Gravel bikes are quickly becoming one of the most popular forms of recreation and sports cycling. They’re simply a lot of fun not to mention a novel way to keep fit. If you’re into this sort of thing, then you’ll appreciate the following guide on how to find the best gravel bikes under 1000 dollars.
Now, we realize that it’s not that simple to shop for a bike nowadays, what with so many options to choose from. That’s why we’ve left no stone unturned, and have taken everything into consideration to make sure that you find the ideal bicycle for your needs.
Best Gravel Bikes Under $1000
The great thing about gravel bikes is that they are inherently affordable but still, getting one for under $1,000 is a great deal, so make sure to pay attention and take notes because we’ve got quite a few options here for you.
1. Mongoose Men’s Elroy Adventure Bike
The Mongoose model is a bike that deserves to be on the list of the best gravel bikes under 1000. It comes highly recommended for novice cyclists and it’s made from a dependable alloy frame with a steel fork to boot.
The 2×7 drivetrain is coupled with Shimano Tourney derailleurs and you’ll find that shifting between gears is super easy and smooth thanks to the internal cable routing. Of course, the precision of the handlebar controls will make your life easier as well when it comes to keeping this bike under control.
Did we mention how great this bike is for touring? Yep, and it’s all thanks to all the various storage options that it offers so you can keep all your gear on tap while you bike from coast to coast.
This includes a built-in bottle opener on the back and front rack which means you can take this baby out for a multi-day trip and be covered when it comes to storage.
2. Royce Union Men’s Gravel Bike
The Royce Union is the best cheap gravel bike for savvy cyclists. Its frame is constructed from durable aluminum and it comes with a 3-piece neck alloy crank, 16-speed Shimano Claris, and a sturdy steel fork.
Taken together, these features make for a low-maintenance yet high-performing bike that lives up to the hype.
It’s equipped with mechanical disc brakes to make sure that you stay safe no matter what kind of terrain you have to endure out there and it makes it that much easier to handle steep hills and hilly terrain in general.
This is a great gravel bike for mountain bikers as it comes with WTB wilderness tires that’ll rip through those rough trails with ease. You can use this bike for touring, racing, and endurance biking, three of which it’s excellent at.
3. Schwinn Sporterra Gravel Bike
Another worthy contender in the best gravel bikes under 1000 category, we have this fantastic model from Schwinn, one of the most well-known and trusted bike manufacturers in the world.
Schwinn has designed this bike for all manner of cycling applications and cyclists, as evidenced by its wide height accommodation of riders from 5’4″ and 6’2″ tall.
It comes with such features as a quick-release seat post for maximum adjustability, a durable aluminum frame that’s super comfortable to ride, and multi-terrain tires that measure 700x38c.
If you like riding your bike throughout the year, then these are the tires that you want because they can handle snow, gravel, mud, and sand with ease.
4. Tommaso Sterrata Adventure Bike
Considered by many to be the best adventure bike under 1000, the Tommaso Sterrata is super fun to ride and provides superb performance.
You probably can’t tell based on the price, but the Sterrata is actually a top-of-the-line, high-end bike that will blow your socks off in terms of performance.
It’s made from an aluminum and steel frame and comes with a carbon fork to provide the perfect balance between a daily commuter and a rugged mountain bike that can help you take on more adventures.
As the name implies, it’s fitted with a 24-speed Shimano Claris groupset which is what gives it its all-terrain rating, and of course, it doesn’t hurt that it’s made with powerful disc brakes and all-terrain wheels as well.
5. Giordano Trieste Gravel Bike
If you’re searching for the best value gravel bike, look no further than the Giordano Trieste gravel bike. This is a high-end bike that comes at a cost-effective price.
It’s made from lightweight carbon which means it’s lightweight but very sturdy and the frame is Chromoly steel, one of the easiest materials to deal with.
This bike features fat 30mm tires that can easily handle rough terrain and a steel fork with Shimano Claris 16-speed drivetrain for reliable control.
Speaking of control, this bike sports mechanical disc brakes which are known for their reliability on difficult terrain.
6. Tommaso Sentiero Adventure Bike
The Tommaso Sentiero Bike is known as the best affordable gravel bike for a number of reasons. First of all, it’s one of the fastest gravel bikes out there, due to the 3×8 Shimano Claris Groupset.
This includes a powerful crankset which is accompanied by a 12x25T Claris cassette to help you handle any type of terrain that you can think of.
However, this bike’s ability to go at superfast speeds is facilitated by the wide 700x40c tires which perfectly compliment the 28 spoke rims on the Tommaso TC-20D rims. Simply put, this is the perfect gravel bike for the weekend warrior.
The braking system is quite impressive, as it comprises innovative BB5 disc brakes making it responsive enough to come to an immediate stop even in inclement weather. Another factor that makes this a reliable bike is its solid construction as the frame is made from lightweight but strong aluminum.
7. Schwinn Vantage Sport Hybrid Bike
This Vantage unisex model from Schwinn is a great entry-level gravel bike. It’s a hybrid model which means that it offers the best of both worlds and can take you from mountain trails to slick city roads with ease.
It’s made from a lightweight aluminum frame which happens to be robust and rust-resistant while providing the ability to absorb all kinds of vibrations and shocks. It’s certainly a comfortable bike to ride and we were quite impressed by the way in which the carbon fork on the bike perfectly complements its suspension system.
Keep in mind that this is an 18-speed bike which means that you can ride it as fast or as slow as you like and it’s really easy to switch between the different speeds and gears as you can imagine.
You’ll go up and downhill smoothly regardless of how difficult the terrain is, which makes this one of the best gravel bikes under 1000 to keep fit with.
How to Pick the Best Gravel Bikes Under 1000
Okay, so the thing about shopping for the best budget gravel bikes is that you need to consider various features and functions before you make your decision, not to mention your needs and preferences.
It’s the easiest way to narrow down your options and that’s why we’re providing you with a list of the most important considerations to make when searching for a bike in this price category.
A drivetrain is a feature on your bike that allows it to operate quickly and smoothly regardless of the terrain.
However, in order to work properly, the drivetrain must have a high gear ratio as this will guarantee its ability to handle flat terrain, going uphill, downhill, and on rugged terrain. It’s also worth it to ensure that it’s a lightweight drivetrain.
For your own convenience and if the budget allows, then consider a 12-speed drivetrain as well, or if not, stick to the cost-effective 2×9 and 2×10 drivetrains as they’re just as good at handling rough terrain.
Gravel bikes come with either flat pedals or clipless pedals. As the name implies, clipless pedals attach to the shoes while flat pedals are your regular pedals.
Most road bikes come with clipless pedals and the same goes for adventure bikes. This helps to facilitate efficiency when cycling. The result is a quick yet smooth ride where you get more bang for your buck.
Flat pedals are often recommended for flat terrain because with gravel roads then you’ll need to constantly dab your feet.
Considering how important the fork is to the bike’s performance and design, it’s important to make sure that it’s resistant to corrosion, yet lightweight and strong.
It should also be made in such a way that it offers the right amount of clearance for the types of tires that are usually put on gravel bikes. Tapered steerer tubes really facilitate this feature.
Basically, bike forks that have a larger clearance tend to be more flexible in the long run and you want to look out for double butted forks to ensure maximum shock absorbency and durability for the future.
Of course, it’s also important to make sure that your bike is made from robust materials like stainless steel and aluminum alloys.
Another mark of a good quality bike is the ability to smoothly shift gears and there are generally three different gear shifting methods to choose from, including hydraulic, electronic, and mechanical brakes.
Mechanical brakes work by pulling the shifter in order to put the steel cable through the derailleur, while the electronic gears are designed for smoother and more modern operation.
There are no pulling cables involved or any manual heavy lifting for that matter because it operates on an electric motor. That’s why electronic shifting is so popular because it’s just easier to use for beginners and seasoned cyclists alike.
What separates road bikes from wheel bikes are basically the wheels and tires that they come with. Road bikes for older riders typically feature thin tires because they’re made to maneuver through narrow streets and fast speeds on paved roads, whereas gravel bikes are designed for rugged outdoor use.
That’s why most gravel bikes come with stainless steel wheels that can handle anything thrown at them without taking up too much weight.
With the more expensive electric bikes, you’ll notice that they have carbon wheels that are smaller but thick. Ideally, you want tires that measure up to 47mm and above.
The combination of large tires and small rims is made to provide adequate protection from pressure. According to experts, thin tires are designed for road bikes and use on paved roads, while thick tires are great for challenging terrain and inclement weather.
If you want to keep your bike’s cranks rotating, then you want to keep an eye on your bike’s bottom bracket, especially while pedaling.
According to the pros, a threaded standard BB crankset with a built-in spindle and/or axle is the way to go. The best part about these types of bottom brackets is that they often feature built-in adapters and GXP cups.
A gravel bike is a great option for rusty cyclists that need help getting back on the saddle or haven’t been bike riding for a while. It’s challenging but affordable and fun to ride as well.
Gravel bikes are, of course, known for being incredibly durable and safe. They’re also super comfortable because they’re built to absorb all of the shock that comes from cycling on rough terrain.
What Are Gravel Bikes?
What is a gravel bike? How can you tell that a bike is a gravel bike and not a road bike or even a mountain bike? What sets gravel bikes apart from other types of bikes.
Well, for starters, these types of bikes feature a drop bar design that makes it easy to traverse through difficult terrain smoothly. This means that this is the type of bike you want if you plan on cycling on uneven terrain because it can go over rocks and bumps without you feeling the impact physically.
Gravel bikes are also known for their ability to easily traverse paved surfaces which makes them incredibly versatile. This is all thanks to the unique structure of the bike as well as the types of tires that they come with.
Basically, gravel bikes are designed for different types of terrain which means that they’re bikes for every occasion and mood.
Gravel Bikes vs. Mountain Bikes
Mountain bikes are probably the most durable type of bike on the market, whereas CX bikes are made more for speed.
That’s because mountain bikes under $500 tend to have a low, elongated frame with straight bars, and that’s because this makes it easier to handle rugged terrain. On the other hand, gravel bikes are designed for a versatile variety of purposes and types of terrain.
Gravel Bikes vs. Road Bikes
What separates road bikes and gravel bikes is the fact that they’re designed for different applications.
As the name implies, flat bar road bikes are made for riding on paved roads and wide-open roads. As such, they also double as competitive bikes. Road bikes are built for speed as evidenced by their lightweight construction and they have the types of pedals that are easy to use.
Gravel bikes, on the other hand, are typically designed for casual riding because they can go from different types of terrain with ease.
Gravel Bikes vs. Cyclocross Bikes
Gravel bikes share certain characteristics with cyclocross bikes such as having 29-inch wheels and durable forks.
However, CX bikes are often built tougher than titanium gravel bikes because they’re made to simplify the process of navigating rough and muddy terrain. They’re usually fast on difficult terrain and more comfortable as well.
Gravel bikes, on the other hand, make for a more relaxed riding experience making them better for leisurely rides. Although CX bikes are surprisingly lighter than gravel bikes.
Alright, there you have it. Those are the best gravel bikes under 1000. If we were to choose just one option, it would be the Mongoose Men’s Elroy Adventure Bike.
It comes with Shimano tourney derailleurs, a built-in bottle opener for your convenience, and enough storage on both the front and rear rack to store all the gear you’ll need for a multi-day trip or just a quick beach day trip.
Most importantly, this bike is constructed from high-quality materials which as we’ve already mentioned, is very important, and it offers great value for money. If you’re an inexperienced cyclist looking for a versatile bike, then this is the one for you.