As a roadie I only needed a gravel bike for a few end of season rides, and for the price this bike is perfect. Heavier than expensive bikes of course, but exactly as advertised (just under 27lbs). Shifting is good (after some usual fiddling with cable stretch) and the 2x9 drive train has a very good range for varied riding. I have ridden it on multiple surfaces from really rough fire roads to dirt/gravel roads to pavement and enjoyed it everywhere. It may even turn me into a regular gravel rider.
Had one problem at first - for some reason the fork only had 80mm between the dropouts instead of the expected 100mm, which made getting the wheel in almost impossible. But I was pleasantly surprised with an excellent customer service response. One phone call, forwarding a picture of the fork with a tape measure showing the problem, and an hour later got an email that a new fork was on the way. Did cause me a little hassle and expense to get it installed, but I couldn’t have asked for better service and response to this
likely very rare quirk
I just purchased the HE03A-52 3 weeks ago and I must say that I am absolutely in love with this bike. It's great for gravel but also extremely versatile and I ride it around my neighborhood and take it to the beach for cruising down the boardwalk as well. It even handles quite well as a mountain bike on my local trails. The quality and construction are really top notch - in fact, this is my second Head bike, and I'm already planning on buying my son the HE03A-52 for his birthday next month. The disc brakes are phenomenal - you can really stop on a dime. Shifting gears is incredibly smooth, and I love how easy it is to maneuver. You really can't get a better bike for the price!