I’m in the market for a gravel bike but as you can imagine, choice is vast and the supply is short for many models. I’m not in a huge rush but don’t want to wait forever to get one.
A few points, looking for a new cycling challenge hence the gravel bike (currently a roadie), terrain won’t be too technical to start with, basic trails, fire roads, canal paths and maybe something a bit more adventurous etc, bike packing is on the agenda (nothing too epic).
I’m in the UK with a budget of £1800, would prefer to spend nearer £1600 as I’ll be looking to get pedals and shoes as well (these won’t be in the main budget). A few on my list:
Good hydroformed AL frame with a CF seatpost > small mfg, cheap CF.
Planet X on one ranger (SRAM Rival) - All the bits outside of the groupset are things you’d want to replace. The frame even.
Planet X on one ranger (SRAM Force) - see above.
Canyon Grail 6 AL - This is a nicest bike despite having a lower level frame material and groupset. The wheels, tires, seat post you don’t need to touch, well done frame.
Looks like the 7 1x is avb for $350 more, but you really only get a nicer saddle, bottom bracket, chain, and 11sp rear, but would lose a high gear and an exceptionally low gear Bicycle Gear Calculator
Boardman ADV 9.0 - Looks like a decent package aside from the seatpost. Only concern here would be quality of the BB being a open mold (factory design /spec) CF bike. The mass market hydroformed AL frames are going to be nicer than the cheap, low volume CF frames.
Topstone 2 - Same as Canyon, but the canyon has nicer wheels and tires. Probably the best looking frame/paint despite the XXS frame in the website pic.
Giant Revolt 0 - Same as Canyon, but the canyon has nicer wheels and tires.
No doubt Ribble do some nice bikes (I’ve just sold an Endurance AL road bike I had from them a few years ago), but sadly the service wasn’t good. Continually breaking promises about delivery (this was 2 years before Covid), if you look around you’ll see lots of negative reviews about delivery or lack of. So not a brand I’d let have my cash.
Just to give you one more option, have you considered Kinesis bikes? They’re from UK as well.
I’m 100% sure that Kinesis could sell a load more bikes - or the same bikes but at higher prices! - if only they would invest some money in classier branding and much smarter, stylish looking decals for their frames…
Contrast the appearance of their frames with Dom Mason’s (who used to be their frame designer…). In terms of the effect on “desirability” there’s no contest. Kinesis’s branding looks like an afterthought - a ‘box ticked’ perhaps a few decades ago and then never revisited - with decals very much akin to some stickers I bought from my LBS as a kid for my DIY home-sprayed '70s Raleigh frame. That sounds really, really harsh, I know, but it’s something I’ve thought for a while, having looked at their frames numerous times over the years. Missed opportunity IMO, meaning they’re selling themselves short!
Shout out to Canyon, had an initial delivery date of 4th to 17th November, a week after ordering they said it was coming around 10th October, then the same day they said it was coming in 5 business days. Net result it’ll be here Thursday
I’d recommend getting a used bike. Look on Craigslist or Facebook marketplace. As long as you can get a CX / gravel bike with disc brakes, you’ll be on business. You will get a nice mid level bike at MSRP for a bit over your quoted price point. That’s why you should go used (99% of bike users never come close to really wearing them out so the used market is the way to go)