Even if we all fantasize or admire it, not everyone of us can be a professional road cyclist. We have cyclist who cycle for fun or for exercise, this is no secret, but, if you fall into either of those two categories then, you would need to get a bike with a comfortable seat.
Why are gravel bikes called what they are called? Well, simply because of the terrain on which they tread, gravel. Their shape and geometry are a bit less extreme than the road bikes, making them more comfortable. There’s a lot of unique features of the gravel bikes: the angle of their frames is smaller, and their positioning is a bit more vertical.
So, let’s go a little more into what gravel bikes are. What exactly are they?
A gravel bike is a bike that has a sporty look to it; they have wider tires that allow you to ride on any type of trail. The endurance-type geometry provides great comfort, and they have disc brakes that give you power and control over certain surfaces like dirt and gravel.
There are certain parts of the bike that just stand out, like the disc brakes that are made for a safe and precise braking, the tubeless tires with large sections from 30 to 48C. The bike’s frame has a typical endurance geometry, and it sometimes has more slooping than you’ll find on a road, with a higher head tube to adopt a more upright and relaxed ride. And with more comfort in mind, the makers of the gravel bikes have placed the crankset lower to give less of the impression of a ride on a bike, these bases also are longer for better absorbance of vibrations.
When we look at the handle bar area, you will be able to stay on a race hanger, but even with that, there have been modifications to that feature so you will be able to hold your gravel bike on rougher terrains and ride your bike comfortably for longer periods. A gravel hanger usually has a flared shape, with the casseroles sloped inward, this form gives you a better grip, with you needing to use less effort. This kind of handle bars make you use a less aerodynamic position.
The main points here, so far, about gravel bikes, as you may have noticed, is the fact that they are more versatile and comfortable.
Best Gravel Bike Under 1,500
Here’s a quick rundown of the bikes featured on this list:
- Tommaso Illimitate Adventure Gravel Bike
- Diamond back Bicycles Haanjo Tero Gravel Bike
- Raleigh Bikes Willard 2 Gravel Bike
- Mongoose Selous Sport Gravel Bike
- GMC Denali Gravel Bike
- Takara Shiro Adventure Bike
- Retrospec Bicycles Amok-16 Gravel Bike
- Populo Quest 16-Speed Gravel Bike
- Pure Cycles Adventure Gravel Pro Bike
- Tommaso Sentienro Shimano Claris Gravel Bike
The Gravel Bike: A Versatile Hybrid
The gravel bike is known to adopt these three different modes:
- Cyclocross: Riding a gravel bike, you will find pleasure moving along small undergrowth roads and rocky paths. You sure are guaranteed of fun.
- Endurance: Gravel bikes are made to ride for longer periods, and in a comfortable way.
- Mountain Biking: Although having a few differences from the mountain bike, the gravel bike does share the same taste of freedom and adventure with the mountain bike. You can also move along terrains bedded with leaves, the white paths, and, of course, muddy paths in water.
- Hiker: Many gravel bikes have been fitted with mudguards or luggage racks and you can also fit it with your own gear to make it the ideal long-distance travel bike.
- Switching: The gravel bike is also a great choice for you if you choose to bike to work on a daily basis because, it can also be maneuvered like the road bikes can; and with a gravel bike, you can easily move through small roads or paths.
What we are trying to say is, gravel bikes can be used for used multiple purposes. It easily fits on the regular tarred roads and can fit it with luggage racks so you can put in all your groceries. These bikes are versatile enough to hold the pace on a group road, and they are strong enough, and comfortable enough to let you traverse undergrowth paths.
Choosing Your Gravel Bike
- Frame (aluminum, steel, carbon, titanium): These bikes are certainly not the lightest bikes on the market, so, what you need to do is to find steel frames that have great quality, comfort, and sturdiness. If you elect to use your bike more on the road, and you would prefer a lighter gravel bike, then you should opt for aluminum or carbon. The gravel bike’s frame come from that of the regular road bike in both endurance and in geometry. It does have a shorter frame and a higher stem that help to straighten your posture when you mount it, for more comfort. If you seek a bike that can partake in competition or long hikes, then you should consider a gravel bike with a carbon frame. The cheapest of these irons are steel, then aluminum, then carbon, in that order. The gravel bike is also known to have a wider fork that makes room for wider tires and a shorter rear base that swallow slopes.
- The Tires: The tires used on a gravel bike differs, and this is based on what the owner of the bike intends to use it for. Those who choose to use it on the roads will use different tires from those who choose to use it on rougher terrains. But, majorly, the tire section will be wide, between 35 and 42 mm on an average. If you choose to use it on the road, then it would be recommended that you get smoother tires so as to limit the level of rolling resistance. If you ply the rough terrains, you would need to get tires with crampons, as these will give you more traction and better grip on dusty surfaces. You could also get the tubeless tires, as they are the go-to option, especially because they are more resistant.
- Gravel Hanger: As mentioned earlier, the gravel bike is mostly used with a hanger that is a bit different from that of the regular road bikes. Depending on your choice, practice and experience, you can choose to have a flat hanger or a special gravel hanger or you can even choose a more compact road hanger.
- Brakes: Gravel bikes always have the best brakes, no matter what the weather is. These brakes also have better calibration of the power so they can adapt to whatever situation the bike’s in. disc brakes are also known to take bigger tires.
- Tubeless or Inner Tube: People generally prefer to go with tubeless tires so they can ride at lower pressures.
- Transmission: Most times you will find yourself using compact (two trays) with cassette 11/32 or 11/34 so that the bike is both horizontally and vertically versatile.
Best Gravel Bike Under 1,500 Review
Now, let us give you our review of the bikes we have picked out.
Tommaso Illimitate Adventure
This bike’s model is made with a solid steel frame that gives you comfort while you ride along rough terrains. It is equipped with 21 Shimano gears and shafts, giving you a promise of reliability and precision, and, also, different frame sizes.
This bike has a soft and comfortable saddle, with an adjustable bridge, making you able to easily adjust it to your height. It also has 28-inch Ruben V84 Gripper tires that are guaranteed to give you a good grip on every ground, and a great riding experience.
This bike model also has a cushioned seat post that keeps you in a straight position when on the bike, but it also keeps you in a comfortable position, so you do not hurt your bike while riding.
Diamondback Bicycles Haanjo Tero
This bike has a comfortable saddle and an adjustable steering wheel bracket, so that it can be easily adjusted to its height, and it will keep your back straight when riding. It also comes with full fenders that solves the problem of splashes when riding through muddy areas.
Buyers of this bike really love it for its stylish, classic looks, and its lightness (weighing 17kg), and, also because of the equipment that comes with it.
Many who buy this model feel that the advantage of buying it are good cushioning, and the ability to choose the size of the frame, which is made of aluminum, and renders it its lightness and durability.
Its tires were designed with an anti-puncture feature. The lightness of this bike will make it easy for you to take it up the stairs and back down without any stress.
Raleigh Bikes Willard 2
One distinct thing about this bike is its color: white, with tinctures of gold, and the vintage style it appears in. This is a 28-inch model that comes with high-quality Shimano parts like the changes and 14 pinions. It comes in two sizes, sizes 53 and 56, and it can be used by people up to 1.90 m in height.
It weighs about 12kg. This bike’s frame is made of steel, and it is durable, while its handle bars and pedals are made of aluminum, which is also a solid material. This is a durable bike, and this you can tell from its construction, aluminum alloy. It has a rigid material, making it resistant to mechanical damage or corrosion.
It weighs about 13.3 kg, and this means that you can haul it from one place to another without much stress. The bike’s presser foot is mounted from the bottom, and it is secured to the handle in the frame with a screw, making the foot properly sturdy and solid, so the bike doesn’t topple over, no matter the ground it stands on.
Its shock absorber reduces the feeling of vibrations you get while riding, meaning that your hands do not easily tire out while riding. Another great thing about this bike is the fact that you can chose the size of the bike’s frame, making it adaptable to users.
Mongoose Selous Sport
This is a great bike for anyone who is a beginner in road cycling, or for those preparing for some amateur or intermediate riding competition. And what makes this bike cool?
It is cool because its frame is designed with aluminum, and this means that it is easy to carry (it weighs less), you will find it easier to pedal on difficult slopes, you will have a far greater speed, and good stability.
It comes with Shimano changes. The rigid fork and the dual pivot brakes give great performance for little money. This bike is quite light, weighing just 11 kilograms.
The bike’s frame has a size of 56 cm, and this makes it ideal for people with the height of 1.70 and 1.85 mm. The only disadvantage to this bike is the fact that its wheel is too small because you cannot adjust the handle bars.
If you are looking for a gravel bike with a professional touch, then we advise that you go for the GMC Denali gravel bike. It comes in sizes that range from 47 to 59 frame size, making it easier to adapt it to your body size.
We do not have much to say about this bike because once you own it, you know what this bike can do.
Its components are great, giving you a first-class performance. If you have great cycling ambitions, then you wouldn’t mind purchasing this high-powered, and high-priced bike.
Takara Shiro Adventure Bike
This is a 27-speed gravel bike that is made in Italy, with a very good price-performance ratio, also having a strong workmanship. This bike should be of interest to beginners, what with its high-quality Gipiemme wheels and rims with white spokes.
The bike’s carbon fork and its aluminum frame weigh just 9.9 kg, and this makes this bike a light one. It is available in four different frame sizes for body sizes that range from 1.55 m to 1.95 m, giving the option of choosing the model that suits your height.
For the bike’s saddle, a black Aventis saddle is used, giving the needed comfort when you go on longer trips, also giving you great posture.
Restrospec Bicycles AMOK-16
This bike comes with straight handle bars, wheels, forks and frames that are made out of aluminum, giving the bike great strength, low weight, and easy riding. It also comes fitted with Shimano changes and brakes, giving you an assurance of high quality and durability.
Although this bike comes in a mid-range model, it is still a great bike that can be used at all times seeing as it can withstand whatever terrain it travels along. It has a light aluminum frame, designed for the most intensive training and competition.
This bike is made to give the best performance with great comfort, giving extra levels of comfort, thanks to its pronounced 5 cm slooping. This gravel bike model is designed for cyclists who want to start on gravel bike with some reassurance and a great price-performance ratio.
This bike transmission is made possible with its Shimano Claris R2000 group, and this makes it suitable for beginner cyclists that are not exactly into competition, but do not want to sacrifice performance.
Populo Quest 16-Speed Gravel Bike
This bike’s high quality can be seen in all of its components, from its box carbon fiber to its brake system and its Shimano changes 10 speed, giving you all the power and comfort you would need while riding. Its parts are made of aluminum, making it light and aerodynamic, weighing 8.34 kg, enabling you to cross any terrain with little hindrance from the wind.
This bike has an optimal seat and front angle, giving the rider a comfortable and aerodynamic position, and this is especially great for cyclist who are just starting out in the world of gravel bikes. Its box in aluminum hydroformed Triple Butted and aluminum fork gives the bike a light and solid nature, making this bike very reliable.
It has the best components, components such as, its MACH1 CFX wheels, Shimano Claris bushings, Shimano BB-Es300 bottom bracket, complete with its Shimano Claris 24 speeds from its brakes to the pinions, giving you a smooth, precise, and a reliable change.
Pure Cycles Adventure Gravel Pro
If you are just starting out using gravel bikes, this is a perfect start for you. It has a change of 21 speeds, this is so that no steep slope, also with a very comfortable riding geometry for the first exits on the off-road are pleasant.
The frame of this bike is in aluminum of 700, combined with a fork that is also aluminum integrated together with a Neco H50 1-1/8” x 360 mm, giving it more comfort, sturdiness, and lightness.
For the bike’s transmission, its makers opted for the Shimano change speed of 21, and for the change of 7 speeds with a Shimano A70 along with a cassette in Shimano Acera Cs-HG20 in 12/28T, its derailleur in Shimano FD-A073 speeds with Shimano cranks FC-A073 in 50 x 39 x 30T, these give you the best reliable speeds.
Tommaso Sentiero Shimano Claris Gravel Bike
This bike is designed for intensive workouts on a gravel road or in a competition, with an ultralight UD EVo7 carbon frame. This bike has a great performance in climbing, with a relaxed driving, without it affecting the bike’s aerodynamics.
Its new UD EVo7 carbon frame gives the perfect distribution of loads, great rigidity, stability, and manageability, all these you will enjoy on your road gravel bike.
If you seek an efficient gravel bike, that is light, and that will enable you spend longer hours riding on, giving you the assurance of riding any terrain or path, this bike is definitely it. For this bike’s transmission, the Shimano 105 group in 2 x 11 is used, for better reliability. And it also gives you better precision.
Its brakes are also in 105 like its Shimano 105 group, with dual pivots and the latest Shimano SLR-EV technology for a precise braking.
For the bike’s wheel, the Mavic Aksium is used, giving it great rigidity and robustness so that when in use, nothing is displaced. If you need a cheap carbon bike with the best performance in what path, then this is the gravel bike you should go with.
Not only does this gravel bike model have good quality equipment, it also has additional equipment, but that would also be useful for when you are on longer trips. These equipment include the fenders, trunk, and good lighting, and this is especially good for when you are out in the dark, riding.