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Best electric gravel bike: Charge up your gravel riding

Best electric gravel bike
(Image credit: Pivot)

The best electric gravel bike will enable you to enjoy all the gravelly delights your local area can offer, while also giving you a boost up the inclines to help you go for longer.

Gravel bikes are some of the most versatile bikes available. Beyond tackling gravel roads, with the right wheels and tires, the best gravel bikes can hang with all but the very fastest road rides, or you can strap some bikepacking bags and go for an adventure. If you want your road rides to include unpaved roads, all the better. A great gravel bike can even handle some flowy singletrack riding, or they can easily shrug off badly maintained streets and rain to make excellent mid-week commuter bikes. With all that versatility it only makes sense to choose the best electric gravel bike and add even more capability. 

Importantly the best electric gravel bikes still feel like a bike. They use some of the same motors we've discussed in our best e-MTB motors guides and don't weigh a ton or carry the superfluous power you'd get if you did the same ride on one of the best electric mountain bikes instead. There are even some that can be an electric gravel bike one day, and on other days they are analog pedal-powered bikes with extra storage in the frame. Keep reading to learn about what we think are the best electric gravel bikes, or jump down to the bottom for advice on how to choose the best electric gravel bike.

Once you've got your electric gravel bike, you might want to look for the best e-bike accessories and upgrades to keep it running at pique performance.

 Best electric gravel bikes

Cannondale Topstone Neo Lefty 1

(Image credit: Cannondale)

Cannondale Topstone Neo Lefty 1

Full suspension for the rough stuff and an aggressive geometry when you want to go fast

Drive system: Bosch Performance Line Speed | Battery capacity: 500Wh | Max torque: 85Nm | Price: $10,000 / £9,000

Dual suspension adds comfort and control
12-speed gearing 
Lefty front hub limits wheel compatibility
Very expensive

The Cannondale Neo Carbon Lefty 1 builds on the standard Topstone Lefty with a carbon frame and front and rear suspension. The rear is a passive suspension system using the natural flex in the carbon layup and a thru-axle pivot which Cannondale calls the kingpin rear suspension system and promises up to 30mm of movement at the saddle. On the front is a revised version of the gravel Lefty suspension fork first introduced on the Slate gravel bike. There's 30mm of air-sprung suspension movement from the Lefty to match the rear. The look is polarizing but it's a system tuned for the needs of gravel riding and it works.

The chosen power unit for the Cannondale Neo Carbon Lefty 1 is a 250 watt Bosch Performance line Speed system. It's designed to work well even at low cadence and provide a sporty riding feel. The groupset is a mullet combo of a SRAM Force crankset and eTap AXS shifters paired with a MTB X01 Eagle 12-speed rear derailleur. Interestingly Cannondale has opted to spec the Neo Carbon Lefty 1 with 650b wheels rather than 700c, shipping with 42mm tires with frame clearance of up to 47mm.

Specialized Turbo Creo SL Expert EVO

(Image credit: Specialized)

Specialized Turbo Creo SL Expert EVO

An early pioneer in the race for the lowest weight, highest performance, most natural-feeling gravel bike

Drive system: Specialized | Battery capacity: 320Wh | Max torque: 35Nm | Price: $9,750 / £7,499

Future Shock front suspension adds comfort
Built in power meter
Long quoted range
Low max-torque

Specialized names its e-bike gravel models by adding Evo to the road-focused models. The actual design of the two models is similar as well, with the geometry between the two bikes being exactly the same. Added to the gravel-focused models you'll find a different wheel and tire package, flared handlebars, and a dropper post with 50mm of travel. Specialized also specs its Future Shock 2.0 suspension under the stem for additional comfort. If you want a bike that can move between paved rides and off-road rides and handle both, Specialized is a great choice. 

The low torque, low weight, custom-designed SL 1.1 motor from Specialized is not a high torque system designed for handling steep technical trails and obstacles. Instead, there's only 35Nm of torque on demand but by keeping a light touch, range gets extended out to a quoted 80 miles and the weight stays low. The mileage can be extended by 40 miles with a range extender if you are planning a big day out. The system also has no resistance, so if you want to conserve battery or go for an exclusively human-powered ride you won't feel any drag from the motor. 

With its own motor and interface, Specialized's Mission Control App allows you to check the battery and customize modes. Specialized has also integrated a power meter into the motor, that can connect to your GPS via ANT+, and provide extra ride states regarding the effort you are putting in.

Canyon Grail:ON CF 8 eTap

(Image credit: Canyon)

Canyon Grail:ON CF 8 eTap

A groundbreaking handlebar designed for long days on rough roads

Drive system: Bosch Performance Line CX (Gen4) | Battery capacity : 500Wh | Max torque: 85Nm | Price: $6,999 / £6,199

Innovative suspension handlebar
12-speed gearing
Big tire clearance
Overly relaxed geometry

The frame of the Grail starts with a unique double-decker handlebar setup referred to as the Gravelcockpit. Instead of going down the route of suspension, with all its potential tradeoffs, Canyon chose to go with a passive system. The intent is still increased comfort through increased front-end compliance, but it's lighter and simpler. The double bar also gives an upright riding position that suits long days covering rough ground without a long headtube. Like the Lefty fork it works well but its looks are polarizing.

For the motor system Canyon has used a more mountain bike-focused system from Bosch called the Performance Line CX (Gen4). The system has a focus on smooth handling of roots, steps and stones, even in low cadence and high torque uphill situations where you need to control power to maintain traction.

Giant Revolt E+ Pro 28mph

(Image credit: Giant)

Giant Revolt E+ Pro 28mph

A rare class-three option that makes it a breeze to mix with traffic on your way to the backroads

Drive system: Giant SyncDrive Pro | Battery capacity: 500Wh | Max torque: 80Nm | Price: $5,000 / £N/A

Sensor-driven natural pedal assist
Available range extender battery
Aluminum frame adds weight

When you look at the best electric gravel bikes out there, they are almost all class 1 e-bikes (see our guide below for an explanation of the different classes). The drive system is there as a support and the focus isn't on mixing with traffic. There's not much need for the max 28mph that a class 3 electric bike is capable of. The Giant Revolt E+ Pro, on the other hand, is a bike designed for versatility that carries a class 3 motor. The tagline is "from city streets to rugged backroads," and it is capable of moving in and out of traffic with ease. This is a great choice if you see yourself splitting time between fire roads and commuting. 

The bike uses Giant's SyncDrive Pro motor which is developed by Yamaha and there is the option to add a range extender battery which adds an additional 50 per cent of battery capacity for taking on huge rides. Drivetrain duties are handled by Shimano's GRX groupset and the bike cruises on fast-rolling Maxxis Receptor semi-slick gravel tires.

Alchemy E-Ronin GRX Disc

(Image credit: Alchemy)

Alchemy E-Ronin GRX Disc

It’s lightweight and ready for any terrain you want to throw at it

Drive system: Fazua Evation | Battery capacity: 250Wh | Max torque: 60Nm | Price: $10,999 / £N/A (GRX Di2 build)

Lightweight frameset and motor
Custom paint available
Compatible with 650b or 700c wheelsets
Choice of groupsets
Limited frame sizes
Expensive

If you like the sound of a hand-made carbon bike from the USA then Alchemy is the answer. Since 2008 Alchemy has been putting out work like no one else. All the manufacturing for every bike happens under the roof of its Denver Colorado headquarters. That in-house manufacturing makes for added flexibility. The electric-assist limits custom geometry options for the E-Ronin, but if you’d like to make your bike unique, custom paint starts at $500. 

Other perks include a crash replacement discount, a two-week money-back guarantee, free shipping, and a lifetime warranty. There are four available builds and five frame sizes. There’s also the extremely rare (for electric bikes) option of buying only the frame and building it up yourself. 

Alchemy has specced a Fazua motor which may not deliver the same power output as other motors but helps contribute to the impressively light claimed weight of under 30lbs and will give the bike a natural ride feel. You also get plenty of tire clearance and mounts for three bottles and a bento box.

Boardman ADV 8.9e

(Image credit: Boardman)

Boardman ADV 8.9e

Great value for an all-road bike using the Fazua motor system

Drive system: Fazua | Battery capacity: 250Wh | Max torque: 60Nm | Price: $N/A / £2,799

Well suited to being the only bike you own
Carbon fork
Great value
Aluminum frame

At £2,799 the Boardman ADV 8.9e isn't exactly an entry-level bike. Look at what else is on offer in the electric gravel bike category though, and it looks a lot more reasonable. If you like the idea of the Fazua drive system, the Boardman ADV 8.9e is the lowest price available on the market.

It might be the cheapest available, but Boardman has still managed to put together a compelling package. The frame uses aluminum as a nod to keeping the price contained but it's still managed to spring for a carbon fork. The running gear consists of a SRAM APEX 1x11 groupset with hydraulic disc brakes, Boardman alloy cockpit and wheels, and a Fizik saddle.

At this stage in gravel bike design, the included 38mm Vittoria Terreno Zero tires are far more suited to light gravel and comfortable on-road use. If you lean closer to the mountain bike side of gravel biking you might look for a plusher setup. On the other hand with a low price and tire width that's perfect for the everyday commute the Boardman ADV 8.9e makes for a very compelling all-around bike.

Ribble CGR AL e

(Image credit: Ribble)

Ribble CGR AL e Apex 1

A discrete electric assist system attached to a capable frame packaged with excellent value for the money

Drive system: Ebikemotion | Battery capacity: 250Wh | Max torque: 40Nm | Price: $3,113.75 / £2,082.50

Hard to tell it’s an ebike
Rack and fender mounts
Carbon Fork
Non-removable battery
Hub based motors don't offer as refined a ride feel as frame mounted alternatives

The Ribble CGR AL e is one of the cheapest electric gravel bikes on the market. There are a variety of levels available and they start way down at $2,767.65 / £1,915.83 for a Shimano Tiagra version. Scrimp just a little bit more though and the SRAM Apex 1x 650B retails at $3,113.75 / £2,082.50 and gets you a build that is much more capable off-road.

A 1x11 drivetrain keeps the system simple and lightweight. There's less to break, less that needs adjusted, and less to think about when shifting. The SRAM Apex rear derailleur also includes a clutch that helps keep the chain from bouncing over rough roads. Along with the change in groupset the generously sized 650b wheels make for a much more comfortable ride.

Whatever configuration ends up fitting your budget the Ribble CGR AL e uses the Ebikemotion X35 drive system. While the Ribble bike is a budget bike this same system shows up on CGR AL e-bikes at all price ranges with all the models using the same integrated downtube battery.

Basso Bikes Volta

(Image credit: Basso Bike)

Basso Bikes Volta

A lively Italian design with handmade carbon fiber and a svelte motor system

Drive system: Polini E-P3 | Battery capacity: 500Wh | Max torque: 70Nm | Price: $7,695 / £4,999.99

Low weight
Long range
Handmade carbon
Integrated controls complicate maintenance

With the Basso Volta the idea was to take the muscle-powered Palto and add more versatility. The hand-built carbon frame gets a new layup and internal structure but retains a similar geometry. The Palto is more of an all-road - or gravel race - bike than a bike meant for rugged adventuring. Keeping the same geometry maintains the same sporty ride feel to the Palta, while the motor adds a helping hand when you need it.

Keeping the bike light was a priority for Basso Bikes and the Italian Polini motor fills that need. The 250w (500w max) motor weighs in at only 2.8kg and sports one of the best power-to-weight ratios in the industry. The torque is a bit lower than the Bosch drivetrains used by some but at 16.5kg for the whole system, it's light enough to pedal without assist.

Look e765 Gravel

(Image credit: Look)

Look e-765 Gravel

A light, electric option that’s rideable without the motor

Drive system: Fazua | Battery capacity: 252Wh | Max torque: 55Nm | Price: $7,500 / £5,650

Motor and battery can be removed as a single unit
Looks like the non-electric version
Under-specced drivetrain

The Look e-765 gravel is a two for one deal. On one hand, it's a capable e-bike with up to 400w of pedal assist if you want it. There's a solid app available for monitoring anything you can think of. Through the app, any battery system details you might want to know are available at a glance as is all the normal ride tracking data you'd expect.

If you'd rather ride a traditional leg-powered bike, you can remove the entire drive system. The Fazua system houses everything in a Drivepack system. Combined in a single unit you'll find an integrated motor and electronics as well as a removable battery. Simply slide the battery into place and then insert the whole unit into the downtube or swap it with a cover. With the drive system removed there's only a small weight penalty over a non-motorized bike and the now empty cavity is perfect for storing ride essentials.

Pivot E-Vault

(Image credit: Pivot)

Pivot E-Vault

A high-end option with absolutely massive tire clearance

Drive system: Fazua | Battery capacity: 252Wh | Max torque: 55Nm | Price: $TBC / £TBC / €9,299

Fender mounts
High quality carbon layup
Big tire clearance
Expensive
Bigger tires will need to be added for off-road riding

The Pivot E-Vault shares some features with other bikes built around the Fazua Evation drivetrain. Namely, it's got the ability to remove the battery and drive system and use the space inside the frame for storage. Where the Pivot offering differs is in its carbon layup. When it comes to carbon bikes the magic is all in choosing the right carbon for the right place and orienting it for flex where you want. Using hollow core internal molding, Pivot creates an optimal stiffness to weight ratio across eight different frame sizes. The perfect frame is then paired with top-of-the-line components for an impressive ride whether you are tackling uneven city streets, primitive gravel roads, rocky pavements or hardpacked singletrack - although you will want to pop some meatier tires on for off-road adventures.

How to choose the best electric gravel bike

How fast can e-bikes go?

In the US electric bikes fall into one of three classes:

  • Class 1 e-bikes have pedal assist up to 20mph and no throttle. 
  • Class 2 e-bikes have pedal assist up to 20mph and also a throttle up to 20mph. 
  • Class 3 e-bikes have pedal assist up to 28mph and a speedometer. It's also common to see a throttle that works up to 20mph. 

Most electric gravel bikes are class 1 bikes and that's because class 2 and 3 bikes can face limitations around trail access. Every location is different, and not all states even acknowledge the class system of e-bike identification but, in most cases, class 3 e-bikes will not be usable on trails. No matter what kind of electric bike you choose it's a good idea to investigate access in the places you want to ride them. Pay extra attention if you like the idea of a class 3 e-bike and the higher speeds they are capable of.  

How far can an e-bike go?

Comparing electric-assist bikes there's a whole lot of numbers that get thrown about. Range is sometimes measured by vertical gain and sometimes by distance. The batteries employed get listed by the watt-hours they hold and there's maximum torque available for the motors. It can all get overwhelming fast when all you want to know is how far can you go.

How far you can go is the hardest spec to figure out. Whether it's the rider, the bike, or any accessories, more weight adds up to the more power the battery will need to supply. If you ride into a headwind, you'll use more power. Spend your day on the bike climbing hills and again you'll use more power. It's likely you want the best gravel tires on your gravel bike and knobby tires have higher rolling resistance; that resistance means more power. If you were riding a non-electric bike these are all the same factors that would determine how you felt on a given ride. Different motor systems and a rider's preferred choice of modes will have a massive effect on energy demands too.

With such a huge set of variables, it's almost impossible for brands to offer an accurate range. That said it is possible to compare the theoretical range, which involves taking the watt-hours capacity of the battery and power rating of the mode you would choose to ride (measured in watts). For example, most motors put out 250 watts of assistance in turbo mode, which means if you have a 500Wh battery you can theoretically ride for two hours with full assistance and cover 40-miles.

Obviously, the real-world variables mentioned previously will reduce that total mileage but there are other factors that will save battery. Even if you have the motor set in boost mode it won't always be pushing out full assistance and, on the flats, Eco mode is often more than enough to help you keep a good pace. Also on downhills, it's very easy to exceed the motor's speed limit and so you won't be using any assistance at all and save more energy.

How much work does the rider do?

Going hand in hand with the range discussion is the question of how much work you want to do. One of the best ways to extend range is to do more work with your muscles and ask less of the bike. Every electric bike has a variety of settings that offer variable levels of support to make that easy.

The numbers that show what you get at the various levels are max watts and support ratio percentage. A low mode might offer a 50 per cent support ratio percentage with a max of 250 watts. Meaning however many watts your muscles put into the bike the motor will add an additional 50 per cent until the max of 250 watts. 

Josh Ross

Josh Ross is our American tech writer. Born and raised in the Pacific Northwest of the United States he lives cycling and the culture that accompanies it. Josh is most happy when talking about the finer details of how bicycle parts and components work, and enjoys putting his thoughts to words for Bike Perfect. He is a road cyclist at heart but can often be found taking the gravel road less travelled. Although he rarely races these days, he still enjoys a good Zwift session and race but will always choose the real world over pixels when given the choice.
Height: 5'9"
Weight: 137 lb.
Rides: Look 795 Blade RS, Cannondale Topstone Lefty, Cannondale CAAD9, Priority Continuum Onyx