Our Best Road Bikes Tested & Reviewed
The best road bikes should be lightweight and aerodynamic without sacrificing comfort. They should minimize the drag you experiences when you ride, so you can hit your optimal speed. This is especially important for those of you who participate in races.
Our list of reviews feature high-end road bikes as well as more affordable options—so there’s literally something on there for all budgets. Take a look at our top picks, all of which will help you push yourself to the limit and reach your performance goals.
Enjoy, we hope we help you find your next road bike!
In a Hurry? The test winner after 12 hrs of research
Riders found the bike handled prolonged usage quite well
Easy to customize and accessorize
Smooth gear shifting
- Vilano Aluminum Shimano
- Kestrel Talon Tri Shimano
- Giordano Libero 2.0
- Takara Kabuto Single Speed
- Cyrusher XC760
- Schwinn Phocus 1600
- Tommaso Imola
- GMC Denali
- Vilano Shadow 2.0
- Schwinn Discover Hybrid
- Criteria Used for Evaluation
- Expert Interviews & Opinions
- Other Factors to Consider
- Frequently Asked Questions
Our Favorite Road Bikes
1. Vilano Aluminum Shimano
Riders found the bike handled prolonged usage quite well
Easy to customize and accessorize
Smooth gear shifting
It’s heavier than more expensive models
Some shorter riders found the geometry of the bike a bit awkward
An affordable option for entry-level riders that comes in 4 color options and different sizing variations to accommodate both tall and short riders. The bike has a durable frame and comfortable handlebars as well.Read more
The bike features a durable aluminum frame. The frame is lightweight and weighs about 24lbs (give or take depending on the frame size chosen). Also, the bike also features allow components for increased sturdiness.
With 700cc tires, the bike rides fast and gives the rider a responsive handling experience. Reviewers commented on how smooth the ride felt and liked the versatility provided by the 21-speed gear system.
The handlebars on the bike are comfortable and allow for an aerodynamic position without sacrificing comfort. Squishy wrappings make holding the handlebars comfortable. The bike comes in different sizing choices to suit riders of different heights.
As we have mentioned throughout this review, this road bike is really comfortable. The Vilano Aluminum Shimano bike is perfect for all heights, so it is really versatile and doesn't sacrifice comfort for anyone--short or tall.
It's an affordable option for new riders or those with a limited budget.
2. Kestrel Talon Tri Shimano
Easy to assemble
Can be used for triathlon or just for road biking
Priced really well for its category
Performs almost as or just as good as a much more expensive bike
Basic parts like the tires may require an upgrade depending on the rider’s performance needs
This model is an excellent option for triathletes looking for a bike that is lightweight and can perform. Great bike for beginner triathletes. So, if you want a versatile, lightweight, and comfortable bike this is a great model to look into and consider.Read more
This is the only bike on our list that’s made of EMH Carbon Fiber. This type of frame construction is lightweight but also sturdy and durable.
The bike is built aerodynamically to support enhanced performance. It was even tested in a wind tunnel! The build helps to reduce vibration and its effects on the rider. It also comes with aero-type handlebars which are particularly useful in a triathlon race setting.
The bike also happens to be available in a variety of sizes for people of different heights.
The saddle on this bike is adjustable so riders can ride comfortably in different scenarios. Aero bars allow riders to assume a comfortable, speedy position for triathlon racing.
It’s on the higher end of the price range but fairly affordable compared to other bikes in the triathlon category.
3. Giordano Libero 2.0
Easy to assemble
Tire quality is questionable
Less than optimum brakes
The newest version of the Giordano Libero is another example of the long-standing tradition of road bicycle quality from Giordano. This smooth and sleek bike will surely be one of your top considerations on this list.Read more
The Giordano is constructed from lightweight materials for an exceptional build, made from aluminum with a highly durable carbon fork. Some riders with biking maintenance experience do advise that the stock brakes and tires should be replaced for better performance.
The Giordano Libero provides for a smooth ride with few issues. The gears are compact for better weight and performance, meaning the rider doesn't have to sacrifice the extra power of a geared bike in order to keep the weight low.
This road bike provides a comfortable smooth ride with few to no problems involving rider size or long term rider discomfort.
In terms of comfort, the Giordano Libero 2.0 road bike is comfortable without being too heavy, so you aren't sacrificing much. This bike offers a smooth ride and ensures you don't have deal with an uncomfortable bumpy ride.
The Giordano Libero 2.0 is certainly a sizable investment and maybe one of the higher-priced bikes on this list. But you are certainly guaranteed a high-quality product for your money, which is, relative to similar caliber products, of lower cost.
4. Takara Kabuto Single Speed
Rides well and predictably
Basic construction (single-gear)
Assembly is fairly simple
Fixed gear or freewheel option for riding
Tires aren’t the best quality
Brakes could be a bit more responsive
Heavier than other models on this list
This road bike is an excellent option for those of you who are just starting out and looking for a good beginner bike. It comes in several color options to choose from and is sleek and compact in design.Read more
A steel frame, alloy rims, and hub ensure the bike can handle regular use. The bike weighs about 29lbs, depending on the frame size selected by the user.
Single-speed construction allows users to get a real workout in and get a feel for their capabilities. Kenda brand tires perform well when the ground is dry. Traction could be better when wet, but overall the bike handles well.
The bike comes in 3 size choices to accommodate a variety of rider heights. Comfortable handlebars round out of the design, although some reviewers did feel the seat could be a little more padded for comfort.
Because this bike is made for beginners, it is also a more comfortable option for those you who want to get a bike with more padding and cushioning. Overall, this bike absorbs shock adequately so you stay comfortable even when you decide to go the distance.
Budget pricing makes this bike an accessible option for all types of riders. Assembly is available for an additional cost.
5. Cyrusher XC760
Great braking system
Pedals not as quality-made as the rest of the bike
Shifting could be smoother
Lightweight, stylish bike for casual road riders who want to look the part while they cruise the neighborhood or head out on their commute to work.Read more
The lightweight aluminum frame is constructed with durability in mind. The bike even comes with a lifetime warranty for the frame and fork.
The 14-speed bike features smooth gear shifting action and a quality braking system for easy handling.
The bike is only sold in one size which is in the middle of the spectrum, the 52cm frame size it suitable for very tall or super short riders.
The bike features ergonomically curved handlebars for a comfortable riding position.
The bike is priced quite affordably making it an excellent choice for those new to the sport of cycling.
6. Schwinn Phocus 1600
Quality bike saddleOverall excellent quality for the priceRides great according to reviewersNice and lightweight
Gears shift nicely and bike handle up and downhills well
Room to fit rear saddlebags if so desired
Comfortable ride experience
Front wheel can be detached for easier storage
Drop bars difficult to reach comfortable for some
Tires aren’t the best quality
Great bike for new riders who want something lightweight but without the high cost associated with most ultralight bikes. 16-speeds shift quickly and allow for a comfortable, reliable ride.Read more
This bike features a durable aluminum constructed frame and a super lightweight carbon fiber fork. The affordable men's sized bike weighs an impressive 26lbs overall.
The 700cc wheels are made for going fast, and a 16-speed gear system allows for control on varied terrain.
The bike is sized specifically for men and features a frame size of 56cm.
When it comes to comfort, this bike offers a great deal of comfort for those of you who are just starting out and want to invest in a bike where you don't have to sacrifice comfort for performance.
A great price is paired with sturdy construction and lightweight design which only helps to increase the overall value of the
7. Tommaso Imola
Shifting feels natural
Comfortable handlebars, easy to grip
Wheels aren’t the best quality
Tape on the handlebars tends to peel off
It looks way more expensive than it is and rides like a charm. Another excellent choice for riders who want quality and performance in an affordable package.Read more
The frame is made of aluminum, and the fork is composed of steel. The bike is durable, and that durability is backed by a lifetime warranty for both the frame and fork. Overall, the bike weighs a nice lightweight 25lbs.
24 speeds on this bike allow for maximum precision handling and make the bike a great option for riding in various conditions.
The bike comes in various sizes to accommodate a variety of heights.
The compact geometry of the bike allows for a comfortable fit that's suitable for longer rides.
The bike is priced a little higher than some of the other bikes on this list, but it's still a super affordable road bike option
8. GMC Denali
Low priceSmooth ride
Great starter bike
Assembly is a little challenging according to some reviewers
A little on the heavier side
Sizing not accurate
A low price and decent construction make this a good starter bike for inexperienced riders who want to try their hand on the roads or are looking to enter their first triathlon race.Read more
The overall weight of the bike is about 28lbs (depending on the frame size chosen) thanks to the lightweight but sturdy aluminum frame construction.
21 speeds and 700cc tires allow for the rider to go fast.
The bike comes in 4 sizes to fit a range of riders.
Reviewers also commented on the fact that the seat is exceptionally comfortable.
The very affordable bike is a great entry-level choice for inexperienced riders.
9. Vilano Shadow 2.0
Handles hills quite well
Comes partially assembled Looks great
Reviewers loved how it felt when riding
Rides smoothly, gears shift easily
Seat isn’t great
The Vilano Shadow 2.0 road bike is one of the best out there not just because of its great price--which is quite attractive if we don't say so ourselves=--but because it is also responsive, durable, and comfortable.Read more
An aerodynamic aluminum frame weighs in at around 25lbs for an impressively lightweight ride.
14 speeds and 700cc tires allow for responsive riding experience. Riders liked how well the bike handled and enjoyed the smooth ride and gear.
When it comes to size, this bike is an excellent option for most user heights, however, if you are extra tall or extra short (like me) then you will want to check out the bike's specs just to make sure that it will work for you.
The bike rides comfortably, and although the seat leaves something to be desired, it's no trouble to swap it out as many reviewers found themselves doing.
A very affordable road bike is a great option for urban commuters or beginner competition riders.
10. Schwinn Discover Hybrid
Good fit to size
Comfortable to use
May have some Assembly difficulties
Not the best seat
The Schwinn Discover Hybrid is a great example of an affordable and versatile bike made by one of the most famous bike brands out there! With countless riders on the roads and trails already singing this band of bikes praises, this is just another reason to love this brand. We know you’ll be just as hooked when we break down this bike's strengths below.Read more
The Schwinn Discover Hybrid is designed like all bikes from this well known and respected brand and is made to be lightweight, yet durable and tough. Thanks to a sturdy aluminum frame and carbon fiber fork this bike is easy to carry and maneuver as your ride since there is not a lot of heavy building materials weighing it down. The Schwinn Discover Hybrid is a great choice for beginners as well as more experienced bikers as well!
This hybrid bicycle is designed to have a ride that is both smooth and fast. Fans of the Schwinn Discover Hybrid also report its shifting was very smooth and didn’t disrupt their ride. Its design minimizes shock impact from rough terrain and makes it easier to ride for longer periods of time.
Uncomfortable factory issued seat seems to be a noticeable trend amongst manufacturers, and most frequent bike riders advise you find a seat suited for your needs.
This Schwinn Discover Hybrid road bike is incredibly comfortable and is designed in such a way that supports the body and provide support, cushioning shock protection, and stability where it is needed most. Uncomfortable factory issued seat seems to be a noticeable trend amongst manufacturers, and most frequent bike riders advise you find a seat suited for your needs.
This is a great choice for a road bike and though the price tag for the Schwinn Discover Hybrid may be a bit of a shock to some, getting the quality and reliability that this brand and this model provides is certainly worth, even arguably exceeds, the price you pay.
Criteria Used for Evaluation
Whether you compete in races or ride for pleasure, you want to make sure you get a bike that won't hold you back because of its weight.
Whether you're a beginner or a pro, the quality and weight of a bike are very important. No one wants to purchase a new item only to have it break down months later. Even bikes made for beginner cyclists should be made with high-quality materials and should be durable enough to handle frequent use.
The weight is just as vital. An excellent advantage of a road bike is how light these kinds of bikes are. They are easy to transport and handle. Generally, pricier bikes will be super lightweight since they are made of much lighter materials. On this list, you'll mostly find bikes with aluminum frames. This type of frame is robust and durable but it won't break the bank.
Carbon fiber frames will set you back a bit more in terms of price but they also happen to be a lot lighter than aluminum ones. Some bikes will also feature steel construction which is definitely sturdy and durable but quite a bit heavier than other types of frame materials. Overall, the weight users will need will vary on their own needs and preferences so make sure to put your wants at the top of the list.
When it comes to use, there are a lot of different types of bikes to choose from--so picking the one that works for your needs is essential.
Does the bike perform well overall? This question refers to whether the bike can handle a variety of conditions, if it rides smoothly, if the gears work well, if the braking system is good, and whether riders enjoyed the feel of cycling on a particular bike. Performance can mean a lot of things to different people, for our purposes, it really refers to whether users felt the bike worked for their needs.
Generally, we looked for positive comments about the bike's ride feel, responsiveness, and smooth gear shifting. Of course, we also took into account whether the bike rode fast, but there's a lot of interpretation to be had there! In reality, the speed is really up to the rider. However, we also took a look at the following before making our final rating.
What type of braking system does the bike use?
There are two types of braking systems to be found on road bikes: rim brakes and disc brakes.
Rim Braking System: A rim braking system is suitable for racing and performance cycling but not a good option for urban and suburban commuters who ride in all types of weather.
Disc Braking System: A disc braking system is a good option for those riding in less than ideal weather conditions since they provide responsive braking action. For racing, disc brakes are not ideal since they're not allowed for all events. Disc braking provides quick stopping action, in a racing scenario going from super fast to zero miles per hour might be problematic and potentially dangerous.
Figuring out how many gears you need is important to consider when purchasing a road bike. A greater range of gears will allow for more control of resistance on uneven and hilly terrain. If you ride on mostly flat surfaces, a lower amount of gears will suit you just fine. For those riding in flat cities or towns, a single-speed bike might be more than enough to get you from point A to point B in a speedy manner.
If you are on the taller or shorter side of the height spectrum, you will want to pay close attention to the size of the bike that you get.
Making sure to get the right fit is another important aspect to consider, perhaps the most important, especially for beginners. If the fit of your chosen bike is wrong, riding it will not be fun or comfortable. If you happen to buy the wrong size, it's possible to adjust the handlebar height and seat height to help make the ride a bit more pleasurable.
However, getting the right frame size is your best bet to achieving a pleasant ride experience. Most of the bikes on this list come in different sizes suitable for very short riders or those who are quite tall. If you're really not sure about what size frame to get, head over to a local bike shop to get some advice and get fitted.
Before you move forward with making your purchase, you will want to make sure you take a look at what real-world users have to say about the bike--or bikes--you are considering in purchasing. This is especially important if you are someone who is either really tall or really short because finding the right-sized bike can be more of a challenge for you.
Being comfortable while you ride is of the utmost importance when it comes to buying a bike--especially to those of you who are serious about riding.
Also part of the comfort aspect is whether the bike geometry is suitable for you. If you're seeking a road bike as a mode of transport to get you to the train station or to work, you're probably going to want to avoid a bike with very low handlebars and a high saddle. For commuting, a more comfortable seated position might be preferable to something that's more aerodynamic.
The size of your bike saddle
One of the most important components of your bike is the bike saddle. Many of the bikes on our list are also compatible with other bike saddles that you can purchase separately. if you want to be comfortable on your bike, you need to make sure your bike saddle is well-padded and the right size for your tushy--so it doesn't dig into you in the wrong places.
Does it offer any additional comfort features?
Here we took a look at what additional features the bicycle has to offer to make your ride more comfortable. Things like bottle holders or compatibility with bike bags are something to look for here--because you might want to have easy access to the things you will need to get you hydrated and fueled on your longer rides or race days.
Regardless of your budget, you need to make sure you find a bike that brings value to your life and offers that you need.
For a new rider, spending thousands of dollars on a road bike may seem extremely intimidating. Beginner cyclists may prefer to spend a bit less money to get a feel for the sport before diving in headfirst. Cycling can be an expensive hobby, but there's no reason to run away just because you're afraid of the cost associated with the sport.
There are plenty of options for entry-level riders who want a road bike, as can be evidenced by our list. Most of the options are affordable and offer great value for those who may be unsure of their commitment to the sport of cycling. While many of the bikes featured on this list impressed reviewers because they're easy to put together, keep in mind that assembling a bike yourself isn't always the greatest idea.
Getting a professional to put together your new bike is your best bet at ensuring your bike is properly tuned up and adjusted. It'll provide you peace of mind by ensuring your new bike is safe to ride. Some of the options above can be purchased with a professional assembly service.
Expert Interviews & Opinions
A healthy lifestyle is a safe lifestyle. Don't forget your safety equipment, such as; bike helmets, cycling gloves, lights, and reflective clothing to name a few. It is important to do everything that you can to stay safe while riding.
Accidents happen and even the most careful of riders can get into trouble and get hurt, but you want to take all the precautions you can to minimize injuries if and when they do occur.
Getting a professional to put together your new bike is your best bet at ensuring your bike is properly tuned up and adjusted. It’ll provide you peace of mind by ensuring your new bike is safe to ride.
Some of the options above can be purchased with a professional assembly service.
It is a good idea to take time before and after each run to give your bike a quick look over. Check for the obvious issues like flat or soft tires, damaged spokes, issues with the chain and so forth.
When you have your helmet and pads on and are seated ready to go, check the brakes to make sure they are in good working order before you get going at full speed.
Taking 5 minutes before your ride could prevent injury or save your life and checking for issues after your ride will ensure you get things taken care of sooner rather than later.
Other Factors to Consider
When thinking of a road bike, most people picture a thin-wheeled bike with a high saddle. A bike is ready for some speed and suitable for riding on pavement. It's possible, though, that you weren't aware that there are actually different types of road bikes suitable for different conditions and uses.
There are road bikes specifically designed for triathlon use, bikes for racing, bikes for going long, bikes designed for traveling, and even road bikes for non-ideal road conditions. Bikes for racing actually span a few different categories (we'll save triathlon for later). You've got your basic performance models which allow users to ride in an aerodynamic position.
They are usually light (but then, again, so are most road bikes). Aero bikes are another type of racing bike and they're made to fly (forward, not upward). They are designed to reduce the amount of drag experienced on a ride and also help riders to achieve an aerodynamic riding shape. Generally, a racing bike will be super lightweight and allow riders to position themselves for riding aerodynamically.
For those who prefer longer rides on pavement, road bikes created for endurance purposes allow the rider to get into a more comfortable riding position with a more ergonomic handlebar position. Some road bikes even feature slightly more durable tires for use on gravelly roads in rural settings.
A bike can easily be customized to suit a rider's specific needs. Some bikes will provide users enough room to add rear racks for cargo. Adding on components like bike lights, water bottle cages, and even Smartphone holders, are all possible. Make sure to take stock of whether your desired accessory will fit properly on your particular bike model.
You probably noticed that most of the road bikes on our list have the same size of tire. Most road bikes feature 650cc or 700cc tires. They are thinner than other types of bike tires. Skinnier tires help to keep the bike's overall weight down and enable a responsive ride. The smaller the tire, the more responsive the bike will be, and the more experienced a rider will need to be to handle the bike.
A triathlon racing bike is very much like other racing bikes, but it features unique handlebars to allow the rider to get in position to achieve maximum speeds. But road bikes aren't just meant for competition. There are road bike variations that are better suited to traveling and carrying cargo as you go.
Frequently Asked Questions
q: What exactly is a road bike? How is it different from other bikes?
There are several differences between road bikes and “other varieties”. They are built of lighter materials, with speed and mind. Their tires are thinner as to reduce the amount of friction from the road. Your road “bike” will also likely have low positioned curved handlebars for sake of rider aerodynamics.
q: How do I know if the bike is the right size for me?
You won't know until you actually sit on a bike and try to ride it. You'll probably feel is something is off right away. If you're at all concerned about getting the right fit, it's a good idea to get fitted by a professional. They can help you choose the right frame size for your height and build.
Make sure to follow sizing charts, if you're going in blind. If a sizing chart recommends a frame size for heights between 5'1" and 5'4" and another suggests the fit is right for 5'4" to 5'7", and you're 5'4", go with the smaller sized frame.
q: I found an inexpensive option. Is it too good to be true?
It could be. If you're buying a used road bike, you'll want to make sure you can visually inspect it and even test ride it before committing to a purchase. In a photo, cracks and damage to parts of the bike may not be visible. Being able to ride the bike before buying will also help you to ascertain whether they fit and geometry of the bike feel good to you.
Keep in mind that buying a used bike runs you the risk of potentially purchasing a stolen item. You're not the original thief, but if you purchase a bike in a deal that seems too good to be true, be cognizant of the fact that that bike might actually belong to someone else. If you're purchasing a new bike for a steal, it might just be a good deal.
Just keep in mind that lower-priced bikes are often made of heavier materials and feature essential components. On the surface, there's absolutely nothing wrong with this, but if you are very concerned about performance and durability, a higher price tag may be worth it for you.
Beginners should be okay with choosing affordable models, but make sure you are still going for quality, well-known brand to avoid problems down the road. If you plan on upgrading every component of a cheap bicycle, think about the total cost you'll incur. Upgrades can sometimes cost more than a bike itself.
q: Why do road bikes lack suspension?
Suspension tends to increase weight of a bicycle and limit its ease of use, so most road bikes are designed without it since its more useful off road.Riders who want limit the amount of vibration and discomfort that they face will often choose bikes with carbon frames which are said to reduce turbulence.
q: Do I need to be a pro to buy a road bike?
Absolutely not! If you want a speedy, lightweight bike for riding on flat surfaces, a road bike is a great option. There are plenty of affordable models available for new riders. The best road bikes don't have to be the same as competition bikes, so don't feel intimidated by the thought of purchasing one.
- Buying Guide: Road Bikes What to look for when you come to buy a road bike, Women's Cycling Website ,
- Buying your first road bike — everything you need to know, Road Cycling Website ,
- Buying A New Road Bike? Here's All You Need To Know, Canadian Bicycle Store ,
- How to Choose Road Bikes, Expert Advice ,