Home Cycling Best gravel bikes 2021 | 27 top-rated picks from our expert testers

Best gravel bikes 2021 | 27 top-rated picks from our expert testers

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Whether you’re looking for a new gravel bike for 2019, or just looking to brush up on what to expect from the road bike world in 2021, we’ve got 27 top-rated bikes that will help you get the most out of your ride.

The bike world is changing. Most manufacturers are switching their focus to gravel bikes. With a handful of exceptions, the world of high-end road bikes is rapidly approaching an era of extinction. In these pages, we’ve been looking at the best road bikes on the market today and asking ourselves: are the road bikes of today can they make a comeback?

If you’re searching for the best gravel bikes to buy in the next 12 months, you’ve come to the right place. Over the past months, our experts have tested 27 top-rated gravel bikes and have put them through an extensive feedback process to find the best of the best. So, what are the best gravel bikes to buy in 2021?. Read more about best gravel bikes under 1000 and let us know what you think.

You’ve come to the correct spot if you’re searching for a list of the finest dirt bikes on sale in 2021. BikeRadar’s professional testers have ridden and evaluated all of the bikes in this article.

This fast expanding sector of the drop bar bike industry is referred to as gravel or all-road. These bikes feature greater tyre clearance and geometry than conventional road cycles, making them more stable and forgiving.

Modern gravel bikes sprang from the American Midwest, where gravel road racing first gained traction a decade ago and has since grown in popularity.

Riders used to take in these endurance races on cyclocross bikes with the biggest tyres that would fit between the stays in the early days.

Gravel-obsessed riders may now pick from a wide range of purpose-built machines, ranging from bikes that match the finest road bikes to more basic, low-cost gravel bikes.

There are also many ‘gravel-specific’ variants of standard cycling equipment and clothing, like as gravel-specific shoes.

In 2021, the top gravel bikes will be

BikeRadar’s professional testers have evaluated and assessed the finest dirt bikes available to purchase in 2021.

Carbon gravel bikes are the best.

  • ADV 9.0 Boardman: £1,800
  • £2,949 / $2,849 / AU$4,249 / €2,699 Canyon Grizl CF SL 8 1by Canyon Grizl CF SL 8 1by Canyon Grizl CF
  • £7,500 / $8,500 / €8,399 Lefty Cannondale Topstone Carbon Cannondale Topstone Carbon Cannondale Topstone Carbon Cannondale Topstone
  • £3,500 / $4,200 / €3,799 Ultegra RX Cannondale Topstone Carbon
  • $3,299 CAD Hatchet Carbon GRX LTD by Devinci $3,999 / €3,499 / €3,499 / €3,499 / €3,
  • £3,500 / €3,799 / $3,900 Carbon Pro GT Grade
  • £4,699 / €5,000 / $5,500 / AU$7,299 Advanced Pro Liv Devote
  • £2,599 / €2,929 / $3,299 Terra M20-D1x GRX by Orbea
  • £3,499 / €3,999 / $4,299 Vitus EVO CRS eTap Force Vitus Energie EVO CRS eTap Force Vitus Energie EVO CRS
  • £3,849 for the Exploro RaceMax 3T
  • £3,250 Arcadex Bianchi
  • £2,649 / $2,699 CF SL 7.0 Canyon Grail
  • Advanced Giant Revolt 0 costs £3,249 / $3,650 / AU$3,650. €3,599 / $4,699
  • £3,699 / €3,899 / $3,699 Quincy CC Rival Juliana Juliana Juliana Juliana Juliana Juliana Juliana Juliana Julian
  • Anywhere Lauf: $2,690+
  • SRAM Force 1 On-One Free Ranger: £1,800 / $2,556 / €2,178
  • £4,000 / $3,900 / AU$6,000 / €4,499 Diverge Comp Carbon is a specialized product.
  • £2,300 / $3,000 / AU$4,000 / €2,700 CRX Vitus Substance

Gravel bikes made of alloy

  • £1,649 / $1,699 / AU$2,349 / €1,499 Grail of the Canyon 6
  • £1,899 / €1,999 / AU$3,099 for the 6.8 Focus Atlas
  • AT: £1,850 Kinesis Tripster
  • £1,400 Fuji Jari 1.3 Adventure (Fuji Jari 1.3 Adventure)
  • £1,400 / AU$2,199 / €1,499 Silex 400 Merida
  • £1,205 Pinnacle Arkose D2 Pinnacle Arkose D2 Pinnacle Arkose D

Gravel bikes made of titanium

  • £3,888 / €4,666 / $5,063 for Escape from the Enigma
  • £6,195 Ti GRX Di2 Mason Bokeh
  • £3,249 Gradient of Reilly
  • £2,099 Ribble CGR Ti 650b Ribble CGR Ti 650b Ribble CGR Ti 650
  • Routt 45 Moots: £5,600 / $4,999

Steel gravel bikes are the best.

  • +: £845 / $899 / €899 / £845 / $899 / €899 / £845 Marin Nicasio
  • £1,399 Malvern BiVi Bunker
  • £1,700 Trig Ragley
  • £1,199 / $1,257 / AU$1,965 Steel Ribble CGR 725

Gravel bike frames are made from the same materials as the finest road bikes, including carbon, aluminum, titanium, and steel.

All of these materials have benefits, and various riders will discover that one in particular makes sense for them – whether it’s carbon’s low weight, aluminum’s dependability, steel’s traditional feel, or titanium’s desirability.

Our top-performing dirt bikes are divided into various frame materials, and you may go to each area here:


Carbon gravel bikes are the best.

Carbon fiber bikes are light, strong, and may be constructed to absorb vibrations efficiently. Many road riders choose it because of this, but it’s also an excellent option for performance dirt bikes.

Its pliancy will work hard to reduce chatter from the surface below while still allowing you to put a lot of power through the cranks.

ADV 9.0 by Boardman

Pack shot of the Boardman ADV 9.0 gravel bike Value Bike of the Year 2021

Another success story from Boardman is the ADV 9.0’s carbon frame, which offers excellent value for money. Immediate Media / Russell Burton

  • As tested, £1,800
  • Excellent value for money
  • Excellent ride quality
  • For the price, the low weight is remarkable.
  • Tyre clearance: 700mm x 38mm

In 2021, BikeRadar’s Bike of the Year Best Value award went to the Boardman ADV 9.0.

That’s because this gravel bike is surprisingly light for the price and is really a go-anywhere machine.

Its low weight is achieved via the use of a C10 carbon fiber frame, which is also strong and responsive, giving the bike an exciting sensation off-road and quick acceleration on the tarmac, according to our testers.

Boardman has equipped the bike with a smart combination of Shimano GRX components, with the 46/30 crankset and 11-32t gearing assisting you on even the most difficult hills.

Off-road grip is provided with Panaracer GravelKing SK tyres, which are also fast-rolling.

Canyon Grizl CF SL 8 1by

Canyon Grizl carbon gravel bike

The Canyon Grizl has all the attachments you might want for fenders, bottles, and bags, and it looks great. Immediate Media / Matthew Loveridge

  • £2,949 / $2,849 / $2,849 / $2,849 / $2,849 / $2,849 As tested, $4,249 / €2,699
  • Carbon frameset with a lot of versatility
  • Excellent specification
  • Geometry that has been carefully considered
  • Tyre clearance: 700-50mm (S-XL)/ 650-50mm (2XS-XS)

The Canyon Grizl is a beefier version of the Canyon Grail, with clearance for 5mm tyres, fenders and bag attachments, and a long geometry that combine to make it a very versatile bike.

With a Shimano GRX groupset, DT Swiss wheels, a Canyon VCLS leaf-spring seat post, and a Fizik Terra Argo saddle, the bike is well-equipped. What makes this bike so appealing is that the pricing for this equipment is very reasonable – a rarity in today’s bike industry.

The Grizl is at home on asphalt, but it truly excels off-road, on the mixed dirt and gravel singletracks that make up so much gravel riding in the UK.

Although the 1x gear setup may not fit for everyone, Canyon also offers 2x Grizls, and the 1x setup performed well for everyday riding.

Cannondale Topstone Carbon Lefty 1

Cannondale Topstone Carbon Lefty 1

The Topstone Lefty has a unique appearance and performs well, making it a true Cannondale winner. Immediate Media / Russell Burton

  • As tested, £7,500 / $8,500 / €8,399
  • The handling, control, and speed are all excellent.
  • Comfortable on mountain bike-friendly terrain
  • Tyre clearance: 70045mm / 65047mm

The Cannondale Topstone Carbon Lefty 1 will let you tackle terrain that many gravel bikes can’t handle, while also allowing you to rocket down more traditional gravel trails far quicker than most rivals.

The Lefty front fork, with 30mm of travel to smooth out any bumps and geometry that leads to a fast yet stable ride, gives it class-leading control over various terrain.

The wheels feature carbon rims, and the front wheel includes a speed, time, and distance sensor created by Cannondale in collaboration with Garmin. When you add in the Lefty fork and wireless SRAM gears, you get a sense of what kind of bike this is.

Overall, BikeRadar considers this Topstone to be one of the most competent gravel bikes we’ve ever tested. It does, however, come at a hefty price.

Cannondale Topstone Carbon Ultegra RX

Best gravel bikes

A dirt bike that can compete with the finest on the road. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • As tested, £3,500 / $4,200 / €3,799
  • With excellent wheels, this is a fast and racy bike.
  • Rear suspension that works
  • Tyre clearance: 700mm x 40mm

The Topstone is a quick-handling gravel bike with a sophisticated rear suspension setup that offers up to 30mm of travel and a solid, rapid front end.

You’ll also receive a beautiful pair of Cannondale’s proprietary Hollowgram carbon wheels, which are tubeless-ready and weigh about 1.5kg, helping to keep the bike’s total weight under 9kg in a size large.

The Topstone is a tempting choice as a do-it-all bike (if you’re seeking to break the n+1 cycle), with stack and reach numbers comparable to Cannondale’s Synapse endurance road bike. All it takes is a simple tyre change to turn this bike into a bike that shines both on and off the road.

Devinci Hatchet Carbon GRX LTD

Devinci Hatchet Carbon GRX LTD

The Devinci Mk2 Hatchet is a very capable gravel bike. Immediate Media / Robert Smith

  • $3,299 (Canadian Dollars) As tested, $3,999 / €3,499
  • Excellent handling that is both steady and enjoyable.
  • Something new and unique
  • Tyre clearance: 70050mm / 65053mm

The Hatchet from Devinci is a fun, quick, and adaptable dirt bike. 700c x 45mm tyres with mudguards fit, and 700c x 50mm tyres fit as well. It will also accept 650b tires with tyres up to 53mm wide.

The Hatchet’s ride was fantastic, and the factory-installed dropper post really let us take use of the bike’s excellent stability thanks to its long, loose geometry.

The Hatchet maintains its cool while going over difficult singletrack, boulders, gravel, and asphalt, thick sand, or slippery mud.

The specification is low for a flagship bike, but the value it offers is competitive.

GT Grade Carbon Pro

Best gravel bikes

The bike is built for adventure, with the ability to compete in gran fondos while yet getting off the main path. Burton, Russell

  • As tested, £3,500 / €3,799 / $3,900
  • The fork’s trail adjusting flip chip enhances handling across wheel sizes.
  • Ride that is both nimble and comfy.
  • Tyre clearance is 700mm by 42mm.

GT’s Grade was one of the first adventure/all-road/gravel bikes, and although it was ahead of its time in terms of flexibility, it had become a bit of a dinosaur after four years. The Grade has been completely rebuilt and has evolved into a full-fledged gravel grinder.

The bike still features GT’s trademark ‘triple triangle’ at the rear, but the seat tube is now completely free-floating, and the seatstays have shed some girth, allowing for a lot more compliance.

A rear thru-axle has also been installed, as well as a flip chip in the fork that allows the trail figure to be changed by 15mm for different handling qualities.

The tyre clearance has also been increased to 700c x 42 mm, and the company has added a slew of mounts, with the carbon models holding five bottles and the alloy ones carrying eight.

The riding posture has been slightly dropped and extended, and the handling is assured even when the road or path becomes hazardous – the bike is now somewhat more cable than its predecessor.

The GT Grade Carbon Pro, our Gravel Bike of the Year for 2020, checks a lot of boxes. It blends outstanding compliance with quick handling and fantastic equipment to create a youthful sense of excitement.

There’s not much we’d alter about the kit, although tubeless tyres are certainly worth it if you can.

Liv Devote Advanced Pro

Best gravel bikes

The Liv Devote Advanced Pro is Liv’s first women’s-only dirt bike. Immediate Media / Phil Hall

  • As tested, £4,699 / €5,000 / $5,500 / AU$7,299
  • Geometry tailored to women
  • Compatibility with dropper seat posts
  • Tyre clearance: 70045mm / 65050mm

Liv’s first dirt bike is a real all-arounder for female adventurers on and off the road.

The frame’s geometry/sizing, as well as the carbon layup, have been selected especially for female riders, as has the rest of the Liv line. Although the 30.9mm hole it sits in will gladly take a dropper post if you want to maximize the bike’s performance on descents, Giant’s shock-absorbing seatpost is extremely good at minimizing trail buzz.

It’s a bike that’s incredibly comfortable over long distances and comes equipped with mounts for mudguards, luggage, bottles, and other extras, so it’s ready for any adventure you can muster.

SRAM’s eTap AXS groupset had a wide gear range, quick shifts, and was simple to set up, while its AXS brakes had plenty of power and feel.

This flagship Devote model is pricey, but there are two less expensive carbon bikes and an aluminum frame that start at £1,400 / $1,150 / €1,100 / AU$1,699.

Orbea Terra M20-D1x GRX

Best gravel bikes

It’s the perfect partner for tough off-road terrain that doesn’t need a long length on tarmac in between trails. /Immediate Media/Getty Images

  • As tested, £2,599 / €2,929 / $3,299
  • A vibrant, reasonably priced bike with a striking paint job.
  • 1x gearing is designed for off-road usage.
  • Tyre clearance: 700mm x 40mm

Orbea’s Terra M20-D1x is a great all-around bike for all sorts of activities, since it is competent both on and off road.

It easily absorbs uneven terrain without feeling like a soggy noodle on the road. It also features integrated rack and mudguard attachments, so a simple change of tyres or wheels could quickly transform it into a “one-bike-for-all” alternative.

If we’re being picky, the one thing to keep in mind is that the 1x gearing is set more for off-road riding, so you may find yourself undergeared for group riding on the road.

If your budget permits, Orbea also provides a variety of customization options, allowing you to increase the standard to fit your needs. Additionally, if the default paint job isn’t to your liking, you may customize it.

Vitus Energie EVO CRS eTap Force

Vitus Energie EVOS CRS cyclocross bike pack shot

The Vitus Energie is primarily a ‘cross bike, but it also excels on gravel. Immediate Media / Jack Luke

  • As tested, £3,499 / €3,999 / $4,299
  • Due to the cyclocross race’s roots, this is a wildcard selection.
  • Extremely adaptable
  • Excellent value for money.
  • Tyre clearance: 700mm x 40mm

Vitus’ cyclocross racing bike is the Energie, but don’t dismiss it as such. With enough of clearance, well-chosen components, and mudguard mounting, this makes a great gravel or even winter road bike, assuming you’re not put off by the racier geometry.

Vitus’ big-name purchasing power (their parent business is Chain Reaction Cycles/Wiggle) ensures excellent value for money, with a complete SRAM Force eTap AXS groupset, Prime Black Edition 38 Disc carbon wheelset, and mainly Prime carbon finishing kit.

We like the understated but elegant finish, which included those beautiful brown wall tyres.

3T Exploro RaceMax

3T Exploro RaceMax

The Exploro RaceMax is a unique dirt machine that stands out from the crowd. Immediate Media / Russell Burton

  • As tested, £3,849
  • A great deal of adaptability
  • Aerodynamic design
  • All-rounder with a lot of talent
  • Tyre clearance: 70035mm / 65047mm

The Exploro Max improves on 3T’s original Exploro dirt bike, but in a more flexible package due to larger tyre clearances and an aerodynamic design.

The Exploro RaceMax was commended by our tester for its wonderfully balanced handling and extreme flexibility.

Depending on the construction, you may have 700c wheels with 35mm tyres or a 650b wheelset with 57mm tyres, as well as a 1x or 2x gear.

Off-road, the rigidity of its frame means it can’t compete with a specialized gravel bike, but what it lacks in this department, it more than makes up for with its road qualities.

Although it may not provide the best value, many people will be willing to pay a premium for its uniqueness.

Bianchi Arcadex

Bianchi Arcadex gravel bike

Is this a future classic or an ugly duckling? It’s all up to you. Immediate Media / Matthew Loveridge

  • £3,250 (as of testing)
  • A bike with a distinct appearance.
  • Feels like a road bike, yet with the potential to go off-road.
  • Some dirt bikes have a softer ride than this one.
  • Tyre clearance: 70042mm / 65047mm

The Arcadex, Bianchi’s first dirt bike, features an unusual appearance and a comfy armchair-like riding posture.

It’s aimed more towards the road end of the gravel range than full off-road performance, giving it a tarmac riding feel more similar to that of a tall endurance bike.

It maintains its road bike feel off-road, but the geometry and flared bar make it easier to negotiate tougher terrain.

Shimano GRX 1x drivetrain and aluminum wheels are used on the Arcadex.

It would be great to see a carbon seat post for the price – which would also enhance comfort on difficult terrain – but it doesn’t stop the Arcadex from being a blast to ride.

Canyon Grail CF SL 7.0

Best gravel bikes

Canyon’s controversial Hover bar is the sole option for the Canyon Grail CF SL 7.0. Immediate Media / Matthew Loveridge

  • As tested, £2,649 / $2,699
  • A great eye-catcher.
  • For the money, this is an excellent package.
  • Cockpit that is unique
  • Tyre clearance: 700mm x 40mm

Despite being the most inexpensive Canyon Grail, this model nevertheless comes with a fantastic specification. It’s a calm off-roader that also manages to feel quick and uncomplicated on the road.

The bike’s most distinguishing feature is the unique double-deck ‘Hover bar,’ but it comes with its own set of fit and compatibility issues.

Shimano’s GRX groupset has a wide variety of gears, a sturdy rear derailleur with a clutch, and hydraulic disc brakes.

If the fit and handlebar are to your liking, this is an excellent option for people who ride on varied terrain.

If you can’t live with the constraints of this bike’s controversial cockpit, we recommend trying the Grail in aluminum (seen below in this list), which does away with the biplane configuration. 

This GRX-equipped variant is the cheapest way to get your hands on a carbon Grail, but if you have a little more money to invest, the SRAM Force eTap construction is also a great option.

Giant Revolt Advanced 0

Best gravel bikes

A very competent go-anywhere vehicle. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • £3,249 / $3,650 / $3,650 / $3,650 / $3,650 / $3,650 / $3, As tested, $4,699 / €3,599
  • For the money, this is an incredible spec.
  • Frameset with a lot of flexibility
  • Tyre clearance is 700x45mm.

The Revolt Advanced is a quick-handling machine that’s also pleasant to ride across rough terrain, thanks to its racy geometry, which is akin to Giant’s Defy endurance road bike.

The small back-end, as well as some clever component selections, are responsible for the smoothness. Both the seatpost and handlebars on the D-Fuse allow for bend in the ways you want it without compromising rigidity in the ones you don’t.

On 650b wheels, tyre clearance is good, with enough for 700 45mm or up to 50mm tyres. Giant deserves credit for putting the wheels up tubeless right out of the box, and the 32/34t bottom gear should be enough for almost anything, even when the bike is fully laden.

This bike’s flexibility is also impressive; it can be used for commuting, road training, gravel racing, or adventure riding with baggage.

Juliana Quincy CC Rival

Best gravel bikes

A stunning ride that serves as the ideal crossover bike for the undecided roadie/gravelista. Immediate Media / Robert Smith

  • As tested, £3,699 / €3,899 / $3,699
  • Capacity to work across many disciplines
  • There’s a lot of tyre clearance and mudguard mounting options.
  • Stunning appearances
  • Tyre clearance: 70045mm / 65053mm

The Juliana Quincy is the Santa Cruz Stigmata’s female counterpart. It began off as a cyclocross bike, like the Stigmata, but it naturally becomes a fantastic gravel or adventure bike.

Whether you like lengthy road miles, bikepacking, gravel grinding, or mild off-roading, the Quincy can do it all, which means some riders may be able to reduce their bike collection to just one.

The carbon frame and fork are very comfortable, with mudguard attachments and three bottle cages.

There’s enough of clearance, with space for 45mm tyres on 700c wheels and a full 2.1in on 650b wheels.

Anywhere you want to run

Lauf Anywhere shot side on in woods

With a conventional fork, the Lauf Anywhere is a flexible gravel bike. Immediate Media / Matthew Loveridge

  • The True Grit has the same excellent race-ready frame.
  • The use of a regular fork expands the possibilities for baggage installation.
  • Tyre clearance is 700x45mm.

The first thing that springs to mind when thinking about Lauf is its wild-looking leaf spring fork, which provides for 30mm of front movement. The brand’s Anywhere gravel grinder, on the other hand, doesn’t receive one and instead comes with a JAF, or “Just a Fork,” as Lauf refers to it.

Long-4-Speed geometry is featured on the frame, which includes a short headtube, long top tube, and short chainstays, as well as a short stem and a slack (for a road bike) head angle. It’s designed to be sturdy at high speeds while still allowing you to tuck into an aero posture when necessary.

Lauf has also included a threaded bottom bracket shell, full-length internal cable guides, and many attachments, although no mudguards or fenders are included.

The Anywhere rides nicely on asphalt and ‘F-Roads,’ as they are called in Iceland (gravel roads), as well as smooth singletrack, but is restricted by the 40mm slick tyres that come standard.

SRAM Force 1 On-One Free Ranger

Best gravel bikes

It’s almost hard to compete with On-Free One’s Ranger in terms of value. Immediate Media / Russell Burton

  • As tested, £1,800 / $2,556 / €2,178
  • Excellent value for money.
  • Handling that is neat
  • Mounts for a rack and mudguards
  • Tyre clearance is 700mm by 43mm.

The £1,800 On-One Free Ranger is in a class of its own when it comes to value, with a carbon frame and fork and an SRAM Force hydraulic disc groupset.

Its geometry is a little racier than average for a bike of its kind, making it ideal for singletrack romps. It’s also incredibly light, weighing only 9.87kg for our extra-large test bike (21.76lbs).

There are also all the fixings for full-length mudguards and a pannier rack.

Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon

Best gravel bikes

The Suspension Future Shock 2.0 system on the Diverge Comp Carbon is a standout feature. Immediate Media / Jack Luke

  • £4,000 ($3,900) / AU$4,900 As tested, $6,000 / €4,499
  • Future Shock 2.0 suspension
  • SWAT storage container
  • Characteristics of a fun but composed ride
  • Tyre clearance: 70047mm / 65054mm

The Diverge is an incredibly flexible bike that can handle anything from full-fledged touring to ultra-light dirt racing.

With its Shimano GRX 810-level groupset, reasonable alloy wheels, and excellent finishing kit, the Diverge Comp Carbon offers the greatest combination of performance and affordability among the 2021 Diverge models.

The Future Shock 2.0 suspension system, which is astonishingly effective but wonderfully simple, is the show-stopper.

On difficult terrain, this bike is a blast to ride, with a particularly controlled ride style at high speeds and on steep slopes.

We wouldn’t alter anything in the future except the tyres since it’s so fantastic right out of the box.

Vitus Substance CRX

Vitus Substance CRX

The carbon wheelset of the Substance CRX help it to be very light. Immediate Media / Russell Burton

  • £2,000 / $3,000 / AU$3,000 As tested, $4,000 / €2,700
  • Carbon wheelset with a low weight
  • Authentic mountain bike personality
  • Outstanding value
  • Tyre clearance is 650mm by 47mm.

Vitus’s initial venture into the realm of dirt bikes may have been the Substance CRX, but you’d never know it. Make no mistake: this is a bike that has been designed specifically for gravel riding, with geometry, gearing, and component selections that perform best in the mud.

Vitus makes the retail price of this bike go a long way. A SRAM Rival groupset is included, as well as Prime’s lightweight 650b carbon fiber wheels with a 24.5mm internal width and WTB’s Venture 650b x 47mm TCS tubeless tyres.

Considering the aforementioned 47mm tyres, our sub-9kg XL test bike is remarkable for a gravel bike at this budget. Mudguard bosses, fork-mounted bags, and a third bottle boss on the down tube making it a feasible choice for adventure or even difficult commutes.


Gravel bikes made of alloy

Aluminium alloy frames are lightweight, strong, and have a cheap production cost. As a result, if you’re wanting to get your feet wet in the world of gravel, aluminum gravel bikes are a fantastic place to start since they provide a lot of performance for a cheap price.

Many aluminum dirt bikes can compete with the finest carbon or titanium bikes, so even the most performance-oriented riders should consider them.

Canyon Grail 6

Canyon Grail 6

Although it is a dirt bike, the Grail 6 is as at home on the road. Immediate Media / Matthew Loveridge

  • £1,649 / $1,699 / $1,699 / $1,699 / $1,699 / $1,699 As tested, $2,349 / €1,499
  • For the money, the best components
  • For the money, this is an incredible performance.
  • Ratios for gravel-specific gears
  • Tyre clearance: 700mm x 40mm

The Canyon Grail 6 is an aluminum gravel bike that is a straight successor for the wildly popular Grail AL.

Despite being the cheapest Canyon Grail model with an aluminum frame, it’s still a well-equipped bike with no apparent flaws.

The Shimano GRX 2 10 gearbox and accompanying hydraulic disc brakes are Tiagra counterparts, while the RX600 crank is Shimano’s 105-level crank.

Another feature is the DT Swiss C 1850 db alloy wheels, which are especially impressive when fitted with 40mm Schwalbe G-One Bite tubeless-ready tyres.

The Grail is a confident bike to ride, and due to gravel-specific gearing, it outperforms its predecessor off-road. It’s a pleasant bike it is, but tubeless tyres will take the sting out of it even more. On the road, it’s also a decent ride, but a tyre change would truly bring out the best in this bike.

Canyon eliminated the rack mounts for 2021, which is a bummer, however mudguard mounts are still available.

The Canyon Grail 6 WMN, a women’s-specific variant of the bike, is also available.

Focus Atlas 6.8

Pack shot of the Focus Atlas 6.8 gravel bike in a forest

The Focus Atlas 6.8 is a fantastic value for money camera. Immediate Media / Felix Smith

  • £1,899 / €1,999 / $1,999 / $1,999 / $1,999 / $1,999 / $1, $3,099 (as of testing)
  • Bikepacking and touring friendly
  • Geometry that evolves
  • Package at a great price
  • Tyre clearance is 700x45mm.

Right out of the box, the Atlas 6.8 is a highly competent bike.

It’s a particularly capable off-roader, owing to progressive geometry that maintains a sense of serenity even when the terrain becomes steep or bumpy.

The Atlas’s engaging ride makes it a great way to conquer singletrack, glide along bike trails, or even tackle a mixed commute.

At this price, it’s nice to see a combination of Shimano’s superb GRX RX600 and RX800 groupset components.

The standard wheels are durable and provide a solid platform for WTB’s 45mm wide Riddler tyres, but the Boost axle spacing may hamper future upgrades.

The Atlas is excellent for bikepackers since it has lots of mounts and facilities for baggage and extras.

AT Kinesis Tripster

Pack shot of the Kinesis Tripster AT gravel/road bike

In the Kinesis Tripster AT, the AT stands for all-terrain. Immediate Media / Robert Smith

  • £1,850 (plus £60 for mudguards) as tested
  • A frame with a lot of thinking has gone into it.
  • Excellent handling and a great deal of enjoyment
  • Mudguards that work
  • Tyre clearance: 70045mm / 65052

The Kinesis Tripster AT is a winter cross-country bike with a focus on practicality and comfort, but it’s far from dull. It is, in reality, a lot of fun to ride.

The low-cost frame is well-designed, with mounting and space for massive 52mm tyres, but its rigidity is also reassuring and responsive to full-on sprints.

SRAM manufactures the 1x drivetrain and brakes. You can go up most hills and ride along at a fair pace thanks to the 40 teeth front chainring and 11-42 cassette. The brakes are strong and make it simple to manage the bike.

The additional £60 for the mudguards is well worth it, as they provide great coverage, and the rest of the construction is robust due to alloy components.

Fuji Jari 1.3 Adventure

Best gravel bikes

The Jari’s thin aluminum frame contributes to the bike’s low weight for the price. Immediate Media / Russell Burton

  • As tested, £1,400
  • For the price, this is an excellent bundle.
  • On-road and off-road ride quality is good.
  • Accessories come with a complete set of fittings.
  • Tyres with a diameter of 700mm and a circumference of 38mm

The Jari 1.3 is a well-equipped dirt bike for the money, and it performs well both on and off the road.

There are lots of fittings for touring or bikepacking equipment, as well as the standard mudguard mounts, on the thin aluminum frame and carbon fork.

It’s wonderful to see WTB’s superb and durable STi23 tubeless-compatible dirt rims, and it’s even better to see them coupled with Panaracer’s 38mm Gravel King SK tyres.

The SRAM 1 drivetrain begins with a low crawler gear that will quickly become your closest buddy whether climbing or cycling off road. Although the performance of the Tektro mechanical discs was a nice surprise, it’s a pity Fuji couldn’t extend the money to include hydraulic discs.

Merida Silex 400

Best gravel bikes

The Silex has a short stem, a tall front end, a long top tube, and a slack head angle. Immediate Media / Russell Burton

  • AU$1,400 / £1,400 As tested, $2,199 / €1,499
  • MTB-inspired geometry that’s out of the ordinary
  • Hydraulic disc groupset of high quality
  • Overall, a good deal.
  • Tyre clearance: 70042mm / 65042mm

The Silex 400 from Merida has a lot of mountain bike influence, which is a good thing. The Silex 400 places its rider ideally to take advantage of its outstanding off-road performance by combining a long reach figure with a short stem.

Mudguard mounts, rack mounting, two cages, and double bosses on the fork legs are all included in the frame, making it easy to accessorize for touring, bikepacking, or adventure riding.

Shimano’s GRX gearbox and brake components are combined in with a number of own-brand parts to provide a spec sheet that is reasonably priced.

We believe this bike might benefit from tyres that are a bit wider than the 38mm Maxxis Rambler components that come standard to get even more out of the Silex chassis. Unfortunately, because of the small internal width of Merida’s narrow Comp SL wheelset, you’d be better off upgrading your wheels at the same time.

Pinnacle Arkose D2

Pack shot of the Pinnacle Arkose D2 gravel road bike

The Pinnacle Arkose D2 is a well-equipped bike for riders who like venturing off the usual path. Immediate Media / David Caudery

  • £1,205
  • Off-road prowess galore
  • Components of good quality
  • The flexibility of commuters
  • Tyre clearance is 700x45mm.

The Arkose from Evans’ own Pinnacle brand is described as an adventure road bike rather than a dirt cycle.

For the money, you get a lot of gear, including 2-10 shifting and hydraulic brake components, the majority of which are from Shimano’s newest Tiagra series.

It’s really just missing a flared handlebar to be a true gravel bike, but it’s also a perfectly functional drop handlebar road bike. For individuals who wish to use this bike as a tough commuter, there are attachments for mudguards and racks.

The stock 45mm tan-wall WTB tyres perform well off road, but if you want to use this bike mostly for commuting, you’ll want to change them out. Similarly, if you want to make the most of the mudguard mounting, you should opt for skinnier rubber.


Gravel bikes made of titanium

Because of its inherent material characteristics, titanium has become a preferred material for dirt bikes.

The metal is more fatigue resistant than aluminum alloy, weighs about half as much as steel, and is more flexible than carbon fiber, making it a suitable option for riders who value performance but also want a sleek-looking lifetime bike that can handle the rigors of off-road riding.

Enigma Escape

Enigma Escape gravel bike

The Escape will not go out of style any time soon. Immediate Media / Matthew Loveridge

  • As tested, £3,888 / €4,666 / $5,063
  • Extremely adaptable
  • Looks that are timeless
  • Versatility on and off the road
  • Tyre clearance: 70045mm / 65050mm

If you’re looking for flexibility and practicality, as well as a taste for titanium, this is a great choice. 

This bike has a classic appearance about it, and its ride is nicely damped and free of a distracting buzz. 

Because of its flexibility, the Escape may be used as anything from a luxury commuter to a long-distance adventure cycle.

Some may find the fact that it costs much more than equivalent steel cycles difficult to accept, and it’s also heavier than similarly priced carbon alternatives.

Mason Bokeh Ti GRX Di2

Best gravel bikes

There are many eye-catching features and a lot more going on than typical titanium frames. Immediate Media / Robert Smith

  • As tested, £6,195
  • Beautiful ride quality and excellent equipment make this a stunning frame.
  • It’s a bit pedestrian on the road because to the big tyres, and it’s very pricey.
  • Tyre clearance is 700x45mm.

We’ve long admired Mason’s aluminum gravel bike, the Bokeh, and were happy to see that much of what we liked about it has been carried over to the titanium version.

There are many attachments for bottles, racks, and mudguards, as well as the MultiPort cabling system, which guarantees compatibility with a wide range of drivetrains. The ride quality is likewise superb, as one would anticipate. Off-road, the frameset, bespoke Mason/Hunt wheels, and thick tyres provide a beautifully balanced ride.

The only drawback is that it is very expensive, but if you’re ready to spend that much money, we don’t believe you’ll be disappointed.

Reilly Gradient

Pack shot of the Reilly Gradient road gravel bike

The Reilly has an outstanding chassis. Smith, Robert

  • As tested, £3,249
  • Titanium is reasonably priced.
  • Inventive construction kit
  • Convenient and fast
  • Tyre clearance is 700mm by 43mm.

The titanium Reilly Gradient frame is not only stunning, but it also provides a ride that strikes the perfect balance of comfort and speed.

Hunt’s 1,629g 4Season tubeless-ready alloy gravel wheelset is mounted on each axle, while Shimano’s superb gravel-specific GRX groupset drives and stops the bike.

It all adds up to a ride that is as precise as a road bike on asphalt while being manageable off it. It’s also fairly priced, especially for a titanium bike made in the United Kingdom.

Ribble CGR Ti 650b

Ribble CGR Ti 650b

The CGR Ti isn’t very attractive, but it has a strong core and is a pleasure to ride anywhere. Smith, Robert

  • As tested, £2,099
  • Build that is very cost-effective.
  • It’s difficult to top classic ti’ looks.
  • Tyre clearance: 700 x 47 mm

Ribble’s CGR Ti offers excellent value for money and plenty of flexibility, but let’s be honest: it’s the traditional brushed titanium finish that piqued our interest.

The frame isn’t just a beautiful face, however; at 1,700g, it’s not too hefty for a non-carbon frame, and it’s extremely flexible thanks to wide clearances and mudguard attachments.

The CGR Ti has just been upgraded with lowered seat stays, a beefier head tube, and more road-friendly gearing, but we haven’t had a chance to see whether any of these modifications have made a major impact in ride quality.

Routt 45 Moots

Moots Routt 45 Ti gravel bike

Routt 45 Ti dirt bike by Moots. Matthew Loveridge is a British author. Immediate Media (immediate media) (immediate media) (immedi

  •  As tested, £5,600 / $4,999 (frameset alone).
  • The ride is very smooth, and the end result is beautiful.
  • Exceptional tyre clearance
  • That price tag is very high.
  • Tyre clearance: 700mm x 50mm

The Moots Routt 45 is immediately distinguishable from mass-market titanium frames. The welds are very clean, and the polish looks premium, plus it’s handcrafted in America. The frame is finished with subtle branding and a Moots head badge.

We’re talking about the frame because, although Moots bikes are available as full constructions in the US, they’re only available as framesets in the UK. Yes, the £5,600 price tag solely applies to the frameset.

Riding the Routt 45 with SRAM Force eTap AXS, a Chris King headset, and ENVE bars, this bike was all you’d expect a titanium gravel bike of this caliber would be, proving extremely smooth on and off-road while providing enough of rigidity while pedaling.

The Moots is priced to compete with the finest carbon road bikes, and although it is light, it is not the lightest. However, a bike like this will often be more about the heart than the brain, and with the proper finishing equipment, it won’t let you down.


Steel gravel bikes are the best.

Steel is robust and somewhat flexible, making it an excellent option for gravel bikes since it can absorb a lot of vibrations from the ground under you.

It provides a smooth and pleasant ride when paired with wide gravel tyres. Steel isn’t the lightest material, but when comfort and durability are your top priorities, you can’t go wrong.

Marin Nicasio is a member of the Marin Nicasio Group.

Best gravel bikes

Marin’s Nicasio + is a fantastic value for money ride. Marin Bikes is a company that sells bicycles in

  • £845 / $899 / €899
  • Amazing price.
  • Bikepacking is ideal.
  • It’s a blast to ride.
  • Tyre clearance: 700x35mm / 650x47mm

When working on a budget, the Nicasio + shows that simplicity is essential.

It would be easy to dismiss this bike due to its basic steel frame and fork, as well as its relatively high weight, but that would be a mistake.

Yes, the weight will be felt on steeper climbs, but the well-considered spec and superb geometry make this bike a joy to ride once the going gets tough.

This is one of the most enjoyable dirt bikes to ride, yet it costs less than the frameset of many other cycles.

BiVi Bunker Malvern

Bivi Bunker Malvern

The Bivi Bunker is a bike that is appealingly basic. Immediate Media / Matthew Allen

  • As tested, £1,399
  • Retro appeal that is charming
  • Drivetrain inspired by mountain bikes
  • Something new and unique

This one is a bit of a mishmash — it might be a trendy flat bar gravel adventure bike or a vintage mountain bike with some contemporary accents.

In any case, the Bunker is an attractive, flexible option that stands out from the rest of the bikes on our list.

We liked how this bike blends a vintage riding experience with contemporary conveniences. The 11-speed SRAM GX drivetrain is an excellent illustration of this, with reliable and smooth shifts that are much more attractive than the loose triple arrangement seen on a 1990s MTB.

Ragley Trig

ragley_trig_russ_b_001_1

Ragley Bikes, located in the United Kingdom, has been producing well-regarded steel mountain bikes for a number of years and is now expanding into the gravel market.

  • As tested, £1,700
  • Excellent control.
  • Shimano GRX transmission
  • 650b wheels
  • Tyre clearance: 700x40mm / 650x47mm

The Ragley Trig is a low-slung steel dirt bike with a 2.1-inch tyre clearance and 650b wheels. All of this adds up to a bike with a lot of potential for British gravel riding.

With a slack head tube angle and extended wheelbase, the geometry is inspired by traditional mountain bike design, providing lots of stability on difficult terrain.

This means that the Trig isn’t the quickest on the road, but the low long position allows you to push the pace, and the chromoly frame is full of springy energy.

Ragley has equipped the bike with a combination of Shimano GRX 400 and 600 components, as well as aluminum wheels and WTB Sendero tyres, which are a suitable fit for the Trig’s intended use.

All of the braze-ons you’ll need for bike packing or commuting are included on this steel gravel bike.

Ribble CGR 725 Steel

Ribble CGR 725 Steel

The CGR ‘adventure bike’ line from Ribble has been completely revamped for 2019. Smith, Robert

  • As tested, £1,199 / $1,257 / AU$1,965
  • Extremely adaptable
  • It’s a little on the hefty side.
  • Steel frame with a classic look
  • Tyre clearance is 47mm.

The term CGR 725 Steel comes from the thin Reynolds 725 steel tubes used in its construction. The frame not only has a stylish appearance, but it also provides a comfortable ride that prioritizes comfort above breaking personal records.

This chassis may be fitted with 700c, 29er, or 650b wheels, allowing you to customize it to your tastes. Additional flexibility is provided by rear rack mounts, space for up to 47mm tyres, and bosses on the top tube.

Commuting, fitness, adventure, and even training rides would be no problem for the CGR.

It’s a bit heavy at little over 11kg, and the TRP mechanical discs are adequate rather than excellent.

You may also think about…

These bikes didn’t get enough points to make the list above, but they’re still worth considering.


What is the difference between a dirt bike and a mountain bike?

A gravel bike is a drop-bar bike that can be ridden on a variety of surfaces, not only gravel, despite the fact that this is where gravel riding began.

Gravel bikes resemble conventional road cycles in appearance, but they are distinguished by four important characteristics.

broader tyres

WTB Nano tyre

Gravel rigs are known for their high-volume tyres. Immediate Media / Thomas McDaniel

Gravel bikes, first and foremost, feature wider tyres. The tyres on these bicycles are much bigger since they are intended to travel miles of rough roads. In these circumstances, mud removal is also a problem.

The width of a tyre may vary from 30mm to 48mm. In addition to 700c wheels, smaller diameter 650b wheels with greater capacity tyres are also popular.

To enhance cornering abilities on mixed terrain, many of the finest gravel bike tyres include a fast-rolling center tread with knurling or side knobs. Tubeless tyres are especially popular on gravel bikes due to the latex sealant’s ability to protect against punctures.

Gravel bikes feature geometry that favors stability and comfort in addition to bigger tyres.

Geometry

Specialized gravel bike

Gravel bikes’ frame geometry is typically midway between road and cross-country mountain bike geometry, according to the terrain they are intended to traverse. Tranker, Felix

Gravel bikes have a longer wheelbase than road cycles due to longer chainstays and slacker head-tube angles.

Head tubes are also usually higher, allowing the rider to be more comfortable and erect. Bottom brackets are often lower, giving the rider the impression that he or she is riding in rather than on the bicycle.

These geometry changes result in a ride that is more comfortable, confident-inspiring, and forgiving than a conventional road bike.

Gearing

Cannondale Slate crankset

Gravel grinders often use 1x drivetrains with a wide variety of gear ratios. Immediate Media / Josh Patterson

Another area where these bikes differ from the pack is gearing. Many gravel bikes have compact or lower gears and wide-range cassettes because to the terrain.

Cranksets with 50/34 or 48/32t gear ratios are popular. Many dirt bikes include 1x gears and wide-range cassettes as well.

Suspension

Lauf Grit fork

Suspension systems, like as this Lauf Grit suspension fork, are becoming more common on gravel bikes. Bjornsson, Arnold

Many dirt bikes include active or passive suspension systems in addition to large tyres, relaxed geometry, and low gearing.

These characteristics, similar to those seen on endurance road bikes, may include thin chainstays, a bent top tube, or a slim seatpost, all of which are intended to bend to absorb road noise.

Short-travel suspension forks, such as the Lefty Oliver or the visually strange but very efficient Lauf Grit fork, are used on certain gravel bikes.

What is the maximum amount I can spend on a dirt bike?

That depends on your definition of a dirt bike. For example, a secondhand cyclocross bike might perform well as a gravel bike and cost a fraction of the price of even the most basic ‘true’ gravel machine.

Expect to spend about £800 / $1,200 for an aluminium frame with entry-level components if you’re looking for a purpose-built gravel / all-road bike.

A mid-range build from a big brand will almost certainly cost more than £2,000 / $2,800, but it will almost certainly have a carbon frame and hydraulic disc brakes.

If you want to spend a little (or not so small) money on a custom-built bike, as is customary in the cycling industry, you may.

There’s only one thing that affects the speed of your ride, and that’s the gear you’re riding in. If you’re in a big gear, your bike will move slowly and you’ll feel like you’re stuck in mud. If you’re in a small gear, your bike will move quickly, and that will feel good. When cycling, the gear you’re in is the primary factor in how fast your bike will go.. Read more about best gravel bikes under $500 and let us know what you think.

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Frequently Asked Questions

Which gravel bike is best?

The best gravel bike is the one that you feel most comfortable on.

What gravel bike should I buy UK?

The best gravel bike for you would be a cyclocross bike. They are designed to handle the rougher terrain that is common on gravel roads, and they have a more upright riding position which makes them easier to control when going over bumps.

What is the best adventure bicycle?

The best adventure bicycle is the Schwinn Mens A.C.E. 26 Mountain Bike, which has a steel frame and front suspension fork.

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This article broadly covered the following related topics:

  • best gravel bikes under 1000
  • best gravel bikes 2019
  • best gravel bikes under 500
  • best gravel bikes 2018
  • gravel bikes reviews
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