Best gravel bike £1500-£1800 for UK riding

I have a budget to buy a gravel bike from of around £1500 to £1800. I live on the edge of the Cotswolds in the South-West of England. We have a number of great gravel routes as well as loads of local wooded single-track but often long sections of tarmac road to join up all the off-road bits. I'll also be riding it throughout the winter when things can get seriously muddy and slippery. I want the bike to be able to do some long local off-road rides as well as being capable for some bike-packing adventures and even some events like the Cotswold Cross.

What's the best option for my budget and my needs? I feel like going something too close to a road bike would be a bad idea given that many of our local off-road sections can turn to bogs in the winter and there are some relatively technical parts in some places. However, going too far in the other direction could mean the on-road sections become hard going. I would invest in a set of winter tyres with whichever bike I purchased.

Obvious must have: hydraulic disc brakes

I have come up with a shortlist. These are bikes that are either in stock now or will take around a month or so to arrive. I don't really want to wait until Christmas.

Ribble Gravel AL - Sport
Cannondale Topstone 2 2021
Orbea Terra H40
KINESIS G2 GRAVEL BIKE 2021

Any other suggestions welcome!

Comments

  • If they get stock, Boardman ADV 9.0
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    2020 Voodoo Marasa
    2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro Disc 2016
    2016 Voodoo Wazoo
  • singleton
    singleton Posts: 2,522
    Have you considered titanium?
    A Planet X tempest with Rival comes into your budget and timelines.

    The compromise for what describe might end up being wheels and tyres.
    A gravel bike on 700c road wheels and tyres makes it 98% as good as a winter road bike and switching to something big and chunky like 650b wheels with 2.2" MTB tyres makes it 95% as good as a rigid XC MTB - but just with drop bars.

    However, if you intend to use 1 set of wheel / tyres then it gets more difficult. I'd suggest getting a frame that can take at least a 700x40 tyre and ideally up to 700x45 to give you plenty of options.
  • spatt77
    spatt77 Posts: 324
    Bombtrack Hook Ext! build it to your own spec if ya like! it rides like a dream!
  • secretsam
    secretsam Posts: 5,105
    LOL I bought a cheap NOS Kinesis frame off Fleabay and built it up, cost about £700 all in and is an absolute blast.

    It's just a hill. Get over it.
  • vegas76
    vegas76 Posts: 278
    Vitus substance

    Very good value with versions from £1,299.99 to £1,999 (for the carbon with GRX600).

    But very little in stock anywhere.
  • singleton
    singleton Posts: 2,522
    oxoman said:

    Lad at works got the London Rd titanium special edition with a spare set of wheels shod with offroad tyres for wkend trails. Uses it as his daily commute. Rides nice but I'm not keen on the jump between gears personally.

    If you have a gravel bike with 2 sets of wheels, then as well as road tyres, you also need to fit a road cassette to the road wheels. I've been riding a 1x setup on the road through last winter and a 42 chainring with an 11-32 cassette worked just fine for me and the jumps were no different to a pure road setup. When switching to the off-road wheels, I used a much wider 11-42 cassette.
  • singleton said:

    I've been riding a 1x setup on the road through last winter and a 42 chainring with an 11-32 cassette worked just fine for me and the jumps were no different to a pure road setup. When switching to the off-road wheels, I used a much wider 11-42 cassette.

    Bold seems to have messed up the font size?! Anyway...


    I reckon you're either pretty strong/light, or live somewhere mainly flat? I'm 100% road and using a 42/11-42, and I spend a lot of time in the bottom 2 rings around here (SW Wales), which are 36 and 42. There's some hills that I can do in the 32, but plenty that would kill me - including the one I live near the top of!

    And I don't mind the gear ratio jumps, either ;)