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The Best Race-Ready Gravel Bikes Marked Down Now

Are you ready for gravel racing season? Or are you still looking for the perfect race rig? With our Spring Fever markdowns, there are now plenty of great deals on super-fast gravel bikes.

Written by: Bruce Lin

Published on:

Posted in:Gravel

Photo: Dane Cronin

Are you entering a gravel race this year? Or are you dreaming of doing big mileage or conquering an epic adventure? Then you'll want a gravel bike that enhances your performance and gets you stoked to ride. Even if you aren't a racer, you probably still enjoy the feeling of going fast and getting fitter. We are lucky to be living in gravel's golden age with speedy bikes that are leaner, meaner, and more fun than ever. TPC carries plenty of podium contenders, and right now many are getting marked down as much as 45%! I’ve been browsing these discounted bikes, hunting for the best high-value gravel race weapons. Here are some of my top picks. 

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2021 Factor ViSTA - 56cm

Factor Vista

Price: $6,499.99 5,849.99

The Factor LS and Ostro Gravel are probably the first bikes gravel riders will look at, but don’t sleep on the ViSTA. I spent a lot of 2021 riding the ViSTA on my local gravel roads and it impressed me with its unique blend of comfort, speed, and versatility. With clearance for 35mm tires, it’s more of an “All-Road” bike than a full-on gravel bike, but that’s exactly why I liked it so much. It feels light and efficient like a road bike on the pavement, but it has enough range to handle rowdy terrain (people have raced them at Unbound). It’s the perfect tool for routes that feature a lot of pavement or smoother gravel (like BWR and SBT GRVL). 

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Open U.P.P.E.R. - Large

Open Upper

Price: $7,249.99 6,529.99

Open bikes are designed by Gerard Vroomen, one of the engineers who founded Cervelo bikes. Like a boutique clothing designer, Open “works hard to stay small,” and its gravel bikes have an understated but purposeful aesthetic that I love. In fact, when the original Open U.P. came out as gravel was taking off, it was probably the first gravel bike I ever lusted after. The U.P.P.E.R. is a souped-up version of the U.P. which shaves 180g off the already lightweight carbon frame. It’s compatible with 700c x 40mm or 650b x 51mm tires so it can tackle a massive range of terrain. 

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2021 BMC Urs 01 One - Large


Price: $8,349.99 6,959.99

Urs stands for “UnReStricted” and it’s designed for the demands of “aggressive” gravel riding. The geometry takes cues from mountain bikes with a slack 70° head angle and a longer reach and wheelbase for stability and confidence on loose descents and technical trails. The rear end uses BMC's proprietary Micro Travel Technology (MTT) seat stays that soak up chatter with an integrated elastomer. Originally developed for BMC's championship-winning XC mountain bikes, it adds comfort and control with virtually no extra weight and very little maintenance. If chunky gravel is on the menu, the Urs will eat it up. 

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2019 Cervelo Aspero - 61cm

Cervelo Aspero

Price: $4,899.99 4,319.99

Cervelo’s tagline for the Aspero is “haul ass, not cargo,” and that tells you pretty much everything you need to know. While many gravel bikes favor relaxed geometry — higher stack and slacker angles — the Aspero goes the opposite direction with lower stack height for a more aggressive riding position and steeper head and seat tube angles for agile handling. While it might tap out on the really rough stuff before gravel bikes that use compliance features and laid-back geometry, it will give riders an edge when it comes to going bar-to-bar, racing up a climb, or sprinting for the finish. Plus, if you’re a road racer then you’ll feel right at home with the long and low position. 

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2021 Cannondale Topstone Carbon Lefty - X-Large

Cannondale Topstone Carbon Lefty

Price: $4,249.99 3,2759.99

In traditional Cannondale style, its flagship Topstone gravel bike uses one of the most innovative rear suspension systems around. Called “kingpin suspension,” the rear end has the ability to move up thanks to a thru-axle pivot on the seat tube that allows the entire back of the carbon frame to flex up to 30mm, like a series of connected leaf springs. It massively improves rear-end comfort and traction while barely adding any weight. The Lefty version adds even more cushion over the regular Topstone with Cannondale’s 30mm travel Lefty Oliver fork. With high-volume 650b tires, it's a full-suspension shredder that will smooth out the chunkiest gravel. 

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2021 Parlee Chebacco - Small

Price: $5,199.99 4,350.99

The Chebacco borrows proven characteristics from Parlee’s Z-Series, Altum, and RZ7 performance road models to create an impressively light and responsive carbon chassis. With 45mm tire clearance, hidden fender mounts, and extra storage mounts on the top tube, down tube, and fork blades it’s a race bike that’s also ready for adventure. Named after Chebacco Parish, an early settlement in Essex County, it’s built to tame the rugged centuries-old forest roads, paths, and trails that spiderweb across the East Coast countryside.

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2021 Trek Checkpoint SL 7 - 52cm

Trek Checkpoint SL 7

Price: $5,499.99 4,814.99

Trek originally developed its IsoSpeed Decoupler system to help classics legend Fabian Cancellara conquer rough cobbled races. But it turned out to be perfect for smoothing out rough gravel too. The IsoSpeed Decoupler separates the Checkpoint’s seat tube from top tube with bearings that allow the seat tube to flex and elastomers that absorb vibration. The end result is a smooth ride and supple rear end that lets riders comfortably hammer in the saddle for hours. With clearance for 700c x 45mm or 650b x 2.1” tires, mounts for racks, fenders, and plenty of bottle cages the Checkpoint is ready for racing or adventures.

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2019 Ibis Hakka MX - 61cm

Ibis Hakka MX

Price: $3,599.99 3,169.99

The Hakka MX is the spiritual successor to the legendary Hakkalügi cyclocross bike. It still has the chops to hop barriers and blast through sand and mud, but Ibis has transformed it into a long-distance gravel crusher by increasing clearance to handle 45mm wide tires. It’s nothing revolutionary, It’s just a lightweight, capable carbon frame with solid geometry. Exactly what you need for a jack-of-all-trades that can transition between racing, cruising, and adventuring. 

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2022 3T Exploro RaceMax - XX-Small

3T Exploro RaceMax

Price: $5,199.99 4,669.99

The Exploro was the first-ever aero gravel bike, and it proved its mettle all the way back in 2017 with an Unbound Gravel win. With deep, sculpted aero tubes, the latest Exploro RaceMax looks more like a road racing weapon than a gravel bike. But with plenty of tire clearance, it’s an off-road rocket. 3T has even tested the Exploro in the wind tunnel with mud-caked tires to ensure it stays slippery and efficient in real-world conditions. Aerodynamics is the best place for serious racers to eke out some extra gains, and the Exploro RaceMax can be your secret weapon for windy events in the gravel heartland of the American Midwest.

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2020 Giant Revolt Advanced Pro - X-Large

Giant Revolt

Price: $3,649.99 3,219.99

The Giant is often the best brand for budget-focused racers. The Revolt has a lightweight and well-sorted carbon frame and a solid Shimano build but it costs a fraction of a high-end racer while offering the same performance. It uses a "D-Fuse" seatpost and handlebars all help absorb bumps and vibrations. There are clever frame details like the X-Defender down tube protector and Giant’s smart mount system for racks and accessories. It’s a well-priced high-performance all-rounder perfect for everything from gravel racing to bikepacking.

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