Best gravel bikes for durability and speed when you’re out on the trail

Best gravel bikes for durability and speed when you’re out on the trail


Tiring of the monotonous tarmac trails your road bike offers up week in week out? Bored of the same old beaten track and feeling of dissatisfaction as you reach the end of your ride? Looking for adventure in your cycling life? Diagnosis: you’re gravel-curious.

Gravel bike riding sits somewhere on the path between road cycling and mountain biking. It involves all types of terrain including road, hard-packed gravel trails, downhill loose rubble hillside descends and everything in-between.

Gravel riding is a versatile, high-adrenaline sport that offers up something for everyone with the key being able to switch your cycling style to match the ever-changing terrain as you bone-rattle along. And it’s gaining popularity at lightning pace as individuals and velo clubs seek out diverse and evolving landscapes to power through.

And in response, esteemed cycle brands are scrambling to offer their take on the perfect gravel bike to a burgeoning market. New models incorporate the priceless technologies and intelligence they’ve used in their road, hybrid and mountain bikes.

Stiffness, compliance, lightweight, geometry, aerodynamics and an intuitive cockpit are key components for the relentless demands of going off-road.

We dig out the best options for you below – shop now

BMC Kaius 01 ONE

Weight: 7.4kg

Harnessing the development of its revolutionary road technologies, BMC has adapted its new Kaius range to be lightweight, stiff, compliant, aerodynamic and geometrically sound. The premium carbon fibres all play their own roles in the different parts of the frame; the high-module fibres provide stiffness whilst keeping the weight low and ultimately facilitating that ‘stop-go-stop-go’ aspect to gravel racing, especially when taking on more technical terrain.

The bike is impressively light weighing in at 7.4kg total. It absorbs surface vibration wonderfully through its framesetand is aerodynamically designed. In short, the geometric design and rider position allows you to glide confidently down the track.

Power transfer, via the rear triangular design of the frame, is not compromised. The middle bar is slightly sloped which exposes the seat post more, helping along comfort levels. The slightly longer reach from the seat to the cockpit gives more stability and feels more responsive than a road bike – crucial for gravel biking.

The Kaius uses BMC’s lightweight ICS (integrated cockpit system) and whilst functionality is top billing, there’s nothing like an integrated cockpit system that seamlessly and intuitively works with you. Whether you’re down in the drops or clinging on to the hoods of the handlebar, both the 12-gear changer and brakes are super easy to use.

[Price featured in Euros].

Buy now £11999.00, BMC

Genesis Fugio 20

Weight: 10.94kg

Playful and plowable, this bike has fun written all over it. It’s the ultimate drop-bar bike that will take on anything you point it towards.

With 47c tyres on 650b rims, carbon fork and ‘Mjolnir’ steel frame add to its power but you can also use 700c wheels if you’re looking for a longer rotation and depending on the terrain you’re riding on. Its 1X SRAM Apex 11-speed group set offers smooth shifting and reliability so winch up for those steep inclines and switch down to roll fast on the roads as you make your way to your next trail.

Designwise, the vignetted purple to black design is headturning: you’ll want to wash off the dirt post-ride immediately to keep showing off its good looks.

Buy now £2599.99, Freewheel

GIANT Revolt Advanced Pro 0

Weight: 8.33kg

This lightweight race-ready gravel bike was awarded ‘Bike of the Year’ by for its comfort, race handling, braking and light weight frame. This model is the latest incarnation of the revered GIANT Revolt range that stretches back nearly ten years.

Built on an advanced-grade composite frameset with adapted geometry (the headtube is slightly steeper than previous models for a racier focus) it’s ideal for taking on diverse terrain. The new ‘flip chip’ feature on the rear dropout offers a shorter and longer wheelbase so you can adapt according to your riding style: short for quick handling or go long for better speed and stability.

With the new lighter weight Advanced SL composite fork taking on and absorbing all those rocky bumps (along with the smaller diameter tubes on the seatstay junction), and being an incredibly stiff frame overall, you can instantly feel the efficient power transfer as you comfortably power along your route.

Buy now £4999.00, GIANT

Boardman ADV 8.9 Adventure Bike

Weight: approx. 10.5kg

A cheaper option due to its alloy frame but make no mistake, this bike is built for adventure. Along with its tapered carbon fork that combines effortlessly with the frame, you can enjoy a road commute to work or a more adventurous trail ride.

The geometry design encourages an upright sitting position and with its low bottom bracket (where the pedal arms meet) it lowers your centre of gravity to ensure stability and control.

What’s more, the Schwalbe G-One tubeless ready tyres have a hefty 38mm width offering ample grip across a range of terrain. Changing gear is seamless thanks to the 2x set up so you can take on climbs or power downhill quickly and efficiently.

And with Olympian Chris Boardman’s experience and expertise being drawn on across the whole Boardman range, you’re in safe hands.

Buy now £1150.00, Halfords

Ribble Gravel AL e Sport SRAM Apex 1x

Weight: 14kg

If you’re after a power-assisted option to take on tough terrain, this model from Ribble is an assured option.

Specifically designed for gravel with optimised geometry that offers a more planted and secure feel as you pound over difficult terrain due to its ‘low and long’ design, you’ll feel empowered to not only push on further but to actively seek out more technical terrain – safe in the knowledge that power assistance is at the touch of a button.

The frame is made up of heat-treated aluminium and with its chunky 650b x 47mm tyres, gravel-optimised gear ratios and accurate gear shifting, this e-bike enables you to take on the most unpredictable terrain confidently.

Buy now £2699.00, Ribble Cycles

Specialized S-Works Crux

Weight: 7.6kg

Heralded as a market leader and revered by all that have had the privilege of riding it, the S-Works Crux gravel bike certainly takes some beating.

It’s one of the lightest gravel bikes you’ll find and with its impressively large tyre clearance (the 700x38mm Pathfinder Pro tyres) and geometry designed for the perfect ride, it promises ‘the ultimate expression of gravel performance’.

It’s responsive when riding to your every demand, taking on whatever terrain and conditions you require of it and, due to ground-breaking developments and its carbon make up, it’s so light that even your full water bottle may well weigh more than the bike itself.

Buy now £11700.00, Sigma Sports


For connoisseurs who perhaps the thrill of an official gravel race (fast growing in popularity) the BMC Kaius 01 ONE is impressively lightweight and intuitively easy to ride, with unbelievably seamless power transfer. With the expertise, knowledge and passion of Swiss brand BMC behind it, you’re assured off a gravel machine that’ll laugh in the face of rocks and pebbles as you power along.

For those on a modest budget, look no further than the Genesis Fugio 20 (also check out the other models in this range). It may not be sub-10kg, but not only does it look awesome, it is more than capable of taking on anything you point it towards. A rottweiler on wheels.

The 2020 Fuel EX 9.9 Is a World-Class Trail Bike Previous post The 2020 Fuel EX 9.9 Is a World-Class Trail Bike
Royal Enfield Himalayan 462cc Delivers 34 Hp Next post Royal Enfield Himalayan 462cc Delivers 34 Hp