The 10 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!

Table Of Contents


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.

Trek Checkpoint ALR 4 (Best Gravel Bike for Light Terrain)

CheckpointALR4 21 32556 A Primary?$responsive pjpg$&cache=on,on&wid=1920&hei=1440
Source: Trek.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.


Orbea Terra H40 (Best Gravel Bike for Rough Terrain)

bi002354 black
Source: JensonUSA.com

Main Features

  • Hydraulic disc brakes (learn more)
  • More upright, relaxed geometry
  • Carbon fork
  • Front and rear racks compatible
  • Partial internal cable routing

Technical Specifications

  • Frame material: Aluminum
  • Weight: n/a
  • Gearing: Shimano GRX 2x10spd (11-34 cassette)
  • Wheel size: 700c (tubeless-ready rims)
  • Tires: Vittoria Terreno Dry Gravel G2.0 TNT 700 x 38c

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 dirt and forest roads, the Terra H40 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.

Terra H40 is equipped with 38c knobby tires that are grippy so you can ride 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 front and rear racks. Unfortunately, it does have only 2 bottle cage mounts.

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

And, the Shimano GRX 2x10spd groupset is precise, reliable, and quick. So, you can quickly change gears when needed without worrying that you won’t be able to conquer the next steep section.

What I also like about this bike is the partial internal cable routing. Thanks to it, the bike looks more clean and premium.


You may also be interested in gravel bike shoes. They will improve your riding comfort and power transfer.


Salsa Marrakesh Alivio (Best Gravel Bike for Bike Touring)

salsa marrakesh bike gold BK5890 1920x1080 uc 1
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.


Marin Lombard 2

b001214 gloss reflective black~silver~blue
Source: JensonUSA.com

Main Features

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

Technical Specifications

If you are looking for a fast, versatile, and affordable gravel bike, Marin Lombard 2 is definitely worth your attention.

It is equipped with hydraulic brakes that allow you to stop easily even in wet conditions. Just be careful to avoid skidding.

The carbon fork will increase your riding comfort by absorbing vibrations. If you use this bike with large volume tires and lower pressure, your ride will be very comfortable.

As for the terrain, you can use this bike for riding on paved surfaces – its sporty geometry is ideal for that – as well as for terrain thanks to 40c tires.

However, I would recommend this bike for paved surfaces and light terrain because the Shimano Tiagra groupset is not as suitable for terrain as the Shimano GRX, for example.

I am also a huge fan of the design of this bike. It looks modern and premium. What do you think?


Specialized Diverge Elite E5

96220 40 DIVERGE E5 ELITE OAKGRNMET SPR CHRM HERO?$hybris hd$}
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

CheckpointALR5 21 32557 C Primary?$responsive pjpg$&cache=on,on&wid=1920&hei=1440
Source: Trek.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 than $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

Full 2021 grail al 7 0 2837 gn bk P5
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

1 HERO SPACE corrected
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

MY20RevoltADV3 ColorA
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 the 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.


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 Trek Checkpoint ALR 4. It offers a great price-value ratio because it features a carbon fork, Shimano GRX 2x10spd groupset, hydraulic disc brakes, compatibility with up to 4 bottle cages, wide tire clearance, and sporty geometry. These features make it perfect for light terrain and paved roads. However, it will handle rougher terrain as well.

Go for Orbea Terra H40 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 relaxed but provides excellent handling capabilities at the same time.

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

So, make sure you keep in mind what riding style do you prefer before you buy your new gravel bike.

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 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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