The 5 Best Gravel Bikes Under $1,500 Reviewed
Gravel bikes are unique from mountain bikes in that they prioritize control over shock absorption and response time over speed. Gravel bikes are made to take on unstable terrain while still affording you total control, meaning their construction is geared towards allowing you to truly feel the road beneath you. Gravel bikes feature a flat or tilted handlebar design to allow you total control over your bike, as well as a low shock frame that is made to let you really feel the road. The braking system on a great gravel bike is made to respond instantly, no matter the weather, and the overall frame construction on a great gravel bike combines a lightweight frame with durability that’s hard to beat. Of course, a great gravel bike also features an incredible drivetrain to help ensure you can take on even the steepest of hills, but compared to a mountain bike, the real focus is on allowing you to adapt to an ever-changing terrain while you bike.
Choosing the right gravel bike for you requires considering several features. The first thing to keep in mind is the overall use you’re hoping to get out of your gravel bike. Unlike a hybrid bike, gravel bikes are more specialized than their counterparts, meaning they are ideal for use on less-than-smooth surfaces. This doesn’t mean you can’t use your gravel bike on paved surfaces, you may just be better served to invest in a road bike or hybrid bike to take on that kind of terrain. Conversely, gravel bikes aren’t made to take on hills, at least not exclusively. While they are made to adapt to the trail and take on rough terrain, they do not traditionally have the gears nor the shocks to take on mountain biking trails, making them better suited for dirt or gravel roads. However, when looking for a bike to take on rougher roads with ease, it’s hard to find a bike that can compete with the gravel bike.
Once you’re sure a gravel bike will work for your biking needs, there are a few things to consider. First, you want to make sure you’re investing in a bike that will last you for years to come. Second, you want to keep in mind that the average gravel bike trades out shock absorbers for control over the road, meaning the ride may not be as smooth as some other mountain bikes. However, for the level of control and responsiveness you get out of the bike, the tradeoff is well worth it. Now that you have a general idea of what to expect from your gravel bike, let’s get into the bikes themselves. We’ve gone ahead and found the best gravel bikes on the market today, so you can rest easy knowing you’re investing in a bike that will last you for years to come. We’ve taken into consideration things like overall features, control, durability, and of course, customer reviews, so you can rest assured you’re getting the best gravel bike for under $1,500 available on the market today. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the bikes.
Best Gravel Bikes Under $1,500
1. Tommaso Sentiero Shimano Claris Gravel Bike
The Tommaso Sentiero Shimano Claris Gravel Bike has much more to offer than just its long name. This is a great example of an incredible gravel bike. The first thing to keep in mind is the hardtail design, which allows you to truly feel betrayal under you, allowing you to compensate for rougher rides. The next thing to keep in mind is this bike features a disc brake system, offering you the grip you need mother the weather or terrain. This bike has mid-sized all-terrain tires with suitable tread to make sure that you don’t end up off the road. The frame is only with them, as you can expect from a bike of this design, and the steel fork gives you added durability, ensuring that this bike will last for hundreds if not thousands of rides.
Despite comes in a size made for those up to six feet tall, giving some diversity to the range of people who can use this bike thankfully, the adjustable seat allows for customization, allowing you to get the comfortable ride you crave. This is an incredible gravel bike for the price point and is perfect for those who have played around a bit with the idea of gravel biking or off-roading, and are looking to invest in a higher quality bike. It covers all the bases, has all the features you’d expect from a great gravel bike, and comes at a price point that won’t make you feel like you’re getting ripped off. As far as our top recommendation for a gravel bike, it’s hardly surprising that the Tommaso Sentiero Shimano Claris Gravel Bike is at the top of our list.
2. Domane AL 3 Disc
You can hardly put together a list of the best bikes on the market without including Trek. The Domane AL 3 Disc When’s the award for one of the most beautiful gravel bikes on the market today. It’s hard to pull your eyes away from this sleek design that’s made to help you really feel the road under you. All the tires are on a thinner side compared to some of the other entries on our list, the overall quality of this bike over shines the tires themselves. The shifter is specifically tailored to make sure that you have total control over your speed no matter what terrain you’re taking on, and the disc brake system ensures that you stop whenever and wherever you mean to. While this may seem like a standard feature, when it comes to taking on less than ideal terrain, a set of working brakes is a must-have.
It’s hard to boil down the true essence of this bike, but the lightweight frame and the carbon fork quality parts, and plenty of gears to choose from, bump this bike up easily to our second-place spot. If you’re looking for a gravel bike for under $1,500, the Domane AL 3 Disc is sure to please.
3. Domane AL 2 Disc
We liked the Domane Al 3 Disc so much, we added it twice. We’re kidding, of course, there are some distinct differences between these two bikes, even though they both come with the quality you know and love from our friends over at Trek. sure, you could argue that this is the less upgraded version of the number 2 slot on our list, but this bike offers a lot of benefits. The biggest difference is frame construction. You get a lightweight aluminum frame with a carbon fork, making it a little bit lighter but also a little more malleable than the other bike on our list. This bike also features a 16-speed drivetrain, and integrated brakes so you can always keep your hands on the bars. The puncture-resistant tires, the sturdy wheels, and of course, the disc brakes, make this one of the best gravel bikes available in the market, especially for those looking to get a handle on the idea of gravel biking.
While it might seem strange to say, finding a bike that can grow with you as your biking skills progress is incredibly important, especially if you really want to get into biking. Thankfully, this bike can take you through that middle stage of learning how to off-road bike, offering you all the tools you need to take on the trail, without weighing you down. We can’t recommend the Domane Al 3 Disc highly enough to anyone looking for a great gravel bike under $1,500.
4. Royce Union Men’s Gravel Bike
This is a great mid-range gravel bike for anyone looking to up their biking experience. With large 700C wheels, a lightweight aluminum frame, and an incredible shifting derailleur, this is a great option for anyone looking to master the trail. This bike features 18 speeds and a set of dual disc brakes to really give you that stopping power you need on elevated terrain. This is a gravel bike that remembers that it’s made to go off-road, with a frame design that’s made to offer you the control you need on rougher terrain. While it is worth noting that some people find the seat that comes with this bike uncomfortable, the overall construction and ease of replacement makes this a non-issue.
One customer noted, “I am 5′ 10” and this bike is a good fit. I’ve dropped my time per mile by a minute. The gear shifting is good, after several adjustments. Out of the box, I would get a lot of “popping” on the lower, inside gears. Brakes are amazing! I ride mostly in a suburban area and have had to jam on them a couple of times due to a car not paying attention to a stop sign. I’ve gotten this bike to just over 23 MPH and it’s a smooth ride.” However, it is worth noting that writers over 6 feet tall did find they had some to overlap on the pedals, meaning this bike might not fit every rider. still, if you’re looking for a great gravel bike well within your price range, you don’t want to pass up the Royce Union Men’s Gravel Bike.
5. Tommaso Siena Shimano Tourney Gravel Bike
While this is the last bike on our list, don’t count it out just yet. The Tommaso Siena Shimano Tourney Gravel Bike Has everything you need for a gravel bike in one convenient package. While the seat may be a bit more uncomfortable than some of the others on the list, and the frame doesn’t support the carbon fork that you’ll find in some other bikes, this gravel bike is a great all-around bike for anyone looking to take their ride down the road less traveled by. this bike feature is disc brakes extra-wide tires and of course a lightweight aluminum frame made to be compact and lightweight enough to take with you. The steel fork does provide some shock absorption, will allow you to still feel the road beneath you. The 3×7 shifter Gives you more control over your ride, and of course, the flat handlebars and integrated breaking system allow you to adjust your speed without lifting your hands from the handlebars.
This bike is durable, reliable, and great for the introductory biker looking to invest in their first gravel bike. While it may not be comparable to some of the high-end bikes available in the market, for the price point, you are getting everything you need 2 up the overall quality of your daily bike ride. As one satisfied customer noted, “The bike went together very easily and without problems. After tuning the bike and adjust it for size, I took it for a ride around the block. I was amazed. The bike made no noise while riding at all, unlike my old mountain bike it was replacing. I shifted through the gears and was soon at top speed, what a rush. Braking was good also.” If you’re looking for a great gravel bike, the Tommaso Siena Shimano Tourney Gravel Bike is the right bike for you.
Whether you’re looking for the best gravel bike under $1,500 or are just wondering what the differences between a road bike and a hybrid bike are, we have countless articles at your disposal, to help you learn the ins and outs of bike shopping, without having to scour webpage after webpage. With our authoritative articles, you can shop for your next bike in a snap, allowing you to spend more time on the road and less time worrying about bike specs.