Cheap and Versatile

Bikes This Good Are Never This Affordable


April 12, 2019 Sports and Outdoors By
Sea Otter Classic, North America’s premier cycling festival, is happening now at the Mazda Raceway Laguna Seca in Monterey, California. The four-day event hosts hundreds of world-class riders who are competing in mountain and road races as well as brands big and small that are revealing new products for 2019 and beyond. We have a team on the ground to bring you intel on all of the most exciting product releases. Follow our coverage here.
Key Specs:
Brand: Canyon
Model: Grail AL
Price: $1,799
Availability: Available Now
Unique Features: Aluminum frame, 1x groupset, incredible value

Upshot: Canyon’s Grail AL represents incredible value. For less than $2000, it offers a spec that doesn’t have any glaring compromises, including a robust frame and a set of tires and wheels that could take you anywhere you want to ride.

Who It’s For: Cyclists who want to try gravel without taking out a second mortgage.

Insight: It’s not uncommon for road bikes to cost more than I have ever spent on a car. My office right now is home to a bike on which the frame, just the frame, costs $8,000. For less than 25 percent of that price, Canyon’s Grail AL is an astonishingly capable bike for everything from cyclocross to centuries to full-on singletrack shredding.

Alloy frames are often criticized for a harsher ride feeling than carbon models, but the cushy Schwalbe G-One tires do a great job of keeping road buzz at a minimum and offer plenty of grip in the dirt. The single chainring drivetrain is beginner-friendly and low-maintenance, as is the aluminum frame, which will handle those early “finding your limits” crashes much better than a carbon chassis. I recently tested the Grail on everything from fire roads to singletrack via the smooth tarmac of Laguna Seca Raceway and was impressed with how well it handled everything I could throw at it. For a bike which costs less than many wheelsets, it offers an incredible amount of fun.

More Sea Otter Classic News

North America’s premier cycling festival is happening right now in Monterey, California. Read the Story