Shimano's GRX gravel bike component series has been a definite hit thanks to its range of gearing options and tweaks to accommodate fatter tyres than you'll find on road bikes. For 2022 GRX is everywhere. Here are the hottest GRX-equipped bikes you can buy.
Intended for gravel bikes, Shimano GRX is a not so much a single groupset as a series of components from which manufacturers can pick and mix. As well as gravel bikes, GRX is being used for cyclocross race bikes and for bikes that veer toward the 'touring bike' end of the touring-adventure-gravel spectrum. Bikes with Shimano GRX start around £1,20.
The Áspero was Cervelo’s first venture into the gravel bike market, and it brought all the company’s experience with building fast road race winning bikes to a gravel bike designed, naturally, for winning races. But Cervélo's designers didn't sit round feeling pleased with themselves after they debuted the Áspero; they got straight on with coming up with a lighter version, the Áspero-5, with a bit more tyre clearance, a 10% lighter frame, fully concealed cables and aerodynamic tweaks.
Both bikes boast clever details, which you can read all about in our review. This model is hung with the GRX Di2 group: 48/31 chainset and 11-34t cassette; it's very much a bike for hammering dirt roads as hard and fast as possible.
Like many 2022 models, the latest Checkpoint has clearance for 45mm 700C tyres or 53mm 650Bs, and plenty of mounting points for luggage. What other bikes don't have is Trek's IsoSpeed decoupler, which reduces impacts from the back end, and storage for spares and tools in the down tube.
As you'd expect for a flagship frame, it's kitted out with the top tier of GRX, RX815 Di2, and Trek's own Bontrager carbon fibre wheels.
Canyon’s radical Grail with the hover handlebar is available in several GRX builds.
This Grail CF SLX 8 Di2 here is the cheaper of two models, with the GRX800 Di2 groupset, combining a 48/31t chainset with an 11-34t Ultegra cassette. DT Swiss carbon wheels and Schwalbe G-One R 40mm tubeless tyres complete the build on this bike.
With its massive fork and angular frame members, the word you have to reach for to describe Bianchi's Arcadex platform is 'dramatic'. Bianchi says the Arcadex's appearance comes from aerodynamic optimisation of the frame, which has clearance for 700C × 42mm or 650B × 47mm tyres.
Shifting on this version is by the electronic Di2 version of GRX and the Fulcum Rapid Red wheels are shod with WTB Riddler Comp tyres.
You can be forgiven for not having heard of Juliana bikes, as the marque — an offshoot of famed mountain bike maker Santa Cruz — has long specialised in mountain bikes. The name comes from Juliana Furtado, the first UCI cross-country world champion, and the only rider ever to win world titles in both cross-country and downhill mountain biking.
As such, Juliana specializes in bikes for women, and the Quincy has a geometry tailored for a woman, plus anatomically-correct contact points like the Ergon SR10 women’s saddle. It'll accommodate 45mm tyres on 700C wheels and 52mm on 650Bs.
The latest incarnation of this gravel-grinder from the Basque country boasts clearance for 45mm tyres, a carbon fibre frame tuned to keep you comfortable, a down-tube compartment to stash spares and tools and Orbea's own OC gravel handlebar. And you can customise paint job for free if Orbea's stock options don't appeal.
Giant have significantly overhauled their Revolt Advanced Pro and Revolt Advanced bikes for 2022 with lighter frames (shedding 200g and 160g respectively), new geometry and a rear dropout that gives you the choice of adding 10mm to the wheelbase for increased stability at speed.
The Revolt Advanced 0 has GRX RX-810 components and Giant's own carbon fibre wheels with 40mm Maxxis tyres; there's room for tyres up to 45mm if you want to go fatter.
Bergamont have made a load of intriguing changes to their carbon fibre gravel platform — this is the flagship version with a 1X GRX drivetrain. The lines of the new frame have been considerably tidied up, there's more tyre clearance and extra mounting points for luggage have sprouted like mushrooms on a misty Autumn morning: there are now two on the top tube, three on each fork leg, two under the down tube and an extra one on top of the down tube, as well as the standard two pairs of bottle bosses.
The tyre size has had a big bump from 35mm to 45mm and the head angle has dropped from 71° to 72.5° depending on size to 70° across all sizes. That combination should make this version of the Grandurance a heck of a fast bike when the trail or dirt road points downward.
Scott have overhauled both their carbon fibre and aluminium gravel bikes for 2022 with new frames boasting more tyre clearance and, it says here, "enough mounts to carry all the liquids and freeze-dried chicken curry you want." This version has a GRX600 2X groupset, using a 46/30t chainset and 11-34t cassette. Tyres are the excellent Schwalbe G-One 45mm rubber (up from 35mm on the 2021 bike) on Syncros RP2.0 wheels. And that paint job — it's almost too pretty to get muddy.
The latest version of BMC's aluminium URS platform has clearance for — yes, you guessed it — 45mm tyres and that's what it comes with in the form of WTB Riddlers. It's equipped with 1 x 11 GRX 600 transmission for shifting simplicity with a 40-tooth chainring driving an 11-42 cassette.
We have, it's no secret, a long-standing deep and frankly borderline indecent relationship with Specialized's Diverge gravel bikes, and while we get all excited about the carbon fibre top models, we have to admit that the aluminium framed versions are well worth a look and far more sensibly priced. The Diverge Elite here is a solid all-rounder with 2 x 10 GRX components and plenty of mounting points for your stuff.
Bikes like the Focus Atlas 6.7 EQP always have us pondering strapping on the bikepacking gear (or even panniers to carry more home comforts), taking off in a random direction and just keeping going. Mudguards will keep you dry (or at least less wet) when it rains and there's built-in lighting for when the sun sets. Unbolt all the extras and it's a capable bike for zooming along dirt roads too.
The marvellously ORANGE version of Cannondale's aluminium graveller uses a GRX 600/800 transmission with an FSA Omega AGX+ 46/30 chainset. It's shod with 40mm WTB Nano tyres.
The Speedster is a more versatile bike with a lower entry price, aimed as a do-everything bike. The aluminium frame and carbon fork have mudguard eyelets and there’s plenty of space around the 45mm tyres. Groupset is a mix of GRX400 and GRX600 with a 46/30t chainset and 11-34t cassette.
Nuroad is German company Cube’s name for its versatile gravel bike platform, available in aluminium or carbon fibre as here. This model uses GRX800 with a 48/31t chainset and 11-32t cassette and 40mm Schwalbe G-One tyres.
This the second-from-top model of Canyon's aluminium Grail line-up and looks a good choice if you want something less dramatic that the carbon fibre Grail, and quite a lot less expensive to boot (it's even £300 cheaper than last year's model). It has the GRX 600 shifters and crankset, and GRX 800 front and rear mechs.
Famous Italian brand Bianchi has two Impulso bikes with GRX groupsets in its latest range. Both models use aluminium frames with tyre clearance up to 40mm, and mudguard and rack mounts.
There's a standard bit of bike industry cynicism that when a company can't make performance improvements to a model, they give it a facelift with BNG: Bold New Graphics. Bianchi have done the opposite here for some Impulso models with Subdued New Graphics — you can barely tell it's a Bianchi.
For those with more modest budgets, there's the Via Nirone 7 AllRoad for £1,254.22.
Boardman are offering two GRX-equipped bikes, and this is higher spec 9.0 model is configured with a 2x, 46/30 chainset to provide a top end just a little larger than a 50x12 gear. Boardman has slackened the head angle compared to the previous version, elongating the top tube and lowering the bottom bracket—all in the pursuit of a confidence inspiring, stable ride. A shorter stem should make the handling “on the agile side of neutral”, according to Boardman.
With 700c x 38mm tyres, Boardman says the zippy build is intended to "balance efficiency on the road as much as off it”; although for some extra robustness, Panaracer's Gravel King SK tyres are specced front and rear to “strike an excellent balance between rolling resistance on smooth surfaces and grip when things get looser”. Tubeless valves are supplied as standard for easy conversion, and the subtly flared bars should provide plenty of technical control without compromising too much aero efficiency when you're bombing it along the road.
Lots of the bikes in this list are quite spendy, but here's Merlin Cycles with the antidote to top-dollar GRX-equipped gravel bikes in the aluminium-framed, GRX600-equipped Malt G2X.
The Malt boasts "neutral and balanced handling, which makes it ideal as a first graveller, or a bike for those who enjoy spinning for hours offroad without having to focus too much on what's going underneath the tyres. You can just kick back and enjoy the scenery."
Probably the biggest bargain out there, this gravel bike from French-based sports superstore chain Decathlon has a mixture of GRX 800 and 600 driving a 1X transmission for simplicity. Decathlon claims frame and fork weights of just 1,020g and 340g respectively, making the EDR CF an enticing prospect for long-term upgrading.
It caused a shock when it launched, the 3T Exploro dared to be different, bringing aerodynamics to the gravel bike market. For 2021 3T have turned it up to 11 with the Exploro Max, an aero gravel bike that'll accommodate whopping great 650B 61mm tyres, a size that not very long ago meant you were looking at, well, a mountain bike. What the Exploro Max really resembles is the home-grown 'monstercross' bikes various tinkerers have been creating in their sheds for the last few years, cramming the fattest possible tyres on to drop-bar bikes, some of them built on frames that did start life as mountain bikes.
The Shand Stooshie is a comfortable and relaxed-handling all-road and occasional gravel bike with enough versatility to serve multiple uses.
This is a bike that feels right at home cruising along country lanes, with a big route planned that may or may not include some forays into the wilderness via forest tracks and abandoned byways.
It's a comfortable bike for going the distance, the skinny steel tubes and big tyres helping to soak up vibrations effortlessly. It still impresses us that despite modern material and technology advances, a really good steel frame can be so silky smooth.
For its relatively modest price, the Silex 4000 has Merida's excellent carbon fibre frame, hung with the 10-speed GRX 400 components to help keep the price under control.
Here's a bike that's right at the cutting-edge of gravel bike thinking, with front and rear suspension, a 1X GRX 800/600 transmission and 650B wheels for fatter tyres without the need to lengthen everything.
British company Orro offers its carbon fibre Terra gravel bike with the GRX600 groupset in a 1x flavour, combining a a 40t chainrings with an 11-42t cassette.
The Fugio is a road plus bike suitable for road cycling, commuting, touring and gravel, and rolls on 650B wheels with WTB’s latest Venture 47mm wide tyres. The groupset is GRX800 with a single 40t chainring and 11-42t cassette.
Ribble offers its popular CGR bike, as suited to commuting as it is to gravel racing, with the new GRX groupset. You can choose from GRX600 1X for £1,599 or GRX800 1X for £1,999.
On its flagship titanium bike, Brit brand Mason Cycles will let you choose 700C or 650B wheels and 1x or 2x drivetrains, based around the range-topping GRX800 Di2 groupset.
The regular aluminium Bokeh brings the price down a lot. This version, in a choice of three frame colours and again a choice of 1x or 2x, is equipped with GRX800 mechanical components.
The American company’s ‘ultra endurance’ bike has been fully updated for 2020 with a new frame, fork and extra cargo capacity. It’s also available with Shimano’s latest GRX groupset in a number of build options.
With Shimano GRX 810 Di2 components it'll set you back £5,800. With mechanical GRX 810 it's £4,200, and GRX 600 costs £3,300.
Enigma's updated Escape titanium gravel and adventure bike is now being offered with Shimano's new GRX groupset, and we've tested the bike pictured above.
Titanium gives a ride quality that is less muted and more alive than a steel frame, and is enough to justify the premium price tag for many people. In the Escape, it offers impeccable ride manners and performance that shines on any road or off-road surface, and the abundance of mounts ensures it's ready for any adventure, big or small, you might have planned.
If you prefer steel, then the brand new Endeavour from Enigma is a good choice. And damn look at that paint job!
The Enigma Endeavour is not only the prettiest looking bike I’ve seen in a while, it’s also one of the sweetest riding, with delightful smoothness and fine handling – on the road and in the woods. It isn’t exactly cheap, but it is handmade in the UK, which might just be enough to convince you it’s worth it.
GRX is Shimano's first dedicated gravel bike groupset. It's available at three price levels — 800, 600 and 400 — that roughly correspond to the Ultegra, 105 and Tiagra road bike components respectively. There are 2X and 1X options, 800 and 600 are 11-speed and 400 is 10-speed. Cassettes come from existing road and mountain bike catalogues, and max out at a recommended 11-34t for 2X and 11-42t for 1X.
From compiling this list, it is clear manufacturers aren’t afraid of mixing the different levels of GRX. Some bikes have upgraded shifters, cranks and derailleurs, with some downgrading the crankset, shifters or cassettes, all in an effort to deliver a bike at a target price point. There is one limit to this interchangeability. You can’t mix and match GRX chainsets and front mechs though. To accommodate wide tyres, Shimano has pushed both outboard by 2.5mm.
The new groupset is dropper post friendly with a dedicated lever when using a 1X setup to control the seatpost. There are also in-line brake levers, so you can operate the brakes from the top of the handlebars. Shimano has also launched new wheels as part of the GRX range.
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John has been writing about bikes and cycling for over 30 years since discovering that people were mug enough to pay him for it rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work.
He was heavily involved in the mountain bike boom of the late 1980s as a racer, team manager and race promoter, and that led to writing for Mountain Biking UK magazine shortly after its inception. He got the gig by phoning up the editor and telling him the magazine was rubbish and he could do better. Rather than telling him to get lost, MBUK editor Tym Manley called John’s bluff and the rest is history.
Since then he has worked on MTB Pro magazine and was editor of Maximum Mountain Bike and Australian Mountain Bike magazines, before switching to the web in 2000 to work for CyclingNews.com. Along with road.cc founder Tony Farrelly, John was on the launch team for BikeRadar.com and subsequently became editor in chief of Future Publishing’s group of cycling magazines and websites, including Cycling Plus, MBUK, What Mountain Bike and Procycling.
John has also written for Cyclist magazine, edited the BikeMagic website and was founding editor of TotalWomensCycling.com before handing over to someone far more representative of the site's main audience.
He joined road.cc in 2013. He lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.