Best Women’s Gravel Bikes

Introduction

Ladies, imagine confidently walking into a bike shop with absolutely no clue on the bike you want. Like most salespersons, they persuade you to get a beautiful touring(regular) bike. Then on a beautiful summer morning, you decide to go off-road on your beautiful bike and BOOM! You realise beauty isn’t everything after all. So many questions you’ll probably have at that moment, and I’m here to give you the answers.

Now don’t worry, it’s not your fault. I mean road bikes and gravel bikes pretty much look the same but they function very differently. Road bikes like the name suggest work on the road. They are designed to make road cycling as efficient as possible (https://www.cyclingnews.com/features/road-bike-vs-gravel-bike). However, on mountains or gravel roads, they aren’t as efficient, which brings us to mountain bikes or gravel bikes.

Gravel bikes are designed for rougher trails. They are designed to handle a wider variety of tracks as compared to the regular bike. They may look the same, but if you analyse them closely, you’ll realise key differences in things like tyre size, tyre tread as well as the overall weight. Today we’ll be helping you pick out the best women’s gravel bike specifically for you. So be sure to read on to find out what makes the best women’s gravel bike ‘the best’.

In a hurry?

If you are in a hurry to find yourself the right gravel bike for women, then you’re on the right track. I’m not even going to waste your time telling you the simple basics that even a five-year-old can recite. Let’s go deep and figure out what makes a particular gravel bike ‘the best’ choice for you.

As you read on, you’ll start to pick up on specific points. Hopefully, you’ll begin to realise a whole lot of things about bikes. Maybe even link some of them to that old bike you keep in your shed. So without taking any more of your time, let's see what makes the gravel bikes they call ‘the best’ fall into that category. So hopefully by the end, you’ll know which bike you want, why you want it and how you’ll make the best use of it. 

Top Pick

The top pick on this selection of bikes must be the Savadeck carbon bike. This bike is the most expensive on the list but for a good reason. It is the lightest and most durable bike by some distance weighing only 9.8Kgs. It comes with the top of the range Shimano speed control that will allow you to start cycling easily, even in muddy conditions. The bike is designed to withstand heavy resistance. In cases of lighter gravel, the bike will allow you to fly down the trail. That is because Savadeck spent many hours ensuring that every part of the bike is aerodynamic. You will not find any cables or wiring on the bike because it has all been designed to be on the inside of the cycle. It will protect the bike from breaking down should one of the cables become affected by mud or any other conditions you may encounter. It also improves aerodynamics. The wheels are made from alloy, making them quite challenging and unlikely to bend when you go over a rock. This bike also has the best paint finish, in my opinion. 

OUR TOP PICK

Giordano Trieste Gravel Bike, 700c Small

This bike has been made by a company called Giordano. It is a gravel bike that is made from Chromoly steel. Both the fork and frame are made from this metal. It means that the bike has an adequate level of durability. That will be important for you when you face the outdoors. It will help prevent the bike from getting any dents on it. The rims are also very important on a gravel bike. These rims are made from alloy and are supported by a double wall in them. It means that they can handle the pressure of a gravel road without bending even under heavyweight. The tires are 700c x 30mm, which is the standard in the industry among gravel bikes. It is not, however, the best that you can find. The bike has mechanical disc brakes which are not the best for gravel roads. It is because sand can cause unwanted friction as you cycle, therefore reducing their stopping powers. The gears on this bicycle have been made by Shimano, which is a well-trusted brand in terms of gear manufacturing. The gearbox is an eight-speed 11-32T. This will be useful if you intend to climb up hills and mountain trails. The forward-facing handles are also well crafted. These will give you additional control in the gravel conditions you are planning to face with the bike. 

Pros

  • Chromoly Steel Frame
  • Chromoly Steel Fork
  • Shimano 8 Speed gearbox
  • Alloy double-wall rims
  • Forward-facing handles for better contro

Cons

  • Mechanical disk brakes
  • Low budget tires

RUNNER UP

Schwinn Mesa 3 Adult Mountain Bike, 21 speeds, 27.5-inch Wheels, Medium Aluminum Frame, Black

This bike manufactured by Schwinn is a well-designed simple gravel bike. It has been designed for purpose rather than for style. The bike comes with an aluminium frame which makes the bike both light and durable. Aluminium bike frames are one of the best structures you can buy for any bike. The suspension is also made from aluminium which will prove useful when facing the uneven gravel. Poor suspension can lead to back pains when you cycle due to hitting heavy bumps along the way. Shimano has made the gears. They are a 21-speed drivetrain Tourney. It can offer the rider greater precision and accuracy in their shifting. The gears also change much faster than a standard gearbox would allow. The bike comes with mechanical brakes, but these are aluminium not just regular metal. It will make for a much more fluid response to your braking needs. The wheels are made from Schwinn’s MTB and are 27.5 inches wide. That is the right size of tire for people who wish to take on gravel and mountain roads. The bike has been designed with a smaller frame than most gravel bikes. It, therefore, will accommodate people who are between 5’2” and 5”6 in height. The seat is adjustable in case you are taller and still want this bike. 

Pros

  • The aluminium frame makes the bike lighter.
  • Aluminium suspension for a smoother ride
  • 21-Speed Shimano gearbox for faster shifting of gears
  • Aluminium brakes for greater fluidity
  • 27.5 Inch Schwinn MTB wheels

Cons

  • The seat is not padded
  • No fenders meaning sand will get onto you

RUNNER UP

SAVADECK Carbon Road Bike, Warwinds3.0 700C Carbon Fiber Racing Bicycle with SORA 18 Speed Derailleur System and Double V Brake (Blue, 54cm)

The Savadeck gravel bike is one of the top options on the list because of the craftsmanship on this product. The colour finish itself is very stylish. Coming in a light blue and red mesh all over the bike, even the tires. You will probably be the most relaxed person on the trail. In terms of performance, it comes with a carbon fibre frame that works wonders on a gravel road. The frame is stiff and lightweight. To prove this, the bike only weighs 9.8Kgs. They have gone with Shimano speed control when designing the gears as have many of the other bikes on this list. It comes with a 29 Speed gearbox. This will enable the rider to start cycling very easily in gravel conditions. It usually is difficult to get going because gravel offers significantly more excellent resistance than tar does however with this bike you won’t even feel that resistance. Savadeck has worked hard on this bike to ensure it is as aerodynamic as a gravel bike can be. All the cables on the bike are internal, so you have nothing slowing you down as you ride. The handling of this bike is one of the best you can get. It has been fitted with a tapered head tube which offers stiffness and control that is needed to tackle gravel roads. The wheels are made from alloy with a 40MM bearing wheelset which is highly reliable on gravel. 

Pros

  • Carbon fibre frame offers stiffness and lightweight.
  • Shimano Sora gearbox for an easy take-off
  • Designed in the wind tunnel for better aerodynamics
  • Internal cables protect against wind damage.
  • Tapered head for better control

Cons

  • The bike is the most expensive on the list.
  • Designed for taller people

RUNNER UP

Trinx TEMPO1.0 700C Road Bike Shimano 21 Speed Racing Bicycle (Black/Green)

This bike manufactured by Trinx is a good contender for the top spot as well. It comes with a fully aluminium frame which, as we discussed, reduces the overall weight of the bike. This bike weighs about 11.8 Kgs. The frame of the bike has been designed for slightly taller people between 5’10 and 6’2. The Trinx Hi-Ten steel fork is very high quality and will allow the bike to remain intact should there be some form of collision. It comes with a Shimano A050 Shifter that will offer you better pedal to power generation, especially in gravel conditions. This will be helpful when trying to climb a gravel mountain trail. The tires are made from alloy metal. Although they may look thin, they are 700c x 25C. This means that they are almost at the industry standard of strength and size. They are fitted on the rim with a double wall which should prevent any dents if you hit a rock whilst you cycle the trail. The colour of the bike is a lime green which I will admit does look very nice. You can also get a blue and white option should you prefer that. The handles are forward-facing, which is always recommended for gravel bikes because of the added stability they offer. 

Pros

  • Hydroformed aluminium frame
  • Hi-Ten steel fork
  • Shimano A050 shifter that helps with take-off
  • Alloy rims with a double wall
  • Front-facing handles

Cons

  • Designed for taller people
  • No fenders to protect you from dust

RUNNER UP

Road Bike TSM 550 49 cm Frame 21 Speed Dual Disc Brake 700C Wheels Bicycle Black White

This bike manufactured by a company called Eurobike is one of the low-medium budget options on the list. It is almost three times cheaper than the most expensive bike on the list. This does not mean that it is not an excellent option to consider. The bike comes with a 21 Speed shifting system and a dual disc brake. It will allow you to cruise comfortably in most gravel conditions, but you may struggle in the case of rain or beach sand. The dual disc brake is also quite decent and should protect you in most cases; however, downhill cycling in sandy places may prove challenging. The bike comes fitted for people with a height of between 5’8 to 6”. The frame is made from regular steel which means that the bike is unlikely to rust very quickly. It also means unfortunately that the bike will be quite heavy and difficult to get started from a standstill. It also means that should the cycle get into a collision it may acquire a dent or two. The wheel size is 700Millimeters which is quite decent. The rims are not made from alloy nor are they double walled. If you plan to cycle this bike, you should do so with the understanding that it is not necessarily as heavy-duty as the other bikes here. 

Pros

  • Relatively affordable
  • Over 12 different designs to choose from 
  • 21 Speed gearbox
  • 85% assembled
  • Front-facing handles

Cons

  • The bike is heavy
  • Dual disc brakes not the best

RUNNER UP

Schwinn Volare 1400 Road 700C Wheel Bicycle, Matte Purple, 48 cm/One Size

This is another option we provided from the manufacturer known as Schwinn. It is not as high performing as the first bike mentioned. It has been included as a decent low-price alternative to the first one mentioned. This bike has been designed for light gravel. It will not do so well in heavy mountain trails. The bike comes with an aluminium frame that will allow the rider to move comfortably gliding through their path. The bike comes with a 14-Speed gearbox that will enable you to get up to high speeds on the trail. However, in cases of heavy gravel or mud, you may struggle to get going with this bike. The brakes are made from an alloy which is quite reliable and will safely be able to slow you down when you are at high speeds. It comes with oversized road tires that are mainly designed for speed. Therefore, I say it is intended for light gravel roads and not heavy gravel. If you live in an area with no roads but want a bike to get from place to place, then this is a good bike for you. It is not necessarily for mountain biking. The handlebar is made from aluminium which means it is easy to control because it is light. 

Pros

  • Aluminium road frame
  • Allot brakes
  • Front-facing aluminium handle
  • Fast bike
  • Bigger tires

Cons

  • Road tires instead of gravel tires
  • Not a powerful bike

Best Women's Gravel Bikes Buying Guide

You’ve already been given a list of some of the best women’s gravel bikes. I’m pretty sure right now you’re wondering which bike to choose from that list. So let us make it all a little bit easier for you. You know the old saying ‘Knowledge is power’. Well, I'm about to make you a rugged biker. In this guide, we’ll be looking at some critical questions that should help you in making your decision. 

What is gravel cycling and a gravel bike?

Let’s start with the most basic and most important question. Just so we know we are on the same page. Everything has a type, including biking. Believe it or not, there are different types of bikes for different kinds of cycling. However, that's a topic for another day. Let’s work with gravel bikes for today.

Unlike cycling to the shops or cycling to the nearest town, gravel cycling is a bit more demanding. It’s not hard per se. Let’s just say it’s different from your regular cycling. There are obstacles, the roads aren’t as smooth, and the paddles aren’t as easy. Don’t think it’s hard. It’s just different like two sides of a coin, same coin different views.

So shortly and most simply, gravel cycling is the dirty kind of cycling. You can expect dirt and stones. Mostly rough terrains and the mountain trails. For that kind of cycling, you can’t expect to use a simple bike. That’s where gravel bikes come in. It's designed to handle the rough roads. It comes with many features and different anatomy which we will look at soon. 

What should you look for in a gravel bike?

While there is no definite look for gravel bikes, what I can tell you is that the anatomy of a gravel bike is quite reliable as compared to that of a regular tour bike. What you should consider when choosing the right gravel bike is the anatomy.

For women, you’d expect a more feminine approach. This features on all bike types. The male saddles and female saddles differ. Along with the handlebars as they come narrower than those of men’s bikes. So here are a few things to look out for when choosing a gravel bike for you. 

  1.  Head angle: For a gravel bike, you can expect a slackened head angle. This helps with stability which is very necessary for gravel trails. 
  2. Low gearing: Another thing to look out for would be low gearing. Gravel roads come with higher rolling resistance. Besides that, some of them tend to get steeper and trust me when I say you will want a low geared bike for that.
  3.  Mounting points: Another thing to look out for are mounting points. You ever heard the term ‘bike-packing’, yeah that’s pretty much what you need on a gravel bike. Some have three, and some have two.  
  4.  Wide clearance: If you want a gravel bike. You are going to want something with a wide clearance. This will help with muddy terrains. The wider the tyres, the more comfortable you’ll get in such situations. 
  5.  Chainstays: On a gravel bike, you’ll be looking for a very stable ride. Longer chainstays offer precisely that especially if you are going on a backpacking adventure.
  6.  Wide flared handlebars and bottom brackets: Besides stability and comfort riding. These two will aid in control, making sure to help with the steering and well as avoiding any obstacles while riding. 

Do gravel bikes need suspension?

As a mode of transport for some, you’d probably find some similarities between a bike and a car. Bikes don’t need much electrical power, and at times they don’t need any at all. Well, that is unless you have yourself an electric bike, but let’s concentrate on gravel bikes for now.

Simply put the answer is no. (https://todogravel.cc/questions-answers-about-gravel-cycling-and-gravel-bicycles) A gravel bike does not need suspension at all. It has the right spring mechanics to make sure that you have a comfortable frame, and at the same time, you are well balanced on those rocky trails.

Bikes need you to move a lot. They require an allowance for slight bouncing, as this aids in controlling the cycle as well as sustaining stability. However, recently there has been talk in the streets that just maybe, the suspension is the future of gravel bikes. The primary purpose of a suspension on a car is to reduce movement by all means. So if you see a gravel bike with a suspension system, be a little cautious. 

What tyres should a gravel bike have?

Let’s just say I saved the best for last. Wheels are a crucial component on a gravel bike. If you get the wrong wheels, let’s just say that joy ride you where planning won’t be as joyful. Tyres are a very critical component on a gravel bike. This you should never get wrong.

With a gravel bike, we are looking for something that can handle the pressure. Something that tough, I'm talking about the Chuck Norris of tyres here. For a gravel bike, you would be better off getting a bike with tyres that can handle the pressure, rolling and also have a decent amount of puncture resistance.

You’ll be riding on some sharp rocks, blunt rocks, old glass etc. Those sandy roads harbour a lot. Trust me when I say you need tough tyres on that bike. So when you are getting your bike. Make sure you ask and have a good set of information on the tyres. Look at how thick they are, the slip resistance, how resistant they are to sharp objects. Last but not least, have a mudguard, and you’ll have a good set of wheels. 

Conclusion

Choosing a gravel bike is not as straightforward as one may think. There are many uses for a gravel bike, and people should know them before they purchase a bike. From a price perspective, we can see that the lower end bikes are for lighter gravel trails where one is not facing much resistance from start to finish. The bike is designed for travelling between nearby farms or areas where there is no tar.

So, does that bike you’ve been thinking about this whole time match these standards? It doesn’t always have to be about looks. So I would not advise you to choose a bike based on the looks. Is anatomy and frame fitting? Is the saddle comfortable for you? Are the handlebars thick? All these questions are important factors that will determine if your bike will fulfil its sole purpose.

In the case of the more expensive bikes, these are designed for heavy gravel encounters. For example, you are cycling on the mountain and it's raining. This will require a more robust and lighter frame that is well designed. It will also need powerful brakes and a high pedal to movement power generation ratio. These bikes have been designed to manage these extreme conditions, which is why they are more expensive. It would be unwise to purchase a lower end bike and then try it out in more dangerous situations. This could put you in danger.

So before you go buying that bike because they told you it’s the right choice. Check to make sure that all-important elements are standard and will work well with the environment you’ll be using it on. We want to make sure that the bike you get will give you the best ride of your life. We set out our research, and we found our top pick rather impressive. Give it another look and see if it matches up to your standards. Other than that, I wish you luck in your search.

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