Priority Apollo Gravel Bike Review: Is It A Good Bike?

Apollo Gravel Bike
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9.4/10

If you are in the market for a new mountain bike and you have been considering the Apollo Gravel Bike, you are in luck! This review will cover all of its features and styling, so you can get the low-down on the best features of this bike before you even look at it or give it a test ride!

This Apollo bike is made for any kind of terrain, from road-riding to trail riding. This is a great blend of features if you are looking for a bike that will take you to work each day, but also generate some fun for you on the weekend.

Gravel bike styling is really fun as well, basically generating the impression of a road-bike that lifts weights a few days a week. The Apollo has a forward-leaning frame that is great for long rides, but the added benefit of bigger tires and disc brakes makes the bike a nice smooth ride over any terrain.

Many people who use this bike primarily for their commute also say that the disc brakes and the beefier frame make it a more comfortable ride than their old road bike. This is good news if you don’t want to deal with the heft of a more trail-focused bike, but still want to ride something that isn’t as lightweight and aerodynamic as a true road bike.

The Apollo Gravel Bike has already proven to be a really good fit in a nice new niche that is starting to find some traction with younger riders and the road-bike warriors that swore they would never switch it up to something new.

Let’s get started reviewing this great bike in detail!

Pros & Cons

This is the section where we give you the basic rundown of the best and the worst of the bike. These pros and cons may not apply to you entirely if you don’t use the bike for a single purpose, but it’s always nice to know where the shortcomings of a bike might land for you as well as where the benefits will soar to the top of the list.

Pros

  • Lightweight but solid
  • Easy to Pack up in the car
  • Reasonably priced
  • Smooth ride
  • Responsive
  • Attractive styling

Cons

  • Some jarring in gear shifts
  • Wheels are not quick release
  • Can be hard to get serviced in your area.
  • Not specialized enough in either area for some rider

Things to Consider Before You buy

Apollo Gravel Bike

The biggest point of consideration that should be mentioned here is that this is basically a whole new class of bike. This is a new combined bike style that is not all that common as of yet. This can mean a few difficulties that you may not think of when you get attached to the idea of this bike finding a home in your garage.

First of all, it can be hard to get this type of bike serviced in some areas. They are new to the scene, and the parts, particularly the brakes, might pose a challenge for your local bike shop unless they are a dealer for this type of bike. That may not prove to be a big factor in a metro area, but you may have issues sourcing parts or getting repairs done if you are not close to a city.

Another factor that should be mentioned is that you really need to think about what you use your bike for the most. If you mostly commute, then this bike will probably be a better fit for you than if you are a hardcore trail rider. There are just a lot of features about this combined design that are inclined for a less aggressive lifestyle. If you ride hard all the time, this is probably not the bike for you.

The price point could be an issue for you as well, as there are comparable bikes for less money on the market. What should be pointed out here, however, is that all the bikes in this class seem to offer pretty similar features, and this bike really is a lot nicer looking than some of its competitors. This may not matter as much if you are planning to ride the trails more often than not, but road bike loyalists often will feel unhappy with a chunky-looking bike that just looks slow, even when it is not.

Lastly, the unfortunate feature of the wheels that are not quick release rears its ugly head. This is less of an issue for a true road rider, but if you like to ride off-road and find that you have a flat, you will have to carry some wrenches with you to change it. This is really not a good fit for a rider that wants to do some serious trail riding and you can avoid this pitfall by buying another brand of bike.

Let’s Talk Features

Features

This model doesn’t have a traditional chain. In its place, you will find a carbon belt drive made by Gates. This is a great solution to ensure a smooth ride on the road that is also durable out on the trail. It’s nice not to have to grease a chain and doubly nice not to get grease all over your work slacks on your commute.

This bike also offers up 11 speeds, which is a nod to the basis for the name, the Apollo 11 rocket. The gears are not visible because the build is intended to be low maintenance. The Shimano Alfine 11 rear hub houses all the gears and ably protects them from the elements. This comes in real handy out on the trail.

The shifting setup has two triggers on the right side of the drop-handlebar. The large paddle shifts down and the smaller one shifts up. This works really well and is comfortable for most riders.

The frame is a superior upgrade compared to other bikes in this group. It’s made of aluminum and the bike has a carbon fiber fork. This makes for a lightweight frame at only 24 pounds, that also resists rust and is stiffer. The increased control in turns is one of the great road bike features that the Apollo offers up to those who choose it.

The Byway tires are nubby on the outsides but smooth in the middle, a feature that gives you that really great dual-ride feeling. Adding to the comfort of the ride is a wider-than-normal saddle which is super comfortable for your road-riding needs.

The mechanical brakes are an awesome upgrade from what you get on a normal bike in this price range and would be perfect if not for the potential issues with servicing them locally. This brake styling gives you amazing stopping-power, even on wet roads, and you can also adjust them without tools which is pretty slick. This adjustment needs to be done every 3,500 miles.

More: The Best Gravel Bikes Under $1000: the Best Entry-Level Gravel Bikes

Feature Specs What it Means to You
Frame Aluminum, carbon fiber fork Lightweight, durable, stiff
Wheels WTB Byway 40 mm Smooth for road riding but also nubby on the outside for trail riding
Suspension Full-suspension Good shock absorption but still enough for bumps on the trail
Gear Shimano Alfine 11 Protected, adequate gearing for many functions
Brake System TRP Spyre mechanical brakes Easy maintenance, easy to adjust, and great grabbing power

Social Proof

Buyers of the Priority Apollo Gravel Bike are raving about how easy it is to put together and set up when it arrives and all the reviews mention the excellent ride experience. It’s hard to find a review that isn’t overwhelmingly positive!

This bike clearly fits the needs of those looking for this new hybrid-style and the price point is not a hindrance either, making it hard to argue that there is a better alternative to this design. However, if you are looking to check out the competitors in its class, there are a few that might match up to the quality of this bike.

Social Proof
Social Proof 2
Social Proof 3

Alternatives

A good review always mentions the competition, and this one will do the same. Not every bike is for everyone and that’s okay. It’s nice to have choices out there on the market.

This is considered an entry-level bike, so the first two bikes listed here are also in that category. The final bike on the alternatives list offered here is not an entry-level bike, and the price speaks to that shift in rider expertise and commitment to styling and performance.

Consider what kind of use you will need the Apollo Gravel Bike for in your daily life and then compare it to these other options. You might have a very comparable experience with any of them if you ride on the road only, but there is a greater spread of differences between them when you start to consider the road-riding part of their functionality.

Kona Libre

This is a similar bike that comes in at a higher price point due to its slightly beefier off-road styling. The two bikes both have an aluminum frame and a carbon fork, but this bike does not have the internal gear hub that makes the Apollo so special.

While a nice bike, it is prone to being more finicky to care for and is not as practical as the Apollo at making the switch from the road to the rough terrain of the trail.

Marin Nicasio

This is a classic bike for a dual-purpose use life, but it does not offer up the Apollo Gravel Bike’s sleek styling and it is a more no-nonsense set up. This bike tends to be a good fit for the serious long-distance rider who doesn’t want a heavy bike to lug around. Commuters also really like this bike due to its price point and its nice, smooth ride on the street.

This bike is great if you want access to all the bits and bobs that make it do its thing, but you may not enjoy its utter lack of styling or personality. It’s just a little boring, which may not fill the needs of riders who really enjoy the classic, yet new-fangled styling of the Apollo Gravel Bike.

The Priority 600

This is the spendier version of the Apollo Gravel Bike and offers up many of the same amazing features as the Gravel Bike. This version has a beefier frame and a 600% gear range like a 30-speed bicycle. This is a really good bike if you are more interested in more of everything.

You will get a beefier frame, a sturdier tire, and a more aggressive look to the bike overall. This may be overkill if you are not a serious rider, but if you want to simply step up a notch and have pretty much the same overall experience, the Priority 600 will give that to you in spades. Check our Review of Priority 600 and the best priority bike

Conclusion

This is a new space for these dual-purpose bikes, and things are bound to change and adjust as riders start to figure out what they do and don’t like about this style of bike. While the competition is not fierce in this category as of yet, it will likely start to become a crowded space in the near future.

The Priority Apollo Gravel Bike is poised to make itself the standard for the rest of the companies trying to play in this market, largely because it has been cleverly-designed and so little has been left to chance. The attention to detail has been exquisite, and the bike feels like everything you would expect and more.

At the end of the day, this is a great bike for the diverse rider, but it can also suit the needs of the road rider or be used as a daily commuter. There are not many bikes out there that you can say this about, and it’s really nice to be able to conclude that this bike will suit the needs of many different kinds of riders.

If you want a practical, durable, and lightweight bike, you really should look no further than the Apollo Gravel Bike.

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