A road bike is regarded as the king of bicycles. It’s an extremely versatile bicycle type that can be used for training and commuting around the city. So let’s see what the best road bikes on the market are.
Road bikes are the lightest of all bike types. They will allow you to go faster and cycle longer. They are much more aerodynamic than other types of bicycles, so you will be able to cycle much more efficiently even in strong winds.
In this article, we’ll show you the 15 best road bikes for the money right now, suitable for all types of riders, from beginners to pros.
Due to ongoing bike shortages, many top sellers are sold out! Consider pre-owned bikes on The Pro’s Closet instead.
Search the best road bikes below through these five popular categories:
- Best Cheap Road Bikes for Entry-Level Riders
- 1. Tommaso Imola
- 2. Giordano Acciao
- 3. Cannondale CAAD Optimo 3
- Best Road Bikes for Training
- 1. Bianchi Oltre XR3 Ultegra
- 2. Priority Continuum Onyx
- Best Road Bikes for Racing
- 1. BMC Roadmachine X One
- 2. Cervélo Caledonia 105
- 3. Cannondale Synapse AL 2
- 4. Orbea Orca M40
- Best Road Bikes for Women
- 1. Marin Four Corners
- 2. Cannondale Topstone 4
- Best Cyclocross and Gravel Bikes
- 1. Giant Revolt Advanced 1
- 2. State Bicycle Co. 6061 Black Label All-Road
- 3. Salsa Journeyer Advent 650b
- 4. Rondo Ruut AL1 2X
- Road Bike Sizes
- Which Best Road Bike Is Right for You?
Best Cheap Road Bikes for Entry-Level Riders
1. Tommaso Imola
Winner! Best Fitness Builder
The Tommaso Imola has seen some improvements in components in recent years. The latest model is special because all of its moving parts are produced by Shimano, which guarantees superb quality. But, that is just one of the reasons why it made it to our list of best road bikes.
This is a serious Aluminum road bicycle with a durable steel fork. With its weight of 23.6 lbs, it’s not the lightest, but it definitely doesn’t mess around on the road. The frame is available in three colors — black, white, and orange. That’s another thing that makes it one of the best road bikes under $1,000.
Tommaso Imola is the best beginner road bike thanks to the Shimano Claris groupset and the comfortable aluminum frame.
However, Tommaso Imola is not all looks. It is fitted with a decent Shimano Claris R2000 groupset with 16 speeds in total. The largest cog on the cassette has 28 teeth, so this bike an excellent all-rounder!
The brakes are Shimano Claris brake calipers with Claris R2000 brake levers. Some might prefer discs, but the truth is many roadies still love riding with rim brakes.
The wheelset is a Tommaso TC-20 which is decently lightweight and has low rolling resistance, while the tires are Kenda K152 700x25c. This is one of the most popular tire widths because of a good compromise between speed and rolling resistance.
So, if you are an aspiring rider and want to make some cycling gains, Tommaso Imola is one of the best aluminum road bikes that you can get.
2. Giordano Acciao
Second best! Best Cheap Road Bike
MSRP: Check Price on Amazon
Giordano Acciao is a super-affordable road bike available in a very attractive blue color with attractive details. It is a high-performance steel road bike with a steel fork, so it is comfortable and very durable. It’s another best beginner road bike we recommend.
Giordano Acciao uses compact frame geometry which is superior to other types of geometries in that it offers better power distribution and is more responsive to the power input.
The components are full-on Shimano with 14 gears, which is a low-end option, but it still offers good performance. It’s the best entry-level road bike for riders who are just entering road cycling and making their first pedal strokes on the road.
Giordano Acciao is easily one of the best road bikes under $500. If you want a bike that looks expensive and rides great for the money, you should get it.
The brakes on the Acciao are alloy dual-pivot rim brakes. Even though many best road bikes nowadays come with discs, this is still a decent option unless you frequently ride in the rain.
Giordano Acciao rides on 700c x 25mm road tires, which means they are pretty fast. Plus, the rims are 30mm deep, so they have pretty good aero properties.
All in all, it is definitely one of the best entry-level road bikes for the money on the market. So, if you’re just starting out in road cycling, Giordano Acciao will definitely make you happy!
3. Cannondale CAAD Optimo 3
Third place! Best Affordable Road Bike
Do you love speed and riding on different kinds of roads but you’re not willing to spend thousands on a road bike?
If so, you will love the Cannondale CAAD Optimo 3 because of how versatile it is! Due to the lightweight aluminum frame and carbon fiber fork, you can ride it as fast as you can, or take advantage of the upright geometry to go as far as you can.
Considering the components, this bike is a good deal, offering reliable parts and durable materials.
Because this is one of the best entry-level road bikes, it comes with Shimano Sora components which are a good value for money and perform well in most conditions. Shimano Sora offers a 2×9 drivetrain and alloy dual-caliper brakes.
The Cannondale CAAD Optimo 3 is a bike that opens the door to road riding for novice cyclists and is often bought as a first real road bike.
Alloy double-wall rims with narrow 700c tires are a combo that will help you accelerate easily and maintain speed. The frame sizes are suitable for a huge variety of riders.
Whether you are looking for a fast road bike that will help you push your limits or a versatile do-it-all workhorse, the Cannondale CAAD Optimo 3 will be a great buy. At this price, there aren’t really any downsides to it. Just make sure to get the best road bike helmet with it as well and stay safe out there!
Best Road Bikes for Training
1. Bianchi Oltre XR3 Ultegra
Best Road Bike
The Bianchi Oltre XR3 is one of the best road bikes on the market. It is ideal for those who want to explore all types of roads, including flat routes and mountainous ones.
The frameset is premium carbon fiber and aerodynamically engineered which achieves significant improvements in speed and compliance.
This premium road bike is intended for serious cyclists, with Shimano Ultegra R8000 2×11-speed gearing. The 11-34t cassette and a 50/34t compact crankset are ideal for steep alpine climbs.
The Oltre XR3 also features Fulcrum Racing 400 aluminum wheels that are tubeless ready, as well as Pirelli P7 Sport tires.
Overall, the Bianchi Oltre XR3 is a beautiful bike. Buy it if you need a high-performance road bike to race crits, join fast group rides, or just get envious looks.
2. Priority Continuum Onyx
Easiest to Maintain Commuter
Priority Bicycles has done it again. They have managed to build another fantastic commuter bike and add it to their already impressive range of bikes.
Priority Continuum Onyx has a really sleek design. The color is all black, with “Priority” written on the top tube.
Even though this is not a classic road bike with drop bars, it is still pretty fast on paved roads thanks to its components.
Apart from the ultralight aluminum frame, Continuum Onyx can also boast with an enviolo Trekking 380 internal gearbox. It’s completely enclosed in the rear hub and gives you a wide range of resistance levels that you can change in a beat.
Instead of a chain, the drivetrain is powered by a Gates Carbon belt which is super-easy to maintain as it does not need lubrication.
It’s becoming more and more usual for road and commuter bikes to have disc brakes nowadays. Priority Continuum Onyx is a good example as it features Tektro hydraulic discs with 160mm rotors.
Priority Continuum Onyx is the best choice for urban riders who hate bike maintenance but love riding in and out of the city to commute or get fit.
Finally, this Priority bike is fitted with double-wall alloy rims and WTB Slick 700x32c tires that are puncture-resistant and feature reflective sidewalls.
If you are asking for the best budget road bike that you don’t have to pay through the nose, then Priority Continuum Onyx is the right choice for you!
Best Road Bikes for Racing
1. BMC Roadmachine X One
Best Carbon Race-Ready
First of all, BMC Roadmachine X One is a bike you will love at first sight. It is a beautiful bike with an attractive color scheme that will just urge you to go out and ride it. After all, it’s made by one of the best road bike brands in the world.
BMC Roadmachine is built around a light and stiff carbon frame and fork with race-ready geometry that is fast, durable, and very responsive. It’s the material that all the best road bikes are made from.
The Roadmachine is a high-quality race road bike fitted with the proven and tested SRAM FORCE eTap AXS groupset. The 12-speed drivetrain is very practical, consisting of a 10-44T cassette, and a SRAM FORCE AXS 1 crankset. Therefore, this bike means business and will go fast when you explore unknown roads.
BMC Roadmachine X One is a versatile and capable bicycle that does well in most situations but truly excels when put to the test in all-road events.
BMC equipped this bike with tubeless ready XRD-522 rims, which are very durable and will take a beating. These are wrapped with WTB Expanse, 32 mm tires that are great on the open road and light gravel.
A modern carbon road bike would not be complete without good disc brakes, so the Roadmachine comes with a SRAM FORCE eTap AXS HRD brake system along with Centerline X Rotors.
In conclusion, there is no doubt that this is a very attractive road bike that will perform really well. If you are looking for a bike to upgrade from your previous road bike, BMC Roadmachine will definitely put a smile on your face.
2. Cervélo Caledonia 105
Best List of Specs
The Cervélo Caledonia is a really good-looking bike that has proved to be a good performer in road races and a more affordable alternative to other fast racing road bikes. It’s available in beautiful black and white paint job that looks absolutely amazing.
It is one of the best-equipped road bikes on this list, which means that you’re in for a treat when it comes to the overall build and the components.
This bike is built around a carbon frameset that combines rigidity, comfort, and durability. The geometry is characterized by a focus on performance and great aerodynamics, both of which you will appreciate if winning a podium is on your list of priorities.
Few bikes offer the same amount of road racing prowess to serious cyclists as Cervélo Caledonia does. It knows how to surprise.
The Caledonia is equipped with Shimano 105 components, which is expected on a bike in this price range. It offers 22 speeds, with a 2×11 drivetrain and a fast 11-34T cassette. The compact chainrings are perfect for climbing and flats.
When you want to bring your Caledonia to a stop, you can do it with 105 hydraulic disc brakes. They perform well in most situations and offer all the stopping power you need. The Vittoria Zaffiro Pro tires are 30 mm wide, but there’s enough clearance in the frame and the fork for best road bike tires that are up to 34 mm wide.
In conclusion, if you are looking for the best race road bike to smash road races, you shouldn’t have any second thoughts about Cervélo Caledonia.
3. Cannondale Synapse AL 2
Best Endurance Road Bike
The Cannondale Synapse AL 2 is one of the most versatile road bicycles on this list.
This bike is made with SmartForm C2 alloy, which has a high stiffness-to-weight ratio. It’s a lightweight bicycle that will make a huge difference in your Strava segment results and help you improve your PRs without breaking the bank.
Nothing less can be expected from the components than the tried and tested Shimano Tiagra groupset. To go with the theme, the brakes are Shimano Tiagra hydraulic discs, which will give you all the stopping power you need.
If you buy Synapse AL 2, it’ll come with a DT Swiss R470 DB tubeless-ready wheelset and Vittoria Zaffiro 700c x 30 mm tires.
The Synapse AL 2 is hard not to fall in love with at the first sight as it will make you faster, improve your times, and motivate you to ride more.
The frame is painted an attractive chalk white, so the bike has a very modern look.
The Cannondale Synapse AL 2 is definitely one of the best aluminum road bikes on this list so far. If you are looking to do some long endurance rides, and just have incredible amounts of fun with every ride, you won’t regret this purchase!
4. Orbea Orca M40
Best All-Road Performance Bike For Men & Women
Orbea Orca M40 is a quality road bike that will open your world to faster segments and longer distances.
The Orca M40 has Vittoria Zafiro V, 700×28 mm tires that feel fast, but are worth an upgrade if you want to get lower rolling resistance for better acceleration.
Orbea Orca M40 is the go-to choice for long days in the saddle and hard group rides that push you to the limits of endurance and lead to better gains.
This bike has a carbon OMR frame and a carbon fork which offer an excellent balance between strength, durability, and stability. Due to the design, we think this is an excellent women’s road bike as well.
The components are from the Shimano Tiagra family, which is a high-value mid-range groupset. The groupset will give you plenty of choices on your rides, especially when hitting hills! However, do not worry, you’ll be able to stop quickly in case of an emergency with a set of hydraulic disc brakes.
All in all, this is one of the best road bikes because of its versatility and high-quality build. If you were thinking of giving carbon a try, you will not regret this buy.
Best Road Bikes for Women
1. Marin Four Corners
Best Gravel Road Bike for Women
Do you regard yourself as a road and gravel cycling addict? Does your heart start beating faster when you leave the pavement behind? Marin Four Corners will get you completely hooked then!
This is a pretty versatile bike thanks to its Double Butted CrMo frame and fork. As you can see, this model has an attractive paint job and low standover clearance, so it’s suitable for all types of riders, including shorter ladies.
The full Shimano Sora groupset along with Marin aluminum double-wall rims will perform well for any experienced rider out there. The WTB Riddler Resolute tires are 42 mm wide and available in 650B or 700C diameters. With these components, Four Corners is ready to complete some long-distance events.
This bike also has Tektro Spyre C mechanical disc brakes which is a must on bikes built for gravel riding. Keep in mind that this is not a lightweight bike, but that doesn’t really matter as it is built for long-distance tours rather for speed.
Marin Four Corners is the best all-road bike for riders who want to get fit or put their foot in road and gravel riding a bit more seriously.
Talking about this Marin model would not be complete without mentioning all the mounting points that let you attach front and rear racks and multiple water bottles to stay on the road for days or weeks.
Marin Four Corners didn’t hit our list of best road bikes without a good reason.
2. Cannondale Topstone 4
Best for Commuting and Gran Fondos
Cannondale Topstone 4 is the best aluminum adventure bike for those who want to take their skills and performance to another level.
It is an entry-level to mid-range gravel bike, so that makes it one of the best picks in this category. It’s ideal for gran fondos as it can take a lot of abuse and it’s equipped for long days in the saddle.
Topstone 4 is made from lightweight SmartForm C2 Alloy. The fork is made of Topstone Carbon, it is light and absorbs vibrations really well. This bike is available in a beautiful sleek black paint job, which makes it really easy to fall in love with.
As expected for this money, you will get the microSHIFT Advent X groupset. The 11-48 cassette is easy to work with and is not too aggressive, so you will be able to build power gradually and tackle most of the hills as well.
Enthusiastic gravel riders who want to enter gran fondos or spend entire days in the saddle will not find more value anywhere else compared to Cannondale Topstone 4.
This bike also has numerous eyelets that let you attach different accessories. You can equip it with a front and rear rack, two water bottle cages, and front and rear fenders.
It is definitely one of the best road bikes under $2,000 right now, so it will be a great next step into long-distance riding or racing for any enthusiast cyclist.
Best Cyclocross and Gravel Bikes
1. Giant Revolt Advanced 1
Best All-Terrain Drop-Bar Bike
The Giant Revolt Advanced 1 is another exciting best gravel bike with great components in this review. The $3,999 price tag will give you incredible value, including some unexpected surprises.
Related: Giant Revolt Full Review
First of all, it comes with an ultralight carbon frame and fork. That makes it fast as it does not weigh much.
The drivetrain is the highlight of this bike. The SRAM Rival Etap electronic wireless groupset that gives this bike incredible shifting and so much ability while on the road or gravel.
The rims and tires are a combination of Giant‘s P-X2 rims and Maxxis Rambler 700 x 45c tires. That means you can hit gravel roads with this bike and stay upright.
Moreover, if you live in an area with bad roads or a lot of rainfall, these wide tires will make your life easier and your cycling more efficient.
The Revolt Advanced 1 allows all-terrain roadies to ride longer than ever before and explore off the beaten path.
Without a doubt, this is one of the best carbon gravel road bikes as it offers exceptional value at a very reasonable price. The SRAM hydraulic disc brakes reinforce this statement as well, as they offer more than enough stopping power.
In conclusion, if you are looking for a high-performance gravel road bike with an attractive price that can navigate all kinds of roads, the Giant Revolt Advanced 1 is the right choice.
2. State Bicycle Co. 6061 Black Label All-Road
Best Value Gravel Bike
Aesthetically, the State Bicycle Co’s 6061 Black Label All-Road is one of our favorite bikes on this list. When you look at it, the design is simple but very appealing. Keeping it inside for more than two days should be considered a crime!
Even though this bike doesn’t cost much, it has some pretty handy accessories. The frame is made from aluminum, and the fork is carbon fiber, so you can expect the utmost comfort on your daily rides.
The bike is amazing, at this price range and the components definitely don’t disappoint either. The State 11-speed drivetrain and mechanical disc brakes aren’t as reliable as Shimano, but they perform well at this price. You’ll have more than enough gears and stopping power wherever you go.
The All Road is a modern gravel bike with road-ready components that make it a decent all-around contender.
State’s 6061 All Road also rides on 700c wheels with 38c tires, they are alloy rims with durable walls and spokes. You also have the option of 650b wheels with 47c MTB tires, depending on how much off-roading you plan to do.
This is one of the best budget all-road bikes that you can use and abuse daily or go on multi-day adventures.
3. Salsa Journeyer Advent 650b
Best Amateur Race Gravel Bike
The Salsa Journeyer is one of our all-time favorites. It costs around $1,100, but for that money, you get a quality aluminum frame along with a lightweight aluminum fork. This combination gives you the ultimate comfort and stiffness.
What’s peculiar about this bike is that it has gravel-specific components, which will make a huge difference when riding on rough and unkempt gravel roads.
Additional good news is that the bike comes with disc brakes. To be precise, the brakes are Tektro mechanical discs, which is a good mid-range option.
The Journeyer offers exceptional value for the up and coming road or gravel rider with its wide-range drivetrain and efficient geometry.
The Journeyer features MicroShift components with 1×9 gears, which means the drivetrain doesn’t lack granny gears.
The geometry of Journeyer is endurance-based, so it will be comfortable if you wish to go for century rides. Moreover, the seat is a WTB Volt and it is, in fact very good, which seems to be highly regarded online among riders. Make sure to also invest in the best road bike shoes if you plan to do long rides.
This bike rolls on Teravail 700c x 47mm tires with big capacity that are durable and ready for any type of road.
All in all, this Journeyer is one of the best gravel bikes for the money, it has an attractive color scheme and it will no doubt put wind in your hair on a daily basis.
4. Rondo Ruut AL1 2X
Best Gravel Bike
Rondo Ruut AL1 is the best affordable all-road bikes out there with comfortable geometry and quality components.
It’s built around a custom-formed aluminum frame. Described as an aluminum-framed all-rounder, this bike is perfect for beginners who are looking for a bit more value.
The frame has multiple mounts and you can also fit a full-frame bag inside the main triangle as well.
Rondo has found the perfect balance between affordability, performance, and good looks.
This model comes with Shimano RX400 components, which probably doesn’t sound too familiar. Yet, this groupset offers good performance and a lot of value. With this 10-speed groupset, you can tackle hills and flats.
The hydraulic disc brakes are also from the RX400 family.
More: Best Gravel Bikes
The bottom line is that if you are looking to buy an accessible, versatile, and good-looking adventure gravel bike, Rondo Ruut AL1 should be on your list. It’s any bikepacker’s dream come true!
Road Bike Sizes
Even the best road bikes that cost thousands will not feel right to you if the size is not right. Therefore, it is extremely important to buy the right size for your height in order to maximize your pedal stroke efficiency but also to prevent injury.
Related: Different Types of Road Bikes
Road bike sizes are usually presented either in centimeters or in Roman numerals. You can calculate the correct size according to your height by looking at the road bike size chart that we have created for you below.
|Suggested frame size
Which Best Road Bike Is Right for You?
To sum things up and help you make the final choice, let’s summarize what we’ve concluded about each bike so far.
If you are on the lookout for the best road bikes under $500 without too many compromises, then Giordano Acciao is for you.
Definitely get the Pinarello F5 if you want one of the fastest carbon road bikes on this list, with a long-lasting racing pedigree. On the other hand, if you want to get the best budget road bike but still experience bike commuting at its best, you should consider Priority Continuum Onyx.
In case you want to ride more and challenge yourself on a modern and affordable road bike, the Cannondale CAAD Optimo 3 is the best cheap road bike we recommend.
The Cannondale Synapse AL 2 is an affordable endurance and all-road bike that we recommend for training, century rides, and long group rides in your area. If you’re interested in long gravel century rides, the State Bicycle Co. 6061 All-Road is made for endurance gravel riding. Salsa Journeyer is the best bike under $1,000 in this category, equipped with a 1x drivetrain and mechanical disc brakes.
However, if you’re looking for your first long-distance-ready aluminum bike, the Cannondale Topstone 4 will not disappoint you. Marin Four Corners is one of the best women’s bikes on the list. However, if you are looking for the best bike for road and trail, Giant Revolt Advanced 1 is waiting for you!
For amateur racers, there’s BMC Roadmachine. However, for bikepacking trips and adventures, Rondo Ruut should be your pick. Definitely check out Orbea Orca as well if you need a potent carbon race bike.
For electric options, see our list of the best electric road bikes.