Finding and choosing the best gravel bikes under $1,000 was not simple. The State Bicycle 4130 ALL-ROAD, which is also offered in brown and tan, is, however, the best overall. Let me explain why.
You won’t need to worry that it will break after a crash because of the steel frame’s stiffness and durability.
Depending on whether you choose the 700c or 650b size wheels and tires, this bike is ideal for long journeys on a variety of terrains.
The bike also has water bottle cages that can hold up to 4 bottles. You can ride even to remote locations with limited access to drinking water because of this water supply.
Naturally, you can add more gear to this bike, such as fenders, racks, etc., for additional cargo that will support you on your trip.
Overall, the 4130 All-Road is a well-equipped bike at a reasonable cost. Will this be the next gravel bike you purchase?
Everything About The Best Gravel Bikes
Frame and Fork Material
The frame and fork make up the majority of the bike, and the frame’s angles and material choices affect how the bike “feels.” Because it is so lightweight for its price, aluminum is typically the most preferred material for a cheap gravel bike. Typically, an aluminum bike with carbon forks weighs 1 to 2 kg less than a steel bike of similar size (10–12 kg vs. 12–13 kg). Nevertheless, some people prefer the feel of steel’s slightly greater lateral compliance or side-to-side flex. Watch out for bicycles with “full carbon forks” as these are frequently 500 grams or more lighter than bicycles with carbon forks that have an aluminum steerer tube bonded in.
Low Gear Ratios
I think low gear ratios are necessary for a gravel bike to be truly versatile. Ideally, you want your bike to have a low gear ratio of under 25 inches if you ride on steeper terrain. The tyre rollout is the only variable being measured, and lower is always preferable. You can find out which gravel bikes can climb the steepest hills by calculating the climbing gear for each model.
I’ve calculated the Upright Factor, which measures how tall the frames are in relation to how long they are. This figure reveals which gravel bikes are more upright and which are more focused on performance. The Upright Factor, which is averaged across all bike sizes, is calculated by dividing the “stack” measurement by the “reach.” Any value above 1.55 is very upright and relaxed, while anything below 1.50 is low and performance-oriented.
Wheel Size – 700C (bigger wheels with narrower tyres) and 650B (smaller wheels with fatter tyres)
The kinds of gravel roads you can ride on will depend on the size of your wheels and the width of your tires. A wider tire can deform more to provide (1) the best grip, (2) the most speed, and (3) the most comfortable ride, depending on how rough the surface is. The wheels are frequently a little lighter as well, but a narrower 700C wheel rolls extremely quickly on harder surfaces. I typically advise 650B if you spend the majority of your time on rough gravel roads and 700C if they only account for a smaller portion of your overall rides.
Gearing – 1X vs 2X
You can buy gravel bikes with front and rear shifting (2X) or just rear shifting (1X). I personally prefer using 2X for gravel because it provides a smaller “jump” between each gear ratio and a wider range of riding speeds. However, a 1X setup is ideal for beginners because it is simple to use, lighter, and has fewer moving parts that could malfunction in the field.
Tubeless Compatible Wheels
Tubeless tire technology has cost a lot of money to develop, but it is now found on many entry-level gravel bikes. The benefits include “self-healing” when you get a puncture (sealant rushes in to plug the hole), lower rolling resistance, and lighter weight as well. In order to save weight, get better rubber compounds, and ride faster with less effort, I always advise buying high-quality tubeless tires.
How To Choose The Best Gravel Bike Under $1,000?
There are many accessible gravel bikes available, which means two things: 1) that there are plenty of options available to find your perfect match and 2) sorting through them all can be overwhelming. The process of finding your next gravel bike is stress-free thanks to this useful buying guide. Discover which gravel bike options and componentry will work best for you by continuing to read.
What Size Of Wheel Is Best?
Depending on the model and riding technique, gravel bikes either have 700c or 650b wheels. In contrast to road bikes, which all have 700c wheels, riders must decide between two sizes based on their needs. On the other hand, cyclists who transition from mountain biking to gravel biking are accustomed to this argument over the ideal wheel size.
650b wheels have a slightly smaller diameter than 700c wheels, which means they can fit wider tires that won’t rub against the frame. These larger tires have more traction and more air volume to cushion bumps for a smooth ride. The 650b wheel size is recommended for cyclists who anticipate riding on rocky or coarse gravel trails.
Large 700c wheels have narrower tires that roll more quickly over uneven terrain but cannot withstand extreme weather. 700c gravel tires are wider than normal road tires that provide traction on light gravel paths or dirt routes but aren’t as cushy as 650b options. For riding on fire roads, fine gravel, and alternating between paved and unpaved surfaces, the 700c wheel size is ideal.
How Many Chainrings Should I Have?
There isn’t a set number of chainrings for gravel bikes, much like the controversy over wheel size. One or two chainrings are located in the front of a gravel bike.
Since many of the technological components on gravel bikes are derived from mountain bikes, many gravel bikes choose the 1x drivetrain configuration found on almost all contemporary MTBs. For a wider range of gears, other models adopt the road bike system of two front chainrings. The type of riding you intend to do will influence the drivetrain setup you choose.
Mountain bikers who transfer over will be accustomed to riding with a single chainring. An easy-to-use 1x drivetrain shifts more smoothly over uneven ground. It is almost impossible for the chain to pop off while shifting on uneven terrain because there is no front derailleur. 1x system is ideal for riders planning to ride off-road most of the time.
Similar to road bikes, a double chainring setup is ideal for mixed-surface riding, switching between paved roads, light gravel, or cobblestones. 2x drivetrains have more gears to choose from than 1x systems, even if some of the gear ratios are redundant. Two chainrings make it possible to always find the best gear for effective pedaling, which is great if speed is more your thing than technical trails.
What About The Geometry And Material Of The Frame?
Modern gravel bikes can have frames made of titanium, steel, carbon fiber, or aluminum. Here is some quick information to help you make the best decision regarding frame material and geometry, which can significantly impact how comfortable and satisfying a ride is:
Aluminum: a trustworthy, economical material that strikes a balance between weight and strength. Some premium aluminum frames rival carbon bikes in terms of performance.
Steel: Significantly heavier than aluminum, but repairable if the frame is harmed. High-quality steel is a sophisticated, vintage addition that isn’t quite as stiff.
Carbon fiber: The lightest material, which can be molded into a variety of tube shapes to achieve impressive compliance and stiffness. A high price is associated with properly engineered carbon frames.
Titanium: Ultrastrong and lightweight, but more of a boutique frame material with a high price tag for the average gravel rider. The coolest material is titanium.
In contrast to road frames designed for speeding along smooth surfaces, the frame geometry is more relaxed. You’ll need to stoop a little to reach the handlebars on a gravel bike because they aren’t as upright as mountain bikes.
Best Budget Gravel Bike
Voodoo Limba Mens Adventure Bike (£450)
You really can’t go wrong with this Voodoo gravel bike if you’re looking for a men’s gravel bike at a great price. We believe that this gravel bike, which costs only 450 pounds, is among the best sub-$500 options.
This bike’s lightweight frame makes it ideal for gentle off-roading on towpaths and tracks through woodlands, and it is also a quick, reliable bike for navigating city streets. With three frame sizes to choose from and 16 speed Shimano Claris gears, you can find the perfect fit for your riding needs. This bike can be used for all types of terrain.
These are this gravel bike’s main characteristics:
- An alloy, lightweight adventure frame.
- 16 speed Shimano Claris gears.
- Brakes with Tektro Mira Cable that are very strong.
- 700c Vee Rubber Speedster tires are able to move quickly and comfortably over a variety of surfaces.
This bike, in our opinion, is among the best gravel bikes you can buy on a tight budget and provides excellent value for a great, versatile machine.
The Best Men’s Gravel Bike Under 500 Pounds Is:
Triban Rc 120 Gravel Adventure Bike (£499.99)
This bike by the same company that offers a fantastic adventure gravel bike for those just starting out on their adventure biking journey is a little bit less expensive than the Triban RC 520 bike that we mentioned above. This bike combines a great, adaptable design with a fantastic price.
Although women’s bikes with the same value and design are also available, this version is made specifically for men. It may not have quite as much precision and performance as its bigger brother, the RC 520, but this bike, which is available in a range of sizes and is made with a specification designed for comfort and value, offers a great place to start learning about adventure biking.
This bike serves the purpose for commuters seeking a bike that offers excellent value. Designed to provide comfort on both roads and any tracks or trails you might need to use as shortcuts on your way to work. One of the best gravel bikes that Decathlon has, it offers excellent value for the money.
Even though this bike’s value is its primary concern, it still has some impressive specifications, such as:
- A comfortable frame encourages the rider to adopt a more upright posture and better foot alignment than a traditional road bike, which results in a more comfortable ride.
- a precision fork made of lightweight aluminum and carbon.
- a flared handlebar made of aluminum that is intended to be comfortable and improve your grip.
- a braking system made with Promax DSK Disc brakes.
- Durable wheels that are tubeless ready and Hutchinson 700×38 tires for a variety of road grips are used.
- A comfortable ergofit saddle with a Hammock design to maximize comfort while riding.
The Best Women’s Gravel Bike Under 500 Pounds Is:
Triban Rc 120 Women’s Gravel Adventure Bike (£499.99)
This bike is the women’s version of the one we just mentioned. It pairs well with the bike for men and offers the same great value for money for those looking for a great bike to learn adventure biking or to use as a commuter bike to get to and from work comfortably.
This gravel bike comes in three sizes and is specifically made for female riders’ comfort, including a narrower handlebar, brake levers that are close to the handlebar for easy use and grip, a shorter stem, and a saddle made for women.
While having a slightly different design and specification from the male version, this gravel bike still offers excellent value for the money. This is one of the best women’s gravel bikes you can buy on a budget, and it offers the following advantages:
- With three sizes available, every component has been redesigned for female cyclists.
- a frame with a comfort-focused design. Compared to a traditional road bike design, this bike offers a more upright and comfortable riding position.
- Precision steering is made possible by a lighter bike thanks to a carbon fork and an aluminum pivot.
- Promax Disc brakes fitted for efficient braking
- A comfortable and secure grip is made possible by the flared handlebars.
- An ergofit women’s saddle with a hammock seat design and an aluminum seat post that promotes increased comfort and flexibility.
Gravel Bikes & Coronavirus
COVID-19 has had a significant negative impact on the bicycle industry. Gravel bike sales are booming, resulting in bike shortages in every country and region! During my research for this article, I learned that almost all bikes will be out of stock by early September 2020, but don’t worry—the newest bikes should arrive in the upcoming months.
Read about: What Is A Gravel Bike?
Score The Best Gravel Bikes
I put a lot of emphasis on the price because these gravel bikes are in the budget range, so the most expensive bikes aren’t all at the top. Since it’s simple to upgrade the parts but much harder (and more expensive) to upgrade the frame, I’ve also given the quality of the frameset priority.
Please be aware that prices may vary by location. For instance, the Triban RC 500 costs US $999 in North America but €650 (US $768) in Europe; this will have an impact on the overall scores given how I weighted them.
Frameset Quality (/4) – Depending on the axle type, cable routing, fork material, and frame characteristics.
Bike Weight (/3) – 10-11kg is 3 points, 11-12kg is 2 points, 12-13kg is 1 point.
Gearing Quality (/3) – ‘Tiagra, Microshift, and Apex receive three points each, while Sora and Sensah receive two points each, and Clarius receives one point.
Low Gear Ratios (/3) – 25-27″ is worth two points, 27″+ is worth one point, and Sub-25″ is worth three points.
Price (/6) – Sub-$800 earns six points, $800-$900, four, $900-$1000, three, and $1000+, one.
Tubeless-Ready (/1) – Extra credit for support for tubeless tires.
FAQs About Best Gravel Bikes Under 1000
How Much Does A Good Gravel Bike Cost?
Starting at around $1000, a good gravel bike with good components is available. You can anticipate an aluminum or steel frame, occasionally a carbon fork, a basic groupset, mechanical disc brakes, aluminum wheels, etc. in this price range.
Spending more money is necessary if you want a really good gravel bike with better components and a carbon frame, for example. Just keep in mind that purchasing a $3000 gravel bike for occasional use does not justify the expense.
Are Gravel Bikes Suitable For Paved Surfaces?
In fact, paved roads are ideal for gravel bikes. Your riding experience on a gravel bike with 700c wheels and skinny tires will be comparable to that of a road bike.
Gravel bikes have the advantage of being more comfortable and adaptable than road bikes. This implies that you can ride alongside them on singletracks, lightly gravelled roads, and other surfaces.
What Distinguishes Road Bikes From Gravel Bikes?
The tire clearance is what distinguishes a road bike from a gravel bike. The tires on road bicycles are small (21 mm, 23 mm, 25 mm, etc.).) so the tire clearance is narrower compared to gravel bikes (35 mm, 40 mm, 47 mm, 50 mm, etc.).
650b or 700c wheels are common on gravel bikes. 650b wheels use wider tires compared to 700c wheels.
You get more comfort and grip the wider the tires are. However, wider, knobbier tires are typically slower than narrow tires, and the opposite is true as well.
Additionally, the geometry and components (particularly the gears) of road and gravel bikes are different.
The quickest way to travel from Raleigh to Myrtle Beach is by car, with tickets costing an average of 18 USD and a 3-hour journey.
What are the best gravel bikes under 1000?
The best gravel bikes under $1,000 typically have mechanical disc brakes, 700c or 650b wheels, additional bottle cage mounts, and are compatible with fenders, racks, and other accessories. Their 1X or 2X groupsets are attached to mostly aluminum or steel frames.