Gravel bikes have recently exploded in popularity and it's easy to see why. Sturdy and capable, they can tackle just about any terrain. If you've been thinking about making the leap, now is the perfect time to buy with some unbelievable end-of-season discounts on offer. So broaden your horizons and get set for adventure - here's our top five under £1500.
The perfect first gravel bike to whet your appetite for the trails less traveled. The Vitus Substance VRS-2 comes ready to go pretty much anywhere straight out of the box. The aluminum frame has the same geometry as this bike's pricier big brothers so expect a perfect balance of agility, stability and control.
The gravel-specific Shimano GRX 600 2X11-Speed group set gives you plenty of range to zip along on the flat or storm up the inclines, but if you prefer a 1X, the good news is that the Substance can take either.
Chunky WTB Byway TCS Road Plus 700c x 40c tyres let you float over the rough stuff and the DT-Swiss wheels are tubeless-ready in case you ever want to make the switch. You can even change the 700c wheels to 650b - however you want to customise this versatile frame is up to you.
Allegedly born from an intoxicated conversation with Nukeproof athletes who wanted a 'do-it-all' training bike, the Digger claims to be a gravel bike with the soul of a mountain bike. The lightweight but strong alloy frame with carbon fork has been designed specifically to inject a bit of joy into your ride, whether that's winter training, overnight adventures or even simply the daily commute.
Equipped with a Shimano GRX 1x11-Speed groupset and a wide-ranging 11-42 tooth cassette, there's no front derailleur to worry about but you should still have enough gears to handle most terrain.
The Nukeproof Neutron 700c wheels come wrapped in high-grip Schwalbe G-One BITE 45c tires that make short work of muddy trails, but you can easily switch out to 650c if you want to go up to a 47c tyre.
Looking for the perfect all-rounder. Well you may have just found it. The Rondo RUUT can handle anything from cyclocross racing to long-distance touring to gravel adventures. It's even pretty nippy on good old fashioned tarmac.
Featuring Rondo's TwinTip 2.0 fork with FLY technology, you'll be able to tweak the Rondo RUUT's geometry to suit the terrain and your riding goals. The bike is supplied in the 'LO' mode for long-distance comfort, but you can adjust the drop-outs to 'HI' mode for a more aggressive race-feel.
The RUUT is really punching above its weight at this price-point not just on versatility but also on premium-level components. The SRAM Rival 1x11-Speed groupset has an 11-42 tooth cassette that's ample for those steep climbs. On the way down, you'll have the reassuringly reliable stopping power of SRAM Rival hydraulic disc brakes.
This agile adventure bike is the perfect solution for riders who like to mix road riding with a bit of light off-road exploring. The lightweight and dependable OSD triple-butted 6061 aircraft-grade aluminum frame is equally at home on multi-day adventures as it is on the daily commute.
The Fulcrum R900 DB wheelset is kitted out in Vittoria Zaffiro 28c tyres which feature a light tread for grip on towpaths and bridleways, but if you want something a bit more burly there's clearance for tyres up to 35mm.
The Shimano 105 2x11-Speed groupset with 11-30T cassette is great to see on a bike at this price point, giving you reliable shifting whatever terrain you choose to explore. Tektro MD-C550 mechanical disc brakes keep you in full control even on rainy days, making this a brilliant winter training bike.
Featuring the iconic triple-triangle frame, there's no mistaking the pedigree of this capable little ride. The modern frame geometry was built to inspire confidence on forest trails and gravel routes, whilst also being comfortable enough to take on those epic long-distance routes.
Although it comes ready for pretty much anything, it's easy to fine-tune the setup to suit whatever riding you want to do. The WTB ST i23 rims, equipped with WTB Riddler tyres, are tubeless-ready and the frame is compatible with dropper seatposts.
The Shimano GRX RX400 2x10-Speed drivetrain has plenty of range and is known for dependable and quiet shifting, as well as rugged reliability.
WIN everything you need for a bike packing adventure
Found the dream bike? No reason to put it off any longer then - check out our video below to find out how to WIN everything you need for your own bike packing adventure.
How to take your ride to the next level
Thinking of pimping your new ride with a few upgrades? Sam tells us which gravel upgrades pack the most bang-for-buck in the video below:
What gravel tires should you buy?
Depending on where you want to take your new gravel bike, you might want to switch the tires out for something better suited to the terrain. James explains all in the video below.
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