If you are a fan of gravel racing and cycling, you must go for adventure bicycles, also known as gravel bicycles. This text is on the best gravel bikes of 2022.
Even though bicycles have been used to ride on gravel roads since they were first made, the “modern” gravel bicycle as a category evolved in the 2000s, incorporating features from mountain bikes, road bikes, and cyclocross bikes. They also have a lot in common with touring bikes, like their wide tires, convenient geometry, and wide range of gearing. In this article of Tech Trends, you will read about the best gravel bikes for 2022.
Best Gravel Bikes of 2022; Your Best Choices
Diverge from Specialized S-Works
We have always admired the Diverge’s constantly evolving skillset. Since its introduction in 2014, we’ve tried all three versions. The latest one is not only one of the best adventure bicycle brands of 2022, but the best gravel bike Specialized has ever made, and it takes a winning formula and makes it even better.
The geometry of the new model is more progressive than before, with a shorter stem, longer reach, and a lower headtube angle. In addition, some changes have been made to the fork, which now has a longer offset and a trail number that ensures improved steering response and front-end agility. All frame sizes now have a 5mm increase in the bottom bracket drop, and the chainstays have slightly increased to 425mm.
The top-of-the-line S-Works Diverge is outfitted with electronic components from mountain bikes and road bikes manufactured by SRAM. It has eTap AXS road levers, an Eagle AXS rear derailleur, and a 10-50T cassette, which is why it is often called a “mullet build.” This combination is perfect for the Diverge’s wide range of skills and out-of-the-box personality. A Roval Terra CLX gravel wheel, an Easton EC70 AX Carbon bar with a 16-degree flare, a Specialized S-Works Future Stem with an integrated Bar Fly computer mount, and an S-Works Power saddle are a few other noteworthy components.
3T Exploro Force
When 3T introduced the Exploro, the bicycle industry didn’t get it. An aero gravel bike, you mean? If we are to believe the statistics that the bicycle industry regularly feeds us, then aerodynamics are only useful at speeds of 40 kilometers per hour. 3T respectfully disagrees, citing wind tunnel testing at 20mph/32kph that showed the Exploro saved 7 watts compared to a bike with round tubes and 24 watts compared to the same bike at 30mph/48kph, numbers earning it a spot in this guide to the top gravel road bikes to buy in 2022.
The Exploro is on the racier end of the spectrum thanks to its 71.1-degree head angle, 546-millimeter stack, and 378-millimeter reach in a size medium. Due to its dropped drive-side chainstay, it has room for 700x40c or 650bx2.1in tires. It’s a ride that inspires confidence and is flickable, according to our experience, no matter the terrain.
We struggle to categorize the Factor Vista as an “all-road” bicycle. The geometry is more suited to endurance road bikes, but 35mm tires can fit in the frame. It has the same external fork as the company’s One aero bike, Slick TT bike, and OTIS AR. Factor claims that the seat stays have been tuned to absorb trail noise and have been aggressively dropped.
Although it may appear to be almost a franken-bike on paper, it provides an agile ride and a lot of feedback about what’s going on beneath the tires. The low bottom bracket keeps things from getting too nervous with its steep angles and short (for a gravel bike) wheelbase, but the Vista is an exciting and energetic ride. However, it leans more toward straight-line speed than tight, twisty singletrack. No list of the best gravel bikes of 2022 is complete without this one.
Polygon Bend R5
The Polygon Bend R5 is a good value if you want to go on wild off-road adventures with rough terrain. A carbon fork is used with an ALX alloy frame, and the angular tubes are hydroformed to produce a combination of compliance and stiffness that works well together.
The Polygon Bend R5 comes standard with 650b wheels and 41mm WTB Venture tires, but if you want to go a little bigger, there is more room. We believe that with 80 millimeters of space between the fork legs, you could easily fit something larger than two inches and still have room for mud.
As one of the best gravel bikes for 2022, the Bend R5 is a versatile horse used as a weekday commuter and a weekend gravel adventure mule. There are two build options for it: 2x or 1x Shimano GRX drivetrain, with a Tranz-X dropper post on the latter. Entity, the in-house components brand of Polygon, is the sole supplier of the entire finishing kit.
Basso Palta II
Basso’s Palta II builds on the Palta’s predecessor’s formidable package. Speed and incredibly agile handling are the order of the day. The short wheelbase and high bottom bracket keep things snappy, but when traveling at high speed over rough terrain, they can sometimes get stuck; It won’t be as planted over rough terrain as some other options with this geometry.
The compliance department is where the Palta II has made notable improvements over its predecessor. The first model could be unforgiving at the end of longer rides, but the most recent model is much smoother, making it a tempting option for longer gravel races where speed and comfort go hand in hand.
Although the 45mm tires aren’t quite as big as we’d like them to be, on a bike that is so focused on speed, this isn’t as big of a problem as it might seem. Given how well the cycle works, it probably would ride just as well on a road ride with 30mm slicks. If you are making a list of the best adventure bicycle brands of 2022, open a spot for this one.
The Factor LS is advertised as an all-out race machine with a frame weighing only 950 grams. We’d positively concur with that assertion, as well. It truly impressed us when we put it to the test. It is undoubtedly a gravel racer with no boundaries, a rich feel, and all the speed and feedback you need to race between the tapes.
SRAM’s renowned Black Inc Thirty wheels and finishing kit are included in the SRAM Force eTap AXS Disc groupset, which is available as a frameset or complete build.
Naturally, speed and race experience come with costs, and the LS has a jarring ride. It is sure to be popular with riders looking to outpace their competitors at their chosen gravel event due to its communicative underpinnings and direct ride feel. Are you after the top gravel road bikes to buy in 2022? This one is for you.
Pinarello Grevil Force 1
Although the aesthetics of the Pinarello Grevil Force 1 are widely regarded as polarizing, many cyclists find Pinarello’s kinks and curves irresistible, and the Grevil (and Grevil+) gravel bikes are not immune to the Italian brand’s signature form factor. The current Grevil F follows suit. The Grevil is sure to be ready to hit the trails because it is one of a few that comes pre-wheeled with 650b wheels.
It comes with 650b x 42mm tires, but the dropped drive-side chainstay makes room for mountain bike tires of 2.1 inches or 42mm on 700c rims or 650b rims. The uneven edge follows Pinarello’s Visit de France-winning Doctrine F12 street bicycle, adding firmness to represent the additional powers applied on the drive side.
Similar to the 3T Exploro, the aero tubing is intended to speed things up. However, Pinarello does not specify any specific savings, merely stating that “even a small aerodynamic gain multiplied by several hundred kilometers can be a great overall gain.” To many cyclists, this bike is one of the best gravel bikes of 2022.
Cannondale Topstone Ultegra RX 2
The Topstone was the best gravel bike at GBDuro in 2019, but its rider, Lachlan Morton, may have played a role in the Topstone’s success. The Topstone Carbon comes with all the bike-packing bags you’ll need, including 700c gravel bike wheels, 37C WTB tires, internal cable routing, and mounts for mudguards. We’ve found that the frames run pretty big, with a medium having a stack of 579mm and a reach of 385mm, which is about the same as the Wilier Jena.
If you want to get a little rowdier, you can replace the 700c Hollowgram carbon wheels with 650b hoops and wrap them in gravel tires up to 47c. You can’t do this when you buy the bike, so you’ll have to add this cost to the price. Although we anticipate Ultegra RX availability to decrease as the GRX Shimano gravel groupset becomes the preferred option, the parts of the Topstone Ultegra RX 2 are cross-compatible, so this is not a problem. In the sky of the best gravel bikes for 2022, this bike is a shiny star.
Focus Atlas 6.8
Focus Atlas 6.8 was released on January 2021. Focus’s Atlas gravel bike was a bit late to the gravel bike party, but being late can be fashionable, right? Before its release, we were among the first testers of the Focus Atlas 6.8 gravel bike, and we found it to be durable, adaptable, and versatile. All these qualities are great if you want to unwind and get away from modern complications. The Atlas is definitely on the smooth-ride, easy-cruiser side of the gravel spectrum.
This means that it is heavier than some of its rivals, but it is strong enough to carry a lot of luggage and go on a long, exploratory trip. The seat tube has a plugged entry point for a dropper post, should you wish to install one, and the alloy frame has a large, rectangular downtube with triple mounts for adjustable bottle cage positioning.
The Atlas 6.8 has clearance for tires up to 45 millimeters and comes equipped with 700c wheels and 650b wheels. The top tube bag, which can be mounted to the top tube and is included as standard on every bike, is one of the nice extra features putting the bicycle in this guide to the best adventure bicycle brands of 2022.
Merida Silex+ 8000-E
With the Silex+ 8000-E, Merida has upgraded its well-known model with 650b wheels instead of 700c. This gives riders more options for chunkier tires and makes the bike even better for rough riding.
The Silex+ is most certainly the rock bicycle that attempts to disassociate itself from any landing area family members. Thanks to its tall stack, slack geometry, and 45mm Kenda Flintridge Pro tires, it’s an off-road-ready machine. As one of the top gravel road bikes to buy in 2022, it has a comfortable fit and handling that makes you feel calm and in control. It is also competent.
Because of its high stack, long reach, and short step, it shines when you descend off-road. It has a lot of room for you to change positions, and the rigid frame helps absorb some noise as you roll quickly over rough sections.
BMC URS One
Although gravel suspension is still relatively new, it appears to be gaining traction, with various manufacturer-specific interpretations of the concept. The BMC URS One lacks the traditional telescopic suspension fork and instead uses a fork that looks like a Cannondale Headshok. Although it requires the replacement of preload spacers and stiffer or softer springs, it is one of the most responsive suspension forks on rough terrain.
Despite this, our initial impressions of the URS One indicate that it is competent. The tire clearance, which is 45 millimeters, could be larger, especially considering the “Gravel Plus” designation.
The frame’s geometry and the suspension provide a very stable ride. In contrast to the Basso Palta II, the BMC URS One, with its long wheelbase and slack head angle, positively encourages you to bite off more that you’d otherwise be able to chew. In general, its one of the best gravel bikes of 2022.
Boardman ADV 9.0
The carbon ADV 9.0 gravel bike from Boardman is among the best gravel bikes of 2022 and provides a fun and responsive ride for a great price. The Boardman costs £1,850 retail and comes with a 2×11 Shimano GRX groupset with a wide range of gears for on- and off-road riding, whereas many of the options on this list will cost at least £2,000.
The braking power comes from the GRX hydraulic disc brakes, and the 6-degree flare handlebar gives you better control as you descend the drops. The ADV wheelset, which comes pre-taped and equipped with valves for an easy tubeless setup, and the 700 x 38mm Panaracer Gravel King SK tires are just the finishing touches on the bike.
Source: Tech Trends