For cyclists that want to travel beyond the urban environment, we are going to tell you what the best gravel bikes under 1500 dollars are. Gravel bikes under 1500 dollars won’t be the lightest, best performing, or have high tech components. They won’t be as light as a road bike, or as sturdy as a mountain bike on very rough terrain. But for beginner or amateur gravel riders, they will be affordable and reliable, and allow riders to use them for riding on various types of terrain.
What is a gravel bike?
A gravel bike allows you to ride all roads. It lets you ride tarmac – sacrificing some rolling efficiency. But you can easily transition to gravel roads or singletrack forest trails. Something a regular road bike cannot do, even though it’s faster than a gravel bike.
A gravel bike isn’t as sturdy as a mountain bike on extremely rough terrain. But a gravel bike is lighter, faster and still enables you to experience adventure riding, unconstrained by terrain.
Price affects the quality of a gravel bike
The more you pay for a gravel bike, the better the quality, up to a certain point. Gravel bikes over $2,500 become lighter, stronger, and have better components.
Gravel bikes come equipped with reinforced frames and forks. This makes them a bit heavier than road bikes, but able to cope with high-frequency terrain buzz. Rocks and routes they will encounter on an off-road route. And plenty of clearance, with oversized forks and rear triangles to better handle mud.
Paying more for a gravel bike isn’t always necessary
As we’ve already mentioned, the more you pay, the better the quality gets. But there’s a point where diminishing returns on investment start to set in.
We’re going to provide you the answer by telling you what major attributes matter the most. And which ones don’t. You’re going to find out what the sweet-spot range is, which for the average person is between $1,000 and $1,500.
Anything above those price ranges will only slightly offer you increases in performance, as you keep paying more.
If you’re a professional gravel rider, the higher priced gravel bikes will definitely give you an edge. But if you’re an occasional traveler or a commuter that likes to ride different routes, the best gravel bikes under 1500 dollars will be more than adequate.
What makes a good gravel bike?
A good gravel bike offers great comfort and ride quality, versatility and range of use, handling and control, and reasonable weight.
All these great qualities can be found in gravel bikes under 1500 dollars.
Here are the best gravel bikes under 1500 dollars
It’s hard to find good gravel bikes under 1500 dollars online. Many places will sell you cheap gravel bikes that don’t meet certain strict safety standards, or won’t even be a gravel bike at all.
We are going to tell you what the best gravel bikes under 1500 dollars are, not just try to make money from you by putting any bikes we can find up, with a bunch of affiliate links.
Diamondback Haanjo 3
The diamondback Hannjo 3 is a great budget gravel bike that can handle any kind of road. Considered a “road bike” the Hannjo 3 can handle almost anything you throw at it. It doesn’t matter if it’s paved or not, this makes it a great gravel grinding bike.
Equipped with a butted and formed aluminum frame, the Hannjo 3 delivers a great balance of comfort and durability. With an endurance geometry, the Hannjo 3 is also designed to place you in a more comfortable position that’s perfect for both long rides and rough roads.
It comes with stock WTB Riddler Comp, 700x37c tires but you can fit wider tires up to 700x45mm or 650×2.1 inches wide
Components on the Hannjo 3 are considered low end, making it suitable for mid-level riders. But will still performs very well for most purposes. The Shimano Sora 2×9-speed drivetrain provides ample gearing for long hauls, and the Gravel Disc alloy fork gives you pinpoint precision steering without adding weight.
There’s also three mounting points for bottle cages. And eyelets on both sides of the fork, and braise ons in the rear for a rack. This makes this bike very versatile, and can be used for bikepacking and off-road touring adventures. (CHECK OUT: The How To Start Bikepacking Guide)
WHERE TO BUY: diamondback.com/hannjo3
2020 Giant Toughroad SLR GX 1
To help minimize fatigue on long rides, the bike has what’s known as the D-Fuse seatpost. The D-Fuse seatpost absorbs road vibrations, resulting in a smooth, compliant ride.
Powerful disc brakes with 160mm rotors give you added confidence and control on rough roads and in all types of weather. Making the Toughroad a great all round adventure bike.
Thoughtful details include integrated rack mounts, for attaching panniers. And the X-Defender downtube which acts as a guard for the frame and rider from dirt and rocks while providing smooth cable routing for adventure riding. Hiding the overall cable routing makes the bike look very clean.
WHERE TO BUY: giant-bicycles.com/us/toughroad
2019 Trek Checkpoint AL4
Known as the “ideal entry point to the world of gravel riding,” the 2019 Trek Checkpoint AL 4 respresents killer value for the money. It combines a high-quality 200 Alpha Series Aluminum frame with a versatile build. This provides optimal weight and maximum strength. It also has a lightweight fork with carbon fiber legs that helps soak up rough road vibrations.
In order to tackle various road conditions you get a Shimano Tiagra, 50/34 compact crankset. Along with decent tire clearance. The bike comes with 700×32 Bontrager R1 Hard-Case Lite tires, which is suitable for light gravel riding. If you’re looking to use wider tires, such as 45mm or more, you will have to consider getting a different bike. Otherwise, this is still one of the best gravel bikes under 1500 dollars.
What you get is the perfect bike for a wide variety of rides, including gravel, bikepacking and daily commutes.
Geometry for the Checkpoint is comfortable for the long haul and rough roads, but aggressive enough to provide the speed and ride-feel gravel riders are looking for. With a slightly taller stack and lower bottom bracket when compared to a CX bike, the Trek Checkpoint delivers improved stability while maintaining fast and manoeuverable characteristics.
Complete with internal cable routing to keep everything protected from the inevitable mud-and-dirt. You can also use any combination of shift, brake, lockout, and dropper post lines to pass through the frame for a custom looking setup.
You can measure speed, distance and cadence, because this bike is also DuoTrap S compatible. Which seamlessly integrates a bluetooth or ANT+ sensor into the frame, with no effect on aerodynamics.
The Trek Checkpoint AL is covered in mounts for fenders and racks, but are hidden away if you decide not to use them. The seat tube & down tube mounts allow you to carry extra gear and water with ease. Rear rack mounts give more room for cargo, and hidden fender mounts keep the ride clean in even the worst weather.
WHERE TO BUY: trekbikes.com/checkpoint-al-4
2020 Cannondale Topstone Sora
The Cannondale Topstone Sora is one of the best gravel bikes under 1500 dollars. It features a SmartForm C2 Alloy Frame/w full carbon fork, which is a result of Cannondale’s decades of expertise in aluminum craftsmanship.
For tackling all terrains you get a Shimano Sora 18-speed drivetrain with Tempo Adventure crank. Cable disc brakes that provide excellent stopping power in all weather conditions. And WTB Riddler Comp, 700x37c tires. Resulting in a capable versatile gravel road bike. Built for chasing horizons, exploring routes less travelled or accelerating your commute.
This excellent gravel bike that was named after a favorite dirt road loop near Cannondale headquarters in Connecticut, thrives on gravel roads, out in the elements.
If you choose to upgrade, you can select a women’s or men’s option with a Shimano 105 groupset for $1,750. Plus add larger 42mm tires, for more comfort , grip and adventurous capabilities.
The Topstone shares similar stack and reach measurements with the Cannondale synapse Endurance bikes. Which offers a confident riding position. A Full carbon fork, with tapered steerers and 12mm thruaxles, for a light, comfortable and precise-steering front end. You also get room to store three water bottles, plus mounts for top tube storage.
WHERE TO BUY: cannondale.com/topstone-sora
2019 Genesis Fugio 20
A superb, steel Mjolnir framed bike with an aluminum fork. High volume Clement X’Plor 50c tyres on 650B rims. And wide-range 1X11 SRAM Apex groupset which can be winched up steep climbs or wound up to speed on the tarmac between the trails.
The wide-range SRAM Apex 1×11 groupset, can be a little limited, especially on descents. But very useful on steep climbs or maintaining good speed on the tarmac between trails. Just don’t expect high performance.
You also get 12mm thru axles on the front and rear. Full internal Di2 and dynamo routing. And three bottle cage eyelets.
You don’t just get a gravel bike. What you get is a bike that has a spec level that’s above the $2,000 category. That’s capable of riding trail centers, rocky bridleways and rooty forest singletrack.
WHERE TO BUY: genesisbikes.co.uk/genesis-fugio-20
2019 Masi CXGR Expert
The Masi CXGR is made out of a light, Columbus CROMO double butted chromoly tig welded tubing. And Dirt Tuned MC7 Full Carbon fork w/1.5″ steerer.
The CXGR Expert emerges lighter, braver, and more advanced than ever before. The refreshed frame features 12mm thru-axle dropouts, dropper post routing, flat mount disc brakes combined with an all new full carbon tapered fork and a 3D forged cockpit that provides stability and confidence on those sketchy loose descents. Shimano’s 10 speed Tiagra group paired with a Praxis Alba M24 crankset delivers high and low cadence options for those decisive moments, and positions the CXGR Expert as Masi’s hard hitting and best selling gravel packages.
There’s also Tubeless ready wheels with Kendra Flintridge 700x40mm tires for a smoother ride and better traction.
You also get the option to mount fenders and racks for touring.
WHERE TO BUY: harobikes.com/cxgr-expert-2019
2019 Masi Giramondo 27.5 Bike
The Masi Giramondo is a modern day touring bike to the new breed of Bikepacking expeditions. Constructed from double butted cromoly tig welded tubing, it utilizes the same frame and fork as it’s 700c counterpart.
It has a 30 degree rise stem that puts you in the perfect position to ride in the drops, along with WTB Mountain Drop bars. A new segmented fork with offset bottle mounting location and dynamo hub wire routing.
Three bottle mounting locations on the main triangle & rack and fender mounts. Tubeless-ready Brev. 27.5” rims with 23mm internal width. Extra clearance for 29×20” tires. And a WTB Volt Sport Saddle.
With a 3×10 speed groupset, and barend shifters for reliability and easy adjustment, this bike is great at climbing steep inclines.
When it’s time to head into the unknown, the laid back Masi Giramondo is ready to take on any challenges and diversity the trail can throw at you.
WHERE TO BUY: harobikes.com/giramondo2019
2020 Giant Revolt 2
The concept of “gravel riding” means different things to different people. But whether you ride dirt roads, trails, gravel, or a mix of everything, the challenges are the same. You want a bike that floats right through it, keeps you in control, and is comfortable for long days in the saddle. The new Revolt delivers on all accounts.
It features a lightweight ALUXX aluminum frame and composite fork, each engineered to balance stiffness (for efficiency) and compliance (for comfort and control). It comes with integrated components including the D-Fuse seatpost and Contact XR D-Fuse handlebar to further absorb road shocks and vibrations.
The frame is integrated for disc brakes and it has clearance for larger tires up to 45c. Lastly, Revolt comes with a number of built-in features including the X-Defender downtube protector and smart-mount system for racks and accessories to help you make the most of your gravel-riding adventures.
WHERE TO BUY: giant-bicycles.com/revolt-2
For cyclists that want to travel beyond the urban environment, gravel bikes under 1500 dollars won’t be the lightest, best performing, or have high tech components. They won’t be as light as a road bike, or as sturdy as a mountain bike on very rough terrain. But for beginner or amateur gravel riders, they will be affordable and reliable, and allow riders to use them for riding on various types of terrain.