John is an experienced cycling enthusiast and a great asset when it comes to writing skills. He's a Bachelor of Arts and a talented journalist. John is in charge of our blog and writes posts on a variety of cycling-related topics.
Jessica is our expert consultant on all things connected to biking - gear, technique, you name it. Being a pro cyclist in the past, she knows exactly how things work in and around your bike. She's been with us from the start and has contributed countless pieces of useful information to our website.
Last updated: May 18, 2022
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Gravel bikes are great if you have a keen sense of adventure and you don’t always like to stick to the beaten path. These bikes are designed to traverse all sorts of terrain and can handle jumps, jolts, rocks, and more. If you’re a female cyclist, you’ll want to purchase a bike, especially for women. This is because women are often smaller than men and therefore won’t ride as comfortably on a bike designed for the male frame. We did some research to discover the best gravel bikes for women.
There’s nothing quite like hitting the trails with your highly-equipped gravel bike but be warned: not all gravel bikes are the same. Some bikes excel in muddy situations, while others are more beneficial for longer off-roading trips. It’s all about what you prefer in your biking style. Additionally, biking is an incredible way to stay in shape while having fun and getting some much-needed fresh air (especially during the pandemic). Biking efficiently works many of your muscle groups and helps you achieve tone and trim down fat, which is the fitness goal of many people.
The Royce Union RMT is a great 21-speed bike with convenient and precise shifters right on the handlebars. The frame is lightweight and sturdy and is made of rust-proof aluminum.
This bike is best suited for riders who want the true adventure biking experience. The features of the Royce Union RMT make it perfect for all-terrain and weather types, and the shock-absorbing construction will help you ride in comfort through all conditions.
What makes it special?
The Royce Union RMT was our pick for Editor's Choice for a few reasons. We love the 21-speed variations and easy gear shifters (simply twist the handle to shift up or down), as well as the shock absorption offered by this bike. We are huge fans of the grips and the pedals, both of which make riding comfortable and easy to gain and control speed regardless of the terrain. Additionally, the variations in size that are available make this a great option for someone who is keen to purchase a bike exactly for their body size. The brakes are alloyed linear-pull brakes, which makes stopping on a dime quite easy.
What cons did we find?
This isn’t a great choice if you're looking for a bike that’s suited for casual, daily riding. This is more of a bike for those who want to do a lot of trail riding and off-roading, rather than someone who is looking for a bike for their daily commute. Additionally, the bike is not collapsible, which can make it challenging to store it easily if you live in a smaller space with no bike rack.
Warranty: 2 years for components, a lifetime for frame
More features: optimized fit, all-terrain capabilities, durable
The Tommaso Sterrata Shimano Claris R2000 Gravel Adventure Bike is a highly durable, strong, and high-performance adventure bike for entry-level and intermediate riders. The frame is compact and includes compact handlebars, offering maximum efficiency. The frame geometry is fairly unique and affords riders a smoother riding experience than other frames.
This bike is best suited for riders who are looking to do some serious off-road biking and trail exploration. Every element of the design and construction is intended to maximize speed, efficiency, and comfort during long rides on rough terrain.
What do we love it for?
We love the high-quality build of the Tommaso Sterrata Shimano Claris R2000 Gravel Adventure Bike, as well as the high performance it yielded regardless of the terrain we tested it on. This bike is an excellent choice for beginners who really want to dive right into adventure biking and don’t want to take it slow. This bike is well made, has excellent features that translate beautifully during a ride, and on top of all of that, it is exceptionally comfortable— even when hitting big bumps and riding on rocky terrain.
What were we disappointed with?
There’s not a lot to change about the Tommaso Sterrata Shimano Claris R2000 Gravel Adventure Bike if we're being honest. It was our Premium Pick, which means that it's on the pricier side of bikes on this list. That being said, it might not be the best option if you're looking for a lower-cost option. All in all, however, you do get what you pay for with this model, and the price is well worth it, in our opinion.
More features: alloy dual-pivot brakes, high tensile steel fork
The Giordano Aversa Aluminum Road Bike is a 14-speed road bike with a lightweight aluminum frame, a Shimano drivetrain, and handlebar-mounted gear shifters. This bike has powerful brakes for fast stopping in all weather conditions and is a comfortable choice for new adventure bikers.
This bike is perfect for beginners who are keen to try the new and exciting hobby of adventure biking but aren’t quite ready to fork over the big bucks yet. This bike is super affordable (as far as mountain bikes go) and has a lot of features that make the price an absolute steal. It has everything you need to get acquainted with adventure biking, so gear up and get going!
What are our favorite features?
We love how lightweight this bike is, making it easy to transport and easy to control under every condition. This bike weighs just over 33 pounds, and the aluminum frame means it's both strong and rust-resistant. We also love the gear shifters, which are super accurate, even during high-intensity riding. The Shimano-equipped drivetrain brings a lot of interface efficiency, meaning that shifting and braking are both easy to do without a lot of physical or mental energy.
What could be better?
This bike is a great choice for beginners, but it probably isn’t the bike for you if you either have some adventure biking experience or if you pick up hobbies quickly. This bike is better suited for those who like to take things slowly and really master every step, and it lacks some of the bells and whistles of other bikes featured on this list. Nonetheless, this bike is a great option and can handle most terrains. One thing we didn’t love, however, was that it was a bit complicated to assemble ourselves, but we were able to manage it without too much of a headache.
Warranty: one year on parts, limited lifetime on frames
More features: mechanical disc brakes
The Giordano Trieste Gravel Bike has a super durable frame and high-quality construction, making it great for longer rides. This bike is well-equipped to handle the roughest of terrains and allows riders to comfortably hit bigger bumps at all speeds.
This bike is great for intermediate adventure riders who are looking for a sturdy bike to tackle the more intense trails out there. It features 16 speeds and easy gear shifting, making it a great choice for beginners as well (although some of the more nuanced features may be lost on a true newbie). Therefore, this is also a great bike if you’re new but intend to spend a lot of time riding and improving.
Why did it make our list?
We love this bike’s sturdy construction and chromoly steel frame and forks. If you’re unfamiliar, chromoly is a blend of molybdenum and chromium, which makes it one of the highest quality steels that you can find in bike frame construction. Additionally, this bike is very lightweight, which makes it versatile in function and well-suited for paved roads as well as gravel trails. The brakes are high-quality disc brakes, which are great for fast braking in any condition. The tires are perfect for gravel riding as well as paved roads, and the price point is attractive, too.
What is not ideal about it?
This is one of the most difficult bikes to assemble yourself on this list, and that makes it fairly unattractive if you have no or little experience constructing a bike yourself. That being said, you can usually pay a small fee to have your bike constructed for you at your local bike shop or sports/outdoor store. Additionally, the tires on this bike are slightly narrower than the standard tires on a gravel/adventure bike, which can make it a bit more challenging to handle if you aren't as experienced.
More features: flat bar, mechanical disc brakes, smooth ride technology
The Schwinn Vantage Men’s/Women’s Sport Hybrid has many features found on traditional road bikes as well as those found on traditional mountain bikes. The frame is sturdy and durable, and made of carbon, giving it a stylish appearance and lighter weight. This model also offers extreme comfort and support to all riders and has a special elastomer soft tail suspension, preventing shocks from jostling the rider.
This bike is great if you intend to use your bike for everything from paved roads to the more intense gravel trails and even off-road riding. This hybrid bike is one of the best hybrid models we’ve seen and seamlessly incorporates key features from road and mountain bikes. Additionally, if you have specific needs for bike sizing, this model has eight size variations available.
Why did it make our list?
We love how smoothly this model rides in all conditions. This is due, in large part, to the high-quality tires, which are contact II 35C tires with alloyed rims for increased resistance and long-term durability. We also love the braking system, which features mechanical disc brakes (which is, hands down, the best braking system available for this kind of riding). In essence, these brakes guarantee immediate stopping power when you hit the brakes, which is ideal if you intend to go on more intense rides or if you intend to ride in sub-optimal weather conditions.
What is not ideal about it?
This bike lacks a lot of storage placements (rear racks, for example), which makes it challenging to use this model for longer trips or for practical errands like grocery runs. This is truly unfortunate because the bike is otherwise a really superb model. We are particularly confused by the lack of storage options because hybrid bikes are commonly used for all sorts of biking adventures, and storage space would just make sense.
More features: rear rack, pedal-backward coaster brakes
The sixthreezero Around the Block Bicycle is a cruiser model with a highly stylish frame and comfortable handlebars. This model features simplified brakes (unique for this list) and a rear storage rack.
This is the perfect bike for beginners or casual bike riders who aren’t planning to do a lot of off-roading or intense adventure riding. This bike is, at best, suited to moderately uneven terrain but would not be a good choice for trail riding or intense adventure rides entirely off-road.
What makes it stand out?
This bike is, simply put, beautiful to look at. Everything from the frame design to the color choice is a work of art, and you’ll certainly be the envy of everyone who sees you riding this beauty. The handlebar grips on this bike are made of custom foam, giving the handlebars a level of added comfort and control. The frame is lightweight and made of steel, weighing in around 40 pounds and making the bike incredibly versatile and agile during rides. The steering is very precise and allows for hairpin turns that one would think this bike is incapable of performing. We also love the storage rack on the back, which makes this perfect for casual commuting or running errands around town.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
One thing that we don’t love about this bike is the brake system. The brake system on this model is a simplified brake system that involves backward pedaling to stop the bike. Unfortunately, this method doesn’t allow for the smoothest braking and can be really tricky if you’ve never brakes like this before. This bike also lacks the gear shifting found on other models we looked at, which makes it ill-suited for intense off-road rides, uphill pedaling, or basically anything that isn’t biking on a straight, flat road.
The Huffy Hardtrail Mountain Bike is super lightweight with an aluminum frame that gives it extra stability and sturdiness. There are 21 speeds on this bike, and the gear changing mechanism is quite smooth and easy.
This bike is best for beginners and intermediate riders who are looking for a lot of control and precision from their bike. This model is very durable and comfortable on all terrains, which makes it a good choice for longer and more intense riding.
What are our favorite features?
We love the smooth acceleration of this bike, which can be attributed to the pedal design and efficient gear-changing mechanisms. We also love how lightweight this bike is, which is great for precision riding and easy transport. The aluminum frame is sturdy and well-made. This bike's suspension system is also top of the line, which allows riders to maintain extreme comfort during bumpy and uneven rides. The brakes are linear-pull brakes that function flawlessly and are great for immediate stopping.
What could be better?
This is another bike that we reviewed that requires a more in-depth construction. It can get a bit confusing, and we found it a bit frustrating to build. That was the biggest issue we had with this model, and once we built it, we were thrilled with the way the bike was handled on multiple terrains. If you intend to take it apart and put your bike back together frequently, this would be a more complicated option, but if you intend to build it only once, then the complicated construction won't be a big issue.
More features: mechanical disc brakes, assembly required
This Vilano bike is an excellent multipurpose model featuring high-end brakes, 21 speeds, handlebar shifters, and high functionality across speeds and terrains. The frame is aluminum, making it lightweight and durable.
This bike is great for people who intend to ride every day and are looking for a highly functional recreational bike that can handle most terrains. This would be the perfect choice for beginners and intermediate riders who love riding primarily on paved roads but occasionally want to take their bike out for a spin on another terrain.
What makes it stand out?
We loved how functional this bike was and how easy it was to handle it at every speed we tested. Shifting gears was a breeze thanks to the convenient handlebar shifters, and the braking system is top of the line. Handling was also improved thanks to the incredibly lightweight frame and double-walled tires, allowing for efficient maneuvering in all scenarios. Assembly was easy compared to some of the other models on this list, and comfort while riding was quite high.
Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?
The tires on this model aren’t that great, despite being marketed as fancy double-walled tires. The low-quality tires mean that they may not hold up in all conditions or on all terrains and that you'll likely need to replace them after only a short time. Depending on the type of riding you intend to do, you may even want to replace them as soon as you purchase this bike, which will allow you to ensure that you get maximum performance.
Things to Consider
Deciding which bike to buy can be an intimidating feat that requires a lot of research and input from experts. You need to know exactly what kind of riding you want to do with your new bike and what features are important to you. We took into account a lot of factors when conducting our research to make the process as straightforward for you as possible.
Advantages of Gravel Bikes Designed for Women
Bikes designed for women are usually smaller in size and more lightweight to accommodate different body types.
If you’re a female cyclist
Trusted SourceBiking your way to better health: How to reboot your workout routine - CNNThe first consideration when you’re taking up or restarting a cycling program is to determine whether you’ll be riding inside or outside — or a combination of both. Some factors to consider include year-round climate, traffic, access to bike trails, air quality and bike budget.
and you’ve never purchased a bike specifically for women before, you’ll be shocked at what a difference the simple design tweaks can make in your experience and the bike’s overall performance. Sadly, most bikes are designed for men, which means that they feature design elements and sizing standards better suited to larger builds and heavier bodies. Bikes specifically for women are built for smaller bodies and function at a higher level for women.
We considered many important features when testing and ranking the bikes on this list for you. Some of these features include wheel size, suspension mechanism, size and weight of the frame, braking system, and a number of offered speeds. There is no “correct” combination of features that makes one bike superior to another, but as you become more familiar with your particular preferences
Trusted SourceZen and the art of bicycling to work | CNNIf you live too far to commute to work, maybe you can bike partially – connecting to public transportation. Or bike before work, or make a new routine of early morning weekend rides. Are there errands you run or places you go on the weekends that can be reached on two wheels instead of four? There is no reason to deny yourself this fun, healthy, ecological and inexpensive mode of transportation.
when biking, know which features are your favorite.
One of the factors we considered when reviewing these bikes was wheel size. The standard wheel width for a 700c gravel tire is about 40mm, but it can vary in either direction depending on the type of riding the bike was designed for.
Wider tires are better suited for more varied terrain, while narrower tires will do better on paved surfaces without much variation.
It’s essential to consider the bike’s frame.
Gravel bike suspension is also important when selecting a bike, as this feature can protect riders against excess jostling and physical discomfort when riding on uneven terrain or at high speeds. The Royce Union RMT, which was our Editor’s Choice, has great suspension for riders who are keen to do a little more adventuring with their bike. Most gravel bike suspension systems won’t be as sophisticated as those found on mountain bikes, but they’ll certainly be more effective than the suspension systems on a standard road bike.
Number of speeds
A number of speeds are another important factor when selecting the right gravel bike for your needs. Having a wide variety of speed and gear options equips you to ride in all conditions and a variety of terrain types. If you anticipate going on longer and more challenging rides, you’ll likely want a bike that has a lot of speeds available, like the Tommaso Sterrata Shimano Claris R2000 Gravel Adventure Bike, which has 24 speeds available and was our choice for Premium Pick. The Giordano Aversa Aluminum Road Bike — our pick for Best Value— offers 14 speeds by comparison and is better suited for road riding than deep woods adventure biking.
The frame size that you’ll need for your gravel bike depends entirely on how tall you are. Taller women will want to opt for larger frame sizes to suit their longer limbs, while shorter women will need smaller frame sizes for more compact riding. Neither is better or worse than the other, but your comfort will largely depend on whether or not you purchase a bike that fits you.
The frame material has a lot of influence over the weight, durability, sturdiness, longevity, and handling ease of a gravel bike. Many standard gravel bikes come with high-quality aluminum frames, which are great because they’re resistant to rusting and can be ridden in all weather conditions.
Aluminum isn’t the only frame material option, however, and you’ll also find many bikes with Chromoly steel frames and are of significantly higher quality than the standard aluminum options.
Another common frame material is carbon, which has its own unique set of benefits and drawbacks. It all depends on what you’re looking for in your gravel bike.
It’s important to take good care of your brakes and check that they are working well.
Brakes are one of the most important features on a bicycle, as they help you maintain control and safety while riding. Riders who are looking for bikes for hardcore adventure riding, high-variety terrain compatibility, and many speed capabilities should consider bikes with disc braking systems. These are the most responsive and the best choice for higher-speed riding and precision stopping. Linear-pull brakes are also a good option for adventure riding, although slightly less good than the disc brake system. The least suitable braking system for adventure riding is the backward pedaling braking system, which can be difficult to pick up if you’re not used to it and can be confusing in emergencies.
Gravel bikes differ from other types of bikes in the geometry of the frame— slacker headtube angle, longer wheelbase, and lower bottom bracket— which allows it to be ridden comfortably and safely on a variety of terrains. Road bikes, by comparison, have features that are better suited to paved roads with little texture variation.
Gravel bikes are also referred to as adventure bikes because they can be ridden in many different conditions and on many different terrain types, regardless of whether a clear-cut path is present. Another way to think of gravel bikes is as very modified versions of road bikes. They’re designed to handle more than a standard road bike but aren’t designed purely for off-roading the way mountain bikes are.
The best way to store your gravel bike would be to mount it on the wall in your home. This can be achieved simply and only requires a few small pieces of equipment. To mount your bike to the wall, you’ll need to install a screw-in storage hook that can help keep your bike off the ground (relieving pressure from the tires), and out of your way so you don’t bump into it in your home. This is the ideal solution because it protects the structural integrity of your bike while allowing you to keep a close eye on it.
Our research to find the best gravel bikes for women was pretty exhaustive and covered a wide array of features, specs, and options for all types of riders. We looked closely at what makes each bike on this list extra special and took extra care to describe the scenarios that each option is best suited to. Our Editor’s Choice bike, the Royce Union RMT, was the best bike, hands down, and would serve any rider well, regardless of experience level. The Tommaso Sterrata Shimano Claris R2000 Gravel Adventure Bike, which was our Premium Pick, has a lot of special features and bells and whistles that make it really stand out and is the best choice if you’re ready to invest a bit more financially in your bike. We also loved our Best Value choice, which was the Giordano Aversa Aluminum Road Bike and was unbeatable in paved road conditions and still functioned very well on more diverse terrain. We hope you enjoyed this list of the best gravel bikes for women, and we wish you happy riding!
Biking your way to better health: How to reboot your workout routine - CNN
The first consideration when you’re taking up or restarting a cycling program is to determine whether you’ll be riding inside or outside — or a combination of both. Some factors to consider include year-round climate, traffic, access to bike trails, air quality and bike budget.
If you live too far to commute to work, maybe you can bike partially – connecting to public transportation. Or bike before work, or make a new routine of early morning weekend rides. Are there errands you run or places you go on the weekends that can be reached on two wheels instead of four? There is no reason to deny yourself this fun, healthy, ecological and inexpensive mode of transportation.