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Best gravel bikes 2024 — adventure-ready rides for leaving the tarmac behind

The best gravel bikes will help you ride just about anywhere

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In this buyer's guide you can find out about the best gravel bikes and adventure road bikes available. We've ridden and tested these bikes in real conditions, and this is our pick of the bunch.

Gravel bikes and adventure bikes have gone very quickly from the latest craze to a significant part of most bike companies' ranges. These bikes are tailored for long-distance comfort, with disc brakes, big tyre clearance and geometry honed to excel both on the road and off, whether it's a gravel, forest or dirt track.

Descended from touring bikes, endurance road bikes and cyclo-cross bikes, gravel bikes and adventure bikes are go-almost-anywhere machines for riders who want to explore and race on dirt roads, and ride tarmac to get there.

> How much slower is a gravel bike on the road?

Disc brakes allow frame clearances for fatter tyres, making for a bike that can cope with a very wide range of surfaces that points and laughs at potholes.

If you're working with a budget ranging from £1,000 to £2,000 for a gravel bike, be sure to check out our best gravel bikes under £2000. In this guide, hopefully you should be able to find a gravel bike that is to your liking whatever you budget or riding style. So, without further ado... 

The best gravel bikes

Canyon Grail CF SLX 8 Di2 2024

Canyon Grail CF SLX 8 Di2 2024

Best gravel race bike
Buy now for £4799 from Canyon
Very comfortable
Efficient power transfer
Innovative and functional frame storage
Great spec
Looks sleek – even better with the Quickloader frame bag
Smallest sizes have slightly different geometry that might affect ride feel
Stock handlebar is wide

Canyon's Grail gravel bike has been around for a while now, particularly known for its distinctive double-decker handlebars featured on the carbon models. However, the German brand has left those double bars behind in pursuit of enhanced aerodynamics.

The new Canyon Grail continues to offer what its predecessor did: speed without compromising on comfort. It has improved in terms of versatility and would be a great all-rounder for someone who is serious about racing gravel but occasionally fancies a road ride, too.

We’ve also reviewed the Canyon Grail AL 7 eTap which, as the name suggests, is an aluminium version of the brand's flagship gravel bike and it's an excellent choice if you're looking to spend less.

Lauf Seigla Weekend Warrior Wireless

Lauf Seigla Weekend Warrior Wireless

Best gravel bike with suspension
Buy now for £2865 from Lauf
Confident gravel-specific geometry gives excellent handling
Fork is very effective for gravel use and is maintenance free
Competitively priced compared to the opposition
Fewer rack mounts than alternatives
No mud guard mounts means it’s definitely race orientated
Limited to 1x but nearly everyone chooses to run gravel bikes like this anyway

The Lauf Seigla is a modern-day gravel racer that achieves huge tyre clearances without sacrificing its geometry or performance. The geometry remains almost identical to Lauf's True Grit gravel bike which scored 4.5 stars overall when we reviewed it back in 2018. 

The fork is sure to divide opinion but whether you like the aesthetics or not, it really does function well. Reviewer Jamie had his doubts about the suspension fork before trying it but he says, "I'm a convert. It delivers nearly all of the advantages of suspension without the accompanying drawbacks, for example, it adds just 430g to the total bike weight which is very competitive". However, if you're not a fan of the suspension fork, Lauf also offers a fully rigid Seigla.

As with any gravel bike, the biggest difference in comfort comes down to the tyres. The Seigla has room for 57mm rubber on 700c wheels which equates to 2.25 inches; that’s some of the largest clearances we’ve seen on a gravel bike and removes the need for a separate 650b wheelset.

Vitus Venon EVO-GR Rival AXS

Vitus Venon EVO-GR Rival AXS

Best gravel bike for also taking on the road
Buy now for £2449.99 from Chain Reaction Cycles
Light and nimble
Great spec for the money
Becomes a very capable road bike with a change of tyres
Toe overlap with standard tyres

The latest gravel machine from Vitus is the Venon EVO-GR and it's very impressive. While it's actually designed as an 'all-road' bike, it excels as a gravel bike and also performs superbly on the road.

The Venon's racy nature makes it a blast to ride on fast-flowing trails and tracks and the blend of stiffness and comfort means it's a bike you can ride for hours at speed. 

It has plenty of tyre clearance too, with room for tyres up to 45mm. If you wanted to switch the GR to a road build you can ride pretty much any tyre size you want as most slicks top out around the 38mm mark, and even with those fitted you could run full mudguards. This really adds to the versatility of the EVO-GR. With big tyres and mudguards fitted you’ve got an ideal lightweight tourer, audax machine or year-round commuter. 

Forme Monsal 1 Best for comfortable gravel miles under £2,000

Forme Monsal 1

Best gravel bike for under £2000
Buy now for £1343 from Balfe's Bikes
Excellent ride quality and behaves like a lighter bike
Geometry works on all terrains
Good tyre clearance and tough paint job
Thru-axle insert not bonded to the fork

The Monsal 1 is Forme's top-of-the-range alloy gravel bike with clearance for up to 47c tyres, a carbon fork, a Sram Apex 11-speed groupset, WTB ST i25 wheels and one of the most comfortable rides going.

Stu, who reviewed the Monsal 1, has ridden just about every new mainstream gravel bike to hit the market, so it comes from a reliable source when he says: "There is just something about this bike that makes it feel ‘nailed' on whatever kind of ride you are heading out for. It’s fun and engaging on the fast stuff, while comfortable enough for those longer days in the saddle. It’s a lot of bike for the money too."

Others may come close on price, but the Monsal has one of the best frames in the market when it comes to balancing ride quality, comfort and stiffness. Also, the geometry works great on all kinds of surfaces, and the paint job is proving to be extremely hard-wearing.

Specialized S-Works Crux

Specialized S-Works Crux

Best money-no-object gravel bike
Buy now for £10999 from Cycle Revolution
Very light
Fast on the road
Fast off the road
Clean frame lines
Might not be 'gravel' enough for some

The 2022 Specialized S-Works Crux is an exceptional gravel bike for fast riding that can still excel in cyclocross races. The lightweight package is combined with brilliant low-speed stability that makes the S-Works Crux insanely good at climbing, be it fast or technical, and it's a blast to ride on the lanes too. This machine is one that will best suit racers and roadies who want a fast bike for mixed surfaces. Oh yes, and as you've probably noticed it's outstandingly expensive although there are less pricey models available in the Crux lineup.

Tester Liam writes: “The Crux was long Specialized’s pure cyclocross bike, but when I first saw the redesigned model I wondered what the Aethos was doing wearing a set of gravel tyres. It's a bit more nuanced than that, but in essence, that is what you're getting here. Its low weight makes the Crux an excellent climber and it is a joy to ride on faster gravel as well as on the road. Okay, it might not be the best for loading up with luggage, but for going fast it is fantastic". 

Orro Terra X GRX gravel bike sideview in studio

Orro Terra X GRX400 2023

Best value for money gravel bike
Buy now for £1399.99 from Wiggle
Versatile frameset
Geometry gives balanced handling
Good spec list for the money
Not as much tyre clearance as some
A bit weighty on the climbs

The Orro Terra X is an aluminium-framed gravel bike and one of the latest additions to the company's gravel line-up. It's a good entry point to gravel riding and is fun and easy to ride, thanks to the balanced geometry. 

The Terra X brings the great handling and ride quality of the carbon fibre models to a lower price point, and for the money, it's well specced. Tyre clearance isn't massive compared with some gravel bikes, but it easily accepts the 40mm fitted as standard, even if you were to go for a wider wheel rim, and Orro reckons a maximum of 42mm will fit. 

 The Orro Terra X works well on the road too, and has the ability to take mudguards and a rack, lending itself well to commuting and road touring. 

Liv Devote 1

Liv Devote 1

Best women’s gravel bike
Buy now for £1499 from Liv Cycling
Climbs and descends well on and off road
Bar position takes some fine-tuning for optimum comfort

We don't always recommend women's-specific bikes here at, and many brands have stopped even producing them, as there's no reason why most bikes can't be unisex; however, the Liv Devote is an excellent exception. The alloy frame and carbon fork cater for riders down to 150cm, and the bikes are well-specced with sensibly-sized bars, cranks and stems throughout the range.

The frame can fit up to 45mm tyres, which makes this a versatile machine that reviewer Lara found to be no slouch. The Liv ships with a reliable Shimano GRX 400 groupset and benefits from Giant componentry elsewhere, such as tubeless wheels and finishing gear.

Lara summed up the bike by concluding that those who favour women-specific designs and want a gravel-focused do-it-all bike "will love the geometry and confidence-inspiring handling of the Devote 1, and it's not bad value for money either."

Cairn E-Adventure Rambler

Cairn E-Adventure Rambler

Best gravel e-bike
Buy now for £3789 from Cairn Cycles
Frame geometry well-suited to gravel
Versatile and adaptable for different kinds of riding
Excellent drive system and battery
Motor occasionally cut out

The Cairn E-Adventure Rambler is an all-around beast that will tackle anything you ride it on. The Rambler is the most recent version of Cairn's popular e-gravel bike, the E-Adventure 1.0, with versatility that this previous version didn't offer. It also comes with upgraded frame geometry and a much sleeker look. 

It uses a Fazua drive system which helps contribute to the bike feeling stable yet agile, and the Rambler uses one of the newer options, the Fazua Ride 50 Street Drive Pack. The 50 provides up to 58Nm of torque, which reviewer Rebecca felt was enough.

Landrace Tupelo frameset

Landrace Tupelo frameset

Best titanium gravel bike
Buy now for £2795 from Cycle Fit
Beautifully made
Bike fit included, for an excellent fit
Titanium frames don't come cheap

The Landrace Tupelo is a titanium frameset proving to be an excellent companion for adventure-hungry cyclists seeking a bike for a lifetime. Landrace was set up by London-based bike shop/bike fitting studio Cyclefit's Julian Wall and Phil Cavell and the Tupelo is their first model.

The Landrace Tupelo adapts to every adventure with reliable performance and comfort, from epic multi-day bikepacking trips to smooth tarmac cruises. The frameset has a claimed weight of 1,900g and it's equipped with an extra bottle cage on the down tube as well as the usual two, and mudguard mounts, and has clearance for 35mm tyres (32mm with mudguards).

Titanium frames don't come cheap but you get a custom fit as part of the package when you buy the Landrace Tupelo frameset. Additionally, Landrace offers the option for a complete build, with various configurations available, and they make their own wheels too.

YT Szepter Core 4

YT Szepter Core 4

Best gravel bike for mountain bikers
Buy now for £4399 from YT Industries
Superb value for money
Gravity-orientated long and slack geometry
Super compliant ride quality
Limited colourways
Integrated mudguards are polarising in appearance

This bike seriously impressed our friends at and is well worthy of our title of best gravel bike for mountain bikers or anyone looking to transition to drop bars from flat bars. 

It's fast, dynamic and properly capable on technical trails and whilst the geometry is less racy than some of the other best gravel bikes, the stability and predictability of this set-up make it incredibly enjoyable to manoeuvre on the trails. The bike was designed around the idea of a 40mm fork to ensure the front end played nicely with the front suspension and the numbers of the YT Szpeter take on very much a hardtail mountain bike-like facade. 

The Szepter comes out of the box with 42mm rubber but can accommodate a maximum tyre width of 45mm, and despite not being designed for touring or bikepacking, it features multiple bottle cage mounting positions and built-in rear and front mudguards.

Sonder Camino AL Apex 1 Hydraulic bike with bikepacking bags on pictured in a forest

Sonder Camino AL frame and fork

Best value gravel bike frameset
Buy now for £599 from Alpkit
Semi-internal cabling
Dropper post routing
Fork luggage mounts
Huge tyre clearance
Lovely paint
Confident handling
Cable routing is a faff

The Sonder Camino AL frame and fork is an excellent base on which to build a commuting, gravel or bikepacking bike. Loaded with features and at an excellent price, it compares well with far more expensive framesets. This latest iteration has a full-carbon fork with three-bolt luggage mounts, internal cable routing and a slacker head tube at 69° with a longer wheelbase.

Tester Mike writes: "The Camino frameset represents cracking value for money. It's a bike you could build as a commuter or a round-the-world tourer, or a bridleway escape machine. Or all three, changing wheels, bar and luggage as needed. At about 2.7kg for frame and fork it's not winning any weight contests, but that's not what this sort of bike is about. Alpkit's full-build Caminos are great value for money, but if you have the bits kicking around, building an adventure-capable bike up using the Camino frameset won't disappoint.”

How to choose from the best gravel bikes

What is a gravel bike?

Gravel bikes have drop handlebars, wide-range gearing and fat tyres, hung on frames configured for stable handling over rough surfaces.

The best gravel bikes and adventure bikes aren’t simply rebranded cyclocross bikes. While there’s no single blueprint that the best gravel bikes and adventure bikes follow, they generally sit between an endurance road bike and a cyclocross race bike, if anything leaning more towards the former. Gravel bikes and adventure bikes are designed with longer wheelbases, so they’re stable on the road and when riding over an unpredictable surface like gravel, and provide comfort over long distances. The geometry is more relaxed than a race bike, the head angle slacker and the head tube often taller. The bottom bracket of a gravel bike or adventure road bike will usually be a little lower than a cyclocross bike.

Gravel bikes are also referred to as adventure bikes but that term is becoming rarer.

What is the benefit of a gravel bike?

Their adaptability, versatility and ruggedness makes them the perfect commuter bike, an ideal light touring or audax bike, a great winter training bike, or simply one bike that can tackle any sort of terrain you care to take it along. If ever there was a case for the one perfect bike for the British non-racing cyclist, then one of the best gravel bikes is probably it.

The US gravel bike racing scene hasn’t been much emulated in the UK yet, but the style of bike has piqued the interest of British cyclists. The idea of bigger tyres and relaxed geometry that promotes extra comfort when the going gets rough and bumpy is very attractive given the generally poor state of repair of UK roads. Let's be honest, in many places they're almost gravel anyway.

They can be ridden anywhere, these bikes, on the road and off it. The idea of adventure (or allroad, roadplus and enduroad as some people are calling this style of bike) is also finding fans, with the ability to dart down a bridleway or over the plain or along a fireroad to mix up a regular road ride appealing to cyclists keen to get away from the congested streets and into the wide open countryside.

Of course, the idea of riding a road bike across any sort of terrain, be it smoothly paved roads or rough and bumpy gravel tracks, woodland trails laced with roots or edge-of-field bridleways, is nothing new really. Road cyclists have been doing it since the dawn of the bicycle. How do you think cyclocross was invented? Gravel bikes and adventure bikes, though, are better suited to the demands of on and off-road riding. They split the difference between an endurance road bike and a cyclocross bike, with space for bigger tyres than an endurance bike and geometry better suited to road riding than a cyclocross bike.

Don't confuse a gravel bike or adventure bike with an endurance road bike like the Cannondale Synapse or Giant Defy. While they do look similar, the key difference is in the bigger tyres the former accepts and the modified geometry. It's worth taking a look at our roundup of endurance road bikes for examples of bikes that come close to a gravel and adventure bike.

What kind of brakes do gravel bikes have?

Gravel bikes all feature disc brakes. Discs make it easy for bike companies to design a frame and fork able to accommodate bigger tyres. Disc brakes, especially hydraulic discs, offer more power which provides more confidence when riding off-road and are useful in mixed conditions.

What size are typical gravel bike wheels and tyres?

Gravel bikes and adventure bikes have space for bigger tyres, but how big varies from brand to brand. Endurance road bikes go up to about 32mm as a general rule, but gravel bikes and adventure road bikes increase the clearance up to as much as 55mm. That provides a vast range of tyre choice options, including many rugged touring and cyclocross tyres, as well as road slicks, so you've got plenty of options for setting the bike up for your riding demands. In some cases, you can even fit 29er mountain bike tyres.

Tyre choice very much depends on the riding you want to do and the terrain in your local riding spot. There’s nothing to stop you from fitting light 25mm or 28mm tyres if you want it to be fast on the road. Or you could use a 35mm treaded tyre if you want to include some gravel and dirt paths in your rides. We’re seeing more tyre choice as well to go with the bikes, such as the Panaracer Gravel King, to name one example of the growing selection aimed at gravel and adventure riding.

As for wheels, the majority of gravel bikes use the same 700C wheel size as road bikes and 29er mountain bikes. However, some come with the smaller 650B size that are popular on mountain bikes as a compromise between the original mountain bike 26-inch wheel and the modern 29-incher. A 700C wheel is 622mm in diameter at the rim; a 650B is 584mm, so you can fit a fatter tyre for more grip and cushioning and end up with the same overall diameter. Only a few bikes come with 650B wheels off the peg, but many more will take them if you want to experiment with wheel and tyre sizes.

Is a 1x or 2x better for gravel bikes?

There are two schools of thought when it comes to gearing on gravel bikes and this will primarily depend on your preferences and what routes you'll be riding on your gravel bike. 

The Keep It Simple tendency favours single chainrings and very wide-range sprockets out back. That makes gear changing straightforward, and there's less to go wrong with no front derailleur.

Proponents of double chainrings point out that you get a wider gear range overall with closer steps between gears. 2x set-ups are the best solution for riders looking for their gravel bike to double up as a road bike and those riding fast gravel. 

Both Shimano and SRAM offer gravel bike gear systems with single and double chainrings. Campagnolo's Ekar is probably the most sophisticated single-chainring system, with a gear range to rival double-ring systems from its 9-42 13-speed cassette.

Can you put mudguards on a gravel bike?

While gravel bikes and adventure road bikes have grown from the gravel racing scene, manufacturers have been wise to cotton on to their do-it-all appeal, and many equip their gravel bikes and adventure road bikes with eyelets for fitting racks, mudguards and extra bags on the forks and top tube. That means you could build up the perfect winter or commuting bike, or add a rack for some light touring and explore further afield.

Emily is our track and road racing specialist, having represented Great Britain at the World and European Track Championships. With a National Title up her sleeve, Emily has just completed her Master’s in Sports Psychology at Loughborough University where she raced for Elite Development Team, Loughborough Lightning.

Emily is our go-to for all things training and when not riding or racing bikes, you can find her online shopping or booking flights…the rest of the office is now considering painting their nails to see if that’s the secret to going fast…

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Oldfatgit | 9 months ago

Basso Vega.
Fantastic bike; responsive, quick, comfortable.
The Polini bottom motor is good for 100 plus miles at lowest assist (and knocking it up to the next level for hilly bits, which in Scotland there are a few).
Pannier mount, and looks good on the commute with road tyres on.
Looks pretty damn sexy with traditional road bikes too ...