Best Women’s Gravel Bikes of 2021
Gravel bikes provide an excellent middle ground between road bikes and mountain bikes, allowing you to venture out into nature without sacrificing speed and agility. They typically have a lightweight frame, rigid fork, and 700c wheels with slightly thicker tires than standard road bikes. Most importantly, the frame geometry is adapted to suit riding at speed over rough terrain for long distances.
Women’s vs Men’s Gravel Bikes
Women’s gravel bikes have a shorter top tube than men’s to accommodate shorter arms and provide better reach to the handlebars. They also have shorter stack heights and often a steeper top tube angle to allow for easier mounting.
Women’s saddles or generally shorter and wider, with narrower handlebars and shorter stems. Sizes are available from XS to L, with slightly reduced measurements when compared to men’s bikes of the same sizes. Other than that, women’s gravel bikes commonly use the same gravel-specific geometry and components as men’s bikes.
- Shorter top tube – shorter reach
- Sizes from XS-L
When the roads turn bad – these bikes turn good!
Best unisex & women-specific gravel bikes to buy in 2021
Juliana Quincy CC GRX 700c ‘2022
Best Women’s Gravel Bike 🏆
MSRP: $4,799 evo.com
This exceptional women’s bike from Juliana is the current leader amongst our top gravel bikes for women in 2021. Using the decades of mountain bike experience provided by parent company Santa Cruz, Juliana developed the Quincy CC GRX into a gravel bike with outstanding comfort and durability.
The lightweight Carbon CC frame is stiff and responsive yet surprisingly malleable, swallowing up vibrations with ease. It features a threaded bottom bracket and carbon fork with thru-axles and internal cable routing. Weight is further reduced with 29″ DT Swiss Asym rims that run 700x40c Maxxis Rambler tires – although boost spacing allows up to 650b x 2.1″.
All this is supported by Shimano’s popular gravel-specific 2×11 GRX groupset, with an 11-34t Ultegra cassette and GRX 810 hydraulic disc brakes. Quite simply, the Juliana Quincy CC is one of those perfectly crafted bikes that leaves little room for improvement.
- Carbon fiber
- Shimano GRX 2×11
- DT Swiss XR 361
- Maxxis Rambler tires
- Hydraulic brakes
- 700mm x 40c
Liv Devote 2
Best women’s gravel bike under $1,500
MSRP: $1,300 Liv-cycling
The Devote 2 from Liv Bikes may be an entry-level women’s gravel bike but it’s still one of the best you’ll find under $1,500. The ALUXX-Grade aluminum frame with a composite fork might be the nearest thing you’ll find to carbon, providing excellent strength and rigidity without the extra weight. It also comes with some very decent Giant wheels and others finishings plus an FSA Vero Pro crank.
Naturally, cost-savings had to be made somewhere, with Liv choosing the slightly lower quality Shimano Sora groupset. These budget gears are on the heavy side and can be a bit clunky when shifting but at least they’re tough and durable. Similarly, the Tektro MD-C550 mechanical disc brakes are a wallet-friendly set but when you pull the levers, you’ll stop without trouble.
- Sizes: XS, S, M, L
- Shimano Sora 2x
- Clearance for 45c tires
- Mechanical brakes
Specialized Diverge Comp Carbon
The Diverge Comp Carbon is a top-shelf Specialized gravel bike for women, designed for competitive riders with an eye for the podium. It’s part of the Specialized Diverge women’s series, which includes several other models depending on your budget and riding style.
As the name suggests, the Comp Carbon features a carbon fiber frame designed with Specialized’s advanced FACT technology. This includes Future Shock 2.0 suspension and dampening in the frame and fork, plus an integrated SWAT internal storage box.
Shimano’s GRX groupset provides the ideal 22-speed drivetrain and hydraulic disc brake system for a bike in this category. You also get top-quality DT Swiss G540 tubeless-ready rims with 700mm x 38mm Pathfinder tires – both strong and lightweight for exceptional performance.
- Shimano GRX 11-speed
- DT Swiss G540 rims
- FACT carbon
- Shimano GRX hydro disc brakes
- 700mm x 38mm
Cannondale Topstone 2 Alloy Women’s Bike – 2021
MSRP: $1,600 REI
This affordable aluminum gravel bike from Cannondale is a great all-rounder for work commutes, outdoor getaways, or recreational gravel races. The SmartForm C2 alloy material balances durability and performance to provide a lightweight, long-lasting frame. Despite the low price, you still get an impressive Shimano GRX 400 groupset featuring a 20-speed drivetrain and hydraulic disc brakes.
It’s not quite a competitive-level women’s gravel bike but it’ll keep you ahead of the pack on weekend rides. Even the relatively mid-range WTB ST i23 wheels and 37mm Riddler tires are decent components in this price range, making this women’s gravel bike a good buy for the price.
- 2×10 Shimano GRX
- Hydraulic disc brakes
- 700c x 37mm
Co-op Cycles ADV 2.3 Bike
Best value women’s gravel bike!
MSRP: $2,399 REI.com
The ADV in the name stands for adventure and this women’s gravel bike from Co-op Cycles sure lives up to its name! With fat 40mm WTB Nano tires, an X-Fusion Manic dropper post, and a carbon fork, the ADV 2.3 is built for high-speed charging along gravel roads and mountain trails.
The price hovers around the mid-range but looking at the component set you’d expect it to be closer to the high end. Most remarkable is the killer Shimano GRX 810 groupset comprising a 1×11 drivetrain featuring an RD Shadow Plus derailleur. This includes GRX 800 hydraulic disc brakes which lock on to ever-popular WTB ST i23 rims, making this truly one of the best value women’s gravel bikes available today.
- Shimano GRX
- Hydro brakes
- 700c x 40mm
- Dropper seat post
- Weight: 22lbs 5 oz
MSRP: $2,200 Bianchi
The Impulso is an aluminum and carbon gravel bike at an affordable price, combining a set of mid-range components with Bianchi’s tried and tested frame engineering. The full carbon fork and lightweight Allroad Alu frame are a joy to experience, making gravel ascents a breeze.
Notable components include the 2×11 gravel-specific Shimano groupset, which pairs GRX 810 derailleurs with a GRX 600 crank, providing effortless shifting. Even more remarkable, Shimano’s BR-RX400 hydraulic disc brakes are some of the best available, often seen on higher-priced gravel bikes.
The Impulso Bianchi women’s gravel bike might be a bit more expensive than average but with its collection of top-class specs, you won’t be disappointed. The only potential upgrade you might consider are the Kenda tires which are a bit basic for a bike in this range.
- Full carbon frame
- Kenda Alluvium 700c x 40mm
- Shimano GRX 2×11
- Shimano BR-RX400 hydraulic disc brakes
MASI – Brunello GRX ‘2021
MSRP: $1,999 JensonUSA.com
This aluminum gravel bike from the little-known brand Masi is a very well-priced bike for those who like something a bit unique. The vintage Italian manufacturer is now owned and operated by US-based Haro Bikes but maintains its classic roots. The extra-large 700x40c Kenda Flintridge tires are a particularly noticeable feature, highlighting Brunello’s off-road capabilities (with clearance up to 45mm).
Road vibrations are swallowed up by both the carbon fork and seat post, making for an incredibly smooth ride. It features the gravel standard 1×11 Shimano GRX 600 groupset paired with GRX 400 hydraulic disc brakes. With beautiful finishings from minimalist part maker Brev M, this women’s gravel bike certainly stands out in the crowd.
- Aluminum frame, carbon fork & seat post
- Shimano GRX
- Hydro disc brakes
- 700c x 40mm (Clearance for 45mm tires)
- 1×11 Shimano GRX (11-42T)
- TLR wheels & rims
Giant – Revolt 2 ‘2020
MSRP: $2,000 Giant-bikes
Giant has long been a leading road bike and MTB manufacturer and they continue that tradition in the new gravel scene. The Revolt 2 was voted one of the best women’s gravel bikes in 2020 and we can see why.
This is likely due to the Giant’s clever frame geometry that translates perfectly to the gravel experience. The ALUXX Grade aluminum frame and carbon composite fork are supported by groundbreaking Contact XR D-Fuse technology in the handlebar and seat post, helping to absorb road vibrations and smooth out your ride.
Despite keeping costs down with a relatively basic Shimano Sora drivetrain, the Revolt feels solid and dependable in loose or rough terrain. It’s finished off with Giant Conduct hydraulic disc brakes and 32/48 FSA crank and bottom bracket.
- Alloy frame & carbon fork
- Shimano Sora
- 700mm x 38c
- Hydraulic disc brakes
Santa Cruz Stigmata
Fits both 700c and 650b/27.5″ wheels
MSRP: $4,299 Santa Cruz Bicycles
Santa Cruz is one of the most popular mountain bike brands in the US and the Stigmata is its answer to professional CX and gravel biking. With a frame that fits both 700c and 650b wheel sizes with up to 2.1″ tires, it’s a bit different from your standard gravel bike. Santa Cruz used elements of its famous Highball MTB and Danny MacAskill’s trials bike to create this award-winning gravel racer.
With a full carbon frame, SRAM Rival 1 groupset, and an incredible weight of only 20 lbs (9kg), it’s no wonder the price tag is eye-watering. Not to mention DT Swiss hubs, WTB rims, and Maxxis tires, the Stigmata is a veritable ‘whos-who’ of the world’s best bike part manufacturers. If you’ve got the budget for it, you won’t find much in the gravel bike world to top this beauty.
- Carbon CC
- Tire Clearance: 45mm (700c) or 2.1″ (650b)
- SRAM Rival 1
- Weight: 20 lbs
Santa Cruz Bicycles
Diamondback Haanjo 2
Best budget women’s gravel bike
MSRP $925 Diamondback
On the other side of the pricing brackets, the Haanjo 2 from Diamondback is probably the best women’s gravel bike under $1,000. The low cost means it’s the perfect introductory bike for those who aren’t sure yet if gravel riding is for them.
Naturally, you’re not going to get any fancy bells and whistles here. The Haanjo 2 features Shimano’s budget Claris groupset paired with rather clunky Tektro mechanical disc brakes. The aluminum frame is quite heavy and it has entry-level Vee Rubber tires on stock standard Diamondback rims.
However, that’s not to say it’s a bad bike for the price – everything works well and you can certainly hit some backcountry trails and have a lot of fun on the Haanjo 2. Smaller riders will appreciate this women’s gravel bike’s XS frame size.
- Aluminum frame
- Mechanical disc brakes
- Shimano Claris 2x8speed
- 700c x 40mm
- Sizes from XS
Kona Libre ‘2022
MSRP: Check at Konaworld
The Libre is an affordable Kona women’s gravel bike that is built for adventure, whether it be offroad racing, bikepacking, or just an exciting work commute. The 6061 aluminum frame and SRAM 11-speed Apex drivetrain are decent enough parts that keep costs down without sacrificing quality.
The drivetrain is also paired with TRP disc brakes rather than matching SRAM parts, helping to make the Libre even more affordable. On the wheels, you get mid-range WTB ST i23 rims on 45mm WTB Riddler tires – a reliable wheelset that has proven itself in rough conditions.
Kona is known for its excellent craftsmanship, so even though some of the components on the Libre are mid-level, overall it looks and feels high quality.
- Aluminum frame
- Sizes: 50-58
- SRAM Apex
- 700c x 45mm
- TLR-ready rims
MSRP: $3,130 Trekbikes
When it comes to pure speed, acceleration, and responsiveness, you just can’t beat carbon. Trek makes some of the best carbon racing bikes out there, and that experience and ingenuity are clearly visible in the Checkpoint.
With a 500 Series OCLV Carbon frame, 22-speed Shimano GRX drivetrain, and RX400 hydraulic disc brakes, this Trek women’s gravel bike is a beauty to ride. The stunning combination of high-quality carbon and top-of-the-range parts means it weighs in at just 21.43 lbs (9.7kg), one of the lightest women’s gravel bikes for sale.
Even the standard Bontrager tubeless-ready rims and 700x40c tires react well to rough, offroad conditions, making the Checkpoint a real pleasure to ride. Naturally, the price matches the quality but trust me, it’ll be worth that second mortgage.
- SL Carbon
- Shimano GRX 1×11
- 700c x 40mm tires
- Weight: 22lbs
- Hydraulic disc brakes
Didn’t find what you were looking for?
Surly – Ogre. A great steel gravel bike by steel-specific bike brand.
What are gravel bikes good for?
Gravel bikes, as the name suggests, are designed to be ridden on gravel, dirt, or in other mild off-road conditions. They can’t handle the same rocky terrain as mountain bikes but handle loose dirt better than road bikes.
Gravel bikes have many uses beyond recreational riding as they make excellent touring bikes, bikepacking bikes, commuter bikes, and general all-rounders.
The variety of women-specific frames
Among all the different types of bikes for women, the number of women-specific gravel bikes is still a new trend. Therefore, this is quite a good selection but not as comparable as road- or mountain bikes.
Are gravel bikes also suitable for bike touring?
Yes, gravel bikes are generally quite strong and built to handle all types of terrain so they make good touring bikes. They are also lighter and faster than mountain bikes on pavement and tarmac.
While steel gravel bikes are less common than alloy or carbon, there are some available from niche manufacturers like Pure Cycles and Surly. These bikes make particularly good touring bikes due to their durability and easily repairable frames.