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The Yoeleo G21 DB Pro gravel bike does everything you need it to. The full carbon fibre frameset and Shimano GRX build we have here is a decent weight, the geometry is easy to live with, and a set of deep-section carbon wheels give you an aero boost should you find some flat sections of trail. It's very 'middle of the road', which may suit you, but it lacks a bit in personality for my liking.
Our guide to the best gravel bikes has more options.
So, let's kick of with that 'middle of the road' statement I made above, and what I mean by it.
We all love cycling for different reasons. For the fresh air and the freedom, for convenience or keeping fit, the escapism and the peace and quiet. For some riders the intricate details of the bike, or their connection with it as a rider, aren't a huge deal. The bike is merely the tool for the job, the thing that gives you the opportunity to get out there.
If that's you then I reckon you'll like the G21. The geometry at the front end is relaxed, which makes the steering predictable – regardless of the surface you are riding on it gives no surprises. This is a very easy bike to ride. Even with the wrong tyres fitted for muddy conditions, resulting in a lack of grip, the Yeoleo slips and slides but never really feels out of control.
The rest of the geometry is no different. There is nothing out of the ordinary here, and you'll easy cover plenty of miles without really noting the bike, helped by its sub-9kg weight.
Stiffness-wise, it's a very capable machine, too. It's a fairly rigid setup so it accelerates well and is a confident climber.
For me, though, I love the interaction between myself and the bike, and the Yoeleo just doesn't give the feedback I like. The frameset, while very good from a performance point of view, is quite 'dead' feeling, something I've noted on other carbon fibre frames. Whether it's down to the lay-up or the combination of that and the grade of carbon used is hard to say, but I am left slightly underwhelmed by the actual ride characteristics.
At first I thought it might be the deep-section wheels as, again, some deep-section rims can also feely quite lifeless in terms of feedback. Swapping them out for some other wheels in my possession that I know well did show that to be the case to a small degree, but the frameset is still lacking on the engagement front.
With this amount of feedback missing, I found I couldn't quite commit to the corners or descents on my main 30-mile gravel test loop, especially as the conditions have got wetter and more challenging. You don't get that information I like – from the front tyre, is it gripping, sliding? what's the rear up to? I just didn't feel it gave me the confidence to let the bike go, even in the dry. When diving into a bend I'd have to guess the braking point, or traction point, to shift my body weight or give the brakes a dab. It always felt like there was a slight delay between what the bike was doing and you feeling it through the handlebar or saddle.
It's the same with regards to the ride quality. The G21 isn't uncomfortable by any stretch, it's just that there is a bit of high-frequency buzz there when you are really going for it. This is a bike that will require you to use the tyre pressures to increase comfort instead of maybe running them how you want them for feel or performance.
This negativity aside, if you are in that first camp of riders who just want a quick, relatively light gravel bike that is very easy to ride then you are likely to get on well with the G21, especially if your rides are longer, even adventure length.
The fork on our test bike comes with triple mounting points on each leg, and with the others on the frame the Yoeleo is designed to take plenty of kit – in terms of volume at least, bearing in mind the 110kg overall weight limit.
With some bags fitted front, rear and in the middle, those mild-mannered handling characteristics come to the fore.
A lot of gravel bikes spend a lot of time on the road, even if that is simply to join the gravel sections together. Used this way the G21 will roll along well and it's easy to ride. The handling does feel quite slow, though, so it's not the kind of gravel or all-road bike you are going to bung some slicks on and use as a commuter or winter trainer.
You may not have heard of Yoeleo before, but it's been going for a fair few years now. Beginning in 2007 as a manufacturer of OEM carbon fibre components, it evolved into Yoeleo in 2011. The company now creates a huge range of bikes at its base in China, and by supplying direct it can keep prices competitive.
The G21's frame is made from high-modulus Toray T800 grade carbon fibre, and overall, after a quick inspection while assembling it, it looks to be well made and finished with a good paint job. It's available in either this Desert Brown colour or Arctic Ice, or you can go for a custom paint job for another $300.
Some carbon frames can be far from smooth and tidy on the inside, the old 'out of sight, out of mind' mantra, but Yoeleo uses what it describes as ProMoldCore technology. It's basically using latex bladders at high pressure to mould and control the shapes of the inside of the tube or frame sections. It leaves a smooth finish, with no excess material left over, reducing weight and giving a uniform finish.
It's a smart-looking frame, with the modern take on running all cables and hoses directly through the frame and fork from the handlebar, and you get a lot of integration between the tube sections, with each running into the other, for an aero and smooth finish.
Things like the seatpost clamp are also internal, as is the headset.
For the bottom bracket the G21 uses the T47 standard, so the frame has a larger diameter and wider bottom bracket shell, like that used for press-fit setups, but instead of being pushed into the frame the T47 uses threaded bearing cups like a traditional BSA system. This is intended to stop water and dirt ingress between press-fit bearing cups and the frame due to poor tolerances.
The G21 has a dropped chainstay on the drive side to increase tyre clearance, which results in the ability to run up to 53mm-wide tyres. The 45mm 700C rubber we have fitted means there is plenty of room for shedding mud build-up, too.
As I mentioned earlier, there are plenty of mounting points on offer: mudguards and a rear rack, plus two bottle cages in the traditional position, but also mounts for a bento bag on the top tube.
You can choose whether you want a fork with mounting points or not, and if you go for the one we have you get those triple mounts on each leg. It doesn't have mounting points for a front mudguard in the traditional position, but you could use the lower of the three with a bit of stay manipulation.
Under the down tube you get some protection from stone strikes, which is a nice touch.
Everything else is as you'd expect, really, with 12mm thru-axles and flat mounts for the brake callipers.
The warranty on offer is good at six years, although for $300 you can upgrade this to a lifetime warranty.
The G21 is available in seven sizes, ranging from 45cm to 60cm, which corresponds to the seat tube length. Top tube lengths range from 510mm to 592mm.
Our 54 sits bang in the middle with a 551mm top tube, and stack and reach figures of 566mm and 383mm respectively.
The head tube is 134mm in length with a 70-degree angle, while the seat tube sits at 73.5 degrees. You get chainstays of 433m and the bottom bracket drop is 79mm.
The G21 Pro comes with a Shimano GRX RX810 groupset, although this will soon be updated to the RX820 12-speed which has superseded the 11-speed RX810.
It's a 2x setup (two chainrings) and comes with a 48/31-tooth crankset paired to an 11-34T cassette. I use this combination on my own gravel bike and find it a great spread of gears, both high and low, and it's usable on the road too.
In use, the GRX shifters are great, with a solid feel to gear changes and great ergonomics on the levers, with their flat front giving grip when braking on rough terrain while the small hoods provide a comfortable position for long and short rides.
Braking performance from the hydraulic setup is top notch, with loads of power and modulation.
Aside from those from Shimano, the rest of the components are pretty much Yoeleo's own.
As standard the G21 comes with the H21 carbon fibre integrated handlebar/stem (not shown) which is available in a range of stem lengths and bar widths that you spec at the time of ordering. I found it comfortable in terms of shape and plenty stiff enough. There is a good wide flare to the handlebar too, which gives extra stability and slows the steering a touch when you are in the drops.
We were also sent the H25 handlebar and ST1 stem, which you can see here in the photos. This is an option you can go for if you don't want a fully integrated design. Both the handlebar and stem are created from Toray T700 carbon fibre.
The seatpost is full carbon fibre and has quite an interesting design for adjustability. You can slide the saddle rails fore and aft in the clamp as usual, but you also have a small amount of movement in the saddle clamp itself in relation to the seatpost, meaning you can set it up with an offset or inline saddle position.
The saddle is from Pro and I found it very comfortable. With its firm padding and shorty design it's definitely one for those who like a performance riding style.
As standard the G21 Pro comes with a 35mm-deep SAT C35/35 DB Pro wheelset, although our bike was fitted with the 50mm-deep version.
The rims are made from Toray T800 carbon fibre and are 30mm wide externally, 22mm internally. Full details on Yoeleo's wheel range can be found in our feature, Made in China: a guide to the Yoeleo wheels range, but the basics are that the rear hub uses a ratchet freehub with 56 teeth which keeps the engagement angle low, and the rim weight is around 475g. This translates into an overall claimed weight of 1,518g, give or take 15g.
They come with a warranty of three years.
I found them a good set of wheels to ride. As I said earlier, they are a bit harsh and don't have the greatest ride quality, but that can sometimes be the case with deep-section rims because of the amount of carbon being used.
They stayed true throughout the review period, and I had no issues with them whatsoever.
Just like the wheels, we have different tyres to those that are supplied as standard, as listed on the website. Instead of rubber from Kenda we had a pair of WTB Riddlers. These are tyres I have ridden many times before, and they perform very well on dry surfaces while being able to cope in soft mud as long as it isn't too wet and clingy.
When we wrote the wheel feature mentioned above, Yoeleo had a UK distributor, but that doesn't look to be the case any more, with the original link to Revolution Wheels now redirecting to Yoeleo's website. You can order direct from there, though, and you also get free shipping worldwide.
All the prices are in USD and will be converted at the end of checkout via PayPal or the other payment methods on offer. Delivery from China is going to take a little while, and import taxes/VAT and so on aren't included in the $4,400 price. When I used my Paypal account to work out what it would all cost, it used the exchange rate of 1 GBP = 1.177 USD giving a price of £3,737.71 excluding the tax and VAT. With VAT that comes to £4,485.25.
A bit of online research suggests import duty is a bit hit and miss, so it could be a bit of a lottery on whether you have to pay, although the courier will no doubt sort that, and then you'll have to pay the courier before your bike is delivered.
European customers can order from yoeleoeurope and as orders are shipped from its German warehouse there are no taxes to be paid.
For comparison, you could get a Generation 2 Canyon Grail CF SL AXS for £3,349. It comes with a SRAM Rival AXS electronic groupset and Canyon's carbon integrated cockpit. You aren't getting carbon wheels, though, as the Grail comes with a pair of aluminium-rimmed DT Swiss Gravel LNs.
Suvi recently rode the Grail CF SLX 8 Di2 which she was very impressed with. For the £4,799 asking price you are getting Shimano GRX Di2, DT Swiss carbon wheels and a carbon cockpit.
Orro's Terra C comes with a SRAM Rival AXS XPLR groupset, carbon fibre frame and fork, and Fulcrum wheels for £3,299.99 or Campagnolo's Ekar groupset for £3,899.99. It doesn't have the massive tyre clearance of the G21, with just 42mm (although I'd argue that 40mm is the sweet spot for the majority of gravel riding), but it does offer a great ride quality, and is a lot of fun. I tested both Ekar and GRX 800 models in 2021, while Dave put the 105 Di2 model through its paces last year.
Specialized's Diverge range sits either side of the G21 Pro, with the Comp Carbon costing £4,000 (Shimano GRX mechanical, DT Swiss alloy wheels, FACT 9r frame) and the Expert Carbon £5,750 with the same frame equipped with carbon wheels and a SRAM Rival AXS groupset.
We tested the Diverge STR Expert recently on off.road.cc if you want to know more.
At first glance the Yoeleo looks to be great value for money, but once you start adding VAT and the possibility of import duty it isn't quite as competitive. Plus, with no UK distributor there might be concerns over warranty returns to China. Yes, we buy many bikes online these days, but most have some kind of hub in the UK for ironing out potential problems.
Also, for me the G21 doesn't quite deliver the ride and performance I'm after to justify the purchase risk. As I said earlier in the review, the Yoeleo is a good bike, with sedate handling, but it doesn't do anything that really makes it stand out from the crowd.
Decent weight and easy to ride off-road, but lacking that bike/rider involvement some seek
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road.cc test report
Make and model: Yoeleo G21 DB Pro Gravel Bike
Size tested: Medium, 551mm
About the bike
List the components used to build up the bike.
Handlebar: YOELEO H21 Handlebar
Shifter: Shimano GRX RX810
Front Derailleur: FD-RX810-F, 2x11 speed
Rear Derailleur: Shimano GRX-RD-RX810
Crank: Shimano FC-RX810-2, 2x11 speed
Cassette: Shimano HG700, 11 speed
Chain: Shimano CN-HG701
Brake: SHIMANO GRX Hydraulic Disc Brake Caliper
Rotor: Front 160mm/Rear 160mm
SAT C35|35 DB PRO OFFSET CX/GRAVEL
Thru Axle: 12*100/12*142
KENDA Tires 700*45C
Tell us what the bike is for and who it's aimed at. What do the manufacturers say about it? How does that compare to your own feelings about the bike?
Yoeleo says, "Riding into the future of gravel biking, Yoeleo unveils its newest masterpiece; the new and powerful G21. Packed with unique features and optimized for an unmatched riding experience, the G21 stands tall as a testament to Yoeleo's commitment to innovation, performance, and rider-centric design."
Where does this model sit in the range? Tell us briefly about the cheaper options and the more expensive options
There is this G21 Pro and a slightly cheaper G21 STD in the line-up, or you can buy the G21 as a frameset.
Frame and fork
Tell us about the build quality and finish of the frame and fork?
The build quality looks and feels to be good overall, and it's well finished.
Tell us about the materials used in the frame and fork?
Frame: High Modulus Toray 800 Carbon Fiber
Tell us about the geometry of the frame and fork?
The geometry is quite relaxed throughout for a gravel bike of this size, especially at the front end.
How was the bike in terms of height and reach? How did it compare to other bikes of the same stated size?
The stack and reach figures are very typical for this size of gravel bike.
Riding the bike
Was the bike comfortable to ride? Tell us how you felt about the ride quality.
Overall, comfort is decent but it's not the smoothest ride.
Did the bike feel stiff in the right places? Did any part of the bike feel too stiff or too flexible?
Stiffness is good, especially around the lower half of the frame.
How did the bike transfer power? Did it feel efficient?
The G21 feels reasonably efficient due to the stiffness and sub 9kg weight.
Was there any toe-clip overlap with the front wheel? If so was it a problem?
How would you describe the steering? Was it lively neutral or unresponsive? Neutral.
Tell us some more about the handling. How did the bike feel overall? Did it do particular things well or badly?
The handling is very neutral and relaxed, making it ideal for longer trips, but it's not quick enough for those who want to ride at a faster pace. The feedback is quite subdued as well.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's comfort? would you recommend any changes?
You will need to rely on the wide tyre volume to add comfort. I also liked the Pro saddle.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's stiffness? would you recommend any changes?
Yoeleo's own wheelset is laterally stiff, and so is the handlebar.
Which components had the most effect (good or bad) on the bike's efficiency? would you recommend any changes?
I prefer a 2x groupset and the ratios found here on the Shimano GRX chainset give a good spread of gears high and low.
Tell us some more about the drivetrain. Anything you particularly did or didn't like? Any components which didn't work well together?
Shimano GRX mechanical is a very good groupset, with slick shifting and powerful braking.
Wheels and tyres
Tell us some more about the wheels.Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the wheels? If so what for?
A decent weight for a set of deep-section wheels, and they seem reliable too.
Tell us some more about the tyres. Did they work well in the conditions you encountered? Would you change the tyres? If so what for?
Good quality tyres, although they aren't the models that are specced as standard.
Tell us some more about the controls. Any particularly good or bad components? How would the controls work for larger or smaller riders?
Good quality components all round. I got on well with both handlebar options, which are comfortable and have a wide flare to help stability in the drops.
Did you enjoy riding the bike? Yes and no. It rode fine, but just lacks a bit of fun and excitement.
Would you consider buying the bike? No
Would you recommend the bike to a friend? Possibly
How does the price compare to that of similar bikes in the market, including ones recently tested on road.cc?
The price you pay plus VAT puts the G21 into the same bracket as similar bikes from Canyon and Specialized, mentioned in the review. It's not quite the bargain it initially looks, though, plus you have to import it from China which could possibly bring extra costs.
Use this box to explain your overall score
The G21 is a decent bike overall, and very easy to ride. The quality is good as well. For me personally, it didn't quite hit the spot in terms of the ride feel – and the lack of a UK distributor will be a bit offputting for some.
About the tester
I usually ride: This month's test bike My best bike is: B'Twin Ultra CF draped in the latest bling test components
I've been riding for: Over 20 years I ride: Every day I would class myself as: Expert
I regularly do the following types of riding: time trialling, commuting, club rides, sportives, fixed/singlespeed,
As part of the Tech Hub here at F-At Digital, our senior product reviewer Stu uses the knowledge gained from putting well over a 1,000 products through their paces (including hundreds of bikes) to write in-depth reviews of a huge range of kit. After first throwing his leg over a race bike back in 2000, Stu's ridden more than 160,000 miles on road, time-trial, track, and gravel bikes, and while he's put his racing days behind him he still likes to smash the pedals rather than take things easy. Although, as he spends a fair bit of his time reviewing ebikes these days he's becoming an expert in letting the motor take the strain. He's also waiting for 23mm race tyres to make a comeback!