Best Gravel Bikes under $1500

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Best Gravel Bikes Under $1500
Best Gravel Bikes Under $1500

This is a review for Best Gravel Bikes Under $1500.

I tested eight gravel bikes and found that the Schwinn Sporterra is the best gravel bikes under $1500 on the market. 

Finding a great gravel bike for under $1500 can be a difficult task. You want to make sure that your bike has high-quality components without spending too much money. 

As an avid biker myself, I understand the struggle. That’s why I took it upon myself to research the best affordable gravel bikes to fit any budget without sacrificing quality. 

That’s where the Schwinn Sporterra gravel bike comes in. The Sporterra features excellent quality components and a lightweight aluminum frame, all for an affordable price. But I’ll touch more on that in a bit. 

Keep reading to learn more about my choices for the best gravel bikes under $1500. 

Best Overall Gravel Bike : Schwinn Sporterra Gravel Bike

Technical specifications:

  • Frame material: aluminum
  • Wheel size: 28 inches
  • Weight: 30.6 lb. (13.9 kg)
  • Gears: Shimano
  • Brakes: mechanical disc
  • Tires: Schwinn 700 x 38c multi-terrain
  • Pedals included: yes
  • Number of speeds: 14

Schwinn is a trusted name in the bike community. Schwinn’s Sporterra gravel bike is no exception. The Schwinn Sporterra gravel bike is at the top of my list of affordable gravel bikes. Not only does this bike have high-quality components, but it is also fairly versatile and comes with a warranty. 

The Sporterra features a lightweight aluminum frame that’s great for maneuvering off-road. This lightweight frame also means that transporting and storing the bike is very easy to do. Despite being lightweight, the bike is sturdy and durable and can withstand falls without denting the frame. 

The Sporterra is perfectly designed for trail riding and gravel. This bike features Shimano gears that allow you to shift among the bike’s 14 speeds with ease. The mechanical disc brakes combined with the large multi-terrain Schwinn tires provide great traction so that you can stop on a dime and ride safely on any terrain and in any weather. 

Not only is this bike great for gravel riding and off-roading, but it can even be safely used on pavement. This versatile bike can take you from pavement to gravel seamlessly thanks to its high-quality tires and ability to shift gears with ease. 

This bike isn’t just versatile on trails; it also fits a wide range of users. The sleek, unisex black color makes it great for any gender, and the frame size comfortably fits riders ranging from 5’4” to 6’2”. 

This bike’s high-quality components and versatility aren’t the only reason it’s at the top of my list. Schwinn is so confident in their bike that the Sporterra comes with a lifetime warranty that covers damages and repairs for as long as you own the bike. 

Runner-Up: Tommaso Sterrata 

Technical specifications: 

  • Frame material: aluminum
  • Wheel size: not listed
  • Weight: 25.4 lb. 
  • Groupset: Shimano Claris
  • Brakes: Avid BB5 disc
  • Tires: 700 x 40c
  • Pedals included: yes
  • Number of speeds: 24

Tommaso is another trusted name for bikers. Tommaso has been producing high-quality bikes since the 1980s. Their latest gravel bike, the Tommaso Sterrata, is my runner-up for best gravel bike under $1500. 

The Sterrata features a lightweight aluminum frame and carbon fiber fork that make this bike perfect for riding offroad. The carbon fork absorbs road and gravel vibrations to make your ride go more smoothly. 

I couldn’t find an exact wheel size on the Sterrata, but that’s surprisingly for a good reason. The Sterrata comes in a wide range of sizes. The smallest Sterrata is for riders 5’2” to 5’6”, and the largest Sterrata fits riders ranging from 6’2” to 6’5”. The sleek black and gold design make this bike a great fit for any gender. Weighing in at just over 25 pounds, the bike is super easy to carry and store. 

The Sterrata’s Shimano Claris groupset speaks to the excellent quality of the bike. Shimano parts are some of the best quality bike components on the market. The wide 700 x 40c tires and disc brakes ensure that you can seamlessly travel from gravel to trail with excellent traction on any terrain and in any weather conditions. 

The Sterrata also comes with a warranty similar to the Sporterra. Rather than a lifetime warranty for the entire bike, Sterrata features a lifetime warranty for the frame and fork. It’s recommended that you seek professional help assembling your Sterrata.

Most Versatile: Royce Union Gravel Bike

Technical specifications:

  • Frame material: aluminum
  • Wheel size: 27.5 inch
  • Weight: varies
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Sora
  • Brakes: dual Shimano disc brakes
  • Tires: Nano 700c
  • Pedals included: yes
  • Number of speeds: 18

The Royce Union gravel bike may not be as popular as a lot of the other options on this list, but after reading about its versatile features and components, you may want to give it a try. 

Even though the Royce Union is marketed as a “men’s bike,” the bike is nothing short of inclusive. This bike comes in a wide range of frame sizes designed to accommodate riders ranging from 5’0″ to 6’6″. The navy blue design gives it an appealing unisex look that’s visually appealing to any gender. 

The Royce Union is a lightweight, aluminum frame bike that’s perfect for traveling on any terrain. The Shimano Sora drivetrain allows you to travel uphill in any weather with ease. The Nano 700c tires are perfectly designed for handling gravel, but the bike also travels well on pavement. 

The compact and lightweight frame design not only makes this bike easy to handle, but it gives it the ability to expertly maneuver small trails and tight turns. The bike features 18 different speeds and dual Shimano disc brakes, both of which allow the bike to travel on all terrains with ease. 

Best for Beginners: Mongoose Elroy 

Technical specifications: 

  • Frame material: aluminum
  • Wheel size: 29 inch
  • Weight: 30 lb. (13.6 kg)
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Tourney
  • Brakes: mechanical disc
  • Tires: 700 x 40c 
  • Pedals included: yes
  • Number of speeds: 14

Mongoose is another known and trusted bike brand. Their Elroy model is a great option for bikers who are new to gravel biking and don’t want to break the bank. 

The Mongoose Elroy features a lightweight aluminum frame and heavy-duty steel fork. When assembled, this bike only weighs around 30 pounds. The lightweight aluminum frame gives the bike the ability to be easily assembled, carried, moved, and stored, which is perfect for those who are just now getting into off-road biking. 

Even though this is a beginner-level bike, it’s nothing short of high-quality. The drivetrain is Shimano Tourney, which is one of the best drivetrains you can find on the market for this price. The Elroy’s high-quality components coupled with the wide 700 x 40c tires make it sturdy enough to take anywhere. 

The wide tires also add an extra level of balance, which is especially great for absolute beginners. 

The bike features 14 different speeds, which is a great balance for beginners. It’s not so advanced that you will get ahead of yourself but not too slow either. The mechanical disc brakes and tires ensure your safety on any terrain and in any weather. 

In addition to its high-quality components and design, the Elroy comes with some neat additional features, such as three water bottle cage mounts, a large front rack, and an integrated frame bag. All of these add-ons come with the bike free of charge and are removable if they’re not your style. 

Best Steel Frame Gravel Bike: Giordano Trieste Gravel Bike

Technical specifications: 

  • Frame material: steel
  • Wheel size: 29 inch
  • Weight: 30 lb. (13.6 kg)
  • Gears: Shimano Claris
  • Brakes: disc
  • Tires: 700c x 42mm 
  • Pedals included: not listed
  • Number of speeds: 16

The Giordano Trieste gravel bike is making a name for itself in the bike community. This bike features a lightweight, all-steel design for an affordable price. 

The Giordano Trieste has a heavy-duty steel frame and fork, but that doesn’t mean it’s heavy to use. Surprisingly, the steel material doesn’t make the bike any less lightweight. This bike weighs in at right at 30 pounds when assembled, making it easy to ride and maneuver for any rider. 

The steel material may be as lightweight as aluminum, but it’s more durable. The Trieste’s steel frame is more resistant to dings and fall damage than the aluminum options on this list. 

The Trieste comes in 3 different sizes to accommodate a wide range of riders. The small is for riders 5’4” to 5’8”, the medium is for riders 5’7” to 5’11”, and the large is for riders 5’11” to 6’4”. The bike comes in a unisex gray design, perfect for riders of any gender.

The Giordano Triste comes with wide 42 mm tires, making it perfect for use on gravel and off-roading. The high-quality Shimano Claris components and disc brakes ensure that you’re safe to ride and stop on any terrain, no matter the weather conditions. 

Best Value: Viribus Gravel Bike

Technical specifications: 

  • Frame material: carbon steel
  • Wheel size: 27.5 inch
  • Weight: not listed
  • Brakes: linear pull V brakes
  • Tires: specifics not listed 
  • Pedals included: yes
  • Number of speeds: 21

The Viribus is a hidden gem of a gravel bike and the most affordable bike on my list. Despite its low popularity, this bike makes a great affordable option for those looking for either a good starter gravel bike or a bike to add parts to later on. 

The Viribus’s carbon steel frame is great at absorbing road vibrations and any unevenness from the trail, giving the rider the most comfortable experience possible. Even though it may be lightweight, this bike has a higher weight capacity than other bikes its size at 330 lb. It comes in 2 colors, black and gray, and is a great unisex option.

This bike is not only lightweight and durable, but it’s also versatile. The Viribus can be a road bike or gravel bike. The 21-speed options, strong V brakes, and dirt tires allow the rider to go from pavement to off-road seamlessly. The high-quality brakes and tires also give the rider the ability to stop on a dime in any condition. 

Viribus is confident in its bike and offers riders a 1-year warranty free of charge. 

Sleekest Design: Schwinn GTX Elite

Technical specifications:

  • Frame material: aluminum
  • Wheel size: 28 inch
  • Weight: 40 lb. (18.1 kg)
  • Brakes: alloy V brakes and mechanical disc brakes
  • Tires: 700c multi-use
  • Pedals included: yes
  • Number of speeds: 21

Schwinn knows how to make its bikes. This is the second Schwinn option on the list because its sleek and versatile design couldn’t go unnoticed. 

The Schwinn GTX Elite is a lightweight aluminum multi-use bike that’s perfect for any terrain from pavement to gravel. Not only is the GTX Elite an affordable option, but it has high-quality components and comes in multiple sizes and colors. 

The GTX Elite comes in frame sizes ranging from 16 inches to 20 inches, which can accommodate riders anywhere from 5’4” to 6’2”. This bike also comes in a variety of colors, like black, black/blue, blue, gray, yellow, black/yellow, and light blue. Its versatile design coupled with the multitude of colors it comes in makes it the sleekest bike on my list by far. 

The lightweight aluminum frame and fork give this bike a speed advantage as well. The 21-speed shifters and rear derailleur allow you to travel quickly uphill or on any terrain. The bike’s 700c multi-use tires and dual V and mechanical disc brakes ensure safe travels on any terrain in any conditions. 

Schwinn is so confident in this bike’s design and capabilities that they even offer a limited lifetime warranty that’s good for as long as you own the bike. 

Best Gravel Bike for Women: Royce Union RMA  

Technical specifications:

  • Frame material: aluminum
  • Wheel size: 27.5 inch
  • Weight: 46 lb. (20.7 kg)
  • Brakes: alloy linear-pull brakes
  • Tires: specifics not listed
  • Pedals included: yes
  • Number of speeds: 21

The Royce Union RMA is a lesser-known gravel bike, but this bike is a great affordable option marketed for women riders. 

The RMA features a lightweight and sleek aluminum frame and fork that’s perfect for use on pavement, gravel, and off-road. This bike has front-suspension shocks that absorb road vibrations and shock from bumpy terrain, making for a more comfortable ride. 

The bike weighs around 46 pounds when assembled, which sounds heavy, but the extra weight in the frame of the bike allows you to gain more momentum when traveling off-road and uphill. 

The RMA features Shimano components that help to enhance the bike’s performance quality. Shifting with this bike is also very easy to do using just your finger and thumb. The pull brakes and multi-terrain tires also allow you to travel seamlessly from pavement to gravel in any weather conditions. 

While the RMA doesn’t come pre-assembled, it comes with all of the necessary tools for assembly, and an instructional tutorial video is on its Amazon webpage. Royce Union offers a limited 10-year warranty on the RMA’s frame. 

Buyer’s Guide

Now that I’ve gone over my top eight picks for the best gravel bikes under $1500, you may be wondering how you can go about choosing which bike will be the best fit for you. There are so many components to a bike that some riders don’t know where to begin. 

But I’ve got you covered. Below are some of the key components of gravel bikes and what you should take into consideration when buying one.

Frame

When considering a bike purchase, one of the most important things to take into consideration is the frame and frame material. Bike frames come in a wide range of sizes and materials.

When it comes to finding a bike that will be as comfortable as possible, it’s important to know how the bike will measure up to your height. Many bikes list their height ranges directly on the webpage. 

If the height isn’t listed, but the frame size is, the most accurate way to determine if a bike will be a comfortable fit is to measure your inseam. Knowing your inseam length will help you know whether a bike’s frame size will be compatible with your height. A general rule of thumb to keep in mind is that the larger the frame size, the taller the rider. 

Bike frames come in various materials. Bike frames made from aluminum and carbon are generally more lightweight than frames made of steel, but steel frames are more durable. Carbon frames absorb shock and road vibrations the best. Aluminum frames are the cheapest and easiest to fix and replace. 

Wheels and Tires

Just like how bikes have different frame sizes, bikes also have different wheel sizes. The wheel size doesn’t usually affect the height of the rider too much unless there’s a drastic size difference, for example, 24” wheels (mainly made for kids and short riders) vs. 29” wheels. 

Your bike’s tires are what give you traction, so finding a high-quality tire set is crucial. When looking for tires, it’s important to take into consideration what terrain you will be using the bike for. 

Thicker tires with deep treads, like 40 and 42 mm, are best for giving riders more balance when off-road riding. On the other hand, thick tires may not be optimal if you plan to use your bike for commuting as well since they can hinder your speed. 

Brakes

The two types of brakes on my list are mechanical disc and V brakes. Both have their advantages, so it’s important to know the difference so you can make the best decision for yourself. 

V brakes are less expensive and easier to replace than mechanical disc brakes. A high-quality set of V brakes is just as good or better than disc brakes, and the parts are very easy to find online or in any bike shop. 

Mechanical disc brakes cause no added strain to the rims of the tires like V brakes can, and they’re better for use in rain and snow since the rim conditions do not affect the brakes themselves. 

Pedals

Most of the bikes on my list come with pedals included, but many gravel bikes out there don’t come with pedals. This is so that you can attach your preferred pedals for the most comfortable ride possible. 

Saddle

Saddle width, size, and adjustability is another factor you may want to consider, especially if riding for long distances. The wider and more ergonomic the saddle is, the longer a rider can comfortably stay on the bike. 

Final Thoughts

All in all, the Schwinn Sporterra gravel bike is the best gravel bike available on the market for under $1500. This bike is sleek, lightweight, and versatile enough to fit a wide range of riders. The Sporterra’s great for beginners and advanced riders alike. 

But don’t just take my word for it. Order a Schwinn Sporterra and see the quality for yourself.