Bikes

Best Gravel Bikes Under 1500 (2021) : Top 10 Gravel Bikes Review with Buyer’s Guide

If you’ve tried gravel riding before, you must know it’s such a struggle! That’s why you need a gravel bike that is specifically designed for gravel roads to survive through all the rocks and bumps.

Gravel riding has become incredibly popular over the past few years. The industry has launched so many models that it can be quite challenging to choose one that suits your needs and budget. After a long research and testing session on these bicycles, we eventually finalized the best gravel bikes under $1500.

We’ve also included a buying guide to inform you about every feature of a gravel bike you must consider before your purchase. Here’s your chance to have an amazing gravel riding experience without breaking the bank!

Top Gravel Bikes Under 1500 : Comparison Chart

Pick Name Thumbnail Product Name Price
Best Gravel Bike Under 1500 USD Tommaso Illimitate Gravel Adventure Bike Check Price
Best Gravel Bike Under 1000 USD Tommaso Sterrata Gravel Adventure Bike Check Price
Best Gravel Bike Under 500 USD Mongoose Men’s Elroy Adventure Bike Check Price
Beginner’s Choice Raleigh Bikes Tamland 1 All Road Bike Check Price
5th Raleigh Bikes Cadent 3 Hybrid Bike Check Price
6th Tommaso Sentiero Shimano Claris Gravel Bike Check Price
7th Pure Cycles Adventure Gravel Disc Road Bike Check Price
8th Giordano Trieste Gravel Bike, 700c Large Check Price
9th Cinelli Zydeco Gravel Bicycle Full Color Medium Check Price
10th Generic 700c Men’s Kent RoadTech Road Bike Check Price

1 Best Gravel Bike Under 1500 USD: Tommaso Illimitate Gravel Adventure Bike

best gravel bikes under 1500: Tommaso Illimitate Gravel Adventure Bike

Tommaso is one of the most reliable brands for bicycles. The Illimitate is one of the most popular and expensive gravel bike models that is rich in amazing features. No matter if you’re a beginner or expert cyclist, this model will surely impress you with its high-performance and speed.

This bike weighs 24.9 pounds – lighter than the Tommaso Sterrata and the Sentiero. Like the other Tommaso bikes on this list, the Illimitate also comes with a durable aluminum frame. Besides, the high-modulus carbon fork enhances your comfort and reduces road vibrations.

It’s the first Tommaso model that comes with a full Shimano Tiagra groupset. With our years of experience, we have always been impressed with Shimano Tiagra componentry. With its drivetrain, shifting becomes smooth and easy. You can ride in pretty much every condition with this awesome bike.

Whether you’re riding on flat paved roads or climbing off-roads, you’ll have an excellent control and stopping power with the mechanical disc brakes. Moreover, it offers you more speed than the Cinelli Zydeco that comes in the similar price range.

We were quite impressed with its wide 700 x 40c tires that provided optimum traction. The wheels were also sturdy enough to survive plenty of abuse on gravels during our test ride.

Furthermore, the handlebar design is quite comfortable and relieves pressure on your wrists. Like all other Tommaso bikes, it also features a WTB Volt saddle that provides you a great comfort.

Overall, we were absolutely happy with its performance. However, we would suggest you to get a professional assembly for this bike since it is quite difficult to assemble it.

Specifications

  • Frame material: 6061 Aluminum
  • Weight: 24.9 pounds
  • Groupset: Shimano Tiagra
  • Fork Type: HCT Carbon
  • Wheel Size: 700c
  • Tire Width: 40mm
  • Tubes: Presta 700 x 40c
  • Total Speeds: 20
  • Saddle: WTB Volt
  • Brake Style: Mechanical discs

Pros

  • Durable
  • Ergonomic design
  • Excellent stopping power
  • Powerful speed
  • Versatile
  • High-performance
  • Comfortable

Cons

  • Requires professional assembly

Our Verdict

The combination of aluminum frame and carbon fork is a show-stopper for the Tommaso Illimitate. You won’t have to worry about the durability and comfort level of this best gravel bike under 1500 dollar. It is capable of delivering you a powerful performance in every weather condition and on all terrains. Though this bike’s price is on the higher end, it can be the ideal choice for you if you’re willing to spend more money on a high-end gravel bike.

2 Best Gravel Bike Under 1000 USD: Tommaso Sterrata Gravel Adventure Bike

best gravel bikes under 1500: Tommaso Sterrata Gravel Adventure Bike

The Sterrata is another popular model from Tommaso that comes just under $1000. It’s one of the top rated gravel bikes on Amazon. With such positive responses from users, it’s needless to say it’s a great adventure bike for cycling enthusiasts.

It weighs a bit more than the Illimitate but you can handle it nicely. The 6061 aluminum frame combined with a high-modulus carbon fork make this bike extremely durable and efficient. The frame has premium-shaped tubes that provide enough room for your legs and knees to make your rides more comfortable and fun.

Moreover, there are drills on the frame to mount racks and fenders. So, you can even turn this gravel bike into a commuter.

The Sterrata comes with a Shimano Claris groupset just like the Sentiero. The Shimano Claris components offer you great speed, performance, and durability. This model offers you more speed options than the Illimitate. With 24 various speed options to choose from, you can ride on a wide range of terrains.

We found the derailleurs and shifters work in a great harmony with its drivetrain to ensure a consistent and smooth shifting. What’s more, this bike has a great stopping power even in extreme conditions. You get the ultimate control with the disc brakes combined with its rugged wheels.

However, we found it a challenging task to adjust the disc brake calipers. But the good news is, this model is a ready-to-ride bike. You just need to install additional parts such as pedals, handlebars, and the seat. We suggest you install these parts from any mechanic of a bike shop.

Specifications

  • Frame material: 6061 Aluminum
  • Weight: 25.4 pounds
  • Groupset: Shimano Claris R2000
  • Fork Type: Carbon
  • Wheel Size: 700c
  • Tire Width: 40mm
  • Tubes: 700x40c Presta
  • Total Speeds: 24
  • Saddle: WTB Volt
  • Brake Style: Mechanical discs

Pros

  • Durable and strong
  • Smooth shifting
  • Higher speed
  • Great stopping power
  • Versatile
  • Lifetime warranty
  • Moderately priced

Cons

  • Adjusting disc-brake calipers is a bit difficult

Our Verdict

If you’re a serious rider looking for a smooth ride with minimum vibration on rugged road tours, you’ll be satisfied with the Tommaso Sterrata. This bike is worth your every penny. All the components as well as the various gearing options offer you a superior performance.

3 Best Gravel Bike Under 500 USD: Mongoose Men’s Elroy Adventure Bike

best gravel bikes under 1500: Mongoose Men's Elroy Adventure Bike

The Mongoose Men’s Elroy is one of the most affordable options out there. Though it comes at a low price, it doesn’t compromise with the quality at all. In fact, it’s one of the most reviewed adventure bicycles on Amazon.

This bike features an excellent sleek design and geometry that allows you a comfortable riding position. It has a sturdy construction. The alloy frame combined with steel suspension fork add to its durability and dampen vibration.

The best feature of this bike is its 40mm wide tires. You can’t find such wide tires on any gravel bike at this price range. Consequently, it offers you traction and grip on the road just like the expensive models.

What we loved the most about this bike was its large front rack that would allow you to carry all your essential things. This rack includes a built-in bottle opener too. Additionally, you get an integrated large frame bag and room for three bottle mounts to stay hydrated during your ride.

The 2×7 Shimano drivetrain and Shimano Tourney derailleurs help keep your ride steady. It offers you only 14 gear range, but it still is more than what a high-end model like the Cinelli Zydeco offers.

This model, however, is heavier compared to any aluminum or carbon gravel bikes. But we didn’t feel it was too heavy to handle. The assembly of this bike was also easier and quicker for us than most other models in this category.

Specifications

  • Frame material: Alloy
  • Weight: 30 pounds
  • Groupset: Shimano Tourney
  • Fork Type: Steel
  • Wheel Size: 700c
  • Tire Width: 40mm
  • Tubes: 700x40c
  • Total Speeds: 14
  • Rider Height: 5’4″ – 6’2″
  • Brake Style: Mechanical discs

Pros

  • Versatile
  • Large front rack
  • Integrated frame bag
  • Stable geometry
  • Internally routed cables
  • Easy assembly
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Heavy
  • Less gear range

Our Verdict

If you need a stylish looking versatile gravel bike and don’t have much cash to spare, the Mongoose Men’s Elroy is the most perfect option for sale. You can take this bike with you on any camping trip, ride to work, or for casual cycling.

This sporty and stunning bike is perfect for any of your adventurous rides. We recommend you keep it at the top of your options if you’re looking for a bike within $500.

4 Beginner’s Choice: Raleigh Bikes Tamland 1 All Road Bike

best gravel bikes under 1500: Raleigh Bikes Tamland 1 All Road Bike

If you haven’t tried your hands on any gravel bike before, the Raleigh Tamland 1 can be your first one to make your gravel ride easy and comfortable. It’s the first model of the Tamland series which were designed to ride on the off-road as well as city streets.

The Tamland 1 comes with a Reynolds 631 steel frame. It helps the bike absorb the road vibrations pretty well. Though steel bikes are often heavy, this model is lightweight, thanks to the monocoque carbon and alloy fork. This is in fact the lightest steel gravel bike on our list.

What’s more, you get Shimano 105 groupset with this bike. Shimano 105 componentry is one of our most favorites because of its durability and high-quality. Its shifting system is incredibly smooth, perhaps the best you can expect from any gravel bike. Tackling hilly areas and rough terrains is easier than you can imagine with the 22 speed variation.

Additionally, the dual disc brakes work exceptionally well on every road condition. We actually liked this bike’s stopping power more than our next bike (the Raleigh Cadent 3) featuring hydraulic disc brakes.

Furthermore, with the 40 mm wide tires, you can have complete control over this bike even on a rainy day. Interestingly, we rode this bike when it was raining and we could confidently trudge forward without any difficulty.

However, the chain of this bike can easily catch rust when exposed to moisture. We would suggest you regularly lubricate it with a bike chain lube.

Specifications

  • Frame material: Reynolds 631 chromoly
  • Weight: 23.2 pounds
  • Groupset: Shimano 105
  • Fork Type: Carbon/alloy
  • Wheel Size: 700c
  • Tire Width: 40mm
  • Tubes: 700x40c
  • Total Speeds: 22
  • Saddle: WTB Volt
  • Brake Style: Mechanical dual discs

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Great geometry
  • Versatile
  • Comfortable
  • Smooth shifting
  • High-performance brakes

Cons

  • Relatively expensive
  • Rusty chain

Our Verdict

The Raleigh Tamland 1 is an excellent gravel bike that smoothly handles gravel roads. The overall geometry just enhances this bike’s comfort and stability on bumpy roads. It, in fact, can take on all types of terrains impressively. Although the price might seem a bit high for some of you, the performance of this bike won’t disappoint you.

5 Raleigh Bikes Cadent 3 Hybrid Bike

best gravel bikes under 1500: Raleigh Bikes Cadent 3 Hybrid Bike

This is another Raleigh product on our list, but it’s a hybrid bike. This bike is one of the best choices available in the market for fitness and urban commuting.

The Cadent 3 has a butted aluminum frame combined with a carbon fork that helps keep the bike’s weight low. It efficiently absorbs the road vibrations. It, unlike other models, doesn’t have any water bottle holder. But there are pre-drilled holes where you can mount two bottle cages.

The 700x35c tires with double-wall rims provide a smooth and good grip on city roads and muddy paths. Additionally, the low-angled stem of the riser or flat bar allows you a good position to stand up, cycling uphill, and reach faster speeds.

It comes with the standard Shimano Claris groupset just like the Tommaso Sterrata. However, it offers you less speed gears. Still, the 16-speed gears are good enough for cycling on city streets or bike trails. Besides, the Shimano RAPIDFIRE PLUS shifters on this bike work excellent.

The hydraulic disc brakes ensure a great stopping power regardless of the weather condition. So you’re sure to have full control over this bike.

Moreover, assembling this model is quite easy. It took only an hour and a half for us to fully assemble this bike.

One downside about the bike we found was its saddle quality. It could have been better. Though it’s about personal preference, you can change the saddle if you don’t find it comfortable.

Specifications

  • Frame material: 6061 Aluminum
  • Weight: 25 pounds
  • Groupset: Shimano Claris
  • Fork Type: Carbon
  • Wheel Size: 700c
  • Tire Width: 35mm
  • Tubes: 700x35c
  • Total Speeds: 16
  • Rider Height: 5’4″ – 6’4″
  • Brake Style: Hydraulic disc

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • High-quality components
  • Efficiently absorbs vibrations
  • Comfortable
  • Smooth gearing
  • Sturdy frame

Cons

  • Poor quality saddle
  • No water bottle holder

Our Verdict

The Raleigh Cadent Series is a combination of a lightweight road bike and a sturdy mountain bike. It’s a great choice for urban riders for a fast and comfortable ride around the city. It definitely offers you a full return of your invested money. So, if you want a super urban ride and get a great workout, this bike is for you.

6 Tommaso Sentiero Shimano Claris Gravel Bike

best gravel bikes under 1500: Tommaso Sentiero Shimano Claris Gravel Bike

The Sentiero is a top in the Tommaso product line for multi-terrain rides. This model is a bit heavier than the other Tommaso models on our list. But at the cost of some weight, the 6061 aluminum frame and SST steel fork make it extremely durable. Besides, this bike is sleek and looks gorgeous with a matte black finish.

It’s fully equipped with a Shimano Claris groupset. You can expect to get the highest pedaling efficiency. The drivetrain offers you 24-speed options. With sucThe Sentiero is a top in the Tommaso product line for multi-terrain rides. This model is a bit heavier than the other Tommaso models on our list. But at the cost of some weight, the 6061 aluminum frame and SST steel fork make it extremely durable. Besides, this bike is sleek and looks gorgeous with a matte black finish.

It’s fully equipped with a Shimano Claris groupset. You can expect to get the highest pedaling efficiency. The drivetrain offers you 24-speed options. With such a wide range of speed options, you can handle pretty much every terrain- from flat surfaces to rocky heights.

Moreover, the Avid BB5 disc brakes work exceptionally well to stop immediately in any conditions. You will get stability and great versatility with its 700x 40c wide tires.

Furthermore, you can turn this bike into a commuter bike simply by mounting racks and fenders on its pre-drilled holes of the frame. However, this model lacks a kickstand.

Like all other Tommaso models, the Sentiero comes with a comfortable WTB Volt saddle. Even the compact handlebars are pretty comfortable for long rides.

We found the assembly process pretty complex. You should seek professional help to assemble this bike without damaging any parts.

Specifications

  • Frame material: 6061 Aluminum
  • Weight: 25.4 pounds
  • Groupset: Shimano Claris
  • Fork Type: SST Steel
  • Wheel Size: 700c
  • Tire Width: 40mm
  • Tubes: 700x 40c
  • Total Speeds: 24
  • Saddle: WTB Volt
  • Brake Style: Mechanical disc

Pros

  • All-terrain capability
  • Smooth shifting
  • Great finish and stylish look
  • Excellent stopping power
  • Durable
  • Wide tires

Cons

  • Requires professional assembly
  • No kickstand

Our Verdict

The Tommaso Sentiero offers you optimal control and superior stopping power, and can handle extra weight. It’s a high-quality gravel bike that is fairly priced. We couldn’t find any significant drawback of this bike that may hamper its performance. If you want an extremely versatile gravel bike, this Tommaso model can be the perfect fit for you.

7 Pure Cycles Adventure Gravel Disc Road Bike

best gravel bikes under 1500: Pure Cycles Adventure Gravel Disc Road Bike

If you’re searching for a classic designed mid-range gravel bike, this Pure Cycles adventure bike can be a great choice for you. It ensures you a great safety and comfort with its design and high-quality componentry.

This bike comes with a 4130 Chromoly steel frame along with a steel fork. Like all other steel bikes, this bike is also heavy. But you can rest assured that it will serve you for long years.

It comes with 700c wheels, but amazingly you can fit 650B wheels with it too. The 38mm wide tires also provide a good grip on the roads. Also, it uses a STI drivetrain that is excellent for a fast ride. With Shimano Claris groupset, you can expect an overall superior performance.

Moreover, this model comes 90% pre-assembled. Just install the few remaining parts following the instructions manual and you’re ready to go!

The overall geometry and design of this product is comfortable and user-friendly. You also get to choose from six different sizes. So, whether you’re a short or tall guy, a teenager or adult, you can find your perfect fit. We suggest you carefully check the size chart to find your best fit.

As common to all other Pure Cycles models, this bike is also upgradable and customizable. It has several mounting points and attachments. So you can easily upgrade it and use it for a wide range of purposes, including commuting, touring, camper, and so on.

Specifications

  • Frame material: 4130 Chromoly Steel
  • Weight: 27 pounds
  • Groupset: Shimano Claris
  • Fork Type: Chromoly steel
  • Wheel Size: 700c/650B
  • Tire Width: 38mm
  • Tubes: 700x38c
  • Total Speeds: 16
  • Saddle: Selle Royal Rampage
  • Rider height: 5’4″ – 6’5″
  • Brake Style: Mechanical disc

Pros

  • 90% pre-assembled
  • Six different sizes
  • Comfortable
  • Adjustable drop bar
  • Customizable
  • Smooth shifting

Cons

  • A bit heavy

Our Verdict

If you want to feel the joy of riding an excellent adventure bike without breaking the bank, check out this cracking model from Pure Cycles. With the weight and speed variations, you may not use this bike for a competition but you can definitely take it with you for any adventure or just commuting.

8 Giordano Trieste Gravel Bike, 700c Large

best gravel bikes under 1500: Giordano Trieste Gravel Bike, 700c Large

The Giordano Trieste is another cheap steel gravel bike on our list that is cheaper than the Raleigh Cadent 3 or the Willard 3. It still offers some unique features for the price.

It has a Chromoly steel frame and fork combination that absorbs the road vibrations pretty well. This combination also makes the bike extremely strong. The sturdy construction makes it ideal for bumpy roads or any adventures.

This model weighs 29 pounds, which is comparatively heavier than the models in the same category. But it doesn’t feel heavy when you ride on it.

What impressed us most about this bike was its Shimano Claris components. The 16-speed STI shifters, drivetrain, kickstand, double-walled alloy rim, disc brakes, and reflectors altogether make this bike suitable for riding on all types of terrains.

Whether you’re a young or old cyclist, you’ll find a good fit since this bike comes in a range of sizes like other Giordano models like Giordano Libero 2.0 or Giordano Rapido. Besides, the drop bar handles are quite comfortable. What’s more, the mechanical disc brakes offer you superior stopping power in tough road conditions.

Specifications

  • Frame material: Chromoly Steel
  • Weight: 29 pounds
  • Groupset: Shimano Claris
  • Fork Type: Chromoly Steel
  • Wheel Size: 700c
  • Tire Width: 30mm
  • Tubes: 700x30c
  • Total Speeds: 16
  • Handle: Drop bar
  • Brake Style: Mechanical disc

Pros

  • Durable frame
  • Great brake power
  • Easy to control
  • Versatile
  • Powerful alloy rims
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • Comparatively heavier
  • Flimsy gear hanger

Our Verdict

If you’re a bike enthusiast looking for a quality gravel bike with an affordable price tag, the Giordano Trieste is your ideal choice. This bike feels more like a high-end road bike. It’s good looking and functions smoothly. With the Giordano Trieste, you’re bound to enjoy your every ride.

9 Cinelli Zydeco Gravel Bicycle Full Color Medium

best gravel bikes under 1500: Cinelli Zydeco Gravel Bicycle Full Color Medium

This is the most expensive gravel bike on our list. From the price you can guess that this bike has a lot of high-end features to offer. It’s made up with all the high-quality components.

Cinelli Zydeco comes with a Columbus Zonal alloy frame, which has a cyclocross geometry. It has a high-bottom bracket, sharp steering, and a shorter reach- so it makes the perfect shape for a racing competition.

We just loved this bike’s look. It looks stunning with the rainbow color. Moreover, it weighs only 23 pounds, so it won’t be too difficult for you to handle. You can easily float over any terrain.

It is equipped with SRAM Apex 1 groupset that you can get only with the expensive models. With the 46/36 chainset and 12-28 cassette, you can pedal through most climbs.

The 700c wheels survived a lot of abuse during our test ride. We must say it’s pretty strong. The brakes also work fine. Moreover, the well-shaped handlebars are pretty comfortable.

This feature-rich model, however, offers only 11 different speeds. Most other models in this price range offer more speeds. But with this speed variation, you can still comfortably run on any trails or pavement.

We experienced the front fork clogging up in muddy condition. You should be careful about that.

Specifications

  • Frame material: Columbus Zonal alloy
  • Weight: 23 pounds
  • Groupset: SRAM Apex 1
  • Fork Type: Cinelli CX carbon
  • Wheel Size: 700c
  • Tire Width: 40mm
  • Tubes: 700x40c
  • Total Speeds: 11
  • Saddle: Cinelli Custom
  • Brake Style: Shimano cable disc

Pros

  • Stylish design
  • Fully routed internal cable
  • Wide tires
  • Extremely versatile
  • Lightweight
  • Comfortable to use
  • 2-year manufacturer warranty

Cons

  • Expensive
  • Front fork clogs up in muddy condition

Our Verdict

If price is not that much of a concern for you, we’ll recommend you the Cinelli Zydeco for a super fun ride. You can use it as a commuter bike, a racing bike, or an urban bike. The finish, colors, and graphics make it a gorgeous gravel bike to show off.

10 Generic 700c Men’s Kent RoadTech Road Bike

best gravel bikes under 1500: Generic 700c Men's Kent RoadTech Road Bike

This is the cheapest model on our list. It comes at an incredibly low price, just under $300, but still offers some unique features that make it a great value for money product.

The Men’s Kent bike comes with a steel frame. So, it’s durable and has a sturdy construction but a bit heavy because of the frame. After assembly, the total dimensions of the bike are 69″x18″x38″. Though huge, expert riders would feel comfortable handling this vehicle.

It is equipped with Shimano shifters that allows you a smooth and safe shifting when you take off your hands from the handlebars. Moreover, it offers you 21 different speed options. So you can ride on different terrains simply by adjusting the speed. You can’t find so many speed options with a bike at this price point!

This model comes with an excellent brake system consisting of Shimano brake levers and alloy calipers. We were pretty impressed with the stopping power even when riding at high speed. Besides, the 700x25c tires provide a lot of traction.

The pedals of this bike are highly responsive that won’t break even after a sudden load impact. We thought the best part was its Vitesse racing seat that’s among the most comfortable ones.

Specifications

  • Frame material: Steel
  • Assembled dimensions: 69″x18″x38″
  • Weight: 31.2 pounds
  • Shifters: Shimano
  • Fork Type: Steel
  • Wheel Size: 700c
  • Tire Width: 25mm
  • Total Speeds: 21
  • Weight Limit: 250 pounds
  • Seat: Vitesse racing seat
  • Brake Style: Alloy caliper brakes

Pros

  • Robust construction
  • Standard quality pedals
  • Comfortable saddle
  • Low price
  • High-performance tires
  • Smooth shifting

Cons

  • Low-grade gears
  • Huge in size

Our Verdict

If you’re on a tight budget but don’t want to compromise with quality, look no further and get your hands on the Generic Men’s Kent RoadTech bike. All the features it offers are really surprising for the price. It’s durable and versatile enough to be used for casual cycling, plain commuting, or even racing.

Other Products We Reviewed

In our gravel bikes review, there was a place only for the top gravel bikes and many could not compete with our shortlisted options. That doesn’t mean these are all the best budget gravel bikes out there.

You can also try out the following brands and their most exclusive models anytime –

Specialized (Diverge Sport, Comp E5 Elite), Marin Gestalt (X11), Calibre (Dark Peak), 3T Exploro (PRO/TEAM/LTD), Moots (Routt RSL 45), Cannondale (Topstone 105), Trek (Checkpoint ALR 3, ALR 5, SL5, SL6, SL7), Bombtrack (HOOK EXT), Canyon (Grail AL 7.0), Cervelo (Aspero), Giant (TCX Advanced SX, Revolt Advanced 0 & 2), Cannondale (Topstone Carbon), Salsa (Warbird), Merida (Silex), Fuji (Jari), Scott (Addict, Speedster Gravel 30 & 20), Rondo (Ruut, HVRT CFO), Nukeproof (Digger), Orbea (Terra), Bianchi, Norco (Search XR Steel), Ridley (X-Trail), Ritchey Outback, Wilier (Jena, Jaroon Plus, Triestina), Kona (Rove NRB DL), Ribble (CGR Ti, 725), BMC, Niner (RLT 9 RDO), Lauf (True Grit), Felt (Breed 30 & Broam 60), Vitus (Substance V2), Ibis (Hakka MX), Devinci (Hatchet), Pivot (Vault), Surly, Santa Cruz, Breezer (Doppler Team), Open, Pinarello, Parlee (Chebacco), Enve (G23), Orro (Terra C), Masi (CXGR), Liv, Jamis (Renegade Elite), Lynskey GR250, Mongoose Selous, Argon 18, Litespeed (Titanium Ultimate), Pinion, Knolly (Cache), Aero, Carbonda (CFR505), GT Grade Alloy 105, Diamondback, and Lynskey.

Why Ride a Gravel Bike

best gravel bikes under 1500

Gravel bikes are specifically designed for riding on gravel. They are extremely durable. They are pretty much capable of running on any terrains since they have wider tires. They are extremely popular these days among bike riders. A gravel bike offers you a lot of amazing features.

This bike gives you so many cycling options. You can use it as a road bike to ride on flat surfaces. You can use it as a race cyclocross too. Whether you use it for winning a racing competition like Dirty Kanza or Oregon Trail Gravel Grinder or for a tour, you’re sure to get a lot of comfort as well as fun by riding on the best gravel bikes under $1500.

You can also put on fenders to use them as bicycles for regular commutes. And of course, you can use a gravel bike for any adventurous ride. It’s always a good idea to use only gravel bikes for gravel, because they provide the maximum support to the rider.

Gravel Bike: Buying Guide

1. Frame Material

Gravel bikes can come in different materials including steel, carbon, aluminum, and titanium. GT grade carbon is the lightest and most durable frame material. Aluminum is lighter than steel, but steel is more durable than aluminum. Alloy (a mix of several metals and other elements) is also commonly used today and there’s even 3D printed alloy.

2. Geometry

A gravel bike’s wheelbase is quite long due to its long chainstays and head-tube angles. The rider can have an upright and more relaxed position because of the tall head tubes. You’ll also find the bottom brackets lower. Because of such geometry, you’ll feel more confident and comfortable when riding on a gravel grinder bike.

3. Weight

It’s extremely important that you consider the weight of your bike. A light bike will be easily portable and make your ride more enjoyable. As mentioned earlier, the frame material has the biggest role to play in determining a bike’s weight.

4. Brakes

Brakes are an extremely important part for a bicycle. You can get a gravel bike with different brake options, including cantilever, mechanical disc, and hydraulic disc brakes.

5. Gearing

Gearing is another important factor. Depending on the terrain, gravel bikes generally feature wide-range cassettes and compact gearing. The 48/32t or 50/34t cranksets are most common.

6. Bike speed

Some bikes come with a single speed option while some bikes’ speed can be adjusted. It depends on personal needs and preferences. But bear in mind that more speed options can sometimes lead to a system failure.

7. Suspension

A gravel bike has a built-in active or passive suspensions system. It can be in the form of a bowed top-tube, slender chainstays, or skinny seatpost. Some e bikes even use full suspension forks like Lefty Oliver or Lauf-Grit fork.

8. Type of Shifters

Shifters allow you to adjust gears according to the terrain. The most common type shifters include road shifters, indexed shifters, MTB shifters, and friction shifters.

9. Tires

Given the terrain, gravel bikes come with different types of tires. Most tire sections are wide and usually range between 30 mm to 48 mm. If you intend to use the bike on the road, you should get very smooth tires to limit rolling resistance. But for rough terrains, get tires that have crampons since they will provide more traction. I personally love the 29er tires though.

10. Tubeless or Inner Tube

Many riders prefer tubeless tires for their gravel bikes because they are usually more resistant and require lower pressure.

11. Transmission

You may use a compact with 11/32 or 11/34 cassette, which make the bike versatile both vertically and horizontally.

12. Gravel hanger

Most gravel bikes are used with hangers unlike the regular bikes. You can either choose a flat hanger or a customized gravel hanger. It all depends on your experience, choice, and practice.

13. Drivetrain

The drivetrain is actually the engine of your bike. If you ignore this part, it will cost a lot when the drivetrain will have issues. Make sure the drivetrain of your gravel bike is a good one.

14. Budget

  • Bikes under $500

These are entry level bikes mainly for beginners.

  • Bikes under $1000

These bikes are great for the money. They make an excellent balance between the essential features and the price.

  • Bikes under $2000

These are the most advanced bikes with high-end features.

Care & Maintenance Tips

A gravel bike needs a lot more care and maintenance than a regular bike. We have some useful tips for you to make sure your bike lasts longer and performs better.

  • Make an inspection on your bike components before every ride. You can make adjustments to lose components with any bike multitool.
  • Keep your tires properly inflated. Check the sidewalls for tire pressure. Also, make sure to have your pump and patch kit before riding.
  • Squeeze the brake levers to check whether the brakes function smoothly. If your brake pads have wear indicators, don’t go beyond that indicated line.
  • Always keep the chain lubricated and the gears clean. You can easily do that with a clean rag, brush, and bike chain lubes. Don’t over-lubricate though. Carefully wipe away excess lube.
  • Remember to keep all the nuts and bolts tight. Loose parts can cause wear and tear, leading to a poor performance. Don’t over-tighten because the components can get damaged.
  • Get your bike serviced from a bike mechanic at least twice a year.

Gravel Bike Riding Tips

best gravel bikes under 1500

  • Keep your elbows bent and have a relaxed grip over the handlebars. Just stay relaxed because if there is any tension in your body, you won’t be able to handle the bike.
  • Keep your knees soft when descending. Also, keep them apart so that the bike can soak up the road bumps.
  • When you corner on the road, lean your body with the bike. When on off-road terrains, keep your body upright.
  • Always focus on your line and look ahead to the trail.
  • When you’re skimming over a rough section, unweight your bike.
  • If your gavel bike uses tubeless tires, run on lower pressure.
  • Wear mountain bike shoes with two-bolt (SPD) cleats.
  • Always ride at a healthy speed and have good control over your cycle. Don’t go too fast or too slow.

A Word from GearbikesReview

We tried to discuss all the points and give a detailed and comprehensive guide so that you can choose the perfect model among the best gravel bikes under 1500 dollar.

We think the most important things you should consider before buying a gravel bike are your needs, riding style, and of course, your budget. Among all the bikes we tested, the Tommaso Illimitate and Sterrata are the best you can get as far as versatility and comfort are concerned. We would recommend you the Mongoose Men’s Elroy any day if you’re on a tight budget.

If you’re particularly looking for a bike for racing, our award goes to the Tommaso Sentiero.

We hope we could contribute in your search to find your dream gravel bike. As gravel biking is becoming more and more popular every day and many other new models are coming on the way, we’ll keep testing and reviewing new products and updating you with the best products on the market.

FAQs

1. What’s the difference between mountain bike and gravel bike?

Ans: The main difference is speed. A gravel bike is way faster than a mountain bike. It’s also more versatile. Gravel bikes can handle various terrains without compromising your comfort.

2. What’s the difference between gravel bikes and road bikes?

Ans: A gravel bike is a combined form of a road bike and cyclocross. There are still some differences between a gravel bike and road bike. A gravel bike is usually more durable. It has wider tires to comfortably handle rough surfaces. It also mostly uses hydraulic disc brakes unlike a road bike.

3. Is there any difference between Cyclocross and gravel bikes?

Ans: Although there are many similarities between a gravel bike and cyclocross, there are a few significant differences too. A gravel bike’s frame is heavier compared to a cyclocross. The former has eyelets for mudguards, which the latter lacks. Moreover, the riding position on a gravel bike is upright.

4. Can you ride on gravel with a road bike?

Ans: The tires of a road bike is designed for flat roads. But you still can ride on gravel with a road bike. However, the handling and ride quality won’t be as it is with a gravel bike.

5. What should I bring on a gravel ride?

Ans: The basic things that you should bring on a gravel ride include:

  • A spare sealant and tire plug
  • A patch kit
  • A mini pump
  • Two tubes
  • Tire levers
  • A tire boot
  • Chain lube
  • A chain tool
  • Derailleur cable

6. Are gravel bikes good for touring?

Ans: A gravel or adventure bike is great for covering long distances. It’s excellent for touring as well just like a touring bike. You can ride on different trails. So, no matter the surface you’ll ride on during the tour, you’ll have a fun ride.

7. Are gravel bikes a fad?

Ans: They are more than just a fad. Gravel bikes are extremely popular because they’re really fun to ride. You can use a gravel bike as a road bike, a cyclocross, a monster cross, or a tour bike. It also provides you supreme comfort.

About the author

Cobie Brown

Born and grew up in Colorado, I chose to work in the field of what I liked most, biking. I’ve been working as a full time mechanic in the cycling industry for over 13 years. I started BMXing when I was just a 6-year-old kid and got hooked from the very first day. Then I started riding and not a single day went by since then that I didn’t touch my bike.

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