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.
In this article, we’ll present to you
10 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)
- Best cheap entry-level road bikes
- Best training road bikes
- Best competition road bikes
- Best road bicycles for women
- Best cyclocross and gravel bikes
- Best electric road bikes.
Best Cheap Road Bikes for Entry-Level Riders
Salsa Journeyman Claris 700
Best Gravel Grinder
The Salsa Journeyman is a really good-looking bike that has also proved as a good performer on the gravel roads. It’s available in two colors – Orange and Copper 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 that looks mean but also offers more responsive steering.
Few bikes offer the same amount of gravel riding prowess to entry-level cyclists as Salsa Journeyman does. It knows how to surprise.
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 700c, as you can guess from the name, whereas the tires are 37mm 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 700c Claris.
Find your size and buy safely on Jenson USA
Best in Class! Best Design at an Affordable Price
The Tommaso Imola is a super-affordable road bike available in three very attractive colors: black, orange, and white. Tommaso Imola 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 steel which makes the bike more comfortable and more durable. Tommaso Imola 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 Claris, 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 24 gears on the 3×8 drivetrain, so you will have plenty of choice on the road.
Tommaso Imola is one of the most aesthetically pleasing bikes in this price range. If you want a bike that looks expensive and rides great for the money, get it.
The brakes on the Tommaso Imola are also from the Shimano Claris 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 Imola 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 Imola will definitely make you happy!
Cannondale CAADX 105 2020
Best Entry-Level Race Bike
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.
Cannondale CAADX 105 is ideal for intense training and entry-level competitions making it ideal for cycling enthusiasts and fitness riders.
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
Cannondale Quick Disc 3 (Women’s)
Best Value Women’s Bike
Aesthetically, Cannondale Quick Disc 3 is one of our favorite women’s hybrid bikes on this list. When 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 $800, it has a full carbon fork. The frame is made of Aluminum, so you can expect the utmost comfort on your daily rides.
The frame is amazing, at this price range, but the components definitely don’t disappoint. Shimano Altus and Acera front and rear derailleurs and Tektro hydraulic disc brakes are fitted on the frame which helps you shift through the gears on the 2×9 drivetrain and stop quickly. You’ll have more than enough gears and stopping power wherever you go.
Cannondale Quick Disc 3 is a classic hydrid/road bike, as its road-ready components make it a decent all-around contender.
Quick Disc 3 rides on 700c double-wall rims with durable stainless steel spokes. The Schwalbe Spicer tires are 35 mm wide and will maintain contact with the ground no matter the surface. They’re also sufficiently sleek to ride well on smooth tarmac.
The bottom point is, even with some slight downsides, this is a high-performing and beautiful bike, one of the road bikes with flat bars out there at this price range.
Buy from REI
Best in Class! Best Fitness Builder
The Tommaso Monza 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 Aluminum road bicycle with a carbon fork. With its weight of 22.3 lbs, it definitely doesn’t mess around on the road. The frame is available in two colors — blue and matte black. They will definitely get the looks!
Tommaso Monza is a seriously fast and capable bike thanks to the Shimano Tiagra groupset and the HCT carbon fork.
However, Tommaso Monza is not all looks. It is fitted with a decent Shimano Tiagra 4700 groupset with 20 speeds in total. The largest cog on the cassette has 32 teeth, which makes this bike perfect for climbing!
The brakes are Shimano Tiagra brake calipers with Tiagra 4700 brake levers. Some might prefer discs, but the truth is many roadies still love riding with V-brakes.
The wheelset is a Tommaso TC40 which is really lightweight and has low rolling resistance, while the tires are Kenda K191 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, Tommaso Monza is one of the best aluminum road bikes that you can get.
Find your size and buy safely on GiantNerd
Masi Speciale Randonneur SE Bike
Best Retro-Looking All-Road Bike
Do you love speed and gravel roads? If so, you will love the Masi Speciale Randonneur SE bike because this bike is fast! Due to the sleek retro design of its frame and fork, it cuts through the air like through butter.
considering the components, this bike is a good deal, offering reliable parts and durable materials.
Because this is a mid-range gravel bike, it comes with Shimano 105 and Tiagra components which are great value for money and perform excellently in all conditions. This Masi Speciale has a 2×10 drivetrain and Promax mechanical disc brakes.
Masi Speciale Randonneur SE is a bike that opens the door to gravel riding for novice cyclists and is often seen in gravel events.
The tires are really capable and durable WTB Horizon, 650b x 47mm wide. They will perform well on the tarmac as well. However, you do not have to worry about vibrations since the steel fork and frame will absorb most of them.
Whether you are looking for a fast gravel bike that will help you push your limits or a versatile do-it-all workhorse, Masi Speciale will be a great buy. At this price, there aren’t really any downsides to it.
Salsa Vaya GRX 600
Best in Class! Top Podium Finisher
Salsa Vaya has caught our eye because we believe it is a very good buy. It costs a bit over 2,000 dollars, but for that money, you get a quality steel frame along with a carbon fork. This combination gives you the ultimate comfort and stiffness.
Because it is a high-range bike, it uses mid-range gravel-ready Shimano GRX 810 components for the most part. The derailleurs are Shimano GRX, giving 2×11 gears, whereas the shifters are Shimano 105.
The good news is that the bike comes with disc brakes. To be precise, the brakes are TRP Spyre-C mechanical, which is a good mid-range option.
Salsa Vaya offers exceptional value for the up and coming road or gravel racer with its uniform Shimano components and durable and efficient geometry.
The geometry of Salsa Vaya is endurance-based, so it will be comfortable if you wish to go for century rides. Moreover, the seat is WTB Volt Comp, which seems to be highly regarded online among riders.
All in all, this Salsa is one of the best road bikes for the money, it has an attractive orange color scheme and it will no doubt put wind in your hair on a daily basis.
Find your size and buy safely from REI
Trek Domane SL 4
Best Carbon Race Bike
Trek has done it again. They have managed to build another fantastic full carbon road bike and add it to their already impressive range of road bikes.
The Trek Domane SL 4 has a really sleek design. The color is glossy grey, with “Trek ” written in black. The fire red/orange top tube adds a nice contrast.
There’s an all-black model as well!
Apart from the carbon, the Domane SL 4 can also boast with a full Shimano Tiagra 4700 set of components. The drivetrain is a 2×10 and it is made from a Praxis crank and a Tiagra cassette, 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 Trek Domane SL 4 has them and even though they add a bit more weight, they have staggering stopping power.
Trek Domane SL 4 is the best road bikes for serious riders who aim to win races and snatch local KOMs — it offers incredible value for the money.
Finally, this Trek is fitted with Bontrager Affinity rims and Bontrager R1 Hard-Case Lite tires (32c) 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 Trek Domane SL 4 is the right choice for you!
Find your size and buy safely on Trekbikes.com
Orbea Orca AERO M30 TEAM-D 2020
Best Disc Road Bike
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.
Orbea Orca Aero M30 Team-D 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 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 JensonUSA
Best Road Bikes For Women
Giant Revolt Advanced 1
Best Adventure Endurance Road Bike
Do you regard yourself as a speed and gravel addict? Does your heart start beating faster when you hit rough roads? Giant Revolt Advanced 1 will get you completely hooked then!
Revolt Advanced 1 is pretty light-weight thanks to its full-carbon frame and fork. The tubing is thin and light as any excess material has been shredded away.
The full SRAM Apex groupset along with the Giant P-X2 rims will perform well for any experienced rider out there. With these components, Giant Revolt Advanced 1 is ready to complete some long events.
This bike also has SRAM Apex 1 hydraulic disc brakes which have already swarmed the road cycling market. The weight of this bike is not disclosed, but we bet it is around 8-9 kg.
Giant Revolt Advanced 1 is a remarkable choice for male and female riders who want to get fit or put their foot in road and gravel riding a bit more seriously.
Talking about this Giant model would not be complete without mentioning the simple and eye-catching wine purple color scheme. So, if you are a lady or a man 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 evo.com
Cannondale Synapse Disc 105
Best Women’s All-Rounder
The Cannondale Synapse Disc 105 is another affordable road bike with great components. The $1,800 price will give you lots of value, including some unexpected surprises.
First of all, it comes with a SmartForm C2 Alloy frame and a full carbon fork with internal routing. Its 21 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 tires are a combination of Maddux RD 2.0 rims and Vittoria Zaffiro, 700c x 30mm tires. That means you can hit the 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.
Cannondale Synapse Disc 105 lets female roadies ride longer than ever before and explore off the beaten path.
Without a doubt, this is one of the best aluminum/carbon road bikes for women by Cannondale and generally on the market. The TRP Spyre-C mechanical disc brakes reinforce this statement as well, as it’s a fantastic choice with lots of stopping power.
If you are looking for a high-performance women’s road bicycle, you won’t regret buying the Cannondale Synapse Disc 105 for one second.
Find all Synapse models on REI.com
Giant Revolt Advanced 3
Best Unisex Gravel Bike
The Giant Revolt Advanced 3 is the best unisex gravel road bike for those who want to take their skills and performance to another level. It is a mid-range gravel bike, which makes it the most versatile of the three in this category. It comes with 700 x 38mm tires that can tackle dirt and fire roads.
The frame of the Giant Revolt Advanced 3 is made from lightweight and very responsive carbon material. The fork is also made from carbon, it is light and absorbs vibrations really well. This bike is available in clay gray color which makes it really easy to fall in love with. Plus, it matches the gravel underneath neatly as well.
As expected for this money, you will get the Shimano Tiagra groupset. The chainrings have 32/48T which are not too aggressive, so you will be able to build power gradually and tackle most of the hills as well. You can choose between 20 speeds in total, which is great as you save speed but get all the gears that you need.
Women road riders who want to carve a few paths on gravel roads will not find more value anywhere else compared to GIant Revolt Advanced 3.
Revolt Advanced 3 comes without pedals, so you can fit it with either flats or clipless. It features rack and fender mounts, which is great if you plan to tour or commute on it.
It is definitely one of the best mid-range gravel bikes for both men and women, so it will be a great first step into gravel riding or racing for any beginner or enthusiast cyclist.
Find your size and buy safely on evo.com
Cyclocross and Gravel Bikes
Co-op Cycles ADV 3.1
Best Gravel Adventure Bike
Co-op Cycles ADV 3.1 is one of the best adventure gravel 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 Co-op Cycles model on your list.
ADV 3.1 has 650b wheels with massive 50 mm Donnelly X’Plor MSO tires that will make no compromises with the terrain. The handlebar has a 12° flare, which translates to more stability on rougher roads.
Co-op Cycles ADV 3.1 is a go-to choice for multi-day gravel bikepacking adventures that push you to the limits of endurance and create unforgettable memories.
The Co-op Cycles ADV 3.1 has a double-butted chromoly steel and fork, which are on the heavy side but make the ride smooth and comfortable.
The components are mostly Shimano Deore with a total of 20 speeds that you can choose from. That will give you plenty of choices on the 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 TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes.
All in all, this is one of the best adventure road bikes because of its versatility and quality build. If you were thinking of trying gravel, you will not regret this buy.
Get from REI
Niner RLT 9 3-STAR
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.
Niner RLT 9 3-STAR is a versatile and capable bicycle that does well in most situations but truly excels when put to the test in competitive gravel events.
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
Salsa Warroad Carbon 105 700 Bike
Best in Class! Best Endurance Bike
Salsa Warroad is a phenomenal carbon road bike with excellent Shimano components.
It’s built around a full carbon frame and fork that bring the weight down and increase performance and value.
Salsa Warroad has an endurance geometry frame which will be much more comfortable to ride long distances.
The frame and fork both have a lot of mounts and can take three water bottles, a top tube bag, plus additional cages on the fork.
Salsa has found the perfect balance between affordability, performance, and good looks with the Warroad bike.
The components that Salsa Warroad comes with are Shimano 105, which is a group that offers the most practical value for the money. The drivetrain has 20 speeds with an 11-32T cassette, so it can tackle hills and flats.
Of course, the brakes are Shimano 105 hydraulic discs with 160/160 mm rotors on the front and back.
The bottom point is that if you are looking to buy an accessible, versatile, and a good-looking all-road bike, Salsa Warroad should be on your list.
Find your size and buy safely on REI
More: Best Gravel Bikes
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 height||Suggested frame size|
|4`10”-5`0”||148-152 cm||47-48 cm||XXS|
|5`0″-5`3″||152-160 cm||49-50 cm||XS|
|5`3″-5`6″||160-168 cm||51-52-53 cm||S|
|5`6″-5`9″||168-175 cm||54-55 cm||M|
|5`9″-6`0″||175-183 cm||56-57-58 cm||L|
|6`0″-6`3″||183-191 cm||58-59-60 cm||XL|
|6`3″-6`6″||191-198 cm||61-62-63 cm||XXL|
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.
If you are on the lookout for an affordable road bike without too many compromises made, the Tommaso Imola 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 Trek Domane SL 4.
In case you want to ride more and challenge yourself more on a retro-looking steel adventure bike, Masi Speciale is a great mid-range gravel bike for you. But you should consider Salsa Journeyman 700 Claris as well. The Tommaso Monza 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. Cannondale Quick Disc 3 is a more affordable entry-level hybrid bike if you don’t want to splurge but want to ride every day on different types of terrain.
Are CAT categories important to 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 Salsa Vaya is like made for you.
In case you are looking for your first gravel bike, the Giant Revolt Advanced 3 will not disappoint you. If you are more serious about road and gravel cycling and want a carbon frame bike, check out the Giant Revolt Advanced 1. However, if you are looking for a training road bicycle with a carbon fork, the Cannondale Synapse Disc 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 carbon setup more, Salsa Warroad should be your pick. Definitely check out the Co-op ADV 3.1, as one of the best adventure bikes on the list.
I hope it helped!