The 7 Best Gravel Bikes Under $1500 in 2021

Jan Poshenko
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There are a lot of choices out there, but these bikes are the best value for money so you can enjoy the adventure, freedom, and benefits of riding a gravel bike.

The entire world is your playground, as you can ride on gravel, dirt paths, country roads, and paved roads. Sound good?

They have more tire clearance so you can attach some nice wide fat tires that will keep the ride in good condition on gravel.

Frequently Asked Questions (FAQ)

Are gravel bikes more comfortable?

Gravel bikes aren't necessarily more comfortable than other bikes. They're definitely more comfortable than racing bikes, and they're considerably more comfortable than most mountain bikes, but comfort is subjective.

A gravel bike with wide tires, plus a relaxed geometry (see above) can be just as comfy as a road bike, while bikes such as cyclocross and touring bikes shift things even further for greater all-day comfort.

Gravel bikes fall somewhere in between a touring bike and a cyclocross bike in terms of ride quality. They've got room for wide tires, so that rough road doesn't rattle your teeth, and they've got a comfortable geometry for those longer days. But, the less aggressive tread on a gravel bike's tires means you won’t sink in the same mud… or that you most definitely can if that's your thing.

Which gravel bike is best?

Most off-road touring bikes also have plenty of clearance between the frame and tires, so they can take on different terrains. Many modern touring bikes even come with a front rack, and some of them have fenders that safely guide rain and mud from the tires into the fenders, which are built right into the frame.

These days, almost all bikes that are versatile enough to handle off-road terrain come with drop bars and wider flat handlebars as opposed to tiny, round, flat handlebars. The drop bars also offer more control over braking and shifting, which is extremely important when you’re dealing with sloppy conditions or an extended trip.

Many commuter bikes have fenders, racks, and extra eyelets that are designed to provide you with the versatility to take on different conditions, as well.

Can gravel bikes really do it all?

Gravel bikes are quickly becoming the staple of the bike industry.

Versatility is the name of the game when it comes to these go-anywhere machines. Gravel bikes are designed to handle just about anything in the cycling spectrum including road, mixed, and mountain-style riding.

No matter what type of terrain you prefer, the gravel bike is the perfect bike for you since you can modify the bike to fit your riding style.

In fact, not that long ago, there weren’t that many gravel-specific bikes on the market. Even fewer were at an affordable price. Now, you can find an array of bikes at just about any bike-store, and they’re not overly expensive, either.

What is a good weight for a gravel bike?

Extremely light gravel bikes have their limitations if durability is your top concern. Therefore, it’s better to find something that is light but also sturdy.

The weight of a bike is relative to the person riding it. A heavier rider is likely to be able to handle a heavier bike. As such, it’s important to consider the weight of the bike in relation to your own weight as well as your skill level.

If you only plan on riding on the best roads in town and you haven’t picked up a bike in a while, a heavier bike will feel much more stable to you. However, if you do most of your riding on trails or you are relatively new to riding, a lighter bike will be a much better fit for you.

My personal recommendation is that you should choose a bike that is around 5 to 10% of your body weight.

Conclusion

At the end of the day, when we came to determining which gravel bikes were the absolute best, our research was guided by opinions of cycling and outdoor experts, as well as specifications and reviews by individuals who have actually owned these bikes and used them for racing, touring, and other riding activities.

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