Sure, this site’s title points to the pavement, but, as we’ve argued before, specific nomenclature notwithstanding, it’s not like Road & Track Magazine had to change their name when they embraced the comeuppance of the SUV market and began including them in their pages. Whether you’re looking for your first bike or looking to make the move into the dirtier-side of drop-bar riding, one of the hurdles when looking for gravel bikes are their increasing price tags. As the demand for gravel bikes has grown so has the innovation bike manufacturers large and small have invested resulting in gravel bikes that cost as much as the latest Tour de France weapons. However, much like the road side of things, much of the best tech has begun to trickle down into more affordable price points. Take a look at these eleven notable 2022 gravel bikes that don’t break the bank.
NINER RLT 9 ALLOY
Niner’s RLT 9 lineup consists of three versions—carbon (RDO), steel and alloy. All three are offered in 650b or 700c builds with their carbon fork paired with all models. The alloy frame is the balance between price, performance and weight, but most impressive is that Niner tests all their bikes to the more demanding test standards that mountain bikes require.
KONA ROVE AL 650
The Rove AL 650 starts the five-bike Rove family of gravel bikes at just under $1000. The aluminum frame is built with a 2x drivetrain for added versatility and rolls on 650b WTB wheels. The Rove lineup is pocketbook-friendly with a top priced spec at $2599. Choose between 1x and 2x builds, alloy or steel frames, as well as 700c and 650b wheel options.
With its signature dropped chainstay, frame clearance for up to 40mm tires and excellent handling, this is the bike that broke the gravel category wide-open. Two models are available with the $4500 U.P.P.E.R. frame weighing 180 grams less.
FELT BROAM 60
The Felt Broam is intended for the bike-packing crowd, endurance riders, and anyone looking for a great riding bike with massive tire clearance (up to 700×45 or 650×2.1) and room for bags and fenders. The 60 is the most affordable option, offering plenty of bang for the buck. Disc brakes and 2x drivetrain make it a perfect all-road option for those looking for new routes.
CANNONDALE TOPSTONE CARBON 6
You’ll find a wide range of price points in Cannondale’s gravel catalog that includes three models, which feature their own one-sided Lefty suspension fork with 30mm of travel. This Topstone Carbon 6 feature’s Cannondale’s proprietary KingPin rear triangle “suspension” which add much needed compliance. Also consider the less-expensive entry-level Topstone One, which is available in five sizes with a Shimano GRX drivetrain.
CANYON GRAIL AL 7
The consumer-direct giant, Canyon, has a full crop of gravel bikes, with the new Grail AL7 on the entry-level side of the line. The aluminum frame uses a standard handlebar and stem (as opposed to the stacked handle bar on the higher-end carbon Grails), and the price is spot-on with carbon DT Swiss wheels and a Shimano GRX drivetrain.
FELT BREED 20
As opposed to their Broam touring bike, the aluminum Breed 20 is more gravel-specific with a SRAM Force 1x drivetrain and a faster-paced geometry. This Breed hits the scales at just over 20.5 pounds. There’s clearance for either 700c or 650b wheels and up to 45mm or 2.0-inch tires. The entry-level Breed 30 sells for $2199.
MARIN GESTALT X10
The alloy Gestalt X has room for either 700×45 or 650Bx47 tires and adds a SRAM 1x drivetrain with dropper post cable routing, as well as a new geometry. Overall, the more adventurous X version is ready to take things further off the beaten path at a great entry-level price.
When it comes to picking a gravel bike, Kona makes it clear that the Libre is ready for some serious adventure. The Libre is definitely dirt-oriented with its SRAM 1x Apex drivetrain and wide drop bars. The Apex build keeps the price down, and the aluminum frame is available in five sizes.
KHS GRIT 220
The 220 frame is 6061 double-butted aluminum with an abundance of mounts, which allows the bike to be compatible with racks, fenders and even bike-packing essentials. KHS offers four different builds, ranging from a chromoly frameset at $829 with quick releases to a $2799 carbon bike with front and rear thru-axles.
Bianchi has joined the gravel craze most recently with their Impulso Pro carbon gravel bike, however this Impulso alloy frame brings the famed renowned celeste color way to an affordable $2475 price point. Fit up to 40mm tires and run a 2x Shimano GRX drivetrain. Plus the 8 available frame sizes between 47 and 63cm make it accessible for a wide assortment of riders.
ORBEA TERRA H30
The Spanish marque is offering up a nine-model family of gravel bikes that feature a wide choice of colors and both 2x and 1x drivetrains that top out at a $4899 price point. The H30 runs with a Shimano GRX drivetrain and Vittoria Terreno Dry tires mounted on 700c Orbea wheels.
SPECIALIZED DIVERGE ELITE
Specialized’s Diverge line has proved popular over the last few years, but good luck finding one. The affordable price point and predictable handling of the nearly dozen bike series made it approachable for many. This $1900 Diverge Elite 5 uses a Shimano GRX drivetrain with a good range and in-house Specialized parts throughout.
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