The gravel bike market is exploding with bike options galore. With gravel bikes generally taking on the role of a mix between a road bike and mountain bike. A bike that is much more capable to travel those roads and trails less travelled. However it can sometimes be confusing when choosing a gravel bike for your adventures.

As some gravel bikes are made for speed and riding fast, which can be good for fast flashpacking adventures. But generally adventure gravel bikes offer comfort for the long haul. Then you have gravel bikes which are better suited for leisure riding or commuting. Often referred to as all rounders which can still be good for some adventures.

When I say adventure gravel bike, it has to tick a few boxes. For example these type of bikes generally have a more upright riding position with a 1.5 stack/reach ratio or larger. The option to run 29er tires or at-least a decent tire clearance for say 50mm tire or wider, allowing you to travel off-road with ease and comfort. Also mounting options are plenty with braze on mounts on fork and frame for water bottles and other luggage.

There is no set criteria for what makes the best adventure bike. Yes it helps if it has some of the things mentioned above. However it depends on the type of adventure cycling you have in mind. Are you wanting to ride fast and light? Or is speed no object and you want take all the gear and just have a relaxing adventure. Mostly off-roads and trails or mainly tarmac roads? Generally any adventure gravel bike is going to do the job for most adventures you have in mind.

Bikepacking bikes and touring bikes are better options if you plan to cycle around the world (touring) or plan to ride some really epic singletrack (bikepcking). But if you are looking for a bike to commute with, tour with, bikepack with and go on overnight gravel adventures. Any of these adventure gravel bikes are worth checking out.

These bikes listed below are built with the idea of adventure in mind. Ideal for that someone looking for a bike to take them further and explore more.

Bombtrack Hook EXT

The Bombtrack Hook EXT is a hugely versatile adventure machine, Featuring Columbus Cromor double butted tubing steel frame with fender and rack mounts. With a T47, threaded bottom bracket. The frame offers 45 mm tire clearance. Available in Matt Black or Matt Metallic Grey Blue. The steel frame is partnered with a full carbon fork with triple cage mounts, which can double as fender mounts and internal Dynamo hub cable routing.

The bike comes with a mid-range components and hydraulic disc brakes. 1×11 Rival 1 drivetrain. Rolling on the WTB Ranger TCS Light / Fast Rolling 27.5” x 2.0′ wheels.

The geometry of the Medium sized frame Bombtrack Hook is well balanced with a stake/reach ratio of 1.52 and a 62mm trail. And the chainstay length is 425 mm making it a little shorter compared to other bikes.

Ridley Kanzo Adventure

The Kanzo Adventure off-road bike is made to enjoy the freedom in the outdoors. Perfect for touring, exploring and camping making it a great adventure gravel bike option. A adventure bike to pretty much do it all. Whether it’s a day trip over new paths in your backyard, a multiple day bikepacking trip or an ultra cycling race.

Featuring a progressive geometry, with slacker head tube angle, a lower bottom bracket, a longer wheelbase and a steeper seat tube angle. The slacker head tube angle lengthens the wheelbase and gives the bike more confidence. Yet, the Kanzo Adventure is kept responsive by using a shorter stem. It’s also boasts fast and aggressive steering for technical off-road sections. And a tire clearance of 53 mm or 29 x 2.1” tires. With a 1.47 stack/reach ratio, 435 mm chainstay, 67.1 trail.

Kona Sutra LTD

The Kona Sutra LTD is my personal choice when it comes to adventure gravel bikes. Featuring a full steel adventure bike build with Kona Cromoly Butted. The bike comes with upper mid-range components and hydraulic disc brakes. 1×11 Rival 1, NX drivetrain. Rolling on Maxxis Recon Race EXO TR 29 x 2.25″ tires with approximately 2.3″ tire clearance.

The geometry of the Medium sized frame is more stable than some other options with a stake/reach ratio of 1.54 and a 72 mm trail. And the chainstay length is 445 mm.

This bike was designed to be something similar to a drop bar bike that felt like a mountain bike and rode like a mountain bike but had the speed of a road bike. And as a result we have this beast!

Salsa Cutthroat

If you are after a bike that you can travel fast on and go just about anywhere. To cover long distances at speed and in comfort. And ultra-endurance mixed surface bike inspired by the Tour Divide. The Cutthroat is you go too. Simple one of the best adventure gravel bikes.

Available in a variety of build options. For the base model Apex build with full carbon construction you are looking at around a 11.1 kg bike priced from $2,899. Including all the mounting options you could every desire, 29 x 2.2″ tires and clearance for up to 2.4″. Super upright and comfortable riding positioning with a 1.61 stack/reach ratio for the 56cm frame. Taking a look at the apex base Cutthroat model for example you can expect a 24.84″ climbing gear and 94.46″ highest gear.

Salsa Fargo

This bike could be considered an off-road touring bike at heart but it still makes a great adventure gravel bike. Just like the Cutthroat it’s made for exploring. It does offer wider tire clearance of up to 3″ rubber.

The steel frame and carbon fork build offers a lighter option, weighing in at around 11.1 kg. Priced at $2,499 for the 1×11 Apex model you get mechanical disc brakes on 29 x 2.2″ tires.

Taking a look at the gear inch calculations for the Fargo you can expect a 21.96″ climbing gear and 84.06″ highest gear. You also get different build options when available if thats what your after, with the choice for titanium for those epic and fast adventures. Could also be considered a drop bar mountain bike.

Salsa Journeyer

The all new Salsa Journeyer takes on a new look from its sibling the Journeyman which has been featured as one of the best gravel bikes you can buy under $1,000. Depicted by Salsa as their workhorse all-road adventure machine. A do everything all-road bike, for gravel and road adventures. Available in a plethora of options the cheapest starting at $999 for the base flat bar option. You know its going to be the perfect adventure gravel bike just by its name, Journeyer is “A traveler going on a trip, a wayfarer.”

Bombtrack Beyond+ ADV

Technically considered another off-road adventure bike, the Beyond+ ADV by Bombtrack makes for one of the most capable flat or alt bar adventure gravels bikes on the market.

A full steel bike weighing 14.4 kg and featuring a 1×12 drivetrain and 650b wheels with 2.8″ wide tires. A 17.16″ climbing gear is comparable to the ECR and 78.06″ highest gear. With all the mounting options you could need and more. And clearance for up to 3.0″ tires.

With the vast sweep of a Jones H-Bar handlebar you get more comfort and hand positions with the Beyond+ ADV model. While the Beyond+ option comes with your standard flat bar.

Diamondback Haanjo

A gravel bike designed to get you off the beaten track! The Haanjo by Diamondback is designed around a light, tough carbon fibre frame and fork with thru axles front and rear. With Mechanical Disc brakes, in either a Shimano Deore 2×10 or SRAM Rival 1 drivetrain setup.

Liv Devote Advanced 2

Looking for the perfect women’s gravel bike? Suited for bikepacking to gravel grinding to adventure rides. A clean and contoured finish with internal cable routing. The bike comes with clearance for up to 45c tires. A lightweight build, with some models coming equipped with vibration absorbing D-Fuse seatpost, or dropper seatpost. Dampening all that off-road terrain you will be exploring. 

Merida SILEX+ Limited

Coming in with some of the highest end quality components in the list. And featuring everything you need in adventure gravel geometry when it comes too long days in the saddle. Ideal for long and demanding rides away from the paved road. With comfort at the forefront its Merida’s most versatile road bike ever. That modern MTB inspired geometry means long top and head tubes and short stem, it offers nimble, confidence-inspiring handling. While often seen on extended gravel and rough road outings, as well as bikepacking trips.

Trek Checkpoint ALR 5

The Trek Checkpoint is one of the very first gravel bikes that took people on gravel biking adventures. The ALR 5 is a great priced mid model option. With an alloy and carbon fork. weighing just under 10kg. You get high-end components and hydraulic disc brakes, but its priced at the low end of the Checkpoint model range. With tire clearance for up to 45 mm rubber.

Being the best value gravel bike in the line-up. It’s a high-quality build that will hold up for long, rugged miles on roads, dirt and even the most treacherous gravel. A wealth of features like nimble-yet-stable progressive geometry, loads of mounts, plus a GRX drivetrain make it easy to customise for your kind of adventure.

About The Author



Codey Orgill, a seasoned bicycle adventurer, has been exploring the world on two wheels for over 10 years. Since embarking on his initial cycling journey, Codey Orgill has traversed numerous countries, experiencing a series of epic adventures.