Our Best Road Bikes Tested & Reviewed

In a Hurry? Editors choice:
Vilano Aluminum Shimano
Test Winner: Vilano Aluminum Shimano
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Whether you’re a seasoned cyclist or an athlete that is just starting out, you need to check out our picks for the best road bikes featured below. Not only are these the best of the best options currently available, but we’ve made sure to pick a bike for all cyclists.

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!

Standout Picks

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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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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.
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Criteria Used for Evaluation

Weight

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.

Use

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.

Also worth reading: "How to put a pannier on a bike"

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.

Gear system

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.

Size

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.

Comfort

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.

Value

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.

Our Favorite Road Bikes

1. Vilano Aluminum Shimano

Where to buy
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Vilano Aluminum Shimano
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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.

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Weight

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.

Use

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.

Size

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.

Comfort

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.

Value

It's an affordable option for new riders or those with a limited budget.

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2. Kestrel Talon Tri Shimano

Where to buy
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Kestrel Talon Tri Shimano
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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.

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Weight

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.

Use

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.

Size

The bike also happens to be available in a variety of sizes for people of different heights.

Comfort

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.

Value

It’s on the higher end of the price range but fairly affordable compared to other bikes in the triathlon category.

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3. Giordano Libero 2.0

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Giordano Libero 2.0
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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

Weight

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.

Use

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.

Size

This road bike provides a comfortable smooth ride with few to no problems involving rider size or long term rider discomfort.

Comfort

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.

Value

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.

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4. Takara Kabuto Single Speed

Where to buy
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Takara Kabuto Single Speed
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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.

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Weight

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.

Use

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.

Size

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.

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.

Value

Budget pricing makes this bike an accessible option for all types of riders. Assembly is available for an additional cost.

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5. Cyrusher XC760

Where to buy
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Cyrusher XC760
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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.

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Weight

The lightweight aluminum frame is constructed with durability in mind. The bike even comes with a lifetime warranty for the frame and fork.

Use

The 14-speed bike features smooth gear shifting action and a quality braking system for easy handling.

Size

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.

Comfort

The bike features ergonomically curved handlebars for a comfortable riding position.

Value

The bike is priced quite affordably making it an excellent choice for those new to the sport of cycling.

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6. Schwinn Phocus 1600

Where to buy
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Schwinn Phocus 1600
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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.

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Weight

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.

Use

The 700cc wheels are made for going fast, and a 16-speed gear system allows for control on varied terrain.

Size

The bike is sized specifically for men and features a frame size of 56cm.

Comfort

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.

Value

A great price is paired with sturdy construction and lightweight design which only helps to increase the overall value of the

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7. Tommaso Imola

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Tommaso Imola
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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.

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Weight

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.

Use

24 speeds on this bike allow for maximum precision handling and make the bike a great option for riding in various conditions.

Size

The bike comes in various sizes to accommodate a variety of heights.

Comfort

The compact geometry of the bike allows for a comfortable fit that's suitable for longer rides.

Value

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

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8. GMC Denali

Where to buy
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GMC Denali
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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.

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Weight

The overall weight of the bike is about 28lbs (depending on the frame size chosen) thanks to the lightweight but sturdy aluminum frame construction.

Use

21 speeds and 700cc tires allow for the rider to go fast.

Size

The bike comes in 4 sizes to fit a range of riders.

Comfort

Reviewers also commented on the fact that the seat is exceptionally comfortable.

Value

The very affordable bike is a great entry-level choice for inexperienced riders.

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9. Vilano Shadow 2.0

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Vilano Shadow 2.0
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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.

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Weight

An aerodynamic aluminum frame weighs in at around 25lbs for an impressively lightweight ride.

Use

14 speeds and 700cc tires allow for responsive riding experience. Riders liked how well the bike handled and enjoyed the smooth ride and gear.

Size

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.

Comfort

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.

Value

A very affordable road bike is a great option for urban commuters or beginner competition riders.

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10. Schwinn Discover Hybrid

Where to buy
Amazon Link
Schwinn Discover Hybrid
Amazon Link

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

Weight

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!

Use

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.

Size

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.

Comfort

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.

Value

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.

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Sources

  1. Michelle Arthurs-Brennan, Buying Guide: Road Bikes What to look for when you come to buy a road bike, Women's Cycling Website
  2. David Arthur, Buying your first road bike — everything you need to know, Road Cycling Website
  3. TREK Bicycle Store, Buying A New Road Bike? Here's All You Need To Know, Canadian Bicycle Store
  4. REI, How to Choose Road Bikes, Expert Advice

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