There are plenty of great gravel bikes on the market: Specialized Diverge, Trek Checkpoint, Salsa Warbird, the list goes on. As I said these are great bikes, but there is one issue, their price. You get definitely get your money’s worth, but if you’re on a budget and you want a fun bike for some gravel adventures and bike commuting, there is a solution.
The single speed cyclocross (SSCX) bike by Nashbar is the bike I had before I got my beloved Surly Straggler. The SSCX Nashbar bike is fantastic, especially for the price. Chromoly steel frame, single speed (42/18, might be a bit steep for off road adventures, but that’s easily changeable), 700x35c tires (can probably fit a 38c), less than $600 and usually on sale for less than $400. It’s comes in sizes 49cm, 52cm, 54cm, 56cm, 58cm and 61cm… that pretty much covers 4’11 – 6’4 (there are always exceptions to bike fit). For the price, this bike can’t be beat.
I used my SSCX Nashbar as my everyday commuter bike for a solid two years. The SSCX presented new riding for me, letting me take dirt roads to explore more of my area more. Could handle some mountain biking (I eventually had my SSCX at 36/18) Even did a cyclocross race on it… I suck at cyclocross. This bike was pure fun.
I have to be honest, I did not do any bikepacking on the SSCX Nashbar. I The reason I am recommending this bike is because I have a few mountain bike buddies who want to get into bike touring and gravel riding but don’t want to break the bank. If you for $1000 to play with, get yourself a Speciali
zed Diverge, but if you want fun bike for a low price… well, winner winner chicken dinner.
Now for the shameless plug (that helps fund us!); get the
Nashbar Single-Speed Cyclocross Bike Bikes & Frames Cyclocross Bikes you won’t regret it.