Canyon makes it two wins out of three with T3 Award for Grail AL 7.0 SL gravel bike

The judge bangs his gavel, this is the best ride on gravel

T3 Awards 2019: Gravel Bikes

Canyon already picked up the mountain bike trophy in the 2019 T3 Awards and we've also awarded the affordable but ass-kicking German brand the crown when it comes to gravel bikes. Yes, the Grail AL 7.0 SL is THE best gravel bike. Will it also win the Award for road bike of the year? (No).

Canyon has won an enviable reputation for quality, efficiency and value for money over the years, so it's no surprise that it's rapidly mastered the art of making and selling gravel bikes. These chunky hybrids are great for everything from off-roading to taking on hills to braving the dangerous, pothole-gashed hellscapes that are most British cities these days. 

Canyon's Grail range is built from the ground up to be fast on the road, but gnarly off it. We have awarded this gong specifically to the aluminium AL 7.0 SL because it offers fantastic value for money, giving more thrills to the buck  than any rival. 

The Grail range were originally all in carbon fibre only frame, but this aluminium one is excellent, and also uses a more conventional set of handlebars than the 'double decker' found on the carbon Grails. The result is a bike that's durable, but affordable despite enviable accoutrements, including an SRAM Rival 1 groupset and 40mm Schwalbe G-One Bite tyres. 

As ever with Canyon, you buy direct from the brand, saving the expense of paying a middle person/shop. When it comes to answering the question, 'what is the best gravel bike?', the answer is wholly Grail. Ba-doom-tish,

• Buy Grail direct from Canyon 

Duncan Bell

Duncan is the former lifestyle editor of T3 and has been writing about tech for almost 15 years. He has covered everything from smartphones to headphones, TV to AC and air fryers to the movies of James Bond and obscure anime. His current brief is everything to do with the home and kitchen, which is good because he is an excellent cook, if he says so himself. He also covers cycling and ebikes – like over-using italics, this is another passion of his. In his long and varied lifestyle-tech career he is one of the few people to have been a fitness editor despite being unfit and a cars editor for not one but two websites, despite being unable to drive. He also has about 400 vacuum cleaners, and is possibly the UK's leading expert on cordless vacuum cleaners, despite being decidedly messy. A cricket fan for over 30 years, he also recently become T3's cricket editor, writing about how to stream obscure T20 tournaments, and turning out some typically no-nonsense opinions on the world's top teams and players.

Before T3, Duncan was a music and film reviewer, worked for a magazine about gambling that employed a surprisingly large number of convicted criminals, and then a magazine called Bizarre that was essentially like a cross between Reddit and DeviantArt, before the invention of the internet. There was also a lengthy period where he essentially wrote all of T3 magazine every month for about 3 years. 

A broadcaster, raconteur and public speaker, Duncan used to be on telly loads, but an unfortunate incident put a stop to that, so he now largely contents himself with telling people, "I used to be on the TV, you know."