9 of the best gravel bikes under £2,000 in 2023

These bikes cover everything from adventure rides to tearing along singletrack

Female cyclist riding the Vitus Substance VRS-1 HT Apex gravel bike

The best gravel bikes under £2,000 are a great way to sample the delights of gravel riding. It’s at this point that gravel bikes start to get very good, with quality frames and components on many of the latest bikes.

Advertisement MPU article

As well as venturing off-road, buying a gravel bike can be a smart decision if you want a versatile all-weather machine that can take mudguards or a pannier rack, for winter riding or cycling to work.

With this in mind, gravel bikes have largely replaced cyclocross bikes as the go-to for year-round practicality.

They open up a new realm of riding, with wide gravel tyres and disc brakes giving them the capability to ride on unpaved surfaces, whether that’s smooth singletrack, fire roads or just your local towpath.

We’ve tested more than 150 gravel bikes here at BikeRadar and this buyer’s guide includes the best gravel bikes, reviewed by our team, costing between £1,000 and £2,000.

If your budget is a bit smaller, check out our list of the best budget gravel bikes under £1,000. If it can stretch higher, take a look at our pick of the best gravel bikes or the best aluminium gravel bikes.

Best gravel bikes under £2,000

Boardman ADV 8.9

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Pack shot of the Boardman ADV 8.9 road bike
The Boardman ADV 8.9 remains startlingly good value.
Dave Caudery / Our Media
  • £1,150 as tested
  • Budget Bike of the Year winner 2021 and 2022
  • Superb all-round ride

The Boardman ADV 8.9 has won our Budget Bike of the Year award two years in a row, thanks to its versatility, great spec and superb ride both off-road and on.

The bike might not be exciting when it comes to looks, but the majority of welds in the aluminium frame are neat and almost carbon-like, and it has a genuine carbon fork for weight-saving and comfort.

The geometry is inspired by mountain bikes, with longer and lower figures than a standard road bike, providing excellent control off-road.

Boardman has specced the bike with 40mm Schwalbe gravel bike tyres and a Shimano GRX 400 10-speed drivetrain with hydraulic disc brakes, which is impressive at this price point.

The bike has a double chainset with 48/32t chainrings and a wide-ranging 11-36t cassette, giving you a pleasingly low gear. It rolls on tubeless-ready wheels and tyres, another plus for a low-priced bike.

There are plenty of practical touches, such as wide tyre clearance and fittings for mudguards and a rear rack.

Ribble Gravel AL Enthusiast SRAM Rival 1x

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Pack shot of the Ribble Gravel AL SRAM Rival 1X gravel bike
The bike has an impressive spec for the price.
Russell Burton / Our Media
  • £1,999 as tested
  • Capable on rough terrain and great spec
  • Reach too long and draggy tyres

This Ribble Gravel AL Enthusiast has a SRAM Rival 1x groupset and 650b wheels from Mavic, which makes its sub-£2,000 price tag really impressive.

The bike is sprightly and fun to ride. The 47mm-wide WTB Sendero tyres aren’t the fastest, but they really come into their own on rough, technical terrain.

The SRAM Rival shifting is smooth, while the hydraulic disc brakes provide plenty of stopping power.

The 42-tooth chainring works well on flat and smooth terrain, but a 40t or 38t chainring would be handy for dirt climbs and bikepacking.

Fit is the one area that could be improved. The reach is long, particularly for women who tend to have proportionally longer legs and shorter torsos than men. However, switching the seat post for an in-line post would get around this problem.

Orro Terra S GRX600

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Pack shot of the Orro Terra S GRX600 gravel bike
The Orro Terra S GRX600 strikes a good balance between fun and practicality.
Russell Burton / Our Media
  • £2,000 as tested
  • Steel-framed with lively handling
  • Great value for money

The Orro Terra S GRX600 is a lesson in how to build a steel bike with slim tubing bringing plenty of life and zip to the ride. Its lively handling is matched with a smooth and steady feel, making it at home on double-track gravel roads and singletrack trails.

Orro has matched the impressive frame with a compelling spec list for the price tag. The bike comes with a Shimano GRX600 1x drivetrain, Fulcrum wheels, Continental tyres and a Deda cockpit.

With its mounting points, this bike would be equally suited to commuting, winter road riding and bikepacking, as well as gravel riding.

It’s a shame it isn’t set up tubeless and the brakes were a little soft in testing, but this doesn’t detract too much from a practical yet fun ride.

Cannondale Topstone Alloy 2

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Cannondale Topstone Alloy 2 gravel bike
The Cannondale Topstone Alloy 2 is suited to road and light off-road riding.
Russell Burton / Our Media
  • £1,800 / $1,925 / €2,199 /  AU$3,199 as tested
  • Bang up to date with mounting points and plenty of tyre clearance
  • Tyres are narrow but excellent for road and light off-road

The Cannondale Topstone Alloy 2 is an aluminium version of the Cannondale Topstone Carbon, bringing many of the same features to a more affordable price point.

The Topstone’s geometry is fairly conservative for a gravel bike, but this isn’t too surprising considering it’s intended to cover road to light off-road riding.

When riding, the Topstone performed immediately on the road. Its build is suited to fast riding and it feels a lot like an endurance road bike.

A flared handlebar helps navigate rougher terrains, but lumps and bumps are exaggerated by the lightweight 37mm Vittoria Terreno Dry tyres. If you want to make this bike more suitable for riding off-road, it can fit up to 700x45mm gravel tyres.

Elsewhere, the bike has a 2x drivetrain with a 10-speed cassette. This feels like a compromise, with 11-speed and now 12-speed being commonplace.

Fuji Jari 1.3 Adventure

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Pack shot of the Fuji Jari 1.3 Adventure gravel bike
The Jari’s slender alloy frame adds up to low weight for the money.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media
  • £1,400 as tested
  • Simple, secure 1x transmission
  • Easily accessorised for bikepacking/touring

The Fuji Jari 1.3 Adventure provides a ride that impresses both on- and off-road, making it one of the best gravel bikes for under £1,500.

The aluminium frame and carbon fork carry all the usual rack and mudguard fittings, plus there are several more for bikepacking accessories.

The gearing from the SRAM Apex 1x drivetrain is low enough to winch you up the steepest gradients and leaves you with just one shift lever to operate.

Its mechanical disc brakes make for good stopping performance whatever the weather, but they’re noticeably worse than hydraulic discs.

If you want to spend less, the £899 Jari 2.3 is the most affordable bike in the Fuji Jari range. It uses a Reynolds 520 steel frame and chromoly fork, but still retains mechanical disc brakes and Shimano Alivio/Sora gears.

Merida Silex 400

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Pack shot of the Merida Silex 400 gravel bike
Merida’s bold approach to geometry really pays off when the going gets rough.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media
  • £1,400 as tested
  • Clever mountain-bike inspired geometry
  • Excellent Shimano GRX groupset

The Silex 400 from Merida borrows a lot from the company’s knowledge of mountain bikes. Take the geometry of its aluminium frame, which pairs a long reach with a short stem length in order to improve handling without compromising on the rider’s position.

As a result, you can expect a huge fun factor from the Silex’s ride.

It’s also well equipped for the money, thanks to a mix of Shimano’s GRX 400 and 600 transmission and braking components, along with plenty of Merida finishing kit.

It’ll take mudguards, racks, bottle cages and more thanks to a plethora of mounts, thus making it a viable bikepacking, touring or commuting companion.

Pinnacle Arkose D2

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Pack shot of the Pinnacle Arkose D2 gravel road bike
The Pinnacle Arkose D2 is a well-specced and feature-heavy budget gravel bike.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
  • £1,205 as tested
  • Great groupset
  • Feature-heavy frame

The Pinnacle Arkose D2 is framed as an adventure road bike, but we reckon the geometry and big tyres mean it’s a good budget gravel bike choice.

Mudguard and rack mounts make the Arkose D2 a versatile bike and there are plenty of bottle mounts for long adventures.

What’s really impressive about this bike is the componentry. It has a Shimano Tiagra groupset with full hydraulic disc brakes, providing great performance. The 45mm WTB Riddler tyres are also a great choice, and help make this bike capable even on trails in your local woods.

Ribble CGR 725 Steel

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Ribble CGR 725 steel
Ribble offers customisation options that most manufacturers do not.
Robert Smith
  • £1,349 as tested
  • Classy looks
  • Supremely versatile

The CGR 725 Steel from Ribble is defined by its charming Reynolds 725 steel chassis, which is compatible with 700c and 650b wheels, and tyres up to 47mm.

It’s a classy looking, comfortable bike to ride with heaps of practicality. It’s about as versatile as bikes get thanks to rack mounts, mudguard fittings and bosses galore.

The bike we tested didn’t stray far from Ribble’s off-the-peg configuration and featured Shimano’s Tiagra groupset, Tektro mechanical disc brakes and Mavic Aksium Disc Clincher wheels.

Riders looking for a different spec can toy with Ribble’s BikeBuilder service, which allows individual component upgrades, from groupsets and wheels right the way through to different handlebars. Similarly, those who seek a more individual look can opt for Ribble’s custom colour option.

Vitus Substance VRS-1 HT Apex

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Pack shot of the Vitus Substance VRS-1 HT Apex gravel bike
The Substance VRS-1 HT Apex has a front suspension fork.
Russell Burton / Our Media
  • £1,999 / $2,800 / €2,700 / AU$3,800 as tested
  • Comfortable fit
  • RockShox Rudy suspension fork, but entry-level drivetrain

There is a dizzying number of bikes in the Vitus Substance range, priced from £750 up to £2,500.

This Substance VRS-1 HT Apex is one of the higher-specced models and it’s the priciest of the aluminium builds.

The bike has a RockShox Rudy XPLR fork offering 30mm travel, and this proved impressive, working in tandem with 47mm tyres to smooth out the ride.

Vitus has also specced a dropper post. The dropper was difficult to set up and our tester would forgo it to reduce weight and maintenance.

This fancy tech comes with compromises elsewhere. Vitus has specced the bike with SRAM Apex, whereas other brands may use the pricier – and lighter –SRAM Rival at this price point.

Ultimately, the Vitus Substance VRS-1 HT is really fun to ride and if you enjoy technical riding the Rudy fork may be worth the weight penalty.

The SRAM Rival-equipped version of this bike, for £500 more, could prove a wise upgrade if your budget allows it.

Also consider…

This gravel bike scored fewer than four stars in testing, but is still a compelling option to consider.

BiviBikes Graveller

3.5 out of 5 star rating
Bivibikes Graveller gravel bike in red
The BiviBikes Graveller is a good all-rounder.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media
  • £1,499 as tested
  • Great frame quality
  • One size fits all

The Graveller is BiviBikes founder Fraser Barsby’s vision of the perfect adventure bike.

It uses skinny steel tubes and smart welds to create a wonderful frameset with all the fixtures and fittings you need for big adventures.

The bike is easy to control and the low gear range guarantees easy climbing. It’s also quick on the tarmac thanks to its large wheels and Schwalbe G-One tyres.

It’s a superb all-road machine that screams quality, but it’s only available in a 55cm frame, so particularly tall and short riders will likely have to look elsewhere.

Advertisement MPU article