Just wondering about

What are the best bike road type bike non racing or Gravel bikes for between $500-$1200 but $500-$900?

Giant Contend Rim brake if you want to keep it under 1000 (105 brakes are a great upgrade for this bike). Contend AR 4 can usually be had for 1200 ish bucks and will have clearance for 38s. If you want a pure gravel bike the revolt can be had for ~$1400. Not even a Giant homer it’s just at this price point a big brand like that is easier to live with. If you’ve got a groupset already and want to build up something higher end I know some folks with Ican Gravel-X frames that really love them.

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Check out Marin gravel bikes…great value.

At that price you’re probably best off shopping for end of season sales/deals or used. My previous road bike was an end of season sale online, 50% off and was a great bike for the price. But finding sale bikes right now is much harder than it was prior to coronavirus, so it may be harder in reality.

If you do want new, you might also think about flat bar hybrid bikes. Drop bar bikes with decent drivetrains have a comparatively high starting price. Claris and Sora work just fine, but that’s still pushing the limits of your budget. Flat bar bikes will be slower on the road, can be a good option for gravel and their starting prices are much lower.

Flat bars is a good idea, a Conyon Roadlite would come in your budget, has hydraulic brakes and enough tyre clearance to do gravel.

Otherwise I’d get something second hand. There’s plenty of barely used bikes that got bought in the pandemic then the buyer decided they didn’t actually like cycling.