For those who like to ride on rougher surfaces, gravel bikes are a great investment as they allow you to maintain control whilst also providing the durability and stability you need from the bike itself.
However, one quick search online for gravel bikes and you’ll notice that they are sold for thousands of dollars because of their advanced features.
For those who are on a stricter budget but want a bike that can withstand uneven terrain, there are plenty of options available.
We’ve compiled this ultimate guide which includes the top eight gravel bikes available that are under $1000 as well as an exclusive Buyers Guide and FAQ which help to give you further information so you know what to look out for when you are doing your own research.
Advantages of gravel bikes
Gravel bikes have seen a surge in popularity within the cycling industry as newer models boast more resistance against rougher surfaces.
For those who like to go adventure cycling, they are a great investment as they can withstand all kinds of conditions. Here are some of the advantages that come with gravel bikes:
The main advantage of gravel bikes is their ability to ride over rougher terrain than road bikes and even mountain bikes.
You can use this bike anywhere meaning that they are incredibly versatile and can suit the majority of lifestyles.
You can simply swap the tyres for thinner road tires for your daily commute and then thicker tires for racing.
Gravel bikes can handle any activity which actually saves you money in the long run as you won’t need to purchase an additional bike for different purposes as well as storage space as you’ll only need space for the one bike as well.
This is especially ideal if you live in a smaller apartment.
The second advantage is that gravel bikes have a simple design meaning that there is little chance that something will go wrong or break.
They are often made from durable and sturdy materials such as aluminum which means that you can ride them on any terrain in any weather without worrying about any breakage or damage.
The simple design also means that they are easier to use as beginners won’t feel too intimidated by the speed settings or gear shifter.
Another advantage is that gravel bikes allow you to practice riding over uneven surfaces at a slower pace making them perfect for those who want to familiarize themselves with adventure cycling without going too fast.
This is because most gravel bikes don’t have a dropper post or dual suspension meaning that you have more control over your speed.
Lastly, gravel bikes have a lot of scope for accessories because of their simple design.
They can be used at any point of the year if you have the right accessories such as appropriate tires depending on the surface or using mudguards if you are going adventure cycling.
You can make the gravel bike however you want to suit your own preferences.
Disadvantages of gravel bikes
Just as there are advantages for gravel bikes, there are also disadvantages that you should consider as well.
Here are some of the disadvantages that come with gravel bikes:
The first disadvantage relates to one of the advantages which is the speed of the gravel bike.
Whereas some people would prefer to go at a slower speed, there are some people who want to ride across rougher surfaces at top speeds, especially for racing.
Gravel bikes tend to have lightweight frames but because the tires are thicker, it adds extra weight meaning that they will run slower on uneven terrain.
Larger gravel bikes can also add further resistance meaning that the bike will ride slower compared to road bikes.
However, they run faster than mountain bikes and for those who want to ride fast can install thinner tires although they will compromise the amount of control you have.
The next disadvantage follows on from this and is about the weight of the bike itself.
Despite the lightweight frames, the tires add a lot of extra weight which can make it a struggle to carry around, especially if you live in an apartment block and are having to carry it up flights of stairs.
Always check the weight of the bike and make sure you are comfortable with it before making your purchase.
The final disadvantage is the cost of gravel bikes. They are among the most expensive kinds of bike because of their ability to ride across the majority of surfaces.
Although they do save you money in the long run as you don’t have to worry about purchasing an extra bike, they do cost a lot initially so it’s important to weigh up whether you want to make the purchase.
Here are the top eight gravel bikes under $1000 that you should consider purchasing:
OUR TOP PICK
Our first recommendation is the Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Bike which is a direct to consumer brand so you can benefit from the Shimano gears, super lightweight aluminum frame and lightweight wheels at a fraction of the price that high end brands charge.
With a lifetime warranty available for the frame, Tommaso provides peace of mind thanks to their impeccable customer service team who are happy to help with any situation.
This bike is ideal for all abilities, especially those who want to move past the beginner level with a bike that is guaranteed to withstand years of regular use.
The Imola model has been made with durability in mind thanks to the sturdy materials and ability to ride on rougher surfaces such as gravel.
The Imola features the new R2000 Claris STI shifters which mimic 105 and Tiagra components up the line.
With cables that are routed under the bar, this bike looks and runs perfectly as it will perform at the optimal levels and make shifting gears easier than ever which is essential when riding on gravel.
The compact frame geometry provides more relaxed positions for all riding styles with the signature handlebar drop providing comfortability.
There are added extra controls provided thanks to the thicker tires that can withstand rougher surfaces.
This means that the Imola is one of the comfortable and efficient gravel bikes that you can purchase.
- Features Shimano gears, super lightweight aluminum frame and lightweight wheels
- The compact frame geometry provides more relaxed positions
- Provides added extra controls provided thanks to the thicker tires that can withstand rougher surfaces
- High price point
Our second selection is the Gravity 2021 FSX 1.0 Dual Full Suspension Bike which is one of the best options for beginners as it provides a level 24 speed dual suspension and is a best seller thanks to the high quality materials.
Featuring 26 inch wheels, front and rear disc brakes and an advanced aluminum frame with single pivot technology, this bike is sturdy and durable meaning that you can easily go on adventure rides without worrying about any breakage or damage occurring.
The bike also has an adjustable rear coil over cartridge shock, Shimano drivetrain and an adjustable front shock means that you can maintain control even when riding at faster speed.
Easy to assemble and tune before riding, this bike has strong and light double wall rims to provide extra security and protection when riding on rougher terrain.
The quick release wheels at both the front and rear makes changing tires easier than ever and the adjustable suspension allows you to maintain control on uneven surfaces.
The easy to use Shimano shifters incorporates the best quality on the market to ensure that you can change gears with no problem.
- Features 26 inch wheels, front and rear disc brakes and an advanced aluminum frame with single pivot technology
- Easy to assemble and tune before riding
- The quick release wheels at both the front and rear makes changing tires easier than ever
- Unsuitable for taller riders
Our third choice is the Schwinn Volare 1400 700C Bike which is an upgraded version of the Schwinn Volare.
Boasting an aluminum frame with a steel fork ensures that you can have quick and agile riding with no issues.
The 14 speed integrated shifter and brake lever combo allows for more precise and seamless shifting while the alloy caliper dual pivot brakes on the front and rear mean that you can stop with ease.
Schwinn is a brand that specializes in making bikes that are designed to withstand a majority of surfaces and the Volare 1400 is a great example of this.
The aluminum frame is free from any corrosion and rust meaning that it will last for long periods of time whilst still looking sleek and new.
This bike comes with oversized tires which makes riding on any surface fast and smooth whilst also allowing you to maintain control.
The alloy double wall rims are both strong and light for added durability while you are riding over rougher terrain.
The aluminum handlebar, stem and seat post are lightweight and durable which provides a speedy and smooth experience while also allowing you to be comfortable for longer rides.
- Boasting an aluminum frame with a steel fork ensures that you can have quick and agile riding with no issues
- The 14 speed integrated shifter and brake lever combo allows for more precise and seamless shifting
- The alloy double wall rims are both strong and light for added durability
- The front tire is difficult to pump with air initially
Our fourth recommendation is the Schwinn Sporterra Adventure Adult Gravel Bike which features an aluminum frame complete with a rigid fork which is ideal for fast riding along varied terrain.
The 700C wheels can fit riders between 5’4” to 6’2” easily making it highly accessible and comfortable.
For those worried about the control aspect of adventure cycling can be reassured thanks to the 14 varying speeds with Shimano shifter and the brake lever combination to enhance your riding experience.
The Shimano rear derailleur also provides quick gear changes.
The alloy mechanical disc brakes help to deliver superior stopping power to ensure that you are as safe as possible whilst riding.
The 700 x 38C multi terrain tires provide traction on the majority of surfaces with ease whilst the quick release seat post makes for easy saddle height adjustment so you can be as comfortable as possible, especially if you are going for longer rides.
- Features an aluminum frame complete with a rigid fork which is ideal for fast riding along varied terrain
- Comes with 14 varying speeds with Shimano shifter and a brake lever combination which enhances performances
- The 700 x 38C multi terrain tires provide traction on the majority of surfaces with ease
- Can take a while to calibrate the gears
Our fifth selection is the Trinx TEMPO1.0 700C Bike which boasts a 700C Hydroformed AI6061 aluminum alloy frame which helps to provide the durability you need for rougher terrains.
With various sizes available depending on your height, you can be assured that you will have the most comfortable experience as possible with little adjustment needed.
The trinx hi ten steel fork is incredibly sturdy so it can withstand years of regular use with no damage.
This bike features an array of quality elements including a Shimano A050 shifter, Shimano TZ500 front and TZ500 rear derailleur which ensures that you have complete control when riding on trickier and unfamiliar surfaces.
The 700C colorful tires are thick enough to withstand uneven terrain without losing control while the alloy double wall rim and winzip alloy brakes allow for a seamless performance.
The 25 pound overall weight is extremely lightweight and convenient in design making it ideal for travelling while the Shimano 21 speed option provides an array of options for all abilities.
This is one of the best bikes on this list for those who like to travel around with their bike and go adventure riding.
- Boasts a 700C Hydroformed AI6061 aluminum alloy frame which helps to provide the durability you need for rougher terrains
- The 700C colorful tires are thick enough to withstand uneven terrain without losing control
- The 25 pound overall weight is extremely lightweight and convenient in design making it ideal for travelling
- The instruction booklet is not clear
Our sixth choice is the Eurobike EURXC550 Bike which has a 21 speed shifting system and dual disc brake.
Whether you are wanting to ride over rough terrain exclusively or a variety of surfaces, this bike is all you need as it can blend into any lifestyle routine with ease.
With a variety of sizes available, you can select the one that is best for your height so you can have a more comfortable experience.
This bike comes 85% assembled for extra convenience with the rest of the assembly easy to do as it is attaching the front wheel, pedals and handlebar.
The frame is made from steel which makes it durable and reliable for longer trips.
The steel also allows for heavier weights making it great for those who are wanting to embark on their fitness journey and want to cycle but may be intimidated by it.
Eurobike supplies all the tools needed to put this bike together as well as clear instructions so beginners can assemble the bike with ease.
The padded seat is also comfortable making it great for those who like to cycle for long periods of time.
- Has a 21 speed shifting system and dual disc brake
- Comes 85% assembled for extra convenience
- Includes all the tools needed to put this bike together
- The chain can fall off after long periods of time
Our seventh recommendation is the Schwinn Volare Adult Bike which has a lightweight aluminum frame and rigid fork which supplies quick and responsive riding.
The 14 speed Shimano A050 shifters and Shimano rear derailleur provides precise and quick gear changes for a smoother riding experience.
The alloy caliper brakes are incredibly sturdy and allow for crisp stopping in all conditions no matter what surface you are riding on.
The materials used to make every aspect of this bike have been to be durable and reliable so you can have years of regular use without worrying about any damage when you are riding on uneven surfaces.
The Volare Adult Bike has light and strong high profile double wall alloy rims which add durability without weighing you down or causing fatigue on longer rides while the 28C tires run fast and fun while also thick enough to withstand rougher terrain without causing any damage.
The sport saddle and alloy seat post offer a lightweight performance as well as adjustability so you can get as comfortable as possible before riding.
- Has a lightweight aluminum frame and rigid fork which supplies quick and responsive riding
- Features 14 speed Shimano A050 shifters and a Shimano rear derailleur which provides precise and quick gear changes for a smoother riding experience
- The 28C tires run fast and fun while also thick enough to withstand rougher terrain without causing any damage
- The seat is quite hard which can become uncomfortable after long periods of time
Our eighth selection is the LZBIKE LZ-550 Steel Bicycle which is one of the cheapest options on our list making it ideal for those on a strict budget.
With a frame height of 49mm, this bike can suit the majority of riders with ease.
The frame is made from steel which can withstand a variety of conditions and is extremely durable and made to ride along rougher and uneven terrain.
The tires are 700mm which means you have more control when riding over gravel and they won’t suffer any damage after longer periods of time.
Despite the lower price point, this bike comes with 21 different speeds so you can alter accordingly depending on what kind of surface you are riding on.
The Shimano gear shifter is one of the highest quality shifters you can have on your bike as they last a long time and allow for smooth shifting.
The disc brake is highly reliable and allows you to maintain your control if you encounter a rougher surface. This bike also comes with a one year warranty to assure you have peace of mind.
- Great price point makes it ideal for those on a budget
- The frame is made from steel which can withstand a variety of conditions and is extremely durable
- The tires are 700mm which means you have more control when riding over rougher terrain
- The seat can be a bit uncomfortable for longer rides
Our ninth choice is the Hiland 700C Bicycle which provides speed, agility and efficiency thanks to the upgraded 2x7 drivetrain that is light, simple and easy to use.
This is the perfect choice for those who have never tried gravel riding before.
The frame and fork is made from durable hi ten steel which is extremely durable as well as extra comfortability whilst riding on longer trips.
Boasting Shimano TY21 thumb shifters with 14 speeds, you have more control than ever before, especially when riding over rougher terrain.
Despite the low price point, this gravel bike has been designed with quality materials to ensure that you start your gravel biking journey with the best equipment.
The aluminum rims are sturdy and can maintain rougher and uneven surfaces with ease while the 700*25C high performance tires provide a great riding experience that is comfortable.
It’s one of the most convenient models on our list as it comes 85% pre-assembled with the rest of the equipment being quick and easy to assemble and comes with all the tools and pedals you need.
With a variety of sizes available depending on your height, you can be assured that you are purchasing a bike that is right for you.
- Provides speed, agility and efficiency thanks to the upgraded 2x7 drivetrain that is light, simple and easy to use
- Boasting Shimano TY21 thumb shifters with 14 speeds, you have more control than ever before
- Comes 85% pre-assembled with the rest of the equipment being quick and easy to assemble and comes with all the tools and pedals you need
- Can become creaky after long periods of time
Our tenth recommendation is the Outroad Bike which boasts 700c wheels and a 14 speed grip shifter making it a great bike for retaining control on rough surfaces.
The durable and stable aluminum frame comes with a steel fork to ensure quick agile riding for an enhanced riding experience.
The aluminum frame prevents any corrosion and rust and is sturdy enough to ride over uneven surfaces and terrain.
The 14 speeds can be shifted and switched easily and seamlessly without any clunking sound no matter what terrain you are riding on.
The safety features in the ride ensure both function and performance without any concern of losing control.
The roller sport 700 x 28c tires have a long tread life whilst also boasting anti slip wear resistance.
It is incredibly easy to assemble and comes with all the tools you need to build and maintain the bike.
No matter what surface or speed you are riding on, the Outroad Bike is a great investment to make for those who want a bike that does everything.
- The durable and stable aluminum frame comes with a steel fork to ensure quick agile riding
- The roller sport 700 x 28c tires have a long tread life whilst also boasting anti slip wear resistance
- Easy to assemble and comes with all the tools you need to build and maintain the bike
- The brakes need adjusting before use
Our penultimate selection is the Royce Union Gravel Bike which has been designed to excel in any terrain no matter what the conditions are.
The aluminum hardtail frame provides a lighter ride and less maintenance as the performance isn’t compromised.
The rigid aluminum frame and alloy three piece crank has precision specifications to provide an unrivalled gravel riding performance making it a durable bike that has been designed to last for years without damage.
The 27.5” all terrain tires give you the ability to switch from the road to the trail seamlessly whilst retaining complete control over rougher surfaces.
The Royce Union Gravel Bike comes equipped with a full Shimano drivetrain which allows an effortless transfer of power from the rider to the rear wheel.
The Shimano EZ Fire Trigger also allows for split second shifting which will get faster once the bike has been broken in whilst the front and rear disc brakes generate an incredible stopping power.
This bike has been made with rougher terrains in mind so you can ride comfortably.
- The aluminum hardtail frame provides a lighter ride and less maintenance as the performance isn’t compromised
- The 27.5” all terrain tires give you the ability to switch from the road to the trail seamlessly
- Comes equipped with a full Shimano drivetrain which allows an effortless transfer of power from the rider to the rear wheel
- Gear shifting can be stiff initially
Our last choice is the Giordano Trieste Gravel Bike which is ideal for riders who are wanting a high quality and smartly equipped bike that has been designed for years of use.
It consists of a lightweight chrome steel frame and fork which has been combined with 42mm wide tires to provide an ultra smooth ride.
Equipped with a Shimano Claris 16 speed drivetrain, STI shifters and powerful disc brakes for safe stopping in any condition.
The variety of sizes allow you to pick the frame that is most suitable for your height whilst also providing the comfortability needed for longer trips.
The steel frame and fork is durable and will last for years under any condition of regular hardwearing use while the Shimano gear shifter is among the best in the market that provides seamless speed changes for more control.
The 32 hole double wall alloy rim is incredibly sturdy and the 700c tires are thick enough to withstand any terrain whilst also providing the friction needed for control.
- Consists of a lightweight chrome steel frame and fork which has been combined with 42mm wide tires
- Equipped with a Shimano Claris 16 speed drivetrain, STI shifters and powerful disc brakes for safe stopping in any condition
- The variety of sizes allow you to pick the frame that is most suitable for your height
- The weight of the bike is heavier due to the steel frame
Best Gravel Bikes Under $1000 Buying Guide
As gravel bikes are an investment no matter how much you spend, you should take serious consideration before making your final decision.
There are certain factors you should always think about when conducting your own research so you know what to expect from your gravel bike.
Always look into the size of the bike, what surfaces you’ll be riding on, the durability of the materials and your budget.
Once you’ve thought about these aspects and weighed them up with your own criteria, you’ll be in a position to make a decision that is well informed and that you can feel confident with.
The first thing that is important when researching gravel bikes is the size.
The size of the bike is dependent on your height to ensure that you can stop and start without falling over as well as keeping control at all times.
Some gravel bikes give a wider selection of size options which is great as it will provide a more comfortable experience whilst other models only offer one or two options which will need adjusting before use to avoid any discomfort.
The next thing you should always think about when researching gravel bikes is what kind of surface you will be using it on.
For those who are wanting to use their gravel bike on extremely rough terrain, making sure that it has a lot of speed settings means that you will have more control over the bike which reduces the chance of any accidents or premature damage to the bike.
On the other hand, if you are going to be using your bike on regular terrain or surfaces that are easier to get across may not require thicker tires and you won’t need as many speed settings.
The durability of the bike is incredibly important, especially considering how much they cost. The last thing you want to happen is purchase a bike and then find that it breaks or gets damaged after a couple of uses.
Gravel bikes have been designed to last for years of hard wearing use so it’s important to look into the materials that make up the bike so you can be assured.
The best result will be that the bike is made of aluminum which is lightweight and incredibly strong as it is able to withstand all weather conditions and surfaces without corrosion or rusting.
However, for those looking for a lower price point under $500 then looking for a gravel bike made from steel is the next best option as it is incredibly strong and reliable although it may become rusted over time.
Lastly, always consider your budget. We’ve gathered the top gravel bikes under $1000 for those on a stricter budget but the prices vary greatly depending on the features.
For those who are on an extremely strict budget, the cheaper options may compromise certain elements such as the wide range of speed options or comfortability.
Gravel bikes boast a simple design meaning that you can add extra accessories or alter the bike to suit your preferences and improve the quality over time.
Frequently Asked Questions
Should I buy a gravel bike or road bike?
This is all dependent on what kind of riding you’ll be doing.
Road bikes have a shorter wheelbase and steeper angles which makes them ideal for daily commutes where gravel bikes add more stability and control which is needed for uneven terrain.
Are gravel bikes worth it?
Gravel bikes are definitely worth the money if you are planning on riding on rougher surfaces.
This is because they have been built to withstand the rough conditions that come with uneven terrain.
However, if you’re not going to be riding along rougher surfaces and are using it for your regular commute then it’s probably not going to be worth the extra money.
Why do gravel bikes have drop handles?
One of the most noticeable characteristics of gravel bikes is their drop handles. This helps to provide stability and control when riding along uneven surfaces, especially if you are riding at faster speeds.
The bars tend to be wider with a flared drop which provides a more natural positioning for the rider.
Overall, gravel bikes can be a great asset for those who want to use their bike for a variety of surfaces.
Boasting extreme versatility as well as durable materials, gravel bikes have a simple design that can be customized, accessorized and altered to suit your personal preferences and requirements.
Whether you like to go on short or long rides, gravel bikes can be extremely comfortable if you are willing to invest in the accessories needed to enhance your bike.
On the other hand, be prepared to spend a lot of money upfront as they are costly due to their high quality materials and features.
Gravel bikes can help you to incorporate cycling into your everyday life whilst also allowing you to venture wherever you want which gives you total freedom in your activities.
Whether you are a beginner cyclist or an avid enthusiast, you can benefit tremendously from gravel bikes without worrying about losing control or having to replace the bike after a short period of time.