The 12 Best Gravel Bikes Under $2000 [2021]

The Best Gravel Bikes Under 2000

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This is a selection of the best gravel bikes under $2000 based on user reviews and their experiences. Take advantage of my more than 20 hours of market research to save your time.

I selected one overall winner from each category:

The first part of this article includes more gravel bikes under $2000 you can choose from.

The second part explains what to expect in the below $2000 price range, how to choose a gravel bike, what to be aware of when choosing it, and much more!


What Are the Best Gravel Bikes Under $2000?

The following part includes gravel bikes for light and rough terrain, and bike touring.

IMPORTANT NOTE: Due to the shortage of bike components and high demand for bikes, many bikes are out of stock online. Unfortunately, it is necessary to wait even several months for some bikes.

Cannondale CAADX 1 (Best Gravel Bike for Light Terrain)

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Cannondale CAADX 1 | Source: rei.com

Main Features

  • Hydraulic disc brakes (learn more)
  • Carbon fork
  • Very good price-value ratio
  • Rear racks compatible
  • Available in 6 sizes
  • Partial internal cable routing

Technical Specifications

Although Cannondale CAADX 1 is marketed as a cyclocross bike, you can use it for gravel riding. It has clearance for up to 37mm wide tires ideal for light gravel or dirt roads. With narrower tires, it is pretty fast on the tarmac as well.

CAADX 1 has an aluminum frame and carbon fork that is great for absorbing minor vibrations and improving your comfort.

It comes with a Shimano GRX 2x10spd groupset, so that you will have enough gears with small jumps between them.

The hydraulic disc brakes (Shimano GRX 400) provide you with enough stopping power in all weather conditions.

Please, keep in mind that this bike is not very suitable for long bike touring because of its performance-oriented geometry, absence of mounts for the front rack, and additional mounts for bottle cages.

CAADX 1 is perfect for all riders who look for an all-around bike that can use not only for commuting but also for training and having fun in terrain. You can choose from 6 sizes, so it fits riders of all heights.


Fuji Jari 1.3 (Best Gravel Bike for Rough Terrain)

2021 Fuji JARI 13 Gray
Fuji Jari 1.3 | Source: wiggle.com

Main Features

  • Mechanical disc brakes (learn more)
  • Performance geometry
  • Carbon fork
  • Front and rear racks compatible
  • Partial internal cable routing

Technical Specifications

Do you like adrenaline? If so, Fuji Jari 1.3 is the perfect choice for you. Let me explain why.

It has performance-oriented geometry that will push you to a more aggressive riding position. You will be more aero to be faster than in a more upright position allowing you to hunt KOMs and PRs.

Fuji Jari 1.3 comes with 40c tires that will handle light and rough gravel so you can enjoy a lot of fun in terrain.

Thanks to the SRAM Apex 1 groupset (1x11spd), you will have easy enough gears for steep and a few harder gears for flatter sections. Just remember, the jumps between them are larger than on the 2X groupset.

It would be nice if Jari 1.3 would be equipped with hydraulic, but the mechanical disc brakes have sufficient stopping power as well.

It seems like this is a racing-only machine, right? Wrong! You will also enjoy riding it if you commute or do bikepacking because it is compatible with bike racks and additional bottle cages.

Considering its price, Fuji Jari 1.3 provides a great price-value ratio. Furthermore, you save enough money to buy other accessories if you have a $2000 budget to spend on your new gravel bike.


You may also be interested in gravel bike shoes. They will improve your riding comfort and power transfer. Combine them with these gravel bike pedals.


Salsa Marrakesh Alivio (Best Gravel Bike for Bike Touring)

salsa marrakesh bike gold BK5890 1920x1080 uc 1
Salsa Marrakesh Alivio | Source: salsacycles.com

Main Features

  • Hydraulic disc brakes (learn more)
  • Front and rear racks included
  • Up to 5 water bottle cages compatible
  • Bar-end shifters

Technical Specifications

  • Frame material: Steel
  • Weight: 30.88 lb (14 kg) [57]
  • Gearing: Shimano Alivio 3x9spd (11-36 cassette)
  • Wheel size: 700c (not compatible with 650b wheel size)
  • Tires: Teravail Rampart 700c x 38c

Marrakesh Alivio could be the next bike for those of you who enjoy bike packing and bike touring.

It comes with included front and rear racks that will allow you to add panniers. So, you can store spare clothes, food, tools, a tent, and other things needed for a multi-day trip.

The frame is compatible with up to 5 water bottle cages. With this water supply, you last long even in remote areas where it is difficult to refill drinking water.

This bike also features bar-end shifters. Some riders hate them, some love them. It takes a few rides to get used to them so keep that in mind.

Marrakesh is compatible with 700c wheel size only but the tire clearance is wide enough even for up to 50mm tires (without fenders). This means that this bike handles paved surfaces and terrain as well.

The Teravail Rampart high-volume tires are comfortable and ideal for long rides with paved and light gravel sections.

Is this going to be your next touring gravel bike?


You may also be interested in the selection of the Best Bike Phone Mounts.


Orbea Vector Drop

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Orbea Vector Drop | Source: jensonusa.com
bi002555 red
Orbea Vector Drop LTD | Source: jensonusa.com

Main Features

  • Available in a “sporty” and “adventure” option
  • Hydraulic disc brakes (learn more)
  • More upright, relaxed geometry
  • Carbon fork
  • Rear racks compatible
  • Partial internal cable routing

Technical Specifications

  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Weight: n/a
  • Gearing: Shimano Tiagra 2x10spd (11-34 cassette)
  • Wheel size: 700c (tubeless-ready rims)
  • Tires: Schwalbe G-One Bite, 700×38, TLE RaceGuard ADDIX

If you are looking for a gravel bike that you can take out of the box, do final assembly, and head over to your local paved, dirt, and forest roads, the Orbea Vector Drop might be the right choice.

Its geometry is designed to provide an ideal compromise between comfort and great handling on various types of surfaces.

The fork is made of carbon that is better at absorbing vibrations compared to aluminum. This further improves your riding experience.

Vector Drop is equipped with 38mm knobby tires that provide you with enough grip in all sorts of terrains, including gravel, dirt roads, mud, etc.

If you want to do some bikepacking, you can because this bike is compatible with rear racks. Unfortunately, it does have only 2 bottle cage mounts so you may need to use valuable space in panniers.

The hydraulic disc brakes are effective even in wet conditions so you can rely on them at any time.

And, the Shimano Tiagra 2x10spd groupset is precise, reliable, and quick. But I would like to see a better groupset at this price point.

You can choose from 2 options (standard and LTD). The LTD option comes with an extra Shimano Dynamo hub to provide you with light in early mornings and late evenings, fenders to keep you dry, and a rear rack to extend your storage capacity.


Masi Brunello GRX11

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Masi Brunello GRX11 | Source: jensonusa.com

Main Features

  • Hydraulic disc brakes (learn more)
  • Carbon fork
  • Compatible with up to 4 water bottle cages
  • Comfortable bar tape
  • Partial internal cable routing

Technical Specifications

Masi Brunello GRX11 is a perfect gravel bike for women thanks to its greed paint job with pink details. But, men can like it too. Furthermore, it has a relaxed geometry ideal for more comfortable rides.

The fork is made of carbon fiber. This means it can better absorb road vibrations and further contribute to your comfort.

GRX11 comes with a 1x11spd Shimano drivetrain and an 11-42 cassette. These gears will allow you to conquer any terrain including steep climbs. The 1X chainring is also simpler to operate and lighter than 2X chainrings.

This bike also features tubeless-ready rims. The tubeless-ready tires are gaining popularity thanks to their self-repairing capability.

The maximum tire clearance allows you to equip the bike with up to 45mm tires. These are suitable even for MTB-like terrain.

The frame is not compatible with the front and rear rack, however, it has one extra mount for a bottle on the bottom of the down tube. The top tube has an additional mount for a bag or pannier.

There is also a slightly more expensive alternative, Masi Brunello GRX22 that comes with a 2x11spd drivetrain so if you prefer more gears (and a different paint job), make sure to check it out.


Trek Checkpoint ALR 4

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Source: Trekbikes.com

Main Features

  • Hydraulic disc brakes (learn more)
  • Carbon fork
  • Up to 15 mm of wheelbase adjustment
  • Very good price-value ratio
  • Front and rear racks compatible
  • Compatible with up to 4 water bottle cages (sizes 54 cm and smaller accommodate only 3)
  • Comfortable bar tape
  • Partial internal cable routing

Technical Specifications

  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 22.42 lb (10.17 kg) [M]
  • Gearing: Shimano GRX 2x10spd (11-34 cassette)
  • Wheel size: 700c (tubeless-ready rims)
  • Tires: Bontrager GR1 Comp, wire bead, 60 TPI, 700x40c

Trek Checkpoint ALR 4 is a great gravel bike that offers very good value for money. It is equipped with hydraulic disc brakes that have enough stopping power even in wet conditions.

The aluminum frame is complemented by a carbon fork, which absorbs vibrations and thus increases the comfort of your ride.

Up to 15 mm of wheelbase adjustment will allow you to play with your bike. You can convert it to a single speed and vice versa. So, if you want to make your gravel rides more challenging, you can.

This bike is also compatible with front and rear racks so you can equip it with panniers and bike backs to store the equipment needed for bike touring adventures (learn more).

Although I recommend this bike for light terrain, its tire clearance allows you to use up to 45c tires. These will provide you with enough grip in various types of terrains. So, you don’t have to limit yourself to paved surfaces only!

Checkpoint ALR 4 is a versatile, affordable, and comfortable gravel bike that you will enjoy a lot of fun with. And, if you are a more demanding rider, make sure you check its ‘older brother’ the ALR 5.


Orro Terra 105

Orro Terra 105 Gravel Bike
Orro Terra 105 Gravel Bike | Source: chainreactioncycles.com

Main Features

  • Hydraulic disc brakes (learn more)
  • Carbon fork
  • Partial internal cable routing
  • Top tube mounts
  • Compatible with rear rack
  • Rear light included

Technical Specifications

  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Weight: 22.42 lb (10.17 kg) [M]
  • Gearing: Shimano 105 2x11spd
  • Wheel size: 700c (tubeless-ready rims)
  • Tires: Vittoria Zaffiro 32c (up to 35mm tire clearance)

Orro Terra 105 is a hybrid between a road and a gravel bike. It comes with smooth 32mm tires that are very comfortable on tarmac but will handle dirt roads and light gravel too.

With the Shimano 105 groupset, you will have plenty of gears for flat and hilly terrain. So whether you look for a gravel bike for training and riding fast or for a versatile bike for commuting, this one is the right choice.

The hydraulic disc brakes (Shimano 105) will provide you with effective stopping power at all times, and the carbon fork will absorb minor vibrations to improve your comfort.

Terra 105 comes with a rear light which is a nice detail. But it is not very bright. So if you plan to ride in traffic, I recommend getting Garmin Varia, for example.

This bike is also compatible with a rear rack that you can equip with panniers to extend your storage capacity for longer trips.

Overall, Orro Terra 105 is a well-built bike equipped with quality components. Choose from 2 colors (blue and silver) and 5 sizes.


Specialized Diverge Elite E5

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Specialized Diverge Elite E5 | Source: specialized.com

Main Features

  • Hydraulic disc brakes (learn more)
  • Carbon fork
  • A unique metallic paint job
  • Front and rear racks compatible
  • Compatible with up to 6 water bottle cages
  • Partial internal cable routing

Technical Specifications

This list wouldn’t be complete without the Specialized Diverge Elite E5. It is so popular that all sizes were sold out on the official website at the time of writing this article.

Diverge Elite E5 features hydraulic brakes that are efficient and provide you with enough stopping power even during rain that can surprise you on your bike packing journey.

You will take also take advantage of its well-balanced geometry. Diverge Elite E5 is comfortable and easy to handle. And thanks to wide tire clearance (47 mm for 700c wheel size and 2.1″ for 650b wheel size), you can use wide tires to push the comfort even further.

Speaking of comfort, the carbon fork absorbs vibrations so it further contributes to a better riding experience.

This bike is compatible with front and rear racks, and up to 6 (!) water bottle cages. With this water supply (and storage compatibility), you can ride all day long without any need to stop.

I love the metallic paint job. It is unique and if you are more design-oriented, I am sure you will like it as well.


Trek Checkpoint ALR 5

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Trek Checkpoint ALR 5 | Source: trekbikes.com

Main Features

  • Hydraulic disc brakes (learn more)
  • Carbon fork
  • Up to 15 mm of wheelbase adjustment
  • Very good price-value ratio
  • Front and rear racks compatible
  • Compatible with up to 4 water bottle cages (sizes 54 cm and smaller accommodate only 3)
  • Comfortable bar tape
  • Partial internal cable routing

Technical Specifications

If you don’t mind spending a bit more above $2000 for a gravel bike, I included the more premium version of the Trek Checkpoint ALR as well. This is Trek ALR 5 and according to Trek, it is the best value gravel bike in their lineup.

This bike is almost identical to ALR 4. The main differences compared to the ALR 5 are better and lighter components, the lower overall weight, and the gears. So, the question is, is this bike worth the price difference?

Well, it depends. If your budget is limited, go for ALR 4. But, if you rely on high-quality components that are more precise, lighter, and reliable, the ALR 5 is the way to go. It is like choosing between Shimano 105 or Shimano Ultegra (roadies know what I am talking about).

Another difference is that ALR 5 offers a 2x11spd cassette compared to ALR 4 that has 2x10spd. For some riders, it will make a difference, but I think the overall quality of the components is more important.

What are your preferences? Do you prefer better components and are you willing to pay more for them?


Improve your riding comfort during long rides. Use a chamois cream. It will help to reduce the friction and you will experience a whole new level of comfort on your bike.


Canyon Grail 7

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Canyon Grail 7 | Source: canyon.com

Main Features

  • Hydraulic disc brakes (learn more)
  • Carbon fork
  • Excellent price-value ratio
  • Compatible with up to 3 water bottle cages
  • Partial internal cable routing

Technical Specifications

Canyon produces excellent price-value ratio bikes thanks to its direct sales model. The Grail 7 is another proof of that.

This is the only aluminum frame gravel bike in this selection that weighs below 22 lb (10 kg).

It is equipped with high-quality Shimano components, DT Swiss wheels, and a carbon fork that absorbs vibrations well.

So, if you need a bike that will last, will be reliable, and does not cost a fortune, you should consider this one.

But, it has its disadvantages as well. Grail 7 is not compatible with racks. So it is not very good for bike touring but rather for shorter trips, eventually gravel races.

It is though compatible with up to 3 water bottle cages so you won’t get dehydrated due to the lack of water.

Probably the main disadvantage of Canyon is that the delivery dates of their bikes are very long. At the time of writing this article, the Grail 7 should be available in 3 and more months.


Priority Bicycles Apollo

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Priority Bicycles Apollo | Source: prioritybicycles.com

Main Features

  • Mechanical disc brakes (learn more)
  • Carbon fork
  • Front and rear racks compatible
  • Low maintenance needed thanks to carbon drivetrain
  • Partial internal cable routing

Technical Specifications

This is by far the least maintenance-demanding gravel bike in this selection. It uses a carbon drivetrain and all gears are hidden inside the hub.

Thanks to this, you do not have to worry about tuning the derailleur, lubricating the chain, or cleaning the cassette.

This type of drivetrain has even more specifics. The first is that it is very quiet. This means that you can enjoy the sounds of nature without the interfering noises of your bike.

On the other hand, if you ride on a bike path, for example, people may not hear you at all. Therefore, don’t forget to buy a bicycle bell and use it when needed.

And, the second unique feature is that due to the belt flexibility you will get a slightly different feeling when pushing the pedals compared to using a bike with a chain. Some riders like it, some don’t. I think it is fine and you get used to it.

A small tip at the end. There is a high demand for this bike so don’t hesitate to pre-order it to make sure you will get one once it is available.


Giant Revolt Advanced 3

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Giant Revolt Advanced 3 | Source: giant-bicycles.com

Main Features

  • Hydraulic disc brakes (learn more)
  • Carbon frame & fork
  • Excellent price-value ratio
  • Front and rear racks compatible
  • Partial internal cable routing

Technical Specifications

The Giant Revolt Advanced 3 is the only gravel bike in this overview that features a carbon frame and fork. Giant is generally known for its excellent price-quality ratio bikes.

Thanks to the carbon frame and fork, the Revolt Advanced 3 absorbs vibrations well, making your ride very comfortable.

The carbon frame has another advantage, it is lighter and stiffer compared to aluminum frames (learn more).

Its geometry is tuned to a more upright position, which is ideal for less flexible riders who rely on ride comfort.

Of course, this bike is also compatible with front and rear racks. Thanks to them, you will be able to equip it with panniers and other bags that increase your storage space needed for all-day or multi-day bike trips.

A minor drawback is that the Giant Revolt Advanced 3 offers only 2 mounts for a bottle cage. So you will have to store additional water bottles in a panner, for example.

With up to 45c tires, it is a perfect choice for riders that look for a versatile and reliable gravel bike.


Equip your new gravel bike with these pedals for a gravel bike. The roundup includes gravel and MTB clipless pedals suitable for gravel bikes.


State Bicycle 6061 Black Label ALL-ROAD

state bicycle co 6061 all road gravel dark woodland 1
‘Dark Woodland’ Color | Source: statebicycle.com
state bicycle co 6061 all road gravel deep pacific 10
‘Deep Pacific’ Color | Source: statebicycle.com

Main Features

  • Customizable wheels & accessories
  • Highly versatile
  • Unique – ‘Dark Woodland‘ and ‘Deep Pacific‘ colors
  • Mechanical disc brakes
  • Partial internal cable routing

Technical Specifications

  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Weight: n/a
  • Gearing: State Bicycle Co. All-Road 1x11spd (11-42 cassette)
  • Wheel size: 650b or 700c
  • Tires: Vittoria Terreno Dry Tires (Tubeless Compatible) – 47c [650b] or Vittoria Terreno Zero Tires (Tubeless Compatible) – 38C [700c]

I included the State Bicycle 6061 in this selection as well even if it is way below the $2000. And I have several reasons for that.

You can choose whether to buy it with 650b or 700c wheels (or both). The State Bicycles has a configurator on their website.

Wide, knobby tires provide enough grip that is needed for bumpy roads, singletracks, forest roads, gravel, mud, and similar types of terrains.

With this bike, however, you don’t have to limit yourself to the terrain only. It can handle paved roads as well (especially with 700c wheels and narrower tires).

1X shifting is very intuitive. A small disadvantage is the limited number of gears. However, the 11-42 cassette provides a wide enough range for steep hills and flats.

Another advantage is that you can opt for accessories such as pedals, saddle type, water bottle cage, and lock, so you do not have to buy them separately.

I also like the unique ‘Dark Woodland’ and ‘Deep Pacific’ colors. Which one do you choose?


Did you not choose any bike from this selection? Check the Best Gravel Bikes Under $1500.


My Verdict

I can tell you, it was not an easy task to find and pick the best gravel bikes under $2000. But, I believe you will be able to choose from the selection above.

The following gravel bikes are the best in their category:

The best gravel bike for light terrain for under $2000 is Cannondale CAADX 1. It offers a great price-value ratio because it features a carbon fork, Shimano GRX 2x10spd groupset, hydraulic disc brakes, and sporty geometry. These features make it perfect for light gravel, dirt, and paved roads.

Go for Fuji Jari 1.3 if you need a gravel bike for rough terrain. It has wide tire clearance so you can equip it with wide, knobby tires for a better grip. Its geometry is more aggressive but still provides excellent handling capabilities at the same time. And, thanks to the very affordable price, you will have plenty of money left for accessories.

Salsa Marrakesh Alivio is the best gravel bike under $2000 for bike touring. It comes with a front and a rear rack, a durable steel frame, and compatibility for up to 5 bottle cages. Marrakesh will be your ideal servant on your bike packing adventures.


How to Choose a Gravel Bike?

The following part will help you understand what you can expect from a gravel bike under $2000 and what you should be aware of when buying it. It is shortened version of the fully dedicated Gravel Bike Guide.

Gravel Bike Type

All gravel bikes are not the same. They differ from each other in their geometry, wheel size, etc. There are 3 main categories of gravel/adventure bikes.

  1. Gravel bikes for light terrain tend to have 700c wheels, narrow tires, and more aggressive, sporty geometry. They are perfect for routes with paved & dirt road sections, maintaining your fitness level, gravel races, etc.
  2. Gravel bikes for rough terrain come with 650b wheels and wider tires. You can ride with them in rougher terrain like dirt roads, forest roads, single tracks, etc. The larger tire volume ensures they are better at absorbing bumps, and thanks to their size, they also accelerate faster than 700c wheels. Their geometry tends to be more relaxed compared to performance-oriented gravel bikes.
  3. Gravel bikes for bike touring are usually equipped with 700c wheels and narrow tires. Their geometry is more upright and relaxed compared to the gravel bike categories above. They also come with included rear and front racks. This makes them suitable for bike touring and long bike adventures.

Note: A lot of gravel bikes are compatible with both 650b and 700c wheel size. Just make sure the bike offers wide enough tire clearance for wider tires. The difference between the 1st and the 2nd category is therefore based on the wheel size and the tire, eventually the frame geometry.

Sources: cyclingweekly.com, shimano.com, bikerumor.com

TIP: To compare geometries of not only gravel bikes, use the Bikeinsights tool.

Frame Material

Gravel bikes under $2000 usually have a frame made of aluminum, steel, sometimes even from carbon. Some aluminum gravel bikes in this price range have a carbon fork. The pros and cons of these materials are the following:

  1. Aluminum gravel bikes are the most affordable. Aluminum is relatively cheap and easier to manufacture compared to steel or carbon frames. Aluminum frames are not as stiff as steel or carbon frames, but they are lighter compared to steel frames. The biggest downside of the aluminum frames is that they fatigue and corrode over time. Aluminum gravel bikes are an ideal entry-level point for beginners as well as for advanced riders with a limited budget.
  2. Steel gravel bikes are stiff and durable, but relatively heavy compared to aluminum or carbon frames. They provide good power transfer, won’t crack after a first crash, and last longer than aluminum frames. Steel gravel bikes look unique thanks to thin tubes and can be repaired relatively easily.
  3. Carbon gravel bikes are very stiff and light (they offer the highest stiff-to-weight ratio). They are perfect for performance-oriented riders, or for people that want the latest and greatest. The biggest downside of the carbon frames is their price and the fact that they need to be inspected for cracks after a heavy crash to prevent failure under stress.

Sources: ScienceDirect, SheldonBrown, CyclingWeekly

Frame MaterialWeight of the Bike
Carbon7.5 to 10 kg
Aluminum9.5 to 12 kg
Steel11 to 13.5 kg
The estimated weight of the gravel bike depending on the frame material

The estimated weight is based on the market research I did and the comparison of weights of gravel bikes. The bike weight also depends on the components used on the bike. The more expensive gravel bikes usually have better and lighter components so their overall weight is also lower.

Groupset

Gravel bikes use 1X, 2X, or 3X shifting. The 1X and 2X shifting prevail in the $2000 price range.

1X shifting (1 chainring) offers the least amount of gears. Therefore, these groupsets are lighter thanks to fewer parts. They are also easier to maintain and get used to because the rider can only focus on rear shifting.

The disadvantage of 1X shifting is that jumps between the individual gears are larger compared to 2X or 3X shifting.

2X shifting (2 chainrings) offers a wider gear range compared to 1X. This is an advantage when you need to climb a steep climb and fast descent.

The downside of the 2X shifting is that it is more prone to failure and damage due to a large number of parts and things that can go wrong, and its weight compared to 1X shifting.

Cross-chaining vs. good shifting
Avoid cross-changing to reduce chain friction and drivetrain damage. Follow good shifting best practices to improve efficiency.

3X shifting (3 chainrings) is not very popular among gravel bikes under $2000. It is too complex, heavy, and riders that buy a gravel bike in this price range know how to use a limited gear range of 1X or 2X shifting efficiently.

1x chainring
1x chainring
2x chainring
2x chainring
3x chainring
3x chainring

Groupsets by Shimano and SRAM belong among the most popular groupset on gravel bikes under $2000.

A standard gravel bike under $2000 is equipped with groupsets like Shimano GRX, Shimano Alivio, SRAM Apex, etc.

Wheel Size

Should you get a gravel bike with 650b or 700c wheels? Well, it depends mainly on your riding style and the terrain you would like to ride in.

700c vs 650b wheel size
700c vs 650b wheel size

700c wheels have a larger diameter and use narrower tires compared to 650b wheels. This makes them better for light terrain and paved surfaces like the tarmac because they allow you to ride faster without the need to spend as much energy.

According to La Velocita, 700c wheels combine the best weight, grip, and rolling resistance ratio.

650b wheels have a smaller diameter and use wider tires. This makes them suitable for rougher terrain like bumpy roads, mud, forest roads, single tracks, etc. The knobby tires ensure that you get enough grip and adhesion.

Wider tires pressurized to lower pressure are better at absorbing bumps and other vibrations. This means your ride will be more comfortable.

To wrap this up, if you want to ride long-distance trips on mostly paved surfaces with dirt road sections, buy a gravel bike with 700c wheels and equip them with narrow tires.

But, if you want to in more difficult terrain, you should consider getting a gravel bike with 650b wheels and wider, knobby tires.

Brakes

Gravel bikes use almost exclusively disc brakes. The below $2000 budget allows manufacturers to equip these bikes with hydraulic disc brakes. But, there are some exceptions with mechanical disc brakes as well.

  1. Mechanical disc brakes work similarly to rim brakes – a steel cable moves the pistons which creates friction that slows the bike. The advantage is that they are compatible with standard rim shifters and are easier to maintain at home. Their disadvantage is that the steel cable can wear out more easily and break when you don’t expect it.
  2. Hydraulic disc brakes use fluid filled in the system. As CyclingAbout explains, when you pull the brake lever, the fluid rushes down to the caliper, closing the brake pads. This type of disc brakes provides braking consistency in any riding conditions. On the other hand, they are more difficult to maintain at home due to their complexity.

Accessories Compatibility

If you look for a gravel bike for bike touring, make sure it is compatible with additional accessories like bike racks, additional bottle cage mounts, etc.

These accessories will allow you to equip the bike with panniers, bags, and water bottles that will support you on your bike journeys.

Feel free to watch the following video by bikepacking.com. They explain what should be on your bikepacking gear list.

Bike Size

If you can’t try the bike in person, it can be tricky to choose its correct size. Luckily, you can take advantage of bike size charts from bike manufacturers, bike calculators, and other methods to choose the right bike size.


Gravel Bikes FAQ


This post is regularly updated to provide you with the most up-to-date tips on products. If you find a product that is not up to date, please, contact me.

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