I’m always surprised at how heavy my gravel bike is compared to my road bike. I just forget what a big difference there is in their weight until I pick them up. For example, the Canyon Ultimate road bike weighs in at a cool 7.5kilograms, while the Steel Jamis Renegade gravel bike is a good bit heavier at around 11 kg. But how much does weight really matter when you’re riding gravel?
The average gravel bike weighs between 18 and 30 pounds. However, the bike weight is not necessarily important to typical gravel riding unless you are racing or extensively climbing hills. Frame components and tires make up a good bit of a bike’s weight. Higher-end bikes tend to be a little lighter, while entry-level bikes are generally a little heavier.
In this article, we’ll talk about how much the average gravel bike weighs. We’ll compare weight by frame material as well as price, so you can get an idea of what to expect. We’ll also talk about why gravel bike weight does and doesn’t matter as much as you may think. But first, let’s take a look at a few specific gravel bikes and what they weigh.
What Do Gravel Bikes Weigh?
No two bikes will weigh precisely the same amount, and most manufacturers will tell you the best way to know what your bike weighs is to put it on a scale. This is because changing the components on a bike can affect the weight of the bike.
Here are some approximate weights of several popular gravel bikes. You can see from the list that weight anywhere between 18 and 30 pounds is pretty typical. The weight of the tires, the specific drivetrain you use as well as the bike size all affect the weight of the bicycle.
|Model||Weight in lbs||Frame Material||Price|
|Salsa Warbird Carbon AXS Wide||18.21 lbs (8.26 kg)||Carbon||$6,999|
|Niner RLT 9 RDO||18.8 lbs (8.53 kg)||Carbon||$6,399|
|Obed Boundary GRX 600||19.9 lbs (9.0 kg)||Carbon||$2,895|
|Ribble CGR Ti – Gravel||20.7 lbs (9.4 kg)||Titanium||$3,450|
|State 6061 Black Label – All Road||22 lbs (9.98 kg)||Aluminum||$1,400|
|Norco Search XR S1||23.2 lbs (10.5 kg)||Steel||$3,299|
|Trek Domane AL 2 Disc||23.26 lbs (10.55 kg)||Aluminum||$1,199|
|Jamis Renegade A1||24 lbs (10.9 kg)||Aluminum||$3,899|
|Surly Straggler||26.2 lbs (11.9 kg)||Steel||$1,799|
|State 4130 All-Road||26.7 lbs (12.1 kg)||Steel||$899|
|Salsa Journeyman Claris||27 lbs (12.3 kg)||Aluminum||$949|
|Fuji Jari 2.5||28.8 lbs (13.1 kg)||Aluminum||$1,199|
Average Weight of Gravel Bikes Based on Frame Material
Frame material has a significant effect on how much a bike weighs. Different frame materials will affect the weight, feel, and bike handling.
Steel gravel bikes usually weigh between 22 and 30 lbs (10 – 13.6 kg).
Steel is often used in gravel bikes because it is sturdy and will hold up to the elements. It also provides a comfortable ride over rough terrain.
Some may call it old-school, but steel has remained popular because of its tough but comfortable nature, as well as smoother handling. On the other hand, steel is the heaviest material that a bike frame can be made of.
Some manufacturers, such as Jamis and State Bicycle, will provide the option of a carbon fork to give the bike additional handling at a lighter weight.
Aluminum gravel bikes usually weigh between 22 and 29 lbs (8.2 – 13.15 kg).
Aluminum is a popular frame choice because it is relatively lightweight and inexpensive to manufacture. Most of these bikes will most likely weigh anywhere from 22 to 24 pounds, although some can be as heavy as 29 lbs, give or take, depending on the components.
Many manufacturers will offer an aluminum frame bike with mid-range components to create a high-value bike that is not too heavy and not too expensive.
The downside of aluminum is that it can give your ride a harsh feel. It simply cannot provide the comfort that you might get from either steel or even carbon.
Carbon gravel bikes typically weigh between 15 and 21 lbs (6.8 – 9.5 kg).
These bikes are expensive due to the intensive manufacturing process that it takes to create them. However, carbon frames can be made extremely lightweight.
Considering that the UCI mandates all bikes be at least 6.8kg or 14.99 pounds, you’ll likely see that most carbon bikes, even gravel bikes, won’t go much lower than that. So you can expect your gravel bikes to be a minimum of 15 pounds.
Titanium Gravel Frames
Titanium gravel bikes typically weigh around 20 lbs (9 kg).
Titanium frames are known for being light, strong, and durable. They will stand up to some serious abuse and are pretty lightweight, too. But these frames are costly to make, so there really aren’t a lot of choices for titanium gravel bikes. It will probably weigh in around 20 pounds if you find one, on average.
Average Weight of Gravel Bikes Based on Frame Material
|Material||Weight in Pounds||Weight in Kilograms|
|Steel||22 – 30 lbs||10 – 13.6 kg|
|Aluminum||22 – 29 lbs||10 – 13.15 kg|
|Carbon||15 – 21 lbs||6.8 – 9.5 kg|
|Titanium||20 lbs||9 kg|
Average Weight of Gravel Bikes Based on Components
There’s no getting around it. Cheaper bikes are usually also heavier bikes. If you want a bike that costs less than a thousand dollars, you certainly can find plenty to choose from, even for gravel riding. However, you’ll probably find that all of the components on the bike are less expensive and therefore heavier, including bike frames, drivetrain, brakes, and especially tires.
There is a much more dramatic difference in weight between entry-level and mid-range bikes than between mid-range bikes and high-end bikes. More expensive bikes are generally lighter, but not by much. The more high-end the bike quality, the more you pay for saving smaller amounts of weight.
For example, Shimano makes a wide range of groupsets (or drivetrain components) for entry-level bikes all the way up to pro-caliber. Let’s take a look at various Shimano groupsets found on mid-range and high-end gravel bikes.
Shimano 105 is the most common on mid-range bikes, and it costs $649.95 and weighs 2,286 grams. Ultegra costs around $1049.95 and weighs 2,156 grams. And Dura-Ace is a whopping $1999.95 and weighs 1,807grams. So you can see that Dura-Ace costs almost twice as much as the Ultegra set, but you only save around 300 grams. Finally, you can also choose a gravel bike with Gravel Specific Groupsets, such as Shimano GRX.
That’s just one aspect of the bike, of course, but it does show you how, in higher-end models, it costs a lot more to save less weight. That’s why entry-level bikes are considerably less expensive but also considerably heavier.
Average Weight of Gravel Bikes Based on Price Point
|Price||Weight in Pounds||Weight in Kilograms|
|Up to $1,000||26-30 lbs||11.8 – 13.6 kg|
|$1,000-$2,000||23 – 28 lbs||10.4 – 12.7 kg|
|$2,000 – $3,000||20 – 23 lbs||9.1 – 10.4 kg|
|$3,000-$4,000||20 – 23 lbs||9.1 – 10.4 kg|
|$4,000 and up||18 – 20 lbs||9kg|
How much does gravel bike weight matter in real life?
If heavier bikes cost less, how much does gravel bike weight actually matter? Is it worth the extra investment? The answer is, it depends on what you use it for.
The number one force that slows a bike rider down when they are riding fast is wind resistance. The faster you go, the more the force of the air you must displace slows you down. Wind resistance is a significant factor on flat roads and downhill but more so with road riding than gravel riding.
The shape of the frame comes into effect here, but not nearly as much as the body of the rider and his riding position.
The weight of the bike doesn’t affect its wind resistance at all.
Bike weight plays a part in how gravity affects your ride, although it’s only a part of the equation, the other – more significant – part being your own body weight.
Gravity is the biggest force slowing you down on steep inclines. So you’ll need to take both of these things into consideration when you think about how much bike weight matters to gravel riding.
First of all, gravel riding is generally a much slower-paced ride than a road ride since the road surface makes it much more difficult to pedal than a smooth road. Since you are riding at a slower pace, you don’t have to worry as much about wind resistance. You may want to consider momentum, though.
A heavier bike will be harder to spin up to speed on flat roads, but once you get the momentum going, a heavier bike on flat roads will have more momentum to keep going than a smaller bike will. So to a point, a heavier bike might keep its momentum better than a lighter bike even though you have to work a little harder to pedal.
Ascending and Descending
When you are riding downhill, gravity will make a heavier bike accelerate more quickly than a lighter bike. On the other hand, gravity will slow a heavier bike down much more than a lighter bike when riding uphill. However, many gravel bikes come standard with a wider gear range to accommodate hills.
For example, my steel Jamis Renegade is a lot heavier than my Canyon Ultimate, but it can climb nearly as well because the extra gear range makes up for its heavier weight.
If you are racing gravel, you might want to consider a lighter bike. This will help you get up hills easier and faster, and help you get the bike up to speed more quickly. Also, if you will spend long days in the saddle, you might want a lighter bike to save your strength.
The savings are only measurable in seconds per miles ridden. You can’t increase your speed significantly by opting for a lighter bike.
So unless you are going on extremely hilly or long rides or races, the weight of your bike for a typical gravel bike might not make all that much difference. You might even find that a heavier bike is great if you’ll be riding with some pals that can’t ride as fast as you can. It’ll give you a bit more of a workout even when riding a little bit more slowly.
That being said, there are a few key things you can do to make your heavier bike go a little faster.
How to make a heavy bike faster?
Wider tires will give you more comfort and grip, but they will also slow you down. Instead, consider smaller tires if you need to pick up a little speed on your gravel bike.
I prefer wider tires for stability and comfort in really rough terrain, but when it comes to easier terrain, such as a park trail with pea gravel, skinnier gravel tires will give me more speed when I don’t need as much grip.
Use drop bars
Wide flat bars are not very aerodynamic and will slow you down. Gravel rides don’t typically need such wide bars. Instead, consider switching to drop bars, which will allow you to get into a more aerodynamic position, which will make you go faster.
If you aren’t using clipless pedals, you’re losing power that can help you pedal faster. By adding clipless such as SPDs (and the coordinating bike shoes with cleats), you’ll get more power in your pedal stroke, and you won’t have to worry about your foot slipping off the pedal.
Remove excess bike clutter
I admit it. When I ride, I want to be prepared for everything. And that means I overpack for each and every ride. This adds both excess weight and clutter to my bike, making it less aerodynamic. However, by pairing down to just the essentials, you can make your bike go a little faster with less effort.
For those of us that carry a few extra pounds of body weight, it might be worth it to drop a couple of pounds off of your body rather than off of your bike.
Of course, you should always talk to a doctor about losing weight and make sure to do it safely. But for the average person, like me, just by cleaning up our diets a little bit, we could probably shed a few extra pounds that we don’t need to be carrying on our bodies or our bikes.
Skimp on bulky clothes
Of course, everyone loves the laidback feel of a gravel ride, and you should wear any safe and comfortable clothing that you want to wear. However, there is a reason that roadies love their Lycra outfits.
Smooth, tight clothing is much more aerodynamic, and you would be surprised how much an oversized jacket or flappy coat can slow you down. If you want to get a little faster on your road bike, consider wearing tighter layers that fit smoothly and won’t slow you down.
Gravel riding is laidback, slower, and still a great workout. Just remember that speed isn’t everything when it comes to gravel riding, and neither is weight. There are advantages and disadvantages to both heavy and light bikes. So choose the bike that fits your budget, your style, and your kind of riding!