Gravel bikes are what everyone wants, and we can see why. They perform great on and off-road, are good value for money, and are the perfect rig for bikepacking and touring. They are the do-it-all bikes that cyclists never knew they needed. We have been lucky enough to ride, build, and even race many gravel bikes.
When it comes to knowing what to look for, it can be challenging. In this article, we will speak about the best gravel bikes for under $3000. We will also tell you what you can expect from a gravel bike in this range and give you some useful tips when buying.
7 Best Gravel Bikes under $3000 in 2023
After a long time searching, here are the bikes we highly recommend for anyone on a budget of $3000.
GT Grade Carbon Expert
- Carbon Fiber Frame
- Carbon Fiber Forks
- Shimano 105/Ultegra Gearing
- Shimano GRX Brakes
- 700c Wheels with 40c Tires
GT is known for making some epic bikes. From mountain bikes, BMX, and even road bikes. When they released the Grade Carbon Expert, and we saw the unique frame design, we knew it would be epic.
With extra long chainstays and a super low bottom bracket, it’s made for control. Being made of carbon fiber, it’s extremely lightweight and very agile, and it’s going to be very fun to ride.
As far as components go, you get a mix of Shimano Ultegra and 105. You get an excellent range of gearing for climbing and descending, which will change smoothly and quickly. The Shimano GRX hydraulic disc brakes are paired with this groupset and give excellent stopping power.
With 700c wheels equipped with 40c WTB Nano tires, you will get a bike that can hold its speed well but also have a grip. The bike is also full of rack mounts for bikepacking, and it’s Di2 and dropper compatible.
- Lightweight carbon fiber frame and forks
- Great gearing from Shimano
- Excellent stopping power with Shimano GRX brakes
- 700c wheels with 40c WTB tires
- Quite bland looking
- Quite aggressive geometry
All City Bicycles Gorilla Monsoon
- Chromoly steel frame
- Chromoly steel forks
- SRAM Apex groupset
- Tektro brakes
- 650b Wheels with 2.4” tires
The All-City Bicycles Gorilla Monsoon is just as crazy as it sounds and needs a place on this list. The frame and forks are made of Chromoly steel, which isn’t the lightest material, but it does offer incredible strength and comfort because of its flexibility.
It has a super relaxed geometry and is made for control and a comfortable ride. It comes with an SRAM Apex groupset, and this is an excellent 1X groupset with a good range for climbing.
The brakes come from Tektro, and they are alright and will stop you well, but they are mechanical, which is not as good as hydraulic brakes.
The wheels on the Gorilla Monsoon are 650b, which is smaller than your standard 700c wheels. What makes them special is they are equipped with huge 2.4″ mountain bike tires giving this bike incredible ability.
- Strong and comfortable Chromoly steel frame and forks
- SRAM groupset offers a great range
- Huge tires for grip and control
- Looks epic in black and purple
- Laggy on the roads
- Quite heavy compared to others on this list
- Mechanical brakes
- Carbon fiber frame
- Carbon fiber forks
- Shimano Ultegra groupset
- Shimano hydraulic disc brakes
- 700c wheels with 40c tires
Savadeck is a brand a few people have been speaking about recently, and they make a bike that really does stand out in the crowd. The Savadeck carbon gravel bike looks incredible, and it’s about as fast as it looks.
It’s Toray T800 carbon fiber, and the whole bike comes in at 9.9kg. The bike has internally routed cables and a small rear A-frame for handling.
With an Ultegra groupset that offers silky smooth shifting and disc brakes to match, it’s not short of decent components either. When you buy this bike, you will have 22 gears and incredible stopping power.
What sets this bike apart from the competition is the wheels. Not only are they super aero they are also made of carbon fiber, so incredibly lightweight. With these wheels, it ticks the speed box, and with the 40c tires, it ticks the grip box.
- It looks incredible and so modern
- Shimano Components are perfect for this bike
- The carbon fiber wheelset is excellent
- 40c tires are ideal for this setup
- Lightweight at 9.9kg
- Aggressive geometry
- Lesser known brand
VAAST A/1 700c APEX
- AE81 Supermag frame
- Carbon fiber forks
- SRAM APEX groupset
- SRAM APEX 1 hydraulic disc brakes
- 700c wheels with 37c tires
The VAAST A/1 uses a special AE81 Supermag frame. It’s strong, lightweight, and looks epic. It’s paired with a lightweight carbon fork to make this bike super agile, and the dropped chainstay adds to the control.
It comes with internally routed cables and is covered in mounts for adventure riding. The bike has an SRAM Apex 1×11 groupset which is really easy to use and great for off-road riding with its low-range ability.
Paired up with that, we have the SRAM Apex hydraulic disc brakes, which are powerful and will be excellent for stopping in poor weather conditions.
The wheels are from WTB. They are tubeless-ready and equipped with 37c tires, which are going to be great for light trails and excellent on the road. The bike offers excellent performance, and it would even be great for bikepacking with all its mounts.
- The AE81 Supermag frame pair with carbon forks is fast
- Very durable in case you fall off
- SRAM APEX groupset 1X has a great range
- Great for road riding and light trails
- 37c tires are not ideal for tough trails
Canyon Grail CF SL 7
- Carbon fiber frame
- Carbon fiber forks
- Shimano GRX RX810
- Shimano GRX hydraulic disc brakes
- 700c wheels with 40c tires
The Canyon Grail is one of the most iconic gravel bikes on the market and is known for its incredibly unique design and double-level handlebars. The carbon fiber frame and forks are designed for speed and control, and it’s the choice of many pro racers. The double handles not only help you with control but also offer a smoother ride.
The groupset is Shimano’s GRX RX810, and it’s the best mechanical groupset they offer before jumping up to electronic gearing. It’s silky smooth, and the clutch rear derailleur is excellent for lumpy trails.
The brakes are also from Shimano, and they are the GRX which offers great stopping power and are very reliable, with the ability to self-adjust.
The wheels we have on the Grail are from DT Swiss and are of incredible quality. They are super strong and have silky smooth bearings and solid hubs. These wheels are paired with some of the best gravel tires on the market, the Schwalbe G Ones.
- Lightweight and very fast
- Double handlebars are great
- Shimano’s high-end components
- DT Swiss wheels and high-end Schwalbe tires
- Not the cheapest
- Unique handlebars make it limiting on accessories
Cannondale Topstone 1 Alloy
If you never know exactly where your rides are going to take you, and hate being held back by your equipment, then definitely take a look at the Cannondale Topstone 1 Alloy Bike.
This versatile gravel bike is willing to go where no road bikes have ventured before, and the carbon fork will make sure that no matter where you end up, you will get there in comfort.
Featuring hydraulic disc brakes, internal cable routing, and mounts for 3 water bottle holders, this bike can really be rigged up for any sort of adventure, from a road ride with friends, to exploring gravel forest roads, and even some bikepacking!
The Topstone comes with 28c tires out of the box but can fit tires even larger if you are looking to get off the beaten path or you prefer a more comfortable ride. The Shimano GRX drivetrain will provide you with rock solid performance while still letting you keep a little dough in your wallet for a coffee or beer after your ride.
An excellent choice for a wide variety of riders, the Cannondale Topstone 1 Alloy is definitely one of the best gravel bikes around $2,300 for 2023.
Note: this bike used to be listed in the best gravel bikes under $2000 article, but as the priced increased we moved it here.
What to expect when buying a gravel bike under $3000
A question we are often asked by our readers is what is a good budget for a gravel bike, and $3000 isn’t just good, it’s excellent. What can you expect when paying that much money?
If you spend up to $3000, you will get a lot of quality out of the ride. If you go for a racing bike, you can expect it to be very light and fast, and if you go for a long-distance bikepacking bike, it will be very comfortable.
Then we come to components. All the bikes on the list above are full of high-end components. You see more hydraulic brakes, gearing with better ranges, and even clutch mech derailleurs.
Many companies to bring the price of a bike down will go with cheaper parts such as wheels and tires, but at $3000, they have more money to play with, so you, the end user, don’t need to change parts on a new bike that might not be as good as the rest of the bike.
When you spend nearly $3000 on a bike, you’re buying a bike that will last a long time. We typically see when people buy bikes on a smaller budget, they change more often and don’t get as good an experience while using the bikes.
When you spend $3000, you can expect not just to own the bike for a year but multiple years, and you might even find yourself using it as a base to upgrade further.
Top tips when buying a Gravel Bike
Pick the bike for what you’re doing
Gravel bikes, unlike road bikes, can heavily differ from each other. Some are great for road riding and a light trail.
Others are off-road monsters that completely lag on the road. We highly recommend thinking about your riding and getting the bike to match.
Check your size… Twice
Sizing is very challenging when it comes to bikes as a medium on some bikes is large on others. We highly recommend going to the manufacturer’s website before you hit buy it now and check the sizing.
Don’t be worried about investing more
When it comes to bikes, you get what you pay for. If you invest an extra $500 and go from $2000 to $2500, you typically will get much more. It might be a carbon frame instead of aluminum, hydraulic brakes instead of mechanical, or even a set of superlight wheels.
Have a Bikefit
Finally, once you have that bike and are ready to ride it, we recommend having a bike fit. A bike fit is when a professional will change the settings on the bike for you and perfectly dial you in.
It will prevent injuries, help power transfer, and make you much more comfortable.
Robbie Ferri has spent years working in a bike shop, has worked with industry leading brands on product creation, has been a semi pro athlete, and is a fully qualified strength and conditioning coach. He has broken World Records, bikepacked all over the World and raced ultra distance at a top-level.