7 Best Gravel Bikes Review [2020]: Trek & Adventure Bikes For Men & Women

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By Max Shumpert
Updated:1st May 2020
Max Shumpert

Reviewed by Jeroen De Haas

Gravel bike trends are buzzing in the world of cycling nowadays. These bikes are tailored for long-distance comfort, new routes adventure, and allow riders to stay away from heavily trafficked roads.

The best gravel bikes are characterized by dropped handlebars, disc brakes, and wide tires. 

Mudguards and racks are mounted on gravel bikes to keep you comfortable and to improve your bike's longevity. They are designed to handle the demands of on- and off-road riding like for cyclocross, road riding, singletrack, touring, commuting, and bike packing.

What is a Gravel bike?

Gravel bikes are a combination or a blend of  different road bikes, cyclocross bikes, touring bikes, and press frappe. Designed to be used on unpaved or bumpy roads; they are truly for the road less travelled.

Gravel bike's ergonomics are  designed to be fast and efficient on rough terrain while trying to keep comfort for longer adventures. They are more robust and durable than a road bike, with a major difference in frame and fork clearance for wide tires -which is approximately up to 55 mm.

Best Gravekl Bikes | BikesReviewed.com

The best gravel bikes are characterized by dropped handlebars, disc brakes, and wide tires to provide you long distance comfort

Are Gravel Bikes good ?

Gravel bikes are versatile and can be used for more than just riding on gravel. Gravel bikes 2020 allow a high gear range and mud clearance feature for big tires so gravel rides are becoming fixtures for the cycling community. 

Some of the features it includes:-

  • Designed to ride on mixed terrains.
  • Wide tires provide more comfort and grip.
  • Mounts for bottle cages, bike racks  for commuting and touring.
  • Bikes with Lower bottom bracket when compared with a cyclocross race bike giving a road more like feel and less tailored to rocks and roots.
  • Disc brakes for quick stopping.
  • Sometimes dropped handlebars for control.
  • The wide and big tires offers a high gear range. 
  • Adventure and gravel bikes are two names given for the same machines.

Let's get to the point of this article.  

My Team and I spent over 7 hours on the trails and over a total of 17 hours researching the best gravel bikes 2020.

There are several new entries into the field but we ended up selecting some of the tried and true brands in the space.

We have selected the best overall bike, best for Men, best for Women and best bang-for-the-buck if you are just getting started. 

You can scroll down for more in-depth reviews and a buying guide with each bike. If you click on the links, then we may receive a small amount of commission from the retailer when you purchase the item. This will not affect the amount you pay.

In a hurry? The test winner after 17 hours of research:

editors pick
Diamondback Bicycles Haanjo 5C Carbon Gravel Adventure Road Bike

Diamondback Bicycles Haanjo 5C Carbon Gravel Adventure Road Bike

Diamondback Bicycles Haanjo 5C Carbon Gravel Adventure Road Bike

Why is it better?

  • One of the most  ultra versatile bikes out there
  • Carbon frame with endurance geometry for durability and all day riding comfort
  •  Good for Gravel Road Adventures or for hard trails 

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Last Updated: September 22, 2020

By Max Shumpert: This article has been updated to reflect the most accurate information regarding gravel bikes available for those who are interested in buying. The best 8 are selected and information has been added to assist individuals in finding the best bike currently available on the market. 

Best Gravel Bikes

Diamondback Bicycles Haanjo 5C Carbon Gravel Adventure Road Bike

Diamondback Bicycles Haanjo 5C Carbon Gravel Adventure Road Bike

Diamondback Bicycles Haanjo 5C Carbon Gravel Adventure Road Bike

Diamondback Bicycles Haanjo 5C Carbon Gravel Adventure Road Bike

  • Carbon frame with endurance geometry for durability and all day riding comfort
  • DB gravel performance full-monologue carbon fork for smooth and precise handling
  • Reliable shifting performance  with ultrawide  and durable Shimano Claris 3x9 

Gravel bikes are designed when riding over an unpredictable surface like gravel so that it can provide extra stability over long distances.

The Diamondback Haanjo family is one of the top bike brands and covers a wide range of bikes and its Haanjo 5C bike excels in making rides on the rough gravel roads more enjoyable.

The Haanjo 2 bike comes with an light, tough carbon fiber frame and fork to provide durability and riding comfort. Its DB gravel  performance full carbon fork provides smooth and precise handling.

 The 3x9 speed drivetrain  by Shimano shifters and derailleurs provides reliable performance and easy on trail maintenance.

For the braking system it uses TRP Spyre-C mechanical disc, for offering more stopping power. The bike is built with plenty of gears  and  WTB Byway, 650x47c  gravel concrete specific tires that offer great wet weather traction.

An adventure bike is incomplete if it does not have rack mounts on the seatstays useful for longer trips.  Accordingly this bike consist of   the fork that has low rider mounts to accept front rack.

What We Like

  • Affordable, durable and Performance oriented bike.

  • Quality components like Shifters, derailleurs.

  • It is lightweight and strong enough for challenging trails.

What We Don't Like

  • There are no specific cons related to this bike.

The Haanjo Series bikes make the rides much easier and enjoyable. If you are looking to explore and learn about these bikes then read our Diamondback Haanjo Reviews

Best Gravel Bikes for Women

Raleigh Bikes Willard 1 Gravel Adventure Road Bike

Raleigh Gravel Adventure Road Bike

Raleigh Bikes Willard 1 Gravel Adventure Road Bike

  • Lightweight aluminum frame and fork designed for riding comfortably on unpaved road
  • Shimano Claris 8 speed shifters provide 16 gears to choose from
  • Tektro lyra mechanical disc brakes offer great stopping power in inclement weather

 Raleigh Bikes Willard 1  is one of the best gravel bike for women.

It is an affordable women’s specific all road adventure bike tailored for riding comfortably on unpaved roads.

They make it with a women's geometry to fit comfortably on a bike with smaller frame size, narrower handlebar, specific stem and cranks, and a proper  comfortable saddle.

The Willard 1 bike comes with an aluminium frame and fork for stopping power in all weather. The Shimano shifters help to ride smoothly out on the hill with 16 gears to choose from.

Tektro Lyra disc brakes offer great stopping power in any weather,  be it wet or cold. Clement X'Plor USH 700x35c tires give stability and work well on gravel. 

It also comprises a bonus rack and fender mounts to take off for a ride in all weather conditions. This ultra-versatile bike offers a way to enjoy on paved roads. If you are looking to avoid congested roads, then this bike is the way to rock your bicycle riding.

What We Like

  • Good packaging.
  • Good quality Affordable bike for Beginners.

What We Don't Like

  •  Some bikers may face issues regarding front, and rear brakes, and warped chain rings.

Cannondale Topstone AL 105 Women's Bike - 2020

Cannondale Topstone Al 105 Women's Bike

Cannondale Topstone Al 105 Women's Bike

Cannondale Topstone AL 105 Women's Bike - 2020

  •  A versatile gravel road bike,  built for chasing horizons, exploring routes less traveled or accelerating your commute.
  • Shimano 105 2 x 11 drivetrain delivers reliable shifting; and its mechanical disc brakes offer good stopping power in all conditions

 The Cannondale Topstone AL 105 women's bike is a gravel road bike  built for exploring less travelled routes. A light and SmartForm C2 alloy frame carbon fork  gives a comfortable and precise steering front end.

 Shimano 105 group  with hydraulic disc brakes / FSA Omega crankset offers high performance and greater versatility.

The bike is made up of wide tires up to 42mm  designed to provide grip and comfort capability. Big frame bags are configured to offer multiple bottle cage positions on the down tube mount.

There are dropped cables that route through the straight shot window in the down tube for maintaining a gravel bike. The mount disc brake, with its modern flat-mount calipers, can be useful in making  future upgrades easier.

What We Like

  • Carbon forks which are very light with tapered steerers provides a light, comfortable and precise-steering front end.
  • Topstone with multiple mounts for water bottles and for tube storage give you long and smooth adventure road touring.

What We Don't Like

  • There are no serious cons related to this bike.

Best Gravel Bikes For Men

Royce Union Men's Gravel Bike

Royce Union Men's Gravel Bike

Royce Union Men's Gravel Bike

Royce Union Men's Gravel Bike

  • Mechanical Disc brakes  are used to help you stop easily and more efficiently - works amazing with Downhill adventures
  •  The  3-piece crank offers more flexibility - it's  rigid counterparts break when more stress is applied.
  • WTB  tires offers minimal rolling resistance due to raised, consistent centerline tread

 Royce Union is loaded with comfort features to excel in any terrain, no matter the conditions. Its aluminium  frame paired with Shimano Claris 16 speed gearing selection can help to tackle uphill treks with minimum efforts. 

The Mechanical Disc brakes increase the amount of stopping power without sacrificing performance in any weather and works amazingly, for downhill adventures.

 Its  3-piece neck alloy crank and a rigid steel fork allows more flexibility and provides unrivaled riding performance. Its aluminium frame provides less maintenance with a better performance. This amazing feature counts this bike in the list of top rated gravel bikes 2020

WTB wilderness tires offer a minimal rolling resistance, giving a choice for enduring racing and touring.  Riders can use this bike with a minimum height of 72 inches and suggested inseam 32 inches.

What We Like

  • Comfy seats and larger tires soak up the bumps and the stiffness of the frame, giving a lot more control.

What We Don't Like

  • Some bikers may have few troubles regarding the speed of the bike.

Mongoose Men's Elroy Adventure Bike 700C Wheel Bicycle

Mongoose Mens Elroy Adventure Bike

Mongoose Mens Elroy Adventure Bike

Mongoose Mens Elroy Adventure Bike

  •  A Versatile adventure touring bike designed with a sleek alloy frame and fork for the ultimate ride.  
  • An integrated Micro shift shifters/brake lever combo and mechanical disc brakes makes your  ride smooth
  • Integrated frame bag has a stylish embroidered patch and all the room you need for your riding essentials

Mongoose Men's Elroy adventure bike designed with a geometry have a sleek alloy frame and steel suspension fork for the ultimate ride.

It comprises of the 2x7 drivetrain, powered  by Shimano Tourney derailleurs which helps to keep the ride steady. The mechanical disc brakes and a wide 700c alloy rim and large 40c tires provides on and off-road adventures.

 Large frame bag provides a room to carry your riding essentials with a pannier friendly front rack holding an integrated bottle opener. It also comprises a rear rack mount allowing  more space in the rack. It also holds three water bottle cage mounts to stay hydrated while riding.

What We Like

  • Great  for riding on pavement and on trails.
  • Assembling the bike is quick and simple.Frames are protected using film frames.
  • Good gear range.
  • Good and affordable for touring.
  •  Comfortable saddle.
  • Front rack  is properly welded, and powder coated.

What We Don't Like

  • Tyre problems.
  •  Disc brakes provide no stopping power.
  • Cheap innertube to keep costs down on this model.

If you want to look for other bikes of this brand then read our Mongoose Bikes Reviews

Best gravel bikes under $1500

Pure Cycles Adventure Gravel Disc Road Bike

Pure Cycles Adventure Gravel Disc Road Bike

Pure Cycles Adventure Gravel Disc Road Bike

Pure Cycles Adventure Gravel Disc Road Bike

  •  Lightweight adventure bike with super strong 4130 chromoly steel frameset
  •  Beefy Hutchinson Override tires (compatible with optional 650B wheels)
  • 16-Speed Shimano Claris STI drivetrain delivers excellent gearing for adventure gravel rides 

Pure Cycles Adventure bike is the best gravel bike under $1500 with maximum features.
The Pure Cycles Adventure bikes have a versatile feature with a geometry that helps to keep on loose surfaces. Hutchinson Override 700 x 38C tires ensure smooth  handling with (650B compatible) features to swap rims for better traction.

The pure cycle adventure bikes are geared in the Models-16 speed adventure gravel and upgraded 18 speed adventure gravel pro. The Shimano shifters and derailleurs designed for both bikes  16 and 18 speed offer excellent gearing for gravel rides or commuting.

Its lightweight steel frame and fork with seat tube comforts out flex on uneven roads. A flexible alloy drop bar gives you different riding positions for longer rides. Promax mechanical disc brakes give better stopping power in all weathers.

You can turn your ride  into ultimate camper or grocery getter and can go multiple day camping as these bikes have mounting points for all your water bottle cages, racks, bags and phone mounts as well.

Pure Cycles, built to live, ride, and thrive right where you do, offers a variety of frame, geometry, and gearing options including different handlebars, saddles, water bottle cages, foot straps, and more.

Backed by a manufacturer's frame warranty and other components this bike is simple and easy to maintain and you can give it a try.

What We Like

  • Nice  and smooth ride quality.
  • Can  work on fire and gravel roads.
  • Good adventure bike on budget.

What We Don't Like

  • Disc brakes do not align.
  • Some riders may face issues with the bike components.

Tommaso Siena Shimano Tourney Gravel Adventure Bike 

Tommaso Siena Shimano Tourney Gravel Adventure Bike

Tommaso Siena Shimano Tourney Gravel Adventure Bike

Tommaso Siena Shimano Tourney Gravel Adventure Bike

  • Aluminum Compact Frame combined with an SST Steel Fork for Maximum Durability.
  •  3x7 Shimano Tourney Groupset,  30/39/50T Claris crankset and 12x28T Tourney cassette. 
  • 700x40c tires for added versatility and stability on rougher terrain.

Tommaso Siena Shimano  is designed to offer a comfy and stable terrain ridings than ever, with upgraded tubing and frame designs. Its aluminium compact frame with steel fork provides maximum durability.

Featuring a 30/39/50T Claris crankset  with a 12x28T Tourney cassette, Tommaso makes this bike a  perfect fit to ride on any paved or unpaved roads, from flats to hills, for all degrees of riders in all conditions. They have 700 * 40 cc tires  with TC-20D rims that provide stability on all terrains. 

The Shimano  drivetrain provides a wide range of gears, no matter where you ride. The disc brake powered by avid bb5 increases stopping power in any weather and terrain conditions. 

This bike built around compact handlebars with a compact frame delivers maximum comfort and efficiency, to get the most out of every ride, whether it is 10 miles or 100 miles. 

These all extraordinary features add this bike in the list of 'best gravel bikes under $1500'

The Tommaso Seina bike thus brings versatility and offers value to our adventure line. Designed as all in one package, it is perfectly fit for any ride.

What We Like

  • Affordable bike.
  • Good frame components  for reasonable price.
  • Excellent climber gears.

What We Don't Like

  • Hand brakes need more tension.

How do I choose the  right gravel bike?

Choosing the right bike type based on your needs can result in  enjoyable riding experience. Carefully choosing a bike involves knowing the price range , then finding out the right size, and the most important components required in your bike to match your riding style.  Let's dig into its specific features to find out the right gravel bike.

1. Wheel size

Many riders or cyclists  are venturing into the gravel world and asking themselves the perfect  wheel size for their gravel bikes, whether they should choose 700c or 650 b wheels. 

Well, 700c bikes are good for a road bike ride while 650c bikes or 27.5 inch bikes are popular among mountain bike riders as they provide good traction.

 A 700 c wheel provides less rotational mass and less resistance and 650 b tire allows lower tire pressure with fatter tires  and with almost the same diameter as a 700c wheel.

These gravel tires width range from 30mm to 48mm. For gravel bikes, tubeless tires are also used as a latex sealant to protect them from getting punctured. 

We provided an in-depth review of the best bike tires that may help you find the best one within your price range. 

Gravel Bike Wheel Size

Wide tires can provide a smoother ride and more grip on any terrain.

2. Geometry

 In addition to wheel size and other features the most important consideration is the geometry of any gravel bike. 

Gravel bike features a longer wheelbase  coupled with wide and high handlebars for grip and control specifically on rough roads. 

Most gravel bikes have longer head tubes giving riders the better  upright and relaxed position, but this tube may not be longer than a road bike. 

We are also seeing popularity in gravel geometry regarding bottom bracket height - which is the vertical distance between the wheel axes and the bottom bracket.

High bottom brackets  lead to better stability clearing the rough stuff ,i.e suited for rough terrain. While lower bottom brackets provides better handling ,best suited for twistier road and smoother trails . BB height is affected by tire size.

3. Gearings

From 2019 most mid to high end gravel bikes have 11 cogs in the rear wheel which allows more gear range  to grow- offering less gears upfront to maintain an acceptable overall gear range.  

Gravel bikes  with wide-range cassettes come up with 1x gearing. 

A double ring chainset with a super 48/32t crankset combination and  also 50/34 compact chainset are commonly used in gravel bikes as they help you to move up to  steep hills.

Gears for gravel bikes

Gravel bikes with wide-range cassettes come up with 1x gearing.

4. Suspension

Most gravel bikes do not have suspension in either front or rear frame as they are fully rigid but some manufacturers are coming up with rear suspension and have active or passive suspension systems built into it. 

Other aspects include compliant handlebars, head tubes,  slender chainstays, seatpost designed to flex to give vibration dampening.  While the other gravel bikes include suspension forks like you can find in Diamondback Mission 1 bikes.

How much do I have to spend on a gravel bike?

Well, that depends on  the way you define a gravel bike.  However, if you have a cyclocross bike, then it could also work as a gravel bike and can cost you the cost of a basic ‘true’ gravel machine.

If you're looking for a gravel all-road bike, then you can pay around $1,200 for an alloy frame with entry-level components.

With a carbon frame and hydraulic disc brakes, the bike may cost you around $2800. In the cycling world, you may spend a little on a customized bike you wish for and can buy affordable gravel bikes 2020.


There are a few considerations in selecting your best gravel bike. Starting with finding out the right bike size to ensure proper riding position and comfort. 

While selecting a bike, don't forget to check 2020 gravel bike reviews for the best one.

 Then finding out the shipping details and the cost and learning the ways to assemble your bike. There are other options available in the market so you can do a thorough research on components, sizing, gears etc and find the one that's best for you.

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