The Best Gravel Bikes to Buy in 2021

Gravel bike, often also referred to as 'adventure bike', is a special kind of road bike designed for off-road terrains, but also performs well on-road as needed. Gravel bikes usually come with wider tires, lower gearing, lower bottom bracket, longer wheelbase, and the best gravel bikes will feature frames and components able to withstand the beating of a rough terrain.

If you are looking for a gravel bike that adjusts to your demands, this is your lucky day. We have already done that job for you, and here is our top selection.

Best Gravel Touring Bike

hobootleg green monkey

Cinelli

Cinelli Hobootleg

Green Monkey

Best Single Speed Gravel Bike

BT MY21 Arise glossy coffee black0

Bombtrack

Bombtrack Arise

Best Gravel Bike Under $1000

state bicycle co 4130 all road tan 1

State Bicycle Co.

State All-Road

Sonoran Tan

Best Gravel All-rounder

BT MY21 Hook glossy metallic blue 01

Bombtrack

Bombtrack The Hook

Best Gravel Bike Under $1000 - State 4130 All-Road Bike

Stop searching online for an alternative compatible wheelset for your ride, and invest that time in looking for the best place to ride. State 4130 All-Road Bike offers you the possibility to acquire it with either 650B/700C wheelset, or even both.

With State 4130 All-Road Bike, State Bicycle Co. came up with the idea of an attractive frame with 100/142 spacing, something out of reach for any ride under $1000 budget. With four Chromoly Steel frame sizes to choose from, Promax DSK-300R brakes, and a 42t crank, this all-road bike becomes our top selection for under $1000.

state bicycle co 4130 all road tan 1

State Bicycle Co.

 4130 All-Road Bike

Stop searching online for an alternative compatible wheelset for your ride, and invest that time in looking for the best place to ride. State 4130 All-Road Bike offers you the possibility to acquire it with either 650B/700C wheelset, or even both.

With a saddle designed for long cycling days, and rims and tires that are tubeless compatible, comfort and puncture inconveniences cease to exist. State 4130 allows you to alternate between commuting and trail riding with the same ride.

Best Gravel Bike for the Money - State 6061 All-Road Bike

If you are looking to make the most out of your money, State 6061 All-Road Bike is the solution. With on and off-road wheelset options to choose from and top-quality accessories, it is the most capable bike for the money.

State seems to have the answer for the best bike for the money with its 6061 All-Road Bike. Choose between its slick 700c or 650b knobby tires -or both- and enjoy one of the most versatile bikes out there.  If you consider yourself a bike snob, this ride will make your day.

state bicycle co 6061 all road gravel dark woodland 1 1024x1024

State Bicycle Co.

State 6061 All-Road Bike

If you are looking to make the most out of your money, State 6061 All-Road Bike is the solution. With on and off-road wheelset options to choose from and top-quality accessories, it is the most capable bike for the money.

State 6061 All-Road bike comes with an 11 speed drive-train, Tektro Flat Mount disc brakes, and an aluminum frame with lightweight carbon fiber fork. What’s most, if you choose to acquire both wheelsets, each set comes with tubes, cassette, and rotor so conversion from racing to trail bike is done within minutes.

Best Gravel All-rounder: Bombtrack Hook

Under the phrase that it ‘Lets you keep the tempo high on gravel or unpaved roads’, the Hook ranks first in our All-rounder gravel bike ranking. Matched for 650b or 700c wheels, its new 2021 model acquires even more versatility.

Bombtrack brings the Hook back with a 2021 model that adds versatility with its 650b or 700c wheelset compatibility. With Shimano’s GRX groupset, a steel frame and a light carbon fork, it has been designed as a gravel racer. However, it also allows its tourer, commuter or cross bike use.

BT MY21 Hook glossy metallic blue 01

Bombtrack

Bombtrack - The Hook

Under the phrase that it ‘Lets you keep the tempo high on gravel or unpaved roads’, the Hook ranks first in our All-rounder gravel bike ranking. Matched for 650b or 700c wheels, its new 2021 model acquires even more versatility.

Carry whatever you want in Bombtrack’s Hook as it provides multiple fixing points, such as tube bag, rack, fender, and triple cage mounts. With them, inevitable weight can be carried around during your ride in complete comfort and security, whatever the use you decide to give to it.

Best Gravel Bike Under $1500 - Bianchi Volpe

Bianchi offers a great quality ride, with a comfortable riding position with its Volpe bike. Described as a ‘commuter’s dream’, its comfy saddle makes long rides become a fully-enjoyable experience.

Bianchi has made the top position for gravel bikes under $1500 with its Volpe model. While saddle and handlebar provide enough comfort for commuting, a steel frame in various sizes ensures a wide offer to adjust your needs and measure. An almost omni-present Shimano accessories in derailleurs, crankset, shifter and sprocket, provides accuracy and reliability.

BianchiVolpe

Bianchi

Bianchi Volpe

Bianchi offers a great quality ride, with a comfortable riding position with its Volpe bike. Described as a ‘commuter’s dream’, its comfy saddle makes long rides become a fully-enjoyable experience.

Responsive handling for a wide variety of surfaces and conditions is what you get with Bianchi Volpe. What is most, its strong frame and fork provide enough support for you to carry whatever you need for your next adventure.

Best Gravel Bike Under $3000 - Cinelli Zydeco

With a 2021 improved braking efficiency, the Zydeco bike provides reliability when decreasing speed or coming to a halt. Gear efficiency and chain stabilization are other important points to highlight. 

Cinelli broke the under $3000-budget with its Zydeco gravel bike. Improved hydraulic braking system, in combination with a Shimano GRX groupset provide the required reliability regarding gear efficiency. Besides, it includes Shadow RD+, a chain stabilization system that ensures a smooth and enjoyable ride.

Cinelly Zydeco 2021 GRX Ride on a rainbow

Cinelli

Cinelli Zydeco 2021 GRX

With a 2021 improved braking efficiency, the Zydeco bike provides reliability when decreasing speed or coming to a halt. Gear efficiency and chain stabilization are other important points to highlight.

Coming in five sizes for you to choose from, the Zydeco bike introduces enough versatility for you to feel as comfortable as you need when going for a ride. Hit the road, tour, commute, or seek for gravel riding with Cinelli, one of the most innovative brands in the world.

Best Women’s Gravel Bike Under $1500 - Liv Devote 2

With Devote 2, Liv brand looks to take the most out of women’s muscle performance and efficiency. Compatibility with third party elements is also achieved for you to adjust you ride to your needs.

Lightweight, versatility and design. Those are the three key factors Liv brand has aimed for with its Devote 2. An ALUXX Grade Aluminum frame with full composite fork, and the possibility to mount up to three water bottles, racks and other accessories, this bike will always meet your riding demands.

MY21Devote2

Liv Cycling

Liv Devote 2

With Devote 2, Liv brand looks to take the most out of women’s muscle performance and efficiency. Compatibility with third party elements is also achieved for you to adjust you ride to your needs.

Forget about those nasty cables with the internal cable routing. D-Fuse seatpost and handlebars also make your bike stay clean and comfortable at sight at all times. Achieve a smooth, lightweight ride, no matter how bumpy the road gets.

Best Women’s Gravel Bikes Under $3000 - Canyon Grail

Canyon brand clearly paid attention to appearance and design offering two color options for their Grail bike: Canyon grey metallic and copper red.

Feel freed from vibration nuisance with Grail’s carbon fiber frame. Designed for women whose curiosity takes them beyond the pavement with its innovative tires. The 40mm Schwalbe G-One Bite tire provides enough grip and rolling resistance, making it a good call for mixed terrain riding.

canyon grail

Canyon

Canyon Grail

Canyon brand clearly paid attention to appearance and design offering two color options for their Grail bike: Canyon grey metallic and copper red.

With Shimano 105 brake and shift levers, Grail’s hydraulic disc brakes provide reliability and smoothness. And as comfort concerns, its microfiber surface Selle Italia saddle provides enough comfort for a ride every single day.

Best Carbon Gravel Bike Under $3000 - Canyon Grail SL7

Canyon Grail SL7 comes with Shimano’s GRX600 gravel groupset for you to make an adventure out of every single ride.

Canyon also tops the list for best men’s gravel bike under $3000 with its Grail SL7. Schwalbe G-One Bite tires, Shimano gravel groupset for a fully ergonomic ride. Venture, but have total trust in your ride with C1850 wheels.

canyon grail sl7

Canyon

Canyon Grail SL7

Canyon Grail SL7 comes with Shimano’s GRX600 gravel groupset for you to make an adventure out of every single ride.

Both frame and fork are lightweight carbon fiber, tackling one of the biggest problems cyclists have to deal with when looking for speed and smoothness in their ride. As a plus, Canyon’s CP07 Gravelcockpit also comes in an ergonomic carbon fiber material.

Best Steel Gravel Bike - Bombtrack Hook EXT

Bombtrack’s Hook also gets the first place in the Best Steel Gravel Bike category. Its strong yet and capable steel frame provides enough support for you to carry whatever your adventure may require. Combine its numerous fixing points and leave nothing behind.

BT MY21 Hook EXT matt metallic grey blue 01

Bombtrack

Bombtrack Hook EXT

Bombtrack’s Hook also gets the first place in the Best Steel Gravel Bike category. Its strong yet and capable steel frame provides enough support for you to carry whatever your adventure may require. Combine its numerous fixing points and leave nothing behind.

You can forget about chain problems for long days in humid conditions with its KMC X10 Anti Rust Chain. Its full carbon fork will ensure support and smoothness, no matter how long your ride is.

Best Carbon Gravel Bike Above $3000 - Bianchi ArcadeX

With its carbon fiber frame, Bianchi takes its ‘racing DNA’ to a limit with AradeX, as it aims for performance in gravel riding.

ArcadeX fully equipped cockpit includes a frame that is compatible with manual or electric drivetrains, and an ACR compatible headset. Bianchi clearly looked for both comfort and ease when designing ArcadeX.

BianchiArcadeX

Bianchi

Bianchi ArcadeX

With its carbon fiber frame, Bianchi takes its ‘racing DNA’ to a limit with AradeX, as it aims for performance in gravel riding.

The lines on its frame indicate an aerodynamic design, aiming for an improved performance. This idea is supported by its 700x42 or 650x47 tires, so that you can ride on whatever ground you desire.

Best Gravel Touring Bike: Cinelli Hobootleg Touring

After its back-to-back 2012 and 2013 Tour d’Afrique editions, Cinelli looked for breaking more World Records with its Hobootleg adventure bike.

It is no news that after topping in all seven of the world’s highest mountain passes, Cinelli gets the top rank position in gravel touring bikes. Ensuring a reliable yet aesthetic ride, Hobootleg touring bike presents double-butted Columbus tubes and electrophoretic paint job.

hobootleg green monkey

Cinelli

Cinelli Hobootleg Green Monkey

After its back-to-back 2012 and 2013 Tour d’Afrique editions, Cinelli looked for breaking more World Records with its Hobootleg adventure bike.

Every detail, from frame to handlebar tape, has been taken into account by the brand created by Cino Cinelli. With extra spokes and Tektro brakes, Hobootleg touring bike provides all you need to enhance an adventure every time you get on your bike.

Best Gravel Bike for Racing: Ibis Hakka MX

A high-performance gravel bike, Ibis Hakka MX’s carbon fiber design makes it top the lightweight category, while ensuring endurance for your ride.

Inspired in racing, Ibis follows its MX -or Monster Cross- principle by building a bike around an efficient carbon fiber frame. However, this does not mean that its aesthetics will negatively stand out, as it turns out comfortable in casual long rides.

ibis hakka mx

Ibis Cycles

Ibis Hakka MX

A high-performance gravel bike, Ibis Hakka MX’s carbon fiber design makes it top the lightweight category, while ensuring endurance for your ride.

With tire clearance up to 700x40c and a threaded bottom bracket, Hakka MX provides stability and finesse in handling, even on steep descents. Responsiveness is a must for any type of adventure, and people at Ibis are fully aware of that.

Best Single Speed Gravel Bike - Bombtrack Arise

Bombtrack tops the Best Single Speed Gravel Bike category with its Arise bike. Simplicity and versatility are a must for this fast, easy-to-maintain ride.

Commute, tour, ride into an adventure. You can do whatever you need with a Bombtrack Arise bike, as it offers a multiplicity of fitting points. Besides, you can also convert both frame and hub to an 11-speed drivetrain if you need to.

BT MY21 Arise glossy coffee black0

Bombtrack

Bombtrack Arise

Bombtrack tops the Best Single Speed Gravel Bike category with its Arise bike. Simplicity and versatility are a must for this fast, easy-to-maintain ride.

The internal cable routing makes Arise look even simpler. But appearances may deceive you as its response to different surfaces meets the requirements for a single speed gravel bike. Its tubeless ready rims let you decide how low maintenance you want your next adventure to be.

Frequently asked questions about Gravel Bikes

What are a good wheel set for cyclocross or gravel bikes?

When looking for a good gravel wheelset, there are certain things to take into account. Disc brake, tubeless ready and a rim diameter in the range of 20-25mm are some important factors. Another spec to bear in mind are size, 650b and 700c being the most popular choices for comfort and stability.

Of course, your demands as regards your rides’ wheel set will always go hand-in-hand with the ground you most often decide to tackle.

Why are gravel bikes expensive?

Gravel bikes aim for a wide variety of grounds to ride on. Comfort, smoothness and reliability are important factors when choosing a ride you can use on dirt, uneven trails, or for commuting on the streets. This versatility is achieved by components, which make the final product more expensive.

How do cyclocross and gravel bikes differ

Cyclocross and gravel bikes differ in several aspects. Geometry, for example, is different because of the activity riders perform during their rides. Cyclocross rides include an aggressive riding position, and agile handling. In some parts of a race, riders even need to dismount. Another main difference is that you may not find as many fixing points in a cyclocross as you would in a gravel bike. Cyclocross races do not last as long, and less accessories are needed. Moreover, in being so intense, cyclocross races do not require such a big range of gearing. Other differences between these two types of bike are wheelsets and comfort requirements.

What kind of pedals do you put on gravel bikes?

Gravel riding may require you to take your foot out of the pedal once in a while. That is why clipless pedals are one of the most popular choices among this type of riding. However, you may also look for platform support, or even flat pedals when looking for accessories for your gravel bike.

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