Are you looking to sample the delights of gravel riding but don’t want to spend a lot of money? Or perhaps you need a versatile all-weather bike that can take mudguards and a pannier or two.
An affordable gravel bike might be just the thing. Gravel bikes have largely replaced cyclocross machines as the go-to for year-round practicality. They also open up a new realm of riding, with bigger 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.
With 2020 bikes appearing in shops, now is the perfect time to hunt for a bargain on a 2019 machine.
There are hefty discounts on offer, so we’ve rounded up five stonking deals to whet your appetite for a bit of rough road fun.
Cheap gravel bikes: five 2019 bargains
Voodoo Limba: £360
Bergamont Grandurance RD 7: £959.99
Whyte Friston: £1,299
Triban RC 520 Gravel: £849.99
Specialized Diverge Comp: £2,400
Voodoo Limba —
The Voodoo Limba is remarkably cheap even before discounts. Halfords
We can argue ad infinitum about what defines a gravel bike but, whatever your feelings, the Limba has the makings of a great budget do-it-all hack.
It gets branded components in the form of 8-speed Shimano Claris shifting and Tektro Mira cable disc brakes.
The alloy frame has full mounts for mudguards and a rack and, while Halfords doesn’t specify the size of the tyres fitted, they’re certainly on the chunky side, fat enough for gentle off-road forays.
Bergamont Grandurance RD 7 2019 —
The Grandurance is a ready-made commuter. Bergamont
If you asked us to imagine our ideal commuter, it’d probably look something like this.
The aluminium Grandurance RD 7 comes fully kitted out with a rack and mudguards, and you get a full 105 R7000 groupset apart from the levers, which are previous-generation RS505s.
The levers aren’t the prettiest but, for the money, this is still a heck of a lot of bike. It even has a dynamo front hub and fixed lights.
You’ll need to be quick though, there are limited numbers of bikes in 55cm only at this price.
Whyte Friston 2019 —
The Friston is a handsome machine with SRAM Apex. Whyte
Whyte makes outstanding mountain bikes and its gravel machines aim to incorporate some of the same brilliance.
The Friston is a slick alloy gravel machine with a carbon fork and a SRAM Apex 1× groupset, plus an assortment of own-brand kit.
It rolls on WTB rims and stylish tan-wall tyres, with a 42mm up front and a 37mm at the rear. Both tyres and rims are tubeless-ready.
Triban RC 520 Gravel — £849.99
Even at full price, the Triban is great value. Decathlon
Decathlon’s Triban range has always offered remarkable value for money and the RC 520 Gravel is no exception.
Even at full price it puts other brands to shame with its spec, offering 105 shifting (with the latest R7000 components) and TRP Hy/Rd cable-actuated hydraulic disc brakes, the next best thing to full hydraulics.
The RC 520 Gravel is essentially a fatter-tyred version of the standard RC 520 with different paint, a bike that scored a healthy 4.5 out of five stars when we reviewed it in March. If you’re not bothered about the bigger rubber, the standard bike is £120 cheaper.
Specialized Diverge Comp 2019 —
The Diverge accepts tyres up to 42mm and features Specialized’s clever Future Shock suspension headset. Specialized
£2,400 probably doesn’t fit your definition of cheap, but we can all agree that £1,000 is a healthy discount, so it gets a spot here as our final bargan.
Specialized’s Diverge is a do-everything drop bar bike. It’s got a premium carbon frame and is equipped with the same clever Future Shock suspension headset as the Roubaix endurance bike, which gives you 20mm of travel up front.
At the back, squish comes courtesy of the funky CG-R seatpost, while 38mm tubeless-ready tyres offer plenty of scope for tweaking ride quality.
The Diverge is practical for a fancy carbon bike thanks to mudguard and rack mounts and it’ll accept tyres up to 42mm wide, or 47mm if you switch to 650b wheels.
In Comp spec it gets a full Shimano Ultegra R8000 groupset aside from the cranks, which are Praxis Zayantes.
At £1,000 off RRP, it would be rude not to, eh?