Gravel bikes come with a durable yet lightweight frame and wheels that have been specifically designed to deal with the bumps of gravel.
Riding around the neighborhood on your bike is an activity that you can enjoy on any type of good quality bike. However, for gravel and uneven terrains, the bike present in your garage will not do the job and is useless to you. Using that bike on gravel may result in you endangering yourself and also causing damage to the bike. For mastering the art of biking on gravel, you need a model that has been specifically designed for that type of surface. A gravel bike comes with features that enable it to tackle bumpy rides without any issue.
Bikes designed for gravel and uneven surfaces come with wider wheels, efficient braking, and a gearing system. However, all these features come at a price; gravel bikes do not come cheap. So to help you find a model that offers all these features under $1000, I tested a couple of models on gravel and narrowed the list down to the 10 best! You will find detailed reviews of the 10 best gravel bikes that have the approval of professional bikers in this article.
Top Gravel Bikes Under $1000
1. Schwinn Sporterra Adventure Adult Gravel Bike
Allow me to share a few facts about this model of Schwinn gravel bike so that you will know why it is a good investment. Firstly, the frame of the bike has been constructed with high-quality aluminum. As aluminum itself is a strong yet lightweight and corrosion-resistant material, that automatically makes the bike resistant to corrosion and sturdy enough to withstand the weight of an adult.
Apart from its robust frame, this model comes with strong Schwinn rubber tires on 700c rims, which are ideal for cycling on gravel and rough terrains. The 28-inch tires will give a boost to the height of your bike. In addition to that, with the Shimano shifter and the Shimano rear derailleur, you get 14 speeds.
In addition to that, another amazing feature of this model is the alloy mechanical disc brakes that have been installed in it. With the help of these disc brakes, your bike will come to an immediate halt. For the convenience of its users, Schwinn has added the feature of adjustability to the seat post. So you can easily adjust the height of the seat according to your liking.
This bike is equipped with every feature that you need to enjoy a smooth and comfortable ride on gravel. With the help of its 700c tires, your bike will roll smoothly over gravel, and with the disc brake, it will stop immediately when you pull the brake.
2. Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike
Tomasso really understands what the users require from their bikes, and it has accumulated features catering to those needs in this model. As a result, they introduced this model, which has everything a biker needs when he is riding his bike on gravel, from a sturdy yet lightweight frame to advanced shifters and braking system.
The body of the bike has been manufactured with aluminum that has given it sturdiness and keeps the weight light simultaneously. The fork of the bike has been built with steel! To provide the users with optimum comfort, Tomasso has used Shimano Claris R2000 gearing and shifters, which reduce chain wear by changing the gear of the bike quickly and efficiently! The size of this bike makes it perfect for 5’2″-5’6″ riders.
Instead of disc brakes, rim brakes have been added to this bike that are more aerodynamic and easier to adjust. In addition to that, 25mm wide, 700c tires have been added that make riding over gravel seem like a piece of cake. Along with all these nifty features, I really liked that this model also offers the adjustability of the seat post and the handlebar drop, which are like a cherry on top!
If riding smoothly and comfortably on gravel is your desire, then consider spending your money on this model. It costs less than $1000 while offering high-quality features that are going to ease your life. The strong frame and the tires of this bike make it perfect for gravel!
3. Schwinn Volare 1400 700C Road Bike
If a bike has the name Schwinn attached to it, know that it is going to meet all your requirements! From the construction of this bike to its functionality, it has everything that you wish for when you are biking on gravel and other uneven terrains.
Firstly, the frame of the bike has been built with aluminum. Aluminum itself is filled with handy perks, so the bike’s frame features all those perks; on top of the list are remarkable strength and lightweight design. The fork of the bike is rigid and has been manufactured with high-quality material. The 700c wheels on the alloy rims enable the bike to move swiftly over gravel without inflicting any damage upon it.
The shifter and brake system of this bike works efficiently and provides 14 speeds. In addition, the braking system of this model is like a cherry on top of all the great features. It comes with linear-pull brakes at the front and rear end. These brakes feature more power which means a quick and efficient braking system that brings the bike to an immediate halt. Lastly, the drop style handlebar and the adjustable seat post are some other perks that Schwinn has incorporated in this model to ensure the comfort of its users.
It is a dream of every biker to own a bike that will offer them a comfortable ride without making a hole in their wallet. Schwinn Volare 1400 features a sturdy aluminum frame, high-quality tires, and an efficient braking system, that too with a price tag of less than $1000. So spend your money on this bike and bring it home if you find yourself biking over bumpy roads quite frequently.
4. Tommaso Forcella Endurance Aluminum Road Bike
Every feature of this model of bike will make it easier for you to bike on uneven terrains and gravel. It has a matte black finish which makes it appealing to the eye. The frame of this model has been constructed with high-quality aluminum that adds a wide amount of perks to the overall design. These perks include high strength, lightweight design, and protection from corrosion.
The aluminum frame is accompanied by an HCT carbon fork which absorbs all the vibrations, offering a smooth ride. What further enhances the performance of this model is the addition of the 3×8 Shimano Claris groupset. With the help of its 30/39/50T Claris crankset and the 12x25T Claris cassette, you will be able to tackle different types of terrains. Along with that, this model offers 24 speeds.
The size of this bike is perfect for riders of the 5’6″-5’8″height range. In addition to that, the presence of aero wheels makes it much faster than other models! This bike’s other handy features include an adjustable saddle and compact handlebars with a foam grip that maximizes the overall comfort.
You will not find a gravel bike model better than this one, under $1000! It comes with aero wheels which make it go fast even on gravel, and the carbon fork absorbs all the vibrations from the bumps, offering you a smooth ride. So invest your money in this model if you find yourself biking over gravel frequently.
5. Schwinn Phocus 1600 Drop Bar Road Bicycle
Schwinn knows the requirements of bikers, and they have added features catering to those needs and requirements in this model of a gravel bike. The best part is it costs less than $1000, so I got my hands on this model and enjoyed the comfortable ride without sacrificing an arm and a leg.
The body of this model consists of an aluminum frame and a carbon fiber fork. Both of these combined add a number of perks to the bike that include high strength, shock absorption, lightweight, and resistance to corrosion. In addition to that, it has an SR Suntour alloy crankset which improves the bike’s overall performance. The double-wall rims are what keeps the 700c Kenda tires safe and give them a long life.
This model is equipped with a Shimano rear derailleur which combined with the Shimano A050 shifters, lets you switch between gears easily. It has 14 speeds that enable you to ride at a fast pace, even on gravel and bumpy terrains! It is tricky to control a bike on gravel and uneven terrains which is why Schwinn has incorporated caliper brakes on this model, which have great stopping power.
Schwinn bikes are known for their durability, and this one is no different than the rest of their products! It has been constructed with high-quality materials that give it a long life, even after continuous use. In addition, the advanced braking system has been added, keeping in mind the user’s needs while biking on gravel.
6. Vilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Road Bike
This model features a top-notch frame that gives it the ability to endure the heavyweight of an adult and bumpy rides on gravel without falling apart. The frame has been built with high-grade aluminum that adds a multitude of handy perks and features to this bike including, corrosion resistance and high strength.
It is a hybrid bike, meaning it is perfect for roads and for uneven terrains as well. I tested it out on gravel myself and found it highly comfortable. The inclusion of disc brakes is quite thoughtful as they have remarkable stopping power and longer life. Another great feature that I noticed while riding on the bike was that the height of the saddle could be adjusted. This is quite a handy feature when the same bike has to be used by more than one person.
The drivetrain installed in this bike offers 24 speeds allowing you to continue your journey at a fast speed even on bumpy roads and gravel. What further aids the comfort are the 700-centimeter tires that offer amazing grip. The handlebar is flat and upright, which further enhances the comfort of its user. The best part is that this bike provides all these user-friendly features for only $469.
You are not going to find a better model of bike perfect for gravel at such a low price. So, invest your precious bucks in this model of gravel bike if you want to enjoy a smooth and controlled ride, even on bumpy terrains. From the high-grade construction to the handling of this bike, everything is up to the mark.
7. Royce Union Men’s Gravel Bike
This model of bike is perfect for biking on gravel without inflicting damage upon your bike. It has been constructed with the needs of a biker being kept in mind. Firstly, let’s talk about the structure of this beast. It has been constructed with aluminum which makes it strong enough to endure an adult’s weight. Other perks that its aluminum body brings to the table include resistance to corrosion and high strength, especially in cold weather.
In addition to the sturdy body, the wheels on this model are ideal for gravel and other uneven terrains. WTB 700c tires have been installed on this bike, which are durable, have a larger footprint, and provide a remarkable grip even on gravel! The addition of a WTB volt saddle is a feature that every rider will appreciate. It comes with thick padding that provides a high level of comfort to riders.
Just like the other features, the drivetrain of this model is also top-notch. None other than the Shimano gearing and shifter has been installed on this bike. The Shimano 2×9 shifter provides 18 speeds. While riding the bike, I noticed that the Shimano disc brakes have notable stopping power, and it does not even heat up the rim!
Getting a good model of gravel bike under $1000 is no longer a dream. With this model, you will be able to ride on gravel and other uneven terrains comfortably and safely. Every feature of this bike screams user comfort, which makes it ideal for those who frequently use their bikes.
Not every type of bike is suitable for gravel and uneven terrains. The constant bumps because of gravel may result in damage to the bike and also cause a lot of discomfort to the rider. If you find yourself biking on gravel every now and then, then the best thing for you to do is get your hands on a model that has specifically been designed to tackle such terrains.
Gravel bikes are quite different from other types of bikes. They offer comfort and better handling even on bumpy roads. However, there are a few things that you need to keep an eye out for when you are shopping for a gravel bike. I am going to share a couple of factors with you that you should check in a bike before you decide to bring it home.
Construction Of Bike’s Frame
Trust me when I say the construction of a bike is a deal-breaker. The construction of a bike is what makes it capable of withstanding an adult’s weight and standing tall even after years of continuous use. There are a few different materials used in the construction of a bike’s frame. Steel has been used in the making of a bike’s frame for decades. It is quite strong and has many perks; however, it also has a heavyweight.
The ideal material for a bike is aluminum. It makes the bike strong enough to not succumb to death underweight and also keeps the weight of the bike on the lighter side. Along with the frame, the construction of the fork is also very important. Aluminum forks are strong but do not absorb shocks from the road. For the forks of a bike, carbon fiber is ideal as it has shock-absorbing qualities.
Quality And Type Of Tires
As you will use the bike over gravel, the tires need to be strong enough to roll smoothly over it. 700c rims are ideal for gravel bikes as they have a wider diameter, they offer a better grip even when you are biking on gravel and uneven terrains. Each company mostly uses its own tires of high quality, so do not fret about that. Just ensure that the bike you are purchasing has 700c wheels as they are perfect for gravel.
Gearing And Braking System
The gearing and braking system of the bike is of utmost importance. Shimano cranksets are considered ideal as they offer an efficient gear shifting system along with 18-24 speeds. When you are biking on gravel, you need different levels of speed and a quick gear-changing system.
It is not rocket science to understand how important the braking system of a bike is. If a bike does not have a brake that stops it immediately when pulled, it will not only endanger your life but may also damage the bike in case of an accident. Disc brakes are considered ideal as they have excellent stopping power. Before purchasing a bike, always do a test drive to check the efficiency of the braking system.
Adjustable Height Of Seat And Handlebar
This may not seem like a crucial factor to many; however, it is quite important. The more customization a bike offers, the more user-friendly it will be. This feature is especially very important when a bike has to be used by more than one person.
You can just get a bike with the handlebar and seat’s height according to your height and preference if it is to be used by one person only. However, if two different people have to use the same model, then they each require a different height of saddle and handlebar. So make sure you spend your money on a bike that offers you adjustability of the seat and the handlebar’s height.
When you are spending hundreds of dollars on a bike, it is crucial that the bike should have some form of warranty so that in case of any malfunction, you can get it replaced by the manufacturers. In addition to that, the products that have a manufacturer’s warranty also show that the company has faith in their products. If not a lifetime, then go for a model that at least offers a couple of years warranty.
Bikes that are designed specifically for gravel come with a frame and wheels that have been specifically designed to deal with the bumps of gravel. Now that you know which models are in the lead in the market, it is time for you to make the final decision and purchase one. However, if you are still unsure, then let me share my top three recommendations with you.
Schwinn Sporterra Adventure Adult Gravel Bike offers a sturdy frame and 14 speeds at only $599.
Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike comes with Shimano shifters, 24 speeds, and a lifetime warranty.
Schwinn Phocus 1600 Drop Bar Road Bicycle features an aluminum frame, carbon fiber fork, and caliper brakes.
If these weren’t enough, check out these gravel bikes from Amazon also:
- Performance Hybrid road bike
- Hydroformed Alloy Performance Hybrid Frame and Fork
- Disc Brakes for Great Stopping Power, 700c Wheels and 700c x 35c Tires
- Upright Handlebar for Comfort
- Free Pedals Included, Bike Requires Assembly and Tuning