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While looking for a gravel bike, you’ll encounter a lot of different brands offering their bikes at different prices.
Each one of those bikes is good, but our interest is in finding the best one. Today, we’ll do just that.
In this article, we’ll cover the most satisfactory gravel bikes available for us.
Before choosing them, we considered several elements like the quality of their components, the durability offered, and their reliability.
The result was ten bike models that made it into our reviews. If you want to find out more about what they’re capable of doing, continue reading to find out. Without anything else to add, let’s begin!
Top Gravel Bikes Comparison 2021
Last update on 2021-03-01 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Best Gravel Bikes Under $3000, $2000, $1500, $1000
The following are the top ten gravel bikes currently available. And the price of these bikes varies from 3000 down to 1000, so make sure you read thoroughly to find one that’s friendly to your budget.
Schwinn Vantage Hybrid Road Bike
We’re starting with a gravel bike suitable for those intermediate to advanced riders.
People from 5’3” to 5’7” will be able to ride it comfortably, covering a great height range from young riders to adults, be it, women or men.
The bike’s available in four different colors: charcoal, black, matte grey, and slate grey.
Its design looks pretty good, despite not being the most appealing bike. What it lacks on aesthetics, the bike compensates it with outstanding gear and components.
For instance, the frame delivers reliable performance. It’s resistant to reduce vibrations from bumps, which means it’s pretty durable.
Also, the bike has elastomer soft tail suspension, giving riders complete comfort for each one of their adventures on the road.
And we also liked the endurance provided by the handlebar and the carbon fork. The disc mounts featured, as well as the alloy steerer is capable of delivering a smooth ride for everyone.
With the TRP Spyre C disc brakes, you’ll have all the stopping power needed to keep you safe.
Lastly, the Shimano Sora 18-Speed drivetrain performs perfectly. Undoubtedly, having a wide gear range with a satisfactory response to commands will give you the comfort needed to embark on new adventures.
While riding the bike is quite comfortable, not everything goes smoothly. For some reason, some odd noises might come up.
Many previous customers have reported this issue, saying the creaks and crack-like noise isn’t nice.
Considering it’s one of the best gravel bikes under 2000, that’s not something one would expect.
Tommaso Siena Gravel Adventure Bike
If comfort is your main concern while purchasing a bike, then the Tommaso Siena is probably the bike that you need.
Its outstanding design, created with perfect frame geometry, guarantees proper power transfer, allowing the riders to enjoy their time riding the bike with no problems.
This bike also goes a step forward when it comes to speed gear. By featuring the Shimano Tourney drivetrain, it offers riders the gear needed to do well over different surfaces, including gravel.
Whether you ride over dirt, road, or trail, the 12-28T Shimano Tourney cassette, and the Triple 30/39/50T crankset, will get you through either of those terrains with no issues at all.
This bike also includes the acclaimed 700x40C tires and Tommaso TC-20D rims.
During these reviews, you’ll see these two components come up time and time again, and their incredible performance is one of the reasons why.
Besides offering pleasant stability over most terrains, the tires and rims give riders the control needed to reach their destinations safely.
The Avid BB5 disc brakes keep everything under control, as the stopping power offered by them is enough to get to a stop whenever needed.
In terms of performance, the bike is impeccable. It’s not perfect, though, as the derailleur makes some noises.
Many previous customers mentioned this issue, saying it could be frustrating. If that doesn’t concern you, then the bike won’t be of any problem for you.
Sometimes, we try to look for the best gravel bikes under 3000 without realizing that a cheaper model, like this one, could very well meet every one of our expectations.
Related Guide: Mountain Bike Forks under $300, $200
Tommaso Sentiero Gravel Adventure Bike
The SLA 6061 aluminum frame offered by this bike is one of the most impressive frames you’ll see.
It’s lightweight and compact design makes it convenient, and the high-quality build makes it durable to serve you well for many years to come.
You’ll also like how comfortable the bike is. The WTB Volt saddle gives the cushioning needed for those long rides, and the Tommaso TRS Seatpost is adjustable.
Riders will have the freedom to customize and adapt both the seatpost and the saddle to their needs.
Naturally, not everything is about comfort, riders also need a capable bike. In that sense, the Tommaso Sentiero offers Shimano Claris Shifters and derailleurs, which work well with the drivetrain.
All of these components deliver smooth and consistent shifting, depending on your needs.
What about the wheels? Well, the Tommaso Corsa TC-20D rims, combined with 40C tires, secure a heavy-duty performance from the bike, both on and off-road scenarios.
That’s when the Avid BB5 disc brakes come into play, as they’re more than capable of keeping you safe at all times.
The stopping power offered by the brakes is just enough to put the riders to a smooth or sudden stop as soon as they need it.
With 26.2 lbs, this bike could be a little on the heavy side for some riders. You’ll want to keep its weight into consideration, as it could affect your performance on certain activities.
Other possible issues are the pedals, which are neither the most comfortable nor the easiest to use.
Related Guide: Edge 200 or edge 500
Tommaso Sterrata Gravel Adventure Bike
The following bike is available in extra-large and small sizes, making sure everyone gets to enjoy it.
Besides variety in wheel size, the bike also offers versatility, meaning that it’d do well over plenty of terrains, including gravel.
This bike features two key parts, which are a compact aluminum frame and a carbon fiber fork.
The level of vibration dampening is incredible, allowing the riders to feel the most comfortable they can during their adventures.
And the frame, in particular, is quite flexible. With a driller design, you’ll have the opportunity to attach several accessories to make your ride more pleasant.
If you’re carrying items or your belongings, attaching a rack would be a good idea. Another cool addition would be a pair of fenders.
Also, riders can expect the bike to be efficient in terms of speed. The groupset, which is the 3×8 Shimano Claris, combined with the Claris crankset and cassette, allow you to tackle different terrains.
Surprisingly, the bike does well over wet and dry terrains too.
Moreover, the Tommaso TC-30D rims are decent as well. By offering the durability of a 28 spoke rim, the bike secures a smooth rider regardless of the conditions.
In fact, the wide 700x40C tires are some of the reasons that make it one of the best gravel bikes under 1000.
Almost everything else works perfectly. Both the saddle and the handlebars are comfortable, which is quite pleasant.
The disc brake calipers, despite being responsive, could be a little tricky to adjust. Other than that, you can expect this bike to meet your expectations.
Mongoose Selous Sport Gravel Road Bike
If you ask people, they often have divided opinions about this bike. Some like it, and some others don’t.
Still, the Mongoose Selous is efficient for certain activities. There’s no doubt it’ll perform well on gravel, but the components’ durability makes it good for other terrains too.
In fact, the double-butted aluminum frame is among the best you could find. Additionally, the alloy fork and 40C tires guarantee a smooth, secure, and reliable riding.
The bike’s good performance is also possible due to the tires and the rims featured. With 700x40C wire-beaded tires and high-quality Alex DP-23 alloy rims, every mile cruised feels great.
As for the drivetrain, this bike makes good use of the Shimano Sora 18-Speed gear.
Combined with the Sora STI shifters, the gearing’s response is top-notch. At all times, riders will have complete control of the bike and its speed.
Another component people bring up about this bike is the 3D forged 6061 stem, which includes a 31.8 mm clamp.
When it is put together with the double-butted drop handlebar, your control over the bike, and thus the terrain, is incredible.
While it’s true that most bikes have rather useless pedals, you still get to decide whether you like those pedals or not.
In this case, you don’t even have that luxury, because no pedals come included in the purchase.
You have to get them separately from the get-go.
Fortunately, the lack of pedals is the only downside of buying this bike.
Related Guide: Best Hybrid Bikes
Raleigh Bikes Willard 1 Gravel Bike
By featuring aluminum frame and fork, the following bike guarantees comfort due to a lightweight build.
Another benefit offered is flexibility, as the bike performs well on gravel and unpaved roads.
Of course, a good performance wouldn’t be possible without great components.
The addition of Clement X’Plor tires rated USH 700X35c, is one of the reasons for the bike’s success on most surfaces, whether they are gravel or pavement.
And the speed system featured is the Shimano Claris 8-speed equipment with 16 gears for you to choose the most suitable.
On to road, this mechanism proves to be effective, easily switching the speeds to accommodate the bike over the current terrain.
This bike comes with pedals included. Although they aren’t a big deal, the pedals are durable, which is the least you can expect.
As for the brakes, there’s the Tektro Lyra mechanical brake system featured, which provides just enough stopping power to keep riders safe.
Once the bike arrives, you’ll notice that most of the components come pre-assembled.
Nonetheless, you’ll still have to do some work, attaching parts like the handlebar, seat, pedals, and the front wheel.
Luckily, this process doesn’t take much time or effort, allowing everyone to do it quickly.
The only issue with this bike is the lack of colors. With only a black model available, riders will miss more variety.
Still, considering it is only aesthetics, most people let it slide. Apart from that small observation, everything else about this bike is nothing but great.
Diamondback Bicycles Haanjo 2 Gravel Bike
Since the bike’s design aims to tackle gravel, you can expect it to do well over that and many more surfaces.
With a sturdy frame featuring stable geometry, riders will be capable of performing decent corning and fast descents.
The bike’s performance is even better due to the high-quality tires, which deliver outstanding traction even if the gravel turns muddy.
Over this specific terrain, the lack of resistance for the rolling improves the quality of both climbing and descending, guaranteeing a fun ride overall.
Now, even though the steel fork is a bit heavier than the aluminum or carbon counterpart, it does absorb bumps and vibrations pretty well.
That’s impressive, especially because there isn’t an actual suspension system.
Also, the handlebar and the grips featured are good. They feel good on the hands, providing riders a comfortable platform to rest.
And thanks to the drop bar setup, you’d have at least three riding positions. The so-called horns come into play, allowing you to do some pedaling and cruising in a relaxed position.
Moreover, the wrapped flat bar is great for long roads, and steep climbs, but riders will have problems reaching the brakes from that position.
Because of that, it’d be better to leave the flat bar for those occasions when there are no other riders or traffic nearby.
Lastly, since it’s a Ready Ride bike, you can expect most of the components to come assembled, but you’ll have to do some work nonetheless.
For instance, the front derailleur needs adjustments. Additionally, you may need an extra saddle, as the one included is uncomfortable.
Raleigh Bikes Tamland 1 All Road Bike
The next bike may be a bit old, with a release date in 2013, but it continues to be one of the brand’s top products up to this day.
Raleigh intended to create a multi-purpose bike capable of day-long rides over different surfaces, and the Tamland 1 manages to meet those expectations.
Let’s start with the frame. This bike features a frame made with Reynolds 631 Chromoly butted steel.
The frame has a tapered tube attached to it, 12mm thru-axles, and flat mount disc tabs.
Although the original Tamland had a steel fork, this one comes with a monocoque carbon fork instead, including tapered alloy steerer and a couple of bolts to attach a rack.
Moreover, the bike features frame and fork designed for comfortable riding over gravel, which is also possible due to the tires.
With 700Cx45 clearance and stock tires rated 40mm, riders will be able to tackle those surfaces with complete ease.
You can tell the quality of the bike from the brake system. The Tamland 1 uses TRP Spyre-C mechanical disc calipers, featuring 160mm rotors.
As for the levers, the bike offers the Shimano 105 R7000 shift/brake levers for a quick response when needed.
As with several other bikes reviewed here, this one has some flaws too. The most noticeable issue you’ll encounter is the saddle, which isn’t as comfortable as you’d expect.
You may want to check it out and consider replacing them as soon as possible.
Other components you may want to replace are the pedals, as many customers pointed out they’re not that great either.
Raleigh Bikes 54cm RXW Women’s Cyclocross Bike
True to the brand’s style, Raleigh continues to create reliable gravel bikes with outstanding components.
The following bike from the RXW Series is great due to the convenient benefits provided, one of which is the superlight alloy cross frame.
In fact, the Superlight butted 6061 alloy frame isn’t only lightweight, but also highly durable and resistant.
Even on gravel, the frame is capable of absorbing the shock produced by bumps, allowing the rider to enjoy their ride as comfortable as possible.
Of course, there are other components that make this bike worth the money. For instance, to back up the solid frame, the bike features Clement MXP tires.
These tires proved to be very capable over most surfaces, providing riders with the control needed over the terrain.
The drivetrain is yet another reason to like this bike. It’s the SRAM Rival 1×11 drivetrain, a reliable addition that riders will appreciate.
Due to the many gears available, you’ll have the chance to choose the one that works better for you and your activities.
Even though the brand classifies this bike for women, realistically, men are capable of riding it too.
Whether you’re a petite person, or simply because you just like the bike, the 54cm RXW Women’s Cyclocross would be a good pick for many, be it man or woman.
Since the bike arrives pre-assembled, customers won’t have to do much work to attach the rest of the parts. However, you do have to take the time to adjust and tune some parts like the handlebar and seat.
Tommaso Illimitate Gravel Adventure Bike
This bike offers the compact frame that most riders seek from a bike, which is also perfect for disc brakes.
Besides comfort, you can expect the Tommaso Illimitate to be durable, as the shaped tubing and gears not only look great, but they’re capable of performing well for many years.
The compact design provides incredible power transfer, which is necessary for both dirt and gravel surfaces.
Thanks to the reduced vibrations due to the dampening, the bike is ready to go for most adventures regardless of the surface.
Unlike other bikes from the brand, the Illimitate features a complete Shimano Tiagra drivetrain.
Suffice to say, the shifting gear is remarkable due to how easy it’s to tune it and use it. Thus, riding the bike will be a blast for every rider.
Functional brakes are a must in any scenario, be it commuting or during extreme riding, which is why the Avid BB5 disc brakes are essential for this bike.
They respond quickly to your commands, whether you’re riding on the road and dirt, be it wet or dry.
Similar to other models like the Tommaso Monza, the Illimitate features compact bars, allowing riders to use it in the most comfortable position for them.
The flat sections of the bar’s center offer plenty of support to relieve wrist pressure, and there are no overly deep drops either.
For these and many more reasons, this bike will be a great purchase for casual riders. Keep in mind, though, that the weight may come off as a little heavy.
Features to Look for before Buying
If you want to get a bike that’s worth your money, it’d be better to keep the following considerations in mind.
Durable Frame & Fork
Before focusing on anything else, you want your bike to be durable. Riding over gravel may be a little bumpy, meaning that the vibration could be very noticeable if your bike doesn’t have dampening.
The most common material used for the frame is aluminum due to its lightweight, while the forks often feature steel.
Just like any other vehicle does, the bike needs a proper brake system to keep the riders safe.
There are many brake systems available, which is why you’d have to choose the one that you consider most suitable for your purposes.
Handlebar & Saddle
Gravel bikes aren’t like traditional bikes. The handlebars offered are noticeably different.
On gravel bikes, the handlebar allows riders to rest their arms in different positions, which is pretty useful on the road. Additionally, you want your saddle to be comfortable too.
Depending on your height, a certain gravel bike could be more suitable for you than others. Naturally, that’s something you have to keep in mind to choose the right size for the frame.
Also, consider the size of the wheels too. Wider wheels often mean more stability and control over the road, but not all riders are comfortable using them, as some people may prefer thin wheels instead.
You also want to keep in mind the shifting gear included in the bike’s build. As you saw during our reviews, the most common gears used are Shimano’s products.
Shimano equipment is among the most efficient for many reasons, whether you’re looking for the best gravel bikes under 1500 or less money.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)
Below are the most commonly asked queries regarding the best bikes on gravel:
What are gravel bikes good for?
Gravel bikes are great for tough roads. They’re capable of handling gravel tracks, forest trails, and more.
What size gravel bike do I need?
It depends on elements like your own height. As you search for options, you’ll find that manufacturers offer gravel bikes in small, medium, and large sizes.
However, since you’ll be changing positions regularly, it won’t matter if the bike is a bit too small or a bit large.
How wide are gravel bike tires?
Commonly, people prefer 37mm to 40mm of width when it comes to gravel bikes tires. These are the most efficient over off and on-road riding.
How to clean gravel bikes?
Use a hosepipe to spray water on the muddy parts. Then, get a bucket with hot, soapy water and use a sponge to start cleaning. Once you finish, use a clean sponge to remove the excess water.
Don’t use a jet wash. It may sound tempting, but blasting water will take the grease out, which is something that the bike needs.
How to build gravel bikes?
Fortunately, customers won’t have to do much work. These bikes come pre-assembled, which means that you’d only have to attach a few parts. It’s a process that doesn’t take much time.
Have you found your ideal gravel bike yet? Take your time and choose wisely.
Once you find a bike that meets your expectations, you’ll be ready to go on new adventures without fearing that the terrain may be too tough.