A gravel bike is a curious thing. It’s easily mistaken for a road bike at first glance. Sure, it’s a road bike — it’s a road bike that eats rocks for breakfast.
No wonder they call them “adventure bikes.” Gravel bikes are supreme crowd-pleasers, offering aerodynamics, power transfer, compliance, and ruggedness in one package. They treat the dirt like pavement. And the pavement? They treat it like dirt.
And so today, we here at Mike’s Bikes are faced with a tough decision: picking our top three favorite gravel bikes. The truth is that there’s no real consensus — but we’ve done our best anyway. Here goes:
Specialized Diverge Pro Carbon
Sure, we could have chosen the top-of-the-line Specialized S-Works Roubaix, but hear us out. The Diverge Pro Carbon is really just that bike. It represented a bold, brave leap of engineering and faith for a company that could have just as easily rested on its laurels and tweaked an existing design.
The Diverge Pro Carbon is inspired by everything that worked well in Specialized’s lineup. Riding it offers a sustained high that starts when you clip in and wears off somewhere in your third REM sleep cycle that night. With a full FACT 9r carbon fiber frame and the endlessly practical SWAT door storage compartment, the Diverge Pro stays stiff yet compliant over varied terrain. The Future Shock 2.0 damper adds a full 20mm of travel without suspension, the Roval Terra CL rims on Specialized sealed-bearing hubs stay smooth and strong in any conditions.
The package is rounded out with SRAM Force eTap AXS Hydraulic shifters, giving you complete control whether you’re blazing over asphalt or gobbling down some washer board.
BMC Roadmachine 01 One
Rough, variable conditions are in the wheelhouse of BMC’s backyard terrain, and it shows in the Roadmachine 01 One. Compliant and geometrically dialed to the nearest nanometer, this bike gives you the balance between power transfer, performance, stability, and speed you would expect from a top-of-the-line bike.
Its components don’t fail to amaze. It features carbon everything — including the seat — and weighs just 7.55 kg. Its SRAM RED eTap AXS wireless electronic derailleurs slide you instantly into gear front and back, while HRD brakes give you the stopping power you need to pull Gs after a searing downhill.
Specialized Turbo Creo SL Comp Carbon Evo
Coming in at the lightest weight in its class, the Specialized Turbo Creo SL Comp Carbon Evo shows you how much fun you can have when you throw a ≤80-mile range battery into the mix. With a FACT 11r carbon frame and the famed Future Shock 2.0 fork, this e-bike increases your speed and range without sacrificing an iota of the gravel riding experience.
The magic starts in the fact that this bike feels (and is) every bit as comfortable, spec’d-out, and rugged as its non-motorized counterparts. An SL 1.1 motor gives you twice your pedaling power with a maximum of 240 extra watts. Responsive torque execution and a 1x Shimano GRX drivetrain mean no pedal resistance.
You’ll love the feel of DT Boost wheels soaking up every bump in the road. And if you sync up with Mission Control, you’ll get smart ride monitoring and detailed info on your battery range.
About Mike’s Bikes: Mike’s Bikes is a growing family of local bike shops, all with a singular purpose - to get as many people on bikes as possible. We locally own and operate twelve wildly successful stores in Northern California. In addition to our brick-and-mortar shops, mikesbikes.com is one of the top online bicycle retail sites in the country.