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Best Road Bikes

Jeff Balton

What are the Best Road Bikes

A road bike is nowadays regarded as the king of bicycles. It’s an extremely versatile bicycle type that can be used for training and commute around the city. Let’s see what are the best road bikes on the market.

Road bikes are the lightest of all bike types. They will allow you to go faster and to 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.

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In this article, we’ll present to you 15 best road bikes for the money that you should definitely consider if you are looking to buy one.

 


Let’s see, what are the best road bikes (By categories)

Right Road Bikes By Types


Best Cheap Road Bikes for Entry-Level Riders

1. Tommaso Tiempo

Tommaso Tiempo as best road bikeThe Tommaso Tiempo is a super-affordable road bike affordable in two very attractive colors: black/red and grey. Tommaso Tiempo is a high-performance aluminum road bike, so do not let the low price fool you. While the frame is made of aluminum, the fork is made of carbon which significantly reduces the weight, which is around 22 lbs for the smallest frame. The Tommaso Tiempo uses compact frame geometry which is superior to other frame geometries in that it offers better power distribution and is more responsive to the power input.

The components are full-on Shimano Sora, which is a low-end option, but it still offers great performance. For an entry-level rider, who is just entering road cycling and making their first pedal strokes on the road, this is a great option. You can choose between 18 gears on the 2×9 drivetrain, so you will have plenty of choice on the road.

The brakes on the Tommaso Tiempo are also from the Shimano Sora groupset. However, this bike does not come with discs, but with decent brake calipers. This is a great option nonetheless, as even many pro riders prefer brake calipers to discs on road bikes.

The Tommaso Tiempo rides on Kenda K152 road tires, which are 25mm wide and has aero bladed spokes on the rear wheel for better aerodynamic performance.

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, the Tommaso Tiempo will definitely make you happy!

See the bike on Giantnerd or on Amazon.com

 

The Salsa Journeyman is a really good-looking bike that has also proved as a good performer on the gravel roads. Salsa JourneymanIt’s available in two colors – dark olive and gray which look simple yet attractive.

It is one of the cheapest gravel bikes made by Salsa and on the general market as well. This bike is built around a special Journeyman aluminum frame, with a Fantail aluminum fork. These frames are well-known for being sturdy and durable, but lightweight at the same time. It has an oversized head tube which looks mean but also offers more responsive steering.

The Salsa Journeyman is equipped with Shimano Claris components, which is expected on a bike in this price range. It has 16 speeds, with a 2×8 drivetrain, which would not really be a choice of more experienced roadies. However, the cassette has a range of 11-34T which is perfect if you ride in a hilly area. In the end, a 2×8 drivetrain is great for someone who is still learning how to ride on gravel, shift economically, and increase their cycling efficiency.

When you want to bring your Journeyman to a stop, you can do it with Promax mechanical disc brakes. They are not as popular as hydraulic disc brakes, but they perform well in most situations. Moreover, the wheelset is 650b, as you can guess from the name, whereas the tires are 2.1″ wide, which is more than enough to hit any gravel road.

If you are buying your first gravel bike, you shouldn’t have any second thoughts about the Salsa Journeyman 650b Claris.

Find your size and buy safely on Jenson USA

 

For Training

3. Tommaso Aggraziato

Tommazo Aggraziato as best road bike for trainingsThe Tommaso Aggraziato 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 bicycles.

This is a serious carbon road bicycle with both a carbon frame and a carbon fork. With its 17lbs in weight, it definitely doesn’t mess around on the road. The frame is available in one color, which is a great combination of black and crimson red. It will definitely get the looks!

However, the Tommaso Aggraziato is not all looks. It is fitted with high-performance Shimano Ultegra 6800 groupset with 22 speeds in total. The largest cog on the cassette has 32 teeth, which makes this bike perfect for climbing!

The brakes are brake calipers and come from a lower Shimano groupset, the 105. However, the 105 is a groupset with the best value for the money and the brake levers are still Shimano Ultegra.

The wheelset is a Shimano RS10 which is really lightweight and has low rolling resistance, while the tires are Hutchinson Nitro 2 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 advanced rider and want to make some cycling gains, the Tommaso Aggraziato is one of the best carbon road bikes that you can get.

Find your size and buy safely on GiantNerd or on Amazon.com

 

4. Salsa Journeyman 700

Salsa journeyman 700Do you love speed? If so, you will love the Salsa Journeyman 700c Claris because this bike is fast! Due to the aero design of its frame and fork, it cuts through the air like through butter.

When you see its price, you will be dumbfounded how is it possible that it is so cheap. However, even the best road bikes do not have to be expensive if they are well-built.

Because this is a mid-range road bike, it comes with Shimano Claris components which are great value for money and perform excellently in all conditions. Moreover, the Salsa Journeyman 700c has 2×8 speeds and Shimano Claris brakes.

The tires are really fast and durable WTB Riddler, 37mm wide. They will perform well on the tarmac as well. However, you do not have to worry about vibrations since the carbon fork will absorb most of them.

Whether you are looking for a fast road bike that will help you push your limits, a TT bike, or even your first triathlon bike, the Journeyman will be a great buy. At this price, there aren’t really any downsides to it.

Get from Aventuron

 

5. Cannondale CAADX 105 2020

Ideal for intense training and entry-level competitionsCannondale CAADX 2020

The Cannondale CAADX 105 is one of the best aluminum road bikes on the market. It is a part of the well-known and popular CAAD range of Cannondale’s bikes, so you know that you are buying quality when you spend your money. There are plenty of reviews online and most of them are positive.

Even though the frame is aluminum, the fork is made of carbon which achieves significant weight savings. It’s available only in one color, painted in black with white and orange details.

As the name suggests, the Cannondale CAADX 105 is equipped with complete Shimano 105 components, which puts it among high-performance and high-end bikes. Moreover, it has 22 gears with a wide-range 11-34T cassette and Shimano 105 hydraulic disc brakes.

The CX 2.0 rims, with Formula RX-512 and CX-22 hubs with quick-release are fast, yet lightweight, so the rolling resistance is very low on the CAADX. The tires are 35 mm wide, which is wide enough to make this bike a good choice for mixed gravel and road rides.

The Cannondale CAADX 105 is a beautiful bike! This is important for your opponents, as they will have a nice view as you ride past them and over the finish line, but it will also motivate you to get out and ride more.

Buy from REI

6. Pure Cycles Gravel Adventure Apex Bike

Aesthetically, the Pure Cycles Gravel Adventure Apex bike is one of our favorites of this list. Pure Cycles ApexWhen you look at it, this bike just screams to come out and ride 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 costs around $1,000, it has a carbon fork. The frame is made of Chromoly steel, so you can expect utmost comfort on your gravel rides.

While the frame is amazing, at this price range, the components are as well. The SRAM Apex 1 rear derailleur and Promax mechanical disc brakes are fitted on the frame which helps you shift through the gears on the 1×11 drivetrain and stop quickly. You’ll have more than enough gears and stopping power wherever you go.

The Pure Cycles Gravel Adventure Apex bike rides on 700c WTB STP i23 rims with durable stainless steel spokes. The Hutchinson Overide tires are 38 mm wide and will maintain contact with the ground no matter the surface. However, many gravel bikes today have even wider tires, so you might want to upgrade in the future.

The bottom point is, even with some slight downsides, this is a high-performing and a beautiful bike, one of the best gravel bicycles out there at this price range.

Buy from REI

 

For Competitions

7. Orbea Avant M30Team-D (2019)

The Orbea Avant M30Team-D has caught our eye because we believe it is a very good buy. It costs far less than 3,000 dollars, but for that money, you get a full carbon frame along with a carbon fork. The frame is power meter compatible and the fork features carbon dropouts.

Because it is a high-range bike considering its price, it uses mid-range Shimano 105 components for the most part. The derailleurs and the cassette are Shimano 105 giving 2×11 gears, while the brakes and shifters are Shimano ST-7020, which is also a high-quality groupset.

The Shimano hydraulic disc brakes are undeniably the best possible braking solution in all weather conditions. So, if you live in an area with a lot of rainfall, you will be happy to have them on long descents.

The geometry of the Orbea Avant M30Tean-D is endurance, so it will be comfortable if you wish to go for century rides. Moreover, the seat is Selle Italia X3 Flow, which seems to be highly regarded online among riders.

All in all, this Orbea is one of the best road bikes for the money, it has an attractive black-grey / blue-red / jade-black or classic black-white color schemes and it will no doubt put wind in your hair.

Find your size and buy safely from Jenson USA

 

8. Diamondback Century 6C

Diamondback has done it again.

Image result for diamondback century 6 carbonThey have managed to build another fantastic full carbon road bike and add it to their already impressive range of road bikes.

The Diamondback Century 6C has a really simple design. The color is matte grey, with “Diamondback” written in black. The company calls this look “raw” which makes a lot of sense. However, it looks great.

Apart from the carbon, the Century 6C can also boast with a full Shimano Ultegra R8000 set of components. The drivetrain is 2×11 and it is also full Ultegra, which will make it last long even if you abuse it.

It’s not common nowadays for high-end road bicycles to have hydraulic disc brakes, but it is becoming more and more usual. The Diamondback Century 6C has them and even though they add a bit more weight, they have a staggering stopping power.

Finally, this Diamondback is fitted with HED Flanders rims and Continental Grand Sport Race folding tires (28c) which have a good power transfer on sprints or uphill attacks.

If you are asking for the best road bike and you have the money to spare, then the Diamondback Century 6C is the right choice for you!

Find your size and buy safely on Diamondback.com

 

9. ORBEA ORCA AERO M30 TEAM-D 2020

We love Orbea!

The Orbea Orca M30 Team-D is one of the most exclusive road bicycles on this list and because of that one of the most expensive ones as well. However, even by paying $3,500 for it, you won’t be paying through the nose – it will be money well-spent.

Of course, it is a full-carbon road bicycle with an aero frame and fork that Orbea has been meticulously improving to make weight reductions wherever possible. It’s an extremely lightweight bicycle which will make a huge difference in your competition results and help you improve your CAT standings.

Nothing less can be expected from the components than the tried and true Shimano 105 groupset. The bottom bracket is power meter compatible, which will make a huge difference if you plan to do structured training. The brakes are Shimano R7070 hydraulic discs, which will give you crazy stopping power.

If you buy the Orbea Orca Aero M30 Team-D, it’ll come with clincher Fulcrum Racing 400 DB wheels and Hutchinson Fusion 5 All Season TLR 700×28 tires.

The seatpost is also the result of Orbea’s ingenuity. The model is the Orbea Aero OMR – very lightweight and aerodynamic.

The Orbea Orca Aero M30 is definitely one of the best carbon road bikes on this list so far. If you are looking to beat some local KOMs, improve your racing performance and statistics, and just have incredible amounts of fun with every ride, you won’t regret this purchase even once!

Find your size and buy safely on Jenson USA

 

Best Road Bikes For Women

10. Cannondale Synapse Al Disc Sora Women (2019)

Updated model

Cannondale Synapse AI Disc SoraDo you regard yourself as a speed addict? Does your heart start beating faster when you hit 25 mph and higher? The Cannondale Synapse AI Disc Sora for women will get you completely hooked then!

This Cannondale Synapse model is super light-weight even though it is a hybrid of an aluminum frame and a carbon fork. The tubing is thin and light since all of the excess material has been shredded away.

The full Shimano Sora components along with the RD Disc wheels will perform well for any entry-level rider out there. These are not high-end components, but for beginners they are more than enough.

Cannondale has jumped on the bandwagon, so the Synapse has mechanical disc brakes which have already swarmed the road cycling market. The weight of this bike is around 22 lbs, which is great considering the price.

Talking about the Cannondale Synapse would not be complete without mentioning the simple and eye-catching black and white color scheme. So, if you are a lady looking for a fast and high-performing bicycle to test your limits, that also looks good, don’t look any further!

It didn’t hit our list of best road bikes without a good reason.

Find your size and buy safely on REI

 

11. Raleigh Amelia 1

The Raleigh Amelia

The Raleigh Amelia 1 is the best road bike for women who are just developing their cycling hobby. It is an entry-level road bike and that makes it the most affordable of the three in this category. However, it has a great value for money, so you should definitely consider it.

The frame of the Raleigh Amelia 1 is made of lightweight and very responsive aluminum compound. The fork is also made from aluminum, it is light and absorbs vibrations really well. This bike is available in sky blue color which makes it really easy to fall in love with Amelia.

As expected for this money, you will get the Shimano Claris 2000 groupset. The chainrings have 34/46T which are not too aggressive, so you will be able to build power gradually and tackle some local hills as well. You can choose between 16 speeds in total, which is also pretty standard on road bikes in this price range.

Amelia 1 also comes with platform pedals and has rack and fender mounts, which is great if you plan touring or to commute on it. If Amelia 1 is not quite what you’re looking for, you should check out Amelia 2 or Amelia 3 as these might be more fitting for you.

It is definitely one of the best entry-level road bikes for women, so it will be a great first step into road cycling for any beginner.

Find your size and buy safely on RaleighUSA.com

 

12. Cannondale Synapse Carbon Disc 105 SE Women’s Bike – 2019

Cannondale Synapse Carbon DiscThe Cannondale Synapse Carbon is one of the more expensive road bikes on this list. However, don’t let that get you discouraged. The $2,850 price is well-justified and it is worth breaking the bank.

First of all, it is an all-carbon road bicycle created with special BallisTec frame technology and a SAVE plus fork. Its 20 lbs of weight will feel like a refreshment on steep uphills.

The Shimano 105 components are well-worth the money. The derailleurs and shifters perform great even when you shift under high tension and in horrible weather conditions. The rims and hubs are a combination of WTB ST i19 TCS rims and WTB Exposure TCS 700x30c tires. That means you can hit gravel with this bike as well.

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.

Without a doubt, this is one of the best carbon road bikes for women by Cannondale and generally on the market. The Shimano 105 hydraulic disc brakes reinforce this statement as well, as there isn’t a better choice with more stopping power.

If you are looking for a high-performance women’s road bicycle, you won’t regret buying the Cannondale Synapse Carbon Disc 105 for one second.

Find all Synapse models on REI.com

 

For Cyclocross and Gravel Bikes

 

13. Diamondback Haanjo 3

Diamondback haanjo 3The Diamondback Haanjo 3 is the most affordable CX/Gravel bikes on this list. The money is saved on components and the frame but this is still one of the best adventure bikes for the money that you can get right now.

Compared to the NINER RLT 9, the Haanjo 3 has an endurance geometry frame which will be much more comfortable to ride long distance. Both the frame and the fork are made of high-grade aluminum which does not have to make a compromise between weight and performance.

The components that the Diamondback Haanjo 3 comes with are Shimano Sora, which is why it is a more affordable gravel bike. The drivetrain has 18 speeds and an 11-32T cassette, so it is intended for a much more relaxed ride.

Of course, the brakes are mechanical discs with 160mm/160 mm rotors on the front and back and Shimano Sora brake levers.

The Diamondback Haanjo 3 can be easily fitted with mounts and fenders, so you can ride it in wet conditions and take it on a trail touring adventure as well.

So, the bottom point is, if you are looking to buy an affordable, versatile, and a good-looking gravel bike, the Diamondback Haanjo 3 should be on your list.

Read our in-depth review of Haanjo 3 >

Find your size and buy safely on Diamondback.com

PS! You can also check the Haanjenn 3, which is a women-specific model with the same specs.

 

14. Niner RLT 9 3-STAR (2020)

First of all, the Niner RLT 9 3-STAR is a bike that you will fall in love with at first sight. It is a beautiful bike with an attractive silver/blue/gray color scheme that will just urge you to go out and ride it. Now that we have established that, we can say more about its performance.

The Niner RLT 9 is built around a 6061 aluminum frame with a comfortable geometry which is fast, durable, and very responsive. The full RDO carbon fork makes any terrain imperfections much less impacting, so you will enjoy the ride.

Niner RLT 9 is a mid- to high-range gravel bike fitted with the proved and tested SRAM Rival groupset. The drivetrain is very practical with 22 speeds and an 11-34T cassette on the back. Therefore, this bike means business and will go fast when you explore the fire roads.

The rims are the popular Stan’s NoTubes Grail S1, which are very durable and will take a beating. These are clad in Schwalbe G-One EVO SS, 700 x 40c tires, with low-profile knobs, perfect for gripping on loose terrain.

A modern gravel bike would not be complete without good disc brakes, so the Niner RLT 9 3-Star has SRAM Rival HRD hydraulic discs, which most riders are very happy with.

There are no doubts that this is a very attractive gravel bike and that it will perform really well on any terrain. If you are looking for a bike to upgrade from your entry-level road or CX bike, the Niner RLT 9 will definitely put a smile on your face.

Find your size and buy safely on JensonUSA

Electric Road Bike

15. Cannondale Synapse NEO SE (2019)

Synapse Neo SEThe Raleigh Synapse NEO SE is one of the best electric gravel road bikes out there. Whether you are looking to buy a fast commuter or you want a bike that will give your joints a break, you should put this Raleigh on the list.

It uses a Bosch Active Line Plus central motor with 250 W of power and a durable Bosch PowerTube battery with a 500 Wh capacity for long rides. You can use the display to keep track of your speed and battery consumption and make the most out of your rides. The max speed is 28 mph which will make a big difference on group rides.

The Raleigh Synapse NEO has an aluminum frame and a carbon fork, which are really lightweight, so the bike is not too heavy even though it is electric.

The components are SRAM Apex 1 and it has a total of 11 speeds that you can choose from. Combined with the electric motor, that will give you plenty of power on the rides! However, do not worry, you’ll be able to stop quickly in case of an emergency with a set of SRAM Apex hydraulic disc brakes.

All in all, this is one of the best electric road bikes because of its versatility and quality build. If you were thinking of going electric, you will not regret this buy.

Get from Cannondale.com

Read full Raleigh electric bikes review



Road Bike Sizes

Even the best road bike that you pay through the nose will not mean a lot for your performance 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.

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.

Rider heightSuggested frame size
Feet/InchesCentimetersCentimetersSize
4`10”-5`0”148-152 cm47-48 cmXXS
5`0″-5`3″152-160 cm49-50 cmXS
5`3″-5`6″160-168 cm51-52-53 cmS
5`6″-5`9″168-175 cm54-55 cmM
5`9″-6`0″175-183 cm56-57-58 cmL
6`0″-6`3″183-191 cm58-59-60 cmXL
6`3″-6`6″191-198 cm61-62-63 cmXXL

Conclusion – Which Best Road Bikes To Choose?

Since there are so many amazing road bikes out there, we hope that we have helped you make a choice by choosing 15 best road bikes. At least we have made your decision process easier. To help you, even more, let’s summarize what we’ve concluded about each bike so far.

Best suggested road bikes

If you are on the lookout for an affordable road bike without too many compromises made, the Tommaso Tiempo is for you. However, if you want to spend as little money as possible but still experience road cycling at its best, you should purchase the Diamondback Century 6C.

In case you want to make an upgrade from your entry-level road bike, the Salsa Journeyman 700 is a great mid-range bike for you. The Tommaso Aggraziato is going to make you happy if you need a bike for longer and more serious training. However, if you are really serious about your training and want to structure them more, don’t look further than the Cannondale CAADX 105. The Pure Cycles Gravel Adventure Apex  is a more affordable entry-level gravel bike if you don’t want to splurge but want to leave your mates in the dust.

Are CAT categories important for you? The Orbea Orca Aero M30 Team-D is one of the best bikes on the list and will get you to CAT2 or CAT1 quickly. If you need a training-competition bike with disc brakes to practice descending as well as climbing, the Orbea Avant M30 Team-D is like made for you. Finally, the Diamondback Century 6C is one of the best competition road bikes for the money with disc brakes that you can get if you ride downhills a lot.

In case you are a woman looking for her first road bike, the Raleigh Amelia 1 will not disappoint you. If you are more serious about road cycling and want an aluminum frame bike, check out the Cannondale Synapse Sora for Women. However, if you are looking for a full carbon road bicycle, the Cannondale Synapse Carbon 105 is waiting for you!

When it comes to cyclocross and gravel, are you a fan of carbon or aluminum? If you prefer a mix of two, buy the good-looking Niner RLT 9 3-Star. However, if you trust the full-aluminum setup more, the Diamondback Haanjo 3 should be your pick.

Finally, if you want to get on the electric bandwagon and make some easy speed gains, check out the e-Cannondale!

Hope it helped!

This Article Has 2 Comments

  • John says:

    wow. seriously not a single TREK in that list. You should be ashamed. The trek emonda ALR deserves to be here at under 1k and very highly rated with 105 groupset.

    • Jeff Balton says:

      You are right John.
      Trek makes outstanding bikes and there are plenty of them out there. We’ll be keeping our eyes open when updating the list. Thanks for pointing it out, we appreciate your feedback!

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