Gravel biking is gaining popularity, and so more and more people are on the lookout for a new gravel bike to try out.
Typically, gravel bikes have a drop bar design. But just because it is most common does not mean that it is the best design. A lot of people are beginning to make the switch flat bar options.
Some may claim that flat handlebars offer improved bike control, especially when riding off-road. They give enhanced steering leverage as well. This is ideal for hauling front panniers or handlebar bag for bikepacking. For new bikers, flat handlebars are usually the best option.
Compared to gravel bikes with drop bars, you are not in the most aerodynamic position on a bike with flat handlebars. This is still fine though because you could replace the flat bars with other available handlebars.
If you are looking for the best gravel bike to buy right now, then you have come to the right place! This is a list of the top 22 bikes of the year.
If you have never bought a gravel bike before, then check out the buyer's guide at the end of this article. In this section, we will cover everything that you need to look for when buying one of these products.
Best Gravel Bikes
OUR TOP PICK
The Poseidon Redwood is widely regarded as one of the best dirt and gravel bikes on the market right now, especially considering its cost.
This bike is available in a variety of urban adventurer configurations, including both a drop bar and a flat bar version.
It is one of the best gravel bikes and has the most capability and a decent amount of tire clearance.
The brand Poseidon has taken inspiration from another of their bikes.
What they essentially did was make the bike bigger so that you can chew up gravel while still having enough rubber to absorb the vibrations of a rutted-rocky road. This allows you to ride more efficiently.
The Flatbar Redwood boasts the best potential tire clearance out of all of the gravel bikes on our list.
Despite the fact that it is not the lightest alternative, it provides the best value for the money for what you get. However, it is a bit heavier than other bikes on this list.
- 2.5” tire clearance - this allows you to ride more smoothly while also keeping control
- Good overall quality - given the price, which is somewhat low for one of these products, this bike is of very good quality
- Perfect for offroading - if you are wanting to build up your offroading skills this is the bike for you
- Heavy - weighing 12.5kg, this is on the heavy side for dirt bikes
- Handlebars might be too low - if you are 6ft or taller, you may not be able to ride this bike comfortably as you will have to hunch over to use the handlebars
The Specialized flat bar dirt bike is a favorite for many gravel bikers out there as it's simply so adaptable.
The geometry of the bike is somewhat revolutionary for the gravel bike world, as Diverge wanted to do something different with this bike.
Thanks to the design, you may get the feeling of being somewhat anchored to this bike as you ride it, which makes it feel very stable.
This has been achieved by lowering the height of the bottom bracket while concurrently increasing the reach of the handlebars.
The design of the bicycle was inspired by mountain biking, and it comes complete with mountain bike-specific components like hydraulic disc brakes, a dropper post, and a high-end 1 x 12 XT Praxis groupset as standard equipment.
The bike was built using an aluminum frame and a carbon fiber fork as its primary materials for construction.
If you are using 700x42mm tires, the maximum clearance you will have while using a 700c wheel is 47mm, and the maximum clearance you will have when using a 650b wheel is 2.1".
In addition to that, you will get a 1X, 40T crank, and a 2-speed Shimano XT 1 cassette with 10-45t gearing. Both of these items are included in the package.
- Very comfortable - thanks to the new design of the frame of this bike, it is very comfortable for you to ride for a long time
- Free-extras - with purchase, you also get a Shimano XT 12-speed cassette with 10-45t gearing and a Praxis Zayante carbon 1X, 40T crank
- Very high quality - inspired by mountain bikes, this bike is made of very durable materials and will last you a very long time
- Quite expensive - this bike costs a few thousand dollars, which is a lot of money to spend on a hobby in one go
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The X6 butted aluminum frame and carbon fork of the Norco Search Flat bar provide lightweight, agile stability, and pleasurable vertical compliance.
Additionally, these components allow for effective pedaling.
As well as this, the XR is a very lightweight bike due to these above features.
With the Flay Bar setup, you will have the opportunity to explore singletrack trails, take on a gravel loop, or embark on an extended bike-packing excursion.
- Very versatile - this is the kind of bike that you can ride to work as well as the dirt bike tracks
- Fast - thanks to its lightweight this is a very speedy bike
- Comfortable - the bike was designed to be comfortable enough to ride for long periods of time
- The drivetrain can be a bit loud - after a lot of use, the drivetrain is known to rattle a little
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Restore the joy to the experience of biking with the Marin Muirwoods 700CC bike!
The Muirwood by Marin is meant for navigating the urban jungle in addition to the rural areas.
This is an alternative to traditional flat bar dirt bikes that can be purchased for less than a thousand dollars and can accommodate tires with a maximum dimension of 27.5 by 2.2 inches.
In addition to this, it is a fantastic option for anyone looking for an inexpensive tourer or dirt commuter.
- Adaptable - this bike is just as at home on the city roads as it is on dirt bike tracks
- Comfortable - when dirt or gravel biking, feeling every bump in the path can leave you feeling very sore. This bike was designed to be as comfortable as possible
- Big tire clearance - the tire clearance on this bike leaves enough room for tires 29”x2.0 in size
- Powerful breaks - while the breaks are typically thought of as entry-level, they are very strong and respond well to your touch
- Wheels are heavy - the wheels that this bike comes with are pretty heavy, but you can swap them out for others if you want to
- Handlebars are quite wide - this takes a bit of getting used to as it means that doing quick, tight turns is a bit harder
- A little heavy – compared to aluminum bikes, this one is a bit heavy
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The all-new Salsa Journeyer has a different appearance compared to its older brother, the Journeyman, which was highlighted as being one of the finest dirt bikes that can be purchased for less than $1,000.
Described by Salsa as their go-anywhere, do-anything all-terrain adventure bike, this is a gravel and all-road bike that can handle everything you throw at it.
This bike is available in a wide variety of configurations, with the most affordable beginning at $999 for the flat bar version.
The Salsa Journeyer Flat Bar Deore 650b is the model that comes highly recommended by many gravel bikes.
- Variety of mounts - choose which is the best one for you
- Very comfortable - you won’t be too sore at the end of the day
- Super easy to change ears and break - both changing gears and breaking feels very smooth on this bike. It is also pretty easy to do these things as the bike is very responsive, meaning that beginners will probably find it pretty easy to use
- Very expensive - while this is a bike that can supposedly handle anything, it is very expensive. You will have to decide if the various features are worth the money
- Wheels are heavy - the wheels are where the most weight on this bike comes from. If you do not like them you can change them for other lighter wheels however
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Marin has also jumped on the bandwagon of the flat bar gravel bike.
They have revealed their take on these types of bikes that are intended for cruising and made something new.
This bike was built with the Gestalt X drop-bar platform acting as the primary feature throughout the construction process.
By introducing a new model with a more comfortable and upright position, Marin is broadening the scope of the types of bicycles it manufactures beyond only road bikes.
This bicycle features hydraulic disc brakes as well as a 1 x 12 Deore groupset, which is considered to be of an upper-middle range.
In addition, the bike comes equipped with a Shimano Deore 12-Speed, 10-51T cassette as well as a forged aluminum, 42T steel narrow-wide chainring.
The bicycle is one of a kind because it has a low standover and a mountain bike mentality, but it also has a flat bar and was built to be able to manage quick commutes, extended Saturday adventures that encompass pavement, and little singletrack, and all-day gravel events.
The DSX frame is made up of an alloy for the mainframe and a carbon fork. It also has features for internally routed dropper posts.
It is compatible with tires measuring up to 29 x 2.1 inches and has clearance for tires measuring up to 700Cx45mm.
- You get a lot for your money - considering that this bike is versatile and has many unique features, for the price it is definitely worth it
- Good bar sweep - this adds to the overall comfort of this bike as it keeps you in a good position while riding
- Very good tire clearance - this is vital o dirt bike tracks as it keeps you stable at high speeds and in tight turns
- Bars need to be wider - the pars are pretty short at either end, which may affect how well you are able to hold them
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The Journeyman Flat Bar is an excellent gravel grinder that doesn't break the bank and is suited for doing just about anything you can think of.
Those who prefer to race on gravel, bikepack, or explore the backroads will find it to be an excellent choice.
This is a bicycle that was developed to be used especially off-road and that provides users with the highest level of comfort and confidence over a variety of terrain types.
Flat bar handlebars offer a more upright and comfortable body position for the rider, letting them tackle more challenging terrain, while wider 650b tires provide you with greater stability and traction, helping you to ride through rougher terrain.
- Excellent value for money - for a do it all bike, you get a lot for the price
- Versatile - no matter what outdoor cycling activities you want to take part in, this bike is suitable for anything
- Durable - all of the components in this bike were built to last
- The bike comes with non-tubless tires - this may be ok for some people, but you can change them if you want to
- Thru-axels - this feature on gravel bikes is pretty outdated these days so it’s odd that they would be added to a newer bike
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This particular bicycle is referred to as the "gravel, work, commuter, do it all bike," and it features a distinctive frame design that separates it from other bicycles in terms of its overall appeal.
Even though it is constructed in the shape of a traditional mountain bike, it is outfitted with features that would be ideal for a gravel grinder. Through-axle spacing of 100/142 is included on the frame of this bike.
The bike can be equipped with both 700c and 650b wheels, so you have the option of purchasing both sets of wheels. If you do so, you may use the 700c wheels for riding to and from work and then switch to the 650b wheels to give the impression of a mountain bike and ride it on trails.
- Very solid - with the fork and frame both being made out of Chromoly steel, this is a very sturdy bike
- 2 wheel options - you can purchase both sets of wheels so that you can adapt the bike to the environment and use
- Can add many mounts - there is also a space for a frame bag
- Not super durable - a lot of the materials used in this bike are more “budget” options, meaning that they cannot hold up as well against their more expensive counterparts
- Heavy - weighing 12.7kg, if you have to carry this anywhere it will take a lot of effort
- Hard to change gears - the gears on this bike are a bit stiff, which isn’t helpful when you are trying to cycle up a steep hill
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Best 22 Flat Bar Gravel Bikes Buying Guide
Gravel bikes are quite popular and considered to be really trendy.
Gravel riding provides riders with the opportunity to explore a broad range of terrain that, if ridden on a road bike, would not have been accessible to them.
But not all dirt bikes are equal! How can you find your way through the labyrinth of different models, continuing new releases, and limited-time specials in order to choose the bicycle that is most suited to your individual riding tastes?
To help you out, we have made this detailed buyers guide. This covers all of the essential features that you should look out for when buying a gravel bike.
You will need disc brakes for your dirt bike, and for many older bikes. This may be the limiting factor in terms of customization options.
While there are a few other brake options out there, gravel bikes that have disk breaks are typically a lot better to ride, as well as a lot safer.
Why do you need brakes that have discs? There must be sufficient wheel room given by the brakes, rather than that the brakes themselves function well.
Disc brakes are necessary if you wish to experiment with a range of wider tires on the bicycle.
The bulk of dirt bikes on the market now require tire widths between 35 and 50 millimeters, and the typical caliper-style brake has problems working with anything wider than 30 millimeters.
On certain dirt bikes, the design of the frame and the disc brakes allow for clearance of up to 50 millimeters.
If you want the best chance of finding a dirt bike that is suitable for your requirements, installing disc brakes on your bike is your best bet.
You want to set up your handlebars so that they are somewhat more upright than you would have them on a road bike. This is the ideal position for your handlebars on a gravel bike.
Gravel bikes are designed for riding over long distances on gravel surfaces, so while you do need more agility for the unpredictable gravel or hilly trail, you do not need to be "down in the drops" like you would be on an open paved road.
Gravel bikes are designed to have a lower bottom bracket than traditional mountain bikes.
These bikes are purpose-built to handle the hardships of riding over such significant distances and at such high speeds.
When riding a gravel bike, your position on the bullhorns or in the drops should be around one inch higher than it would be if you were riding a road cycle with the same components. This is an excellent general guideline to keep in mind.
When you ride your bike over gravel, you open yourself up to a number of potential hazards.
You might begin by locating a comfortable posture on a stretch of long, tightly packed gravel, but later you might have to switch to a posture that allows you to compensate for a short bit of soft gravel or dirt.
When you ride over mud, you will feel vibrations not only on your bike but also in your body.
Because of this, maintaining a comfortable riding position is much more important than it would be if you were simply riding on the pavement.
This is because your body would not have to perform the role of a shock absorber on the pavement to the same extent.
We usually recommend a less aggressive posture for a gravel bike than we would in a road bike or especially a time-trial bike.
This is because you might want to pop up on your handlebars if you cycle over loose gravel (by shifting your weight back), and it can be nice to use the "drops" when on a long stretch of gravel.
Is The Bike Road-Capable?
You should make it one of your top priorities to guarantee that your dirt bike is capable of handling well on the road.
On the surface, a gravel bike and a cyclocross bike have a lot of similarities; nevertheless, there are a few important distinctions between the two types of bikes.
The beauty of a gravel bike is that in addition to being fantastic on gravel, it can also perform quite well over lengthy stretches of pavement.
The adaptability of dirt bikes is one of the factors that contribute to their popularity. This enables you to combine previously impossible routes.
For instance, you could bike out on 10 miles of gravel, connect to another path on 8 miles of concrete, and then ride back home on another 12 miles of gravel when you get there.
This results in a stunning ride that is forty miles long and would not have been very accessible to you if you had simply been riding a road bike or a mountain bike.
The journey was made possible because of the combination of these two types of bikes.
Best 22 Flat Bar Gravel Bikes - FAQ's
What’s A Gravel Bike?
A gravel bike is a cross between a road bike and a mountain bike since it includes the benefits that are associated with both of these categories of bicycles.
It is light, fast, and effective on the compact ground, while at the same time being composed and stable enough to handle moderate off-road terrain. These are all desirable qualities in an off-road vehicle.
You are able to travel anywhere and engage in any activity. When you talk about a gravel bike, you're not merely referring to a road bike that has off-road tires.
The geometry, and as a result, the riding posture, are less concerned with being as aggressive and efficient as is possibly conceivable, and instead place a greater emphasis on comfort and stability over long distances.
This is because comfort and stability are more important than aggressiveness and efficiency.
Can You Ride Gravel Bikes On Pavements/Roads?
Absolutely. In fact, a gravel bike with the ideal tire combination, which includes tires that are neither too knobby nor extremely aggressive, can perform rather nicely on the pavement.
A gravel bike is the only type of bike that an individual needs to ride as they are suitable for almost any surface.
Your choice of tires will have a considerable impact on how the bikes move on paved surfaces.
If you choose a bike that is really broad and tires that have a large tread pattern, it is probable that the tire may have a heavy feel to it and will go more slowly over the pavement.
If you have a tire that has 45mm of tread, then it will work a lot better on softer gravel paths than it would on a paved road.
Gravel bikes are superior to mountain bikes and fitness/urban bikes because they are able to provide a terrific ride even while riding on paved terrain.
This makes gravel bikes the best choice. Gravel bikes are quite popular because of their ability to traverse rough terrain.