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Choosing the Best Gravel Bike for Women Under $2000

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Choosing the correct bike can be difficult, especially when there are so many different options available. If you don’t know much about bikes and their specifications, it might seem particularly challenging to choose what works best for you. Gravel bikes are excellent options for many different terrain types and uses.

Choosing a gravel bike for women means deciding on the frame, size, and necessary features that you’ll need. Depending on how you want to use the bike, you’ll need to take into account the material used and the dimensions that fit your body. If you don’t, you’ll end up experiencing discomfort.

The rest of this article will delve into the details of gravel bikes for women. We’ll talk about the features of a good gravel bike, what they are used for, and the materials typically used for the frame and fork. Additionally, we’ll discuss the distinctions between using unisex and women’s-specific gravel bikes and whether or not it really makes a difference in which one you buy.

What Is a Gravel Bike?

These bikes are one of the most popular models in circulation today. They can be used on various terrains and have the capabilities to move at high speeds on difficult ground. 

A gravel bike is designed to allow the rider to experience different surfaces with ultra-stable techniques. These bikes often have thicker tires, and their handlebars are located at a lower point at the front of the bike. They’re great for basic commuting purposes and functional off-roading.

Built for sustainability and balance, gravel bikes are ultra-modern and sport a streamlined physique designed for ultimate durability on all kinds of terrain

This means that you can use a gravel bike on flat tarmac as well as gravel roads. You can also use it for woods and off-roading, maintaining the same light performance on all of the above.

Features of a Good Gravel Bike

Gravel bikes are becoming ever more popular since they can be used on many terrains. They also tend to be incredibly durable, built with comfort and stability in mind. You’ll need to bear in mind a few things when looking for a gravel bike that suits you, and the most important factor is what you’ll use it for.

How You Intend To Use It

How you intend to use your gravel bike is the first thing you’ll need to consider. There are a few options for this, including:

  • Getting to and from work
  • Shopping excursions
  • Off-roading
  • Leisure activities

I’ll go into more detail on these below, giving you a better idea of precisely what specifications you’ll need to look out for.

Women on gravel bike with luggage for bike packing
Gravel bike set up for bike packing

Getting to and From Work

If you just want to use your gravel bike for basic commuting, then the only thing you’ll be looking for is simple durability. You may not need super thick tires for this since you’ll likely be traveling mainly on flat tarmac. The most important thing to remember is that it needs to perfectly fit you and your body.

Getting the perfect fit is essential in this case since it needs to be comfortable enough that you feel confident cycling alongside cars. If you feel confident and relaxed on the bike, you’ll be less likely to have an accident.

Shopping Excursions

The specifications needed for this are largely similar to the ones required for basic commuting. The only difference is you might need to install a bag, satchel, or strap on the back of the bike. Doing this means choosing a gravel bike with sufficient space on the back for you to customize it to carry heavy loads frequently.

Getting a rack and mudguard are important in this case. You don’t want your shopping bags covered in dirt from the road, and the rack will help keep the bags stable while you’re cycling.

Off-Roading

Grave bike with mounts on fork for extra water bottles
This gravel bike has mounts on the fork for extra water bottles or luggage. Choose a gravel bike with mounts on the frame and fork for luggage and water bottles if you plan long trips in the saddle.

If you intend to use your gravel bike for off-roading purposes, you’ll need to ensure the tires are thick enough to withstand rugged terrain. Wider tires mean greater stability, so this is an essential feature in this instance.

You’ll also need to get a bike built streamlined enough to increase your speed, so you may need the handlebars to sit slightly closer together (especially if you’re a woman with a smaller physique) to allow for optimized cycling.

A good suspension is also something you’ll need to consider since this is what will keep you comfortable and stable. If the bike is rocking around from left to right, you’ll be more likely to fall off, and the ride will be bumpier.

Leisure Activities

Whether you’re going for short bike rides on a Sunday or family outings through the park, your bike needs to fit you properly. Even for short leisure activities, the gravel bike you choose will determine how comfortable these trips are.

Even if you’re buying a gravel bike for the occasional relaxing outing, always ensure that your gravel bike fits you well. The handlebar needs to have the correct length and width for your body.

Regardless of how you intend to use your bike, you’ll need to make sure it’s comfortable for you. There’s no need to buy a gravel bike fit for mountain biking if you’re only going to use it for groceries. 

You can always get the same gravel bike as you would for shopping and commuting if you only need a gravel bike for leisure purposes.

Frame and Fork Material

The most common materials present in a gravel bike are aluminum and carbon fiber. While you could use any material to build a bike, the reality is that some are better than others. For example, a steel frame will be much heavier than a carbon one, and aluminum tends to be the cheapest material for those on a budget.

How stiff the frame and fork material is will determine the bike’s stability and how heavy it will be. Carbon fiber frames are certainly more rigid than aluminum frames, but they don’t show damage or cracks easily.

Mixing materials is often your best bet. An aluminum frame with a fork made from carbon fiber is often the most prudent choice and will ensure durability and stability when you’re going at high speeds for long distances.

Some older gravel bike frames are made from titanium, but they snap easily – which means you probably don’t want this material on your bike if you’re planning on going off-roading. However, if you only use the bike for grocery shopping, titanium might suit you just fine.

Before deciding on a gravel bike, make sure you bear in mind precisely what you’ll be using it for since this will determine the best material for your needs.

Author riding gravel bike on gravel rail to trail in Ashton, Idaho
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Unisex vs. Women’s Specific

Just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you have to buy a women’s bike. The fundamental difference between a unisex and a woman’s bike is reach and stack; if you can purchase a unisex bike in a size that better suits your frame, that will work just fine.

You might get a broader range of feminine colors if you purchase a women’s bike, but this shouldn’t be your first priority when choosing a bike. In reality, you can choose any bike you fancy, as long as it fits your body.

However, one thing that might be slightly different on a women’s specific bike is the seat. It might be made in such a way that enables you to sit more comfortably. However, you can change the seat of any bike you buy, whether it be unisex or a bike specifically for females – so don’t let gender limitations stop you. 

The most important thing in choosing a bike is the fit. Even if the bike was made for men, if it fits you best, it’s the bike for you.

*Prices listed below are as of May 25, 2022. Prices may have changed.

Comparison Table

Brand/ModelFrame MaterialFork MaterialWomen’s SpecificDrivetrainPrice
Diamondback Haanjo 3AluminumAluminumNoShimano Sora 2×9-speed$1,175.00
Tommaso IllimitateAluminumCarbonNoShimano Tiagra 2 x 10-speed$1,199.99
Liv Devote 2AluminumCompositeYesShimano Sora, 2×9-speed$1,450.00
Cannondale Topstone 3AluminumCarbonNoShimano Sora, 9-speed$1,525.00
Scott Contessa Speedster 25 EQAluminumAluminumYesShimano Tiagra, 20-speed$1,599.99
Diamondback Haanjo 4AluminumCarbonNoShimano Tiagra 2×10-speed$1,600.00
Salsa Journeyer Apex 1AluminumCarbonNoSRAM Apex-1, 11-speed$1,799.00
Trek Domane AL 4 DiscAluminumCarbonNoShimano Tiagra, 2 x 10-speed$1,799.99
Canyon Grizl 6AluminumCarbonNoShimano GRX 400, 2 x 10-speed$1,899.00
Specialized Diverge E5AluminumCarbonNoShimano GRX, 2 x 10-speed$2,000.00

Liv Devote 2

Liv Devote 2 Be Good Edition

Features

  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Fork: Composite
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Sora, 2×9-speed
  • Women’s Specific: Yes
  • Tires/Size: 700x38c, Tubeless
  • Colors: Grayish Blue
  • Brakes: Mechanical Disc
  • Price: $1,450.00

Scott Contessa Speedster 25 EQ

Scott Contessa Speedster 25EQ

Features

  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Fork: Aluminum
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Tiagra, 20-speed
  • Women’s Specific: Yes
  • Tires/Size: 700x40c
  • Colors: Dark Purple
  • Brakes: Mechanical Disc
  • Other: Equipped with Syncros fender kit. The perfect bike for commuting.
  • Price: $1,599.99

Specialized Diverge E5

Specialized Diverge E5 shown in color Satin Redwood

Features

  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Fork: Carbon
  • Drivetrain: Shimano GRX, 2 x 10-speed
  • Women’s Specific: No
  • Tires/Size: 700x38c
  • Colors: 3 colors: Gloss Lagoon Blue, Satin Redwood and Gloss Slate
  • Brakes: Hydraulic Disc
  • Price: $2,000.00

Cannondale Topstone 3

Cannondale Topstone 3 shown in color Black Cherry

Features

  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Fork: Carbon
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Sora, 9-speed
  • Women’s Specific: No
  • Tires/Size: 700x37c
  • Colors: 2 colors: Black Cherry, Graphite
  • Brakes: Mechanical Disc
  • Price: $1,525.00

Canyon Grizl 6

Canyon Grizl 6 in the color Matcha

Features

  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Fork: Carbon
  • Drivetrain: Shimano GRX 400, 2 x 10-speed
  • Women’s Specific: No
  • Tires/Size: 2XS and XS bikes roll on 650B for smaller riders for better handling and control. Small and larger frames roll on 700C.
  • Colors: Matcha
  • Brakes: Disc
  • Other: Great bike for bike packing and commuting. This bike has mounts for racks. There are also fork mounts for extra luggage or bottles.
  • Price: $1,899.00

Trek Domane AL 4 Disc

Trek Domane AL4 Disc shown in color Radioactive Red

Features

  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Fork: Carbon
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Tiagra, 2 x 10-speed
  • Women’s Specific: No
  • Tires/Size: 700x32c
  • Colors: 3 colors – Gloss Trek Black/Matte Trek Black, Gloss Radioactive Red/Matte Black and Era White/Carbon Smoke
  • Brakes: Hydraulic Disc
  • Other: Rack and fender mounts. Frame geometry is an endurance fit. This bike can be used for competitive rides and races.
  • Price: $1,799.99

Salsa Journeyer Apex 1

Salsa Journeyer Apex 1 700c in the color Red-Orange

Features

  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Fork: Carbon
  • Drivetrain: SRAM Apex-1, 11-speed
  • Women’s Specific: No
  • Tires/Size: 700x38c – also comes in a 650b size
  • Colors: Red-Orange
  • Brakes: Disc
  • Other: Mounts for racks, fenders and accessories.
  • Price: $1,799.00

Tommaso Illimitate

Tommaso Illimitate

Features

  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Fork: Carbon
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Tiagra 2 x 10-speed
  • Women’s Specific: No
  • Tires/Size: 700×40
  • Colors: Matte Black
  • Brakes: Disc
  • Other: UltraCompact flattop bars maximizing comfort, and reducing hand pressure.
  • Price: $1,199.99

Diamondback Haanjo 4

Diamondback Haanjo 4 shown in color Matte Gray

Features

  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Fork: Carbon
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Tiagra 2×10-speed
  • Women’s Specific: No
  • Tires/Size: 700x37c
  • Colors: Matte Gray
  • Brakes: Mechanical Disc
  • Price: $1,600.00

Diamondback Haanjo 3

Diamondback Haanjo 3 in the color Amber Gloss

Features

  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Fork: Aluminum
  • Drivetrain: Shimano Sora 2×9-speed
  • Women’s Specific: No
  • Tires/Size: 700x37c
  • Colors: Amber Gloss
  • Brakes: Mechanical Disc
  • Other: Frame is an endurance geometry putting the rider in a comfortable position for long rides.
  • Price: $1,175.00

Conclusion

Choosing the right gravel bike is crucial to your overall comfort when cycling, whether it be a jaunt to the shops or off-roading on a rocky mountain trail. Choose the right size and fit for you, and make sure the frame and fork material is suitable for your chosen purpose.

Related Articles:

Are Gravel Bikes Worth It? Here’s What You Need to Know

Are Gravel Bikes Comfortable?

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