Gravel bike opinions

Hi

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:

£1600 - available now

£1800 - available now

£1649 - “Autumn expected”

£1800 - no stock, check back in 2 weeks

https://www.boardmanbikes.com/gb_en/products/2375-adv-9.0-2021.html

£1699 - available

£1800 - not sure about availability

To give you the names without links:

Planet X on one ranger (SRAM Rival)
Planet X on one ranger (SRAM Force)
Canyon Grail 6 AL
Boardman ADV 9.0
Topstone 2
Giant Revolt 0

Planet X both have 10% right now and available, just not 100% on looks, a bit loud perhaps, the Canyon appeals most for some reason (current road bike is Canyon), I also like the Boardman.

Thoughts? Others?

Much appreciated

I would go with the Revolt 0 because I like the Shimano components and the gearing.

Close second is the Free Ranger. I guess if you crave a carbon frame, go with the Free Ranger! Plus you get some flexibility with the bolts on the top tube.

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SRAM is an unknown but not against it, not focused on carbon, Aluminium is fine with me.

Yeah if everything was in stock from those listed it’d be my choice. I might just need to be patient.

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.

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Appreciate the in-depth reply. I’m glad I posted the question now as the Canyon clearly garners some solid opinions.

I think I’ll hold out, I’m on the notify me emails so with any luck there could be some news soon.

Better yet, a suspension seatpost.

Just to give you one more option, have you considered Kinesis bikes? They’re from UK as well.

No. The flexy seatpost provides multi-directional vibration dampening. The suspension posts usually only work in a given direction.

I had considered them but wasn’t get too excited looking at them. Might be different in the flesh but I think the Canyon is the one.

I’ll take actual suspension over damping any day…YMMV.

What about Ribble bikes? I wonder what people think about the alloy frames? I was thinking about one of those as I’m in the same situation at the OP.

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.

Hello again. I’d really welcome opinions on this bike, the looks really appeal and the spec looks solid. With pedals, the Hunt wheel option and the 43mm gravel king tyres it’s £1884.

I’m awaiting news on the Canyon 2x at £1649 (£1700 delivered plus £40 pedals = £1740).

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A canyon will be my next bike.

Ordered the Grail 6 today as they changed from coming soon to 1st November delivery date. Thanks got the advice.

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!

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