9 Best Gravel Bikes Under $1000 (2020) – Reviews

Are you looking for a bike that can perform well in just about any situation? A gravel bike is a perfect choice for you. They’re fast on the road but still give you the freedom to explore some trails. Just a few years ago you only had a handful of gravel bike options to choose from, but now there are hundreds. How do you know which is the best for you while staying within a $1,000 budget? 

IMAGEPRODUCTDETAILS
Tommaso Sterrata
  • Features: Aluminum frame, carbon fiber fork, all terrain rims, Shimano Claris components
  • Benefits: Perfect combination of quality features and Italian design ready to take on anything
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Raleigh Women’s Amelia 1
  • Features: 6061 Aluminum alloy frame, 35mm wide tires, mechanical disc brakes
  • Benefits: Quality components, reasonable price and designed to fit womens’ geometry
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Hiland Hybrid Fitness Bike
  • Features: Aluminum frame, Shimano components, disc brakes and flat handlebars
  • Benefits: Lightweight yet sturdy construction, durable components and good stopping power
CHECK LATEST PRICE

We’ve made it easy by studying pages and pages of performance reviews, spec sheets and component lists. Hands down the best gravel bike under $1,000 is the Tommaso Sterrata. You get an Italian designed bike with a lightweight aluminum frame, carbon fork and Shimano Claris components, all for well under $1,000!

Check out our full review below, along with nine other great options for the best gravel bikes under $1,000. Do you really understand what makes a gravel bike different from others? Don’t miss the buyer’s guide so you know exactly how to choose the best bike for you!


9 Best Gravel Bikes Under $1000

1. Tommaso Sterrata – Best Overall

The Tommaso brand has been around since 1985 and is gaining popularity as a brand that has good bikes with quality components for a price that won’t leave your wallet empty. 

The Tommaso Sterrata is no different. You get a sleek aluminum frame that is lightweight and durable. Despite being a sub $1,000 bike, you even get a carbon fiber fork for maximum vibration dampening and lightweight comfort. The frame and fork even come with Tommaso’s lifetime warranty so you know you’re getting a quality product.

As mentioned in our buyer’s guide, having a wide range of gears is important for a gravel bike’s versatility. The Tommaso Sterrata has 24 different gears that range from low gears for climbing steep heels and high gears for smooth open road speed.

The Sterrata has Avid BB5 disc brakes so you can be sure to have plenty of stopping power no matter what the terrain or weather.

Features: Aluminum frame, carbon fiber fork, all-terrain rims, Shimano Claris components

Pros

  • Carbon fiber fork for lightweight vibration dampening
  • Shimano Claris 24 gear components
  • Compact frame geometry designed for versatile comfort

Cons

  • Assembly can be difficult if you’re not mechanically inclined

2. Raleigh Women’s Amelia 1 – Best Pick for Women

Looking for a quality women’s gravel bike that won’t break the bank? The Raleigh Amelia 1 is a great choice. Raleigh makes some of the best mid-range bikes out there and the Amelia is one of their best for hybrid gravel bikes.

It’s designed with a smaller frame size, a shorter stem and cranks and a women’s specific saddle. Even the handlebars are narrower to comfortably accommodate a woman’s smaller frame. 

You can ride comfortably on just about any terrain thanks to the 35mm wide tires with a tread that is smooth on the roads and grippy enough for dirt trails. The Shimano Claris shifters and gear-set give you 16 different gears to choose from.

Some bikes are shipped in what seems like a thousand pieces, but the Raleigh Amelia 1 is shipped 95% assembled so you can quickly get it together and start riding.

Features: 6061 Aluminum alloy frame, 35mm wide tires, mechanical disc brakes

Pros

  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Comes 95% assembled
  • Mechanical disc brakes

Cons

  • The gear range isn’t as wide as some of our other options

3. Hiland Hybrid Fitness Bike – Best Budget Option

It’s easy to see why we chose the Hiland Hybrid Fitness Bike for our best gravel bike if you’re on a budget. It’s amazing to think that you can get so many nice features for such a low price point. The Hiland Hybrid has a light and durable aluminum frame that’s even backed by a lifetime warranty.

Shimano Tourney and Altus shifting components give you easy shifting for the wide range of 24 gears. You also get front and rear mechanical disc brakes for maximum stopping power. The Hiland Hybrid has flat handlebars for a more aggressive riding style that’s well suited for rough trails and bumpy roads. 

Don’t worry about grip thanks to the Kenda high-performance 40mm wide tires. They’re wide enough for some dirt trails but still smooth enough for speed and efficiency on the road.

Features: Lightweight aluminum frame, mechanical disc brakes, Shimano Altus and Tourney drivetrain

Pros

  • Nice features for such a cheap price
  • 40mm wide Kendal tires
  • Mechanical disc brakes

Cons

  • Only comes 85% assembled

4. Schwinn Vantage Rx 2

The Schwinn Wantage Rx 2 is the most expensive option on our list but with good reason. It has some features you won’t find on any other gravel bike on this list.

The lightweight aluminum frame features an elastomer soft tail suspension to soften the dirt road bumps. You also get a Shimano Sora drivetrain with 16 different gear options.

It has quality Continental 35mm wide tires with flat protection and enough grip for your dirt road adventures. And if you’re a tall rider you’ll like the fact that the Vantage Rx 2 comes in four different sizes to accommodate riders up to 6’4” tall.

Features: Aluminum frame and carbon fork, Shimano Sora shifters and derailleurs, elastomer soft-tail suspension

Pros

  • Comes in a variety of sizes 
  • Fits up to 44mm wide tires
  • Carbon fork

Cons

  • Our most expensive option (This might not be a problem for you)

5. Salsa Journeyman 650

The Salsa Journeyman 650 is a great option if you like the drop handlebars of a road bike but want some wider tires for rougher roads and trails. The Journeyman 650 has 2.1” or 53mm wide tires which are similar to those found on some mountain bikes. 

It’s ready to take on long backcountry trips thanks to the frameset mounts so you can add racks, fenders and backpacking accessories. Your extra gear might add weight but you won’t have to worry about the frame weighing you down since it’s made from lightweight aluminum.

Features: 2.1” tires, 16 speeds, Shimano Claris shifters and derailleurs, aluminum frame and fork

Pros

  • Aluminum frame and fork
  • Shimano Claris components
  • 2.1” wide tires for good off-road performance

Cons

  • Some would prefer a larger crankset upfront 

6. Tommaso Sentiero 

Here’s another great option from the Tommaso bike family. It’s similar to our top choice, the Tommaso Sterrata, but it lacks the carbon fiber front fork. Instead, it has a steel front fork which is durable but heavier than the carbon fiber and doesn’t do as well at dampening vibrations coming from the front wheel.

It’s still a solid choice for a gravel bike. It has Shimano Claris shifters, derailleurs, crankset and cassette so you’re sure to get smooth shifting throughout the wide range of 24 gears.

Similar to the Sterrata you get 40mm wide wheels and Avid disc brakes for good stopping power. 

Features: Aluminum frame and steel fork, Shimano Claris components, 40mm wide tires

Pros

  • Aluminum frame and durable steel fork
  • Shimano Claris components
  • 40mm wide tires

Cons

  • The assembly may be a bit complicated (It’s best to get a bike shop to do it.)

7. RALEIGH Bikes Willard 1

If you’d like to stick with a gravel bike from the Raleigh brand then the Willard 1 is the choice for you. The 35mm wide tires are great for the morning commute on rough city streets or the ride on a gravel country road.

The Willard 1 has an aluminum frame, fork, wheels and even crankshafts. The combination of these lightweight components means it only weighs a little over 24 pounds.

Riding in the rain? Don’t ever worry about having enough stopping power thanks to the Tektro Lyra disc brakes.

Features: Aluminum frame, Tektro Lyra disc brakes, 35mm wide tires, aluminum cranks

Pros

  • Aluminum frame, fork and cranks
  • 16-speed Shimano Claris gearset
  • Tektro Lyra disc brakes

Cons

  • Some might prefer more than 16 gears

8. Mongoose Artery 

The Mongoose Artery is another good budget option on our list of gravel bikes. It has a mountain bike inspired design thanks to the shifting components, frame design and flat handlebars.

The thinner 38mm tires make the difference and give you more smooth efficiency while riding on the roads. It also features a lightweight aluminum frame and a durable steel front fork.

Features: Aluminum frame and steel fork, Shimano Altus/Tourney drivetrain, 38mm wide tires

Pros

  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Shimano Altus/Tourney drivetrain and shifters
  • Affordable price

Cons

  • No disc brakes 

9. Diamondback Haanjo 2

A cool option from Diamondback, the Haanjo 2 is a solid combination of features that make this a great hybrid gravel bike that is perfect for anything from the morning commute to cross-country touring on rough roads.

You get a lightweight aluminum frame that’s durable and doesn’t weigh you down. The steel fork adds some extra weight but will be sure to stand up to even the bumpiest of roads.

Shift smoothly through the 16 gears thanks to the Shimano Claris components. The Tektro Lyra disc brakes make sure you have plenty of braking power no matter how fast you’re going. You may also like our guide on the best hybrid bikes under 500 dollars.

Features: Aluminum frame and steel fork, Shimano Claris components, aluminum cranks, Tektro Lyra disc brakes

Pros

  • Aluminum frame and cranks
  • Shimano Claris components
  • Quality disc brakes

Cons

  • The steel fork is durable, but it adds some weight.

10. Giordano Trieste

The Giordano Trieste is a solid gravel bike choice from this Italian inspired bike brand. The Chromoly steel frame adds a little extra weight but it is extremely durable and long-lasting to take mile after mile of gravel road punishment.

The 30mm wide tires provide exceptional performance on both paved and gravel roads. The Shimano components ensure smooth shifting through its 16 gears and the disc brakes make sure you can safely stop whenever and wherever you are.

Features: Durable Chromoly steel frame, 16 gear Shimano Claris drivetrain, disc brakes, 30mm wide tires

Pros

  • Durable, long-lasting steel frame
  • 30mm tires for efficient road and smooth trail riding
  • Reasonable price

Cons

  • On the heavy side

Gravel Bikes Under $1,000 – Buyer’s Guide

Although the best gravel bikes are made to ride just about anywhere, you still need to consider a few of the following things when buying so you’re sure to get the best option for you and your riding style.

  • Where You Plan to Ride
  • Tire Width
  • Frame Material
  • Handlebar Shape
  • Gear Range

Where You Plan to Ride

When you think about where you plan to ride, you might be thinking, “Everywhere!” And it is true that gravel bikes are made to be ridden just about anywhere. But even amongst gravel bikes, there are some that are closer in style to mountain bikes and others that more resemble road bikes. You may also like the best comfort bike riding guide here.

That’s why the first thing you should think about before buying is where you plan to ride. Do you plan on riding mostly on roads while occasionally venturing out onto a flat and relatively smooth gravel trail? In this case, a gravel bike that more resembles a road bike is the best option so you can still get optimum performance on smooth roads. And if you remember to invest in a good bike rack. You can see our latest post on the best trunk bike rack reviews here.

Will you be riding mostly on gravel roads and the occasional rough mountain trail? Then you should choose a bike with more aggressive tires that is closer to a mountain bike design, however if your a beginner we recommend checking out our guide on the best entry-level road bike reviews here.

Once you’ve defined where you’ll be riding your new gravel bike, you can move on to a few other considerations to refine even further the type of bike you need.

Tire Width

Tire width is one of the first differences you’ll notice when looking at gravel bikes. Bike tire widths are measured either in millimeters or inches. Road bike tires usually are 28mm (1 ⅛”) or thinner whereas mountain bikes usually have tires that are 52mm (2 ¼”) or wider. 

When choosing a gravel bike, look for something in between. If you’re planning on staying mostly on paved roads and the occasional gravel road, then go for a thinner hybrid tire.

If you’re going to spend most of your time on dirt roads and some rough trails, then a wider tire will be better for you since you’ll need extra grip and stability. 

Frame Material

There are so many different types of metals, alloys and composite frame materials out there, it can make it hard to know which to choose. They all offer a different combination of strength, weight and price.

When looking for a gravel bike under $1000, your frame materials are more limited. You won’t find titanium or carbon fiber frames in this price range. Most of the gravel bikes on our list have aluminum frames.

Aluminum frames have come down in price in recent years and are even appearing on some bikes in budget price ranges. Aluminum frames offer a good combination of durability and lightweight.

If you’re on a tight budget, look for a bike with Chromoly Steel. It’s cheaper than the other materials, but when properly shaped, it’ll still be lightweight and strong. In fact, a lot of college students have a bike with Chromoly Steel. You can see our guide on the best bikes for college students here.

Handlebar Shape

The handlebar shape can also tell you a lot about where the gravel bike was designed to be ridden. Some gravel bikes have a drop bar, like the kind usually found on road bikes. With a drop bar, you can assume a more aggressive and aerodynamic position so you can achieve maximum speed.

Other gravel bikes have flat bar handlebars just like normal mountain bikes. These allow you to have a little more control when on rough trails. 

In our list of the 10 best gravel bikes, you’ll find choices with both types of handlebars so you can choose the best one for you.

Gear Range

Mountain bikes and road bikes usually have different types of gear ranges. When riding on mountain trails, you often come to places where you have to carefully climb a rough trail going up the side of a steep hill. A very low gear ratio comes in handy in these situations.

That doesn’t happen much on smooth roads, so road bikes have higher gear ratios that way you can go as fast as possible.

You May Also Like: best folding exercise bikes & the best bike for seniors

Since gravel bikes are meant to be ridden in both situations, the most versatile ones have a wide range of gear options. Take for example our pick for the best gravel bike under $1000, the Tommaso Sterrata. 

It has a 3×8 Shimano Claris Groupset, meaning there are three gears in the front crankset and eight gears in the rear cassette. The rear cassette has gears with 12-25 teeth. The front crankset has three gears with 30, 39 and 50 teeth. This will give a very wide range of gear ratios so you can always find exactly the one you need whether you’re on a wide-open paved road or a steep mountain trail.

Our list of the 10 best gravel bikes for under $1,000 has a nice variety of options with different tire sizes, frame materials, handlebar styles and gears ratios. Check them out now!


Final Thoughts on Gravel Bikes Under $1,000

We know you’ll be happy with our top choice for the best gravel bike under $1000, the Tommaso Sterrata. The Italian design, lightweight aluminum frame, carbon fork and Shimano Claris components don’t disappoint and you get it all for well under $1000!

Are you ready to ride wherever your heart desires? Mountain trails, gravel back roads and city streets are all calling and you’ll be ready with your new gravel bike.

IMAGEPRODUCTDETAILS
Tommaso Sterrata
  • Features: Aluminum frame, carbon fiber fork, all terrain rims, Shimano Claris components
  • Benefits: Perfect combination of quality features and Italian design ready to take on anything
CHECK LATEST PRICE
Raleigh Women’s Amelia 1
  • Features: 6061 Aluminum alloy frame, 35mm wide tires, mechanical disc brakes
  • Benefits: Quality components, reasonable price and designed to fit womens’ geometry
CHECK LATEST PRICE
Hiland Hybrid Fitness Bike
  • Features: Aluminum frame, Shimano components, disc brakes and flat handlebars
  • Benefits: Lightweight yet sturdy construction, durable components and good stopping power
CHECK LATEST PRICE

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Austin Mills

Austin Mills in an outdoor enthusiast. He's been featured on some of the top outdoor & fitness blogs sharing his expertise in order to help others. In his free time, he likes spending time with his dogs enjoying the outdoors.

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