6 Best Gravel Bikes Under $1000 in 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

Gravel bikes, also known as adventure bikes, are different from road bikes and mountain bikes. We can consider them as a hybrid which beats both bikes due to their speed and durability.

This makes them the best choice to navigate rough terrain in harsh weather. They’re built for impressive performance on mud, gravel, tarmac, mountainside, etc.

Anyone out there who loves exploring outdoors will need a decent bike that can handle various ground conditions, such as a good gravel bike at a reasonable price.

There are tons of gravel bikes out there, all with their distinct qualities. The good news is that you can get a top-quality gravel bike without burning a hole in your pocket.

As a result, here are 10 of the best-selling gravel bikes, all within the $1000 price bracket and guaranteed to serve you well. I also have tips on what to consider when looking for a budget gravel bike.

At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Gravel Bikes Under $1000

If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the gravel bicycles under $1000 that most people buy).

  • Schwinn Vantage Men’s/Women’s Sport Hybrid Bike Top Pick
  • Tommaso Illimitate Shimano Tiagra Gravel Adventure Bike Runner-up
  • Mongoose Artery Sport Gravel Road Bike Runner-up

Top 6 Best Gravel Bikes Under $1000 – Our Reviews:

1. Schwinn Vantage Men’s/Women’s Sport Hybrid Bike

For every advanced and intermediate rider out there who love a reliable gravel bike, Schwinn Vintage Men’s/Women’s Sport Hybrid Bike is a top choice. Available at a reasonable price, this is a high-performing bike that will help you navigate both rough and smooth routes.

It comes with an 18-speed Shimano Sora drivetrain which offers a wide gear range and responsive shifting for different terrains. It also features the Schwinn Smooth Ride Technology adventure frame that comes with an elastomer for extra comfort while cycling.

The Schwinn Vantage RX 2 700c Gravel bicycle is pretty versatile. It offers a smooth ride irrespective of how rough your road is.

This is a high-quality bike that pro riders will love. Its ability to adapt to various terrain makes it the best choice for everyday use too—hiking, countryside trips, and off-road adventures.

Pros

  • Varieties of frame size for various body heights
  • Excellent gear ratios and varieties of gear range thanks to the 18-speed Shimano Sora drivetrain
  • Comes with endurance handlebar
  • Impressive safety feature
  • Top-quality and durable material

Cons

  • Professional assemble required

2. Tommaso Illimitate Shimano Tiagra Gravel Adventure Bike

Tommaso is a household name when it comes to good-quality bikes. Shimano Tiagra is a gravel bike known for quality, strength, durability, rigidity, versatility, and aesthetics.

This is a top-quality bike that is easy to maneuver, providing optimum comfort and speed, so it isn’t surprising that it’s one of the best bikes for adventure out there.

It features a strong and decent aluminum frame and fork blended with a high modulus carbon fork. This significantly reduces vibration while providing optimum comfort for your trip.

The bike comes with Tommaso TC-40D rims, which translates to more strength and rigidity on the road. As a result, it will cruise easily on rough paths, gravel, and dirt roads.

This is a bike that will guarantee your safety even in adverse weather conditions. It features Tektro Lyra disc brakes, which makes the bike extra responsive in unfavorable conditions.

Pros

  • Lifetime warranty
  • Maximum comfort and efficiency guaranteed
  • Carbon fork helps reduce vibration
  • Wide range of speed option for cyclist
  • Comes with Tektro Lyra mechanical disc brakes, which is easy to adjust and aids comfort

Cons

  • Needs professional assemble

3. Mongoose Artery Sport Gravel Road Bike

For everyone in need of the best gravel bike under $1000, Mongoose Artery Sport’s bike is a terrific choice. This is a versatile mountain bike that will offer comfort, stability, reliability, good climbing gear, and longevity no matter the terrain or prevailing weather conditions.

This gravel bike features a strong aluminum frame and alloy, making the bike light in weight. Also, the fork features stainless steel construction, which adds to its safety and rigidity.

No matter the condition of the road, surface, or terrain you’re cycling, the Mongoose Artery Sport bike’s construction makes it strong and easy to maneuver.

The excellent braking power gives you total control of the bike on the street no matter the road condition. It comes with durable premium alloy brakes that put you in complete control of the bike.

Mongoose Artery Sport gravel bike is a definition of strength and rigidity thanks to the Mongoose’s unicrown steel fork. The ease of pedaling is one of the ways in which this road bike stands out.

If you want a smooth-riding adventure without worrying about your safety or leg fatigue due to pedaling, this mountain bike is the right choice. The Shimano Altus/Tourney 21-speed drivetrain makes it easy to accelerate without exerting too much power.

Pros

  • Light in weight thanks to the aluminum frame
  • Easy to assemble
  • Durable with lasting parts
  • Available in varieties
  • Highly responsive disc brakes

Cons

  • Possibility of having noisy gears after a while

4. Tommaso Sentiero Shimano Claris Gravel Bike

Tommaso never disappoints with its high-end products. As a result, Sentiero Shimano Claris Gravel Bike makes our list of top gravel bicycles under $1000.

It stands out with its signature aluminum frame and steel fork. The frame and fork, alongside other bike structure, enjoy a lifetime warranty.

There is a drivetrain with varieties of gears to take care of different riding modes. As a result, you’ll cruise without stress, no matter the terrain.

Sentiero Shimano Gravel Bike is powered by Avid BB5 disc brakes, which puts you in complete control of the bike. With this, you never lose control of the bicycle even in harsh weather conditions.

This road bike features a Tommaso TC-20D/28 spoke rim, top-notch bottom bracket, and wheel size of 700c. It isn’t surprising that the bike can handle the rigors of adventurous cycling.

The frame materials are light in weight, reliable, and durable, making the bike easy to handle and maneuver in any outdoor condition.

The Sentiero Shimano Claris stands out with its sleek design and compact handle and gives the rider total control of the bike.

Pros

  • Comes with varieties of gear range for different rider levels
  • Good price
  • Good frame material, light in weight
  • Available in varieties of sizes
  • The mechanical disc brakes give the impressive stopping power

Cons

  • Bikes need professional assembly

5. Pure Cycles Adventure Gravel Disc Road Bike (16-Speed & 18-Speed)

If you need a strong bike under 1000 dollars, be sure to check out this grave bike. It’s one of the most affordable gravel bikes that stand out for its impressive strength and rigidity.

Constructed using 4130 steel, the frame material is strong thanks to the robust and durable steel frame and carbon fork. The steel frame makes it light in weight and easy to control as you ride.

There’s also an impressive Shimano sora groupset that powers the bike. This groupset will come in handy if you need to carry out any maintenance work on your bike.

Plus, it features the tubeless-ready WTB STP i23 32-hole rims, alloy hubs, and stainless steel spokes.

No matter how rough the road is, or the terrain’s configuration, you’re in total control of the bike as you cycle. This is possible thanks to the Promax mechanical disc brakes that provide incredible stopping power.

The presence of robust Hutchison tires adds to the rigidity of the bike. They’re pretty comfortable and can navigate various roads.

Pros

  • Good entry-level gravel bike at a reasonable price
  • Impressive range of gear options thanks to the 2 by 8 crankset combination
  • The steel frame gives added strength and flexibility with reduced weight
  • Mechanical disc brakes make configuration and adjustment easy
  • Easy to assemble with tubeless-ready wheels

Cons

  • Needs a good maintenance culture
  • The manufacturer can improve the durability of the bike

6. Diamondback Haanjo 2 Gravel Adventure Road Bike

Coming with an aluminum frame and steel fork, the Haanjo 2 has top-quality features at a reasonable price range for users. With a climbing gear of 29.13″, 46/34T crank, 2 x 8 speed Claris groupset, internal cable routing, and other features, you’re in for a treat with this gravel bike.

The availability of many excellent features is one of the selling points of this bike. This makes it stand out from its closest rivals, Salsa Journeyman and Cannondale Topstone.

This is a robust adventure bike with the ability to navigate easily on all road conditions. The stylish design and superb geometry give you extra comfort and control in rough routes or unfavorable weather conditions.

It features impressive stopping power thanks to the Tektro Lyra mechanical disc brakes. The frame and fork are made of strong material that will stand the test of time.

There are tons of user-friendly features on this gravel bike. The steel fork provides superb front tire clearance and absorbs vibration while riding on rough terrains.

No matter the texture of your riding route or sloping gradient, riders can quickly shift gears thanks to the Shimano Claris 2×8 speed drivetrain. With the excellent climbing gear and sturdy gear system, you can navigate any road without worry about your safety and stability.

No matter the condition of the road, gradient, or weather, the excellent braking power gives you absolute control while riding. The tetra lira mechanical disc brakes never fail rider if they need to stop suddenly, making them reliable.

Pros

  • Available in various sizes
  • Top-quality construction
  • Reliable mechanical disc brakes, more effective than hydraulic disc brakes
  • Easy assembly
  • Presence of extra features
  • Affordable alternative to Salsa Journeyman and Cannondale Topstone

Cons

  • The seat might need replacement with time

Factors to Consider When Buying Top Gravel Bikes

Price

The price point is an essential factor because we’re trying to stick to a $1000 budget. I chose all the gravel bikes within that range, although some might be a couple of hundred dollars above.

Cube Nuroad Pro is another option even though it is not in our review. If you have more budget though, check out this list of top gravel bikes under $1500.

Be confident that I provided top-quality gravel bikes with great features without sacrificing quality. Entry-level and pro riders will find them useful.

Frame and Fork Material

The weight of the bike is pretty significant. It affects your comfort while cycling and determines how easy cyclists will be able to maneuver it.

I provided gravel bikes with a full aluminum frame and fork buildup.

Also, some of our gravel bikes have steel builds. Steel guarantees extra rigidity and strength for long-distance trips.

Steel, however, is a little bulky compared to carbon and aluminum. There aren’t many full carbon fork bikes in this price range.

Gears

There are various gear systems available for gravel bikes in the $1000 bracket. We have electronic, hydraulic, and mechanical gears.

The most common gear on our list is the mechanical gear.

If you want a bike that is light in weight, I recommend a mechanical gear. A bike with low gear ratios is ideal as well.

Gear Ratios

To choose the most appropriate gravel bike, you need to consider the gearing system and the climbing gear. There’s an easy way to estimate the gear ratios of the bike.

All you have to do is add the size of the wheel and bike tire size with the cog teeth numbers and chainring number. This number gives the climbing gear ratios.

Typically, mountain bikes have low gear ratios: 20 inches. I recommend a bike gravel gear within 25 inches because you’re better off with a lower value.

Groupset and Drivetrain

The drivetrain and groupset that come with the bike directly affect the quality.

The top names you can trust are Sora, Claris, or Altus. Claris groupset allows the bike to perform better in all riding conditions.

There are also mid-range components like Tiagra present in some of our top choices.

However, I recommend Shimano 105 as it is a mid-range component with impressive quality. You can go for the Claris option though if Shimano 105 is beyond your reach.

Wheels and Tires

The most remarkable difference between road bikes and gravel bikes can be seen in their wheels and tires.

Since all road bikes are meant for smooth tarmac or paved floors, they need a slim tire that will glide smoothly. On the other hand, a gravel bike is designed for rough and uneven outdoor surfaces, hence a distinct wheel.

A gravel bike’s wheel is more versatile and made of stainless steel, which makes it durable and light in weight. There are, however, high-end wheels made of high carbon materials.

If you prefer to run tubeless, you can consider a tubeless-ready wheel.

You need a gravel bike with a small wheel size, which allows you to install extremely thick tires, up to 47 mm. The small rims support fast-spinning, while the massive tires help absorb the pressure while cycling.

Weight

In picking a top gravel bike, you need the one with low weight. This is a critical factor as it determines your comfort when going for long-distance rides.

All the gravel bikes in this review are light in weight. The double-butted frame and fork materials contribute to the lightweight so you can use them for hours without fatigue.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQs)

Here are some answers to possible questions users might have on the use of gravel bikes

Q: How do I pick a suitable gravel bike?

The geometry and stability should guide your choice. One distinguishing factor of a gravel bike is the large wheelbase.

This aids the stability of the bike on harsh terrains and keeps the rider comfortable.

Compared to a race bike, a gravel bike comes with flexible geometry. The relaxed head angle and tall head tube all contribute to the comfort of the user.

Q: Can I use a gravel bike for a long-distance ride?

Gravel bikes allow for comfort and flexibility when going on long distance. They have a unique geometry that makes them stable and comfortable in rough paths.

Q: Can I use a gravel bike on the road?

Gravel bikes are pretty versatile. Their make-up makes them perfect for various road conditions.

Also, they come with varieties of gears and drivetrain that help them adapt to varieties of roads. They’re all-rounder bikes that will provide a smooth journey both on and off the road.

My Verdict

We have explored various top gravel bikes that will serve you. With the right bike, you’ll always look forward to the next adventure. 

I selected these bikes after hours of research and a thorough analysis of the best gravel bikes available.

If you want a mountain bike with extra features like fenders, pedals, internal cable routing, and rider racks, I recommend the Haanjo 2 gravel bike. If you prefer a tubeless-ready option, my verdict is that Pure Cycles Adventure is a good choice.

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