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Gravel bike choices in the $1300 range

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Gravel bike choices in the $1300 range

Old 03-27-23, 09:53 AM
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Gravel bike choices in the $1300 range

Before I buy, I'd like to get some advice. My budget is 1300.00 plus shipping and tax. I want a bike with a fairly nice groupset, light wheels and hydraulic brakes. I've narrowed it down to just one, the Canyon Grizl 6. It has DT Swiss LN wheels and hubs and a GRX400 2x10 groupset with GRX600 cranks. The GRX groupsets come standard with hydraulic brakes. I can live with the 2x as I will be doing some road biking also and all my gravel is pretty flat. I've done a lot of research and I can find no other bike that comes close to this. Most all of the other bikes I have looked in this price range come with mechanical brakes and something along the lines of a Claris, Altus, or Advent groupsets. I have no interest in those. They are two steps below the GRX400 groupsets and they don't have the option of hydraulic brakes. Well, I can't speak for the Advent X, I'm not sure where it stands in the groupset world, but I haven't seen, and I don't think there is an option for hydraulics. I may be missing something, but I have yet to find a better deal than the Canyon in this price range. I'm real close to pulling the trigger.
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Old 03-27-23, 11:19 AM
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That Grizl 6 looks hard to beat at that price point, IMO. I really like that fact that they have 7 different sizes, which is unusual these days.

Originally Posted by Breadfan
Before I buy, I'd like to get some advice. My budget is 1300.00 plus shipping and tax. I want a bike with a fairly nice groupset, light wheels and hydraulic brakes. I've narrowed it down to just one, the Canyon Grizl 6. It has DT Swiss LN wheels and hubs and a GRX400 2x10 groupset with GRX600 cranks. The GRX groupsets come standard with hydraulic brakes. I can live with the 2x as I will be doing some road biking also and all my gravel is pretty flat. I've done a lot of research and I can find no other bike that comes close to this. Most all of the other bikes I have looked in this price range come with mechanical brakes and something along the lines of a Claris, Altus, or Advent groupsets. I have no interest in those. They are two steps below the GRX400 groupsets and they don't have the option of hydraulic brakes. Well, I can't speak for the Advent X, I'm not sure where it stands in the groupset world, but I haven't seen, and I don't think there is an option for hydraulics. I may be missing something, but I have yet to find a better deal than the Canyon in this price range. I'm real close to pulling the trigger.
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Old 03-27-23, 11:26 AM
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It sounds like you have done good research and found a bike that fits all of your parameters. Another option would be the used market, but it can kind of be a gamble, and/or you might have to wait a while to find what you're looking for.

Be sure to share some pics of your new Canyon when you get it.
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Old 03-27-23, 11:39 AM
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Originally Posted by tyrion
That Grizl 6 looks hard to beat at that price point, IMO. I really like that fact that they have 7 different sizes, which is unusual these days.
Yea, I actually could not believe I found that bike with about everything I wanted, at the price I wanted. I see a lot of folks buying less expensive bikes and then upgrading wheels and changing out the mech. brakes for mech/pull hydraulic brakes and in the end, spending more than the Grizl 6, but with a lower level groupset. I test rode the entry level Specialized Diverge over the weekend and I was astounded at the low level of parts at a 1300.00 price point. The frame was really nice. Yes, the frame was really nice.
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Old 03-27-23, 11:54 AM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
It sounds like you have done good research and found a bike that fits all of your parameters. Another option would be the used market, but it can kind of be a gamble, and/or you might have to wait a while to find what you're looking for.

Be sure to share some pics of your new Canyon when you get it.
I haven't pulled the trigger just yet and I am doing just that, waiting a little bit to see what comes my way. If something better comes up that I can test ride, I'm up for it. So far, thank you for the replies.
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Old 03-27-23, 12:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Breadfan
I haven't pulled the trigger just yet and I am doing just that, waiting a little bit to see what comes my way. If something better comes up that I can test ride, I'm up for it. So far, thank you for the replies.
I got lucky on the used market (Pinkbike), and found a good build (2x11 Ultegra mech/hydro, American Classic wheels) on a little-known brand, Taiwanese-built CF frame for $1200. I bought it without test-riding, and it's been great for me. As I said...I got lucky. I spent about a month searching many different used bike sources, including local. I was close to pulling the trigger on a lower-spec Giant for about the same money when I came across the one that I ended up buying.
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Old 03-27-23, 05:04 PM
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Originally Posted by Breadfan
I can live with the 2x as I will be doing some road biking also and all my gravel is pretty flat.
Hate to say it, but based on that description, the Grizl may not be the best option because its geometry is far more "drop bar mtn bike" than "asphalt plus crushed gravel" -- I spent an inordinate amount of time staring at bikes a year ago. The Grail AL is better suited for that description. $1700 w GRX400.

edit -- you could check TPC too, but even their stock (at the moment) doesn't include anything around $1300.

$1300 range, w hydraulics? That's hard because the groupset itself is around that price, so you may end up completely compromising in other areas.

Maybe the Ribble CGR AL? https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribbl...ku=BBCGRAOR010

--Just throwing in something (else) to think about....




*For what it's worth, my budget was more than $1300, but I scoured high and low regardless of budget for something to be a 1-bike, N+1 killer. I ended up with an Obed GVR (carbon, w GRX 810)
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Old 03-27-23, 05:29 PM
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Another few hundred would get you into a steel frame - I'm thinking in particular the Surly Straggler. No hydraulics but hopefully that isn't a must-have.
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Old 03-27-23, 05:31 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
Another few hundred would get you into a steel frame - I'm thinking in particular the Surly Straggler. No hydraulics but hopefully that isn't a must-have.
Hydraulic brakes seem to be a pretty important part of the OP's choice.
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Old 03-27-23, 05:47 PM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
Hydraulic brakes seem to be a pretty important part of the OP's choice.
I saw that, but perhaps he might consider that he could get a better overall bike by foregoing that one thing. Personally I'd much rather ride steel with mechanical brakes, than aluminum with hydraulics, wouldn't you?
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Old 03-27-23, 06:27 PM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
I saw that, but perhaps he might consider that he could get a better overall bike by foregoing that one thing. Personally I'd much rather ride steel with mechanical brakes, than aluminum with hydraulics, wouldn't you?
For a gravel bike, definitely not. I would take the alum/hydro option, vs steel/mech. Probably on the road, too. Iím not particularly enamored with steel frames. (YMMV).
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Old 03-28-23, 05:04 AM
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Originally Posted by superdex
Hate to say it, but based on that description, the Grizl may not be the best option because its geometry is far more "drop bar mtn bike" than "asphalt plus crushed gravel" -- I spent an inordinate amount of time staring at bikes a year ago. The Grail AL is better suited for that description. $1700 w GRX400.

edit -- you could check TPC too, but even their stock (at the moment) doesn't include anything around $1300.

$1300 range, w hydraulics? That's hard because the groupset itself is around that price, so you may end up completely compromising in other areas.

Maybe the Ribble CGR AL? https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribbl...ku=BBCGRAOR010

--Just throwing in something (else) to think about....




*For what it's worth, my budget was more than $1300, but I scoured high and low regardless of budget for something to be a 1-bike, N+1 killer. I ended up with an Obed GVR (carbon, w GRX 810)

The Grail Al 6 and the grizl 6 seem to have the same geometry, almost exactly. I don't think I looked at it close enough the first time or maybe I was just got confused. I have looked at a lot of bikes on Bikeinsights.com. I may have to re-think this. It is on the aggressive side and I am 57, I like a little slack.
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Old 03-28-23, 05:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
For a gravel bike, definitely not. I would take the alum/hydro option, vs steel/mech. Probably on the road, too. Iím not particularly enamored with steel frames. (YMMV).
I like both. At the moment I am building up an old vintage steel frame into a gravel rider so I'd rather go AL for the new one. But I may have to bend a little and get mech brakes.
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Old 03-28-23, 05:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Eric F
I got lucky on the used market (Pinkbike), and found a good build (2x11 Ultegra mech/hydro, American Classic wheels) on a little-known brand, Taiwanese-built CF frame for $1200. I bought it without test-riding, and it's been great for me. As I said...I got lucky. I spent about a month searching many different used bike sources, including local. I was close to pulling the trigger on a lower-spec Giant for about the same money when I came across the one that I ended up buying.
It pays to sit, do your homework and just wait for the right deal!
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Old 03-28-23, 07:16 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
Another few hundred would get you into a steel frame - I'm thinking in particular the Surly Straggler. No hydraulics but hopefully that isn't a must-have.
Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
I saw that, but perhaps he might consider that he could get a better overall bike by foregoing that one thing. Personally I'd much rather ride steel with mechanical brakes, than aluminum with hydraulics, wouldn't you?
The Straggler isnt 'another few hundred'- its $550 more. Its 42% more.
The Straggler comes with vastly inferior performing brakes, inferior wheels, inferior quality tires, and I think it also has an inferior drivetrain. Oh, and the Straggler maxes out at 42mm while the Grizl can handle 50mm tires.
The two bikes do come with the same saddle though, so the Straggler has that going for it, I guess.

Your schtick of assuming others think like you, while already knowing what you think is 'best' is a very uncommon position on this site, is beyond old. It grew old hundreds of posts ago.

I have no idea why anyone would prefer Avid BB7 cable brakes with QR and seat-stay postmounting vs Tiagra level hydraulic brakes with TA and flatmount. BB7 brakes are unimpressive and offer almost none of the benefit of a disc brake setup compared to some $12 vbrakes.
Also, the aluminum frame is not inherently bad, despite your ignorant views. The carbon fork is not inherently bad, despite your ignorant views. The steel frame and fork are not inherently better, despite your ignorant views. You have no idea the butting profile of the steel frame and it very well(almost certainly is) overbuilt and dead to the point of not taking advantage of the elusive magical steel feeling.
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Old 03-28-23, 07:23 AM
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Originally Posted by Breadfan
It pays to sit, do your homework and just wait for the right deal!
Truer words were never spoken. If you know the products you're interested in, you can set up searches and alerts for SearchTempest (Craigslist), FB Marketplace, eBay (local), and others. Then just make it part of your daily routine to check what comes up new for sale each day, that match your criteria. Of course you have to be ready to jump on something that pops up.

Most of my bicycles came to me not because I was specifically looking for a new bike. I have them because I browse the listings every day and the law of averages dictates that once in a while something pops up that I just have to buy. A lot of my home audio equipment and home theater system is the same way. Also true with used cars. If you have the luxury of waiting and can be patient, that's when you the find the awesome deals. But you really need to be in the habit of looking every day, because the awesome deals don't last long.
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Old 03-28-23, 07:27 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
Another few hundred would get you into a steel frame - I'm thinking in particular the Surly Straggler. No hydraulics but hopefully that isn't a must-have.
Why not recommend down tube shifters and rim brakes while youíre at it?

For the OP, make sure you follow Canyonís sizing recommendations, they size their bikes weird. I bought a new Canyon Grail a few years ago and itís been a fine bike.
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Old 03-28-23, 07:29 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
....

Your schtick of assuming others think like you, while already knowing what you think is 'best' is a very uncommon position on this site, is beyond old..
I hardly put forth that I think I know what is best for others. This forum is for open discussion, and I threw it out there. If the guy wants aluminum and hyrdaulics and it will make him happy, that's why they sell those bikes. But there's nothing wrong with presenting alternative views and ideas. Seeing that he's a Newbie, it's reasonable to think that he might be open to ideas.

Personally, I don't see any aluminum bike being worth $1300 no matter what they bolt onto it, but that's just me. Obviously a lot of people disagree and we should all be OK with that.

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Old 03-28-23, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by superdex
Hate to say it, but based on that description, the Grizl may not be the best option because its geometry is far more "drop bar mtn bike" than "asphalt plus crushed gravel" -- I spent an inordinate amount of time staring at bikes a year ago. The Grail AL is better suited for that description. $1700 w GRX400.
...
Maybe the Ribble CGR AL? https://www.ribblecycles.co.uk/ribbl...ku=BBCGRAOR010
The Grizl has a 72.5deg HTA, 73.5deg STA, 75mm bb drop, 435mm chainstays, 160mm rotors, 8deg flared bars, and 700 wheels(assuming not the smallest size). The size I would ride has 30mm more reach than my current gravel bike(basically the same stack) and the stock stem is the same length as what I use.
To me, none of that suggests drop bar mtb, much less screams it.

The Ribble option you offered up is really cool. I genuinely didnt think there would be anything with hydraulic disc Tiagra level components for less.
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Old 03-28-23, 07:34 AM
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Originally Posted by sarhog
Why not recommend down tube shifters and rim brakes while you’re at it?
...
Downtube shifters are more suitable for road bikes and would be awkward on that type of bike. Besides, he probably wants indexed shifting so there's nothing that would work anyway. Rim brakes would be fine but those are almost non-existent in this space, so you're going to be forced into disc brakes whether you want them or not. It's the hydraulic part that is a big ask for this price point.
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Old 03-28-23, 07:40 AM
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Originally Posted by Jeff Neese
I hardly put forth that I think I know what is best for others.
I saw that, but perhaps he might consider that he could get a better overall bike by foregoing that one thing
I bolded this because it is what I disagreed with the most.
What makes the Straggler a better overall bike? Inferior brakes, significantly higher cost, inferior tires and wheels, inferior tire clearance...is it really just that the Straggler has generic and unknown spec steel tubing while the Grizl has an aluminum frame and carbon fork? Thats seen as a feature to many, not a drawback.
​​​​​​​
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Old 03-28-23, 08:10 AM
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Originally Posted by Breadfan
I like both. At the moment I am building up an old vintage steel frame into a gravel rider so I'd rather go AL for the new one. But I may have to bend a little and get mech brakes.
I also like both steel and aluminum - and carbon. Have all three.

But for me (and alluded to in prev post) - the steel would need to be high-end butted thin wall tubes etc - just about anything else will be on the heavy side and probably would not have the Ďlivelyí feel. You gotta pay $ for high-end lightweight steel.
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Old 03-28-23, 08:14 AM
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Originally Posted by Breadfan
I like both. At the moment I am building up an old vintage steel frame into a gravel rider so I'd rather go AL for the new one. But I may have to bend a little and get mech brakes.
donít bend

mech disk brakes will disappoint - and will be costly to upgrade

( Iím currently in the process of rebuilding / upgrading a Topstone to hydraulic brakes etc )
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Old 03-28-23, 08:24 AM
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unfortunately appears the Grizl is currently shipped with FSA crank and not a Shimano crank

and not too thrilled with the GRX 600 crank (compared to GRX 810 crank) - but would rather have a GRX 600 crank over the FSA crank
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Old 03-28-23, 08:27 AM
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Originally Posted by mstateglfr
To me, none of that suggests drop bar mtb, much less screams it.
not even the grizl with a <gasp> suspension fork? https://www.canyon.com/en-us/gravel-...rahmenfarbe=GN

From Canyon's website:
The short answer: Both are gravel bikes. The Grail is optimized for smoother off-road surfaces, while the Grizl is better suited to rougher terrain. The Grail is more efficient on-road, but slightly less capable than the Grizl off it. Along those lines, the Grizl is more comfortable on the rough stuff, but not as fast on the smooth.
So yeah, there are a couple other minor differences that make one more the backwoods-bikepacker than the other: 45mm tires on the Grizl vs 40 on the Grail; the Grail has fewer mounting points for racks and stuff; the (minor) geometry tweaks. So, going off of one sentence (heck, just a portion of a sentence at that), I thought I'd poke the discussion
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