Is it still necessary to present them? Capable of driving on the road as well as on the beaten and less beaten track, the Gravel bikes are incredibly versatile. They are able to transport you everywhere, they are robust, they are pleasant to drive and they generally offer what modern technology has the best to offer. Of course, it is technically possible to drive on paths with 25 mm tires, but you will spend much better moments on a bike designed specifically for these surfaces. And then, most gravel bikes are fairly light and fast to be used on the tarmac without any problem, which once again makes an extremely versatile choice, and probably the best option if you only want to have one bike. If you are just launching into the Gravel, we advise you to take a look at our Beginner guide.
While previously, a Gravel bike was all fine of road bike with wider tires, recent changes in geometry and the introduction of components and specific groups for the Gravel made them significantly more efficient on damaged terrains. For a long time, bicycle manufacturers were enough to have a single gravel in their range. All models seemed to have the same general characteristics. Many things have changed lately! The Gravel bicycle market is moving away from its "single bike for everything" approach to head to a finely segmented mass market. Gravel bikes intended for light mountain bike use for machines for the time trial, everything exists. For Gravel's lover in search of his ideal companion, it is of course both a curse and a blessing, but we are there to help you!
The best Gravel to you will largely depend on the type of hiking you want to do. Indeed, the design of the Gravel bikes is divided more and more into two categories: bikes designed specifically for the race and those designed for the adventure. Whether you are interested in one or the other, It is not the events that are missing in France !
The best bikes in Gravel for the race often include aerodynamic characteristics and large and deep gravel wheels. Multiplication can be higher to reflect the higher speeds to which you will face. On the other hand, a profiled frame may lack clearance for really wide gravel tires and do not have a full set of fixing points for the equipment.
At the other extreme, we find the Gravel bikes designed for bikepacking. They have many fixing points for the transport of bags and a wide clearance for tires, allowing you to mount tires that offer traction and comfort during long off -road hikes. Often, they are equipped with 650b wheels with smaller diameter than the usual 700c of road bikes.
Here is our personal selection of the best bikes from Gravel 2022. Given the number of models available on the market, we have voluntarily limited our comparison and are well aware of having left several models aside. Do not hesitate to tell us about your favorite models in the comments!
Canyon grizl cf sl 8 1by
Tire clearance: 700x50, 650bx50
+ Quality wheels and group
+ 50mm tire clearance
- somewhat limited reports for climbs in all-terrain with equipment
The Grizl is a bike that looks more like the canyon's Endrace range than in Grail, the brand's high -end Gravel bike. If you are already familiar with the Canyon Grail, you may wonder why the brand recently added another Gravel Bike to its range, and the answer is to create a robust exploration bike rather than a light race machine. If you are looking for the latter, the grail could be more suited to your needs, while the grizl has a longer wheelbase which provides a more stable and more comfortable driving feeling over long periods.
Little conventional appearance, its fine shrouds, its 50 mm ground clearance and its flexible VCLS flexible stalls ensure optimal comfort. At the same time, a short and high geometry, a wide handlebar and many fixing points make it a bike that is both efficient and versatile. The grizl is not the most racy, but it is not oversized either. It offers optimal comfort on most trails. Capable of being pushed always a little further, it is also a great value for money.
The bicycle is well equipped with a Shimano Grx group, DT Swiss wheels, a canyon stall vcls with blades spring and a Fizik Terra Argo saddle. What makes this bike so attractive is that the price for these specs is really competitive - a rarity these days on the bicycle market. The fixing points offer great potential for the adventures of BikePacking, but in the 1x configuration, it is missing the palette of reports you really need to transport all-terrain luggage. To do this, it is better to opt for 2x versions - or go up one or two price slices for the new version equipped with the XPLR 10-44T cassette of Sram associated with a 40T tray. If you are asking yourself questions about the single -tray mono vs choice, then This article is for you!
Specialized Diverge Compos Carbon
Tire clearance: 700x47, 650bx53
+ Frame that is both rigid and comfortable
+ Good Road/Offroad compromise
+ Future Shock 2.0 suspension
- standard tires a little limited for all-terrain
Diverge is an extremely versatile bicycle that can do everything successfully, from backpacking very busy in ultra light Gravel. The Diverge Comp Carbon, with its Shimano GRX 810 group and its alloy wheels represents the best balance between performance and value of the range diverges. His centerpiece is the future Shock 2.0 suspension system, which is remarkably effective while remaining simple.
This bike is a real pleasure to drive on damaged terrains, with remarkable behavior at high speed and on steep trails. The frame is fast, which allows you to pedal easily. Even when loaded with bags, the 48/31 pedal rarely feels under-equipped in the climbs. The length of the wheelbase makes the descent with heavy bags a pleasant experience.
Overall, it offers an excellent balance between the worlds of the road and the all-terrain. However, off -road performance is a little compromised by the choice of serial tires, easily replaceable to tackle more serious land.
Note that there are a wide variety of Specialized bikes diverges on the market, with the Comp Carbon located in the middle in terms of specifications and prices. The entry-level diverging base E5 with aluminum frame is at just over € 1,000, the S-Works diverge high-end, meanwhile, exceeds € 10,000.
BMC URS One
Tire clearance: 700x45
+ Wide range of reports
+ Effective on long distances
+ Framework protection
- Lack of supports on the fork for additional load capacity
- 45 mm tires could be better
- costly suspension adjustment
The BMC URS One impresses with its brilliant balance between pleasure and all-terrain capacities, while remaining effective enough to easily manage epics over long distances.
Several elements are taken from the range of BMC mountain bikes, such as a lower steering angle and a shorter stem. At 70 degrees and 70 mm, these figures are quite far from what is found on a modern mountain bike, but for the Gravel, it is quite innovative. Combined with short bases of 425mm, this gives a bicycle that can be launched in turns, but which does not feel nervous in the descents. Besides, Do you still hesitate between a gravel and a semi-rigid mountain bike ?
Although the addition of suspension for the Gravel is relatively new, it seems to impose itself, with different interpretations depending on the manufacturers. By avoiding the traditional telescopic suspension forks, the BMC URS One does not have the easiest fork, requiring the replacement of preload spacers and more or less rigid springs, but it is very reactive on damaged terrains.
The BMC URS One lacks a bit of fixing points - we would not choose it for bikepacking trips of a few weeks - but for these shorter local hikes which constitute the majority of the time spent on our bikes, it is a total pleasure and a joy to drive. The clearance of the tires, at 45 mm, could be more important, especially if we take into account the name "Gravel Plus", but despite this, our first impressions of the URS One are extremely positive.
Tire clearance: 700x40c, 650bx2.1 "
+ Resistant without being heavy
+ Racée geometry
+ Flexible handling
- the compact front triangle limits storage capacities for long hikes
When 3T launched the explos, the bicycle industry didn't really understand - a Gravel Aerodynamic bike? Come on, aerodynamics is only useful 40 km/h if we believe the figures that the bicycle industry is used regularly, right? 3T is of another opinion, and quotes tests carried out in a blower at 32 km/h which show that the exporo saves 7 watts compared to a bicycle with round tubes and 24 watts at 48 km/h compared to the same bike .
With a lowered base on the transmission side, the exporo has room for a 700x40c tire or a 650bx2.1 "tire, and the steering angle of 71.1 degrees, the 546 mm rod and the range of 378 mm In an average size, place the explos at the sporting end of the spectrum. It is an easy to handle bike that inspires confidence, whatever the terrain.
The 3T Exporo is a Gravel optimized bike for aerodynamics which is quite capable of riding on the road, but which takes its greatest pleasure on singletracks and offspring. If we had to design a versatile Gravel bike, there would not be much to blame the 3T explore.
Cerrelo aspero 5 Etap axs 1
Tire clearance: 700x44, 650bx51
+ Superb look
+ Rigid frame for more speed
+ High -end specs
+ Super light
- uncomfortable on damaged terrain for long periods
- No supports for the mudguards
- better suited to the open gravel than to the technical singletrack
Like the Specialized Crux, the Cervélo Áspero is part of this new breed of Gravel bikes oriented towards the race and high performance, contrasting with the more versatile attitude of the Canyon Grizl by exmple. With its 8.3 kg in size 56 cm, it is not as light as the SPECIALIZED Crux superlative, but it is still a weight that would be respectable for a medium level road bike - and therefore very impressive for The Gravel.
The carbon frame is equipped with a flared carbon handlebar specific to the Gravel (a width of 380 to 440 mm) and 32 mm Tubeless Ready rims from the Reserve brand, connected to DT Swiss hubs, and surrounded by Panoracer Gravel King Sk 38 mm The Aspero-5 is equipped with a power counter, whatever the model chosen.
With a relatively pronounced steering angle of 72 degrees and very short bases of 420 mm, he quickly reacts to the pilot's stresses during the corners. The consequence is that it loses stability in very technical descents, but with a clearance of the tires limited to 42 mm in 700c and 49 mm in 650b, it is not exactly the terrain for which this bike is designed.
If the rugged trails and the a week's backpacking trips are what you are looking for, it is best to choose another bike. But if you are looking to drive quickly on adventures that start and end on the same day, then Gravel's Bike of Cervélo could be the one you need.
And you, what is your favorite gravel model? Rather competition or bikepacking? 700 or 650b tires?Are you rather tempted by the electric ? Let us know in the comments!