM=5’7″-5’10”, LG/56CM=5’10”-6’1″, XL/59CM=6’1″-6’4″.
Tommaso Sterrata Gravel Adventure Bike

#3 Tommaso Sterrata Gravel Adventure Bike

Tommaso Sterrata is an adventure bike that allows you to join a group tour.

Carbon fork has a better crushing buzz than other materials. The 40c tires are comfortable and handle gravel/dirt like a beast.

Claris works adequately. 8 speed with a triple gives you a reasonable gear range, but apart from the steepest hills and mountains and heavier riders.

If you like to take the plunge into road biking with some occasional light trail rides. This will impress you.

  • XS=5’2″-5’6″, SM=5’6″-5’8″, MD=5’8″-5’11”, LG=5’11”-6’2″,XL=6’2″-6’5″.
Pure Cycles Adventure Gravel bike

#4 Pure Cycles Adventure Gravel Bike

Pure Cycles Adventure Gravel bike is a position for you try to own an affordable bike.

At the same gravel bikes under 1000 that didn’t notice much of a difference in performance though from specs.

If you’re weary of mountain biking that incredibly exhausting activity. This bike is either meant for the beginner who is just starting out with gravel riding.

Though come with cheap components because it is a more cost-efficient bike. But the gear is good and great for ride 5 days a week and can’t afford another expensive bike.

  • XS=5’4″-5’7″, SM=5’6″-5’9″, MD=5’8″-5’10”, LG=5’10”-6’0″,XL=6’0″-6’2″, XXL=6’2″-6’5″.
Schwinn Vantage RX2

#5 Schwinn Vantage RX 2 Gravel Bike

Schwinn Vantage RX 2 offer higher-quality components and ride but outside of its mass-market products.

The Vantage RX2 is a do-everything bike designed with rack-ready mounts for touring, fender mounts for commuting, and disc brakes and clearance for tires up to 44mm wide for toward gravel riding.

Schwinn features something the brand calls SRT—Smooth Ride Technology—which uses elastomers to dampen vibration through the seat. It also uses SRT where the stem meets the frame to soften blows to your wrists.

Vantage RX2 is a mid-level bike, somewhere between a cheap gravel bike and a high-performance bike. If you want a little more comfortable for your fun, that’s great.

  • 45cm/Small=5’3″-5’7″, 48cm/Medium=5’7″-5’10”, 51cm/Large=5’10”-6’1″, 56cm/X-Large=6’1″-6’4″.
GT Grade Elite Gravel Bike

#6 GT Grade Elite Gravel Bike

GT Grade Elite Gravel Bike serves as a fantastic partner in the world of two-wheeled adventure riding across a sweep of different surfaces and into multiple days on the trail.

The bike frame is lightweight and responsive under power. Robust enough to provide reliability when the terrain gets rough.

While a multitude of rack mounting points across the frame set enables the longest adventures to be tackled fully equipped with any gear you might need.

Tires may not be large enough, and for riders who ride more off-road, they may need to be replaced with wider tires. But affordable, Full of all the features you’re want to start gravel adventures.

  • 44CM=5’1″-5’4″, 48CM=5’4″-5’7″, 51.5CM=5’7″-5’9″, 55CM=5’9″-5’11”, 58CM=5’11”-6’1″, 61CM=6’1″-6’4″.

best gravel bikes under 1500

Salsa Journeyman Sora 650 Bike

#7 Salsa Journeyman Sora 650 Bike

Salsa Journeyman Sora 650 Bike is a true do-it-all bike for women seeking on- and off-road adventures.

Bike with a 46/30 in the front and 11-34 in the back, which should get you up single digit gravel gradients pretty easily.

In our experience, it’s a flickable with 650bx2.1in tires, confidence-inspiring ride no matter the terrain. This is one of the best gravel bikes under 1000.

This is the bike for someone looking for the quickly-paced adventure experience. Bike come in smaller sizes, so it’s a good Christmas gift for your little go to middle school.

  • 50cm=5’1″-5’4″, 52cm=5’4″-5’8″, 54cm=5’6″-5’10”, 55cm=5’9″-6’0″, 57cm=5’11”-6’2″, 59cm=6’1″-6’5″.
Octane One Gridd 2 Gravel Bike

#8 Octane One Gridd 2 Gravel Bike

If you’re passionate about charity riding in the community, Gridd 2 bike frame is responsive and aggressive and doesn’t leave you behind the crowd.

Gridd 2 chose SRAM 10-Speed drivetrain, with 40T ring up front and an 11-40T wide-range cassette at the rear. The minimum ratio is 1, and to tackle long technical climbs over rough terrain.

The bike designed to blur the lines between bike disciplines and to defy what you expect from an entry level gravel model. Army green all looks great out of the box. I like it.

  • SM=5’4″-5’7″, MD=5’7″-5’10”, LG=5’10”-6’1″, XL=6’1″-6’4″.
Cube Nuroad Pro Road Bike

#9 Cube Nuroad Pro Road Bike

Cube Nuroad Pro Road Bike based on their previous aluminum Nuroad, it gets Cube’s mid-level hi-mod carbon construction for a plenty of lightweight, durability and vibration damping.

The latest retains the versatility of the original with hidden rear rack mounts, that keeps the bike neat and tidy throughout.

Nuroad Pro is so easy to ride. And the bike head angle is a pretty geometry, with tapered steerer gives some very balanced steering and you always feel in control.

I love the timeless look of this bike and its ride delivers a pleasantly damped feel that’s devoid of fatiguing buzz.

  • 50CM=5’5″-5’7″, 53CM=5’7″-5’9″, 58CM=5’10”-6’1″,61CM=6’2″-6’5″.

best gravel bikes under 2000

trek Checkpoint ALR 4 gravel bike

#10 Trekbikes Checkpoint ALR 4

Trekbikes Checkpoint ALR 4 is an excellent all-rounder. If you invested in two sets of wheels, you could comfortably go from sportives to singletrack with one bike and still ride to the office on Monday morning.

Shimano GRX RX400 10-speed rear derailleur with an 11-36t cassette and 46/30t crank ring combo and you’ve got a whopping 502% albeit with bigger jumps. This will give you full confidence when climbing and off-road. Thanks God.

As if your cycling goals include winning the events, it’s likely worth spending up for the Trek, and its more forgiving ride undeniably is a plus over long and hard miles.

For a bike that could cover just about all cycling needs at the cost of less than some race wheels, the Checkpoint ALR 4 seems like a great deal.

  • 49CM=5’4″-5’7″, 52CM=5’6″-5’9″, 54CM=5’8″-5’11”, 56CM=5’10”-6’0″, 58CM=6’0″-6’3″, 61CM=6’1″-6’4″.
ROCKY MOUNTAIN SOLO 50 BIKE

#11 ROCKY MOUNTAIN SOLO 50 BIKE

Rocky Mountain Solo 50 is not a mountain bike, and it won’t replace yours. If versatility is a key consideration, I think it’s a nice choice.

The Rocky Mountain Solo 50 fits in nicely within 650b x 2.2″ tires, a great high volume gravel tire that can take a beating. As an enviable gravel race bike that happily pulls double duty as a lightweight bikepacking rig for weekend trips.

The only thing to be aware of is that SRAM Apex 1 1×11 drivetrain is quite off-road focused, so you could find yourself slightly under geared for group riding on the road. And might just be a mountain biker’s favourite road bike.

  • XS=5’3″-5’7″, SM=5’6″-5’9″, MD=5’9″-5’11”, LG=5’10”-6’1″, XL=6’1″-6’4″.
SURLY DISC TRUCKER 26 gravel BIKE

#12 SURLY DISC TRUCKER 26″ BIKE

If you ardently love for steel gravel bike. Surly disc picker will meet your requirements for the major of taking long commands, epic all day adventures, and bike packing.

The 26 inch is obviously a natural attraction for shorter riders. And the triple drivetrain is an impressively capable companion for everything from backroad exploring to daily commutes which smoother and has an even better range.

The additional storage spots on the frame and fork make a great suited for all-day backcountry adventures. Whether you’re a mountain bike adherent or a full load traveler, the steel bike does offer a better cross experience than aluminum gravel bike.

Although quite a bit heavier than the carbon and aluminum models. But hard to ignore the ride characteristics, burly feel, and long-term durability of a steel build. If you take care of the Straggler, it should last for many years to come.

Check your deals

  • 42cm/XS=5’1″~5’3″, 46cm/SM=5’3″~5’6″, 50cm/MD=5’6″~5’9″, 52cm/LG=5’9″~5’11”, 54cm/XL=5’11″~6’2″, 56cm/XXL=6’1″~6’4″.

best value gravel bike

cervelo ASPERO APEX 1X gravel BIKE

#13 cervelo aspero apex 1x complete gravel bike

Cervelo aspero is a top notch gravel bike, you get a light and compliant carbon frame. While small, niche bike companies have dominated the gravel race scene for years.

With a slack front end and a steep seat angle, the bike puts you in an aggressive pedaling position, yet maintains predictable, surprise free handling on- and off the road. The combination of an angled top tube and hydraulic dropper post allows aspero apex 1x to get into some pretty unruly terrain.

If you frequent rough and rocky roads more often than smooth gravel bike paths and forego the impressive front suspension, which should be a key consideration.

Check your deals

  • XS/47CM=5’1″-5’4″, SM/50CM=5’4″-5’8″, MD/53CM=5’7″-5’10”, LG/56CM=5’10”-6’1″,XL/59CM=6’1″-6’4″.

how to choose the best gravel bike

It depends on where you ride. Assess whether you should hit on the more aggressive and racier end of the spectrum or the slacker more playful side you will be riding.

Gravels are not as equipped for tarmac as a road bike, nor for the dirt as a mountain bike. It’s versatile, and it might be the only machine you ever need.

Gravel enthusiasts will tell you that what you come up against off road — loose rocks, sand, water or roots — is all part of the adventure.

Anyway, right choice the best gravel bike is concerns main 2 — bike gears and tire size.

what is low gearing

low gear is combining the small front crankset size with the large rear cogset size results in the low available gear, which will help you keep the pedals spinning when the grinding up steep and loose hills.

Let’s be clear about one thing — having lots of gears is not about making the bike faster. Gears are there to enable us to maintain a comfortable pedaling speed (or cadence).

Low gears to care both efficiency and speed on the road, as well as enough power to cope with loose and steep terrain off-road.

Those regularly riding in very hilly regions and a full load rider looking for a ‘bail-out’ option. A ring with 30t or lower which when paired with a large ratio rear cassette, can provide an extremely low gear for use on steep climbs.

If you are come from a road rider, double crankset offer more options for you that prefer to spend more time on smoother terrain or on the road. With 50/34 or 48/32t are common.

A 1X (one-by) set up gives ultimate simplicity and often allows for greater tire clearance, this makes MTBer who don’t have sprint requirements feel good.

Single ring is also popular among commuters living in flat areas, because they require little maintenance.

how about 650b gravel bike

The common gravel bike wheel size is 700C (about 29in) and 650B(27.5in).

On a gravel bike, a 700c wheel option takes a skinnier tire, meaning less rotational mass and rolling resistance and slightly better obstacle rollover.

If your gravel rides consist of well-graded dirt roads and long lay zone, I suggest stick to 700c, as 700c obviously has some pretty big performance benefits.

On the other hand, 650b workable for fatter tire with roughly the same diameter depending on the tire size, allowing for lower tire pressure, improved traction and compliance.

If you are talking about open area, loose climbs and plenty of bushwhacking the smaller diameter rim with fatter tires is a better choice.

While quite a few bikes can take both wheel sizes, which is right for you will come down to you where you’re riding.

In addition, some models have 26inch bike wheels. Those bikes are very close to short riders which provide a friendly standover height.

gravel bike tire size

In the same way, the ideal gravel tire size base on where you live, what you like to ride, how events you are targeting, surface conditions, and so on.

Gravel bike tire size from 35mm to 50mm. The hot width is 40mm, which is get the intermediate number.

The 40 is still quick enough to get the fast wind-up/acceleration, and can handle just about anything you can throw at it technically.

For commuters or fitness cyclists, the width is now enough. They like the comfort, and all-out traction of a wide tire.

For what it’s worth a good balance point between road efficiency and off-road capability.

If you’re not a road racer then a gravel bike, with a narrower tire width, can handle any sportive or road ride with your club, with added comfort.

Likewise, if you’re not a dedicated mountain biker and just fancy adding some adventure to your rides, some thicker rubber will do the job off-road.

But some mountain bike riders who love cross-country or adventures, they expect the current gravel bike to become bigger.

Some serious enthusiasts strongly want to buy a grade bike with suspension. They ideally wider tires and want make the mountain bike to lightweight.

No tire is 100% right for any course or ride, since the whole point is mixed surfaces. You just need to solve the equation to be on the tire that’s right for you, on most of the course.

By the way, tubeless tires are biggest benefit is the ability to run lower tire pressures, meaning the tires are better able to absorb impacts without increasing the risk of a pinch flat. This also translates to a larger contact patch with the ground, making them ideal for off-road use.

gravel vs cyclocross bike

Whereas cyclocross bikes are designed with short, muddy races in mind, gravel or adventure bikes take longer unpaved rides into account.

Essentially gravel is a road bike designed for use on unpaved roads. The primary design differences are more mud clearance and room for larger tires.

These bikes aim to meld on-road efficiency with off-road capability, so you’ll find overlaps in design features with both road and cyclocross bikes, as well as incorporating elements from mountain bike technology.

Gravel bikes that feature additional clearance and mounts to accommodate luggage for more distant adventure.

aluminum gravel bike

The material of your bike can make or break the quality of your ride. If you still prefer aluminum. An aluminum grade bike is normal paired with a carbon fiber fork to minimize road induced paralysis for hands.

In fact, steel is more suitable for the riding environment of gravel bike than aluminum.

Especially CroMoly steel, it won’t deform or shift over time. This alloy is also extremely strong, and can put up with a lot more bumps and bruises than aluminum, and rivals industrial steel when it comes to a general lifespan.

But it is not accepted by the majority of riders because it is heavier than aluminum. And it increases the amount of pedaling, which leads to more effort.

In terms of price point, gravel bikes under 1500 will be feature aluminum frame. The price near 1000 will be equipped with a carbon fiber fork. The lower down is a steel fork, or an aluminum fork.

If you made a higher budget, or the pursuit of more excellent bike, carbon fiber gravel bike is a great deal.

Carbon fiber is not an alloy, but it has all the advantages. Carbon is the lightest material of the bunch and often the choice among gram-counters and speed-focused riders.

Additionally, because carbon bikes are made with molds instead of welds, companies are able to better “tune” their ride characteristics, making them more compliant for comfort or stiffer for better power transfer and efficiency.