Selecting the right gravel bike can be an intimidating task, given the vast multitude of options available in today’s market. However, by taking into account your personal riding style, the nature of the terrain, and your budget, you can sift through the options and find the perfect bike to suit your needs. Here are a few key aspects to keep in mind when choosing a gravel bike.
Frame Material: When deciding on a gravel bike, the frame material is one of the initial considerations. Aluminium frames are light and cost-effective, making them a favoured choice for many cyclists. Steel frames, while durable and providing a smooth ride, can weigh more than other materials. Carbon fibre frames are both lightweight and rigid, making them perfect for racing, but they can be pricy. In the end, your choice of frame material will be influenced by your riding style and budget.
Tyre Clearance: Gravel bikes typically have more expansive tyre clearance compared to conventional road bikes, allowing them to handle a broader range of terrains. When picking out a gravel bike, take into account the tyre clearance and opt for a bike that can accommodate the tyre size you prefer for your riding style.
Groupset: The groupset on a bike pertains to the combination of gears, brakes, and other components that operate together to facilitate a smooth and efficient ride. Gravel bikes usually come with a selection of groupset options, with Shimano and SRAM being the most popular brands. Higher-end groupsets will be lighter and more efficient, but they can also come with a higher price tag.
Suspension: While many gravel bikes do not have suspension, some models are equipped with front suspension to afford a smoother ride on uneven terrain. If you’re planning on traversing particularly rough terrain, a bike with suspension could be a good choice.
Now that we have covered some of the primary factors to consider when selecting a gravel bike, let’s examine some of the top options currently available in the market.
The Specialized Diverge is a multifaceted and proficient gravel bike, designed to handle a multitude of terrains. It boasts a lightweight carbon frame, broad tyre clearance, and a range of groupset options to meet your needs. The Future Shock front suspension system offers extra comfort on rugged terrain, making it an excellent choice for lengthy rides.
The Cannondale Topstone is a high-performance gravel bike, designed to tackle even the most challenging terrains. It showcases a lightweight aluminium frame, a carbon fork for added rigidity, and a selection of groupset options to meet your needs. The Kingpin rear suspension system offers extra comfort on rugged terrain, making it an excellent choice for extended rides.
The Trek Checkpoint is a versatile and reliable gravel bike, designed for all-day adventures. It sports a lightweight aluminium frame, wide tyre clearance, and a range of groupset options to meet your needs. The IsoSpeed decoupler offers extra comfort on rugged terrain, making it an excellent choice for lengthy rides.
The Giant Revolt is a capable and affordable gravel bike, designed to handle a range of terrains. It comes with a lightweight aluminium frame, wide tyre clearance, and a range of groupset options to meet your needs. The D-Fuse seatpost and handlebar system offer extra comfort on rough terrain, making it a great choice for extended rides.
The Salsa Warbird is a high-performance gravel bike, designed for racing and long-distance riding. It features a lightweight carbon frame, wide tyre clearance, and a range of groupset options to meet your needs. The Class 5 Vibration Reduction System provides extra comfort on rough terrain, making it an excellent choice for long rides.