Best Gravel Bikes Under $1500

Top 10 Best Gravel Bikes Under $1500 Reviews 2020

Let’ see how our experts found some top rated best gravel bikes under 1500 dollars for you.

If you are found of riding mountain, road, dirt bikes or electric bikes, then you should try gravel bike too. The gravel bikes comes with specific features to handle such tough terrains.

They may look like traditional road bikes at first glance, but the fast-emerging gravel bikes has drastically increased the scope for two-wheeled adventures both on and off the beaten track.

Our experts have compared affordable gravel bikes in the category for around £1,500. The Orro Terra Gravel 105 Hydro and the Ribble CGR AL are the winner.

Cyclists are a tribal bunch. You’ve got the roadies and the mountain bikers and while they have never quite gone to war. The two tribes have traditionally regarded each other with a healthy dose of suspicion.

There are also cheap gravel bikes under 500 dollars are available, but keep in mind that you can’t find the features of a best gravel bikes under 2000 or 2500 in best gravel bikes under $500.

The Ribble’s quality paint job and finish kit turned heads at the local café.

But slowly yet surely, the lines are finally being blurred. Features like disc brakes or vibration damping on a road bike would once have been regarded as witchcraft but have become more widely accepted.

And that has helped to give rise to a versatile new category – the gravel bike. While the name sounds intimidatingly specific – unlike in the USA. The UK isn’t blessed with all that many gravel trails – the concept is actually quite simple.

Gravel bikes combine the best features of a speed-focused road bike, making it capable of eating up the miles on tarmac. With a more relaxed riding position, more powerful brakes. The capability to take much wider tyres that borrow from mountain and cross biking.

That means the gravel bike is equally at home on the rough stuff. In theory, the upshot is a two-wheeled answer to the Swiss Army knife. A bike that will happily act as a commuting workhorse, an off-road machine. Even the sort of steed you might want to take on a bikepacking adventure.

Finding best commuter gravel bikes is not easy, as there are a lot of best gravel bike brands available in the market.

We took two British-designed bikes from Ribble and Orro at the relatively affordable 1,500 to 2000 dollars price point and tested them extensively to find out if you really can have one bike to rule them all.

What We Tested:

Quality: How well put together is the bike and what level of components do you get for your money?

Comfort: Can you survive a long day in the saddle without suffering from a sore back or a crooked neck?

Durability: Will the bike take the sort of beating that off-road trails and poorly maintained roads will throw at it, ride after ride?

Style: You may be getting it muddy, but it still has to look good. Does the bike turn heads at the local cafe?

Good for: What does the bike suit best – long rides, trails, roads, or all of the above?

Best Gravel Bikes Under $1500

  • Orro Terra Gravel 105 Hydro Bike Steel Gravel Bikes Under $1500
  • Ribble CGR AL Adventure Gravel Bikes Under $1500

Orro Terra Gravel 105 Hydro Bike Review

With a frame finished in raw aluminium and covered in a clear lacquer, combined with black carbon forks and black finishing kit, the Orro Terra G looks a little understated at first glance.

That’s until you spot the oversized head tube and tapered, almost triangular looking down tube that gives the bike a rugged yet sleek appearance.

Orro has thought carefully about practicalities with the Terra Gravel – it’s a bike that’s designed to be ridden hard and far.

The Sussex-based brand has added bosses to the top tube, in addition to the standard two sets of bottle cage bosses on the seat tube and down tube, which allow the option of adding a bag for bikepacking adventures.

There’s enough clearance for 35C tyres and our test version was shod with Continental’s excellent Terra Speed tubeless tyres which offer bags of grip while still being capable of rolling surprisingly quickly on the road.

Orro plans to sell the bike with Terra Speed tyres as standard once it has stock – for the time being it comes equipped with the more road-oriented Vittoria Zaffiro 28Cs.

Without pedals and in a size large, the Orro weighed in at 9.4kg on our scale, making it a fairly lightweight option.

It picked up speed reasonably quickly, helped along by the Fulcrum 600 DB wheels our test version was kitted out with. Which are around 50g lighter and £50 more expensive than the Fulcrum 700 DB wheelset.

The more aggressively set-up Orro has clearance for 35mm tyres

Sharp Handling

Handling was pin sharp, and descending rough, rutted tracks the Orro felt like it was on rails. Nonetheless, it was no slouch on the road either and we used it more than once for winter club road rides averaging 20mph for 60 miles plus, thanks to what felt like a relatively aggressive riding position for a gravel bike.

Shimano’s mid-range 105 chainset never missed a beat while the feel and stopping power in the hydraulic brakes with 140mm disc rotors was superb. Still comfortable, despite its speed, it floated over bumps without ever feeling disconnected from the track or road.

The rear light mounted to the seat clamp is another nice little touch that gives the whole package a feel of quality and value for money, as are the mudguard and pannier mounts.

Ribble CGR AL Review (Under 1000)

Ribble is a venerable British brand that can trace its roots all the way back to 1897. More recently, it has made an effort to take its bike supmarket.

The CGR AL, a relatively recent addition to the range, is a great example of the approach. Coming in a wide variety of flavours and colours, it is about as versatile as a bike can get and offers an impressively high level of quality for the price.

CGR stands for ‘cross, gravel, road’ and Ribble has designed it to be able to take both 700c road and 650b mountain bike wheels.

It also has three sets of bottle cage bosses. Mudguard mounts, clearance for 45mm tyres (on 700c wheels). Also mounts for a rear pannier rack that can haul about 20kg of luggage.

Our test version was even equipped with 3M reflective bar tape – a very handy extra safety measure for night riding. That all sounds very sensible, and indeed it is. The CGR AL is a looker, with a choice of vibrant orange or dark blue frame in glossy, faintly metallic paint.

Our blue version generated plenty of envy at the local café. It’s also great to see Ribble add a Lancashire rose to the base of the down tube. Also reintroduce a proper head badge to reflect the heritage and general quality of the package.

Level Brand

Finishing kit is from Ribble’s own Level brand, complete with a carbon fibre seatpost. That you might expect to see on a more expensive model.

In addition to a Shimano 11-speed 105 groupset and hydraulic brakes similar to that found on the Orro. Our test version boasted Mavic Allroad wheels (that can be added in Ribble’s excellent online Bikebuilder.

Which allows you to spec your bike the way you want it) and Schwalbe’s massive 40mm G-One Allround tyres.

As far as the ride is concerned, the Ribble is noticeably more relaxed than the Orro. The wide rubber and solid build inject huge amounts of comfort and confidence off and on the road.

Thanks in part to the carbon forks, handling is lively and responsive. All this does come at a slight penalty in terms of weight.

The bike, sized XL and therefore bigger than the Orro, was understandably slightly heavier on our scale at 10.1kg. But the sluggish Mavic wheels and heavier tyres made it feel more. So and it was noticeably harder to drive the bike up inclines.

Don’t let that put you off, however – the CGR is a superb off-roader, would make a highly capable adventure bike and a reliable commuter. If you want one bike that can truly do it all then this could well be it.

Conclusion

In truth, it’s very hard to separate these bikes. The versatility, attention to detail and quality on offer from both Ribble and Orro at the relatively affordable £1,500 mark is impressive.

Ultimately, it comes down to what you want. Designed to appeal to the road rider with its more aggressive position. The Orro Terra Gravel makes a fantastic winter steed for hacking around rough country roads. The local club at pace, and would therefore be our personal choice.

The Ribble certainly has the cross and the gravel covered, but is harder work on the road. Then again, it edges the Orro for versatility, looks and off-road capability. Take your pick – neither will disappoint.

1 thought on “Top 10 Best Gravel Bikes Under $1500 Reviews 2020”

  1. Pingback: How To Install And Adjust Pedal Cleats

Leave a Comment

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *