Some are drop-bar mountain bikes with suspension forks, others have the manners of a road bike with expanded capabilities, while more have the frisky feel of a cyclocross bike, with a number providing the confidence of a touring bike. Every material is used: steel frame gravel bikes, titanium, carbon, and aluminum gravel framesets. They can come with forks in every material as well.
Titanium is a material to love for gravel bikes. Seemingly passed by in other disciplines, the material is stronger than dirt, meaning it will not only laugh at the threat of rust, but shake off direct hits from rocks and trees. A great example of a ti’ gravel rig is Lynskey’s GR300. Small-batch American builders have been building in titanium for ages, and their experience shows. Check out the Moots Routt for another.
Gravel framesets we sell are thoroughly inspected and reconditioned before they’re posted for sale. Everything shown is cleaned, serviced, and if necessary, replaced. Every frameset comes with a headset as well as the frame’s proprietary parts, like seat post collars, and whatever else comes standard with the frame. In some cases, that means stem, seatpost, bars, thru-axles, occasionally brand-specific bags and more.
Carbon gravel bike frames might be the sexiest of the lot. There are aero gravel bikes, like the Cervélo Aspero frameset and the 3T Exploro. There are race-oriented bikes like the Salsa Warbird frameset and Scott Adidict. And all-rounders like the Giant Revolt frameset and Specialized Diverge and Cannondale Topstone. Some are super-stable rides, like the Trek Checkpoint frameset.
While a steel frame gravel bike is usually the budget-conscious choice, it’s also a pretty wise one. Steel stands up to crashes into hard objects well and, if the frame is ever crashed out of alignment, chances are, it can be tweaked back into alignment. It is for this reason that steel never went out of style for bike touring, and why it should be seen as a great choice when you want your gravel ride to commute and bike pack as well as ride everywhere.