Are you looking for a new bike to ride on gravel roads? If so, you may be wondering if a steel bike is the best option. In this post, we’ll explore the pros and cons of using a steel frame for gravel riding, and we’ll help you decide if it’s the right choice for you. So don’t hesitate – keep reading to learn more!
Why consider a steel gravel bike?
Steel is a more affordable option for bike frames when compared to materials like titanium or carbon fiber. While those materials may be more durable and offer more performance benefits, steel is a good option for those looking for an affordable bike that can still handle gravel roads and light off-road use. Additionally, steel frames can be repaired relatively quickly, a significant advantage over more fragile materials.
Steel frames are well-known for their compliance or ability to absorb shock. This makes them ideal for gravel riding, as the added comfort can help offset the jarring effect of riding over rough terrain. Additionally, steel’s natural vibration-damping properties can make for a more pleasant ride overall.
Steel is an excellent material for gravel bikes because it offers a smooth ride and absorbs vibration well. This makes them ideal for long-distance touring, bike packing, and riding on rough terrain. They are also solid and durable so they can handle a lot of abuse.
Gravel bikes are becoming increasingly popular, and steel is an excellent choice for those looking for a bike that can handle all types of terrain. If you’re looking for a gravel bike built to last, a steel frame is a way to go.
Steel is a strong material that can be easily repaired if damaged. This makes it a good choice for a gravel bike, which may be subject to rough treatment on the trail.
Steel is a durable material that can be used to construct a bike frame. Gravel bikes are designed for off-road riding, and a steel frame can handle the abuse that comes with this type of cycling. A steel frame is also relatively lightweight, which makes it a good option for a gravel bike.
Several methods can be used to construct a steel frame. The most common practice is TIG welding, which uses high-strength steel tubing that is joined together using heat and pressure. This type of frame construction is powerful and can withstand much abuse.
Another method that can be used to build a steel frame is lugged construction. Steel tubes are joined together using lugs or metal fittings in this method. This type of frame is not as strong as a TIG-welded frame but is lighter in weight.
A third option for constructing a steel frame is fillet brazing. This method uses a brazing process to join thin steel strips. This type of frame is lighter than a TIG-welded frame but is not as strong.
When choosing a gravel bike, it is essential to consider the riding that you will be doing. If you plan on doing a lot of off-road riding, then a steel frame is a good option. A lighter-weight frame might be a better choice if you plan on doing mostly road riding.
Steel is a great option if you’re looking for a gravel bike that provides excellent ride quality and is more affordable than some other materials on the market.
Below we look at some of the best steel gravel bikes available on the market today.
Best Steel Gravel Bikes
Bombtrack Beyond 1
With the Bombtrack Beyond 1, you finally have the perfect bike for your off-road adventures. The robust frame can handle a load of up to 140kg, making it ideal for carrying all the gear you need for a long day on the trails.
The geometry is optimized for gravel riding, so you can easily tackle any terrain. And with the ability to run tires in the mountain bike width range, you’ll have no problem taking on whatever the trail throws at you.
So go ahead and let yourself loose on the open road – with the Bombtrack Beyond 1, nothing is standing in your way.
Niner RLT 9 steel
If you’re looking for a great steel gravel bike that is versatile and built with high-quality materials, the Niner RLT 9 Steel is a great option. It’s available in 2, 3, or 4-star models, so you can choose the one that best fits your needs and budget.
Whether you’re looking to use it for commuting, light touring, or racing, the RLT 9 Steel is a great choice. Its compatibility with 700 x 50c tires and 650b x 2.0″ tires makes it even more versatile. Integrated frame mounts, external cable routing, and rack and fender mounts make it even more versatile.
So if you’re looking for a great steel gravel bike, the Niner RLT 9 Steel should be at the top of your list.
Marin Nicasio 2
The Marin Nicasio 2 is an excellent option if you’re looking for a versatile steel gravel bike that can do it all. It’s perfect for everything from commuting to light touring and even some light off-road riding.
The generous tire clearance and rack/fender compatibility make it an excellent choice for those who want a do-it-all bike.
However, some might find the geo a bit too relaxed and the lack of a water bottle mount to be the downside.
Ribble CGR 725
The CGR 725 is the perfect bike for anyone looking for a fast, comfortable, and versatile gravel bike. With its Reynolds 725 frameset, Shimano Ultegra drivetrain, and hydraulic disc brakes, it’s sure to meet all your needs and exceed your expectations.
If you’re looking for a gravel bike that can do it all, the CGR 725 is a perfect choice. Order yours today!
Norco Search XR Steel
If you’re looking for a gravel bike that’s offered in steel, carbon, and aluminum versions, the Norco Search XR is a great option. You’ll be able to get the same bike in three different materials, so you can choose the one that’s right for you. The Reynolds 725 tubing frameset and carbon fork make for a durable and comfortable bike, and you can pick from three different spec levels to get the features and components you want.
The Straggler is a highly versatile bike that can be adapted to various riding conditions and scenarios. It’s an excellent choice for someone who wants a do-it-all bike that can handle a little bit of everything.
The Straggler is an excellent choice for:
– light touring
– gravel riding
– cyclocross racing
– utility purposes
The bike is also available in several different frame sizes to fit riders of all sizes.
If you’re looking for a versatile and reliable steel gravel bike, the Surly Straggler is an excellent option.
Kevin of Steel III
The frame and fork are both made of steel, which gives a comfortable ride on gravel roads and also ensures that the bike can handle a lot of punishment.
The bike can run either 650b or 700c tires, so you can choose the size that best suits the terrain you’ll be riding on.
The bike has many mounting options, so you can add all the accessories you need for your ride.
The steel frame and fork give a comfortable ride on gravel roads.
If you’re looking for a versatile, rugged, and comfortable bike for mixed terrain cycling, then the Kevin of Steel III is a perfect choice.
Kona Rove ST
Overall, the Kona Rove ST is an excellent option for riders looking for a versatile, reliable, affordable gravel bike. It is a perfect choice for commuters or riders who want a bike that can handle a variety of terrain. Better options are available if you are looking for an actual off-road machine. But if you want a solid all-around bike that won’t break the bank, the Rove ST is a great choice.
Jamis Renegade S2
Steel frame bikes have a long and storied history within cycling. They’re known for being both durable and comfortable, which makes them perfect for gravel riding.
The Jamis Renegade S2 is made with Reynolds 520 double-butted steel tubing. This makes the frame solid and lightweight while still providing a smooth ride.
You’ll also find that the S2 comes with a carbon fork, which helps to absorb vibrations from the road.
The Renegade S2 is available in men’s and women’s specific frame geometry. It’s also available in five different sizes so that you can find the perfect fit for your riding style.
The Jamis Renegade S2 comes equipped with Shimano Sora 9-speed shifters and derailleurs. Sora is Shimano’s entry-level groupset, but it still provides smooth shifting and reliable performance. The cassette is an 11-32t, which gives you a wide range of gears to choose from when climbing or descending.
The Jamis Renegade S2 rolls on WTB ST i19 TCS rims and WTB Venture Comp tires. The rims are tubeless-ready so you can ditch the tubes for a smoother, more efficient ride. The tires are 50mm wide and provide plenty of traction and stability on gravel roads.
The Jamis Renegade S2 is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a high-quality gravel bike that’s built with steel. It offers a smooth ride, a durable frame, and all the necessary features for tackling any gravel adventure.
Specialized Sequoia Elite
The Sequoia is an excellent choice for anyone looking for a steel gravel bike that is versatile and affordable. It is perfect for commuting or gravel riding, and its well-thought-out component spec sheet makes it an excellent choice for anyone looking for a bike that can do it all.
The Sequoia is available in two different colorways, so you can choose the one that best suits your style. You’ll feel like a badass when you ride this bike, and it will make you want to get out and explore more. With its high-quality Chromoly steel frame and confidence-inspiring geometry, the Sequoia is an excellent choice for anyone looking to take their riding to the next level.
Specialized Sequoia Elite
The Sequoia Elite is an excellent choice for those looking for a high-quality gravel bike that’s ready to hit the road. The frame is lightweight and durable carbon fiber, and the fork is also made of carbon fiber to absorb shocks from the road. There are mounts on the frame for three water bottles, making it easy to stay hydrated on long rides. The Sequoia has standard touring geometry designed for stability and comfort while riding. The bike comes with hand-built Hayfield wheels, which are lightweight and robust. If you’re looking for a gravel bike ready to tackle any adventure, the Sequoia Elite is a great option.
Norco Search XR Steel
The Norco Search XR Steel is the perfect choice for riders who want a unique ride feel and a head-turning frame. Thanks to the lightweight steel frame and high-modulus carbon fork, this bike is comfortable and smooth, making it an excellent choice for any rider.
There are several reasons why steel is often touted as the best material for gravel bikes. First and foremost, steel is solid and durable, meaning it can withstand a lot of abuse on the trails. It’s also relatively lightweight compared to other materials like aluminum or titanium, making it ideal for longer rides where every ounce counts.