Looking for the ultimate budget gravel frame

Dear Fellow Cyclists

 

I'm at the point where the gravel fever have finally caught me, and I've been looking for an Eastern-european-budget friendly option. I'm mainly looking for framesets as of now, of course if someone knows a good deal to be had, I'm open ears.

 

My requirements:

-thru axles front and rear - this is non negotiable

-flat mount discs front and rear - preferred

-internal cable routing - not a deal breaker but preferred

-tapered head tube

-I can live with pressfit but prefer threaded BB

-three bottle cage mounts is a nice to have

-since I'm too poor for full carbon, I'm mainly thinking AL alloy frame with carbon fork

-available with shipping in EU

-size can go small enough to fit a 170cm rider (RIP Merlin Malth)

-budget for frameset around 300EUR, can spend a bit more if it's really justified

 

So far the only option I've found, that is actually already available in my country is the Merida Silex, which ticks all the boxes, but I just can't seem to come to peace with that obnoxious headtube, so I kinda keep it as a last resort, if all else fails.

 

One very intriguing option I found is from an italian shop called ridewill, it's a non branded, bare metal, super cheap AL frame, link here. But it just looks a bit dangerous to jump into, since I couldn't find out anything about it, where it's made, etc, and never found an actual built up bike that has this frame.

 

As for built bikes, I looked at the Kelly's Soot, Canyon Grail AL, and Specialized Diverge E5, which all have options around 1k EUR, but it just feels a bit wrong to buy one, and then resell half the bike...

 

Anyone have any suggestions?

Thx,

Peter

 

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