If you’re new to gravel biking, you might be wondering what all the fuss is about. Gravel bikes are simply bikes that are designed for riding on… well, gravel! They usually have wider tires than road bikes, making them perfect for tackling rough terrain.
And, best of all, they’re affordable! If you’re looking for a great gravel bike that won’t break the bank, check out our list of the 11 best gravel bikes under $1000.
They’re also often equipped with features like carbon forks and disc brakes, which make them even more capable when the going gets tough.
So why would you want a gravel bike? There are plenty of reasons! Gravel biking is a great way to get off the beaten path and explore new places.
It’s also perfect for riders who want a versatile bike that can handle both paved roads and rough trails. And, of course, gravel bikes are a lot of fun to ride!
If you’re interested in learning more about gravel biking, be sure to check out our complete guide. In the meantime, here are our picks for the best gravel bikes under $1000 (my favorite was the #11 Tommaso Siena keep reading and find out why!)
1. Poseidon X
Poseidon X is a great choice of gravel bike under $1000.
Its modern design makes it ideal for beginners who want to focus on shifting gears easily and quickly into the right spot without having too many options that would be overwhelming at first.
The only downside of 1X10 speed shifting is larger jumps between gear choices, so you may have some difficulty finding your preferred cadence in certain situations, but overall this should not pose as much problem with some practice.
The 11-48T cassette ensures you will be able to ride fast on the flats, but also tackle steep hills.
You can use Poseidon X with either 700c wheels that are included or switch them for 650b tires if you want a rougher terrain.
This all-terrain bike features clearance for up to 1.9″ wide tires, which is ideal when riding singletracks and rough forest tracks!
Another benefit of this bike is its ability to hold up to 4 water bottles (depending on size) so there won’t be any worries about running out while doing long trips away from home!
- Modern design
- Great for beginners
- Ability to hold four water bottles
- Large jumps between gears
The State 4130 ALL-ROAD is a versatile, gravel bike.
It rides like a dream over the twisty backroads, the steep climbs and descents, and across old rail trails.
This lumbering mountain troll might be flighty on snow-covered winter paths, but it starts tractable in loose or muddy conditions with wide 650b tires or turns into an indomitable force on long dirt tracks with its 700c tires.
The steel frame resists corrosion and can take whatever aggressive riding is dished out to it by riders looking for better performance through big contact patches and extra clearance.
1×11 drivetrain shifts smoothly so you don’t have to worry about ripping your derailleur off in a tight turn.
- Good tire clearance
- Two wheel choices
- Sturdy Chromoly steel frame and fork
- All the mounts for bikepacking
- Not the lightest on our list
- Entry-level components
The Cannondale Topstone 4 is a great buy if you’re looking for a versatile activity-ready bike without the major price tag.
This lightweight aluminum frame paired with a full carbon fork makes for an agile and durable ride. You can hop over to your local grounds on this dusty gravel road rather quickly, thanks to the dropper post-ready design.
The 1×10 microSHIFT drivetrain provides speed in all conditions when heading down hills or making sharp turns when traversing rolling terrain just outside town.
WTB tires are made of solid rubber that makes gripping slippery roads much easier, especially when it comes to steeper descents where accuracy counts!
Promax Render R mechanical disc brakes will give you reliable stopping power in all weather conditions, whether it’s raining or you have to work up a sweat from climbing those hills.
- Lightweight aluminum frame
- Full carbon fork
- Versatile can be used as gravel, road, and commuting bike
- All the mounts (3 bottles cages, mudguards, rear rack, frame bags, spares)
- Dropper post-ready design
- High center of gravity
The Salsa Journeyman Claris 650 Bike with Shimano Claris is a great value for the money.
This aluminum frame has excellent gear ratios, internal cable routing, and quick-release axles that make it easy to take apart in case you run into trouble on your ride or want to pack it up easily.
It features 24.25-inch climbing gear and the option to switch wheels between 700c (great for road bikes) or 650b (for rougher terrain).
Pair this with its tubeless compatible tires, and three mounting eyelets on either side of the Fantail fork that allow you to carry extra water/gear while riding.
This bike is perfect for beginners who want to focus on shifting gears, an upright position, and good gear ratios (11-48T cassette).
It is under $1000.00 so you are not breaking the bank for a bike that will last years!
- Comfortable in long rides
- Lots of mounts
- Internal cable routing
- Tubeless compatible tires
- High gearing
- Thru-axels would be better than quick-releases
The GT Grade Elite is a cutting-edge gravel bike with decent climbing gears and a reasonable price tag.
It features a top-tier Triple Triangle aluminum frame, full carbon fork, 12mm thru-axles, and Shimano Claris 2×8 shifters.
The 25.7-inch climbing gear ratio makes it easier to tackle steeper hills while having a wide range of gearing options.
The GT Grade is tubeless-compatible so you don’t have to worry about punctures on your rides while using wider tires for improved traction and grip.
Finally, the bike has excellent value for its price with good quality components!
- Excellent frame and fork
- Good climbing gear ratio
- Wide range of gearing options
- External cable routing
The Trek Domane AL 2 has its rightful place on this list even though is not a full gravel bike but somewhere in the middle between a road bike and a gravel one.
Let me explain.
The Domane AL 2 is designed with endurance geometry that makes it comfy, stable, and fast.
The aluminum frame has a lot more flex than other Trek models so you feel less fatigue riding long distances.
Its headtube is oversized which stiffens the front end for precise handling while cornering or descending through steep paths.
Such geometry with increased tire clearance and better performance is what makes it a good bike for gravel riding.
It comes with 700x28c Bontrager R1 Hard-Case Lite tires and it is tubeless compatible.
The Domane AL 2 is equipped with Shimano Claris 16-speed components that shift quickly through gears smoothly under different conditions.
It also has rack mounts to carry gear, fender mounts for wet roads, a bento box mount to keep essentials at hand, and three bottle mounts for long days in the saddle.
It features many perks like Trek’s IsoSpeed fork for smooth riding on any terrain, and DuoTrap S compatibility to install a speed and cadence Bluetooth sensor.
But the thing that makes it really special is that it is designed to fit all genders and sizes, meaning that the stem, handlebar, and crank length you’ll get will be specific for your size.
With all of that premium features, this bike gives you a great bang for your buck. It is a versatile beginner-friendly bike that will stay with you for a long time.
- Smooth ride quality
- Great bang for your buck
- Versatile & beginner-friendly
- Not a full gravel bike
The 2021 Giant Revolt is a lightweight aluminum frame and full carbon fork gravel bike with integrated components for smoother rides.
With its D-Fuse composite Seatpost and Contact XR d-fuse handlebar to further absorb the vibrations from those long days of riding, as well as tire clearance of 45mm width.
The frame also has integrated Tektro MD-C550 mechanical disc brakes which are quick to respond, especially in wet conditions or coming down steep inclines.
It already includes tubeless Giant CrossCut AT 2, 700x38c tires which is a big plus against other bikes.
It features a Shimano Sora 2×9 shifting system (a popular entry-level road bike component) with a 25.75-inch climbing gear ratio so you can tackle steep hills easier and faster while having a wide range of gearing options for different conditions!
Last but not least, it’s a bit more expensive than $1000.00 but still very competitively priced for a bike of this caliber!
- Lightweight aluminum frame
- Highly responsive disc brakes
- Tektro integrated components for a smoother ride
- Shimano Sora shifting system
- Slightly more expensive than $1000.00
- D-fuse seatpost has a unique shape
The Fuji Jari is a lightweight and versatile gravel bike with Shimano Sora shifters, “A6” butted alloy frame, and Chromoly fork.
It has added versatility with rack/fender mounts to make it suitable for more than just riding on roads as well as clearance for up to 43mm, which is not so great if you like more beefy tires.
Its geometry features a slack headtube and seat tube angle for more stability and control, as well as it’s longer wheelbase to provide added traction and stability.
It already includes tubeless WTB Riddler 700x37c tires which is a big plus against other bikes!
It is not only highly effective, but it has a fantastic price-to-quality ratio and high-quality components.
An overall good option for people looking to upgrade their bikes!
- Lightweight and versatile
- Shimano Sora shifters
- “A” butted alloy frame
- Chromoly fork
- Rack/fender mounts
- Clearance for up to 43mm tires
- Some might prefer a more clearance
The Marin 650b Olema takes you on thrilling adventures.
It’s nimble, fast, and agile—delivering a light, confident ride up steep hills or swiftly cruising through flats.
This bike has everything you would need for navigating the city streets on your morning commute or zipping across dirt trails to get to your weekend campsite.
A lightweight 6061 aluminum frame with wide tire clearance that boasts necessary comfort for all-day riding with eyelets that enable racks to carry gear for commuting or bikepacking excursions.
It is paired with a sturdy yet snappy Shimano Claris 2×8-speed drivetrain that provides reliable performance for its price point.
A wide-range 11-speed cassette makes it possible for you to tackle any incline without sacrificing your top-end speeds!
Tektro mechanical disc brakes provide excellent stopping power and tough double-wall rims.
Its WTB Horizon 47mm tires roll smoothly over bumps without sacrificing speed.
- Agile & Fast
- Comfortable for all-day riding
- Wide tire clearance
- Some riders found the bike too stiff/rigid
The Diamondback Haanjo 2 is an entry-level gravel bike that still manages to keep a lot of quality features.
It’s made from a decent aluminum frame with steel forks and quick-release axles for easy taking on and off racks or shelters.
As far as gears go, the 29″ climbing gear will be enough for those fast-rolling trails but not quite steep trails.
Finally, it comes with Tektro Lyra Flat Mount Mechanical Disc Brakes for easy stopping power no matter what type of surface you ride on.
At this price point, you’ll do well if you’re looking into going long distances, commuting regularly, or just getting out there and having some fun.
- Decent aluminum frame
- Steel forks
- Quick-release axles
- Tektro Lyra flat-mount mechanical disc brakes
- Gear range for hills
The Tommaso Siena gravel bike has a sturdy aluminum frame equipped with an SST steel fork for maximum durability.
It boasts a lifetime frame and fork warranty.
It comes with 700x40c tires for added versatility and stability on rougher terrain while Avid BB5 mechanical disc brakes for excellent stopping power.
Compact frame geometry and premium compact handlebars offer increased power and comfort.
The biggest budget compromise that Tommaso makes is on the Shimano Tourney 3×7 groupset which is well known for its inaccuracy and for skipping gears from time to time.
Don’t get me wrong!
It is a functional groupset but not so beginner-friendly. And if you plan to use your bike in places where you don’t need to change gears so often it will be just fine.
This Tommaso Siena is all about budget-friendly, great looks, durability, and comfort. Comfort is its strongest point.
- A great-looking bike that’s comfortable and versatile.
- Rides well on paved, dirt, and gravel roads
- Excellent brakes even in muddy and wet conditions
- Easy assembly
- Entry-level Shimano Tourney groupset
Buyer’s Guide: How to choose the best gravel bikes under $1000
When it comes to choosing a gravel bike, there are a few things you need to keep in mind.
First and foremost, you need to decide what your budget is.
Once you’ve done that, you can start looking at the different features that each bike offers.
Some of the things you might want to keep in mind are the type of frame, the groupset, the brakes, and the tires.
You’ll also want to think about what kind of riding you’ll be doing.
Are you looking for a bike that can handle all kinds of terrain or one that’s more specialized?
Once you’ve answered these questions, you’ll be able to narrow down your choices and find the best gravel bike for you.
What is a gravel bike?
A gravel bike is a versatile type of bicycle that’s designed for commuting, but also suitable for cyclocross, or light touring.
Gravel bikes often have a slacker headtube so they handle well on less bumpy roads and low-speed singletrack. They have a wider tire clearance so they can accommodate tires that are better suited for off-road riding.
They also have drop or flat handlebars instead of upright bars which allow you to lean over the bike while taking on rougher terrain found in country lanes.
And finally, they usually have a lower gear range than road bikes, which makes them easier to pedal on steep inclines.
In addition, some models can be modified to take racks and panniers which means you could use one as your primary town bike and then put a rack for longer or overnight rides.
If you’re thinking about buying one, here’s what you should know.
Gravel bike frame and fork materials:
The frame and fork on your gravel bike are key elements.
You’ll want to make sure that the material for both parts can withstand rough terrain without getting damaged easily or making too much noise when you’re riding over rocks, roots, etc.
A lot of manufacturers will use aluminum because it’s durable enough to hold up but light enough to keep the cost of your bike down. (especially at this price point)
They’ll also add a special coating like a powder coat or clear paint that’s designed to resist rust and corrosion in wet conditions.
One important thing you should know is it can be difficult for frame manufacturers to make wide tires compatible with gravel bikes since most frames are still made for road bike widths.
When it comes to gravel bikes, most riders prefer aluminum or steel frames.
They’re more durable than carbon fiber and less expensive than titanium.
However, some people believe that these frame types can transfer too much road vibration through the handlebars and seatpost.
Gravel bike Wheels and Tires
For gravel bikes, you need tires that can take a beating and still provide excellent grip.
This usually means having wider rims for the tire profile and plenty of treads to keep your bike from sliding around on wet or uneven surfaces.
Are also popular because they have a lower chance of being punctured. And their main characteristic is that they don’t require a tube inside them, so they can be lighter and more durable than their regular counterparts.
Gravel bikes have two main different wheel sizes and tire sizes.
700c wheels are known for having tires with a width of at least 35 millimeters.
This allows riders to make the most out of their grip when they’re riding on wet or uneven surfaces.
650B wheels have tires with a width of at least 40 millimeters.
These are perfect for riders who want to be able to lean into corners and ride over small obstacles without worrying about getting stuck or pinched flat.
Gravel bike groupset
Gravel bikes are usually more affordable than road or mountain bikes because they don’t have the same level of components.
However, you will still want to pay attention to how your bike comes outfitted for gravel riding since some manufacturers do offer better equipment than others.
The main thing that makes a difference on most gravel bikes is having wider ratios that allow riders to pedal for longer without having to shift gears.
It can also be helpful if it has a front derailleur cage with extra clearance so you don’t have any issues when riding over rocks or roots.
Most riders prefer to use Shimano’s 105 or Ultegra groupsets on their gravel bikes.
They’re not as pricey (or light) as Dura-Ace, but they have all the same features and are just about as reliable in most road conditions.
Gravel bike brakes
Gravel bikes usually have either rim brakes or disc front and rear.
Are known for being lighter than their counterparts, but they can be less effective in wet conditions and not as powerful when you’re riding downhill.
Offer more stopping power even if your wheels aren’t perfectly round or if you’re riding through water.
There are two types of disc brakes: hydraulic and cable-activated.
- Hydraulic disc brakes: Are less likely to malfunction in wet or muddy conditions because they use fluid instead of cables, but the hydraulic lines can be more vulnerable over time.
- Cable-activated disc brakes: Are not as durable as their counterparts, but they don’t require any maintenance and there is a greater level of consistency in braking performance.
Gravel bike geometry
There are two main frame geometries for gravel bikes:
- “Cross-country”: The steeper the angle of your seat tube, handlebars, and head tube are; the faster you can go. However, this also means that it’s less stable than other alternatives when riding over rough surfaces so it’s not the best choice for beginners.
- “Trail riding”: The slacker angle of your seat tube, handlebars, and headtube are; the more stable it will be when you’re going over bumpy surfaces at higher speeds so they are slightly less efficient than “cross-country” frames in terms of acceleration.
Gravel bike fit and size: How to choose the right size?
There are two measurements that you should know before buying a gravel bike:
Seat tube length (cm): The distance from the center of your bottom bracket to where your saddle attaches.
Top tube length (inches): This is usually measured in inches, but there are some brands that use centimeters as well. It’s the horizontal line that runs from the center of your head tube to where your seat post inserts into your frame.
Gravel bike vs road bike :
In short, a gravel bike has wider tires and a more relaxed geometry than a road bike.
This means that they can be used year-round (even in the snow) and aren’t as sensitive to weather conditions when compared with other bikes.
Gravel bikes usually have longer headtubes and shorter top tubes which make them more comfortable for longer rides.
Many riders also find that they can use a gravel bike year-round because it’s not as sensitive to the weather conditions as other bikes might be.
There’s really no comparison between a racing bicycle designed for pavement riding and an off-road bike that’s meant to tackle rougher terrain.
These bikes are usually designed with different materials and components for a reason.
A better comparison would be between these bikes and mountain or hybrid models, which offer more options when it comes to cost and flexibility in riding conditions.
Gravel biking has become so popular because it’s an excellent way to enjoy the outdoors and get some exercise at the same time.
The Finish Line
If you’re looking for a new challenge, or just want to mix things up on your regular rides, gravel biking is definitely worth checking out. It’s a great way to explore new trails and get some fresh air. And with so many different bikes to choose from, there’s sure to be one that’s perfect for you.
So what are you waiting for? Go find your perfect gravel bike today!
My top choice was the Tommaso Siena because it is a great option If you’re looking for a great all-around gravel bike.
It’s comfortable, versatile, and comes with everything you need to get out on the trails.
The only downside is that the Shimano Tourney groupset isn’t the best quality.
If you can look past that, though, this is a great option for anyone who wants a budget-friendly gravel bike.
So there you have it, the 11 best gravel bikes under $1000. This list should give you a good starting point if you’re looking to get into this rapidly growing sport.
Have any questions about choosing the right bike? Feel free to ask in the comments below and I’ll do my best to help you out. happy riding!