The 5 Best Gravel Bikes Under $2,000 Reviewed
Gravel bikes are a kind of bike made to take on loose terrain. They have a lot in common with mountain bikes but are made to prioritize control over shock absorption, to help you feel the road under you and correct accordingly. Gravel bikes are made to be low to the road, to help you maintain your balance over less-than-ideal terrain, while still providing you the overall comfort you need to take on some of the more challenging trails out there. Most gravel bikes are made with tilted or flat handlebars to help you feel the road beneath you, as well as minimal shock absorption to help ensure you ride comfortably, without feeling miles away from the trail beneath your wheels. Most gravel bikes are made for use with all-terrain tires or fat tires to help you have ample surface area to work with while you bike.
Of course, knowing what makes up a gravel bike and being able to choose the right gravel bike for you are two very different things, which is why we’re here to help. If you’re looking for the best gravel bikes on the market today, you’ve come to the right place. Choosing the right gravel bike can seem complicated, which is why we’ve taken the time to gather the best of the best gravel bikes into one convenient place, so you can invest in a new bike with confidence. However, it can seem daunting to choose the right gravel bike for you, which is why it’s important to keep a few key things in mind before investing.
The first thing to keep in mind is how specialized you would like your bike to be. The more you’re willing to invest in your gravel bike, the better the bike, but it is best to be upfront with yourself about how often you will be using your bike for its intended purpose. Gravel bikes are incredible for trail riding, as well as biking along unpaved roads or other less-than-smooth surfaces, allowing them to be used for commuting as well as trail riding. You want to invest in a bike you can see yourself riding, which means you should keep in mind things like overall comfort, fit, and features before investing. A good gravel bike should be lightweight but durable, have a comfortable handlebar setup that still offers optimal control over the road, and plenty of additional features that allow you to customize your ride to your style. Of course, you should also keep in mind things like brake design and drivetrain when looking for the right bike for your unique needs.
Now that you have a good idea of what to look for in your new gravel bike, it’s time to get to the bikes themselves. We’ve taken the time to round up the best of the best gravel bikes from across the market, so you can rest easy knowing you’re investing in the best gravel bike for under $2,000 out there today. We take into consideration things like overall features, construction, and of course, user reviews, to ensure you’re getting the best bike for your buck. Without further ado, let’s take a look at the best gravel bikes for under $2,000 available on the market today.
Best Gravel Bikes Under $2,000
1. Tommaso Sentiero Shimano Claris Gravel Bike
The Tommaso Sentiero Shimano Claris Gravel Bike easily holds the top spot on our list. This bike features disc brakes, wide tires, and a tilted handlebar set up that offers you greater control over your bike, no matter the terrain. This bike is made to take on everything from rough trails to smooth surfaces, with wide tires that provide added grip. The aluminum frame is paired with a steel fork for added durability without compromising on overall weight, and the overall rugged design allows you to take on even the toughest trails with ease. The 3×8 Shimano Claris Groupset gives you the gears you need to take on the steepest climbs or the smoothest roads with ease, giving you the control you crave no matter the terrain.
This bike is an incredible choice for anyone looking to take their biking to the next level, with improved tires from the 2018 edition that provides added grip and stability on even the loosest terrain. This bike prioritizes comfort and control with a compact frame made to help you hug the road while still offering you full control over your bike in even the most challenging of terrains. The Tommaso Sentiero Shimano Claris Gravel Bike is easily the top choice on our list due to its versatility, overall design, and of course, maneuverability, but don’t just take our word for it. Countless reviewers noted that this was a fantastic gravel bike for their needs, with one satisfied customer noting, “I love my bike! the shifting smooth it’s lightweight and it’s fast!” They did note it was well-worth having this bike put together at a shop, as a few of the components could be confusing to assemble to the untrained eye. However, overall this is an incredible gravel bike sure to please.
2. Checkpoint ALR 4
What can we say? It’s impossible to put together a list of the best of the best without going for a Trek bike. And what highlights the incredible design of Trek bikes more than the Checkpoint ALR 4? This aluminum gravel bike offers an incredible amount of control and features for its price point, with a focus on comfort and control that is unparalleled. The real shining point of the Checkpoint ALR 4 is how easily it transitions between surfaces. While the bike itself is built with gravel control in mind, it can transition to a packed trail or even a paved surface without a single hitch, making it an incredible investment for the all-around biker. The 2X10 Shimano GRX drivetrain features lower gears to help you get up the most challenging of hills, while the hydraulic brakes promise instant braking response time when you need it. As a bonus, the gravel tires give you the support you need while providing ample surface area to take on loose terrain.
This is an incredible bike made to take on even the most challenging of trails, with a construction that is optimized to provide comfort on uneven terrain, without compromising on control. If you’re looking for a great gravel bike that can bridge the gap between beginner and expert, gravel and pavement, the Checkpoint ALR 4 is an incredible investment that’s sure to last you for years to come. If you’re looking for one of the best bikes out there, you can’t go wrong with the Checkpoint ALR 4.
3. Domane AL 5 Disc
Okay, we couldn’t help but put two Trek bikes on this list. Can you blame us? The Domane AL 5 Disc is an alloy-frame gravel bike that looks like it’s ready to take on even the toughest of competitors. This bike is sleek, it’s incredibly engineered, and it’s comfortable; a combination that’s hard to resist. This is the quintessential gravel bike, with a hardtail design to help you truly feel the road and respond accordingly, and a comfortable handlebar design that allows you to react to the trail in real-time. The real selling point of this incredible bike is the hydraulic braking system, which allows you instantaneous braking power the second you need it, no matter the terrain.
This bike includes a 22-speed drivetrain to help you take on every surface, from hills to straightaways, and the aluminum frame is made to travel with you, without wearing out or weighing you down. This bike was made with comfort in mind, and the frame design combines the best parts of a mountain bike with the response time you crave from a gravel bike, for a ride that’s second to none. If you’re looking for a top-of-the-line gravel bike that will turn heads on the trail and help you perform like a professional, the Domane Al 5 Disc is an incredible investment that will serve you for years to come.
4. Tommaso Siena Shimano Tourney Gravel Bike
The Tommaso Siena Shimano Tourney Gravel Bike offers about as many features as it does names. This bike features an aluminum compact frame for reliable support that won’t weigh you down on longer treks. The 21-speed gearshift gives you the tools you need to ascend even the most terrifying of heights, while the disc braking system gives you a reliable response time for almost any descent. The handlebar design gives you the control you crave on less than ideal terrain, and the wider tires give you more surface area to work with. This is a decent gravel bike that’s made to grow with you as you improve your biking skills, and the solid frame construction helps you get a feel for the road as you ride.
It is worth noting that this is a fairly basic gravel bike, but it does have everything you need to start gravel biking. While a few customers noted that the seat was less than comfortable, this can be easily swapped out, and the overall quality of the bike itself makes up for a slightly solid seat, hands-down. If you’re looking for a great gravel bike, the Tommaso Siena Shimano Tourney Gravel Bike is a great bike for any beginner looking to take to the trails.
5. Royce Union Men’s Gravel Bike
Lightweight, easy to steer, and not bad to look at, either, the Royce Union Men’s Gravel Bike holds the last spot on our list, but it’s far from the least. This bike features a hardtail aluminum frame that can take the bumps and bruises of the trail without wearing out or weighing you down. The 9-speed drivetrain is a bit lower than some of the others on our list, but for the beginner gravel biker or anyone looking to take on flatter terrain, this is a great bike. This bike features disc brakes, all-terrain tires, and a frame construction that prioritizes control over style.
Don’t let the utilitarian design of this bike fool you, it gets the job done and then some. As one reviewer noted, “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. Tires give a little more than I would hope on gravel, but overall are good.” If you’re looking for a great gravel bike, the Royce Union Men’s Grave Bike is a good investment that’s sure to last for years to come.
How to ride a gravel bike
No matter which gravel bike you end up purchasing, you will need to learn how to ride it properly. Watch this video for a few tips on the basics of gravel riding:
Whether you’re a beginner biker looking to take to the trails, or an experienced rider looking for your new favorite bike, we have countless articles to help you tackle the ins and outs of bike shopping, so you can spend less time scouring the internet and more time on the road.