The Best Road Bikes

Whether you’re looking to rack up a score of epic, centurion rides, for a quick way to commute around the city, or just to introduce a touch of two-wheeled cardio into your personal training regime, there are few more fun ways to do so than on a road bike. Of all the types of bicycle available, road bikes offer the most lightweight and agile way to get around, and, of course, they’re fast. In this article, we introduce you to the top 25 models of road bike currently on the market for buyers with all types of budget and all levels of ability.

We reviewed dozens of road bikes to identify the best of the best. We examined a range of factors, including frame material, braking system, geometry, fit, gearing, size, weight, cost, and average customer reviews.

Top Pick
Buy Now
Tommaso Imola Endurance Road Bike

This incredibly well-made bike uses a full Shimano groupset and a lightweight, durable aluminum frame to provide high-level performance at a very reasonable price. An excellent all-rounder.

buy now
$599.99 USD

After considering a large number of road bikes, we chose the Tommaso Imola Endurance Road Bike as our top pick. This bike uses the type of construction, design characteristics, and performance-enhancing features that you’d expect to find on a far more expensive model of road bike and is the ideal choice for tourers, endurance riders, city-based commuters, and occasional racers alike.

The 5 Top-Rated Road Bikes

Editor's PicksBrandRating
Best OverallTommaso Imola Endurance Road Bike4.5
Runner UpSAVADECK Warwinds 3.0 Carbon Road Bike4.5
Best Budget BuyVilano Diverse 3.0 Hybrid Road Bike4.3
Best Road Bike for BeginnersPure Cycles Classic Road Bike4.4
Best Race Road Bike
SAVADECK Phantom 2.0 Road Bike
4.4

*Ratings are from Amazon at the time of publication and can change

Our Top Pick: Tommaso Imola Endurance Road Bike

For riders looking to strike the optimal balance between performance and price, they don’t come much better than the fantastically versatile and well-made Tommaso Imola Endurance Road Bike.

This 24-speed endurance bike packs many of the features and design characteristics you’d expect to find in a high-end performance bike but comes at a very reasonable price.

The factors that win the Imola our vote include its full Shimano Claris R2000 groupset, superbly lightweight aluminum frame and wheels, durable components, and excellent, US-based customer service.

In practice, the above features translate into excellent all-round performance. This bike shifts smoothly between gears, places the rider in a nicely balanced but not overly aggressive position over the wheels, handles easily, is effortless to pedal, fast, and far more durable than the vast majority of road bikes in its price range. All in all, a great choice for users at any level between beginner and expert and an absolute steal at the price.

Tommaso Imola Endurance Road Bike Key Features:

  • Shimano Claris R2000 groupset
  • 25mm, 700c road bike tires provide better control on turns
  • Lightweight aluminum frame

Our Runner Up Pick: SAVADECK Warwinds 3.0 Carbon Road Bike

Runner Up
Buy Now
SAVADECK Warwinds 3.0 Carbon Road Bike

Using a full Shimano Sora groupset, a TORAY T800 carbon fiber frame, internally routed cables, and aerodynamically molded handlebars, this super-lightweight bike is the ideal choice for intermediate-level users looking to up their game.

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$1,299.00 USD

Road bikes with a carbon fiber frame that cost under $1000 are few and far between. Even rarer are those that cost a mere $849 and manage to equal the performance of the lion’s share of road bikes that cost at least twice as much. The SAVADECK Warwinds 3.0 Carbon Road Bike, indeed, is nothing if not an exception to the rule. And there’s a lot more going for it than its ultra-lightweight design, too…

This Warwinds 3.0 uses a full Shimano Sora groupset to provide highly effective, smooth shifting and an upgrade in durability on many other models of bike in this price range. It also performs none too shabbily in terms of aerodynamics, using internal wire routing throughout and a sleek, low-profile, contoured frame, fork, and seat post to provide clean airflow over the whole bike.

This bike also comes with an Oval Concepts 6061 Alloy 40mm wheelset, hard-wearing Michelin Pro 700C x 25C road tires, and free aluminum pedals.

SAVADECK Warwinds 3.0 Carbon Road Bike Key Features:

  • Shimano Sora groupset (shifter, front derailleur, and rear derailleur)
  • Lightweight carbon frame
  • Aerodynamically contoured stays, seat post, and seat tube
  • Internal wiring

Best Budget Pick: Vilano Diverse 3.0 Hybrid Road Bike

Best for Budget
Buy Now
Vilano Diverse 3.0 Hybrid Road Bike

This highly versatile, entry-level bike offers very smooth performance and is a great choice for newcomers to road biking or users in the market for an affordable runabout to use around town or on less groomed roads.

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$319.00 USD

While not an out-and-out road bike, the Vilano Diverse 3.0 Hybrid Road Bike boasts enough performance-oriented features and design characteristics to make it a great choice for road-based commuters, weekend warriors looking for more in the way of comfort and stability, or newcomers to road biking who aren’t quite ready to make the jump to a full-on race or endurance bike.

One of the most appealing characteristics of this bike is its performance on varied terrain or less-than-perfect road surfaces. While most ultralight road bikes may struggle on bumpier roads or on short off-road sections on the daily commute, the Vilano Diverse is built to handle such scenarios with ease and, as such, offers the type of versatility that many users may find preferable to more specialized options.

In terms of specs and components, this bike ticks every box across the board, using a Shimano groupset, a hydroformed alloy frame and fork, disc brakes for enhanced stopping power, and upright handlebars for greater comfort.

The bottom line? This bike is one you’re unlikely to want to do the Tour de France on, but for just about everything else it’s a winner!

Vilano Diverse 3.0 Hybrid Road Bike Key Features:

  • Hybrid design
  • Shimano groupset
  • Hydroformed alloy performance frame
  • 24-speed

Best Road Bike for Beginners: Pure Cycles Classic Road Bike

Best Road Bike for Beginners
Buy Now
Pure Cycles Classic Road Bike

This 16-speed, classically styled bike looks like a throwback to the Golden Age of road biking but offers performance comparable to many more elite, cutting edge models.

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$549.00 USD

If old school aesthetics, fuss-free functionality, and easy assembly and maintenance are your thing, the Pure Cycles Classic Road Bike could well be the road bike for you.

This bike may lack some of the features and frills of some of the more top-end bikes featured on our list but more than makes up for these very minor shortcomings with exceptional comfort, convenience, and outstanding performance at a very palatable price. The bottom line on this one is that it does everything most users need a road bike to do and does them, most importantly, very well.

From its lightweight yet robust chromoly steel frameset and 16-speed Shimano Claris STI shifters to its  alloy caliper brakes, adjustable drop bar, and smooth-rolling Hutchinson Nitro II tires, this is a bike that is built to provide the simplicity and comfort required by novice users whilst incorporating enough performance-oriented features to ensure they don’t have to splurge on an upgrade only a few months or a year down the line.

Pure Cycles Classic Road Bike Key Features:

  • Strong 4130 chromoly steel frameset
  • Old-school aesthetics
  • 16-speed Shimano Claris STI shifters
  • Ships 90% assembled

Best Road Race Bike: SAVADECK Phantom 2.0 Road Bike

Best Road Race Bike
Buy Now
SAVADECK Phantom 2.0 Road Bike

This ultralight carbon road bike with a Shimano Ultegra groupset is a great option for racers who demand the very best from their bike.

buy now
$2,999.00 USD

Cyclists looking for a bike that will convert every ounce of effort into raw speed need a bike whose every detail is designed to assist them in this goal. The SAVADECK Phantom 2.0 Road Bike is just that type of bike.

This beast of a bike is, in short, the two-wheeled equivalent of the motorized speed machines seen zipping around the circuit at Le Mans, Monza, Bridgestone, or the Circuit of the Americas. It’s fast, light, and boasts the kind of quality build that could make your average Ferrari develop an inferiority complex.

The Phantom 2.0 wins our vote as the best road race bike out there in 2019 for a number of reasons. The most notable of these include its lightweight carbon fiber frame, aggressive geometry, SHIMANO Ultegra 8000 groupset, fetching aesthetics, and impressive durability. This bike also features an aerodynamically contoured seat post, seat tube, and stays, fully internal cable routing, and a tapered head tube that allows for better handling.

SAVADECK Phantom 2.0 Road Bike Key Features:

  • Aggressive geometry
  • Weighs just 17.6 lbs.
  • Shimano Ultegra 8000 groupset
  • Fizik Nisene saddle

Who Should Buy a Road Bike

Once used almost exclusively by racers and expert cyclist on long-distance road tours and circuits, in recent years road bikes have come to be appreciated by a far wider demographic of users. There are various reasons for this increase in popularity. The most obvious, however, is that road bikes provide a very quick, agile, and efficient means of transport or mode of exercise that is as practical and fun for those using one on the daily commute to work as it is for weekend riders, long-distance tourers, or centurion racers heading further afield.

Compared to mountain bikes, hybrids, or standard commuter bikes, road bikes offer a much faster, smoother ride on paved surfaces and require less energy to ride owing to their superior aerodynamics and thinner tires, meaning you can really clock up the miles before you start working up a sweat.

The only downside to road bikes is that they are designed for use on paved surfaces only, which means that if your two-wheeled outings are likely to take you off-road or onto less well-maintained surfaces, you’d be better off with a bike that uses more robust materials, wider tires, and a more comfortable, upright riding position.

Important Features to Consider

A road bike should have a few important features. Here’s what to consider when selecting a road bike for your cycling adventures:

  • Frame material. The material used in the construction of any bike frame usually has a direct bearing on both the bike’s cost and overall performance. For the most part, aluminum frames are featured on cheaper models of bike and carbon fiber frames on higher-end models. As a general rule, aluminum frames provide a stable, smooth ride owing to the material’s stiffness and light weight. Carbon fiber frames can vary greatly in terms of performance, but most varieties are ultralight and offer more comfort owing to the materials’ ability to absorb road vibration.
  • Size. The size of your bike’s frame contributes more than any other factor to comfort, handling, and efficiency. Most manufacturers offer various sizes of each model of bike in their range. To determine which size will be best for your particular body shape, weight, and riding style we’d highly recommend visiting a specialist dealer to be measured before deciding on the most suitable frame size. If that’s not possible, the charts in this handy guide from Bicycle Guider should help you get as close to a custom fit as possible.
  • Wheels. The wheels used in any road bike have a significant impact on the bike’s overall weight, handling, acceleration, and aerodynamics. As a general rule, lighter, smaller wheels offer better acceleration—and, hence, are a good bet for those cycling in cities or anywhere else they are likely to do a lot of stopping and starting—while larger wheels hold better to the road and offer superior handling. For the most part, novice and intermediate-level cyclists will find the wheels sold with their bike more than adequate, whereas more expert users or competitive cyclists usually plump for an upgrade in order to optimize performance with lighter and faster wheels.
  • Groupset. In biking parlance, a ‘groupset’ refers to a bike’s use of matching components (shifters, brakes, derailleurs) from a single component manufacturer as opposed to a mixture of components from varying manufacturers. A groupset not only contributes significantly to the bike’s aesthetics but is also helpful in providing an indicator of the bike’s overall quality. The two most common component suppliers are Shimano and SRAM. Broadly speaking, Sora, Tiagra, and 105 (Shimano) or Apex and Rival (SRAM) groupsets are more commonly found on beginner to intermediate-level bikes and Ultegra and Dura Ace (Shimano) or Force and Red (SRAM) on more elite, high-level models of bike.
  • Frame geometry. Road bikes typically fall into one of three categories in terms of their shape or, in technical-speak, ‘geometry’: performance (race) geometry, recreational geometry, or flat-bar geometry. Performance frames tend to have a more aggressive shape that places the rider lower on the bike in order to improve aerodynamics and responsiveness when steering. The drawback to this style of frame is that it is less comfortable when not ridden in the race position and makes observation of your surroundings more difficult. Flat-bar frames place the rider in a more upright position and are popular in entry-level bikes and commuting bikes as they allow riders to keep an eye on traffic while they ride. Recreational frames strike a middle ground between performance and flat-bar models by positioning the rider in a moderately aggressive position and allowing for easier handling than out-and-out performance frames.
  • Crankset and gearing. A road bike’s crankset (or ‘chainset’ in the UK) refers to the cogs around which the bike’s chain rotates. Road bikes use either a triple, double or compact crankset. Triple cranksets are typically found in entry-level models of road bike and offer a larger range of gears to help beginners on steeper hills. Double cranksets and compact cranksets are generally favored by competitive riders for their lighter weight. Compact cranksets are becoming more common on entry level bikes as many modern varieties can provide a similar range of gears to triple cranksets at a much lower weight.

Frequently Asked Questions

What are road bikes?

Road bikes differ from mountain bikes, touring bikes, and hybrid bikes in a number of key aspects. As a general rule, they are designed for use on paved surfaces and fast travel over shorter distances.

In terms of design characteristics, road bikes use lightweight wheels, frames and components, narrower wheels and tires, and, for the most part, a drop or curved handlebar that places the rider in a lower and more aerodynamic position on the bike.

Are road bikes faster?

Yes. Road bikes are generally much lighter than mountain bikes and even touring bikes and user narrower tires, both of which mean they have less rolling resistance and you can go faster and/or further with less or equal effort. The riding position on a road bike also much more ‘aggressive’ and aerodynamic, thereby reducing aerodynamic drag and allowing you to reach higher speeds.

Is a road bike better than a hybrid?

This depends entirely on how and where you plan to use the bike. Road bikes are designed for use on paved surfaces, whereas hybrid bikes typically offer better grip and traction on uneven or off-road terrain whilst also maintaining a decent level of performance on roads and other paved surfaces. Hybrid models of bike also tend to place the rider in a more upright position, thereby allowing you to have a better view of your surroundings. This is particularly important for commuters who envision using their bike in cities or on heavily-trafficked roads.

Are road bikes comfortable?

While most newcomers to road biking are likely to find their lower, aggressive positioning on the bike a touch uncomfortable at first, this usually becomes less of an issue after a handful of rides. A few steps you can take to ensure your road bike provides a more comfortable ride include having it professionally fitted to make sure you have the right size for your particular body shape, using slightly wider tires (around 28mm), and changing the seat on any non-customized bike for a model that offers more cushioning.

Other Road Bikes We Reviewed

Top Pick
Buy Now
Tommaso Imola Endurance Road Bike

This incredibly well-made bike uses a full Shimano groupset and a lightweight, durable aluminum frame to provide high-level performance at a very reasonable price. An excellent all-rounder.

buy now
$599.99 USD

We looked at 20 other road bikes. Even though they didn’t make our 5 best road bikes list, they’re the best of the rest and each is still a great option for your road-based cycling adventures. The information you’ll need to compare each one is included with the listing.

Budget Road Bikes

Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike

Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike

This very affordable, lightweight, aluminum-framed road bike is the ideal choice for commuters or newcomers looking for a light, agile ride for everyday use.

Key Features:

  • Shimano 21-speed drivetrain
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • 700c wheelset

Cost: $219

Merax Finiss Road Bike

Merax Finiss Road Bike

This bike borrows a number of design features from more advanced road bikes but offers easy handling and is a great choice for those starting out in road bike racing.

Key Features:

  • Shimano Tourney shifter and derailleur
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Quick-release front wheel
  • 21-speed

Cost: $219.99

Vilano Shadow 2.0 Road Bike

Vilano Shadow 2.0 Road Bike

An entry-level bike with outstandingly smooth gear shifting that is ideal for commutes, interval training, and road bike novices looking for a more comfortable ride.

Key Features:

  • 14-speed
  • Shimano STI integrated brake lever and shifters
  • 700c doubled-walled wheelset
  • Lightweight aluminum frame with integrated headset

Cost: $329

Murtisol GTM Road Bike

Murtisol GTM Road Bike

This reasonably lightweight, entry-level road bike is a good choice for those keen to try their hand at road biking before splurging on a more advanced model of bike or users looking for a fast, comfortable, and affordable everyday runabout.

Key Features:

  • Aluminum frame
  • 14-speed
  • 700c wheelset

Cost: $179

Outroad Road Bike

Outroad Road Bike

A 3-spoke, 14-speed bike with excellent aerodynamics, smooth shifting, and lightweight components. A great choice for beginners and intermediate-level users alike.

Key Features:

  • Folding frame
  • 14-speed
  • 26-inch, 3-spoke wheelset

Cost: $355.49

Schwinn Volare 1300 Road Bike

Schwinn Volare 1300 Road Bike

This very well-made road bike strikes the perfect balance between comfort and performance, using a lightweight aluminum frame, moderately aggressive geometry, and Shimano A050 shifters and rear derailleur for quick, smooth gear changes.

Key Features:

  • 14-speed Shimano A050 shifters
  • Alloy caliper brakes
  • Lightweight aluminum frame

Cost: $306.69

Goplus Commuter Road Bike

Goplus Commuter Road Bike

A budget-priced bike that offers performance on a par with far more expensive models, the Goplus Commuter is a great option for beginners and everyday use around the city.

Key Features:

  • Shimano A050 shifter
  • 21-speed
  • 700c wheelset
  • Quick-release front wheel

Cost: $219.99

Road Bikes for Beginners

Schwinn Fastback 2 Road Bike

Schwinn Fastback 2 Performance Road Bike

Striking the perfect balance between speed, comfort, performance, and ease of use, this very well-made, 18-speed road bike is ideally suited to road-biking newcomers.

Key Features:

  • 18-speed
  • Shimano Sora groupset
  • Aluminum road frame and race carbon fork
  • Alloy caliper brakes

Cost: $699.99

Schwinn Phocus 1600 Road Bike

Schwinn Phocus 1600 Road Bike

With a lightweight aluminum frame, carbon fiber fork, Shimano 16-speed drivetrain and 700c wheels, this versatile road bike is fantastically simple to use, comfortable, and perfect for the daily commute or fitness training.

Key Features:

  • 16-speed
  • Aluminum road frame with carbon fiber road fork
  • 56cm frame
  • Promax alloy dual-pivot caliper road brakes

Cost: $413.99

Raleigh Bikes Cadent 2 Fitness Bike

Raleigh Bikes Cadent 2 Fitness Bike

This pleasingly fuss- and frill-free bike places the rider in a more upright position to enhance comfort, stability, and handling. A great bike for the city or commutes.

Key Features:

  • Hybrid design provides more stability and control
  • 35c tires offer extra traction
  • Shimano Tourney TX800 shifters
  • 24-speed
  • Mechanical disc brakes

Cost: $349.99

Tommaso Forcella Endurance Road Bike

Tommaso Forcella Endurance Road Bike

A high-performing, entry-to-intermediate-level sport bike that uses high-quality components and sturdy, reliable frame and fork materials to provide a smooth and comfortable ride.

Key Features:

  • Shimano Claris groupset
  • 24-speed
  • Lightweight aluminum compact frame and carbon fork
  • Lifetime frame and fork warranty

Cost: $699.99

Raleigh Bikes Merit 2 Endurance Road Bike

Raleigh Bikes Merit 2 Endurance Road Bike

A high-end road bike for beginners and intermediate-level users that offers agility and performance without sacrificing comfort and stability.

Key Features:

  • Shimano Claris shifters
  • Mechanical disc brakes
  • Lifetime frame warranty
  • Lightweight (23.5 lbs.)

Cost: $849.99

Tommaso Fascino Road Bike

Tommaso Fascino Road Bike

A very versatile road bike that places the rider in a more comfortable, upright position and is as well suited to the daily commute as it is hilly century rides. Ideal for beginners looking to progress without having to change bike a few months down the line.

Key Features: 

  • Shimano Tourney shifters
  • 21-speed
  • Lifetime frame warranty
  • Lightweight (23.6 lbs.)

Cost: $549.99

Vilano Forza 2.0 Road Bike

Vilano Forza 2.0 Road Bike

A very nimble, lightweight road bike that offers a whopping 27 gears and uses Shimano components to provide outstanding performance at a reasonable price point.

Key Features:

  • Lightweight aluminum frame and carbon fiber fork
  • Shimano Tiagra front derailleur and Shimano Sora rear derailleur
  • Shimano STI integrated brake lever/shifters
  • 27-speed

Cost: $549

Road Race Bikes

SAVADECK SAVA HERD 6.0 Carbon Road Bike

SAVADECK SAVA HERD 6.0 Carbon Road Bike

A fantastically well-made race bike that uses top-end components and offers comparable performance to much pricier models of road bike. Savadeck is not yet a household name in the road biking community, but it’s sure to be soon…!

Key Features:

  • TORAY T800 carbon fiber frame, fork, handlebar, seat post, and wheelset
  • Lightweight (18.3 lbs)
  • SHIMANO 105 Group Set
  • Fully internal cable routing

Cost: $1,499.00

Schwinn Fastback Carbon 105 Performance Road Bike

Schwinn Fastback Carbon 105 Performance Road Bike

An incredibly fast, sleek road bike designed for expert users looking to put in serious mileage at high speed without compromising on comfort and control.

Key Features:

  • Schwinn road-tuned carbon frame and race carbon fork with carbon tapered steerer
  • Shimano 105 groupset
  • 22-speed
  • Shimano 105 dual-pivot caliper brakes

Cost: $1,545.37

Kestrel RT-1100 Ultegra Road Bike

Kestrel RT-1100 Ultegra Road Bike

An endurance race bike that offers exceptional comfort and performance with a slightly more upright riding position. Ideal for century riders and occasional circuit or track racers.

Key Features:

  • Shimano 11-speed Ultegra front and rear derailleurs and STI shifters
  • Shimano R8020 hydraulic disc brakes
  • Superlight carbon frame

Cost: $2,499.99

BEIOU Racing Bicycle

BEIOU Racing Bicycle

An affordable racing bike that packs an awful lot of performance for the price. With a full Shimano 105 groupset, Toray T800-M40 carbon fiber construction, and weighing just 18.3 pounds, this sleek little bike has a lot to offer for those seeking a well-made racing bike without paying through the nose.

Key Features:

  • Toray T800-M40 carbon fiber frame, fork, drop bar, and seatpost
  • Shimano 105 groupset
  • Ultra-lightweight (18.3 lbs)

Cost: $1,299.00

Tommaso Superleggera Dura Ace Carbon Road Bike

Tommaso Superleggera Dura Ace Carbon Road Bike

An ultralight bike that blows most of its competition out of the water in terms of price-performance ratio. One of the best sub-$5k bikes out there on steep inclines.

Key Features:

  • Shimano Dura-Ace 9100 derailleurs and shifters
  • Shimano Ultegra 6800 Hollowtech II crankset
  • Shimano Ultegra 6800 brakes
  • Ultra-lightweight (16 lbs.)

Cost: $2,249.99

Eagle Z-3 Carbon Aero Road Bike

Eagle Z-Series Carbon Aero Road Bike

It’s pricey, granted, but for racers looking to optimize their performance with some of the best components and materials available, the Eagle Z-3 will prove to be worth every penny.

Key Features:

  • Shimano Ultegra Di2 electronic shifters and derailleurs
  • Ultra-lightweight carbon fiber frame
  • Carbon wheelset and handlebar
  • Internal Di2 cable routing

Cost: $3,999.99

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