A good number of road cycling or MTB users have considered purchasing a cheap Gravel bike to test this specialty. The fact is that they hesitate to make a large outlay to try a modality that is new to them, and they do not know if they will adapt or they will end up liking it.

Well, here we propose some initiation models whose prices range from 765 to 1,400 euros or US $899 to US $1,650. All the bicycles that we present have a common denominator: they are mounted with aluminum or Chromoly frames and groups that are usually of the most economical or popular range. Not for that reason they will be unreliable bicycles, but quite the opposite, since at the level of performance and usability they have sufficient guarantees, since the base (frame) is similar to higher ranges, but with components in some cases “from the home ”or something basic.

In addition, the components and manufacturing of these low-end bikes have increased in quality and performance in recent years. What we now consider a bike to start with would in the past be a full competition bike. And it is that in the past, before the diffusion of carbon, aluminum next to steel, was the most used in competition or first level bicycles.


1. MERIDA SILEX 300

As the first bicycle we want to highlight the Merida Silex 300, of which we made an article about it a long time ago. It is a bicycle that mounts an aluminum frame with an appearance close to the brand’s MTBs and also includes a carbon fork as an added value.

As for the group, it is equipped with a SRAM Apex1 for single chainring. Handlebar, seatpost and stem are made of aluminum from the brand itself. Mechanical brakes. The tires are a 38c Maxxis Rambler. By the way, particularly good tire. The Silex 300 is great value for money. The only “but” is the design of its frame, which to some seems somewhat radical.

Characteristics:

  • Aluminum frame and carbon fork.
  • Mount the SRAM Apex1 single chainring group, which at an equivalence level would be a Shimano Tiagra / 105.
  • Maxxis Rambler 700x38c tires, but the possibility of mounting wider.
  • Its weight is 10.1kg (particularly good weight).
  • Its official price is 1,250 euros or US $ 1,470 approx.

 2. PURE CYCLES GRAVEL ADVENTURE PRO BIKE

The following bike is a model belonging to the 2020 collection of the American brand Pure Cycles: Gravel Adventure Pro Bike. Its frame and fork are made of steel (Chromoly). It has a double FSA 48 / 32t chainring and the groupset is Shimano Sora. The components (wheels, stem, seatpost, etc.) are from the house. The saddle is Selle Royal Rampage.

It has Hutchinson Override 700 x 38c tires (good and speedy tires) and is also compatible with 650b wheels.

Characteristics:

  • Steel frame and fork (Chromoly).
  • Shimano Sora Groupset.
  • Hutchinson Override 700 × 38 tires.
  • Its weight around 13kg (uufff).
  • Its official price is US $ 899 or 765 euros.

3. GENESIS CDA 20

It is the turn of the English Genesis CDA 20 of which we already made a post some time ago. The CDA 20 has a well-designed 6061 aluminum frame, which together with the carbon fork gives it a very modern look. The fork is Chromoly (alloy steel).

As for the group, it uses almost the entire 9-speed Shimano Sora: brake levers, derailleur, rear derailleur, and brakes. Although it is a low range from Shimano, its operation is more than correct and we will not miss a higher quality group.

Another thing to note is that it has 50/34t chainrings. Therefore, the adaptation to asphalt terrain is total, since we can roll at good speeds. On tough climbs you may be short if you don’t have strong legs. The tires are 700x37c of the brand WTB model Riddler. Another bike with premium tires. The maximum width of tire that it accepts is 42c.

Characteristics:

  • Aluminum frame and chrome fork.
  • The groupset is a 9-speed Shimano Sora.
  • WTB Riddler 37c tires.
  • Its weight is 11.68 kg.
  • Its approximate price is 775 euros or US $ 913

4. VITUS SUBSTANCE V 2

With a very classic frame made of 6061 Aluminum and a carbon fork, this is a remarkably interesting bike. The Substance V 2 also has a practically full Shimano Sora, but with an FSA 46/30t double chainring, which is very good for gravel and even adventure riding.

As for the handlebar, seatpost, saddle and stem are made of aluminum from the brand itself. The tires are a WTB Byway 47c and 650b wheels. This is a totally gravel bike. Mechanical brakes.

Characteristics:

  • Aluminum frame and carbon fork.
  • The groupset is a 9-speed Shimano Sora.
  • WTB Byway 650b x 47c tires.
  • Its weight is 11.1kg
  • Its approximate price is 945 euros or US $ 1,100.

5. KONA ROVE

The Kona Rove has a Chromoly (steel alloy) frame. Like the Vitus V 2, it has a very classic design with round tubes. The fork is also made of Chromoly. As for the groupset it is 9-speed Shimano Sora. Double chainring 50/34t.

The tires are WTB Venture Comp and 650bx47c wheels. As we pointed out before, they are appropriate for gravel, although you will ride somewhat slow on asphalt. The brakes, as in all the models mentioned above, are mechanical. This frame has welds to locate more bottle cages and bags, giving this model a very adventurous touch.

Characteristics:

  • Chromoly frame and fork.
  • Groupset Shimano Sora 9 speed.
  • WTB Venture Comp 650bx47c tires.
  • Its weight is 12.08 kg.
  • Its approximate price is 842 euros or US $ 990

6. CANNONDALE TOPSTONE 3

Finally, we want to highlight one of our favorites: Cannondale Topstone 3 (formerly Sora) as a gravel bike at a great price. Mount an aluminum frame with a carbon fork. The color of the frame is beautiful, and it has the traditional grommets for mounting bottles and fenders, but it also has grommets on the outer top tube to hold a bag.

As for the group, it uses the 9-speed Shimano Sora and quite common (as you could read) in models that are below a thousand euros or 1,200 dollars. As for the chainrings, it is good news that it has an FSA Tempo Adventure, 46/30t, giving the bike many possibilities.

Handlebars, stem and seatpost are provided by Cannondale. The tires are a WTB Riddler, 700x37c. Mechanical brakes.

Characteristics

  • Aluminum frame and carbon fork.
  • The groupset is a 9-speed Shimano Sora.
  • WTB Riddler tires, 700x37c
  • Weight: 9.9kg (terrific)
  • Its approximate price is 960 euros or US $ 1,250.