Budget gravel bike recommendations?

Looking to get a gravel bike for my kinetic road machine as the bike I’m currently using is too small for me. I figured this way I can have a bike to use on the trainer and take advantage of all the gravel roads we have in south Florida.
I’d like to keep it under $1000 if possible but if $1500 can get me something significantly better, then I’m open to suggestions. Weight is not a priority as I’m not really interested in racing and the bike will spend the majority of its time on the indoor trainer. Outdoor rides will be strictly for fun.
Unless I’m mistaken, I think a 2x would generally be cheaper and would also be a better choice for the trainer as well?


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Giant has a pretty nice newer adventure bike that can be used as a gravel grinder:

They do financing too, I financed two bikes through them / Affirm and it was smooth sailing.

If you wanna spend a little more, they have the brand new Revolt, here’s the lowest priced one ($2k):

The Specialized Diverge has been pretty popular too at a ton of different price points:

And of course, Salsa has a good amount of gravel bikes, and the cheapest of the bunch is the Journeyman:


I would look for a used CX bike, ones of the pre-disc brake vintage are extremely cheap. Put some mini-V brakes on it and gravel tires then enjoy the countryside.


A used CX bike is a decent choice, but it’s also worth keeping in mind that a used CX could also have a lot of issues because of the nature of how they’re ridden (brutally).

If you’re looking for something new, the entry-level Cannondale Topstone looks pretty amazing to my eyes.


The Fuji Jari 2.3 may also be a good choice.


Cannondale just released an option in your budget called the Topstone. https://www.cannondale.com/en/USA/Products/ProductCategory.aspx?nid=0a51292a-c51b-4434-bdec-16a9317b9111


I’d guess many haven’t seen much action at all.

I’m seriously thinking of getting the 105 model. Not released in the UK yet though but they look awesome.

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The Fuji Jari 1.5 is a good Sram 1x possibility, the 1.7 (Tiagra) and 1.3 (105) could also be contender’s.

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Thanks for all the suggestions thus far. Keep em coming! Definitely open to getting something used and basing my search based of your recommendations.

Here is a bike BOM. I’ve built this bike four times, but not recently. Some of the links might be out of date!

frame 370 https://www.aliexpress.com/item/2015-carbon-cyclocross-frame-v-brake-bmx-bike-frame-53cm-with-ican-glossy-logos-BSA-UD/32286775495.html?spm=2114.search0104.3.8.f9b9440eupQVm7&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_4_10065_10068_204_10130_318_10547_10546_10059_10884_10548_10545_10887_10696_100031_10084_10083_10103_10618_452_10307_532,searchweb201603_60,ppcSwitch_0&algo_expid=983070ad-5d78-4fc7-8e92-515bd7025f9d-1&algo_pvid=983070ad-5d78-4fc7-8e92-515bd7025f9d&priceBeautifyAB=0
handlebars 56.06 https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Full-carbon-road-bike-bicycle-handlebar-40cm-42cm-44cm-HB-3/1296891907.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.27424c4ddOJaRc
stem 20.99 https://www.bikenashbar.com/cycling/nashbar-os-stem-nb-oss
seatpost 39.99 https://www.bikenashbar.com/cycling/nashbar-carbon-sb-350mm-seatpost-nb-csp
saddle 23.75 https://www.aliexpress.com/snapshot/0.html?spm=a2g0s.9042647.6.2.1ff94c4dgALb5y&orderId=92899290890435&productId=32846964091
crankset 97.8 https://www.aliexpress.com/item/SHIMANO-105-FC-5700-Crankset-2-10S-road-Bicycle-Bike-Chainwheel-5700-20S-speed-crank-set/32815821762.html?spm=2114.search0104.3.9.4cec4be09kBS4i&ws_ab_test=searchweb0_0,searchweb201602_4_10065_10068_204_10130_318_10547_10546_10059_10884_10548_10545_10887_10696_100031_10084_10083_10103_10618_452_10307_532,searchweb201603_60,ppcSwitch_0&algo_expid=1914f343-d7c7-4707-820a-24304a9e3c00-1&algo_pvid=1914f343-d7c7-4707-820a-24304a9e3c00&priceBeautifyAB=0
cassette 24.99 https://www.bikenashbar.com/cycling/nashbar-10-speed-cassette-nb-cs10
Front Derailleur 39.74 https://www.amazon.com/SHIMANO-FD-5700-Front-Derailleur-Black/dp/B003UA5X9A/ref=sr_1_3?ie=UTF8&qid=1538834999&sr=8-3&keywords=FD-5700
Rear Derailleur 42.99 https://www.jensonusa.com/Shimano-105-RD-5701-10SP-Rear-Derailleur
5700 105 brifters 130 https://www.aliexpress.com/item/Shimano-105-5700-Black-ST-5700-10-x-2-Speed-Shifters-w-Cables/32795609137.html?spm=a2g0s.9042311.0.0.3d874c4djOtsD0
Brakes 18 https://www.amazon.com/Tektro-930AL-Brake-Brakes-Cyclocross/dp/B01N3RAO4H/ref=sr_1_1?ie=UTF8&qid=1538835131&sr=8-1&keywords=Cyclocross+v-brakes
total 864.31

That’s too bad. My LBS has the Sora version for $1K USD.

The pics say it only takes 28 or 30c. Is that true?

Search around for one of the corporate deals (~30% off) and check out a Diamondback Haanjo. The outgoing Hanjo Trail and incoming Haanjo 4 have alloy frames and off-series Ultegra Hydro 2x grouppo with decent HED Wheels. Should fall within your $1500 limit.


I am really happy with my KHS Grit 110. Only major issue I had were the wheels (at a sub 1k price point though that is probably an issue no matter the brand). If you’re interested I wrote up a review on my blog.

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The new Cannondale Topstock is definitely a bike to take a look at. It has all the right mounts in all the right places.

I think for $1500 you could find a deal for something alu or steel, decent tubeless rims standard and probably something around Shimano 105 11spd - especially at this time of year with sales. Don’t forget to call around to your LBSs especially if you ride a S or XL, they might be able to make you a deal on some older model.

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What about wheelset?

Huh…It didn’t scrape? Oh. Because they don’t make them anymore. Well, crud. It was the Vuelta 37MM aluminum rim laced with bladed spokes. They’re super rugged an ok aero but a little heavy & not very wide internal width…you used to be able to pick them up for >$200 tho. & you could cobble them together tubeless w/o much trouble.

Ummm…I don’t have a go to budget gravel wheelset. I’d have to look around & do some research. It would be tough to rec anything without riding it around on gravel for several hundred miles. The above BOM I’ve ridden across thousands of miles of gravel so I’m pretty confident in it.