If you are looking for a versatile bike that can be used in almost all conditions, a gravel bike is the answer. In this post, we are going to show you 8 models between €2200-3400 and that range from the softest gravel, serving as an alternative to a road bike, to the most intense gravel, being a good alternative to an MTB, but in both cases not reaching the same capacities of a road bike or a similar mountain bike. Everything has its limits, and the versatility of a gravel bike is also its biggest drawback. Where pure road or mountain bikes bring out their full potential, a gravel bike lags behind. But when the terrain is varied, halfway between both styles, or the rider’s needs go beyond pure performance, that’s where a gravel bike wins.
Let’s start out soft, with this carbon model from the German brand that costs €2,999 and, thanks to its endurance geometry, is designed to move like a fish in water on the road, light gravel roads, and compact dirt trails. It comes equipped with the Sram Rival eTap AXS 12-speed electronic groupset and DT-Swiss Endurance wheels with 35 mm Schwalbe tires (the maximum width recommended by the manufacturer).
This model from the German brand Votec is also designed for all-road terrain. Carbon frame with endurance geometry and seat stays that detach from the seat tube and attach directly to the top tube. This, together with the slightly lower seatpost clamp, provides a bit of flex in the whole area to absorb vibrations and bumps from the ground. It is equipped with 12-speed Sram Rival eTap AXS, Mavic Allroad S wheels and 32 mm Vittoria tires (maximum recommended width is 35 mm). Its recommended retail price is €2,999.
This model from the British brand takes us a little deeper into gravel for several reasons. The geometry is more focused on off-road rides and provides more stability and shock absorption. The bike comes with 38 mm Panaracer Gravelking SK tires, but allows the use of up to 42 mm. The wider the tires, the greater the shock absorption and comfort. Lastly, eyelets and mounting points scattered around the frame allow you to mount mudguards, extra bottle cages and bikepacking accessories. It is equipped with Sram Rival eTap AXS 12-speed XPLR gravel version and a 42-tooth chainring. All this for £2,600 (about €2,900).
Following a similar line to the previous one, but with some differences, we can find this model with aluminum frame and carbon fork from the German brand with a list price of €2,299 and a weight of 9.5 kg. It is available in two colors, both with the same Sram Rival XPLR eTap AXS 12-speed groupset and 40-tooth single chainring. DT Swiss Gravel wheels and 40mm Continental Terra Trail tires (Canyon recommends up to 42mm). It has mounting points for mudguards and up to three bottle cages (but not for any other accessories) on the frame and fork. It is the cheapest bike on our list and an excellent choice for those who want to try gravel without spending a fortune but still look for good performance.
If we love Canyon, Cube is not far behind. Their components are spectacular and this gravel bike is no exception. It has a list price of €3,299 and a very low weight of only 8.4 kg. Sram groupset with 40-tooth single chainring, but with Sram GX Eagle AXS mountain rear derailleur. Newmen wheels with 45 mm wide WTB tires, and a carbon frame and fork with mounting points for mudguards and luggage rack. So it’s a less “touring” model than the Boardman, but thanks to the wheel width, geometry and weight, it is a good gravel bike for any terrain.
It may not be the prettiest or the lightest bike (9.4 kg), but the amount of possibilities it offers for €2,625 is hard to find. Carbon frame and fork with gravel geometry, but without compromising on performance. Sram Rival XPLR eTap AXS 12-speed with 40-tooth single chainring. Eyelets and mounting points on frame and fork for mudguards, bottle cage, luggage rack and other accessories. Fulcrum wheels and 40mm WTB Nano tires, with the ability to fit up to 48mm tires on 700c wheels and even more on 650b wheels. As a result, we get a bike that – if properly prepared and assembled – can be used in a wide variety of circumstances.
Canyon offers exactly the same features as the previous model with this 9.12 kg model. The description speaks for itself: “A quick evening blast? Check. 7-day bikepacking trip in the wild? Sure. Keeping up with your mountain bike mates on a quick trail session? Absolutely. This bike is ready for anything. How about you?”. You, and anyone else who wants to buy it, have to pay €3,299 to get a carbon bike with gravel geometry, eyelets and mounting points on frame and fork (mudguards, luggage rack and other accessories), the ever-present Sram Rival XPLR with 40-tooth single chainring and DT Swiss G1800 Spline wheels with 45mm wide Schwalbe G-One Bite tires (Grizl models can be fitted with up to 50mm tires).
Let’s wrap it all up at full speed on the roads and trails. To close our list, we have prepared a bike that is a real eye-catcher thanks to its fully integrated cockpit and smooth aero design. No wonder: this is the off-road version of the Scott Addict road bike. Therefore, although the geometry offers the stability and comfort necessary for gravel, the bike does not lose the racing character of the brand and is a real off-road missile. Its list price is €3,399 and, according to Scott, it weighs 8.88 kg. The components do not differ much from what we have seen so far: 12-speed Sram Rival XPLR eTap AXS with 42-tooth single chainring, Syncros RP2.0 wheels and 45 mm Schwalbe G-One Bite tires, which is the maximum recommended by Scott. It includes eyelets for mudguards (they reduce the tire width to 40mm) plus extra mounting points on the top tube and down tube. As you can see, there are no luggage rack mounts, so if you want to go bikepacking, you’ll have to look for other options to carry your luggage.