If you often ride over gravel roads, forest tracks or trails, you need the right bike that is designed for multi-terrain excursions. Fortunately, this doesn’t mean that you need to spend a fortune.
In this review, we’ve delved into the <a href=”https://www.bikethesites.com/best-gravel-bikes/”>gravel bikes</a> under $1,000 to find the best choices that offer a solid and reliable bike without breaking the bank. We’ve looked into the models with the frame made of durable yet affordable materials like aluminum or steel. We did our best to find the multi-speed bikes featuring from 14 to 24 speeds.
We’ve ranked the best gravel bikes under 1,000 dollars to help you to find the right one for your requirements, build and budget.
More features: 700c wheels, Shimano Tourney derailleurs, mechanical disc brakes
If you’re looking for the best adventure gravel bikes under 1000 dollars the Mongoose Men’s Elroy Adventure Bike is a great place to start. This is an excellent option for any beginner because it offers great value for money and it’s made from durable materials. This bike has a steel fork, alloy frame, a 2×7 drivetrain, Shimano Tourney derailleurs and super smooth gear shifts. The handlebar controls are accurate and it’s easy to maintain your speed under any operating conditions.
The Mongoose Men’s Elroy Adventure Bike is an excellent option if you’re considering touring because the storage options are impressive. A thin bag is attached to the length of the frame to store the essentials and you have a bag rack at the front and rear with a built-in bottle opener! If you’re planning a longer ride in a warmer area it’s crucial to stay hydrated throughout the journey. This adventure bike has sufficient storage space for up to five water bottles that are easy to access when you need to quench your thirst. This is a great bike for multi-day adventures or a picnic out in nature with another cyclist.
More features: steel fork, disc brakes, 700x40c tires
The Tommaso Siena Shimano Tourney Gravel Adventure Bike is a powerful, rugged and reliable bike. The compact frame is made from aluminum with SST steel forks that come with a lifetime warranty. The frame is pre-drilled to make it easy to customize your adventure bike with a wide variety of fenders, racks and other accessories. For many riders this feature alone makes the Siena the ultimate touring and commuter bike. This is a professional adventure bike and the manufacturer recommends a professional assembly. If you try to put this bike together yourself you will not be able to validate your warranties and this is something to bear in mind before you buy.
This adventure bike is a great option if you want to traverse a wide variety of terrains from flat commuter runs to hill climbing. There are many gears to select and matching the ride to the local conditions is effortless. A 3×7 Shimano Groupset is fitted with a Claris 30/39/50T crankset matched to a Tourney 12x28T cassette. The 700x40c tires are wider than you might expect and they add considerable stability when you’re riding across rougher terrain types. The tire rims are Tommaso TC-20D units that provide plenty of durability as you would expect from a well built 28 spoke rim.
The Schwinn Vantage may be one of the best womens gravel bikes under 1000 dollars. This adventure bike can be ridden by men and women, but it’s a really great option for new female riders that want a beginner bike that can take them to the intermediate level. The suggested riding height for this bike is 5’3” up to around 5’7” which is perfect for women and shorter riders in general. This is a great hybrid bike for people that want a reliable commuter that they can take out at the weekends for adventures.
The frame features “Smooth Ride Technology” which delivers a softer tail suspension to optimize comfort when riding. Power is managed via a 21-speed drivetrain with a versatile range of gears and accurate shifting. This adventure bike sits on a pair of Schwinn 35c hybrid tires on Alex DC-26 rims for a comfortable, light and durable riding experience. There are plenty of rack and fender mounts that allow you to customize your bike in a wide variety of ways. This makes the bike versatile for both commuting and touring as required. On the handlebars you have Schwinn sport dual-density Ergo grips that are comfortable and easy to handle when riding.
The Viribus Adult Gravel Bike is a 27.5” rugged gravel bike for new cyclists and those that want a bike that will grow with them. The frame is lightweight and strong, it’s made with high-carbon steel and it can support a rider up to 330 lbs in weight. There are front and rear V brakes that help you to stay in control even if you’re navigating a steep slope. This gravel bike is fitted with a set of classic drop bar handles that give you extra leverage uphill and an improved aerodynamic profile when riding into a headwind.
This gravel bike has a 21-speed derailleur with micro-grip gear shifters to keep the torque at your fingertips for optimal control. It’s easy to fly along any straightways and get access to more power when you’re ready to start climbing. Both the steel frame and the dual-lined aluminum spokes are corrosion resistant with great durability and shock resistance. The thick MTB saddle has elastic cushioning to maintain comfort when cross road riding and over longer distances. This is a very affordable gravel bike that offers outstanding value for money and it’s a great bike to use for commuting and weekend adventures.
The Royce Union Men’s’ Gravel Bike is a great gravel bike that’s equally at home on the road. This bike is packed with useful features to improve the comfort and efficiency of your riding to get the best experience. At the heart of this bike is the 21” lightweight aluminum frame that’s tough and durable enough to handle a wide variety of terrain types. The suspension is rigid and the only available color at this time is blue. The wheels are WTB alloy rims shod with WTB Nano 700c wilderness tires.
The gearing is an 18-speed Shimano Claris unit that delivers plenty of power when you need to power through an uphill climb and the gear selection feels precise. The drivetrain is a Shimano Sora 9-speed index paired with a 2×9 shifter to reach the 18 speeds. This unit is matched to a 11×34 cassette and Neco alloy 3-piece crank which performs well on hills and flat surfaces. The brakes are dual Shimano mechanical disc units that operate well under any weather conditions and they are perfect to control your descent for downhill riding.
The Giordano Trieste Gravel Bike is built with a chromoly lightweight steel frame and fork for superior toughness and durability. This bike is fitted with 30mm wide tires that provide a smooth ride on the road and off it, if you want to explore. Many riders like the idea of mountain biking but they don’t want to invest a lot of money upfront. This bike is the best of both worlds if you want to try some light off roading without breaking the bank. This is a well built, high quality gravel bike at an affordable price and it’s capable of more than you might imagine.
This bike is fitted with Shimano Claris 16-speed STI shifters paired to an 8-speed 11-32t dual cassette. This multi-use bike has mechanical disc brakes that allow you to slow and stop efficiently on rougher roads and trails with any weather conditions. The handle type is a drop bar with comfortable nylon grips that are ideal for riding on any surface. The extra handlebar grip comes in handy when climbing and making gear changes feels precise on any incline. The wheels are double-wall 700c aluminum units with 14g steel spokes and alloy hubs.
More features: disc brakes, threadless fork, 700x40c High-performance tires
The Hiland Road/Hybrid Bike has an aluminum frame with easy mounting points for a kickstand, racks, lights, panniers and other accessories to customise your riding experience. This versatility allows you to switch from a road bike to a mountain bike and all points in-between with relative ease. Hiland bikes are made in Taiwan and the company has been in business since 1979 so they know how to make a great bike.
This hybrid gravel bike has the highest number of gears on our list with 24-gears to select. The drivetrain feels smooth and you can change gears precisely on any terrain. The overall built quality and inclusion of Shimano components ensure that your riding will be comfortable and efficient on flat roads and hills alike. The wheel rims are made from sturdy aluminum for easy acceleration and braking with no sacrifice in performance.
More features: disc brakes, 700c x 40 tires, Shimano shifters and rear derailleur
The Kent 700c Nazz Mens Gravel Road Bike is a great bike if you want to ride over different terrain types. This bike has a durable steel frame with front and rear suspension and disc brakes. The actuated disc brakes are activated with a front or rear cable and they provide a lot of stopping power which gives you confidence in poor weather conditions. The 2x drivetrain has a Shimano rear derailleur and shifters to ensure that you can make 14 precise gear changes over a wide variety of terrain.
This bike has well balanced geometry and 700Cx40 gravel tires for a comfortable and reliable ride. A 14-28 Tooth Freewheel and 38/48 Tooth crank are fitted and some basic assembly is required upon delivery. The dimensions of the Nazz Gravel Road Bike are: 51” long x 8” wide x 30” high, which means that this is a bike suited to adults only. The total weight is only 45 lbs which is lighter than you might imagine when you consider the fully steel frame construction.
Choosing a new gravel bike can be a daunting process, as there are so many models on the market. So, here we’ve compiled a buying guide with some answers to frequently asked questions to help you make your final purchase decision.
Cycling offers a number of superb health benefits Trusted Source 15 benefits of cycling: why cycling is great for fitness, legs and mind | Cycling Weekly Thinking of joining the cycling family? We look at the benefits of cycling and explain why the best way to get fit is by bike. www.cyclingweekly.com , but you need to ensure that your chosen bike is suited to your biking style. A gravel bike is designed for road speed and rough terrain riding. Many riders use them for commuting or riding on roads and then they take them into the hills on the weekend. A gravel bike usually has a lightweight and stiff frame that’s comfortable for extended riding and yet tough enough to meet compliance as required. Choosing this type of bike is often a good choice for people that want a practical road bike but they are interested in mountain biking. It’s a viable option to try off road biking without purchasing a second dedicated bike and spending too much money.
Gravel bikes can run into thousands of dollars Trusted Source Best gravel bikes 2021 | Carbon, alloy, steel & titanium gravel bikes reviewed - BikeRadar These are the best gravel bikes in 2021, as ridden and rated by the testers at BikeRadar. 33 great gravel bikes that you can buy right now. www.bikeradar.com , so you need to be realistic about your expectations when considering the best gravel bikes under 1,000. However, it is possible to get reliable and rugged models at this price point.
Bikes under $1,000 tend to be made with lower price materials, so you will be unable to find titanium or other premium materials. Additionally, you may find that bikes at this price lack some of the more fancy features. However, you can get a solid bike that can introduce you to the world of off-road biking.
With so many gravel bikes on the market, you need to know how to pick the best one for your needs. So, here we’ll explore some of the features to consider.
Selecting the correct bike size is extremely important and it’s a vital aspect of bike fitting. There are many opinions on this topic and it can be hard to get consistent information. But, the topic is less complex than many people imagine and we will outline the process here. If you don’t get the bike size right there are three main consequences, they are: knee pain, back pain and low performance.
There are two easy ways to calculate the correct bike size to meet your needs. If you’re not clear about this process visit a bike shop and ask them to fit you for a bike. You’re under no obligation to make a purchase and you can keep these measurements to make a choice later. Let’s take a look at each method in more detail:
Stand with your legs together or slightly apart and measure your leg length on the inner side. You may need some help to get an accuracy measurement and you can use the result to make an accurate calculation.
There are three separate formulas for city, road and mountain bikes:
There are many types of frame and fork materials and some have distinct advantages when it comes to a gravel or hybrid bike. There are four main materials used in modern bike construction: aluminum, steel, chromoly steel and carbon fiber. Let’s take a look at these materials in more detail.
Aluminum: This is a popular frame material choice for sports bikes but most modern frames are aluminum alloys. Mongoose Men’s Elroy Adventure Bike, Tommaso Siena Shimano Tourney Gravel Adventure Bike and three other bikes on our list feature this kind frames. There are six aluminum alloys used in bike construction and they all have certain characteristics in common. Aluminum alloy bike frames are well regarded because they are lightweight, strong, durable, corrosion resistant and they have good vibration absorption qualities.
Steel: Steel bike frames are strong but they are heavier and they are usually found on less expensive bikes like Kent 700c Nazz Mens Gravel Road Bike. Steel was a more common material choice in the past when aluminum and other materials were more expensive and harder to source. In recent years significant advances in frame technology have relegated steel to forks.
Chromoly Steel: This material is a combination of steel chrome molybdenum that is well regarded for its lightweight and it’s easy to weld. The most common variant used in modern bike construction is 4130 and some aluminum alloy frames have chromoly steel forks fitted. This is because chromoly steel offers more flexibility when riding on rougher surfaces and it’s very durable. As you might imagine, this is an ideal material for gravel and mountain bikes that may be ridden on rocky surfaces and rough trails. Giordano Trieste Gravel Bike has a frame made of Chromoly steel.
Carbon Fiber: In the recent past this material was very expensive, prone to cracking and only found on very high-end racing bikes. Manufacturers have improved the processes to produce more affordable and reliable carbon fiber frames with improved durability. This material is renowned for its light weight but it also has impressive shock absorption too. Some of the best bikes in the world are made from carbon fiber but even now they can be an expensive material. There are no carbon fiber frame bikes on our list because we couldn’t find any in the sub $1,000 price range.
The size of your wheels and the width of the tyres will determine the types of terrain and roads that you can ride on. A rough surface will require a wider tire that can deform slightly to improve the grip while maintaining the speed and comfort. A narrow 700C wheel will roll quickly across a hard surface but the wheels will have lighter contact with the ground. Many experts agree that a 650B tyre is a good option for a rough gravel road and a switch to 700C is ideal if you only intend on occasional gravel surface riding.
There are different suspension options available, including: lower, mid and higher level that you can attune to meet your current needs. As we’ve seen, a gravel bike is built for versatility and comfort across different types of terrain. So, the level of suspension that you choose should support that choice and this will be reflected in the gravel bike that you finally choose. As a rule of thumb, higher suspension levels make the ride feel less bumpy because the vibrations from the surface are minimized. This will give you a more comfortable riding experience and this is especially true if you’re riding for a longer period of time.
When you’re looking at gravel bikes consider the length of ride that you would typically take and the amount of money that you have to invest. This is because higher levels of suspension add to the cost of the bike and they will need regular maintenance too. The suspension system will need regular adjustments and cleaning to work as intended by the manufacturer.
Most modern gravel or hybrid bikes like Schwinn Vantage bike have a front and rear shifting 2x or a rear shifting 1x only. Most riders prefer the 2x drivetrain when riding on gravel and trails because the jump that occurs during a gear ratio shift is minimized. It’s also possible to achieve a wider range of riding speeds when you’re moving with a 2x drivetrain. That being said, the 1x drivetrain setup is probably a better option for absolute beginners and younger riders. This system is more intuitive to learn, it makes the gravel bike lighter, it’s easier to control and there are fewer components to fail when you’re riding.
A versatile gravel bike needs to have lower gear ratios and under 25-inches is ideal for most rough terrain types. Calculating the specific gear ratio for any given terrain is a complex topic and beyond the scope of this guide. But, if you want to get serious about riding off-road it’s possible to tailor the gear ratio to very specific settings for optimal performance.
Almost all modern gravel bikes are fitted with disc brakes and there are two types in regular use, they are:
As you might expect, mechanical disc brakes are more common on less expensive gravel bikes. Hydraulic braking systems are far more complex and this adds a significant cost to the bike. There are no hydraulic disc brake equipped gravel bikes on our list because we couldn’t find one for less than $1,000.
Bike manufacturers have invested significantly in tubeless tire technology and it is starting to filter down to less expensive gravel bikes. The tires are effectively “self-healing” when they are punctured because sealant automatically plugs the hole immediately. These tires are also lighter and they have a lower rolling resistance for a smoother and more comfortable ride. If you have the budget to invest in tubeless tires, they are worth the investment for a better ride and peace of mind if you get a puncture.
The main source of the weight in any bike is the frame and the forks. The material choices made here can have a dramatic effect on how the bike feels and performs when riding. As we saw earlier, aluminum is a popular choice for a lower cost gravel bike because it’s light, strong, durable and affordable.
Carbon fiber forks can shave 1-2 kg off the weight than a full aluminum model and this rises to 12-13kg for a gravel bike made from steel.
Some gravel bikes arrive in almost a fully assembled state and you only need to install the pedals or other minor tasks. The tools are usually supplied for lighter installation tasks but if your DIY skills are limited it’s a good idea to avoid bikes that require more work. Setting up more expensive gravel bikes may even require some specialist help from a local expert.
A mountain bike is designed to handle rough trails and the wheels are wider with plenty of tire clearance to traverse rocks. The frames tend to be larger and the handlebars are straight to help the rider deal with more severe obstacles. Riding a mountain bike requires an upright body position to deal with the steep ascents and descents. Mountain bikes are designed for lighter travel and they don’t tend to have many attachments for luggage or accessories.
Gravel bikes are capable of off-road riding but they simply can’t negotiate the same larger rocks and jumps are not possible. But, when the rider drops onto a dirt or gravel road they are faster than a mountain bike. Most gravel bikes have drop bar handlebars which make the riding position aerodynamic for more power on flatter surfaces. A gravel bike relies on a forward leaning riding position for faster riding. If you’re interested in touring a gravel bike is a great option because you can carry water bottles and carriers.
Hopefully, we’ve been able to demonstrate that there are a number of choices for the best gravel bikes under 1,000. From the Schwinn Vantage, which is an excellent choice for smaller riders or women, to the versatility of the Tommaso Siena Shimano Tourney that can tackle a variety of terrains.
However, the stand out choice as the best gravel bike under 1,000 has to be our editor’s choice, the Mongoose Men’s Elroy. This impressive bike is made from durable materials, yet offers great value for money. It has storage options and tires that can run quite fast, particularly on roads.