If you're after a super-versatile drop-bar bike priced between £1,000 and £2,000, we might have the answer in our roundup of all the best gravel bikes we have tested in this price bracket. We've tried and tested all of these bikes, from the capable adventure steeds to the all-rounders, and these are our top-rated.
[Updated September 21, 2021]
The best gravel bikes under £2,000
Hit the links below to jump to that bike or scroll for more, bikes listed in no particular order.
- Boardman ADV 8.9 – £1,100
- Liv Devote 1 – £1,499
- Vitus Substance CRS-2 – £1,999.99
- Ragley Trig – £1,699.99
- Giant Revolt 1 – £1,499
- Giant Revolt 0 – £1,799
- Ribble CGR AL Shimano 105 – £1,399
- Canyon Grail AL 6 – £1,649
- Marin Gestalt X10 2022 – £1,255
- Rondo RUUT AL 2 – £1,749.99
Time and time again Boardman has proved that it can deliver a lot of bike for the money, and it's no different here with the ADV 8.9. For an entry-level gravel/adventure bike, its well-mannered handling will look after you should you be new to riding on a surface that moves beneath your tyres, and if you are likely to spend a fair amount of time on the road then you'll soon see that it is also a very capable tourer.
If the Boardman ADV 8.9 was a movie it'd be rated 'U', suitable for all, and we mean that with the utmost respect.
In a relatively small pool of female-focused gravel bikes, the Liv Devote 1 delivers a fun and sporty but confidence-inspiring ride, on tarmac or trail. Tester Lara writes: "Straight away, I noticed how stable and planted it feels, both on the road and off, with the geometry and lower bottom bracket position placing me firmly within the cockpit for maximum control and confidence.
"Climbing is an absolute pleasure, and even on a fairly tricky off-road climb it gave no twitchiness in terms of handling or issues with front wheel lift at all. It actually climbs better than my hardtail mountain bike!"
Vitus says its Substance CRS-2 adventure road bike will go wherever you point it, on whatever surface you choose – and it does exactly that. Its massive tyres let you float over pretty much any terrain you choose while helping on the comfort front, and the geometry keeps everything under control even when that surface is moving about beneath you. It doesn't stop there either, the CRS-2 also has a great frameset and impressive finishing kit for the cash.
The 2021 Ragley Trig is a steel-framed, carbon-forked gravel bike with confident geometry, a 1X Shimano drivetrain and fat 650B wheels. The cable disc brakes on the first version were underwhelming, so it's good to see they've been replaced by hydraulics on the latest model. The Trig is well-specced for the price, host to plenty of thoughtful details, and extremely versatile.
The Giant Revolt 1 is a decent gravel and adventure bike at a respectable price. It has a quality alloy frame, a carbon fork, and plenty of scope for adventures. The Revolt 1 nails its brief as a versatile bike: it has the ability to be a speedy commuter, a bag-laden gravel machine or a good time on the singletrack – just take your pick come the weekend. At £300 less than the Revolt 0 and only just over a £1000, it's also a good-value entry point to gravel biking, touring or fast commuting that's easily upgradeable should you really catch the bug.
For £1,499 the Giant Revolt 0 gravel bike offers very impressive performance on the road and in the woods, with an easy agility that makes it fun to carve through the corners. The fast-rolling tyres aren't for the committed off-roader, and the alloy frame can be a little harsh despite its carbon fork, but the Revolt 0 is a fine all-rounder – and there's nothing to hold you back on your commute or weekend road ride either.
Ribble's CGR AL Shimano 105 is a hugely versatile and superb value bike for everything from gravel bashing to cyclocross and road commuting, offering a a full Shimano 105 group with hydraulic brakes for £1,399. The aluminium frame isn't overly compliant and the kit needs a few tweaks if you intend to mostly stick to dirt, but that's easy enough to custom spec it to your heart's content when you order thanks to Ribble's custom specification option.
Canyon’s aluminium Grail adventure and gravel bike is a huge amount of fun on twisty trails and is able to provide good speed on a wide variety of surfaces, from road to gravel tracks. It’s also well specced, and with this edition Canyon have tackled our main criticism of early Grails by fitting a 46/30 chainset and 11-34 cassette for a wide, low gear range.
If you want a gravel bike that doesn’t shy away from challenging and technical terrain but is right at home on the daily commute and long adventure ride, either of Marin's Gestalt models — the X10 and X11 — would be a really solid choice. They're gravel bikes for mountain bikers, the handling and stability is a highlight and the dropper post option, activated by the redundant left-hand shifter, is a bonus on steep terrain.
The Gestalt blurs the line between road and mountain bikes more than most (short of the Bombtrack Hook ADV anyway or fitting drop bars to a mountain bike) and in doing so creates a bike that is highly capable on and off-road, super fun and backed up with plenty of versatility to cover all sorts of riding requirements.
The X11 is sadly out of our price range at £2,095, but you could save a chunk of money by getting the X10, which is built around the same frame, and fitting a dropper post to it. That should yield almost all the fun for a whole lot less cash.
The Rondo RUUT AL is a really a very good gravel and adventure machine for storming the byways and bridleways and a fabulous commuter to boot. I’m not sure that it makes a lot of sense to flip the Twintip back and forth on a regular basis, you’re bound to have your favourite. But if you are looking for one bike to do most of your riding, having a sneaky second bike available for weekend trips at the flip of that Twintip is a bonus.
Added to that there's the ability to fit 27.5 x 2.1" mountain bike wheels and you actually have two more choices to play with, so overall it's a beautiful, geometry morphing, do anything adventure bike and is highly recommended.
You might also like: