We’ve rounded up our favorite single chainring 1x gravel bikes here. We specifically aimed slightly below the high end of the market, where a bike can cost $8K to $10K. Most of our picks are half that price, with terrific quality options that go all the way down to $2,600.
Single chainring (otherwise known as 1x) setups completely took over mountain biking for a reason. Bulletproof reliability with no derailleur in front to worry about, and still plenty of gear range with new rear derailleur designs that can handle a huge number of teeth in the back. Well guess what? It turns out that 1x works just as well on gravel for many of the same reasons.
Which one is your favorite? And did we miss anything you would have put on the list?
Want a bike that wins major races? Check. Made in the USA frame? Check. Unique design that stands out? Check. And all at a reasonable price? You get it all with the Allied Able. $5,499 for SRAM Force 1x. Options for 650b and 700 wheels.
It took a while for Cervelo to introduce a gravel bike, but it was worth the wait. The new Aspero is hot. Models run as low as $2,800, and as high as $6,000 plus for SRAM Force AXS Etap electronic shifting. Lots of 1x and 2x options. Runs 650b and 700c wheels, so you have options for different types of gravel or roads with just a wheel swap.
Trek Checkpoint SL 7
If you want to go 1x with a Trek gravel bike, you’re going to have to pay up. They only offer the Checkpoint model as a 1x bike in their highest end SRAM Force Etap electronic group, for $6K. Accepts up to a 40mm 700c wheel, but no mention of compatibility with 650b wheels and wider tires than that.
Salsa Warbird Carbon Force 1
Salsa was an early entrant into the gravel space with the original Warbird, and they’ve consistently improved it over time. The Force 1 650B is read to hit the deepest gravel, with standard 650b wheels and WTB 47 mm tires. Specially shaped seat stays are designed for vertical compliance, to smooth out the bumps. $4,399.
Cannondale Slate Force 1
If you like the idea of suspension, consider the Slate Force 1x, which goes for around $3,700. The Lefty front fork will get you plenty of attention from fellow gravel riders and roadies, and keep things super plush on the roughest roads. If you want to go lighter and faster but with no suspension, consider the Topstone model with an 1x SRAM Apex setup for as little as $2,100.
Giant Revolt Advanced 1
Giant comes through with what might be the best 1x deal in gravel with the Revolt Advanced 1 model with SRAM Apex for just $2,600. Stock wheels are pretty heavy on this bike, but you’ll have so much money left over buying it that you can replace them with something lighter. I ride a 2018 model of this bike, and it is terrific. Apex on the back still shifts perfectly.
Open Cycle WI.DE
The Open Cycle WIDE is a bike that can do anything from road to gravel — and even adventure riding. A frame designed around a 1x setup can run either 700c or 650b wheels and accepts tires as wide as you imagine. Comes as a frame only for $3,200, which you can then build up any 1x way you like it — Shimano GRX, Apex, Force, Force AXS Etap, etc. Open also makes other models that don’t go as wide, if you don’t need the width.
Lauf True Grit Force 1
The Lauf True Grit Race Force 1 is another gravel bike that will get you some attention out there with its unusual front suspension fork design. Goes for $5k for the mechanical 1x SRAM Force setup. Tire clearance up to 700 x 45 mm. Several other additional models are available if you want to spend a little less or a lot more.
Specialized Diverge Expert
The Specialized Diverge Expert runs around $4,750, and comes well equipped with SRAM Force 1x mechanical shifting. Clearance for either 700x42mm or 650b x 47mm tires. Future Shock provides light weight suspension for rough roads and 20 mm of travel in the front. The seatpost is also designed for extra flex to keep your back end happy on the rough stuff too, with 18 mm of suspension.
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