The Best Electric Gravel Bikes for 2024
The Best Electric Gravel Bikes for 2024

The Best Electric Gravel Bikes for 2024

Is this the best electric Gravel bike? Well, that’s no easy answer, gravel means different things to different people, and what does ‘the best’ really mean? Is a Ferrari better than a Bentley? What is clear is that both the  Moustache Dimanche 29 & Desiknio X20 Gravel are special bikes. If you like your bikes light, sleek, understated and versatile these should be high up on your check-list.

Let’s get the term Gravel out of the way

In the world of gravel we are seeing a mix of bikes focused solely on off-road and then others that are more versatile All-road style gravel bikes. The Desiknio X20 & Moustache Dimanche sit in the all-road gravel camp. These all-road bikes work equally well as sporty urban electric bikes during the week and ready for adventures on the gravel tracks at the weekend.

A good all road gravel bike must do so much more than just gravel. Versatility is the name of the game, it has to be fast and comfortable on loose tracks but also excel on tarmac. It’s not just about the open forest, urban environments always have a maze of parks, towpaths and tracks to discover that mix up your regular routes.

Who are Desiknio?


Formed in 2015 in Spain as a bespoke frame builder, with a focus on beautifully designed, Desiknio are famed in the electric bike industry for their lightweight urban bikes. By 2016 they had partnered with emerging electric motor provider eBikemotion where they helped develop the Mahle X35 eBike motor system. That’s now the most popular with most of the world's road and gravel bikes brands choosing it.

Until now all Desiknio bikes have incorporated flat bars, with a 40mm gravel tyre suitable for road and light off-road action. Only one step away from a full electric gravel bike, 2023 was the year they launched their first carbon bike with drop bars. Building on their early years relationship with Mahle eBikemotion they were one of the developer brands for the new Mahle X20 system; the new benchmark for lightweight high performance electric Road and Gravel bikes. More about that later…

Who are Moustache?

Formed in 2011 in France, Moustache Bikes quickly established itself as a premier manufacturer of stylish and innovative eBikes. Known for their versatile range of urban, road, and mountain eBikes, Moustache emphasised integrating cutting-edge technology with elegant design. By 2012, they had partnered with Bosch to utilise the renowned Bosch eBike systems, delivering a superior riding experience by blending power, efficiency, and sleek aesthetics.

Moustache's commitment to innovation saw them continuously expand their range with unique frame designs and ergonomic features. In 2023, they launched their first carbon-frame eBikes, incorporating advanced engineering and high-performance components, including the latest Bosch Performance Line CX motors. This move set a new standard in the electric bike market, highlighting their dedication to offering lightweight, high-performance eBikes for both road and off-road enthusiasts.

So what is a gravel bike and why do I need an electric one?


Going back to sports car metaphors, a road bike is your Porsche 911, fast and agile. A gravel bike is your Porsche Cayenne 4x4 Turbo, still fast but less twitchy, stable and comfortable and a lot more versatile. It’s all down to the longer wheel-base and more laid back steering angles.

The other key difference on a Gravel bike is of course the tyres. It’s the tyres that define the comfort and off-road capability. Having a wider tyre does add a little more drag, but that’s where the benefit of an eBike comes in.

The perfect bike to transition from gravel to electric


Electric Gravel bikes are stealth and the Desiknio is the most stealth I’ve seen, I’ve had a lot of surprise looks from other riders thinking it’s a regular bike. This has been a big attraction for road bike riders getting their first eBike. It’s sleek and looks very much like what they’re used to.

An electric gravel bike is about the lightest category of electric bikes. Tipping the scales at a featherly 12kg it’s seriously light and again blurs the boundary between non-electric bikes.

Gravel heaven in the New Forest


Down here in the New Forest we have one of the UK’s gravel hot spots. Long known for the open vista windy roads it’s been a mecca for road bikes. Part of that is that the area is a bit basic for proper mountain biking as it has limited technical tracks. Growing up in this area I didn’t ride the miles of off road gravel tracks as always felt a bit dull on a full on mountain bike. Enter the gravel bike. The perfect environment for gravel, flowing scenic tracks connected with quiet tarmac roads.

It's Sleek, very sleek


The carbon frame and forks provide not only the light weight and seamless contours, but also the comfort and compliance to keep the bumps and vibrations to a minimum when off road. The Desiknio is stunningly designed with some beautiful and clever details , check out the detail of the dropouts, where the rear wheel meets the chain stay and seat stay. It’s a work of art.

Continuing the minimalist feel the seat post binder bolt is a hidden allen key under the tub tube and the charging port and display screen are seamlessly integrated.

Hidden cables


No wires here, even with mechanical groupsets, Desiknio have kept all the cables hidden through the handlebars, the stem and through the headset into the frame. As well as looking sleek this prolongs the life of cables. On a traditional internal cabling bike most cable wear is seen at the junctions between the bars and the frame. Keeping everything internal and one piece means no junctions, keeping friction down and cable damage no existent.

The X20 Mahle eBike System

The Mahle X35 system has been the system of choice for many of the big brands for eRoad and eGravel, a big part is it’s so minimalist. Desiknio only fit Mahle motors and have built up a great relationship with them over the years and that’s been rewarded with early access to the X20. The X20 is much more rider focused than the X35. The top tube mounted control button now displays both battery level and power setting in one glance. A big improvement from the X35 where you only see current battery level as a colour and have to press the button to see which power setting you are in.

Visually the X20 looks high performance, a beautifully machine hub shell with hi-tech straight pull spokes. The way the wheel bolts into the bike is a massive improvement. Gone are the old fashion wheel nuts on the X35, instead the X20 has a bolt through axle, exactly the same as we are used to on most disc brake bikes. The cable is now built into the drop out and wirelessly connects to the motor. So wheel removal is just like a normal bike with no cable connections to manage.

Shimano GRX 11sp or Campagnolo Ekar 13sp Speed Groupset options.


There are two choices when it comes to the groupset, top of the range is the Campagnolo Ekar 13sp, pricey but perfectly fitting for a bike of this quality. The other is the popular Shimano 11sp GRX. Both are gravel specific with clutch mechanisms to stop the chain slapping and bouncing off. The Campagnolo has the benefit of a wider gear range. You get both an easier gear for climbing and bigger gear for the downhills.

The tyres fitted are the latest 45mm Pirelli Cinturato Adventure. Pirelli’s many various options on the Cinturato and the Adventure is ideal for a 50/50 road off split. It doesn’t offer the bite of some of the more knobbly options but is fast rolling on both dirt and tarmac. A Brooks Cambium c13 saddle provides both the comfort and the theme of the highest quality brands. Handlebars are Egro Comp from top brand Ritchey, giving a comfortable sweep with a slight gravel flare for off road handling.

Fully Charged New Forest as the ideal place to visit and try the gravel!

If you are going to invest in a bike like this you should really have a proper test-ride. It's really easy to link some fantastic routes together to suit a test ride demo that suits you. We have these available for test rides at New Forest and all our stores, that’s Guildford, Cornwall, Silverstone and London Bridge.

Written by Steve Kitchin