Best Gravel Bikes

Best Gravel Bikes

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This is a gear review about the best gravel bikes for 2024.

When you try to take a road bike over gravel you get worse ride quality and handling, for sure. Not only is your riding compromised and trickier, but you also risk getting more flats, too, because the tires just aren’t designed for that kind of rough surface.

While you could convert a road bike to a gravel bike, a gravel bike is a better option for many people. You can ride them anywhere you like, not just on sealed roads.

With Gravel Bikes you get a more upright riding position, which lets you shift your weight around to tackle any obstacles and those tricky off-road descents.

I researched and took a look at lots of bikes before narrowing it down to some of the most highly recommended gravel bikes out there. I have ridden 1000s of miles on rough roads with bicycles and know the difference between a good gravel bike and an average one.

Let’s take a look at the best gravel bikes on the market in 2024.

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Best Gravel Bikes 2024

The Best Gravel Bikes are:

Best Gravel Bike – Overall

Specialized S-Works Diverge

Specialized Sworks Diverge Gravel Bike

> Better gravel performance than any other bike
> Ultralight and super tough Terra CLX wheels
> Zanza award-winning Pathfinder Pro 38 mm tires
> Future Shock 2.0 suspension works great
> There’s a low bottom bracket for increased stability
> Internal storage as well as plenty of rack mounts
> Premium product at a premium price
> There’s only one color option available

Specialized S-Works Diverge is a top-tier gravel bicycle for anyone with a high budget, and money is no object. It provides a better gravel performance than any other gravel bike.

There are 6 sizes to choose from, and there’s a handy link you can access through the product page to find the size you need.

It has ultralight and super tough Terra CLX wheels, combined with award-winning Pathfinder Pro 38 mm tires.

Depending on what size you go for, you could have 700c or 650b wheels. Either way, you’ll get plenty of tire clearance.

It has an adjustable suspension system, the Future Shock 2.0, which features a hydraulic damper that converts kinetic energy into thermal energy, thus avoiding any hard impacts, not just on rough dirt roads but also on gravel or cobblestones.

This system is designed to suspend the rider rather than the bike and allows you to keep the power down without having to use the brakes.

It has a very lightweight carbon frame, coming in at less than 1 kg, which is perfect if you ever need to go up a steep slope, or simply to ride faster.

The frame has a somewhat different geometry to the more typical gravel bike, there’s a low bottom bracket for increased stability.

There are plenty of rack mounts for storing just about anything you want to take with you. And there’s even internal storage too. Super convenient.

Overall, the Specialized S-Works Diverge is one of the best gravel bikes on the market in 2024, but that kind of quality comes at a cost. Despite being the best gravel bike it is only for those with a high budget.

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Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon

> Top quality product at a good, reasonable price
> Zanza award-winning Pathfinder Pro 38 mm tires
> Amazing adjustable Future Shock 2.0 suspension
> There’s a low bottom bracket for increased stability
> SWAT internal storage and plenty of rack mounts
> Not well-designed for riders over 250 pounds, one such customer reported wheel spokes snapping off

The Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon gravel bike comes from the same manufacturer as my number one pick I just reviewed earlier, designed with gravel bike trails in mind, but it’s available for less than half the price.

I guess I’ll start with what they have in common before going into what makes them different.

The Comp Carbon has the same amazing adjustable suspension system, the Future Shock 2.0, with its hydraulic damper that serves to avoid any hard impacts, not just on rough dirt roads but also on bike trails thick with loose gravel.

It also has the same bike frame geometry, with its low bottom bracket for increased stability, helping you feel better planted onto the trail, and in good control.

In addition, you also get the same top-of-the-range, Zanza award-winning, wide Pathfinder Pro 38 mm tires.

And the same SWAT internal storage, which helps ensure there’s more weight lower down on the frame rather than on you, helping you to be in better control of the bike’s movement.

The differences between the two bikes are the different frame composition, the Comp Carbon has a FACT 9r Carbon frame, and gears, and the Comp Carbon is spec’d with (the relatively expensive) Shimano GRX RX800 mechanical gears.

And while the two bikes may have the same tires, they do have different wheels, the Comp Carbon has Alloy DT Swiss G540.

There are 6 different sizes to choose from, and there’s a handy link you can access through the product page to find the size you need.

There are three color options to choose from, including satin carbon and smoke, gloss blaze and smoke, and gloss ice blue and clay.

Overall, the Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon is a very fast gravel bike with a very high specification considering the price.

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Best Budget Gravel Bike

Schwinn Sporterra Adventure

Schwinn Sporterra Adventure Gravel Bike

> 14 speeds available with the Shimano shifter
> Schwinn’s own 700 x 38c tires for any terrain
> Good braking and stopping power
> Quick-release seat post to adjust the seat height
> Reasonably priced
> Quite a few customers have found the seat uncomfortable and decided to change it

Schwinn is the original American bike brand and has been around for over a century.

And their Schwinn Sporterra Adventure gravel bike is a great budget gravel bike option. The bike’s aluminum frame, complete with a rigid fork gives a good ride on all surfaces.

While riding, you can choose between 14 different speeds, thanks to the Shimano / brake lever combo. And it has 700c wheels, complete with Schwinn’s own 700 x 38c tires, designed to take on any terrain.

There’s also a quick-release seat post, which comes in really handy for anyone borrowing your bike. What’s more, Schwinn is so confident in the quality of this bike that they back it up with a lifetime limited warranty.

If you decide to buy this bike, you might wish to do so through Amazon, since they offer expert bike assembly for you, for a one-off fee. And you get free shipping.

Overall, the Schwinn Sporterra Adventure gravel bike is a good budget gravel bike for someone looking for their first gravel bike.

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Cannondale Topstone Ultegra RX 2

Cannondale Topstone Ultegra RX 2 Gravel Bike

> Wheel sensor works with the Cannondale smartphone app!
> Refined geometry for a more stable & composed rider position
> Kingspin system for up to 30 mm bump-smoothing suspension
> Sufficient tire clearance to upgrade to 650 wheels if you wish
> Has lots of mounts for storage and a removable fender bridge
> Some customers have reported issues with the sizing

This is such a great gravel bike for tracking your riding activity!

It can hook up to the free-to-download Cannondale app on your smartphone via Bluetooth. What’s more, it even reminds you when your bike is due for a tune-up. This is made possible thanks to the integrated wheel sensor which provides accurate speed, route, and distance data.

The Cannondale Topstone Ultegra RX 2 offers a refined geometry, such as the front wheel being positioned further forward, to give you a more stable and composed rider position that allows you to ride harder over dirt tracks.

There’s the Kingpin suspension system, which provides up to 30 mm of smoothness over bumps. There’s a big tire clearance, and you could even add 650 wheels if you wish.

There are plenty of places to store gear and water on and around the bike, which is handy for longer distances.

There’s also a removable fender bridge, if you wish to install a fender to prevent muddy puddle splashes.

It’s available in 5 different sizes, starting at extra small and going all the way up to extra large. And there’s a handy guide on the product page to help you to choose the right size for you.

Overall, the Cannondale Topstone Ultegra RX 2 gravel bike has impressive capability both off-road, and on-road.

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Cannondale Topstone Carbon Lefty 3

> There are high-volume 650 tires already installed on both wheels
> Kingpin suspension at the rear, and a built-for-gravel suspension fork
> for both better control, and smoother riding over difficult terrain
> upright enough rider position for comfort on long journeys
> low and forward enough rider position for riding at speed
> It would be even better for steep hills if there was also a lower chainring

If you like to ride up and down hills, then this is the bike I’d recommend. And it comes with high-volume 650 tires already installed for better off-road capability together with on-road comfort.

It has a dual suspension system, complete with Kingpin suspension at the rear, and a built-for-gravel Lefty Oliver 30 mm gravel suspension fork, for both better control, and smoother riding over difficult terrain.

Although the bike is so lightweight, it has incredibly stiff and precise handling, so you can push the bike harder.

The frame strikes a perfect balance between being upright enough for comfort on long journeys, combined with being low and forward enough for riding at speed.

There are 11 speeds to use altogether, thanks to the Shimano GRX shifter, and a GRX 400 hydraulic disc brake for confident braking and stopping, even on declines.

It’s got tons of gear and storage mounts, and a rear fender mount.

It’s available in 5 different sizes, starting at extra small and going all the way up to extra large. And there’s a handy guide on the product page to help you to choose the right size for you.

There are two color schemes to choose from, namely mantis, or stealth gray.

Overall, the Cannondale Topstone Carbon Lefty 3 is comfortable on dirt roads, uphill and downhill, and a worthy gravel bike to consider.

Compare Prices:


Buying Guide

As promised, here’s your buying guide. Let me walk you through the key points to consider when choosing a bike for riding over gravel.


Please make sure you buy the right size bike for your body. If you were to get the wrong size, your riding can become incredibly uncomfortable, and it would put you off riding and be money down the drain.

Thankfully, most bike manufacturers and bike retailers have handy size guides you can use to gauge which size is right for you. You only need to know how tall you are.

Wheels And Tires

The size and quality of the tires is pivotal to a bike’s ability to handle rough terrain such as dirt roads, particularly when there’s thick, loose gravel.

As a general rule, tires that are tough, as well as thick and wide, tend to perform better over more difficult terrain such as dirt roads and gravel.

Suspension System

Road bikes and suspension don’t go together at all but a good suspension system on a gravel bike helps to reduce any impacts you may feel as you ride over any hard, uneven terrain.

Unlike mountain bikes, the amount of suspension travel on gravel bikes is limited to around 20-50mm with 30mm being the sweet spot. It just serves to reduce the harshness of the rode and make it more comfortable for you.

Dual suspension systems can be great if you can get that, but if not, just a single suspension system is better than nothing.

Bike Frame Geometry, Stability, And Control

The geometry of the bike frame can affect both the bike’s stability and the rider’s position.

The lower the bottom bracket of a bike, the better its stability will be, which can be crucial in making you feel more confident, and giving you more control when on rough terrain.

While the rider position can either help you to ride harder when you want to, or alternatively, help you to feel more comfortable for longer journeys and periods of time.


Aesthetic preferences are personal ones, and I don’t feel like I can advise you on what color option is best, for example. But I do know that many people like to go for darker color options when they go off-road so that any dirt on the bike doesn’t show up as well.

Value For Money

Gravel bikes can really vary in price. You can get some for under $1000, while at the other end of the spectrum, you can expect to pay over $10,000.

Factors to consider which will influence the price. Frame materials such as Carbon can be expensive but strong and lightweight. The weight and quality of the wheels and tires. And the quality of the components such as brakes and gear components.

Other Things To Consider

As I’ve already hinted at, there are other things to consider when shopping for a gravel bike besides how well it performs on gravel.

You might want to consider the bike’s speed, for example, or what mounts it might have for storing your water bottle and other gear.


Overall here are the best gravel bikes 2024:

Another one of the Best Bike Reviews from BikeHikeSafari.

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Frequently Asked Questions

What Is The Best Gravel Bike In The World?

Here is a list of the best gravel bikes in the world right now:
Specialized S-Works Diverge
Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon
Schwinn Sporterra Adventure
Cannondale Topstone Ultegra RX 2
Cannondale Topstone Carbon Lefty 3

Are Gravel Bikes As Fast As Road Bikes?

While dedicated road bikes are specially designed for out-and-out speed, the same cannot be said for gravel bikes, which are deliberately designed to be neither extremely fast nor too slow. Going too fast on a trail or dirt road, especially a descending one can be dangerous.

Can A Gravel Bike Also Be A Road Bike?

You can always use your gravel bike on the road if you wish. They’re super versatile. It may not be as fast as a dedicated road bike, but it’s more reliable than one.

BikeHikeSafari Gear Review Process

The author, Brad McCartney from BikeHikeSafari is a small independent adventurer and outdoor gear tester who owns and runs

BikeHikeSafari is not part of a large blog network and is proudly independent. All reviews on this site are independent and honest gear reviews of outdoor products by the author.

The author, Brad McCartney is a very experienced triple crown thru-hiker, adventurer, and bike tourer having spent 1000s of nights sleeping in a tent and sleeping bag (Read more). He was a manager of an outdoor retail store and is very experienced in what is important when using and testing gear for reviews like this.

BikeHikeSafari will never receive any money for reviews and they do not accept sponsored reviews on this website. All the comments about the gear reviews are from the author based on his years of experience. Hope this independent review was helpful for you.

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About the Author:
Brad is an Australian who has completed the hiking Triple Crown after he hiked the Pacific Crest Trail, Continental Divide Trail and Appalachian Trail. He has hiked on every continent (except Antarctica) and has cycled from Alaska to Ecuador. He is an expert on outdoor gear currently living in Chile.

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