Best Affordable Gravel Bikes

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Gravel bikes are ideal for riding both paved streets and mountain steeps, making them a top choice for many. Unfortunately, a good gravel bike tends to cost more than a pretty penny. The best are well above $3k!

Luckily, budget-friendly options are available for those of us who aren’t quite ready to shell out several grand on a bicycle. The best affordable gravel bikes, like the ones below, are priced under $1500 and won’t sacrifice too much. They make it so you can enjoy the streets or trails without emptying your bank account.

Related: Best Gravel Bike Seats

Comparison Chart

71hUxY8u oS. AC SL1500
Tommaso Steretta
Vilano Gravel Bike
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Royce Union Men’s Gravel Bike
91i5J0dGYoL. AC SL1500
Mongoose Men’s Elroy Adventure Bike
71M+B8fmSUL. AC SL1392
Schwinn Sporterra Gravel Bike

Tommaso Steretta – Best Overall

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With a complete Shimano Claris R200 drivetrain and lifetime frame and fork warranty, the Tommaso Steretta is our top gravel bike pick. For an affordable option, it doesn’t get much better than this.

The Tommaso Steretta is very lightweight at only 25.4 lbs, accommodates multiple racks and fenders for easy commuting or bike-packing, and comes with standard 700c wheels.

The only issue this bike has is in the brakes. BB5 disc brakes aren’t bad, but they’re difficult to calibrate, and you’ll likely need a professional mechanic’s help. Though they love the bike overall, many users opt to switch the brakes out.


  • Shimano Claris R200 Drivetrain for precise and easy shifting
  • Lifetime frame and fork warranty
  • Lightweight
  • Accommodates multiple racks and fenders


  • Brakes are difficult to calibrate

Vilano Gravel Bike – Most Affordable

For a bike under $1k, the Vilano isn’t a bad choice. It features an aluminum frame with a steel fork that’s lightweight but stable. There are two water bottle mounts, enough for moderate trail rides or a jaunt about town. And the mechanical disc brakes do their job well enough.

Overall, this one is a good entry-level bike, but if you’ve been in the world of cycling for any amount of time, you won’t be impressed. A good bike mechanic can service it and suggest appropriate upgrades, but that also means added costs.


  • Lightweight construction
  • Two water bottle mounts
  • Decent brakes


  • Mediocre drivetrain
  • Requires professional tuning

Royce Union Men’s Gravel Bike – Best for City Rides

81uGpJD9gjL. AC SL1500

The Royce Union Gravel Bike features a full Shimano Sora drivetrain that allows you to make quick, precise shifts and easy stops. It’s great when you’re trying to navigate city traffic or suburban streets where cars aren’t always aware or friendly to bikes in their path.

With a WTB Volt saddle, your ride will be comfortable. And the WTB nano tires are excellent on and off-road. Unfortunately, this bike doesn’t offer mounts, and you’ll need to purchase a kickstand separately.


  • Shimano Sora drivetrain with dual disc brakes for quick stops
  • Extra comfortable saddle
  • Good tires for various conditions


  • No mounts
  • No kickstand

Mongoose Men’s Elroy Adventure Bike – Best for Bike Packing

91i5J0dGYoL. AC SL1500

If you’re planning an overnight trek, the Mongoose Men’s Elroy Adventure Bike is ideal. This gravel bike features a cargo rack, fender mounts, a frame bag, and five water bottle mounts for journeying.

It also features Shimano Tourney derailleurs and an aluminum frame with a steel fork so your ride will be sturdy and comfortable. However, there is an issue with the included tires on the Mongoose Elroy. They’re prone to blowouts, even on paved roads. So, we recommend upgrading them before you begin your travels.


  • Tons of mounting options
  • Shimano Tourney Derailleurs for easy gear changes


  • Mechanical disc brakes don’t allow for quick stops
  • Tires prone to blowouts

Schwinn Sporterra Gravel Bike – Best for Tall Riders

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The Schwinn Sporterra Gravel Bike is an exceptionally affordable option with a few higher-end parts. You’ll get mechanical disc brakes, an aluminum frame, and Schwinn’s lifetime warranty, along with a Shimano shifter for precise gear changes. This bike also comes with a quick-release seat post so you can make saddle height adjustments on the road.

However, this bike is large and heavy. You’ll need to be able to handle a 33.5″ leg length to ride it properly.


  • lifetime warranty
  • Shimano shifter
  • Quick-release seat post


  • Very large and heavy

What to Look For in an Affordable Gravel Bike

When looking for a budget-friendly gravel bike, you may have to make a few sacrifices. You won’t find a steel or carbon frame in the under $1500 price range, and you probably won’t get to experience the joys of hydraulic disc brakes.

However, you can still find a solid gravel bike, one that lets you enjoy tricky terrain as well as regular roads by paying attention to a few components.

Frame Material

Aluminum sometimes gets a bad rep amongst bike enthusiasts because it’s traditionally stiff and unforgiving. However, modern technology has improved aluminum frames, making them a good option for cyclists with a tighter budget.

Avoid low-priced carbon options that sound too good to be true. Manufacturers usually have to cut corners on carbon frames when they market them at a lower price point, which means you’ll end up with an overly heavy bike and low-quality components.


Most gravel bikes come with 700c size wheels, which are low weight and ideal for on and off-road situations. If you plan to off-road more often than not, though, you might consider purchasing 650c size wheels separately. A professional bike mechanic should be able to help you install them correctly.


The number of mounts on gravel bikes can vary significantly. Some only have room for a water bottle or two, and others have full luggage racks. 

If you plan to bike pack or commute with your gravel bike, you may want to find one that accommodates more mounts so that you can carry luggage or work necessities.


The most affordable gravel bikes will feature unbranded drivetrains, which may or may not be suitable. At the top end of the affordable range, you’ll find much better quality gears and shifters from well-known companies like Shimano and Claris.

Final Verdict 

It’s at the upper end of our price limit, but there’s no doubt that the Tommaso Steretta is the best affordable gravel bike option. It has several higher-end features like a Shimano Claris drivetrain and a lifetime frame warranty. Plus, it can accommodate racks and fenders to make your travels that much easier.

If the Tommaso is still out of budget, there are several other options, though you may want to make friends with a bike mechanic to help with wanted adjustments.

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