Updated: August 2018 (Updated three bikes!)
There are so many bikes on the market in 2018. But how the hell should I choose the right bike for me?
Grab yourself something to drink and let’s have a look at the best road bikes:)
Road bikes were quite changeless for a long time – big 700c wheels, drop bars, skinny tires, and trimmed down components.
However, it started to change in 2015 when road bikes with disc brakes became more and more popular. So the technology on road bikes has changed, and bikes are getting better and better.
But what are the best things to look for when buying new road bikes? Well, there are important and not so important features.
I always want to be on the edge of the wave with the biggest bike trends!
Here’s the selection of best road bikes of 2018:
Best Road Bikes of 2018 – What To Expect?
Well, there are bikes, and there are different classes. You can compete in races with an entry-level road bike, but you can’t do it quite well. It is mainly because of the components. You should select the right road bike based on your needs. It’s important to choose well. I’ll let you know of the best road bicycles by price.
For training, training bikes, or competing and maximalist are different. Most of the riders have started with the entry-level bikes and gone up to maximalist bikes. Cycling is like addition too, just make sure your husband or wife doesn’t find out how much you are paying for your hobby 🙂
Okay, let’s have a look at the bikes. I’ve found reviews and compared bikes to bikes. Contacted the manufacturers and picked the best performers. I really want to give you the best choices… my only aim is to be honest with you.
So, let’s go with the best bikes of 2018!
Best Road Bike Under $500
Yes, you really can start with a road bike under $500. With this bike, you can start with your Sunday training well. You can also take trips if needed. These bikes have in most cases alloy frames and Shimano Sora sets. Road Bikes Under $500 are suitable for entry-level riders who don’t have high standards.
What to look for in road bikes under $500
- Weight around 22 pounds
- Aluminum frame
- Shimano Claris or Sora gears
- Sturdy wheels
- No-name dual-caliper brakes
- Steel fork, low-end carbon fork
The Best Road Bike in 2018 Under $500 is Giordano Libero 1.6
This Giordano Libero is ideal for the Sunday entry-level rider. That’s definitely the winner of best road bike of 2018 for under $500.
Do you know what the color of speed is? Yes, it’s red and black – and Giordano has it!
Lightweight but strong, the handcrafted 6061 alloy frame is reliable. This frame is the only choice for bikes under $500 because you really can’t make a decent carbon frame for under $500.
Gears – It has Shimano Claris like most of the bikes around this price range. Let’s talk about gears; it has 2 gears in front (50 tooth and 34 tooth) which give you a good overall ratio of speeds needed due to riding conditions.
Rims – It has 700c wheels like all road bikes. This number means size. They use Vitesse rims. They aren’t anything fancy but if you use the bike like you should, then they last and let you train well.
Weight – They claim it weight from 26 to 27 pounds
Assembly – You have to add pedals, handlebars, and few small things. If you’re not comfortable with it, you can always take it to your local bike shop. It might be crucial if you don’t know how to adjust the derailleur.
Sizes – Three main sizes. Small – Riders from 5’1” to 5’8”. Medium from 5’8” to 6’2 feet and Large 6’2” to 6’5”.
Bottom Line: Great bike for this price. Researching this bike led me to think that it is the best bike for an entry-level road biker for under $500. This is a “Starter bike” as they say. And if you compare my reviews with Amazon ones, then you’ll realize the same – it is a great bike for a beginner in 2018.
Weight – 26.05 pounds (includes pedals, reflectors and kickstand).
Road Bikes Under $1000 in 2018
When choosing a road bike under $1,000, then it’s the range where road bikes dramatically change. They start to have carbon frames. However, you should be careful with carbon bikes sub-$1k. There are some good composite frames available, but there are some pretty bad ones too.
Aluminum bikes are pretty good in this range in 2018.
<What to expect on road bikes under $1,000?
- Weight below 20-22lb or less
- Mainly Shimano Tiagra or 105 components (Ultegra would be superb). When having SRAM parts, then Apex or Rival would be great.
- A top-notch aluminum frame with internal cable routing, a tapered head tube for better handling, designed for comfort, strengthened bottom bracket.
- Possibly low-end-carbon-fiber frame. But be careful when it comes to value.
- Matching groupset caliper brake or mechanic disc brakes.
- A little bit lighter, own-brand wheels or quality third-party wheelsets
- Own-Brand bar, stem, and saddle.
- Carbon Fork (Decent one!)
The Best Road Bike For $1,000 for 2018 – Tommaso Monza
If you feel like your trusty hybrid just doesn’t cut it anymore and that all of your friends are leaving you behind on weekend rides, it’s time for an upgrade!
Tommaso Monza is one of the best road bikes you can get for less than $1,000 (if not the best one), and it is the perfect upgrade that you need to smash those group rides filled with friendly competitiveness or complete arduous centuries.
Tommaso Monza is the ultimate entry-level aluminum road bike, weighing around 22 lbs. It has an aluminum frame, but it comes with a Tommaso’s HCT (high-modulus carbon technology) fork, which contributes to the low weight.
You can pick between two really attractive colors if you decide to buy Tommaso Monza – Matte Black and Blue. Whichever you choose, you’ll certainly like it, because it looks like it’s flying even when it’s sitting in your garage.
To show you how good of a deal Tommaso Monza is, we should deal with the nitty-gritty details as well.
First of all, the Tommaso Monza comes with a full Tiagra groupset, which has a great ratio of money vs value. It is a low-end road bike groupset, but it will shift through the 20 speeds like a charm.
On the back is an 11-32T cassette, and on the front is a 34/50T crankset. This gear ratio is intended for more casual riders or riders who live in hilly areas, so you’ll end up with a decent range of speeds for all situations.
The Tommaso Corsa TC40 wheels will take your riding to another level! They are really lightweight, and the fact they are deep section means they will be fast as well. They come clad in Kenda’s 700x23c tires, which will grip well even on harsher roads.
Finally, the brakes are part of the Tiagra groupset, so you’ll stop by using Tiagra brake calipers. Compared to disc brakes, they save weight but don’t detract too much from the performance.
Therefore, if you are looking for the best bike under $1,000 to train on it or take it on group rides and casual weekend rides, Tommaso Monza should be your first choice!
Road Bikes Under $1500
With this price range, you can get a proper road bike that you can even use for competing as an entry-level rider. The main aspects of a cheap and expensive road bike are components. And those components cost money. And the better components, the more reliable they are and the lighter in weight.
What to expect on road bikes under $1,500?
- Well-designed carbon frame (or hybrid frame materials for better performance)
- Quality groupset (Shimano 105)
- Lightweight aerodynamic frame
- Lightweight rims
Best Road Bike Under $1,500 is Kestrel Legend 105
Kestrel Legend is one of those bikes that you want to jump on and start riding the moment you see them. The truth is, most riders can and should afford to do that since this is one of the best road bikes for under $1,500.
Kestrel Legend is one of the best bicycles designed by Kestrel, which is evident from the popularity it has among riders. The previous model achieved great sales results on Bicycle Guider, and we can already see this new model doing the same.
This is a full-carbon road bike, with a frame developed by Kestrel, from their Enhanced Modulus Hybrid carbon compound. It weighs only 17.7 lbs, so it will fly up any hill you take it out on.
The best value for money moto extends on components as well since Kestrel Legend is fitted with a tested and proven Shimano 105 groupset. This doesn’t mean that only the derailleurs are Shimano 105 and that other less-noticeable components are low-end parts.
The whole drivetrain, excluding the KMC chain, is Shimano 105. The crankset is a 52/36T, whereas the cassette is a fast 11-28T, and has 11 speeds.
The shifters and brake levers also have the recognizable Shimano 105 labels on them, and it’s no different with the brakes themselves. However, the brakes are not discs, but clinchers, which a lot of riders prefer anyways.
For the wheels, Kestrel decided to use Oval Concepts 527 and wrapped them in Vittoria Zaffiro Pro, 700×25. The tires might need some breaking in when you first start riding the bike, but after some time, they should provide good grip and nimble handling.
Another high point of this Kestrel is that it comes 98% assembled already, so if you buy it, you will be able to ride it almost straight away.
Therefore, if you are a person who is looking for one of the best bikes for less than $1,500 to use for training and endurance rides, the Kestrel Legend will check all of your boxes without any problems.
Road Bikes Under $2,000
When you’re choosing a road bike around $2000, then you know what you’re doing 🙂 You like the performance and are looking to lose less power when training.
You can expect at under $2,000:
- A bike meant for racing
- Shimano 105 components
- Priority is reliable and lightweight components
- Carbon rims (or extra lightweight aluminum)
- Lightweight carbon frame
- The frame is designed for aerodynamics
- Top-notch components
The Best Road Bike Under 2,000 Dollar is Diamondback Century 4C
Diamondback is well-known for producing some of the best road bikes on the market and offering them for very competitive prices. They’ve done it again with the Diamondback Century 4C, by developing a full-carbon road bike for less than $2,000. You can try to look further, but it will be difficult to find a better bike for that money anywhere else.
Century 4C is painted in gloss burgundy, which looks elegant and sleek. At first glance, it looks more like a high-end than a mid-priced bike, and even at a second glance, it’s hard not to think that way. Take a look at the specs to find out why.
Finding a road bike that weighs only 18 lbs and paying less than $2,000 for it, sounds like an impossible task. That was true before Diamondback changed the game.
Now, apart from the low weight, for that price, you’ll get durable Shimano components as well. The dominating groupset on the Century 4C is Shimano Tiagra, which you can see on the derailleurs and shifters. This is not a high-end groupset, but it will get you where you need to be. It’s known to have a good money-value ratio and to shift seamlessly in most conditions.
Moreover, it will be shifting through 20 speeds in total, on a 2×10 drivetrain that has 50/34 teeth on the crank, and an 11-32T cassette. The lightweight construction and the 32 teeth on the cassette mean that you will be able to conquer even the steepest hills.
Century 4C vs 5C
If you have a couple of hundred dollars more to spare, you can also get the Diamondback Century 5C, which is a great investment as well.
For that money, you’ll get two pounds less in weight, and a full Shimano Ultegra groupset, which is a big upgrade from the Tiagra. Other differences include Ultegra rim brakes on the Century 5, whereas Century 4 comes with Tektro mechanical discs. The more expensive 5C model also comes with better Michelin Pro 4 Endurance tires, compared to Diamondback’s tires on the Century 4.
The Diamondback Century 4C is the obvious solution for anyone looking to upgrade from their heavy aluminum road bike or a hybrid bike. If you ride your bike to train and to improve your hill climbing skills, buy the Century 4C and you won’t regret it.
Road Bikes for Maximalists
Yes, they really sell these kinds of bikes on Amazon. And why shouldn’t they because they sell well! When you take cycling even more passionately, then this chapter is for you. Let me explain. You might think that it’s pointless to pay that much for a bike, but …
When you’ve taken part in races, then you’ll definitely felt that sometimes the bike just doesn’t do what you expect. Going uphill with a lighter bike is definitely a good feeling (except when you’re a masochist). It’s an easy way to beat your competitors also!
So, when doing cycling to the fullest, you need to make it well. The differences between the medium and the top-notch wheelset make a nice difference in your results. When I went from stock rims to higher quality Fulcrum rims, I started to beat out my competitors (and friends 🙂 ). You can find lighter rims on Amazon for example.
What to Expect: With a road bike for a maximalist, you can concentrate on your results. Those kinds of road bikes are designed to be as aerodynamic and lightweight as possible. They have the best possible components, designed for the same purpose. If you’re looking the best road bikes of 2018 for maximalists, then you’re on the right way having very high expectations.
On the other hand, these other components (which make mainly the price) are much more reliable.
By-the-way, I used to have bikes in this class. I knew my abilities and my competitors. I also knew that some young competitors who had heavier road bikes didn’t beat me because of their bike. The same moment they got a lighter bike, they started to beat me.
Best Road Bike for Maximalists – Tommaso Superleggera Dura Ace 9100
If you like spoiling yourself from time to time and you’re looking to buy the best in the cycling world, the Tommaso Superleggera road bike is just the thing you need!
Tommaso Superleggera comes from Italy, so on top of being a lightweight carbon superbike, it is also stylish and very good looking. A lot of riders say that looks do not matter, but we believe that a beautiful bike is a bike that you will ride more often.
There aren’t many road bikes priced at $2,500 that come with Dura Ace 9100 components. That is why Tommaso Superleggera is our pick as the best road bike at this price range.
Tommaso Superleggera is super light – it weighs only around 16 lbs. This is in part to the lightweight Monocoque Compact carbon frame that weighs only 950g and the all-carbon fork, but also to other high-grade components. Let’s check those out as well.
The first thing that catches the eye on the Tommaso Superleggera is its drivetrain. This affordable carbon bike comes with full Shimano components, such as the Dura Ace 9100 derailleurs, an Ultegra 6800 crankset, and an Ultegra 6800 11-28T cassette. With 22 gears under your feet, you will perform well and leave competition choking in the dust.
To go really fast, it’s also important to be able to brake well, especially in the corners. This role is given to Ultegra 6800 brake calipers, which are an upgraded version, so you can brake with a lot more confidence and make up time in the corners.
When it comes to tires and the wheelset, the Tommaso Superleggera does not lack here either, with Mavic Aksium Race wheelset, which is fast, light, and extremely durable. It comes coupled with Mavic Yksion Elite Guard 700x25c tires, which are specifically designed for Mavic Aksium wheelset, to maximize performance.
As you can see, you get what you expect for $2,500, and even more! This bike will put a smile on the face of anyone who wants to get a competitive edge when racing or take their training regimen to another level. We definitely recommend it!
To wrap it up, the best bicycles for entry level road bikers under $500 is the Giordano Libero 1.6. It’s been one of the best-selling bikes in this category and is worth a look.
If you got into cycling for training and you’re looking for a bicycle that can support your workout regime, you should consider buying the Tommaso Monza. This bike will get you in shape and easily keep you fit!
Due to its extremely comfortable Enhanced Modulus Hybrid Frameset with carbon rear triangle and carbon fork the Kestrel Legend is perfect for those riders who enjoy endurance cycling. If you are planning to ride centuries or Gran Fondos, the Legend will be your best friend.
Roadies who are results-oriented should look for the Diamondback Century 4C – a hard value to beat, in our opinion. By investing a little extra $, you can get the upgraded version 5C Carbon, which has even better components for just $2.1k. Those two picks are definitely some of the best-looking bikes on the market!
Do you only want crème de la crème in life and that moto extends to cycling? Then you should buy the Tommaso Superleggera. It has a superb Italian design and Shimano Dura Ace 9100 components, which is the best you can get for the price.
In case you need more additional info, you can do it below in the
I wanted to answer all your questions, you might have before buying a bike. So, let’s give you a better overview…
Steel, Aluminum, Titanium, or Carbon Road Bike?
Well, that’s a good question. What should be the material? If you answered carbon, you are not entirely right.
The frame is the backbone of the bike.
Every bike frame has a different standard. The frame must offer extraordinary strength with minimum weight. Also, frame strength is determined by different aspects.
There’s no right and no wrong. When choosing the right bike frame type, you must keep in mind your riding style and your weight. And also your geeks 🙂 But I’d like to say that a well-built aluminum frame is always a better choice over a poorly built carbon frame.
Let’s take a look at which material is right for you?
High-tensile Carbon / Chrome Steel (aka steel frame)
Steel is the most used material in bike frames. It is strong and long-lasting. However, steel road bike frames are quite heavy.
Another steel type is chrome molybdenum steel. It is a strong and lightweight version of chrome steel. This kind of frame is butted and shaped and can have a pretty light frame that will last for years of hard use. On the best road bikes of 2018, you see pretty often carbon frames.
Actually, aluminum frames have a long history from old oversized tubes though they are now less expensive and widely use. On road bikes under $1,000, it’s the most used material. It’s proven itself to be light, strong, and stiff.
It is reliable in every situation and the price vs. weight balance is good.
Titanium bike frames (pretty rarely seen) are just as strong as steel frames, but this comes with the price. It can be found on high-end road or cross-country mountain bikes. Its big advantage is its flexibility while maintaining its shape.
Surprisingly, titanium frames can work as shock absorbers.
Carbon fiber is getting more and more popular. It’s because the technology is getting better and cheaper. There are parallel fibers bound together with glue. It’s called ply. Gluing those together makes a good laminate. And if you give it a bike frame shape, it can be pretty tough and light.
You might ask me, why aren’t all carbon bikes made of carbon fiber? It’s because of the price and the structure. Metal can bend and regain its shape, but carbon can break in the same situations.
Bike manufacturers do good work to make bikes to tend better tensions and are therefore stronger. You must keep in mind that you can find carbon road bikes for under $1,000, but they won’t be something very reliable. The best road bikes in this category are also aluminum ones!
Read more on BigShark
Different Types of Road Bikes
Well, there are a few.
Traditionally there are special road bike handlebars called dropbars. Those have two positions – racing (lower position) and comfort (upper). However, the comfort isn’t as comfortable as it should be. It’s because road bike is meant to be “all go and no show” so the comfort is secondary. However, some editions should make it more comfortable for everyday use.
- Race bikes – Meant for all go – no show. No fuss! Speed over comfort. You should look for road bike like this if you want to go fast, without losing power. Those bikes start from $1,500
- Sportive road bikes – Popularity gainers in the last five years. Basically, it’s comfort version of race bikes. They have a better upright position so it’s much more comfortable for your body. With these bikes, the weight isn’t as important too. Sportive bike process starts from $700
- Aero bikes – Like the name, meant for maximum aerodynamic position. Thanks to long stem and high saddle, the position is fast. Meant mainly for TT (Time Trial) competitions. Of course, aerodynamic position doesn’t come with the comfort with aero bikes. Prices start from $1,500
- Time Trial (TT) and Triathlon Bikes – Those bikes are built in one thing in mind – let’s cheat the wind and go as fast (and aerodynamic) as possible. They have aerobars to offer “stretched out” position for maximum performance. Time Trial and triathlon bikes have every detail kept in mind for wind. Prices start from $4,000
- Flat bar road bike – This kind of bikes have handlebars like mountain or hybrid bikes. And those bikes have a better position. So bikes with flat road bike meant to be more comfortable.
But that’s not all…
- One (Single) Gear Road bike – Some will like the old school one-gear bikes. Typically, hipsters use them but they are also great when you like the idea of a minimalistic bike. A good mix of sporty and minimalistic style.
- Fixed Gear Road Bike – Well, it also has one gear and it’s fixed. Hipsters like it! Fixed gear road bikes mean that when you’re not pedaling, the pedals still rotate. It’s the gear which makes it. And you need leg power to stop the bike.
- I bet there’s more because the lord’s flowerbed is colorful 🙂 But those are the main road bike types in the world.
As you can see, there are many aspects you should keep in mind when choosing best road bikes of 2018. How important each aspect is will depend on you and your aims. If you want to use your bike for Sunday trainings, then you can start from $500. If you want to race, then $2,000 satisfies your needs. And if you are maximalist, you will definitely find the best for yourself. It important to keep in mind that cycling must give you a good feeling!
Hope I helped you to get an overview of the best road bikes for 2018 that are worth buying!
And now, go out and get cycling 🙂
- Review: Best Mountain Bikes Under $500
- Overview: Mountain Bikes Under $1,000
- Best Hybrid Bikes
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