Are you into off-road riding? If this is your preferred terrain getting a gravel bike can enhance your riding experience. Using a normal bike on such terrains can be uncomfortable, unsafe, and damage your bike. Gravel bikes are durable than the standard road bike, and they offer increased speed than mountain bikes. This makes them suitable for off-road riding.
How can you choose a quality gravel bike without draining your bank? High-end gravel bikes range from $1000-$2000. However, you can still get the best gravel bikes under 500. Keep reading this review; I will assist you in getting an affordable gravel bike with appealing features.
My Best Overall Choice: Mongoose Men's Elroy Adventure Bike
Mongoose Men's Elroy Adventure Bike is my Best Overall Choice for Best Gravel Bikes Under $500. This bike has many features that will benefit you the most. Its inner cable routing has options for mounting three distinctive water bottles. Also in the fork, you can keep an additional two water bottles. So, you won't have to worry about hydration while you go for a gravel adventure. The bike has a large storage area that will allow you to carry necessary supplies during the ride. Fender mounts will keep your bike clean from the dirt while riding on dirt trails. The frame is large and you may feel it heavy makes it easier to ride on the hills too. Due to the heavy frame, you may feel the bike runs slow but it is good for overall riding distance and it will last for a long time. The tires are wide enough to provide comfortable riding. Disc brakes on both front and rear ensure sure stop whenever you want to stop the bike.
6 Best Budget Gravel Bikes Under 500 Comparison
Best Overall - Mongoose Men's Elroy Adventure Bike 700C Wheel Bicycle
Chromoly Steel Frame
** At the time of publishing this post, each products price were under $500 in Amazon
Recommended Best Gravel Bikes Under 500 Dollars Reviews
There are several budget-friendly gravel bikes suitable for rough terrains. I have researched top bikes that will give you the best off-road rides and keep you safe. Check our gravel bike reviews below.
1. Mongoose Men's Elroy Adventure Bike 700C Wheel Bicycle
Take your adventure anywhere with this pocket-friendly gravel bike for men. The bike has essential features to help you handle long rides.
You will also enjoy plenty of carrying space for the essential items you need to take with you. Let us look at more features and benefits of this gravel bike.
This is one of the most versatile bikes that allow you to enjoy your adventures without limits. The bike is suitable for camping, touring, and bikepacking, among others. Therefore, depending on how you want to use the bike, it can take you anywhere. The bike features a sleek alloy frame and a durable steel fork to give you unmatched performance for all your rides.
The drivetrain features Shimano Tourney derailleurs and integrated micro shift shifters to give you more control. You will also enjoy smooth rides, thanks to the mechanical disc brakes and the brake lever combo. Therefore, you can enjoy morning commutes or riding at your desired speed as you like.
Integrated Frame Bag:
Sometimes you might need to carry some essential items for your rides. This is where the integrated frame bag comes in. It features a classy embroidery patch, and you have plenty of room to keep your riding essentials.
Water Bottle And Fender Mounts:
Stay hydrated along your rides to get more energy. This bike is equipped with 5 convenient water bottle cage mounts to help you carry your drinks within reach. There are two mounts on the fork, and the other 3 are on the frame. On top of that, you will find fender mounts where you can attach fenders.
Why Buy This Bike:
This is a great bike for riders who need a versatile gravel bike. The bike is affordable and has plenty of storage space for your riding essentials. It also features durable construction, so you can be sure it will handle different terrains perfectly.
Note: This bike is available in 54 cm size and navy blue color.
2. Schwinn Mesa Adult Mountain & Gravel Bike
Hit the trails with the Schwinn mountain bike. It is lightweight and features a mountain-style frame and a superb front suspension fork to give smooth and comfortable rides.
Get this bike and enjoy riding freedom on different trails. Let's see other top aspects of the adult bike.
Aluminum Mechanical Disc Brake:
The bike features rear and front mechanical disc brakes that give you reliable control when you want to stop. Therefore, it is easy for you to focus on your rides without worrying about your safety.
Shimano Tourney 21-Speed Drivetrain:
Shift with freedom with the 21-speed trigger shifters combined with the Shimano rear derailleur. Additionally, the durable alloy crank ensures you ride easily because it provides optimum gearing performance.
Schwinn Mountain-Tuned Aluminum Frame:
The frame is the core of a bike. This bike has a mountain-tuned aluminum frame that is strong and durable. The frame also features a suspension fork hence make the bike ideal for gravel paths and dirt trails.
Rims And Tires:
All the components of this bike are durable. The alloy rims are strong and lightweight to give you increased performance. Moreover, the knobby mountain tires enhance the durability and give you comfort for all-day riding. The wheels also give you the needed stability and traction on a wide range of trails.
Why Buy This Bike:
This is a great bike for riders who want to enhance their mountain bike riding experience. It has a powerful suspension fork for comfortable rides, and you can enjoy all-condition stopping power. The bike is also durable and requires less maintenance.
Note: This bike is available in three styles: Mesa 1,2,3 & three colors: black, red, blue. Also four frame styles are available: small, medium, large, extra-large.
3. Schwinn Vantage Mens/Womens Hybrid Road Bike
This is a great hybrid road bike suitable for both male and female riders. The bike suitable for intermediate and experienced riders who want to take their experience to a higher level.
The bike not only looks great, but also you will find it easy to get on and off. Other great things you will love about this bike include:
Comfort And Smooth Rides:
All riders look forward to smooth and comfortable rides, especially on rough and tough terrains. The bike has an elastomer soft tail suspension to give you comfortable and smooth rides. Therefore, you can focus more on your adventures rather than your comfort.
This bike has top-notch tires with an effective safety breaker flat protection system. On top of that, the alloy rims enhance the bike's durability and ensure you get the needed riding confidence on various terrains.
This is an amazing bike for people who want to ride at speed. It features mechanical disc brakes to give precise braking under all conditions. Therefore, you can stop instantly where there is a need to.
Gears And Shifting:
Enjoy a wide range of shifting with the Shimano Sora 18-24-speed drivetrain. You will have responsive and easy shifting on different terrains.
Why Buy This Bike:
Get this hybrid road bike if you are an intermediate or advanced rider. The bike is comfortable to ride and gives you a wide range of gears to choose from. The braking system is also reliable, and the rims offer durability and increased rising confidence.
Note: This bike is available in two style:Vantage F2 & F3 with five frame sizes:45cm(small),55cm(small), 56cm(medium),58cm(large), 60cm(X-large). Available colors are matte blue, matte gray & black.
4. Raleigh Bikes Willard 1 Gravel Adventure Road Bike
Enjoy your biking adventures with this road bike. It gives you confidence when riding on dirt, lose or deep gravel. This ultra-versatile road bike is perfect for long road rides without compromising your comfort.
On top of that, it can handle all riding conditions. Other outstanding aspects of this road bike include the following.
Lightweight And Durable:
Maneuvering this road bike is easy because it features a lightweight aluminum frame. The frame also has a fork, and this gives ultimate riding comfort on unpaved roads. Additionally, the aluminum frame is not only lightweight but also durable.
Mechanical Disc Brakes:
You need a reliable adventure bike that gives you not only speed but also reliable stopping. The mechanical disk brakes of this bike give you the stopping power you need under all weather conditions. Therefore, you can stop instantly without compromising your safety.
Shimano Claris 2x8 Speed Drivetrain:
This is a special drivetrain that ensures you achieve smooth gear changes. On top of that, you will enjoy different types of gears to handle any terrain at hand.
The tires of this bike are designed for mixed-surface riding. These tires are wide enough to give you the confidence to ride smoothly on tougher terrains. Additionally, the anti-shock Seatpost and step enhance your riding comfort on rough terrains.
Why Buy This Bike:
Get this bike if you want to achieve flexibility and comfort on long rides. The bike has a nice construction, which makes it great for commuting or just for weekend rides. It also features a durable and lightweight construction and responsive braking for ultimate rides.
Note: This bike is available in XXL(60cm) size and black color.
5. Giordano Trieste Gravel Bike - Best For Budget
Improve your road trips with this gravel bike. It is a suitable bike for riders who are into quality riding on tough terrains. The versatility of this bike makes it an ideal option for commuting and light touring. You will enjoy smooth and comfortable rides regardless of the terrain. Let's see more top features and benefits you will get on this bike.
Mechanical Disk Brakes:
You can be sure of precise stopping in all conditions. The bike brakes are responsive, so you can ride at high speed and achieve fast stopping anytime. This ensures you are safe using this gravel bike.
Chromoly Steel Frame:
The bike features a lightweight Chromoly steel frame and fork to give you ultra-smooth rides. The construction of this bike ensures you will enjoy ultimate durability for many years.
Shimano 16 Speed STI Shifters:
The bike allows you to achieve accurate and precise shifting. This gives you better control of the bike regardless of the terrain.
Why Buy This Bike:
This is a versatile bike that works as a trail bike, commuter, and road bike. The bike is packed with many great features considering its price. Therefore, if you need an excellent bike that gives a road bike feeling and handles tough terrains, this is the bike to choose. It provides a fun and aggressive riding to suit your needs.
Note: This bike is available in small, medium, and large sizes with gray color.
6. Schwinn Sporterra Adventure Adult Gravel Bike
Schwinn is a reputable bike brand that has inspired many generations of riders. With the Sporterra Adventure Adult Gravel Bike, you can take your riding experience to a higher level.
Let us find some of the outstanding features of this gravel bike.
One of the major things you should check when buying a bike is the quality of the frame. The bike is made of a lightweight yet durable aluminum frame for durability and easy handling. It has a fork that makes riding fast on different terrains.
Shifting And Gearing:
The bike has a 14-speed Shimano shifter combined with Shimano rear derailleur that offers easy and precise gear changes. You can change the gears as you need to suit the type of terrain you are riding. The bike also has alloy double cranks for optimal gearing.
Reliable Stopping Power:
This gravel bike provides excellent stopping power with alloy mechanical disc brakes. You can ride safely on multiple terrains and still get sure stops. Regardless of the weather condition, the brakes ensure to stop or slow down when you need to.
Comfortable Rides And Quality Tires:
Riding the bike is comfortable because you can adjust the saddle height to your requirement, thanks to the quick-release seat post. This gravel bike is also equipped with multi-terrain tires to provide the needed traction wherever you ride. Like all Schwinn bikes, this one carries a limited lifetime warranty provided you have the bike.
Note: This bike is available in one size and black color.
Things To Consider Before Buying Best Gravel Bikes Under $500
There are some remarkable things you should check when buying a gravel bike under 500. The following are essential tips that should guide you when picking the right bike.
You understand the significance of a frame on a bike. It is great to select a bike with the right frame material because this determines the weight. You can choose several durable frame materials like aluminum, steel and carbon. Many riders prefer aluminum material because it is lightweight and has great absorption features.
Just like the frame, the braking system is also critical in a bike. Several braking systems work in various conditions. Some of them include caliper brakes, cantilever brakes, V-brakes, and disc brakes, among others. Always choose an efficient braking system that gives you instant stops whenever you want to.
Does this really matter when buying a gravel bike? Of course, it does. The handlebar shape you choose determines your riding style and comfort. Most gravel bikes feature drop and flat bars that you can choose from.
The wheel size you choose determines the size of the tire and the rim. It is recommended to choose a standard wheel size of 700c, which is suitable for off-road. Most importantly, select a wheel size that is strong enough to handle the terrain you want to ride.
Don't forget to check the gears when buying a gravel bike. You can choose either 1x or 2x drivetrains. The 2x drivetrain resembles the gears on road bikes while the 1x drivetrain is similar to the mountain bike. Always get the bike with the right great to make riding easy for you.
The above are the best gravel bikes under 500 you can consider buying. These are durable and amazing bikes suitable for various terrains. The bikes are safe and comfortable to use, and they will help you reach your destination easily. These budget-friendly gravel bikes have all the essential features needed in a gravel bike and work well in all weather conditions. So, if you are an adventurous rider who loves off-road riding on rough and uneven terrains, any of these bikes will suit your needs.
Hello Guys! I am John Reese, a professional biker and my hobby is biking! I have been biking for last 10 years and I love using bikes while outing as well. Based on my experiences with the different type of bikes (mountain bikes, road bikes and hybrid bikes); I am sharing my opinion about various bikes so that a beginner can get started right away. Happy reading!