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Are you looking to get the best gravel bikes at a shoestring budget? You know, it’s not easy to find high-quality gravel bikes that don’t cost a lot. Luckily enough, we have done the groundwork for you.
7 Best Budget Gravel Bikes & Reviews
1. Schwinn Sporterra Gravel Bike 700c
The Schwinn Sporterra Gravel Bike is worth a serious look, especially when you don’t have a glamorous budget to spend on a gravel bike. Available in black color, this bike looks elegant, and it’s on par with others twice its price. Frankly speaking, you will be surprised at how much fun you can have on a budget-friendly bike. Seriously, you would be hard-pressed to find any weakness in this bike. Of course, it’s not an expert-level bike. But then, it will definitely suit the needs of beginners and intermediate gravel riders.
The bike comes with an aluminum frame and a rigid fork that helps one ride fast, even on bumpy trails. As advertised, the bike cruises on gravel roads quietly and swiftly. The 700c tires are the icing on the cake. They offer better rollover capability, which results in the ride being more stable. You will truly feel cool riding it, and the bike will catch a lot of eyes.
Coming to the nitty-gritty stuff, the alloy mechanical disc brakes on this Schwinn bike produce enough power to properly stop a speeding bike in a jiffy, offering you enough riding confidence in the process. Moreover, the seat post on this machine is height-adjustable to suit a rider’s personal preference.
Keep in mind that Schwinn is an industry leader in today’s century. Their bikes sell like hot pancakes. Although their bike line up may not be highly suitable for professional cyclists, Schwinn bikes are a wonderful choice for recreational riders. Schwinn does fantastic quality control on the bikes.
- Comes in a highly secure box
- Has 14-speed gear with Shimano shifters
- Performs well without breaking the bank
- Won’t fit riders over 6’2” in height
Final Verdict: Everything on this Schwinn bike runs smoothly. The parts and components aren’t top-of-the-line, but they are more than decent for the price you pay for the bike. As hinted earlier, it can actually keep up with costlier bikes. So, there’s no reason to skip this Schwinn bike at its price.
2. New York Bicycle Co. Gravel-1 700c Gravel Grinder
If you are looking to get into gravel riding without a huge price commitment, you should cast your eyes on the New York Bicycle Co. Gravel-1 700c Gravel Grinder Bike. As marketed, it’s an excellent bike for both road and off-road purposes. Seriously, it does a wonderful job of absorbing most of the imperfections on the road, such as potholes, bumps, gravel, etc. like a true workhorse. Basically, this bike is very comfortable to ride in comparison to other beginner-friendly gravel bikes out there.
This gravel bike features a Chromoly frame. The deal with Chromoly frame is that it’s stiffer and lighter than steel. Although it’s a tad bit heavier than aluminum, the frame on this bike is thinner than usual. Therefore, you won’t find this bike to be overly heavy. On the contrary, it’s lighter than your average gravel bike. The bike also comes with Shimano shifters, which are said to be both fast and reliable.
The handlebar on the bike has nice padding to it as well. Better still, the bike comes with high-quality metal pedals. Not to mention that the 700 x 43c wheels on this bike are perfect for gravel riding. They definitely offer better performance benefits because of how well they cope with road obstacles. Unlike your average wheels, they roll smoother and faster, even on rough terrains.
Also, the bike arrives in a nice box in a partially assembled state. The good news is that you will have no trouble building this bike because it comes with clear and highly detailed assembly instructions. Also, don’t be surprised if you find a graciously written thank you note inside the box, which should tell you that the makers really care about their customers.
- Highly responsive bike
- Good quality brake pads
- Not an expert-level bike
Final Verdict: This bike literally screams high value. Of course, this may not be the best gravel bike you may ever own. But then, the New York Bicycle Co. Gravel-1 700c Gravel Grinder Bike is unbeatable at its price tag.
3. Mongoose Artery Sport Gravel Road Bike
If you are a beginner gravel rider on a budget, the Mongoose Artery Sport Gravel Bike should be your bike of choice. This bike looks excellent, rides well, doesn’t cost a lot, and it makes you feel great, all at the same time. The bike is also very safe and sturdy, which you wouldn’t normally expect from a budget-friendly gravel bike. As you can tell, this gravel bike from Mongoose has a lot going for it. It could easily be the best bike you may have bought in recent years.
Believe it or not, the built quality of this gravel road bike is easily comparable to other expensive bikes. Seriously, all the parts and components of this bike will hold up well, even if you push them to their limits. The overall height and weight of this bike are also perfect for long-distance gravel riding. This should also explain why this Mongoose bike is highly talked about.
The assembling part is fairly easy as well because you just have to fit the handlebar, seat, tires, and pedals to the frame. Better still, the bike bears an aluminum frame and a steel fork to deliver a rugged performance. Plus, it comes with a 21-speed drivetrain and premium Altus shifters for smooth gear shifting. Furthermore, the classic alloy pull brakes provide fast and efficient braking at all times.
Keep in mind that the bike also features a robust Shimano M171 28/38/48T crank, which ensures effortless pedaling and less product maintenance. Above all, the bike comes with 700x38c tires, which are highly capable of handling all terrains without any fuss. The ride quality of this bike is truly awesome, to say the least. Both novice and mid-range riders will love this gravel bike for what it is.
- Nice and shiny look
- Rides perfectly on most surfaces
- Durability is definitely there
- Initially, the gears are a bit noisy
Final Verdict: At its price, the Mongoose Artery Sport Gravel Road Bike offers remarkable value. Whether you get it on a discounted day or not, it’s totally a steal at its price point. Basically, you won’t regret your purchase.
4. Royce Union Men’s’ Gravel Bike
If you can manage to stretch your gravel bike budget by a little, the Royce Union Men’s’ Gravel Bike definitely deserves your attention. This gravel bike is truly a class apart from the rest. No matter what terrains or conditions it’s subjected to, the Royce Union Gravel bike will emerge as a winner. It looks and performs almost like a pro-level bike, of course, without costing a bomb. Not to mention the fact that this gravel bike is good enough for daily use.
The aluminum frame on this Royce Union bike keeps the weight of the bike in check without sacrificing performance. Better still, the bike carries a rigid steel fork, which is more suitable for gravel roads in comparison to carbon forks. Furthermore, the 27.5-inch wheels on this bike ensure a seamless transition from road to off-road terrains, and vice-versa. Above all, the disc brakes provide the bike with unmatched stopping power in all weather conditions.
Keep in mind that the bike looks nice too. It’s definitely not an eyesore by any means. Also, this bike is good enough to accommodate men of most builds. As you can tell by now, the makers have paid attention to both the looks and performance of this bike. Frankly speaking, this bike couldn’t have been designed any better at its price point.
You will also be happily surprised by the fast product delivery. Yes, a lot of buyers have reported of quick delivery and nice product packaging. Bike assembly is rather quick and easy too. Once you take it for a spin, you will realize how smooth and noise-free this bike rides. Even if you were to hear a few clicks initially, the noise wouldn’t exist once the bike parts loosen up after a few rides.
- Arrives in top-notch condition
- Comes with 16-speed options
- Bigger tires to soak bumps
- No water bottle holder
Final Verdict: This bike has been praised for both its looks and performance. Its price point is also highly attractive. Therefore, the Royce Union Men’s’ Gravel Bike should be a no-brainer choice for all the gravel bike enthusiasts who are on a budget.
5. Raleigh Bikes Cadent 3 SM/15
If you need a well-made bike without excruciating research, feel free to pull the trigger on the Raleigh Bikes Cadent 3 SM/15 Bike. Frankly speaking, you will love this bike for everything, including its looks. The bike rides comfortably, of course, without crunching your precious jewels. Yes, this bike rides and shifts smoothly, handles bumps very well, and it brakes solid. Also, it’s much lighter than other comparable gravel bikes out there. You will truly enjoy adding miles on a bike of this quality and standard.
There are many good features on this bike. To begin with, it has a rock-solid aluminum frame and steel road fork to it. These solid components definitely raise the bar. Also, you get 21-gears to choose from. Additionally, the 700x35mm wheels on this bike provide great stability, reliability, comfort, and momentum. Frankly speaking, this Raleigh bike has quality written all over it.
Seriously, the stock parts of this bike are not the cheapest or worst. In fact, even the saddle and the handlebars of this bike are of premium quality, which means that you will hardly feel the need to replace anything on this bike before taking it for a spin. Not to mention that the bike rides fast too. And, it looks sharp enough to garner a lot of compliments.
The after-sales service is worthy of a mention as well. The team behind the bike answers questions quickly and professionally, which will really make you feel like a satisfied customer. Of course, you might feel more valued too. Also, this bike need not be assembled by a professional. You will be able to build this semi-assembled bike on your own, even if you are a reasonably mechanically-inclined person.
- Sold at a fantastic price
- Tuning the bike is easy
- No manufacturing defects
- Instructions are not well-indexed
Final Verdict: You should consider this bike for all the features, looks, price, and the excellent reviews it has. It’s well worth the money, and good enough to be your riding companion for several years and beyond.
6. Motobecane Gravel X1 Disc Brake Super Road Bike
If you live in a neighbourhood surrounded by gravel roads, the Motobecane Gravel X1 Disc Brake Super Road Bike should be in your radar. After assembly, this gravel bike drives well on rough road conditions, trails, and hills like no other equivalent gravel bike in its price spectrum. Even if you have not ridden a bike in many years, you will be able to handle this gravel bike like a boss. Seriously, you won’t have blood pouring out of your nose because of how inefficient this bike is. It’s truly built to dominate the gravel roads.
The bike looks much nicer in person than in the pictures. You will get compliments for the bike whenever you stop to lock it at the shopping mall or a grocery store. The speed of this bike is decent too. And, it runs as quietly as a mouse. Furthermore, this bike is not annoying for long rides. Right from the seat to the handlebar, it has the right geometry to it to suit both long and short distance rides.
Not to mention that the bike comes well-equipped with 700c wheels on it to help you dominate the gravel roads. The AERO wheelset on this bike does a great job of reducing wind resistance, enabling a rider to ride faster than usual. Seriously, it will help you keep up with others who are riding more expensive bikes. Plus, this bike has disc brake calipers for powerful and controlled braking.
Please note that the handlebars, seat, pedals, and wheels come detached at the time of delivery. So, be prepared to hook these things to the bike before you are set out on the streets. The good news is that it’s remarkably easy to reassemble this bike. Once fully assembled, you will realize how beautifully this bike is welded from top to bottom.
- Brakes provide tight and quick grip
- Handles road bumps really well
- Assembly, although not difficult, will require time
Final Verdict: The Motobecane Gravel X1 Disc Brake Super Road Bike is a hit for its price. The way it looks and rides, you will eagerly look forward to your next ride.
7. Retrospec AMOK v3 8-Speed UrbanGravel/Commuter Bike
This 8-speed gravel bike combines style and quality like no other bike in its price range. Seriously, it looks sophisticated, and it rides beautifully on gravel roads. As such, the geometry of this bike is suitable for both smooth road rides and tough mountain rides. Moreover, the 700x40C Innova wheels on this beast of a bike can handle different types of terrains without any difficulty. This bike truly offers a good riding feel.
The Retrospec AMOK bike comes with a 6061 aluminum alloy frame. It’s lighter, easier to handle, and durable. Plus, opting for an aluminum frame allows the bike company to keep the bike cost low without compromising on the quality. Also, this bike hardly makes any noise while riding.
The Tektro mechanical disk brakes on this bike work like a charm as well. As expected, they stop the bike in no time on all types of terrains. Also, keep in mind that this bike can hold up well to aggressive pedaling. Better still, the bike has mounts for everything that needs to be placed on the bike.
This bike will also give you a lot of rush at top speed because of how fast it can ride. Even at high speed, the bike will offer you enough control as you would normally like. Moreover, this bike is usually delivered earlier than expected in a nice box, as confirmed by past buyers.
- Easily repairable, if needed
- Gets attention on the streets
- Great packing and delivery time
- Seat needs more padding
Final Verdict: To do gravel trails, a bike needs high-quality parts and components. This bike has all of that. Therefore, the Retrospec AMOK bike is worth taking a look at, especially when you are on a tight budget.
These are truly the best gravel bikes that you can get under $500. Seriously, each one of these bikes will surface your expectations by leaps and bounds on any given day of the week. So, get them while they are still cheap!