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The 7 Best Gravel Bikes of 2022

By: Jon Kennedy: Bike Buyer | June 10, 2022
 

Gravel riding has always been a thing, but luckily for us, in recent years, bike brands have put more energy and effort into creating great gravel bikes. And no, they’re not just road bikes with knobby tires, or mountain bikes with drop bars. Instead, gravel bikes occupy their own unique niche. And part of what makes them so special is their versatility. Raise your tire pressure a little and you can cruise long pavement miles effortlessly. Drop it a few PSI and experience new excitement on familiar singletrack. If you’re going to just own one bike, there’s a good argument to be made that it should be a gravel bike.

New This Year:

But with so many options, it’s hard to figure out which of the best gravel bikes to choose. That’s why we’ve made it easy with this list. We’ve put together this group of the best gravel bikes we’ve found. Every bike on this list will have its own unique strengths and weaknesses that set it apart from its fellows, but their overarching purpose is all the same: to enable adventure on mixed riding surfaces. So get out your maps and start putting together loops, with a new gravel bike from this list, big exploratory rides have never been more fun or accessible.

Santa Cruz Stigmata CC GRX

Santa Cruz Stigmata CC GRX

As roadie as a Santa Cruz is allowed to be, The Santa Cruz Bicycles Stigmata CC GRX 700c Complete Bike has something you rarely see on dirt anymore: a front derailleur! Sure, it's part of Shimano's wonderful GRX gravel groupset, but still. Drop bars and a double front chainring mean business out on the roads, and when they're in charge of a beautiful Santa Cruz CC Carbon frame and fork, it's time for speed on any surface. If you're interested in branching out from mountain biking, or looking to get into some bumpier situations (that don't require baggy shorts or flannel), the Stigmata is the bike to bridge that gap. The Stigmata’s legacy precedes it, this is a bike that can get it done, no matter what “it” is.

Tire WidthDrive TrainOriginal Price
40cShimano GRX$5149.00

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Juliana Quincy CC

Juliana Quincy CC - Women's

The Juliana Quincy CC Rival 700c Complete Gravel Bike turns rough dirt roads into freshly paved asphalt, but without that sticky smell of hot tar. It has a ridiculously smooth ride feel, thanks to a CC Carbon frame that borrows heavily from its mountain biking stablemates. Thru-axles and disc brakes are indicators of the stability and control you'll get on this bike, pushing you further and faster down everything from epic road rides to quick dirt paths. This is the single-ring version of the Quincy, really leaning into the whole "road bike for mountain bikers" vibe. And it's a rousing success: this Quincy is up for anything. The Quincy is a very versatile bike that will keep you stoked to ride for years down the road.

Tire WidthDrive TrainOriginal Price
40cSRAM Rival$4599.00

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Marin Nicasio 1

Marin Nicasio 1

The Marin Nicasio 1 Complete Gravel Bike is ideal for the daily commuter who likes to skrrt skrrt down gravel roads in their spare time. This all terrain adventurer sports Beyond Road Geometry for enhanced stability when you get off the pavement, pairing well with the smooth-riding steel frame, disc brakes, and clearance for 650b x 47mm tires. If you're a city slicker with a penchant for the unknown, the Nicasio 1 offers serious bang for your buck. You don’t need the most expensive bike with the flashiest components to go places and have fun, and the Marin Nicasio is rolling proof that the best bike is the one you can afford.

Tire WidthDrive TrainOriginal Price
30cShimano Claris$989.00

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Evil Chamois Hagar Force AXS

Evil Chamois Hager Force AXS

The Evil Chamois Hagar Force AXS Complete Gravel Bike blows the competition off the stage with full pyrotechnics: this thing rocks. The carbon frameset looks unique on the gravel, and that's because there's never been anything like it. This bike is long, low, and ten million times more exciting than any gravel bike you've ever seen, let alone ridden. With SRAM AXS electronic shifting, a dropper post, and a penchant for shredding, this one does the Red Rocker proud. This might just be the most progressive gravel bike on the market, perfect for anyone who wants to push what’s possible on drop bars.

Tire WidthDrive TrainOriginal Price
50cSRAM AXS Eagle$5899.00

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Juliana Quincy CC GRX

Juliana Quincy CC GRX - Women's

Up and over, around and through. The Juliana Quincy CC GRX 700c Complete Bike encourages exploration and rewards curious riders. This is a bike that leverages the vast experience of Santa Cruz's mountain bike history to be one of the smoothest-riding drop bar bikes ever. The carbon layup is heavily influenced by hardtail mountain bikes, bringing comfort as you ride on punishing gravel roads and flexing vertically without giving up side-to-side stiffness. With Shimano's excellent gravel-specific GRX componentry, this beautiful frame shines even brighter, ready for any and every road you can find. From mellow afternoon wanders, to overnight bikepacking tripsto gravel races, the Quincy does it all.  

Tire WidthDrive TrainOriginal Price
40cShimano GRX$5149.00

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Norco Search XR S1

Norcor Search XR S1

The Norco Search XR S1 Complete Bike is as rugged as a rigid bike can get. This steel framed adventure rig comes standard with big knobby tires, a dropper post, and a gravel specific component set. Plus, it has attachment points for you to really kit it out into a full on backcountry monster. With its lightweight, powerful pedaling design, it works great as a ride-around-town daily commuter type bike, but it really comes alive on long slogs down old logging roads and skyline tours of forgotten, unpaved ridges. The only limit on where the Search XR S1 can take you is your imagination.

Tire WidthDrive TrainOriginal Price
42cShimano GRX$5149.00

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Orbea Terra H40

Orbea Terra H40

The Orbea Terra H40 Complete Bike is a drop-bar ATV, the kind of bike we'd choose if we were told we're "going on a bike ride," but were given no other information. It has a lightweight aluminum frame, great for efficient power transfer and stiffness, with a carbon fork to take the sting out of rough gravel rides. Hydraulic brakes and a gravel-ready 2x10 drivetrain give you maximum control and the tools to tackle any hills -- up or down. Commute, gravel, or long ride in your future? This Terra H40 will be ready. If you like to run a loose program that’s open to any adventure, the Terra H40 is your steed of choice.

Tire WidthDrive TrainOriginal Price
38mmShimano GRX$2499.00

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The Selection Process:

Our bike buyer has an endless amount of knowledge on all things bike stemming from years of experience in the bike industry in tandem with their countless hours out on the dirt, gravel, and tarmac. evo's buyers assess all products coming to market, lean into this knowledge, and put together this selection of the best products. They have a unique perspective as they truly see everything offered across the category.

Jon Kennedy

Jon is a Bike Buyer and joined evo in 2015 to help launch the category. He has a long tenure in the bike industry bringing over 20 years of experience.

Jon was formerly the Marketing Manager for Diamondback bikes and was the Executive Director for the Evergreen Mountain Bike Alliance prior to that. His broad experience in the bike industry from the brand, advocacy and retail side has contributed to a well-rounded understanding of trends, needs and opportunities.

Jon grew up in the Seattle area and currently resides there with his wife Ilana, kids Erez and Lilah, and his Boston Terrier Marley. He is a daily rider packing countless miles in every year, loves all disciplines, and simply considers himself a cyclist… a title he embraces with great passion.