[Updated November 19, 2021]
If you're after a drop-bar electric gravel or adventure bike, then we might have the answer in our roundup of all the best ones we have tested. We've tried and tested these bikes listed with more on the way, plus there are more suggestions for options for you to investigate at the bottom.
11 of the best 2021 electric gravel bikes
- Canyon Grail:ON CF 8 — £4,949.00
- Cairn BRAVe 1.0 Drop Bar — £2,549.00
- Ribble CGR AL e – from £2,399
- Boardman ADV9.8E – £2,429.10
- Look e-765 Gravel – £5,997.00 (£4,036.32 if you're a size M or XL and willing to pop over to Ireland for it)
- Orbea Gain 2021 – £2,359 - £8,199
- Specialized Turbo Creo 2021 – £4,000 - £11,500
- Kinesis Range – £3,550
- Cannondale Topstone Neo Carbon Lefty 1 2021 – £7,999.99
- Giant Revolt E+ Pro XR – £2,699.99
- Merida eSILEX+ 600 – £3,000
The Canyon Grail:ON CF 8.0 combines a top-performing Bosch Performance CX motor with a large 500Wh battery that gives huge range potential. Wide tyres and the S15 VCLS seatpost aid comfort, but the double-decker bar will likely divide opinions and impacts fit options.
Regardless of whether the full carbon frame has any performance advantage for an e-bike of this type, the Grail:ON is still a bike that stands out from the crowd. The hover bar certainly draws attention and may divide opinions. However, the real highlight is the Bosch Performance CX motor and large 500Wh battery, which combine to offer a vast range of power adjustment on offer. The Performance CX may have been designed primarily for mountain bikes, but in my experience testing the Grail:ON, it is incredibly competent for gravel riding as well.
Cairn has delivered a bike that manages to not only cross between established categories but create its own with the BRAVe. The Shimano powered bike mixes the downhill ability of a mountain bike with the ability to cover ground that a gravel bike can provide. While there are some less than perfect areas, the overall package and price make it well worth a look.
The Ribble CGR AL e is a cracking bike for the money. Comfortable, stable and capable over very rough ground or while effortlessly eating up road miles, it adds intuitive, discreet electric assist to a fundamentally great chassis. It's a bike that opens up huge possibilities (for all levels of rider) in covering serious ground – and having a lot of fun along the way.
Boardman’s new range of Fazua-powered e-bikes offer really good value for money, and our experience aboard the ADV8.9E has been very positive. You’re getting a lot of the performance of more expensive e-road bikes at a much lower price point. The Fazua system is good for mixed riding, and offers useful assistance and good range. It’s built into a bike that’s solid and enjoyable to ride.
Look has entered the market somewhere very close to the top end with their e-765 Gravel, the sister bike to the road-going e-765. And it’s a very good bike for mixed terrain riding, even if it is expensive enough to put it out of reach of the many (us included).
If you want an e-bike that doesn't look like an e-bike, the Gain range from Basque brand Orbea might well hit the spot. Orbea describes it quite accurately as being designed to "enhance your ride, not dominate it". What they're getting at is the fact that the Ebikemotion X35 Plus motor is significantly less powerful than the Shimano or Bosch mid-mounted motors that many e-bikes have in this price range, but at 14kg for the Gain D15 it's also much lighter than most e-bikes.
Specialized builds its Turbo Creo e-bikes into gravel or road machines by tweaking the spec, but they all use the same SL 1.1 motor, developed by German car component giant Mahle, which also owns the Ebikemotion system found on the Orbea Gain.
The range tops out at the S-Works Turbo Creo SL EVO, above, with a carbon fibre frame and wheels, and starts with the rather less exotic Turbo Creo SL Comp E5 with an aluminium frame and Shimano GRX components.
The Range Adventure from Kinesis UK is an e-bike featuring the Fazua Evation motor. Designed to be versatile and capable of adventures with a light motor and big range, it also has an easily-removable battery that allows unassisted riding. Loads of mounts and and impressive range make it an excellent bikepacker or commuter, though the front needs bigger rubber to tame the harshness.
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We haven't had a chance to test these bikes yet, but they're among the most interesting gravel e-bikes out there right now and could be well worth a look if you are in the market for a gravel e-bike.
With its Lefty front suspension and Kingpin rear shock absorption, the Topstone Lefty is already one of the most intriguing gravel bikes for 2021, even before you consider adding electric assistance. This version's Bosch Performance Line CX motor and battery promise ample oomph for help on hills and Cannondale claims a maximum range of 110 miles for big days out. The wireless electronic SRAM AXS shifting, with that huge 10-50 X01 Eagle cassette is like the icing on the cake.
If the price tag has you going "You could get a car for that!" there are Topstone Neo versions from £4,000.
Not the prettiest gravel e-bike you can buy, but its Yamaha motor should provide plenty of oomph and reliable Shimano GRX components handle the standard bike stuff. The stock tyres are 45mm wide, unusually fat for off-the-peg spec, and that's got to be a good thing.
New to the Merida range is the eSILEX, the brands e-gravel bike. Using a Mahle motor, it looks like a small neat package, and not much like an e-bike! The bike comes in two specs, choose from either the eSILEX 600+ with 650B wheels and a Shimano GRX 1x11 or the 700c eSILEX 400 with a 2x GRX drivetrain. Both have a 250wH battery and both motors put out 40NM of torque. For more details of these bikes and other new Merida road going e-bike, head over to ebiketips.
What other e-gravel bikes have you seen that you'd like us to cover and review? All suggestions welcome, leave them in the comments below!
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