The 10 Best Gravel Bikes Under $1000 of 2020
The need for bikes to move off smooth terrains without killing the fun of cycling gave birth to the Gravel bikes. These bikes (also known as all-road bikes, or adventure bikes, or bikepacking bikes) are one of the latest additions in the cycling industry.
Gravel bikes are different from the regular bikes. They have a tall head tube, with wider wheels and extended wheelbase. This configuration makes it more comfortable in rough terrain. The build eliminates the wear and tear of touring off-road on the bike.
Thus, gravel bikes are more stable versions of the regular bike. They are ideal for everyday commuting. They can withstand strenuous riding hours. Also, they offer better riding experience when compared to regular bikes.
There are tons of bikes available in the market today with varying price tags. But, this informative piece focuses on the best gravel bikes under $1000.
If you're in a hurry and want us to narrow down the list for you, Then we would recommend the Tommaso Sterrata Shimano Disc Claris R2000 Gravel Bike because of its attractive design, lightweight aluminum frame, 24-speed option, and many more.
Best Gravel Bikes Under 1000
Tommaso Sterrata Shimano Disc Gravel Bike
Diamondback Haanjo 2 Gravel Adventure Road Bike
RALEIGH Willard 1 Gravel Adventure Road Bike
Pure Cycles Adventure Gravel Disc Road Bike
Diamondback Haanjenn 1 Gravel Road Bike
Schwinn Vantage RX 2 Gravel Adventure Bike
Tommaso Sentiero Shimano Claris Gravel Adventure Bike
Retrospec AMOK v3 Urban Gravel Bike
Mongoose Artery Sport Gravel Road Bike
Giordano Trieste 700c Large Gravel Bike
1. Tommaso Sterrata Shimano Disc Claris R2000 Gravel Bike
Top of the list of the best gravel bike under 1000 is the Tommaso Sterrata Shimano Disc Claris R2000 Gravel Bike. The bike is an improvement of previous versions with 700 x 40c tires and aluminum frame. The bike withstands vibration from rough terrains due to the carbon fiber fork. Thus, the bike fairs well as a tour, commuter and leisure rides.
The bike's fender has drilled holes for the attachment of racks and fenders. The drivetrain is a 3x8 Claris Groupset with a 12x25T Claris cassette and a 30/39/50T. The wheels of this bike have the right detailing for rugged terrain.
The wheels have a 28 spoke rims fitted on wider tires. To contain all this power is the Avid BB5 disc brakes. The aim is to help the user stop the bike in rough and harsh weather conditions.
The geometry of the Tommaso Sterrata Gravel Adventure Bike makes it easier for it to maneuver through rough terrains.
But, you will need a professional to help you assemble the bike. It doesn't come constructed, and you may need help. The brake discs are hard to adjust too.
The Tommaso Sterrata Shimano Claris Gravel Adventure Bike is a sturdy off-road bike. It comes with so many unique features that make it stand out from the rest of the bikes. It will be worth every dollar that you will spend on it.
But the only issue is it doesn't come constructed. So, you will have to assemble it all by yourself. It may be challenging to do so and will get noisy with time. You might want to get some help from the bike specialist in this regard.
Bonus: If you are a big fan of the Tommaso brand, then you might have heard the name of the famous Tommaso Imola Road Bike. It's an outstanding bike with the latest features.
2. Diamondback Haanjo 2 Gravel Bike
Haanjo 2 Gravel Adventure Road Bike from Diamondback bicycle is a sturdy off-road bike. The bike's frame has a design made from pure aluminum alloy. The design and geometry make the bike comfortable when riding through rough terrains.
The bike features extra additions like a low-rider rack mount and DB gravel steel made of steel. These features aim to provide stability and performance on the bike.
The Diamondback Bicycles Haanjo 2 Gravel Adventure Road Bike comes with a Shimano Claris 2x8 speed drivetrain. The stopping power comes from Tektro Lyra mechanical disc brakes.
Extra additions like pedals come with the entire package. The manufacturer offers an attractive lifetime warranty on the frame. The seats may be uncomfortable after a couple of rides.
Thus, you may need to get individual riders shorts or replace the bike seat with an appropriate one if you intend to use the bike for long-distance trips.
Tips: You may like our review about comfortable bike seats to make your riding enjoyable.
Unlike the Tommaso Sterrata R2000 Gravel Adventure Bike, the Diamondback Bicycles Haanjo 2 is another excellent choice as a gravel bike. It's easy to assemble as you can put the parts together within 30 minutes. Thus, you don't need a professional to help this time.
This versatile bike comes with the latest features, and it will satisfy any rider who intend to go for an off-road tour. If you can deal with the uncomfortable seats, then this will make a good buy.
Related: We all know that Diamondback is one of the famous brands in the bike industry. So, we have reviewed 6 most suitable bikes from Diamondback that you might be interested in.
3. RALEIGH Willard 1 Gravel Adventure Road Bike
RALEIGH Bikes upgraded its finishes and craft in the Willard 1 Gravel Adventure Road Bike. The bike’s frame and fork are from pure aluminum for enhanced durability.
Willard 1 Gravel Adventure Road Bike features a signature Shimano derailleurs drive train. It has a Shimano Claris HG50 8-speed cogset with Shimano Claris 2x8 speed shifters. The bike stops with the help of Tektro Lyra mechanical disc brakes.
The bike has an ideal balance for an off-road bike due to its Clement X’PLOR USH, 700x35c tires. RALEIGH makes the Willard 1 Gravel Adventure Bike with a geometry that makes it ideal for adventure biking in rough terrains.
The bike is versatile and can serve as both a road and off-road bike. Extra features like the mount rack and fender are thoughtful additions to the bike.
RALEIGH Bikes comes almost assembled. All you have to do is fix the handlebar, front wheel, seat, and pedals. You can do these in 30 minutes. Another stand-out feature of the bike is the variety of colors available for you.
Find more discussion about Raleigh Willard 1 bike review in-depth.
All in all, the RALEIGH Bikes Willard 1 Gravel Adventure Road Bike has useful features for an off-road bike. The bike comes almost assembled. It will be versatile and will provide incredible comfort while you are riding on rough terrains.
No matter how long you go with it, the journey will be enjoyable.
More Advisable Bikes From Raleigh:
4. Pure Cycles Adventure Gravel Disc Road Bike
Next on the list is the Pure Cycles Adventure Gravel Disc Road Bike. The bike features a durable steel frame aimed at increasing strength and comfort. Another stand-out feature is the Hutchinson override tires that offer balance on rough terrains.
The bike has two drive train options; a 16-speed or 18 speed Shimano Claris STI drive trains. With such speed train, the bike features both front and rear alloy disc brakes from Promax.
Pure Cycles Gravel Bike has a compact 3-piece crankset from FSA Tempo. The bike’s rim is tubeless-ready with alloy hubs and stainless steel spokes.
The manufacturer intends to ensure that the user has full control of the bike by introducing an adjustable drop bar. The bar has different adjustable grip positions. Thus, you can switch to a comfortable position on the move. Another extra feature of the Pure Cycles Adventures Bike is the Selle-Royal Rampage adventure saddle.
It comes almost ready to use and with six different sizes (46cm/X-Small, 48cm/Small, 51cm/Medium, 54cm/Large, 57cm/X-Large, 60cm/XX-Large) options. Thus, you can choose a size that’s comfortable for you.
The drawback to the Pure Cycles Road Bike is the durability of the major components. Parts like the chain, spokes cassette and cables will break within a short while of usage.
If you are cool with the speed and durability of the Pure Cycles Adventure Gravel Disc Road Bike, you would need to get a bike mechanic for some parts replacement.
The steel frame of this bike makes it more stable on unsteady roads and rough terrains. It has an excellent stopping power due to its front and rear alloy Promax disc brakes. The bike will be an exceptional choice as gravel bikes under 1000 dollars.
Big fan of Pure Cycles? Here is an article about the top 5 bikes from Pure Cycles to help you.
5. Diamondback Haanjenn 1 Gravel Adventure Road Bike
Like the Haanjo 2, the Haanjenn 1 Gravel Bike from Diamondback Bicycles makes a list for its versatility. The bike has a design using an aluminum alloy frame for enhanced support and comfort. The geometry of the bike makes it ideal for long, tiring rides through rough terrains.
The bike has a flat handlebar that allows you to ride in an upright position while you have full control of the bike. The Shimano Acera 9 speed drivetrain offers enough power to move you through hilly and rocky terrains. The Tektro Aries mechanical disc brakes provide a sound braking system to help you slow down the bike.
The Haanjenn 1 Gravel bike comes with a lifetime warranty. The bike also comes with pedals as extra add on in the package. Haanjenn 1 is a mix of road and mountain bikes. The bike is ideal for both everyday commuting and when you decide to get off the smooth track.
The setback to the Haanjenn 1 is the build-up. The chain will begin to jump around after a thousand miles. The rear cassette wears off after several rides. Also, you have to adjust the brakes upon delivery of the bike.
Haanjenn 1 Gravel Adventure Road Bike from Diamondback Bicycles is ideal for both smooth and rough terrains. But, you would have to deal with components in the long run. A little parts replacement and regular maintenance will do to ensure the durability of your bike.
This bike is specially built for women who are interested in off-road riding. However, there is another Diamondback Lux Women’s Mountain Bike, which is suitable for female mountain bike riders.
6. Schwinn Vantage RX 2 Gravel Adventure Bike
The vantage Gravel Adventure Bike from Schwinn makes the list of the best gravel bike under 1000 for its high performance and speed.
The bike features a whooping 18-speed drivetrain from Shimano Sora. The drive train will push you through rough and hilly terrains. To slow down all this power is the reliable TRP Spyre C mechanical disc brakes.
The Vantage, RX 2 700c Gravel Adventure Bike, features the Schwinn Smooth Ride Technology. The technology is visible in the frame via the elastomer soft tail suspension. The suspension helps the rider get comfortable in any terrain.
Schwinn Vantage RX 2 700c Gravel Adventure Bike has a pair of Alex DP21 alloy rims and robust Continental sport contact II 35C tires. The wheel system has a safety breaker to protect the rider during cases of a damaged tire.
The endurance handlebar enhances the rider’s experience even when you navigate through rugged terrains.
One of the stand-out features of the Schwinn Vantage RX 2 700c Gravel Adventure Bike is the weight. The bike is lightweight and easy to maneuver, especially on rough terrains.
The only drawback is that you have to assemble it without a detailed guide from the manufacturer. Thus, if you are new to bikes, you may have to use the help of a bike mechanic on this one.
The Vantage RX 2 700c Gravel Adventure Bike is a high-end off-road bike. It moves fast, handles great, and feels comfortable off the road. But, you have to get a bike mechanic to help you assemble.
More Schwinn Bikes Review:
7. Tommaso Sentiero Shimano Claris Gravel Adventure Bike
Tommaso makes a list again with the rugged Sentiero Shimano Claris Gravel Adventure Bike. This version features bigger 700x40c tires for robust stability. Sentiero Shimano Gravel Bike from Tommaso features the signature aluminum compact frame and SST steel fork. The structure and fork have a lifetime warranty on the original retail buyer.
The frame also has drilled holes for the attachment offenders and racks. To move this bulky mass is the 3x8 Shimano Claris Groupset that comes with 12x25T Claris cassette and 30/39/50T Claris crankset. The drive train has a different level of gears for all types of riding mode, especially for rough and rugged terrains.
To stop all this power is the Avid BB5 disc brakes ideal for all-terrain and weather conditions. The wider tires plus the Tommaso TC-20D/28 spoke rim offers extra stability and strength to the bike.
Tommaso Sentiero Gravel Adventure Bike has a sleek design with a compact handle. The geometry enhances the rider’s control over the bike. Also, the compact handlebar makes it easier for riders to maneuver through rough terrains.
The drawback to this bike is that you would have to hire a professional bike mechanics to help you assemble as it doesn’t come pre-assembled.
Tommaso Sentiero Shimano Claris Gravel Adventure Bike would be an exceptional choice as a 1000 dollars off-road bike for its lightweight feature, stability, efficient braking system, and many more. Thus, you would need the help of a professional to assemble the bike properly.
8. Retrospec AMOK v3 UrbanGravel Bike
AMOK v3 Bike from Retrospec is a rugged commuter bike enhanced to move through rough terrains. The bike features a hand-made aluminum alloy frame and fork set. The smooth commuter bike comes with a Shimano quiet drive train.
The drive train features a 170mm crank and smooth gears for different terrains. Tektro mechanical disc brakes ensure you stop the bike.
AMOK v3 8-Speed Urban Bike sits on a pair of Innova 700x40C dual purpose tread tires. The tires fit on 700C 3H double-wall stars rims and 32H aluminum alloy quick release hubs. The wheel system is ideal for both urban and rough terrains. It enables the bike to move through rugged terrains in any weather.
AMOK v3 Bike comes with a flat, robust handlebar that gives the rider full control of the bike. You can shift gears on the move using the Shimano Rapid Fire thumb shifter. Extra features like the Retrospec low-profile BMX pedals enhance your riding experience.
The issues with the AMOK v3 Bike lies in the components. Components like the brake levers, seat post, and covers will break down from rigorous use. Thus, the bike is better off on paved roads than gravel tracks.
Retrospec AMOK v3 8-Speed Bike is better off as a commuter bike. Thus, if you are looking for a commuter’s bike with better speed and stability, then you should check it out.
9. Mongoose Artery Sport Gravel Road Bike
Mongoose makes a list with the Artery Sport Gravel Road Bike. The Artery Sport Gravel Road Bike features an aluminum frame. It comes with the signature Mongoose unicrown steel fork that strengthens the build.
The bike accelerates due to the Shimano Altus/Tourney 21-speed drivetrain. You can shift gears with the smooth Altus shifters. Artery Sport Gravel Road Bike comes with a Shimano EF-500 brake levers and alloy linear-pull brakes to put a stop to all that power in a drive train.
The bike balances with a pair of Arisun Metro ZRS 700x38c tires, and MT-25 double-wall rims. These ensure you ride through gravel roads for a very long time. The stand-out feature of the Artery Sport Gravel Road Bike is the ease of pedaling.
The bike comes with a Shimano M171 28/38/48T crank that makes it easier for you to drive. The crank is durable and lasts longer than the average crank of a gravel bike.
The only issue with the Artery Sport Gravel Road Bike is the handles. The handles are not comfortable, especially when riding uphill. But, you can replace that with a better option based on your preference.
If you are not particularly concerned about the handles of a gravel bike, then you should check out the Mongoose Artery Sport Gravel Road Bike. Ensure to assemble to avoid breakdown after a while.
Related: Mongoose Bikes Reviews (Top Picks to Check Out)
10. Giordano Trieste 700c Large Gravel Bike
Last on the list is the Giordano Trieste Gravel Bike. Unlike most gravel bikes on this list, the Giordano Trieste Gravel Bike features a lightweight steel frame and fork. Thus, it is lightweight and durable all at the same time.
The lightweight frame and fork are ideal for long-distance rides on rough terrains. Giordano Trieste Gravel Bike travels with a Claris 16 speed drivetrain. The not-so-fast drive train stops with the help of a reliable pair of mechanical disc brakes.
The bike balances on a pair of 700c x 30mm tires fitted on 32 Hole Double Wall Alloy Rims. Thus, you can ride through longer distances on gravel and rough terrains.
But, the Giordano Trieste Gravel Bike has a poor geometrical alignment that may cause you a fair deal of discomfort. The handles bend too low and would cause your back to ache after a long ride. You can fix this by customizing the handles, but that may rearrange the braking system.
Also, you need a professional bike mechanic to help you put the components together upon delivery.
The Giordano Trieste Gravel Bike is a built bike better off for long-distance rides on rough terrains. But, you may have to get used to the handles and get cycling short to deal with the seat.
Top Consideration of Gravel Bikes Under 1000 Before Buying
Now you have a comprehensive list of best gravel bikes under 1000, what do you look out for when you hit the market for a gravel bike? Check out factors you must consider before buying a gravel bike.
Frame Material: Carbon vs. Aluminum
The two common materials used in the frames of a gravel bike are carbon and aluminum. Both materials are lightweight and very durable. But, carbon frames are lighter than their aluminum counterparts. Gravel bikes with a carbon fiber frame and fork are also pricey.
Thus, you can make a choice based on your preference. Both materials are reliable. Other materials used in making the frame and fork of gravel bikes are steel and titanium.
Another factor you must consider, especially if you wish to buy a gravel bike from the internet, is the size. Like every other bike type, gravel bikes have different sizes. This is due to the different heights of bike riders. Thus, ensure you know your size before you place your order.
The wheel is a system that includes the tire, hub, and rims. Gravel bikes generally have big tires. Depending on the brand, gravel bikes have road clearance of up to 55mm. Thus, you have plenty of tire size options when shopping for a gravel bike.
Yet, your choice of tire size depends on your needs for a gravel bike. Your riding track also plays a part when deciding for the perfect tire size. If you need to move on a tarred road, then you should check out a bike with a tire size of 25mm to 28mm. If you always wish to ride through gravels and rough terrains, then the best pick would be a 35mm threaded tire.
The gear systems available in gravel bikes are the mechanical, hydraulic, and electronic gears. Yet, the mechanical gear system is the most common in gravel bikes. It works by a mechanical connection from a shifter on the handles to a derailleur.
A steel cable connects the two parts and runs across the frame. Once you shift gears, the steel cable pulls on the derailleur and changes the speed.
Mechanical gears are useful, especially when you are looking for a lightweight bike. The shift quality is excellent, especially when you are riding uphill. The only disadvantage of the mechanical shifting system is its exposure.
The gear housing and shift cables are susceptible to dirt and debris. These would clog the system and cause you to replace its components.
While some brands still stick to the rim braking system (v-brakes and cantilevers), modern gravel bikes now make use of disc brakes. The two types of disc brakes are mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes.
Disc brakes are perfect because they work fine in all weather conditions (dry, wet, and even freezing conditions.) The brake system withstands dirt and debris that may clog the bike in rough terrains.
Another reason why you should opt for disc brakes is their gripping system. Disc brakes need fewer grips. Thus, they are great for long-distance rides without straining your hands.
Bike weight is an essential factor, especially if you hope to ride long distances with your bike. The weight of a gravel bike depends on the frame and other components. A lightweight bike makes it easier to ride long distances.
The weight enhances your grip and control over the bike. But, the materials used in designing the bike should be durable, or the components would break down after a while.
Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)
To help you make the right choice, here are some frequently asked questions on gravel bikes.
Q. How do you pick the best gravel and adventure bike?
A. When shopping for a gravel bike, you should watch out for geometry and stability. Gravel bikes have larger wheelbases. This feature ensures the bike is stable on rough terrains and comfortable for the user.
The geometry of a gravel bike is more flexible when compared with a race bike. The taller head tube and a relaxed head angle will make the user comfortable.
Q. What is the difference between adventure bikes and cyclocross bikes?
A. Although there is no distinct style associated with adventure bikes, they are not like cyclocross bikes. Adventure bikes are high-endurance bikes designed for rough terrains. Gravel bikes have a rugged, versatile build.
They offer excellent stability to long-distance gravel riders. But, gravel bike combines the features of both endurance and cyclocross bikes to enhance its performance.
Q. Where is the best place to use an adventure bike?
A. Gravel bikes are fast, reliable, and very useful for long-distance rides. They have a build-up that makes it perfect for all kinds of roads. Thus, you can use your gravel bike on dirt roads, bridleways, forest roads, and even on tarmac.
Gravel bikes are versatile; thus, you can ride on and off the road. The bikes will you on and off the road when you wish to try the adventure. It combines the feeling of a regular road bike and the strength of an endurance bike.
Q. Why should I opt for a gravel bike?
A. They can take on any terrain you throw at them. Aside from gravel riding, they can serve as your regular commuter bike, lightweight touring bikes, and even training bikes on a mountain bike trainer for indoor training. They are fast and comfortable too.
Thus, you can go for a gravel bike if you are looking to bring in an adventure into your regular riding routine.
Q. Are hydraulic disc brakes better?
A. Gravel bikes use disc brakes. Replacing rim brake caliper with Disc brakes offer room for bigger tires. Mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes are the two types of disc brakes used in gravel bikes.
However, hydraulic discs are better because they offer more power. They help boost the confidence of the rider and works fine in all riding conditions.
Summing It Up
A gravel bike is a combination of touring bike, mountain bike, and cyclocross bikes all put in one. They have excellent tire clearance for enhanced stability and strength. One of the stand-out features of a gravel bike is the drop-down handles.
The handles increase the rider’s control over the bike. Thus, they are perfect for gravel roads, unpaved trails, and all kinds of countryside adventure riding.
Gravel bikes are fast and versatile. Thus, they can serve as commuter bikes for long-distance city riders. They can withstand terrain and riding conditions that would put off the premium road bikes. The addition of hydraulic disc brakes makes gravel bikes safer for all kinds of weather conditions.
Gravel bikes are great for riders looking to have fun riding off the track. The balance and speed offered by gravel bikes make every riding experience worthwhile. Ensure you get a gravel bike that suits your needs, and you would have a swell time riding through rough roads.