If you have been riding your mountain, road or dirt bikes on roads searching for less quiet and remote places, the ever niched out bicycle industry has a solution for you. The solution is a gravel bike that comes with specific features to handle such tough terrains.
Despite being made initially for racing, gravel bikes are preferred by many riding enthusiasts currently over other types of bikes due to their flexibility.
What makes these models different from other bikes is primarily its design that makes it able to overcome the tough sections of the road. It maneuvers all obstacles, ranging from ditches, mud, tree roots and hills.
That said, the best gravel bike ought to have a well-laid back geometry, wider tires and other vibration-dampening components to tame the rough gravel roads.
With the extensive nature of models available, we have put together some of the best models that can fit your budget.
What Are Gravel Bikes?
Table of Contents
- 1 What Are Gravel Bikes?
- 2 Comapring the Top 5 Gravel Bikes Under $1500
- 3 1. Tommaso Illimitate Tiagra Gravel Adventure Bike – Best Overall Versatile Gravel Bike
- 4 2. Raleigh Bikes Willard 2 Gravel Adventure Road Bike – Best Low Priced Durable Bike
- 5 3. Diamondback Bicycles Haanjo 3 Gravel Adventure Bike – Best Gravel Bike for AllTerrains
- 6 4. Retrospec Bicycles AMOK V2 Gravel Bike – Best Gravel Bike for Unrivaled Agility
- 7 5. Mongoose Selous Sports Gravel Bike – Best Gravel Bike for the Price
- 8 Do Gravel Bikes Have Suspension?
- 9 Things to Consider Before Buying Gravel Bikes Under $1500
- 10 Final Thoughts
Essentially, a gravel bike is somewhere between a road cycle and a mountain bike. Although they may look like any ordinary bike, gravel bikes are able to go where none other can.
The wheels are wrapped in larger tires and come in at a much lower tire pressure in order to allow for more traction when offroading. Typically, the frame will be titanium or steel in order to keep the bike lightweight while still handling rougher terrain.
Contrary to road bikes, gravel bikes use flat disc brakes that offer much more stopping power. This is important since you never know when there may be an obstacle ahead.
If you are trying to decide what type of bike to get, it is hard to wrong with gravel bikes. They work equally well when riding on both smooth and rough surfaces. Also, the amount of control that you have is incredible thanks to its lower frame, lower gears, and larger tires.
If you use gravel bikes in adventure or a race, the chain comes loose while riding. You must learn to tighten your bike chain for a quick fix.
Comapring the Top 5 Gravel Bikes Under $1500
|Tommaso Illimitate Tiagra Gravel Adventure Bike|
|Raleigh Bikes Willard 2 Gravel Adventure Road Bike|
|Diamondback Bicycles Haanjo 3 Gravel Adventure Bike|
|Retrospec Bicycles AMOK V2 Gravel Bike|
|Mongoose Selous Sport Gravel Bike|
1. Tommaso Illimitate Tiagra Gravel Adventure Bike – Best Overall Versatile Gravel BikeSince the early 80s, Tommaso has shown its undeniable passion for not only making high-end bikes but also making them more accessible. The company believes that no matter the budget, riding aficionados should enjoy riding a high-quality and overly performing bike. This is what the Tommaso Illimitate Tiagra Gravel Adventure Bike represents.
Some of the intriguing features of the Tommaso Illimitate Tiagra Gravel Adventure Bike include:
The bike comes with a compact aluminum frame that road and gravel riders will certainly love. The frame is specifically designed for disc brakes with shaped tubing that offers comfortable and dependable riding even one-year down the line. The frame comes with heavy duty rear and front panniers making it overly versatile.
Its compact design offers unprecedented power transfer, perhaps all you need to climb dirt and gravel. Besides, its vibration dampening carbon fork has a sleek internal front disc brake routing that makes the bike ready for any adventure.
The Tommaso Illimitate Tiagra Gravel Adventure Bike is the only Tommaso bike featuring a full Shimano Tiagra drivetrain. With this, shifting is impeccably easy, easy to tune not mentioning its ride. This combination is great for riding in various conditions.
Extra stopping power is essential when commuting off-road in those extreme conditions. With this bike, worry not as the Tommaso disc brakes work incredibly well on the road, in the dirt, when dry and when wet.
Like other Tommaso line of bikes, this model comes with Tommaso Corse D rims with 32 strong spokes. The inclusion of Kenda Kwick road tires enables the bike to handle varied terrains of any adventure rider.
2. Raleigh Bikes Willard 2 Gravel Adventure Road Bike – Best Low Priced Durable BikeThe Raleigh Bikes Willard 2 Gravel Adventure Road Bike is one of the few low-priced gravel bikes from Raleigh with utmost durability. This cost-effective option comes with various features, including a durable steel frame, nice carbon fork build to last and absorb impact among others. Exemplary features of this bike include:
The Raleigh Bikes Willard 2 Gravel Adventure Road Bike features an alloy tapered steerer with a steel frame and carbon fork. It also comes with a nice gear system that can be changed easily, strong brakes with immense stability and control.
The bike’s great design enhances its performance capabilities. You will enjoy the bike’s nice and grippy tires made to handle all types of terrain. The mechanical disc brakes work exemplary regardless of the prevailing weather conditions. Besides, the bike provides enough traction to perform well in both up and downhill rides.
As mentioned before, the Raleigh Bikes Willard 2 Gravel Adventure Road Bike is a strong and well-designed bike made from high-quality materials. It also comes with an economical price tag. The carbon fork and steel frame make the bike long lasting. With such a build, you can abuse the bike frequently without hindering its capabilities.
Being on our list, the Raleigh Bikes Willard 2 Gravel Adventure Road Bike comes at a very low price yet with high-quality materials. Combining the steel durable frame, strong carbon fork giving you a comfortable ride. These materials are built to last.
3. Diamondback Bicycles Haanjo 3 Gravel Adventure Bike – Best Gravel Bike for AllTerrainsDiamondbacks new trail model the Diamondback Bicycles Haanjo 3 Gravel Adventure Bike is yet another durable and lightweight bike option with great features. Its aluminum alloy frame helps make the bike overly durable. Its lightweight nature makes it an easy ride. You will also get great tires and breaks that provide a comfortable ride at a cost-effective price.
Diamondback Bicycles Haanjo 3 Gravel Adventure Bike comes with an aluminum alloy frame with a hydroformed tube. Its design basically helps make the bike durable. You can get up to 16 speeds with the bike, so you can adjust as you are on the go. Like other diamondbacks bicycles, disc brakes are there to provide an assurance of instant stop.
You will enjoy lots of comfortable riding both up and downhill with the bike. Due to its smooth ride, you will be sure of comfort regardless of where you go. The tires and entire wheelset are designed to handle all the tough terrains and weather conditions. The brakes, as mentioned provide a lot of control with great stability.
Diamondback products are always durable. The Diamondback Bicycles Haanjo 3 Gravel Adventure Bike is no exception. It is made from high-quality materials. Justifying this is the aluminum alloy frame that provides immense strength yet lightweight. Such material means that the bike can handle lots of abuse thrown at.
The bike comes at a cost-effective price tag, making it a nice choice for those trying to save some money when purchasing a new bike. It’s affordable, durable yet cost-effective. You will certainly use this product for some time before the need of replacing some parts arises.
4. Retrospec Bicycles AMOK V2 Gravel Bike – Best Gravel Bike for Unrivaled AgilityIf you are searching for a bike that combines real technical sophistication with unrivaled agility, the Retrospect Bicycles AMOK V2 Gravel Bike should be your choice. With its agility, the bike can handle all types of terrain regardless of the weather condition. The bike comes with the following features.
The Retrospect bike, like other models of these series, comes with a chromoly frame that provides the much-needed strength and durability. The drop bars help the bike ride better and achieve great speeds. The bike provides more than 16 speeds with an easy drivetrain that can be easily adjusted. Adding to its design is an effective braking system that provides great control. The well-designed tires help you take the bike anywhere.
The bike provides a lot of impeccable performance that can help you go fast. Its aerodynamic design will make you reach thrilling speeds. Its well-designed tire system tackles all types of terrain and weather. You can tackle both uphill and downhill rides with much ease.
Retrospect Bicycles AMOK V2 Gravel Bike features a strong Chromoly frame that boosts control as well as provides immense durability. It can take all types of abuse with reliable performance.
Since the bike makes it to our list, you can be sure of finding it at an affordable price. This durable bike lasts long providing reliable performance. You will get all the comfort and stability you want.
5. Mongoose Selous Sports Gravel Bike – Best Gravel Bike for the PriceAmong other Mongoose series of bikes, the Seleous line is the most versatile performer. The Mongoose Seleous Sports Gravel Bike, to be specific, is perfect for gravel grinding, fitness riding, and trail riding. With such a budget, you will get a lot of use from this product at a low price.
The Mongoose Seleous Sports Gravel Bike is designed from a strong alloy frame and fully alloy fork. This combination, apart from adding to the bike’s durability, makes the bike an effective shock absorber. You will also get plenty of stability with its tire design as well as much control from the brakes.
Any greatly designed bicycle provides immense performance. This model provides great stability and control for all your riding ambitions. You can go up and downhill, assured by the nice traction tires which can handle all types of terrains and weather conditions.
The Mongoose Seleous Sports Gravel Bike features an aluminum alloy frame built to provide great durability and control. The fork works excellently in shock absorption when on the go. This makes the ride comfortable and smoother.
With such intriguing features, you are certain to find a nice bike at an affordable price. You will get lots of durability made from high-quality materials and build to last.
Do Gravel Bikes Have Suspension?
Gravel bikes have a suspension system that is very similar to the bikes that most people are familiar with already. Simply crank down to a low gear when you need to go uphill and gear up when you are reaching your maximum speed.
The suspension in a gravel bike is actually extremely important. Since you are likely to be taking rougher roads that go through uneven terrain, you need to be able to downshift in order to keep your balance.
In general, when looking at a gravel bike to purchase, you should consider what types of roads or trails you will be traveling on.
If it is hilly and difficult terrain, there is a small chance that you will stay at top speed for too long. This makes a bike with lower gears ideal, as you will spend more time accelerating than coasting.
If you love bike riding and are very good at DIY tinkering. Buying the best-motorized bike kits allows you to transform your standard bike into a motorized bike. It is capable of achieving speeds as high as 40 miles per hour.
Things to Consider Before Buying Gravel Bikes Under $1500
There are several characteristics you ought to keep in mind when searching for the best gravel bike. Unlike other bike types such as hybrid bikes, finding gravel bikes requires more attention.
Some of the significant points to look into in order to make the right choice are outlined below.
Though the collection of bikes on our list is cheap, it is important to find a bike that you can spend money on. In the review, our category will help you find a high-quality model that suits your budget.
In our classification, you will find the following;
- Bikes under $500 – this category of bikes are majorly for bike riding beginners. They require an entry-level bike as they improve their riding skills.
- Bikes under $1000 – these are the best bikes for the money. The bikes try to balance features with their cost.
- Bikes under $1500 – this category is most advanced and best for non-professional riding.
Gravel Bike Material
There are several materials used to make gravel bikes and bikes in general. Common materials include aluminum, chromo, and carbon. Aluminum is preferred due to its lightweight but provides low durability. Chromo has high durability and medium weight whereas carbon metals provide high durability and low weight.
Checking on the weight of the bicycle is of immense importance. Having a light bike will make your riding enjoyable and your bike more portable. As mentioned previously, the material used in manufacturing the bike determines its weight.
Brakes are perhaps the most important part of any moving vehicle. There are various brake options available on the market. Among the best include hydraulic disc, cantilever and mechanical disc brakes.
Speed is a subjective parameter. Whereas having the possibility of switching gears can be a good option, other enthusiasts enjoy riding bike models with single speed options. Keep in mind that having a bike with more speed options increases the chances of system failure.
There are no bad bikes whatsoever. What you only come across are bikes that don’t meet your needs. This is especially true when you are searching for specific bike models such as gravel bikes on a budget.
From our guide above, we are sure you will find a model that meets your gravel riding needs. This will enable you to cruise past those smooth roads and pavements to tough gravel roads for better riding experience.
The best bike should be durable, lightweight, made from strong material and feature effective brakes.
From our gravel bikes review above, which one is your favorite? Share with us in the comments section below.
Don’t forget to check this great review on the “Diamondback Insight 2 Review”.