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Best Carbon Fiber Gravel Bikes in 2022 – Reviews & Buyers Guide

Best Carbon Fiber Gravel Bikes – Reviews & Buyers Guide

Gravel bikes are currently one of the most versatile types of bikes on the market. They can do everything from, Road Riding, Off Road Riding, or even Bikepacking across a continent. They are incredible machines, and many cyclists have started getting rid of all their bikes and owning a single Gravel Bike.

I have been riding Gravel bikes for years and have been lucky to try so many. I find that they offer the ability to do so much, but they are also very comfortable bikes to ride. The Gravel bike Geometry and the large tires make for a soft, forgiving ride. They are also not slow, and it doesn’t feel like a slug on those longer rides.

Gravel bikes also come in many shapes and sizes. Unlike many other bike disciplines, the style of the bike can change dramatically when it comes to Gravel Bikes. There are no rules on what a Gravel bike has to be, and that’s why companies find themselves getting very creative in their designs.

Why Carbon Fiber? Carbon is a fantastic material. It’s super light, very responsive, extremely quick, and the choice of many champions. However, it is not cheap to buy a Carbon Fiber bike. They are built to take some serious abuse and are incredibly quick.

BEST OVERALL

Santa Cruz Stigmata CC Force 1x

BEST BUDGET

Marin Headlands

BEST VALUE

Niner RLT 9 RDO

What do we look for in a Carbon Fiber Gravel Bike?

What Do We Look For In A Carbon Fiber Gravel Bike?
Photo by coen van de broek on Unsplash

It can be challenging to find the best bikes when looking at Gravel bikes. They are all so different, and looking at them as a whole does make it challenging. In my opinion, the best way to go is to break it down into parts of the bike.

  • Frame

It’s vital to have a good base to bring everything together on the bike.

  • Groupset

Gearing is often overlooked but it can completely make or break a bike.

  • Wheels and Tires

The Wheels are the main part of the bike on the ground and when it comes to Gravel Bikes, it matters.

  • Brakes

Brakes have a huge variety within them, it’s essential to know what you’re getting.

  • Anything Unique

On Gravel Bikes it’s important to see any extra features the bikes might have.

With this information, we can make a much more informed choice and get the right bike for us for great value for money. It also shows us the unique features of the bikes and where it’s going to perform best. Let’s look at some bikes.

1. Best Overall: Santa Cruz Stigmata CC Force 1x

Santa Cruz Stigmata CC Force 1x

Features of the Santa Cruz Stigmata CC Force 1x

Frame Material: Full Carbon Fiber Frame
Groupset: SRAM Force AXS 1×12 Speed
Wheelset: DT Swiss XR 361 Asym 29″ Rims
Brakes: Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Unique Features: Race Machine, Wireless

The Santa Cruz Stigmata CC is a fantastic bike. They class it as a Cyclocross / Gravel bike as it has the ability to do both. It’s stunning to look at, and a lot of time has gone into geometry and design. For example for smaller riders they make the frame different to stop toe overlap.

It has SRAM AXS 12 Speed groupset, and this is entirely wireless. This is one of the best electronic groupsets currently on the market. It runs DT Swiss X-RAY 361 rims which are 29″ not 700c, so are a wider rim for larger tires. It is full Tubeless as standard on 40c tires and filled with Stans Sealant. The brakes are SRAM hydraulic and are excellent. This bike is an absolute race machine, and not only super light like a full Road bike, but it also has the capability to handle off road. 

Pros and Cons for the Santa Cruz Stigmata CC Force 1x

Pros
  • Wireless Groupset
  • Very fast and light
  • Strong Tubeless Wheelset all ready set up
Cons
  • It’s not the cheapest
Why We Like It

The Santa Cruz Stigmata CC is a very fast, light bike, and I wouldn’t want to line up in a race with another cyclist on one.

2. The Niner MCR RDO 4-Star

The Niner MCR RDO 4-Star

Features of the Niner MCR RDO 4-Star

Frame Material: Full Carbon Fiber Frame
Groupset: Shimano GRX 810 2×11 Speed
Wheelset: DT Swiss G1800 Wheelset 700c
Brakes: Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Unique Features: Dual Suspension

You won’t see many Gravel bikes like the Niner MCR RDO 4-Star. It’s unique. The frame is a very high end lightweight Carbon fiber. Unlike any other frame on this list, it has suspension forks and a rear shock. It offers 100mm travel on the front and 50mm on the rear. It’s practically a Mountain Bike with Drop Bars.

It is equipped with the GRX 2×11 Groupset to provide super shifting, and the Shimano GRX Brakes supply the super stopping. It has the DT Swiss G1800 wheelset, which is made for wider tires. These wheels have 38c tires on them, tubeless ready.

Pros and Cons for the Niner MCR RDO 4-Star

Pros
  • Dual Suspension
  • Excellent Gravel Groupset
  • Very capable Off Road
Cons
  • Heavier than some on this list
Why We Like It

The Niner MCR RDO 4-Star is next level Gravel biking. I would take it to a Mountain bike Race because it is just so capable off road.

3. Ibis Hakka MX GRX

Ibis Hakka MX GRX

Features of the Ibis Hakka MX GRX

Frame Material: Full Carbon Fibre Frame
Groupset:GRX 810 1×11
Wheelset:Ibis Own Branded 700c
Brakes: Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Unique Features: Enve Fork

Ibis is not the most known brand, but they make an incredible bike. The first thing to make a note of is the lightweight frame. The stealthy frame boasts simplicity, and I like that. They haven’t used their own fork on this bike. They are using an Enve fork which is probably one of the best forks made. It’s great to look at, and this bike will be very light with a frame like this.

The groupset is the Shimano GRX810, and it is the 1x, so it has a single front chainring. This keeps it simple and adds to the lightness of the bike. The brakes are the Shimano Hydraulic and will stop you well. The wheels are 700c, and Ibis own wheels. They are ok simple alloy, nothing to write home about.

Pros and Cons for the Ibis Hakka MX GRX

Pros
  • Great Frame paired with Enve Fork
  • Excellent Gravel Groupset 1X
  • Excellent all rounder
Cons
  • Would have loved to have seen DT Swiss wheels not own branded
Why We Like It

Simplicity is key, and the Ibis does it amazingly. If you’re looking for a great all rounder this is it.

4. Juliana Quincy CC GRX (Women’s)

Juliana Quincy CC GRX

Features of the Juliana Quincy CC GRX

Frame Material: Full Carbon Fiber Frame
Groupset: Shimano GRX 810 2×11 Speed
Wheelset: DT Swiss XR 361 Asym 29″ Rims
Brakes: Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Unique Features: Race Machine, Wheel Options

The Juliana Quincy CC GRX is a fantastic example of one of the best Gravel bikes on the market for women. It is being raced at a top level by many pro riders, and it also is being used as a Road Bike on the roads. The Carbon Fiber Frame is excellent and suited for women in particular in its size.

The Shimano GRX 810 Groupset is the best Gravel Groupset Shimano offer. It may not be electronic like the Stigmata, but it is probably the best Cable Groupset in the gravel bikes market. The wheels, as standard, come in the form of the 29″ DT Swiss XR 361, but they offer a swap for 650B wheels if requested. The Brakes are Shimano Hydraulic and will stop you on a pin. It comes with Tubeless 40c tires, full of sealant, ready to go.

Pros and Cons for the Juliana Quincy CC GRX

Pros
  • Very light and fast
  • 650b or 700c wheelsets available
  • Very capable Off-Road and on road
  • Tubeless tires ready to go
Cons
  • Women only
Why We Like It

The Juliana is a bike aimed at women who want to go fast on and off roads. It’s a fantastic bike.

5. Rondo Ruut CF2 2x

Rondo Ruut CF2 2x

Features of the Rondo Ruut CF2 2x

Frame Material: Full Carbon Fibre Frame
Groupset: Shimano GRX 410 2×10 Speed
Wheelset: Rondo Aluminum wheelset 700c
Brakes: Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Unique Features: Adjustable Geometry

The Rondo Ruut CF2 is one of my favorite Gravel bikes on the market. It has so much going for it. Firstly the way it looks in that classy pale blue. The Full Carbon Frame is super lightweight. It also has special fork inserts that you can use to adjust the geometry to be better on Road or Off Road.

The Shimano Groupset is only the GRX 410, but it’s still terrific and very rugged. It has lots of gear ratio options and is a smooth shifting machine. The Wheels are the Rondo own aluminum wheelset, and it’s tubeless, light, and fast. It comes with 37c tires, which will get you on most trails. Of course, it’s running the legendary Shimano Hydraulic Disc brakes.

Pros and Cons for the Rondo Ruut CF2 2x

Pros
  • Great color
  • Lightweight frame
  • Adjustable geometry
Cons
  • Basic Gearing compared to others
Why We Like It

The Rondo Ruut is a fun, fast, and capable bike. I love it, and it’s incredible value for money. The Fork geometry adjust is such a cool feature too.

6. Best Value: Niner RLT 9 RDO

Niner RLT 9 RDO

Features of the Niner RLT 9 RDO

Frame Material: Full Carbon Fibre Frame
Groupset: Shimano GRX 810 2×11 Speed
Wheelset:DT Swiss G1800 wheelset 700c
Brakes: Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Unique Features: Tubeless Ready

This is the second Nine on this list, and it has to be mentioned because they make such a fantastic bike. It has the RDO Carbon Frame, but it doesn’t come equipped with suspension like the last Niner.

The Groupset is Shimano GRX810 high end gearing. This is the 2×11 model and provides incredible shifting and reliability. Of course, this is paired up with Hydraulic Brakes. The wheels are DT Swiss G1800, 700c, and tubeless ready. It rolls on 47c massive tires and will take all the rough terrain in its stride.

Pros and Cons for the Niner RLT 9 RDO

Pros
  • Great All Rounder
  • Excellent Gravel Groupset
  • Very large 47c tires for off road
Cons
  • 47c tires on road will lag a bit
Why We Like It

Niner RLT 9 RDO is a fantastic bike, it much simpler than the other Niner, but it ticks all the boxes because it can do the rough and smooth stuff and do it well. The 47c tires are huge and many bikes couldn’t use a tire this big.

7. BMC URS ONE

BMC URS ONE

Features of the BMC URS ONE

Frame Material: Full Carbon Fibre Frame
Groupset: SRAM Apex 1×11
Wheelset: DT Swiss C1850 700c
Brakes: SRAM Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Unique Features:Uprated Rotors

I love BMC bikes. The URS ONE Gravel bike is something pretty special. It looks incredible and is the full Carbon Fiber frame is of the highest BMC Quality. It has been made to be super fast on and off road. It would be a shame to get it dirty though, looking that good.

The SRAM Groupset is the Apex 1×11. It’s a good group set, and it’s effortless to jump around the cassette with it. The hydraulic brakes are SRAMs own, and well, these are great. What I love about this bike is they have updated rotors. They are huge and much bigger than standard Gravel bike disc Rotors, so instead of 140mm rear 160mm front, they have a 160mm rear and a 180 front. They will stop you super fast, and they look fantastic. The wheels are DT Swiss, all tubeless ready to go with 40c tires.

Pros and Cons for the BMC URS ONE

Pros
  • Amazing looking bike with all round capabilities
  • BMC Frame quality
  • Uprated Brakes
Cons
  • Basic Groupset
Why We Like It

The BMC URS ONE isn’t a good Gravel bike. It’s a great one in the way it looks rides and stops.

8. The Look 765 Gravel Bike

Features of The Look 765 Gravel Bike

Frame Material: Full Carbon Fibre Frame
Groupset: GRX 810 2×11
Wheelset: Shimano RS370
Brakes: Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Unique Features: Best looking

I love Look bikes. Not only have they been on top of technology for many years, but they also make gorgeous looking bikes. The Look 765 Gravel bike is no exception to this rule. It’s a lovely pale green on tan wall tires, a very classy looking gravel bike.

The groupset is the top level Shimano GRX Gravel Groupset, and it’s the 2×11 model, so plenty of ratios to play with. The brakes are the GRX Hydraulic and provide excellent stopping power. Alongside this, we have the Shimano R370 disc wheelset. This wheelset is solid and reliable. It is equipped with some Hutchinson 38c Tires, which are ready to go tubeless.

The Look 765 not only looks the part, but it performs the part too. If you want a great looking bike that can take on some severe gravel and road, this is it.

Pros and Cons for the The Look 765 Gravel Bike

Pros
  • Classic Style
  • Shimano Groupset and Wheels
  • Excellent on and off road
Cons
  • The color won’t be for everyone
Why We Like It

Look has always made iconic bikes and this gravel beast is a great example of a bike that looks amazing and will do a tough job.

9. Orbea Terra Ultegra

Orbea Terra Ultegra

Features for the Orbea Terra Ultegra

Frame Material: Full Carbon Fibre Frame
Groupset: Shimano Ultegra R8000
Wheelset: DT Swiss C-1800
Brakes: Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brake
Unique Features: Very lightweight

I have always liked Orbea. They produce excellent frames and have always focused on a high level of quality. The Terra is one of Orbea’s flagship Gravel bikes and is super lightweight with a racing style geometry. The grade of Carbon fiber is very high, and it’s super stiff to ride.

This bike doesn’t have a Gravel Groupset like the others on this list. It has a Road Groupset. The Shimano Ultegra R8000 is second to what the professionals use in the Tour De France. It’s a 2×11 setup and offers some serious gearing. Alongside this, it has hydraulic brakes, the Shimano Ultegra disc brakes. They are top quality and practically the same as the GRX Brakes.

It runs a DT Swiss C-1800 Wheelset, which is tubeless ready and paired with some 33c Racing Ralph’s tires. This bike will be very fast, and it is practically lighter than anything on this list, but it is set up now is best for light gravel, not a mountain bike trail.

Pros and Cons of the Orbea Terra Ultegra

Pros
  • Excellent on Road
  • Excellent Ultegra Groupset
  • Very fast
Cons
  • Might struggle on serious rough terrain
Why We Like It

It’s light, fast, and on the road, and light gravel very tough to beat. I wouldn’t want to be on this on an MTB trail though.

10. Best Budget: Marin Headlands

Marin Headlands

Features for the Marin Headlands

Frame Material: Full Carbon Fibre Frame
Groupset: Shimano GRX600
Wheelset: Marins own 700c
Brakes: Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Unique Features: Amazing Carbon Technology

We all knew that this list wouldn’t be possible without a Marin on. Marin has some serious Gravel bikes, and they are inventive when designing them. Take the Headlands. It’s full Unidirectional Carbon Fiber and comes with a Carbon Fork to match. Unidirectional is the way the carbon is wove before the resin is applied.

It has the Shimano GRX600, which is the level below the GRX800, and it’s the 1x version. It will offer 11 gears and shift round the cassette easily and quickly. The wheels are Marins own, and they put these on most of their bikes. They are 700c and pretty strong, and they are Tubeless ready and running alongside some 40c Schwalbe Tires.

Pros and Cons of the Marin Headlands

Pros
  • Excellent Carbon Fiber Technology
  • 1x Shimano Groupset
  • Running big tubeless tires
Cons
  • Heavier than some on this list
  • Marins own wheelset
Why We Like It

Marin makes a great bike, the Headlands is such a good all round Gravel bike, and I can highly recommend it to anyone.

11. Niner RLT E9 RDO 4-Star

Niner RLT E9 RDO 4-Star

Features for the Niner RLT E9 RDO 4-Star

Frame Material: Full Carbon Fibre Frame
Groupset: Shimano GRX600
Wheelset: Stans No Arch D Boost
Brakes: Shimano Hydraulic Disc Brakes
Unique Features: Electric Motor

This bike is completely different from all the others because it is actually an E-Bike. Although it’s an E-bike, it needs a place on this list as it is made for Gravel biking. It is full Carbon fiber with a Carbon Fork, Niner RDO Carbon, you know it’s good.

The Shimano GRX600 Groupset is in a 1x form, and it’s paired up with the GRX Hydraulic disc brakes. Great combination. The wheels are Stans No Arch D Boosts, and they are a solid alloy wheel and tubeless ready to go with 50c tires. Yes, 50c tires, you read that right. It has a Bosch Electric motor that can provide 28 miles per hour of pedal assistance with a 500Wh battery for longer distances.

The best advice I can give anyone when looking at E-Bikes is to go with a big brand name. The quality of the electronics is much better than unknown brands and it will perform as it should for many years and you will get the best out of your investment.

Pros and Cons of the Niner RLT E9 RDO 4-Star

Pros
  • Electric Motor
  • Niner RDO Carbon Frame
  • Very capable Off Road with those 50c tires
Cons
  • Heavier than everything else
  • Requires Charging
Why We Like It

The Niner RLT E9 RDO is an awesome bike that will not only be amazing on road and gravel but with a bit of assistance too.

We Think You’ll Like It: Mountain Bike vs Gravel Bike

Gravel Bikes Buying Guide

Gravel Bikes Buying Guide
Photo by Pavel Danilyuk from Pexels

When we buy a Gravel bike, it’s essential to understand what you’re looking at and understand what makes it a good Gravel bike. The tricky thing about Gravel bikes is they share many similarities with other types of bikes. They can look like Road Bikes sometimes, and other times they might look like Mountain Bikes. Understanding the parts is vital to know what you’re looking at with Gravel Bikes. In this next section, we will discuss what makes a gravel bike and break it down into parts.

Frame and Forks

When it comes to Gravel bikes, they use a few different materials. You have Steel frames which are heavier and are much more forgiving on the body. Steel is cheap to produce and commonly used by many custom frame builders because it can be made cheaply.

Then you have Aluminum Frames. They are lighter than Steel and much stiffer. They will ride quicker but do you a harsher ride compared to a steel bike. They are very cheap to manufacture and probably one of the most common materials as far as budget bikes go.

Carbon Frames are the lightest on the market. They, like Aluminum, are very stiff and not very forgiving. They are expensive to produce but by far the best material if you’re looking for a speedy bike. When it comes to a Carbon bike, always use a well-known brand as cheap Carbon from unlisted suppliers isn’t always very good.

There are some other materials to mention, such as Titanium which is near as light as Carbon but has the flexibility of Steel. The perfect material but very expensive to produce. You even have wooden bikes made of things like oak and bamboo.

When it comes to Forks, they come in three primary materials, Carbon, Aluminium, and Steel. Carbon Forks are light and Stiff, Aluminum Forks are heavier but still stiff, and finally, Steel Forks, heavy but forgiving. Very rarely will you see suspension but not often on a Gravel Bike.

Groupsets and Gearing

One thing very overlooked is gearing. Many cyclists buy a bike, and they tend not to realize what they will be getting. It can be complex when we speak of gearing, and many companies take advantage of this when marketing. For example, 11 Speeds and 24 Speeds. The 24 sounds better, but it could have less range and be twice the weight. On a Gravel bike, you will see a vary of Groupsets, but most bike companies usually sit with too different types, The 1X Groupset, and the 2x Groupset.

1x

The 1x groupset is commonly known as a single front, and this means the groupset only has a single chainring on the front of the bike. It’s a unique design and has so many advantages to it.

Firstly it means you don’t need a front derailleur. Not only does this save weight, but it’s also one less thing to worry about while off riding and adventuring. The next you find, the front chainring will be smaller, and there only has to be singular. Another great way of saving weight and keeping it simple.

To make up for only having a single ring at the front, you will need a huge cassette on the rear. Commonly you will see a rear cassette with a big cog as large as 50 teeth. Having one derailleur also means it’s really quick and easy to get around the cassette, and you never have to worry about cross chaining.

There are some disadvantages though. You will have a limited range of gearing. You will have gears that will go very low, but you won’t have many gears that will be efficient at high speeds. Those big Road descents will find your legs spinning up like crazy.

2x

A 2x Groupset is a gearing setup with two front chainrings at the front. Just like the 1x, it has advantages and disadvantages to it.

Having two chainrings at the front does mean you need a front derailleur, but it does give you a massive range of gearing to use. It makes it better when descending as you have many more high gears to use.

Instead of the 1×11 having 11 options, a 2×1 would have 22 possibilities. This may not sound like a big difference, but if you were a time trial, it makes a huge difference.

They both have massive advantages to them, but it really comes down to personal choice. In my opinion, if you are spending the majority of your time off road, use a 1x. If you are spending a lot of time on the road, use a 2x. An exceptional Groupset is the Shimano GRX. It’s a gravel made groupset, and I highly rate it.

Gravel Wheelsets and Tires

Gravel Wheelsets And Tires
Photo by Viktor Bystrov on Unsplash

Gravel wheelsets are pretty simple, and they typically come in two sizes, a 650b and a 700c. They both have advantages and disadvantages, and I personally ride with both and have found both very efficient in different situations.

650B

650b is actually a smaller size than a 700c. It’s directly the same diameter as a 27.5″ wheelset. With the wheel being smaller, it accelerates better and is much more agile at lower speeds.

700c

700c is your standard road size wheel and the same diameter as a 29″ wheel. The 700c wheel is harder to get up to speed but is easier to hold when going faster. It also has the ability to roll over obstacles better than a smaller wheel such as the 650b.

Typically the 650b wheel will be equipped with bigger tires than the 700c. This is because a smaller wheel means there’s much more room in the frame to fit bigger and broader tires in. The 700c will have smaller tires, but because the diameter of the wheel being more extensive, it actually has a similar amount of rubber on the ground.

I always recommend 650b wheels to anyone doing a lot of off road, and 700c wheels for people who are riding on the road a lot. The 650b has much more potential off road, and the 700c is much better for tarmac.

When it comes to tires, Gravel bike tires are in a very broad range. You might get tires as small as 33c, which would be used on a road / light gravel bike. Then you have tires as big as 2.1″ Mountain bike tires. They will generally be reasonably smooth as far as tread goes, and you will need to run them at much lower pressures than your road bike tires.

Brakes

gravel bike brakes
Photo by Kuchihige Saboten on Unsplash

You will typically get two types of Brakes on Gravel Bikes. You will get Hydraulic and Mechanical. Hydraulic is uses tubes filled with fluid to compress the brakes, and Mechanical will use the pull of cables to compress the brakes. Hydraulic is much more effective, and long term will require very little maintenance. They are more expensive than Mechanical. Mechanical will be very cheap to buy, require maintenance, and not be as strong as hydraulic, but they will work.

We Think You’ll Like It: Can You Put Panniers on a Road Bike?

Accessories

gravel bike accessories on work bench
Photo by Tom Conway on Unsplash

When it comes to accessories, Gravel bikes have many. Firstly your handlebars. The majority of Gravel bikes will have flared bars. These are drop bars, but where they turn round at the bottom, they spread out. They help with control on rough sections because they are wider.

You will also see some bikes with suspension but not as you know it. You will see it in the form of a suspension seat post or a suspension stem. It will not act like a mountain bike, but it will take the edge off your hands.

You will also find on Gravel bikes a lot of holes to mount water bottle cages. This is for many reasons. Firstly, if you are going into the middle of nowhere and need to carry more water, secondly, they can be used to either mount bikepacking bags or other accessories.

We Think You’ll Like It: Best Flat Bar Gravel Bikes

Frequently Asked Questions

What is the best Gravel bike frame?

They are all very different, and the best bike frame is the one best equipped for the job it has to do. If you are looking for a lot of off road, a low slung frame will help. With a lot of road and light gravel, a larger road bike style frame will be better.

Why are Gravel bikes so popular?

Gravel bikes are trendy because they have the ability to do so much. They can go on the road well, go off road well, and it is very fun to go on gravel rides.

What’s the best frame material for a Gravel bike?

Carbon fiber if you want to be quick and Steel for very long distances and touring. However, it depends on what the user wants out of the bike. A lightweight carbon frame will be stiff and quick, but those qualities are not always great for great if you’re using the bike as an adventure road bike or an endurance road bike.

What’s the best brand of Gravel bikes?

There are so many brands it would be tough to pick the best. Canyon, Trek, Cannondale, Lynskey, and Specialized make excellent Gravel Bikes. I have always liked the Canyons because of the Canyon Grail CF SL Bike, it’s a great bike for gravel riding.

Can you convert a Mountain Bike to a Gravel Bike?

Yes, but it’s very costly as you need to change a lot. I would sell the mountain bike and buy a Gravel bike. Most gravel bikes have a unique geometry that would match mountain biking geometry.

How much should I spend on a Gravel Bike?

First, ask yourself how much you plan to use it. Then ask yourself what you can afford. It’s unique to everyone, but you will get more ride quality from spending more.

Is a Cyclocross bike a Gravel bike?

A Cyclocross bike will be great on gravel roads but normally is only equipped with 33c tires and not much tire clearance above that. Road and cyclocross bikes are not capable to hold big tires like a Gravel bike. Gravel bikes typically have much larger tires for gravel racing on rough surfaces.

Conclusion

Gravel bikes are a fantastic tool for any cyclist, and they open the rider up to many more roads and trails. It is becoming more and more popular as the years go on and is now recognized by the UCI.

Many riders are now finding themselves selling all their bikes and just going to a single Gravel bike, and I can completely understand it as that’s what I have done. It means you may not have as many bikes but you are riding something of much better quality and it’s much easier to maintain one bike instead of four.

Another fantastic thing about Gravel bikes is the range of prices. You can get them as little as $400 all the way up to $7000. Yes, you will get a better ride if you spend more, but the $400 bike will still do the same job.

Expert Tip

Running Tubeless tires is a huge advantage, especially when riding a gravel bike. Tubeless tires can self heal after you get a puncture, they can be run at lower pressures for comfort, and they are lighter than using tubes. You will need Tubeless compatible rims, tires to suit and need them set up correctly, but they are well worth the extra hassle.

Did You Know?

Gravel riding has now become a professional discipline recognized by the UCI. You will soon see many pro riders go across from the Tour De France to ride Gravel races at a professional level.

Amazon Recommends

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SAVADECK Carbon Gravel Road Bike, Carbon Fiber Frame Adventure Bike with Shimano 105 R7000 Groupset, 700C Wheels 22 Speeds Disc Brake Racing Bike with Carbon Fork
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Bestseller No. 3
Tommaso Sentiero Gravel Bike, Shimano Claris Adventure Bike with Disc Brakes, Extra Wide Tires, Perfect for Road Or Dirt Trail Touring, Matte Black, Red - Medium
  • DURABLE & RELIABLE: Aluminum Compact Frame combined with an SST Steel Fork for Maximum Durability, backed up with our industry leading Lifetime Frame & Fork Warranty. Frame is drilled for all varieties of racks and fenders, making the Sentiero the ultimate commuter and touring bike.
  • POWERFUL PEFORMANCE & SPEED: 3x8 Shimano Claris Groupset, featuring a 30/39/50T Claris crankset and 12x25T Claris cassette. Perfect for varying and rugged terrain, from flats to hills to rocky climbs, offering a wide range of gears for all levels of riders in all conditions
  • RUGGED, ALL-TERRAIN CAPABILITIES: Tommaso TC-20D rims and offer the rugged durability of a 28 spoke rim that can handle all types of terrain and keep rolling. And new for 2019, we have added wider 700x 40c tires. The Sentiero is also equipped with Avid BB5 disc brakes for added stopping power in adverse weather conditions, making this bike perfect for all weather and terrain conditions.
  • OPTIMIZED FIT FOR ADDED COMFORT: Compact frame geometry and premium compact handlebars offer increased power and comfort in a sleek package. Every part of the Sentiero is designed for maximum comfort and efficiency, so you are getting the most out of every ride, whether it is 10 miles or 100 miles. SIZING: If in-between sizes, sizing down is a more comfortable ride and sizing up is a more aggressive, race feel.
  • PROFESSIONAL ASSEMBLY REQUIRED: To ensure optimal performance and to validate the warranties of your new bike we recommend that you have it professionally assembled before riding.
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Robbie Ferri

Robbie Ferri

Robbie Ferri is a cyclist living in Norfolk in the UK. From breaking World Records to competing in some of the hardest Bikepacking races in the world he is not shy of riding the miles. He has been lucky enough to work at some amazing shops and with some big cycling brands. Alongside this he even had input in designing bikes and has also been a tester for unreleased products. He absolutely loves cycling and believes everyone should have a bike.