Gravel Bikes

Best Gravel Bikes under $1000: 7 Budget Picks in USA 🇺🇸

Gravel Bikes under $1000

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In the past few years, gravel bikes have really taken off. From more humble origins, gravel bikes are now well and truly mainstream.

Riders have cottoned on to their accessibility and how much fun they can be to ride. But can you pick up a decent gravel bike for under $1000?

We’ve used our experience in the cycle industry to scour the internet in order to find a range of gravel bikes that are going to deliver the goods without breaking your bank account.

Best Budget Gravel Bikes (USA)

  1. salsa journeyer advent 650b bikes

    The best option under $1000

    Salsa Journeyer Advent 650b

    Salsa is big in the gravel and adventure bike business and although it sells bike for $7500+ it also caters for those on a budget too.

  2. state bicycle co all road

    Steel frame

    State Bicycle Co. All-Road

    State are well-known for their steel bikes and the All-Road is a “steal” (see what we did there?) at it’s price. It has proper gearing and excellent tires.

  3. diamondback haanjo 2 gravel bike

    Road-orientated gravel bike

    Diamondback Haanjo 2

    Finished with lovely gloss blue paint, the Haanjo 2 is another good option. Its arguably better on hard-packed surfaces than off-road.

  4. poseidon dropbar redwood bike

    Setup to take off-road

    Poseidon Dropbar Redwood

    With its chunky, knobbly tires this gravel bike is ready to go off-road at a moments notice.

  5. marin dsx 1 gravel bikes

    Flat handlebars

    Marin DSX 1

    A gravel bike with flat handlebars, the DSX 1 features various mounting points for bottle cages and bottles.

  6. triban grvl 120 women

    Includes flared handlebars

    Triban GRVL 120

    Although its just under $1000, the GRVL120 includes features of a bike that should cost a hell of alot more.

  7. merlin malt g2 claris gravel bike

    Available in 5 frame sizes

    Merlin Malt G2 Claris

    Although its let down by its road gearing setup, the Malt G2 still represents incredible value for money.


Gravel Bicycle Ride

How Much Do Gravel Bikes Cost?

Most gravel bikes these days cost over $1000. If your gravel bike budget is below four figures you’ll certainly have less choice.

Given that gravel bikes are just another type of bike, you’d imagine that they’d be available at all kinds of price points. But in our experience, this isn’t the case.

We browsed a popular online US-based retailer for gravel bikes and of the 100+ models they had for sale, not one was priced below $1000. On the very same website, their selection of hybrid bikes started from just $400.

What do we put this down to? Well, perhaps it can be argued that gravel bikes’ specific design and use are primarily aimed at enthusiastic, regular bike riders rather than those who cycle less often.

It is unfortunate, however, because the design of gravel bikes is such that they are a great first bike for someone getting into riding for the first time. They aren’t as sporty as a road bike, but would happily cope with long rides on tarmac with friends. Nor are they as finickity as a mountain bike with suspension and yet they still cope with some light off-roading.

With a little research you can find yourself one of the best budget gravel bikes to accompany you on your bike rides or commutes.


Gravel bike tire

Can You Get a Gravel Bike under $1000?

Whilst there aren’t a huge number of options available, you can certainly buy a gravel bike for under $1000. At this price, they certainly won’t be one of the best or lightest gravel bikes available, but they should perform well enough for most.

Most gravel bikes between $750 and $1000 tend to be made from aluminium, run mechanical (not hydraulic) disc brakes and have drop handlebars.

To nip under the four-figure price, manufacturers tend to skimp on the standard of key components like gears, brakes and tires.

Some will also look to steer clear of more expensive, but well-known componentry brands like Shimano and SRAM and fit their bikes with less popular brands like Microshift and Tektro.


Gravel bike outdoors

Can You Get a Gravel Bike under $500?

There aren’t many gravel bikes available under $500, but it is possible to buy one at this price.

However, if we had $500 to spend on a gravel bike, we’d much rather spend it on a good quality hybrid bike.

Although a hybrid bike won’t deliver the pedal-to-metal riding of a gravel bike, its versatility almost matches a gravel bike, and with much more choice at this price, we’d argue that you are more likely to find a better bike for your budget.

Like all bike purchases, it’s a good idea to consider the pros and cons before you jump in with both feet.


Retrospec amok gravel bike first impression.

What’s the Cheapest Gravel Bike (USA)?

The cheapest gravel bike in the USA is the Amok Gravel Adventure Bike – on sale at the time of writing below $500. The cycling purists amongst you might argue that this is just a rebranded hybrid bike and, in this case, we’d tend to agree with you.

The bike has flat handlebars (although some gravel bikes have flat handlebars!) and a gear ratio more akin to a hybrid bike. That being said, the Amok should be a good partner for riding on road, gravel and singletrack.


Best Gravel Bikes under $1000

1. Salsa Journeyer Advent 650b

salsa journeyer advent 650b bikes
salsa journeyer advent 650b bikes sideview
  • US Flag $999

Prices are approximate

  • Frame Material: Aluminium
  • Weight: Not Stated
  • Gears: 9-speed 
  • Wheel Size: 650b
  • Max Load: Not Stated
  • Lights:
  • Fenders:
  • Pannier Rack:

Salsa’s Journeyer is available in a variety of models, with four coming in under $1000, but for this guide we chose the 650b Advent model.

The 650b refers to the off-road wheel size, whilst the Advent is the 9-speed gearing system from Microshift. These two components help the Journeyer shine off-road.

Ultimately the Journeyer is all about attainable gravel and road adventures and it does that with aplomb.

Pros

  • From a brand who knows about producing adventure/gravel bikes
  • Top end wheels and tires
  • Loads of frame mounts

Cons

  • 9-speed gearing won’t be enough for some

2. State Bicycle Co. 4130 All-Road

state bicycle 4130 bikes
state bicycle 4130 bikes in use
state bicycle 4130 bikes features
  • US Flag $899.99

Prices are approximate

  • Frame Material: Steel
  • Weight: 12.2kg (27lb)
  • Gears: 11-speed 
  • Wheel Size: 650b or 700c
  • Max Load: Not Stated
  • Lights:
  • Fenders:
  • Pannier Rack:

The only steel gravel bike on our list is the State. All-Road 4130. Again, like the Salsa Journeyer we listed above it can be purchased in a variety of guises.

The steel frame and fork, whilst heavy, makes for a reliable and solid base ( as do the thru-axles for the wheels), upon which State has added what has to be said a somewhat hotchpotch of different components. Whilst they won’t deliver the highest performance they’re probably a fair reflection of the overall price of the bike.

Pros

  • Thru-Axles
  • Loads of mounting points
  • Two frame colours
  • Customisation possible pre-purchase

Cons

  • 1kg (3lb) than most on our list
  • Down-specced components
  • Gearing won’t be enough for steep off road ascents

3. Diamondback Haanjo 2

diamondback haanjo 2 bike
diamondback haanjo 2 bike gear
  • US Flag $899

Prices are approximate

  • Frame Material: Aluminium
  • Weight: Not Stated
  • Gears: 18-speed 
  • Wheel Size: 700c
  • Max Load: Not Stated
  • Lights: 
  • Fenders:
  • Pannier Rack:

Running 37mm tires, the Haanjo 2 from Diamondback is perhaps the most road-orientated gravel bike on our list of budget gravel bikes. Team those tires with 18-speed (46/34T – 11-32T) gearing and you’ve got a bike that shouldn’t feel like riding through treacle on the tarmac.

Although its bang on the $1000 mark, the bike has a heavier aluminium fork rather than a carbon one, but its saving grace is that it includes mounts for fenders a front rack or whatever else you can think to mount to it.

Pros

  • Five frame sizes
  • Premium finish
  • Nice tan wall tires

Cons

  • It’d be nice to have a carbon fork at this price
  • Tires aren’t tubeless

4. Poseidon Dropbar Redwood

poseidon dropbar redwood bike
poseidon dropbar redwood bike in use
poseidon dropbar redwood bike colours
  • US Flag $999

Prices are approximate

  • Frame Material: Aluminium
  • Weight: 13.1kg (29lb)
  • Gears: 10-speed 
  • Wheel Size: 650″
  • Max Load: Not Stated
  • Lights:
  • Fenders:
  • Pannier Rack:

Poseidon is one of few bike manufacturers that offer a range of well-priced gravel bikes. For this list, we chose the Dropbar Redwood, primarily for its capability away from tarmac.

The Redwood is sold with Kenda Kadre tires. These are essentially do-it-all mountain bike tires. They’ll be great on gravel, fire roads and singletrack but they’ll feel draggy on tarmac and pavement.

Again, the gearing (1×10) is setup for riding fairly steep off-road climbs, but the largest gear (38×11) should help when speeds are higher.

Pros

  • Shines away from tarmac
  • Thru axles at this price is fantastic
  • Loads of colour and size options

Cons

  • Nearing 30lbs
  • Wide 46cm bars won’t work for shorter riders
  • Stock tires won’t roll well on road

5. Marin DSX 1

marin dsx 1 gravel bike
marin dsx 1 gravel bike sideview
  • US Flag $999

Prices are approximate

  • Frame Material: Aluminium
  • Weight: 11.4kg (25lb)
  • Gears: 11-speed 
  • Wheel Size: 700c
  • Max Load: 150kg (330lb)
  • Lights:
  • Fenders:
  • Pannier Rack:

Not every gravel bike has drop handlebars and the DSX 1 from Marin is one bike which has a slightly different setup. The flat handlebars make the bike more welcoming to ride, plus they’ll also help with steering when off-road.

The DSX features thoughtful touches like fork mounts for adding bottles and bags. With fender and pannier mounts, the DSX 1 could also happily adapt to a week’s commuting too.

Pros

  • Flat handlebars are comfortable for all
  • Fork mounts for adding cages and bags
  • External cabling routing for maintenance

Cons

  • 1×11 gearing has limitations

6. Triban GRVL 120

triban grvl 12 women gravel bike
triban grvl 12 women gravel bike fork
triban grvl 12 women gravel bike features
  • US Flag $999

Prices are approximate

  • Frame Material: Aluminium
  • Weight: 10.95kg (24.4lb)
  • Gears: 10-speed 
  • Wheel Size: 700″
  • Max Load: Not Stated
  • Lights: 
  • Fenders:
  • Pannier Rack:

Gravel riding is all about versatility and the Triban GRVL 120 offers it in spades.The design of the frame is such that it prioritises riding comfort and teamed with the flared handlebars, the bike inspires confidence even when descending on gravel.

The 38×11/40 gearing setup is similar to other bikes on our list. Perhaps it doesn’t have enough ratios to help riders find the perfect pedalling cadence on the road, but for most cyclists it should be more than enough.

Completed with a carbon fork and loads of mounts for bottles, fenders and racks.

Pros

  • Carbon Fork for vibration absorption and reduced weight
  • Flared handlebars for control
  • 1×10 gearing offers potential on and off the road

Cons

  • Only one frame colour

7. Merlin Malt G2 Claris

merlin malt g2 claris gravel bike
merlin malt g2 claris gravel bike in use
merlin malt g2 claris gravel bike gears
merlin malt g2 claris gravel bike handlebar
  • US Flag $970

Prices are approximate

  • Frame Material: Aluminium
  • Weight: 11.3kg (24.9lb)
  • Gears: 16-speed 
  • Wheel Size: 700c
  • Max Load: Not Stated
  • Lights:
  • Fenders:
  • Pannier Rack:

Merlin won’t be a familiar name to most in the USA, but in their home country of the UK they have a small, but dedicated following. They offer a range of own-brand bikes, all sensibly priced and specced.

The Malt G2 Claris is sold for under $1000 (much less at the time of writing) and features an aluminium frame, carbon fork, 16-speed gearing and 38mm tires.

The setup of this bike doesn’t make it the ideal off-road partner but if your local routes involve all hardpacked surfaces and you can stomach the shipping costs to the US, then this bike might be for you.

Pros

  • Thru-axle wheels promote excellent gear shifting and ride quality
  • Carbon fork for responsive steering and absorbing the rough stuff

Cons

  • UK>US shipping is costly
  • 34x38T lowest gear isn’t enough for off-road riding
  • 40mm maximum tire clearance

marin bikes.

Budget Gravel Bike Brands

In our experience, there are three key bike brands that offer budget gravel bikes. Marin and Salsa are the main two, with State Bicycle Co. a third. Each of these brands doesn’t just have one bike below $1000, they have a number, so if you’re in the market for a gravel bike on a budget, then give these three a look.

As we’ve illustrated in this article there aren’t a huge number of brands that offer gravel bikes below $1000. Indeed, some of the biggest bicycle manufacturers in the world – the likes of Trek and Specialized for example – don’t currently offer a gravel bike below $1000.

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