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.
Due to Coronavirus, most of the bikes are sold out! Consider pre-owned bikes on The Pro’s Closet
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 entry-level road bikes
- Training road bikes
- Competition road bikes
- Road bicycles for women
- Cyclocross and gravel bikes
Best Cheap Road Bikes for Entry-Level Riders
1. Tommaso Imola
Best Fitness Builder
MSRP $975 (Giantnerd)
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
Best in Class! Best Cheap Road Bike
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. Schwinn Fastback
Best Affordable All-Road Bike
If so, you will love the Schwinn Fastback bike because of how versatile it is! Due to the lightweight aluminum frame and fork, you can ride it as fast 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 low-level Shimano Claris components which are still a good value for money and perform well in most conditions. This Schwinn has a 2×8 drivetrain and alloy caliper brakes.
Schwinn Fastback is a bike that opens the door to road riding for novice cyclists and is often bought as a first real road bike.
Alex X2200 double-wall rims with narrow 700c tires is a combo that will help you accelerate easily and maintain speed. The frame sizes are suitable for riders between 4’1″ and 6’4″. That’s a massive range.
Whether you are looking for a fast road bike that will help you push your limits or a versatile do-it-all workhorse, Schwinn Fastback 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!
1. All-City Nature Cross Rival
Most Breathtaking Design
MSRP $2,499 (Jenson USA)
The All-City Nature Cross is one of the best steel road bikes on the market. It is a part of All-City’s gravel lineup, so it’s ideal for those who want to explore all types of roads. There are plenty of reviews online and most of them are positive.
Even though the frame is steel, the fork is made of carbon which achieves significant weight savings. It’s available only in one color, called Cyclone Popsicle, and it’s one of the most stunning paint jobs we’ve ever seen.
As the name suggests, the All-City Nature Cross Rival is equipped with complete SRAM Rival components, which puts it in the mid-range category. This is a 1x drivetrain, so you’ll get 11 gears with a wide-range 11-36T cassette and TRP Spyre-C hydraulic disc brakes.
All-City Nature Cross is ideal for intense training and long gravel rides making it a great choice for cycling enthusiasts and fitness riders.
The WTB ST i23 rims, with All-City Go-Devil hubs with quick-release are fast, yet lightweight, so the rolling resistance is very low on the Nature Cross. The tires are 33 mm wide, which is wide enough to make this bike a good choice for mixed gravel and road rides.
The All-City Nature Cross Rival 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 there and ride more.
2. Co-op Cycles ADV 1.1
Best Value Touring & Commuter Bike
MSRP $1,400 (REI)
Aesthetically, Co-op Cycles ADV 1.1 is one of our favorite touring road 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 and the fork are made of steel, 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 either. Shimano Deore LX front and rear derailleurs and TRP hydraulic disc brakes are fitted on the frame which helps you shift through the gears on the 3×10 drivetrain and stop quickly. You’ll have more than enough gears and stopping power wherever you go.
Co-op Cycles ADV 1.1 is a classic touring bike with road-ready components that make it a decent all-around contender.
ADV 1.1 rides on 700c WTB STP i23 rims with durable walls and spokes. The Schwalbe Marathon tires are 38 mm wide and have puncture protection so you don’t have to worry about flats on your long rides.
The bottom point is, even with some slight downsides, this is one of the best budget road bikes that you can use and abuse daily or go on multi-day adventures.
3. Priority Continuum Onyx
Easiest to Maintain Commuter
MSRP $1,199 (Priority Bicycles)
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!
1. Bianchi Sprint Disc Force eTap AXS
Best Carbon Race-Ready
MSRP $4,900 (Backcountry.com)
First of all, Bianchi Sprint is a bike that you will fall in love with at first sight. It is a beautiful bike with an attractive celeste 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.
Bianchi Sprint 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 best road bikes are made from.
Sprint is a high-end race road bike fitted with the proved and tested SRAM Force eTap AXS groupset. The drivetrain is very practical, consisting of 24 gears, a 10-33T cassette, and a 48/35T crankset. Therefore, this bike means business and will go fast when you explore unknown roads.
Best of all, you get wireless shifting which is unmatched when it comes to precision, speed, and smoothness.
Bianchi Sprint is a versatile and capable bicycle that does well in most situations but truly excels when put to the test in competitive road events.
Bianchi equipped this bike with Fulcrum Racing 618 Disc rims, which are very durable and will take a beating. These are wrapped with Vittoria Rubino IV, 700 x 28c tires, with low-profile knobs, which are considered to be the best road bike tires these days.
A modern carbon road bike would not be complete without good disc brakes, so Sprint has SRAM Force HRD discs, which most riders are very happy with.
In conclusion, there is no doubt that this is a very attractive road bike that will perform really well on any terrain. If you are looking for a bike to upgrade from your best entry-level road bike, Bianchi Sprint will definitely put a smile on your face.
2. Cervelo Caledonia 105
Best List of Specs
MSRP $2,900 (Backcountry)
Cervelo Caledonia is a really good-looking bike that has proved as a good performer in road races and as the best endurance road bike. It’s available in two colors — Black and Maroon/Red, both of which look 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 Road swiftness and great aerodynamics, both of which you will appreciate if performance is on your list of priorities.
Few bikes offer the same amount of endurance road riding prowess to serious cyclists as Cervelo Caledonia does. It knows how to surprise.
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 an 11-34T cassette. The 52x36T chainrings are perfect if you want to ride fast when the road goes flat.
When you want to bring your Cervelo Caledonia to a stop, you can do it with Shimano 105 hydraulic disc brakes. They perform well in most situations and offer all the stopping power you need. The stock Vittoria Zaffiro Pro V G2.0 tires are 30mm wide, but there’s enough clearance in the frame and the fork for best road bike tires that are up to 34mm wide.
In conclusion, if you are looking for the best endurance road bike to smash centuries, you shouldn’t have any second thoughts about Cervelo Caledonia.
3. NS Bikes RAG+ 2
Best Bike for Road and Trail
MSRP $1,700 (Mike’s Bikes)
NS Bikes RAG+ 2 is one of the most capable gravel road bicycles on this list, but despite that, it does not cost an arm and a leg. This company is not very popular, but it might become one of the best road bike brands in the future.
This is an aluminum bike with a full carbon fork that NS Bikes has been meticulously improving to make weight reductions wherever possible. It’s a decently lightweight bicycle that will make a huge difference in your Strava segment results and help you improve your PRs.
Nothing less can be expected from the components than the tried and true SRAM Apex 1 groupset. It gives you a total of 11 gears with a 42T chainring and an 11-42T cassette. The brakes are TRP Spyre mechanical discs, which will give you all the stopping power you need.
If you buy the NS Bikes RAG+ 2, it’ll come with ALEX Draw 2.1P tubeless compatible wheels and WTB Nano 700x40C tires (clearance for up to 45mm). This bike is also compatible with 650B wheels, with tires up to 2.2″ wide.
NS Bikes RAG+ 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 stem is a beautiful shade of purple/blue, so it provides a nice contrast compared to the rest of the bike. The frame and the fork are zig-zagged with mounting points for racks, fenders, bags, and water bottle cages, so you can go on a long adventure.
Related: Buying From Mike’s Bikes
RAG+ 2 is definitely one of the best aluminum gravel road bikes on this list so far. If you are looking to beat some local KOMs, go on long bikepacking trips, and just have incredible amounts of fun with every ride, you won’t regret this purchase even once!
Best Road Bikes For Women
1. Cannondale Topstone 2 Women’s
Best Endurance Road Bike for Women
MSRP $1,750 (REI)
This is a pretty lightweight bike thanks to its aluminum frame and carbon fork. As you can see, this model has a women-specific geometry and a women-specific saddle.
The full Shimano GRX 400 groupset along with the WTB ST i23 TCS tubeless-ready rims will perform well for any experienced rider out there. The WTB Riddler TCS Light tires are 37mm wide and tubeless-ready as well. With these components, Topstone 2 is ready to complete some long events.
This bike also has GRX 400 hydraulic disc brakes which is a must on bikes built for gravel riding. The complete bike weighs around 22 lbs. 4.8 oz. which is pretty good considering the price and the components.
Cannondale Topstone 2 is the best women’s 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 Topstone model would not be complete without mentioning the simple and eye-catching meteor gray paint job. 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!
Cannondale Topstone 2 didn’t hit our list of best road bikes without a good reason.
2. Cannondale Synapse 105
Best All-Road Performance Bike For Men & Women
MSRP $1,900 (REI)
Cannondale Synapse 105 is one of the best affordable all-road bikes out there. Whether you are looking to buy a fast commuter or you want a bike that will give you more possibilities when choosing which route to take, you should put this Synapse model on your list.
Synapse 105 has 700C wheels with wide 30mm Vittoria Zaffiro tires that will make no compromises with the terrain. The bike also comes with multiple eyelets to attach a rear rack, fenders, and two water bottles.
Cannondale Synapse 105 is the go-to choice for multi-day adventures and long rides that push you to the limits of endurance and create unforgettable memories.
Cannondale Synapse has a 6061 aluminum 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.
The components are mostly Shimano 105 with a total of 22 gears that you can choose from. That 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 mechanical disc brakes.
All in all, this is one of the best adventure road bikes because of its versatile and high-quality build. If you were thinking of trying gravel, you will not regret this buy.
3. Orbea Vector Drop LTD
Best for Commuting and Randonneuring
MSRP $1,999 (Jenson USA)
It is a high-quality mid-range gravel bike, so that makes it one of the best picks in this category. It’s ideal for randonneuring as it can take a lot of abuse and it’s equipped for long days in the saddle.
Orbea Vector Drop is made from lightweight and very responsive aluminum material. The fork is made from carbon, it is light and absorbs vibrations really well thanks. This bike is available in beautiful crimson red color, which makes it really easy to fall in love with.
As expected for this money, you will get the Shimano Tiagra groupset. It features a compact crankset whereas the 10-speed cassette has an 11-34T range, which 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 brevets or spend entire days in the saddle will not find more value anywhere else compared to Orbea Vector Drop LTD.
This bike also has a dynamo hub that powers front and rear lights and can even power your electronic devices with the right upgrade. You also get fenders and a rear rack to carry you necessities.
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.
Cyclocross and Gravel Bikes
1. Priority Apollo Gravel
Best All-Terrain Drop-Bar Bike
Priority Apollo Gravel is another exciting best road bike with great components in this review. The $1,700 price tag will give you lots of value, including some unexpected surprises.
First of all, it comes with an ultralight 6061 T6 aluminum and a carbon fork. That makes it fast as it does not weigh much.
The drivetrain is the highlight of this bike. You get a carbon belt instead of a traditional chain and an integrated Alfine gear hub with 11 speeds. The gear hub and shifters perform great even when you shift under high tension and in horrible weather conditions. Plus, they require minimal maintenance.
The rims and tires are a combination of WTB i23 ST rims and WTB Byway 700C x 40mm 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.
Priority Apollo Gravel 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 aluminum gravel road bikes as it offers exceptional value at a very reasonable price. The TRP Spyre Mechanical 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, Priority Apollo is the right choice.
2. Co-op Cycles ADV 2.3
Best Amateur Race Gravel Bike
MSRP $2,399 (REI)
Co-op Cycles ADV 2.3 caught our eye because we believe it is a very good buy. It costs around 2,400 dollars, but for that money, you get a quality aluminum frame along with a carbon fork. This combination gives you the ultimate comfort and stiffness.
What’s peculiar about this bike is that it has a dropper post, which is not often seen on gravel bikes. It will make a huge difference when descending, so ADV 2.3 is a good choice for amateur gravel racers.
Additional good news is that the bike comes with disc brakes. To be precise, the brakes are Shimano GRX 800, which is a good mid-range option.
Co-op Cycles ADV 2.3 offers exceptional value for the up and coming road or gravel rider with its wide-range drivetrain and efficient geometry.
ADV 2.3 features Shimano GRX RX810 components with 11 gears, which means the drivetrain is pretty lightweight but doesn’t lack granny gears.
The geometry of ADV 2.3 is endurance-based, so it will be comfortable if you wish to go for century rides. Moreover, the seat is WTB Silverado Comp, 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 WTB Nano TCS 700c x 40mm tires with tan sidewalls, that are durable and ready for any type of road.
All in all, this Co-op Cycles model is one of the best gravel bikes for the money, it has an attractive yellow color scheme and it will no doubt put wind in your hair on a daily basis.
3. Salsa Cutthroat Carbon
Best Endurance Road Bike
MSRP $3,499 (REI)
Salsa Cutthroat is a phenomenal carbon gravel 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 Cutthroat 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. You can fit a full-frame bag as well.
Salsa has found the perfect balance between affordability, performance, and good looks with the Cutthroat bike.
The components that Salsa Cutthroat comes with are SRAM Apex 1, which is a group that offers the most practical value for the money. The drivetrain has 11 speeds with an 11-42T cassette, so it can tackle hills and flats.
The brakes are TRP Spyre-C mechanical discs with 160/160 mm rotors on the front and back. They are not everyone’s favorite, but they get the job done.
More: Best Gravel Bikes
The bottom line is that if you are looking to buy an accessible, versatile, and good-looking adventure gravel bike, Salsa Cutthroat 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 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.
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.
|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’ve helped you make a choice. 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 the best road bikes under $500 without too many compromises made, then Giordano Acciao is for you. 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 more on a modern and affordable aluminum road bike, Schwinn Fastback is the best cheap road bike we recommend. But you should consider Cervelo Caledonia if you want something much better equipped. The Tommaso Imola should be the choice if you need a bike for longer and more frequent training. However, if you are really serious about your training, don’t look further than the All-City Nature Cross. Co-op Cycles ADV 1.1 is an affordable touring and commuter bike.
Are adventures important to you? NS Bikes RAG+ 2 is one of the best road bikes on the list that you can use for gravel as well. If you enjoy gravel racing and you want to get better at it, then Co-op Cycles ADV 2.3 is made for you.
In case you are looking for your first long-distance-ready aluminum bike, the Orbea Vector Drop LTD will not disappoint you. If you are looking for the best women’s road bike, check out Cannondale Topstone 2 Women’s. However, if you are looking for the best bike for road and trail to ride the road less traveled, Priority Apollo Gravel is waiting for you!
If you are an amateur racer, then Bianchi Sprint is one of the best road bikes for you. However, if you want to do long bikepacking trips and adventures, Salsa Cutthroat should be your pick. Definitely check out Cannondale Synapse 105 as well.