This post may contain affiliate links, which help to keep Discerning Cyclist rolling. Learn more.
Your average bike ride rarely sees you riding across one type of surface.
You might find yourself starting on a gravel driveway, then onto smooth roads and then heading out onto dirt tracks, bridleways and perhaps even through forest trails and tracks.
Even your daily commute to work is likely to take you across multiple types of road surfaces. This can make your cycle ride far more interesting, but you will want a bike that is versatile enough to cope with multiple road surfaces.
This is where a gravel bike is a great option.
This type of bike is a hybrid between a road bike and a mountain bike and they are known for their being fast, sturdy bikes that are great for their versatility across different road surfaces. These bikes are also known as adventure gravel bikes or even as adventure road bikes.
One thing is for sure, whatever name you use for it, a gravel bike is the best option for many people. Luckily enough, buying one doesn’t have to break the bank. With a little research you can find yourself one of the best budget gravel bikes to accompany you on your bike rides or commutes.
How to Choose a Gravel Bike under £1000?
Searching for a new bike is a little bit like searching for a new friend. Your gravel bike will be your companion through all weathers and situations and you want to pick one you can trust. It can seem a bit daunting, gravel bikes all differ from one another with how focused they are on road use vs off-road use. We could get into the nitty gritty of different gravel bike specs, their pros and cons but there is a lot to take in and you can read more information about gravel bikes here if you want to know more.
When it comes down to basics there is one ultimate thing you need to consider when buying a gravel bike and that is; What surfaces do you cycle on most often? Do you need a gravel bike that is almost a mountain bike? Or, if you cycle mostly on roads with occasional off-road surface use you might want one designed for mostly road use. If you aren’t sure then aim to go for a gravel bike that is about 50/50 between road and mountain bike.
Discerning Cyclist’s expert reviewers spend hours testing and comparing cycling products so you don’t have to.
Testing stylish gear since 2012
Hundreds of hands-on product tests
Unfiltered opinions from experienced cyclists
If you have a slightly higher budget then the next bike we are looking at is this gravel adventure bike by Triban – which is definitely one of the best men’s gravel bikes available for under £1000.
Designed for both comfort and performance on tracks and trails this bike is perhaps more mountain bike than it is road bike but it should still cope with both terrains and surfaces with ease allowing you the space to just cycle and have fun wherever this bike takes you.
Comfort, support and performance are not always easy to find in a budget gravel bike but this bike works hard to achieve everything you could want:
- Available in 5 sizes this bike should suit most men and women and you can match your size easily. Bear in mind that a smaller bike will give you more athleticism but a larger size will give you more comfort.
- The frame is lightweight and made from aluminium and is designed for comfort with adapted sloping. This might be a lightweight frame but it is strong too and perfect for road use.
- The fork is made from carbon blades and an aluminium Aheadset steerer tube to combine low weight with accuracy.
- Aluminium gravel handlebars flared for comfort and grip.
- Hydro-mech disc braking system for progressive braking.
- Tubeless Light wheels designed for performance on rolling terrain and tracks.
If comfort, style and performance while adventuring on tracks, trails and through rolling hills is your priority then this bike has everything you need.
What is the Best Cheap Gravel Bike?
We have found a few of the top gravel bikes that should fit nicely into most of your requirements for a bike which you can use for both commuting and general use. So let’s dive in and take a look.
Best Men’s Gravel Bike under £500:
Slightly cheaper than the Triban RC 520 bike that we mentioned above is this one by the same company that offers a great adventure gravel bike for those starting out on their adventure biking journey. This bike pairs great versatile design with great value.
This version is made for men but there are women’s bikes available with the same value and design in mind. This bike comes in a variety of sizes and is made using a specification designed for comfort and value so it might not have quite as much precision and performance as it’s bigger brother the RC 520 but it offers a great start to discovering adventure biking.
For commuters looking for a great value commuter bike this one does the job. Designed for comfort on both roads and on those tracks and trails you might need to take for shortcuts on your way to work. You can’t get much better value for money and is one of the best gravel bikes Decathlon has.
Even with the focus being on value this bike still comes with an impressive specification that includes:
- A frame built for comfort encourages the rider to have a more upright position and better feet alignment than a traditional road bike which makes for a more comfortable ride.
- A lightweight carbon and aluminium fork for precision.
- A flared aluminium handlebar designed to be comfortable and enable you to get a better grip.
- An effective braking system made using the Promax DSK Disc brakes.
- Tubeless ready wheels that are durable and Hutchinson 700×38 tyres for versatile road grip.
- A comfortable ergofit saddle in a Hammock design to provide maximum comfort as you ride.
Best Women’s Gravel Bike under £500:
This bike is the women’s version of the bike we just mentioned and is a great pairing to the male version and offers the same great value for money for those who are looking for a great bike to discover adventure biking or to use as your commuter bike to get you too and from work with comfort and ease.
This gravel bike is available in three sizes and has been designed specifically for female riders and their comfort with a narrower handlebar, brake levers closer to the handlebar for easy use and grip, a shorter stem and a saddle designed for women.
This is a slightly different design and specification to the male version and it still offers the same great value for money for a cheaper range gravel bike. For the budget this is one of the best women’s gravel bikes available and it includes the following benefits:
- Three sizes available with all elements redesigned for female cyclists.
- A frame designed to be comfort-orientated. This bike offers a more comfortable riding position that is more upright than a classic road bike design.
- A carbon fork and aluminium pivot allow for a lighter-weight bike that offers precision when steering.
- Promax Disc brakes fitted for efficient braking
- Flared handlebars that allow for a comfortable and strong grip.
- An ergofit women’s saddle with a hammock seat design and an aluminium seat post that allows for greater flex and helps to increase the comfort levels.
Best Budget Gravel Bike:
For a great value men’s gravel bike then you can’t go too far wrong than with this one by Voodoo. Priced at only £450 we think this one is one of the best gravel bikes under £500 available.
With a lightweight frame designed for adventuring this bike is perfect for both gentle off-roading on woodland tracks and towpaths and it is a quick, sturdy bike on roads. Available in three frame sizes you can get your perfect fit and with 16 speed Shimano Claris gears you will be able to go anywhere and everywhere with this bike.
The main features of this gravel bike are:
- An adventure frame made from lightweight alloy.
- 16 speed Shimano Claris gears.
- Powerful Tektro Mira Cable Disc Brakes.
- 700c Vee Rubber Speedster Tyres that are able to handle multiple terrains with speed and comfort.
We believe that this is one of the top gravel bikes available for a low budget and offers fantastic value for a great bike that will take you anywhere.