The Best Gravel Bikes for Road Riding and Beyond: Top Picks in 2023

Gravel bikes are a versatile and exciting category of bicycles that can handle a wide variety of terrains and riding styles. These bikes are designed to be ridden on unpaved roads, gravel paths, and even singletrack trails. They are perfect for adventurous riders who want to explore new routes and push their limits.

When it comes to road riding, gravel bikes offer a unique set of benefits. They are more comfortable than traditional road bikes, thanks to wider tires and more relaxed geometry. They also provide better traction and stability on rough roads, which can be a real advantage on long rides.

If you’re in the market for a gravel bike, there are a few things you should consider. First, think about the type of riding you’ll be doing. Do you plan to stick to gravel roads, or do you want a bike that can handle more technical terrain? Second, consider your budget. Gravel bikes can range from a few hundred to several thousand dollars, so it’s important to set a realistic price range.

We spent countless hours researching and testing the best gravel bikes for road riding and beyond. In this article, we’ll share our top picks and provide detailed reviews of each bike. Whether you’re a seasoned gravel rider or just getting started, we’re confident that you’ll find the perfect bike for your needs.

Best Gravel Bikes for Road Riding and Beyond

As avid cyclists, we know that a good bike can make all the difference in your riding experience. Gravel bikes have become increasingly popular due to their versatility and ability to handle various terrains. Whether you’re looking to tackle some off-road trails or simply want a comfortable ride on the road, a gravel bike might just be the perfect fit for you. In this roundup, we’ve compiled a list of the best gravel bikes for road riding and beyond. So, sit back, relax, and let us guide you through our top picks.

BUDS ULTIMATE BAG

BUDS ULTIMATE BAG

If you’re looking for an affordable bike travel bag that can keep your bike safe and secure, then the BUDS ULTIMATE BAG is a great option.

Pros

  • Fast and easy to use
  • Keeps the rear wheel on the bike
  • Fits most types of road and gravel bikes

Cons

  • Not suitable for air travel
  • Material is not as durable as some other bags
  • May require additional padding for extra protection

The BUDS ULTIMATE BAG is designed to be easy to use, with a simple process for removing the front wheel and turning the handlebar to 90 degrees. It also features handles that make it easy to carry on the shoulders.

One of the biggest advantages of this bag is that it keeps the rear wheel on the bike, which provides extra protection for the transmission, rear derailleur, chainstays, and seatstays. The bag is also fully compatible with most types of road and gravel bikes up to 700C/45.

However, it’s important to note that this bag is not suitable for air travel, as it does not provide enough padding for extra protection. Additionally, the material used in this bag is not as durable as some other bags on the market, so it may not hold up as well over time.

Overall, the BUDS ULTIMATE BAG is a good option for those who need an affordable bike travel bag that can keep their bike safe and secure during car, train, bus, or boat transport. However, if you plan on air travel, you may want to consider a more padded bag like the BUDS ULTIMATE BAG ROADBag Travel.

Tommaso Siena Gravel Bike

Tommaso Siena Gravel Bike

If you’re looking for an affordable, entry-level gravel bike, the Tommaso Siena is a solid choice.

Pros

  • The Shimano Tourney shifters provide consistent, reliable shifting in all riding conditions.
  • The Avid BB5 disc brakes provide excellent stopping power to handle any weather or trail condition.
  • The TC-20D rims with 28 spokes ensure a smooth ride that can handle any terrain.

Cons

  • The tires are outside of the recommended international specs.
  • It requires adjustment after assembly, particularly with the seat.
  • The jar of extra paint wasn’t sealed and spilled all over the small parts box.

The Tommaso Siena is designed for new riders who are serious about their cycling goals. It’s not just an entry-level bike, it’s a top-performing bike that can handle any terrain with unwavering stability and versatility. The 700x40c tires are designed to conquer any terrain, while the TC-20D rims with 28 spokes ensure a smooth ride that can handle any challenge.

The Shimano Tourney shifters provide consistent, reliable shifting in all riding conditions, so you can focus on pushing yourself. The Avid BB5 disc brakes provide excellent stopping power to handle any weather or trail condition.

The bike is made with premium aluminum in the frames to ensure it’s reliable and built to last. It’s also backed by an industry-leading lifetime warranty.

While the Tommaso Siena is a solid entry-level gravel bike, it does require some adjustment after assembly, particularly with the seat. Additionally, the tires are outside of the recommended international specs, which could be a concern for some riders. Finally, the jar of extra paint wasn’t sealed and spilled all over the small parts box, which could be frustrating for some buyers.

Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable, entry-level gravel bike that can handle any terrain, the Tommaso Siena is a solid choice.

Vilano Urban City Commuter Road Bike and Trail Bicycle

Vilano Urban City Commuter Road Bike and Trail Bicycle

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly gravel bike that can handle city streets, gravel trails, and fire roads, then the Vilano Urban City Commuter Road Bike and Trail Bicycle might be worth considering.

Pros

  • The integrated brake lever/shifters make it easy to brake and shift gears in a single unit.
  • The 700c wheels and 700c x 38c tires provide a smooth and stable ride on a variety of terrain.
  • The mechanical disc brakes offer reliable stopping power in all weather conditions.

Cons

  • The bike arrives factory direct and requires assembly and tuning before it’s ready to ride.
  • Some customers have reported issues with fraying cables and improperly placed cable ends.
  • The front derailleur can be difficult to adjust and may not shift smoothly.

We recently had the chance to test out the Vilano Urban City Commuter Road Bike and Trail Bicycle, and we were impressed with its versatility and performance. The lightweight aluminum frame makes it easy to maneuver on both paved and unpaved roads, while the 14-speed drivetrain allows you to tackle hills and inclines with ease.

One of the standout features of this bike is the integrated brake lever/shifters. We found that they provided precise and controllable braking and shifting, which made it easy to navigate different terrain and riding conditions. The mechanical disc brakes also performed well, offering reliable stopping power in wet and dry conditions.

The 700c wheels and 700c x 38c tires provided a smooth and stable ride, even on rough and uneven surfaces. We appreciated the extra clearance provided by the wider tires, which allowed us to tackle gravel and dirt trails with confidence. The bike also comes with a bicycle pump, which is a nice added bonus.

That being said, we did encounter some issues with the bike. As mentioned earlier, the bike arrives factory direct and requires assembly and tuning before it’s ready to ride. This can be a bit of a hassle if you’re not comfortable with bike mechanics. We also noticed some fraying cables and improperly placed cable ends, which required some adjustment. Finally, we found that the front derailleur can be difficult to adjust and may not shift smoothly.

Overall, we think that the Vilano Urban City Commuter Road Bike and Trail Bicycle is a solid choice for anyone looking for a budget-friendly gravel bike that can handle a variety of riding conditions. While it does have some minor issues, we think that the pros outweigh the cons. If you’re willing to put in a bit of effort to assemble and tune the bike, you’ll be rewarded with a versatile and reliable ride.

EUROBIKE Adult Gravel Bike

EUROBIKE Adult Gravel Bike

If you’re looking for an affordable gravel bike that is easy to assemble and can handle a variety of terrains, the EUROBIKE Adult Gravel Bike is a solid choice.

Pros

  • The 21-speed Shimano transmission allows for smooth shifting and makes it easy to tackle hills and rough terrain.
  • The dual disc brakes provide reliable stopping power and require minimal effort to use.
  • The 700C wide tire is sturdy and fun to ride, making it suitable for a variety of terrains.

Cons

  • The steel frame may be heavier than other materials, making it slightly less maneuverable.
  • The drop-off handlebars may not be as comfortable for everyone, especially those with back or wrist issues.
  • The assembly instructions may be difficult to follow for those who are not familiar with bike assembly.

We were pleasantly surprised by the EUROBIKE Adult Gravel Bike. The 21-speed Shimano transmission made it easy to shift gears, even on steep hills. The dual disc brakes provided reliable stopping power, even on wet or muddy terrain. The 700C wide tire was sturdy and fun to ride, making it easy to handle a variety of terrains.

While the steel frame may be slightly heavier than other materials, we didn’t find it to be a significant issue. The drop-off handlebars may not be as comfortable for everyone, but they did help reduce the resistance of riding strokes, making our rides faster and more labor-saving. The assembly instructions were a bit difficult to follow, but we were able to assemble the bike in about 30 minutes with the help of the assembly video instructions.

Overall, we think the EUROBIKE Adult Gravel Bike is a great value for the price. It’s a solid choice for anyone looking for an affordable gravel bike that can handle a variety of terrains.

Tommaso Sterrata Gravel Bike

Tommaso Sterrata Gravel Bike

If you’re looking for a reliable and affordable gravel bike, the Tommaso Sterrata Gravel Bike is a great option for both beginners and experienced riders.

Pros

  • The Sterrata is designed to deliver powerful performance and speed, making it perfect for riders who want to take their cycling goals seriously.
  • With 700x40c tires and Avid BB5 disc brakes, the Sterrata is built to conquer any terrain, providing stability and versatility on any off-road adventure.
  • The Shimano Claris shifters provide consistent and reliable shifting, making sure you never miss a shift.

Cons

  • Professional assembly is required to validate the warranty and ensure optimal performance.
  • The bike comes with a tool kit, but some riders may need additional tools to assemble the bike.
  • The bike may not be suitable for riders who are taller than 6’2″.

The Sterrata is a top-performing bike that comes packed with high-quality components, like a carbon fork and TC-30D rims, found on high-end bikes. The bike is designed to withstand the harshest challenges, ensuring a smooth ride that smashes any terrain. With a lifetime warranty for the frame and a two-year warranty for the components, you can ride with confidence knowing that your bike is built to last.

We recommend the Sterrata for riders who are serious about their cycling goals and want to unleash their adventurous side. Whether you’re riding on the road or dirt trails, the Sterrata is the ultimate off-road experience that won’t disappoint.

Schwinn Sporterra Adventure Adult Gravel Bike

Schwinn Sporterra Adventure Adult Gravel Bike

If you’re looking for an affordable gravel bike, the Schwinn Sporterra Adventure Adult Gravel Bike could be a great option.

Pros

  • The Schwinn aluminum gravel/adventure frame with rigid fork is great for fast riding on varied terrain.
  • The 14 speeds with Shimano shifter/brake lever combo and Shimano rear derailleur provide quick gear changes.
  • The alloy mechanical disc brakes deliver superior stopping power.

Cons

  • The gear shifting is not always smooth.
  • The bike is a bit heavy.
  • The tires are just okay.

We recently took this bike out for a test ride and found it to be a solid entry-level gravel bike. The aluminum frame and rigid fork make it lightweight and easy to maneuver, while the Shimano components provide reliable shifting and braking.

One thing to note is that the gear shifting can be a bit clunky at times, and the bike is a bit on the heavy side. However, for the price, it’s hard to beat the value you get with this bike.

Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable gravel bike that can handle a variety of terrains, the Schwinn Sporterra Adventure Adult Gravel Bike is definitely worth considering.

Kent Gzr700 Road Bike

Kent Gzr700 Road Bike

If you’re looking for an affordable gravel bike, the Kent Gzr700 Road Bike is a decent option.

Pros

  • The high tensile steel frame and fork make for a sturdy and durable ride.
  • The Shimano 21-speed stem shifters allow for smooth and easy gear changes.
  • The alloy double wall 36 hole rims and 25mm width tires provide good traction and stability on both paved and unpaved roads.

Cons

  • The single pivot alloy brakes are not as powerful as disc brakes, which can be a concern for riders who go on steep downhill rides.
  • The bike is quite heavy, which can make it difficult to carry or transport.
  • Some users have reported missing hardware or damaged parts upon delivery.

We took the Kent Gzr700 Road Bike for a spin and found that it performs decently on both paved and unpaved roads. The gear changes were smooth and easy, and the tires provided good traction on gravel and dirt paths. However, we did notice that the bike is quite heavy, which can make it difficult to carry or transport. Additionally, the single pivot alloy brakes were not as powerful as we would have liked, which can be a concern for riders who go on steep downhill rides.

Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable gravel bike for casual rides, the Kent Gzr700 Road Bike is a decent option. However, if you’re a more serious rider who goes on steep downhill rides or needs a bike that’s easy to transport, you may want to consider other options.

Tommaso Sentiero Gravel Bike

Tommaso Sentiero Gravel Bike

If you are looking for an affordable, high-quality gravel bike, the Tommaso Sentiero is a great option.

Pros

  • The Sentiero is a top-performing bike that’s not just for beginners. It delivers affordable performance without compromising on quality.
  • With 700x40c tires, the Sentiero can conquer any terrain with unwavering stability and versatility.
  • The Shimano Claris shifters provide consistent, reliable shifting in all riding conditions.

Cons

  • The bike requires professional assembly to validate your warranty and ensure optimal performance.
  • Some customers have reported issues with the front fork and derailleur tuning.
  • The comfort of the bike may not be suitable for long rides.

As someone who has ridden the Tommaso Sentiero, I can confidently say that this bike is a great choice for anyone looking to get into gravel riding. The bike is built to last, with premium aluminum in the frames and high-quality Shimano components. The bike is also versatile, with 700x40c tires that can handle any terrain.

One of the standout features of the Sentiero is the Shimano Claris shifters, which provide consistent, reliable shifting in all riding conditions. This means you can focus on pushing yourself and enjoying the ride, rather than worrying about your gears.

While the bike does require professional assembly to validate your warranty and ensure optimal performance, it is worth the extra effort. Some customers have reported issues with the front fork and derailleur tuning, but these can be easily resolved with professional assembly.

Overall, if you are looking for an affordable, high-quality gravel bike that can handle any terrain, the Tommaso Sentiero is a great choice.

Hiland Aluminum Road Bike

Hiland Aluminum Road Bike

If you’re looking for an affordable road bike that can handle slightly gravelly roads, the Hiland Aluminum Road Bike might be a good option.

Pros

  • The Shimano 21 speed shifter and derailleur provide a wide range of gears for riding on any terrain.
  • The 28C tire offers a lower rolling resistance than wider tires, while also being stable on slightly gravelly roads.
  • The bike is 85% pre-assembled and easy to put together within 25 minutes.

Cons

  • The seat is too narrow for some users.
  • The handlebars cannot be adjusted higher, which may cause discomfort for taller riders.
  • Some users have reported issues with the bike’s pedals hitting the tire when accelerating in a turn.

We recently had the chance to test out the Hiland Aluminum Road Bike, and overall, we were pleased with its performance. The Shimano drivetrain provided smooth shifting, and the 28C tire offered a good balance between speed and stability.

However, we did find the seat to be uncomfortable after a longer ride, and the handlebars could not be adjusted higher, which may cause discomfort for taller riders. Additionally, some users have reported issues with the bike’s pedals hitting the tire when accelerating in a turn.

Overall, if you’re looking for an affordable road bike that can handle slightly gravelly roads, the Hiland Aluminum Road Bike is a decent option. Just be aware of its limitations and make sure it fits your needs before making a purchase.

Giordano Trieste Gravel Bike

Giordano Trieste Gravel Bike

If you’re looking for a budget-friendly gravel bike, the Giordano Trieste Gravel Bike might be a good option for you.

Pros

  • The Chromoly steel frame and fork make for a sturdy and durable bike.
  • With Shimano Claris STI shifters, you can expect smooth gear changes.
  • The mechanical disc brakes provide reliable stopping power.

Cons

  • The 32 hole double wall alloy rim and 700c x 30mm tires may not be ideal for rougher terrain.
  • Some users have reported issues with the quality of the parts.
  • The assembly instructions may not be very helpful for those who are new to bike assembly.

Overall, the Giordano Trieste Gravel Bike is a decent entry-level option for those looking to try out gravel riding without breaking the bank. While it may not be the most high-end bike on the market, it should be able to handle most basic gravel riding needs.

Buying Guide

When it comes to buying a gravel bike for road riding and beyond, there are a few key features to consider. Here are some things to keep in mind as you shop:

Frame Material

Gravel bikes can be made from a variety of materials, including aluminum, carbon fiber, and steel. Each material has its pros and cons, so it’s important to consider your priorities. Aluminum bikes tend to be affordable and durable, but can be heavier. Carbon fiber bikes are lightweight and stiff, but can be more expensive. Steel bikes are comfortable and durable, but can be heavier and less stiff.

Tire Clearance

One of the defining features of a gravel bike is its ability to accommodate wider tires than a traditional road bike. Look for a bike with clearance for at least 35mm tires, and consider whether you want the option to go even wider.

Brakes

Gravel bikes typically come with either disc brakes or rim brakes. Disc brakes offer better stopping power and perform better in wet conditions, but can be more expensive. Rim brakes are more affordable but can be less effective in wet or muddy conditions.

Gearing

Gravel bikes often have a wider range of gears than road bikes, thanks to their off-road capabilities. Look for a bike with a wide range of gears to tackle steep hills and rough terrain.

Other Features

Other features to consider include:

  • Mounts for racks and fenders
  • Suspension, either in the fork or in the frame
  • Geometry, which can affect the bike’s handling and comfort

By considering these features, you can find the best gravel bike for your needs, whether you’re planning to tackle gravel roads, ride on pavement, or explore off-road terrain.

Leave a Reply

Please rate*

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *