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New rides in the fast-evolving go-anywhere category
Updated September 25, 2019

You don’t need me to tell you that gravel and adventure bikes are hot stuff right now, with more manufacturers rushing to launch new bikes all the time, and what actually constitutes a gravel and adventure bike evolving constantly.

Here then are 10 of the hottest new gravel bikes you need to know about from Cannondale’s Topstone Carbon to Condor Cycles latest and lightest gravel bike.

Read more: Is a gravel/adventure bike all you need?

If you prefer skinny slick tyres, be sure to check out the 10 hottest road bikes of 2019.

Cannondale Topstone — from £950

2020 Cannondale Topstone Carbon Force eTap

US brand Cannondale entered the gravel bike market properly with the aluminium Topstone bikes, then followed up with carbon versions, including the Topstone Force eTap above, with 30mm of built-in suspension. This a range of bikes packed with all the details we’d expect on bikes designed to be able to do everything from a bikepacking weekend to daily commuting duties.

For the aluminium bikes, Cannondale has used its considerable expertise in shaping aluminium to produce a smart frame with space for 42mm tyres on 700c wheels, but you can run 650b if you prefer. There is internal routing and provision for a dropper post, plus rack and mudguard mounts.

As well as the Kingpin suspension, the carbon frames feature lots of bottle and rack mounts, wide tyre clearance and SpeedRelease thru-axles.

Have a closer look at the aluminium Topstone range

Read our first look at the carbon Topstone

Find out what we thought of the ride of the carbon Topstone

Saracen Levarg — from £1,099.99

saracen-levarg-sl-2 (1)

The Levarg (gravel backwards) is a new aluminium gravel and adventure bike available in three builds priced from £1,100 to £2,300. The high price of the top-end model is due to the fitment of the Fox AX suspension fork and a dropper post, two components that help to blur the lines between a road and mountain bike.

The three models in the range use the same custom butted 6061 aluminium frame with a 142x12mm rear dropout and a full carbon fibre fork with a tapered steerer tube. The down tube is curved at the head tube to ensure clearance with the suspension fork crown, and there are additional bottle cage mounts and internal routing for gear cables and brake hoses.

Read our review of the Saracen Levarg SL

Kinesis G2 — £1,350

Kinesis G2 Cycle show 2018-1

The new G2 builds on the success of the company’s ATR and AT gravel bikes with a more affordable package, it costs £1,500 with an SRAM Apex groupset and that includes hydraulic disc brakes and a wide range cassette.

"Building on the huge success of our Tripster AT and ATR models, the G2 offers a well thought out complete bike", says Kinesis. "Sitting as the third model in our Adventure category, the G2 is a bike that delivers versatility in spades coupled with the same DNA of the even more adventurous Tripster models.”

Read our review of the Kinesis G2

Nukeproof Digger — from £1,500

nukeproof digger

This is the second-generation gravel bike from the mountain bike company brought to you by Chain Reaction Cycles, and it’s got a lot of crossover design and tech from mountain bikes. The aluminium frame is adorned with 650b wheels and 47mm wide tyres, a 120mm dropper post for tackling steep descents without squashing your bits and all the versatility you want for everything from commuting, road riding and off-road adventures.

The 2019 models are sold out, but 2020 version are imminent.

Read our review of the Nukeproof Digger Pro

Marin Gestalt X11 — £2,000

Marin Gestalt X11 -1_0

Another mountain bike company that is bringing its off-road experience into a multi-surface go-anywhere gravel bike. The second-generation Gestalt rolls on 700x42mm tyres but it’ll take 650b if that floats your boat and the frame has some trick details such as the internal routing for the dropper post, which is cleverly activated by the left-hand SRAM brake lever. A Rival 1 groupset gives you a wide range of gear ratios for tackling chunky terrain and the hydraulic disc brakes keep you out of trouble at high speed.

Read our review of the Marin Gestalt X11

Fairlight Secan — from £2,099.00

fairlightsecan (1)

British company Fairlight Cycles has entered the growing gravel and adventure bike market with its Secan. It’s loosely based on the more road-focused Strael but the steel frame and new carbon fork have space for 650 x 57mm or 700 x 47mm wheels and tyres.

The Secan is built from a Reynolds 853 custom tubeset, like the Strael, but with a few key changes. A close relationship with Reynolds allowed Fairlight to develop a Dual Zone Butting (DZB) down tube that meets the specific requirements for this frame. More material reinforcing the down tube at the head tube avoids the need for a gusset, and it passes tough ISO (International Organization for Standardisation) tests.

Read our review of the Fairlight Secan

Mason InSearchOf — from £3,140

mason-iso-cycleshow-2018-6 (1)

Following on from the Bokeh with an eye on even bigger terrain and adventures, the new Mason InSearchOf is a big-tyred aluminium gravel bike that has a lot of mountain bike influence in its design, yet it stays this side of the road/gravel bike divide.

A custom Dedacciai Zero steel frame has been developed with a swoopy downtube to provide clearance for a suspension fork, while the top tube is also curved to provide extra frame bag clearance. There’s all manner of mounts for racks, mudguards, a dynamo light and internal routing for both 1x and 2x groupsets. The frame is accepting of both 29x2.4in and 27.5x2.8in mountain bike tyres.

You can watch an exclusive first look video here

Pearson Allmodcons — £1,400-£1,600

pearson-all-mod-cons7

London-based Pearson Cycles has lined up this good-looking aluminium gravel bike with some good details that look to make it ideal for a spot of off-road riding plus commuting and touring. It has clearance for a whopping 46mm tyre and there are a full complement of rack and mudguard mounts and a carbon fibre fork with 12mm thru-axle and flat mount disc brake.

“The aim of this bike was to be able to adapt to different disciplines of cycling without compromise in performance, versatility is the name of the game,” explains the company.

Read our review of the Pearson Allmodcons

Forme Monsal Force — £3,095

2019 forme monsal force

British company Forme may not be the most well-known of bike brands but its new Monsal Rival is sure to elevate its profile, especially among those people wanting a really nicely designed and good value gravel bike. You get a smart full carbon frame, with a dropped chainstay to improve clearance, with disc brakes and thru-axles and space for up to 45mm tyres. This model pictured features a full SRAM Force 1 groupset with Mavic Aksium wheels and Kenda 35mm tyres.

Read our review of the slightly cheaper Forme Monsal Rival

Condor Cycles Bivio Gravel — £1,299.99 frameset only

2020 Condor Bivio aluminium

London's Condor Cycles used the Cycle Show to launch its lovely new Bivio Odyssey aluminium gravel bike. Handmade in Italy from 7005 aluminium tubing, it's the lightest gravel/adventure bike Condor offers, with clearance for up to 40mm tyres, a carbon fork, 12mm thru-axles and flat mount brakes.

- 20 of the best 2018 gravel & adventure bikes — super-versatile bikes that are at home on lanes, potholed streets and dirt roads

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Road.cc buyer's guides are maintained and updated by John Stevenson. Email John with comments, corrections or queries.

David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.

13 comments

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Plasterer's Radio [551 posts] 8 months ago
4 likes

The Condor looks wonderful....but over £3500 for frameset only? Seriously?

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Nick T [1305 posts] 8 months ago
2 likes
Plasterer's Radio wrote:

The Condor looks wonderful....but over £3500 for frameset only? Seriously?

its not often I have a “how much?” moment, but that is pretty lumpy. You can get a customised Saffron in stainless for 2/3s of that

Avatar
kil0ran [1689 posts] 8 months ago
2 likes

I'm sure the Condor is lovely and well, heritage and all that stuff, but Bowman will build you a custom stainless frameset for half that price. Including custom paint and they specialise in the sort of finish the Condor has.

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Nick T [1305 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes

I don’t know if Bowman do the steel Layhams any more 

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Xenophon2 [112 posts] 8 months ago
0 likes
Plasterer's Radio wrote:

The Condor looks wonderful....but over £3500 for frameset only? Seriously?

 

To be fair, on their site it does say 'full custom geometry' and the finish looks impeccable + one shouldn't beat it before having tried it.  Still, a bit rich for my blood.  For steel afficionados perhaps.  That amount of cash buys an excellently appointed carbon gravel bike.  

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IanEdward [339 posts] 6 months ago
3 likes

I've yet to see a gravel bike I've wanted more than a Heretic:

//hereticbikes.com/images/portfolio/project9.jpg)

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kil0ran [1689 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

That Heretic looks amazing. I really like the German/Austrian approach to fitting out touring bikes - a big part of my decision to buy my Faran was following a build thread on rennrad. All just so and very neat and understated.

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jollygoodvelo [1878 posts] 6 months ago
2 likes

Wow, what a collection of rubbish and childish names!

Surprised that the Ribble CGR doesn't make an appearance, I'm very tempted by one right now.

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Parodius [2 posts] 6 months ago
0 likes

+1 for the ribble cgr

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Ti-Buron [13 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

Jollygoodvelo ... You must love the new OPEN Wi.De then eh?

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The Sledge [10 posts] 3 months ago
1 like

I’ve been riding a Topstone 105 for the last few months and 1,500 miles in I couldn’t be happier. Traded up from a GT Grade 105, which felt agricultural in comparison. The Topstone swallows up towpaths, forest trails and bridleways with aplomb and is surprisingly comfortable, soaking up vibrations superbly  with little chatter through the rear end.

Handlebar is a bit on the skinny side on top, but I’ll be wrapping it with gel tape shortly. I swapped the heavy (2.1kg) stock wheels for some MasonxHunt 4 seasons and ditched the tyres for some Panaracer Gravel King 35mm SKs which I’m running tubeless (55psi).

Just done a 280 mile largely off-road ride from Huddersfield to Oxford on it and it it coped admirably with some vile, wet trails - only issue was a mud-clogged front mech which left me stuck in the bottom ring for 150 miles. Paid £1,200 for it from Formby Cycles, and worth every penny. 

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The Sledge [10 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes

Oops, double post...

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BehindTheBikesheds [3322 posts] 3 months ago
0 likes
IanEdward wrote:

I've yet to see a gravel bike I've wanted more than a Heretic: //hereticbikes.com/images/portfolio/project9.jpg)

Only just seen that, ooof, nearly spilt a load looking at the pics! I got myself a mint Sabbath September last year and I've still not finished building it up! Had it polished, a new Cane Creek h/set plus full carbon forks plus invested in some Dura Ace/Velocity hoops that get the Panaracer 28s out to 31mm which I can get under the mudguards with the TRPs and I'm hoping without the guards to get my 35mm conti cyclocross speed tyres under them too.

But, that is da fecking bomb, where can I give my hard earned for one?

Bollocks, it's a one off! https://weightweenies.starbike.com/forum/viewtopic.php?t=139382

well sort of https://forums.thepaceline.net/showthread.php?t=222764

Looks like I'm going to have to just put up with the lowly Sabbathsmiley