Best Gravel Bikes for Under $500

Do you want to ride your gravel bike without breaking the bank? If so, we’ve got just the list for you. These bikes are all under $500, and they’re all great choices for anyone looking for an easy and affordable way to get around on two wheels. 

Whether you’re a beginner or a seasoned rider, one of these bikes is sure to fit your needs. So whatever your budget, check out our list of the best gravel bikes for under $500!

Best Gravel Bikes for Under $500

Gravel Bikes in This Guide

Product

Features

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Kent Genesis 700C Bohe Men's Gravel Bike

  • Frame = Aluminum

  • Gears = 14 Speed

  • Brakes = Mechanical Disc

  • Wheels = 700C x 40mm

Triban Abyss RC100, Aluminum Road Bike

  • Frame = Aluminum

  • Gears = 7 Speed

  • Brakes = Cartridge Brakes

  • Wheels = 700C x 32mm

Kent 700c Nazz Men's Gravel Road Bike

  • Frame = Steel

  • Gears = 14 Speed

  • Brakes = Mechanical Disc

  • Wheels = 700C x 40mm

Viribus 21 Speed Adult Gravel Bike 27.5 Inch On & Offroad Hybrid Bike

  • Frame = Steel

  • Gears = 21 Speed

  • Brakes = Dual V Brakes

  • Wheels = 27.5" x 1.6" (40mm)

Huffy 27.5” Carom Mens’ 14-Speed Aluminum Gravel Bike

  • Frame = Aluminum

  • Gears = 14 Speed

  • Brakes = Mechanical Disc

  • Wheels = 27.5" x 1.6" (40mm)

Who Should Buy a Gravel Bike for Under $500?

A gravel bike is a perfect option for those who are looking for an adventure bike that is cheap and affordable. Gravel bikes are versatile and can be used for a variety of riding styles, such as commuting, or off-road riding. They are also a great option for those who are looking for an entry-level bike that can be used for a variety of activities. Another common use for gravel bikes is as a touring bike, as grave bikes can cover long distances more comfortably than a road bikes.

If you are looking to buy a gravel bike for under $500, there are a few things that you should keep in mind. First, you will want to make sure that the bike is durable and can withstand off-road riding. You will also want to consider the geometry of the bike, and make sure that it is suited for your riding style. Finally, you will want to make sure that the components of the bike are high quality and can withstand extended use.

Best Gravel Bikes for Under $500

Kent Genesis 700C Bohe Men’s Gravel Bike

Kent Genesis 700C Bohe Men's Gravel Bike

  • Frame = Aluminum

  • Gears = 14 Speed

  • Brakes = Mechanical Disc

  • Wheels = 700C x 40mm

If you are after an entry-level gravel bike with really good specs then the Kent Genesis 700C Bohe Men’s Gravel Bike is a very good choice.

In spite of this bike being under $500, you get an aluminum frame, which is quite rare in this price range. This has the benefit of reducing the overall weight of the bike, especially compared to steel frames bikes. Lighter bikes mean more speed, so having a lower weight is nothing to turn your nose up at.

You also get 14 gears, based on a 7-speed cassette on the rear and a 2 front cogs. This is coupled with a Shimano derailleur system as well as level shifters, meaning you can change gears without having to stray too far from the brake levers, making riding much safer.

Speaking of brakes, this bike features mechanical disc brakes on both the front and rear. This gives you far better stopping power compared to basic cartridge brakes, making riding much safer.

You also get 700C x 40mm tires on this bike, which feature a mild knobby tread. These are perfect for taking your bike on the road as well as on loose gravel surfaces as the smaller knobs provide great grip on the gravel, without creating too much rolling resistance on the flats.

Why we love it:

This bike is a great choice for those on a budget who want a lightweight bike without too much compromise on components.


Triban Abyss RC100, Aluminum Road Bike

Triban Abyss RC100, Aluminum Road Bike

  • Frame = Aluminum

  • Gears = 7 Speed

  • Brakes = Cartridge Brakes

  • Wheels = 700C x 32mm

For those looking to get their first gravel bike, the Triban Abyss RC100 Aluminum Road Bike has been built specifically for that purpose.

This bike comes with a 6061 aluminum frame, meaning that even at an entry-level price, you get a fairly light bike. This is reflected in the weight, with this bike weighing in at 24.9lbs. In this price range, that is a pretty low weight, with an increase in your budget the best way to get a bike that weighs less.

Triban has also kept things simple with this bike to limit the number of things that can go wrong. With a single speed 44 teeth front crank, you avoid some potential maintenance issues near your pedals. This is not a single speed bike though, with 7 gears on the back 12 – 24 cassette. This should give you plenty of gears for riding on fun gravel routes as well as on the road.

The brakes on this bike are also pretty simple, with Tektro RL 340 brake levels working together with cartridge brakes to provide plenty of stopping power.

The Triban Abyss RC100 also comes with 700 x 32mm wheels, which are a good size for those looking to get some speed up when riding. The BTWIN Sport 700 x 32mm tires come equipped with small central studs and larger side studs to provide increased grip on loose surfaces. This means you can ride with some confidence on the gravel, knowing that your bikes won’t be slipping out from underneath you as you pedal.

Why we love it:

A really good entry-level gravel bike for those who want a bike that will give them their first taste of gravel riding.


Kent 700c Nazz Men’s Gravel Road Bike

Kent 700c Nazz Men's Gravel Road Bike

  • Frame = Steel

  • Gears = 14 Speed

  • Brakes = Mechanical Disc

  • Wheels = 700C x 40mm

If you are after an entry-level gravel bike that gives you plenty of gear options for taking on hills, the Ken 700c Nazz Men’s Gravel Road Bike is a very good choice.

This bike has been designed for taking on long, hilly gravel rides, with 14 gears to give you a wide range of options when climbing hills and speeding down them. On the front, you get two gears, with a 38 and 48 tooth crank. The rear cassette is a 14-28 tooth freewheel cassette, with 7 gears, giving you a total of 14 gears. These are coupled with Shimano shifters and derailleurs for easy gear changing.

For extra braking power, this bike comes with front and rear mechanical disc brakes, which are known for being durable and providing increased stopping power over other types of brakes.

The 700c wheels also come with 40mm gravel tires, which have been specially designed for riding over loose surfaces. The textured tires, meaning small knobs in the centre and larger paddles on the side provide superior grip on loose surfaces compared to slick tires. The texture is not too deep though, meaning you don’t see reduced performance on the road.

The main downside to this bike is the steel frame. Steel is not a light material and as such, this bike is heavier than aluminum and carbon fibre based frames. The use of a steel frame isn’t unexpected in this price range though and shouldn’t put you off if you like the look of this bike.

Why we love it:

This budget gravel bike comes with a wide range of gears, which is great for longer rides and unexpected hills.


Viribus 21 Speed Adult Gravel Bike 27.5 Inch On & Offroad Hybrid Bike

Viribus 21 Speed Adult Gravel Bike 27.5 Inch On & Offroad Hybrid Bike

  • Frame = Steel

  • Gears = 21 Speed

  • Brakes = Dual V Brakes

  • Wheels = 27.5" x 1.6" (40mm)

If you are someone that wants a bike offering a wide range of gears for taking on the hills, then the Viribus On & Offroad Hybrid Bike would be a great choice for you.

Unlike most bikes in this price range, the Viribus On & Offroad Hybrid features 21 gears. This is a lot more than other bikes on this list, which generally has up to 14 gears. These extra 3 gears will come in handy when riding up hills, where you can drop down through the gears and spin up the hill without having to strain or get off and push. The gears are controlled by thumb shifters that are mounted to the handlebars.

The 27.5″ x 1.6″ tires come with a medium depth tread, making them ideal for riding on gravel. This is because the deeper tread will provide more grip on the loose surface. In spite of the deep tread, the tires aren’t overly grippy on smoother surfaces, meaning they are also good for riding on the road as well.

The Dual V Brakes for the front and back wheels will give you plenty of stopping power. Whilst these won’t slow you down as quickly as a set of disc brakes, the V Brakes are much easier to maintain and adjust, which will save you time in the long run.

The downside of this bike is the use of a steel frame. Whilst steel will provide a very solid and sturdy bike frame, it is a cheaper and much heavier material than aluminum or steel, meaning your bike will be much heavier than an equivalent aluminum-framed bike.

Why we love it:

Lots of gears mean this bike is great for riding on and offroad, providing speed on the flats and easier gears for spinning up the hills.


Huffy 27.5” Carom Mens’ 14-Speed Aluminum Gravel Bike

Huffy 27.5” Carom Mens’ 14-Speed Aluminum Gravel Bike

  • Frame = Aluminum

  • Gears = 14 Speed

  • Brakes = Mechanical Disc

  • Wheels = 27.5" x 1.6" (40mm)

For those who want a cheap gravel bike, but are not sure about going for drop handlebars, the Huff Carom Aluminum Gravel Bike is a great choice.

This bike, unlike other gravel bikes, features raised, flat handlebars. Whilst drop handlebars might be a preference for some riders, they can make the riding position uncomfortable for others. The flat handlebars create a more comfortable riding experience and will make the ride much more enjoyable.

This bike also comes with 14-speed gears, with two cogs on the front and a 7-speed cassette on the rear. This is pretty standard for gravel bikes in this price range. What is a bit more unique is the twist shifting gear setup, where you twist the gear selected to activate the Shimano derailleur. This is only possible due to the bike having flat handlebars.

You also get mechanical disc brakes with this bike, which will provide a superior stopping power compared to V Brakes, meaning you can go faster down the hills and know that you can stop in time should you need to slow down in an emergency.

The Huff Carom Aluminum Gravel Bike also comes with 27.5″ wheels, fitted with oversize tires. These have been designed specifically for significantly loose surfaces and as such as great on gravel rides. The large knobs on the tires do slow the bike down on smoother surfaces, such as roads and pavements though.

Why we love it:

A great choice for those who don’t like drop handlebars and want a more comfortable riding position on their gravel bike.


Gravel Bike Buyers Guide

The following factors are some of the things you should consider before taking the plunge and buying a gravel bike.

Frame size

When you are looking for a gravel bike, the frame size is an important consideration. If the frame is too small, you will not be able to comfortably ride on it. If the frame is too large, it will be difficult to control and you will be less efficient when riding. You should also consider the geometry of the frame. A good geometry will allow you to handle the bike easily and make it more comfortable to ride.

Frame Material

Frame material is important when considering a gravel bike because it affects the weight and strength of the bike.

Steel Bike Frames

Steel has been used for bike frames for over a century, and it still has some advantages over newer materials. It is very strong and durable, so it can stand up to lots of abuse. Steel also has a nice ride quality; it absorbs bumps and vibrations well, which makes for a more comfortable ride.

However, steel is also significantly heavier than aluminum or carbon fibre. This can be a disadvantage when climbing hills or racing. In addition, steel is not as efficient as aluminum or carbon fibre at transferring energy from the pedals to the wheels, so it requires more effort to move around.

Aluminum Bike Frames

Aluminum bike frames sit somewhere in between steel and carbon fibre frames in terms of durability and weight.

Compared to a steel frame, aluminum frames are much lighter, reducing the overall weight of the bike frame. However, these are less durable than steel, which is known for being incredibly strong and sturdy.

Compared with carbon fibre frames, aluminum frames are cheaper than carbon fibre frames. They are also stronger and a bit heavier, which can be good for people who want a more durable bike. Another pro for aluminum frames is that they can be repaired relatively easily if they get damaged.

Unfortunately, aluminum frames don’t absorb shock as well as carbon fibre ones do, which can make for a rougher ride.

Carbon Fibre Bike Frames

Carbon fibre bike frames are becoming more and more popular because they are strong and lightweight. While there are many pros to using carbon fibre frames, there are some cons that should be considered before purchasing one.

The main pro to using a carbon fibre frame is that they very lightweight, which makes them easy to carry around.

However, there are some cons to using carbon fibre frames. One is that they can be expensive. Another is that they can be fragile. If they are not treated properly, they can easily break or get damaged.

Wheel Size

When it comes to gravel bikes, wheel size is one of the most important factors to consider. This is because wheel size affects a bike’s performance on different types of terrain. For example, a larger wheel will be better suited for riding on rough roads, while a smaller wheel will be more agile and faster on smooth surfaces.

That’s why it’s important to choose the right sized wheel when buying a gravel bike. If you’re not sure which size to choose, consult with a bike expert to help you decide. They can help you find the best bike for your needs and ensure that you’re comfortable when riding it.

Suspension Type

When looking to buy your first gravel bike, it’s important to understand the different types of suspension and how they can affect your ride. There are three main suspension types: hardtail, full-suspension, and gravel-specific.

A hardtail is a bike with no rear suspension. This type of bike is lighter and simpler than a full-suspension model, making it a good choice for beginners or riders who want to save on weight. A hardtail also tends to be less expensive than other types of bikes.

A full-suspension bike has both front and rear suspension, which makes for a smoother ride over rough terrain. This type of bike is ideal for more experienced riders who want to tackle more challenging trails. Full-suspension bikes are also heavier and more expensive than hardtails.

Number of Gears

Another key factor to consider when purchasing a gravel bike is the number of gears on the bike

The number of gears on a gravel bike determines the range of terrain that the bike can effectively ride. For example, if you plan to primarily ride on flat roads, a gravel bike with fewer gears will be fine. However, if you want to tackle hills, you’ll need a bike with more gears.

Another important consideration when it comes to choosing gears is your riding style. If you like to spin quickly up steep climbs, you’ll need more high gears on your bike.

What Are Gravel Bikes Good For?

Gravel bikes are becoming more and more popular and for good reason. They are perfect for all sorts of terrain, whether you’re on a mountain bike trail, cruising around town, or on a dirt road. Gravel bikes have thicker tires than traditional road bikes, which makes them better suited for rougher terrain. They also have disc brakes, which provide more stopping power than traditional brakes. This makes them ideal for long rides or races that cover a variety of terrain.

Are Gravel Bikes Good for Road?

Are gravel bikes good for road? This is a question that has been asked by many cyclists in recent years. The short answer to this question is yes, gravel bikes can be good for roads. However, there are some things you need to keep in mind if you plan on using your gravel bike for road riding.

One of the main reasons why gravel bikes are good for the road is because they are more comfortable than traditional road bikes. They have a wider tire and frame, which allows you to ride more comfortably and absorb more bumps and shocks. Additionally, gravel bikes are often equipped with disc brakes, which provide better stopping power than traditional rim brakes.

Another reason why gravel bikes are good for roads is that they are versatile. They can be used for both on and off-road riding, which makes them a great option if you want one bike that can do it all.

Are Gravel Bikes Worth It?

Gravel bikes have been growing in popularity in recent years, and for good reason. They offer a great blend of performance and comfort, making them perfect for long rides on mixed terrain. But are gravel bikes really worth the investment?

The answer to that question depends on your needs and preferences. If you’re looking for a bike that can handle a wide variety of terrain, then a gravel bike is definitely worth considering. They’re perfect for taking on long rides on gravel roads, as well as paved roads and trails.

But if you’re mainly interested in riding on pavement, a standard road bike may be a better option. Gravel bikes can be a bit heavier and slower than traditional road bikes, so they may not be the best choice for racing or speed-oriented riding.

Are Gravel Bikes Good on Rough Roads?

Gravel bikes are becoming increasingly popular and for good reason. They are perfect for riding on rough roads. Their wider tires provide more stability and cushioning than traditional road bikes, making them much more comfortable to ride on bumpy terrain. Gravel bikes also have disc brakes, which provide superior stopping power when compared to rim brakes. This makes them ideal for cycling on unpaved roads or trails.

Summary

As you can see from the list above, there are plenty of options when it comes to choosing a gravel bike for under $500. There are compromises compared to bikes in a higher price bracket, usually around components quality, frame material or the features of the bike.

For me, the best gravel bike for under $500 is the Kent Genesis 700C Bohe Men’s Gravel Bike as this offers the best balance between features and weight.