Top 10 Best Road Bikes Picks and Reviews 2017

The Complete Guide to Buying Top Road Bikes - by Biking Enthusiasts and Cyclists

Best Road Bikes for 2017

Imagine the cool breeze on your face as you pedal hard towards the horizon. The adrenaline rushing through your entire body, you’re training hard for your next cycling race. On other days, you’re cycling past cars stuck in traffic. The city can be cruel to commuters trying to get to work on time. But that’s not a problem for you – all thanks to your cool road bike.

Regardless what your reason is for wanting an endurance bike, there are countless choices in the market. We have reviewed the best road bikes to help you find one that will suit your needs.

Tommaso Illimitate Gravel Road Bike

The Tommaso Illimitate Gravel Road Bike. A badass bike that can handle the toughest terrains. The Illimitate allows you to conquer dirt, gravel, grass, or rock in style. This is the ultimate bicycle made for the rider who dares to ride beyond pavements. Great for beginners, athletes, and experience cyclists.

Kestrel Talon Road Shimano Ultegra Bicycle

The Kestrel Talon Road Shimano Ultegra Bicycle. What makes this bike so unique and ahead of its time? The Talon gives you the flexibility to choose either a road or triathlon-style riding position. If you’re a triathlete looking to train on a road cycle to prepare to for an upcoming race on a tri bike, this is a perfect choice. Great for new cyclists as well.

Body Gear Guide’s Top Road Bikes 2017

It can be a tough choice to make considering the sheer number of bikes that are available on the market. However, after months of testing and riding with daily riders, we've shortened the list to our picks for the top 10 road bikes. All offer a great performance, are comfortable for long-duration cruising and priced just right.

Best High-End Road Bikes for Competitive Preparation or Bike Enthusiasts

Best endurance road bikes for serious cyclists and those training for triathlons. If you fall into this category, you're looking for the best of the best.

SAVADECK Phantom 2.0

The SAVADECK Phantom 2.0. One of the best high end options for a serious cyclist who doesn’t want to spend a ridiculous amount of money (like thousands and thousands of dollars). Great option with excellent value that only a few know about.

Kestrel Talon Road Shimano Ultegra Bicycle

The Kestrel Talon Road Shimano Ultegra Bicycle. An amazing choice for triathletes looking to train on a bike to prepare to for an upcoming race. It’s great for individuals who don’t want to spend money on two separate cycling machines. Super convenient for those who race various distances and formats throughout the fluctuating seasons.

Best Entry Level Budget Road Bikes Under 500

Our top 2 picks for beginner cyclists who are looking for good quality but cheap road bikes.

Goplus Commuter Road Bike

The Goplus Commuter Road Bike. A seriously low-cost bargain and excellent road bike for beginners! You’ll love riding this budget-friendly bike around town. Also an excellent choice for commuters who need to get around the city.

Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano

The Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano. Perhaps the best aluminum road bike for new riders that boasts speed and durability. The Vilano Aluminum is for the novice cyclist, broke college student, or person looking to get into biking again.

The Winners: Top 10 Road Bikes of 2017

 

  
 
Aesthetics
Frame
Groupset
Wheelset
Crankset
Intended Use
Price

1. Tommaso Illimitate Gravel Road Bike

Aesthetics : Sleek Classic
Frame : Aluminum + Carbon
Groupset : 2 x 10 Shimano Tiagra
Wheelset : Tommanso Corsa TC40D
Crankset : 0/34T Tiagra
Intended Use : Mid-range
Price: $$$

2. Kestrel Talon Road Shimano Ultegra Bicycle

Aesthetics : Minimalistic
Frame : Carbon
Groupset : Shimano Ultegra
Wheelset : Oval
Crankset : Shimano Ultegra
Intended Use : High-end
Price: $$$$

3. SAVADECK Phantom 2.0

Aesthetics : Street Style
Frame : Carbon
Groupset : Shimano 6800
Wheelset : Hutchinson 25C
Crankset : Shimano Ultegra 6800
Intended Use : High-end
Price: $$$$

4. Kestrel Talon Tri Shimano 105 Bicycle

Aesthetics : Bold
Frame : Carbon
Groupset : Shimano 105
Wheelset : Oval 327
Crankset : Oval Concepts 500
Intended Use : Mid-range
Price: $$$

5. Tommaso Imola Compact Aluminum Road Bike

Aesthetics : Traditional
Frame : Aluminum + Steel
Groupset : Shimano Claris
Wheelset : Tommaso TC-20
Crankset : Shimano Claris Triple
Intended Use : Entry-level
Price: $$

#1 Recommendation: Tommaso Illimitate Gravel Road Bike

4.075 Overall
Design
Construction
Comfort
Performance
Price

Design & Construction:

Sleek and handsome, this is one badass bike that can handle tough terrains. As the name suggests, a gravel bike is specifically meant to be used on poorly-maintained roads, although the frame and the overall design of the bike resemble more a road or urban bike rather than a mountain bike.

  • Frame: Aluminum + Carbon
  • Groupset: 2 x 10 Shimano Tiagra
  • Wheelset: Tommaso Corsa TC40D
  • Crankset: 0/34T Tiagra

This bike features a premium, compact Tommaso 6061 hydroformed aluminum frame – equip it easily with racks and gear for your next adventure or commute to work. The HCT (high modulus carbon) fork features internal cable routing for a clean look make a strong, reliable, and lightweight ride.

The Illimitate is equipped with a full Shimano Tiagra drivetrain, featuring a 50/34T Tiagra compact crankset and a 11×32 Tiagra cassette. This wide range gearing ratio is perfect for climbing gravel mountain roads or cruising your city streets. Heavy duty Corsa TC-40D wheels offer rugged and dependable performance that are designed to take the abuse of rough terrain and added gear weight. The Illimitate can take you anywhere you want to go and is the ultimate in adventure cycling.

Kenda Kwick Trax 32c All-Terrain Tires offer riders excellent control and handling in all weather and trail conditions. Avid BB5 disc brakes offer superior stopping power in rain, snow, mud, and any other conditions the trail can throw at you.

Suits riders of all sizes! It comes in:

  • Xs: 5’2” – 5’6”
  • S: 5’6” – 5’8”
  • M: 5’8” – 5’11”
  • L: 5’11” – 6’2”
  • XL: 6’2” – 6’5”

Performance

The Tommasso Illimitate delivers without compromising weight, speed, and rideability. It comes almost all set to go with just a few minor things to put in place (which can be done at home with the right tools), but we highly recommend that you take it to a bike shop to ensure all features and functions are dialed in properly. Bike needs wheels trued, derailleurs tuned, and all bolts tightened to technical specifications before riding, to ensure optimal performance and safety

Premium compact handlebars offer increased power and comfort in a sleek package. Every part of the Illimitate is designed for maximum comfort and efficiency, so you are getting the most out of every ride, whether it is 10 miles or 100 miles

Price

A pricier mid-range bike, but more affordable in comparison to high end options. A downside to the Tommasso Illimitate is that it comes as parts. This means that it requires professional assembly for it to function properly. For certain individuals, this may be inconvenient, time-consuming, and costly.

Bottom line

Tommaso’s Illimitate offers unrestrained exploration potential. It’s easy to see why this is adored by many, and why it’s the best road bike under $1000!If you love road biking on different surfaces, the Illimitate allows you to conquer dirt, gravel, grass, or rock in style. This is the ultimate bicycle made for the rider who goes beyond the pavement. Whether you’re looking for an excellent commuting machine or a bike that can effortlessly push the boundaries of a traditional road bike, the Illimitate will give you an exhilarating ride. Great for casual riders and professional cyclists!

#2 Recommendation: Kestrel Talon Road Shimano Ultegra Bicycle

3.95 Overall
Design
Construction
Comfort
Performance
Price

The Kestrel Talon made its first appearance back in 2007, and it was quite innovative for its time. Considered one of the very first aero road bikes in the cycling world, it’s no surprise that this guy has gained tremendous popularity throughout the years. Ten years later, it’s still highly praised and recognized for its value and versatility.

So, what makes this bike so unique and ahead of its time? The Talon gives you the flexibility to choose either a road or triathlon-style riding position. The bike has few equals, not only in how it can effortlessly transform from one discipline to the other but for the fact that it’s a high-performing carbon apparatus for the cost of most competitors’ aluminum offerings.

Design & Construction:

The satin black and gray-blue combination gives the Kestrel Talon a minimalistic, yet stylish appearance.

  • Frame: Carbon
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra
  • Wheelset: Oval Concepts 327
  • Crankset: Shimano Ultegra

The frame is constructed with Kestrel’s Enhanced Modulus Hybrid (EMH) carbon – a combination of 800K and 700K carbon fibers. This produces a super lightweight, yet stiff material that gives you stability and compliance. The stays, seat post, and seat tube are aerodynamically contoured. Furthermore, the fully internal cable routing ensures clean airflow over the whole bicycle. The proprietary Kestrel H-Stays (asymmetrical shaped seat stays and chain stays) improve lateral stiffness and power transfer. Simultaneously, they supply vibration dampening. Lastly, the Kestrel EMS Pro Aero Seatpost allows you to mount the saddle in a wide range of positions. Simply move it forwards for tri use or backward for road bike use.

The sizes offered (by frame size) include:

  • Xs: 48 cm
  • S: 52 cm
  • M: 55 cm
  • XL: 57 cm
  • XXL: 60 cm

Performance

The Kestrel Talon is an incredibly fast and light bike. It’s meant for speed and is a lot swifter than most traditional models. If you want to boost up its speed capabilities and experience the bike’s true potential, we recommend that you change the wheels and tires. The Talons come with Vittoria tires (which are some of the worst for rolling resistance). The Oval Concepts 327 wheels are decent wheels that should last you awhile. But once again, you may want to upgrade if you’re looking for some serious performance boosts.

Price

Slightly more expensive than other top road bikes.

Bottom line

So, who will benefit from the Kestrel Talon? If you’re a triathlete looking to train on an endurance bike to prepare to for an upcoming race on a tri bike, this is a perfect choice. It’s great for individuals who don’t want to spend money on two separate cycling machines. Super convenient for those who race various distances and formats throughout the fluctuating seasons. Also, if you’re looking for a non-threatening, user-friendly bicycle for your first triathlon or race, you can’t go wrong with the Kestrel Talon – it’s definitely up there as the best beginner road bike.

#3 Recommendation: SAVADECK Phantom 2.0

3.85 Overall
Design
Construction
Comfort
Performance
Price

Not too many people have heard of SAVADECK. Which isn’t a surprise because there is very little background information on this company. What we do know, however, is that SAVADECK was originally registered in Germany. They established the SAVA bicycle creative design team in 2005, developing advanced carbon fiber materials and titanium application technology from Germany and European countries. Later, they built a bicycle park in Huizhou China! Whatever they’re doing or however they’re doing their work, they have created some impressive and top rated  bicycles. And you may want to consider one for yourself and see if it’s the perfect one for you.

Design & Construction:

The SAVADECK Phantom 2.0 is a street style road bicycle that comes in one of three awesome colors you can choose from black-grey, new orange, and new red!

  • Frame: Carbon
  • Groupset: Shimano Ultegra 6800
  • Wheelset: Hutchinson 25C
  • Crankset: Shimano Ultegra 6800

The Phantom 2.0 uses Toray T800 (a high-quality Japanese carbon fiber) for the frame, wheelset, fork, handlebar, and seat post. Not only does this provide you a good damping system and a super light bike, but this also guarantees you a powerful ride.

The Shimano Ultegra 6800 22-speed derailleur and brake system includes the Shimano 6800 derailleur lever, front derailleur, rear derailleur, and brake. They grant you full control over every aspect of your ride to make it efficient and enjoyable. The transmission control system is composed of the Shimano 6800 freewheel, sprocket set, and chain. The Shimano Ultegra 6800 integrated hollowtech crankset transfers your power to where it belongs. Overall, the design of the Ultegra 6800 system gives you a smooth ride.

The ergonomic design of this saddle from the Italian racing brand Fizik offers you a comfortable riding experience. The Hutchinson Pro tires are anti-gill, hard-wearing, and has low rolling resistance. The Chosen low friction hub with four bearings gives you the edge over your competition. This bike comes with 23 mm Maxxis tires, which are decent.

The main downside is that there have some complaints about the paint quality on the bike – with heavy use, it seems to scratch off easier compared to some of its competitors.

The sizing options are divided into:

  • 470MM
  • 500MM
  • 520MM
  • 540MM
  • 560MM

Performance

The Phantom 2.0 is a wonderful ride and performs well for a high-end bike. Very easy to ride.

Price

A bit pricier than some of the more affordable road bikes. But the good news is that this model comes partially assembled, so installing is a bit easier.

Bottom line

Ultimately, this is a great high quality road bike for a serious cyclist who doesn’t want to spend a ridiculous amount of money (like thousands and thousands of dollars). Great option excellent value that only a few know about. Be one of the select few who owns this unique, elite road bike.

#4 Recommendation: Kestrel Talon Tri Shimano 105 Bicycle

3.775 Overall
Design
Construction
Comfort
Performance
Price

Kestrel was founded by two aerospace engineers. They introduced the world’s first all-carbon composite bike frame in 1987 and the world’s first all-carbon mountain bike in 1988. Since then, Kestrel has continued to work with experts in numerous fields such as materials science, bio-mechanics, engineering, and aerodynamics, as well as professional triathletes and road cyclists. Today, Kestrel continues to produce some of the most innovative and fastest carbon fiber bicycles on the market.

Design & Construction:

Gorgeous gray with bold, red handlebars! Like the Kestrel Talon Road Shimano Ultegra Bicycle, this is also constructed with Kestrel’s Enhanced Modulus Hybrid (EMH) carbon. It’s essentially a combination of 800K and 700K carbon fibers, which contributes to the bike’s lightweight, yet stiff feel. Designed in the A2 Wind Tunnel, the stays, seat post, and seat tube are aerodynamically contoured. The fully internal cable routing ensures clean airflow throughout the entire bike.

  • Frame: Carbon
  • Groupset: Shimano 105
  • Wheelset: Oval Concepts 327
  • Crankset: Oval Concepts 500

Proprietary Kestrel H-Stays (the uniquely, asymmetrically shaped seat stays and chainstays) are designed to improve lateral stiffness and thus power transfer, while also supplying vibration dampening. Kestrel EMS Pro Aero Seatpost allows for the saddle to be mounted in a wide range of positions — more forward for tri use or backward for the road. Triathlon model comes with Oval Concepts aero base bar with clip-on aero extensions, bar-end shifters, and an Oval Concepts tri saddle.

The sizes offered (by frame size) include:

  • Xs: 48 cm
  • S: 52 cm
  • M: 55 cm
  • XL: 57 cm
  • XXL: 60 cm

Performance

A good entry level road bike for all riders. You’re bound to get compliments everywhere you go. Exceptional performance capabilities, especially when it comes to adjustability. Not only is the talon reasonably priced, but it’s also super modifiable to allow cyclists of various shapes to get the perfect fit:

Price

A reasonable, mid-price point for one of the top rated road bikes.

Bottom line

This bike performs incredibly well. Some of the parts are baseline (especially wheels and tires). But at this price, it will exceed your expectations.

#5 Recommendation: Tommaso Imola Compact Aluminum Road Bike

3.6 Overall
Design
Construction
Comfort
Performance
Price

Entry level road bikes are a great option for those who need to be mindful of their spending. And that’s perhaps why people love the Tommaso Imola – it’s absolutely one of  the best value road bikes on the market. Even the biggest brands in the industry cut corners, using after market and third party parts on their entry level bicycles. Which sucks because it sacrifices quality for affordability. But the Imola is truly a quality ride for the price. Given the incredible component set, value, and performance, it’s easy to understand why the Imola remains one of the most popular road bikes for beginners and cycling enthusiasts.

Design & Construction:

A robust and eye-catching bike in all black or burnt orange.

  • Frame: Aluminum + Steel
  • Groupset: Shimano Claris
  • Wheelset: Tommaso TC-20
  • Crankset: Shimano Claris Triple

A Tommaso 6061 SLA aluminum compact road frame and SST steel fork make for a strong, reliable, and lightweight ride. The steel fork provides great durability and ideal stiffness when riding, combined with VDT (Vibration Dampening Technology) system for added comfort on long rides. Also, the frame is drilled for all types of racks and fenders – this optimizes the bike’s versatility, making it perfect for cyclists, fitness riders, and commuters.

The Imola is one of the few recommended road bikes for beginners with a full Shimano Claris groupset. Why is this important? Well, using the full groupset ensures maximum performance, as all working parts were specifically designed to work harmoniously with one another.

The 3×8 Shimano Claris groupset features a 30/39/50T Claris crankset and 12x25T Claris cassette. This is great for all sorts of terrains, from flat roads to hills. The Shimano Claris STI shifters provide smooth and consistent shifting in all riding conditions.

Lightweight Tommaso TC-20 wheels offer reliable performance and strength for all road conditions. Finally, the Imola comes equipped with an exclusive UltraCompact handlebar which allows you to ride more comfortably in the drops. This reduces wind resistance to help you ride longer, harder, and faster.

Sizing options are:

  • XXS: 4’10” – 5’2”
  • XS: 5’2” – 5’6”
  • S: 5’6” – 5’8”
  • XL: 6’2” – 6’5”

Performance

The Imola offers 24 speeds of pure power and performance, for wherever the road takes you. Thanks to the full Shimano Claris drivetrain, the components work together in perfect harmony, for maximum performance.  This means the Imola can climb like a dream while offering the speed you demand on the flats.

One suggestion we have is to replace the cheap, but functional, pedals with clipless pedals. Or pedals with cages if you regularly ride in heavy traffic. You’ll get a lot more power when pedaling uphill.

We highly recommend you get professional assistance when assembling your new bike. For your safety and for your bike to function at full capability, you’ll need the wheels trued, derailleurs tuned, and all bolts tightened to technical specifications before riding.

Price

A great option if you’re looking for the best budget road bike, without sacrificing a lot of quality.

Bottom line

This is a gorgeous, elegant, good quality, budget friendly entry level road bike. This is undoubtedly a great choice if you want the best starter road bike around.

#6 Recommendation: Vilano FORZA 2.0 Aluminum Carbon Shimano Tiagra Road Bike

3.5 Overall
Design
Construction
Comfort
Performance
Price

Design & Construction:

The Vilano FORZA 2.0 rocks a charming, metallic matte grey.

  • Frame: Aluminum + Carbon
  • Groupset: Shimano Tiagra 9 Speed
  • Wheelset: Weinmann 700c Doubled Walled Aluminum Alloy
  • Crankset: Mix – Shimano & Vilano Parts (Forged Alloy with Alloy Chainring 170mm)

Overall, this seems to be sturdy with a decent frame. The Vilano FORZA 2.0 has a carbon racing fork and a lightweight 6061 double-butted aluminum frame. Integrated brake lever (STI) shifters control 27 speeds. It has a Shimano Tiagra rear derailleur and Shimano Sora front derailleur.

As a bonus, this bicycle does include free pedals.

The sizing options are as follows:

  • S: 49 cm
  • M: 53 cm
  • L: 57 cm
  • XL: 61 cm

Performance

This is a great bike, and you will get a lot of rides from it. But before buying, you should know what you are getting into. It is fast, quiet, looks good, and best of all it is not too expensive. The bike parts, however, are on the cheaper end and will most likely break after extended use. The saddle is quite uncomfortable compared to its competitors. Another issue with this budget-friendly model is that it scratches easily. It may not be a problem for some people, but you may want to look at other entry level options if durability is a major factor in your purchasing decision. The brakes are similar to most in this price range and acceptable for most riding. But if you plan on using it for intensive rides up and down steep hills, these brakes may not be the most reliable.

Price

A relatively cheap road bike at an entry level price point.

Bottom line

The Vilano Forza 2.0 is for you if you’re a newcomer to the cycling world and want to casually race. It’s also great to use as an exercise bike if you’re trying to improve your fitness or lose weight on flat terrains.

#7 Recommendation: Vilano Shadow 2.0 Road Bike

3.375 Overall
Design
Construction
Comfort
Performance
Price

If you are new to endurance bikes and are clueless about bikes in general, you may not want to waste money on the super expensive models. And you won’t know what you like until you get your feet wet. If this is you, then we recommend the Vilano Shadow 2.0 because it’s a good starter road bike that won’t leave your wallet empty.

Design & Construction:

The Vilano Shadow 2.0 screams old school and will appeal to retro-looking lovers. The frame features 6061 double-butted aluminum with integrated headset and internal cable routing. The Shimano STI integrated lever and shifters offer precise and controllable braking and shifting.

  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Wheelset: 700c Doubled Walled CNC Machined Side
  • Crankset: Prowheel Alloy Double

The sizes available are:

  • S: 49 cm
  • M: 53 cm

Performance

The bike comes partially assembled. While assembly is simple, we highly recommend bringing it to a local shop for a safety check/tuning by a qualified mechanic.

This thing is fast and more than anything it’s comfy. We do recommend getting padded shorts or a comfortable seat though. Free pedals are included with your purchase, but we recommend upgrading. It’s better than nothing but, like most free pedals, they aren’t the most impressive or reliable.

Price

A very cheap and affordable lightweight road bike.

Bottom line

Take this bike on your next ride around your town, try some interval training, or even commute to work on it. The Vilano Shadow 2.0 Road Bike is one of the best inexpensive road bikes that will get you pedaling and riding! The Shadow 2.0 is lightweight and ready to take you on your new riding adventures. Incredible value for the money!

#8 Recommendation: Goplus Commuter Road Bike

3.05 Overall
Design
Construction
Comfort
Performance
Price

Design & Construction:

We love that this model comes in many fun color options. Choose from black, green, blue, orange, or red! Although there are lots of color options, size is a different story. The Goplus only comes in one option: Medium (52 cm). The recommended height range is 5’5” – 6’”0. So if you are on the shorter or really tall end, you may be better off with a different cycling bike.

  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Wheelset: 700C
  • Crankset: Shimano 21 Speed TZ50 Shifter and Derailleur

The aluminum framed reduces the weight of the bike and offers more benefits in terms of speed. Aluminum is the most widely available lightweight bike frame material. It easily meets the demands of adding the transferring power, doubling the riding efficiency. Unlike traditional steel frames, aluminum bike frames are not prone to rust. This resistance to rust makes aluminum very low-maintenance and ideal for cyclists who regularly ride in wet conditions.

Performance

Because of the aluminum frame, the GoPlus Commuter should be used on flat surfaces as it has less give than others when biking on bumpy or rocky terrain. This stiffness is an advantage to racing and touring cyclists, however, because the low sway of a stiff aluminum frame allows for more stability and more speed.

Before you take this road bike out for a spin, you’re going to have to deal with assembly issues. The price is really incredible. There’s no question about that. But be prepared for a long installation process. Attempting to piece this together may give you a giant headache. It’s best to take it to your local bike shop to save you time and frustrations.

Price

One of the cheapest road bikes out there.

Bottom line

One of the most low-cost bargains in the market! We recommend the GoPlus Commuter Road Bike to anyone who’s never cycled before and wants to join in on the cycling excitement. This is also one of the best commuter bikes under $1000.

#9 Recommendation: Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano

2.825 Overall
Design
Construction
Comfort
Performance
Price

The Vilano Aluminum is a minimalist bicycle, perfect for the cost-conscious beginning cyclist. But don’t let the cheap price fool you. This is one good looking bike. If you need a dependable road bike for commuting to work, a quick trip around town, or need to get around your school campus, the Vilano Aluminum may be for you.

Design & Construction:

The Vilano Aluminum has a simplistic design to meet all your essential needs. It comes in 4 colors for you to choose from black, grey, grey/red, and white. This is a no-nonsense bicycle with 21 speeds facilitated by the Shimano A050 thumb rear, indexed 7-speed, and front friction 3-speed shifters. It has mount points on the frame for a rear rack and water bottle, making it an ideal commuter bike. A lightweight 6061 aluminum frame, urban commuter saddle, and 700c double-walled alloy wheels are all part of the simple look making this a good inexpensive road bike for anyone on a tight budget.

  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Wheelset: 700c Doubled Walled CNC Machined Side
  • Crankset: Alloy Triple 50/40/30

The sizing options are as follows:

  • S: 50 cm
  • M: 54 cm
  • L: 58 cm

Performance

This bike is a great investment if you’re new to road biking. It’s the perfect training tool for a beginner with simple gear shifters and parts. You’ll have to get used to the positions and braking. But after that, it’s a thrill to ride. The parts that come with the Vilano Aluminum are considered lower-end products, but it’s also why it costs so little to buy. If you want to improve your riding experience, it is relatively affordable to upgrade bike parts. The great thing is that you don’t have to upgrade everything at once. You can upgrade one thing here and another thing there as you go, improving the parts to suit your personal taste.

Price

Super affordable with great value.

Bottom line

An ideal entry level bicycle that’s great looking at an amazingly low price. The Vilano Aluminum is for the novice cyclist, broke college student, or person looking to get into biking again – you’ll appreciate what this basic model can offer you. Also, a good alternative option for beginner triathletes.

#10 Recommendation: GMC Denali Road Bike

2.75 Overall
Design
Construction
Comfort
Performance
Price
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GMC bikes are made by Kent International Inc., a family-owned company dating back to the early 1900s when the current President’s grandfather immigrated to the United States and got a job working for the owner of a bike shop in New York. During the process of restoring old bike frames, a love for cycling was born. Eventually, in 1909, he opened his own bike shop on the Lower East Side of the city.

Design & Construction:

This sporty looking bike comes in black/green, red, and black/pink. It’s built around a lightweight 6061 aluminum frame that makes it easy to hang on your bike rack or carry up a flight of stairs. The Denali Road Bike features 21 speeds with drop-bar handlebars, alloy 36 spoke rims on 28mm tires, nylon pedals with steel cages, and alloy caliper brakes.

  • Frame: Aluminum
  • Wheelset: 700C
  • Crankset: Shimano derailleur and Shimano Revo

It also comes with a reliable Shimano rear derailleur for confident gear selection and Shimano Revo shifters, which allow you to select gears without taking your hands off the handlebars for maximum control. Long rides are a breeze thanks to the padded Vitesse saddle designed for comfort. And as an extra bonus, this road bike will help you stay hydrated with the included alloy water bottle cage.

The sizing options are as follows:

  • XS: < 5’1”
  • S: 5’1” – 5’8”
  • M: 5’8” – 6’0”
  • L: 6’2” – 6’5”

Performance

As with all entry-level models, this is not going to be elite athlete quality. Just shopping around the local stores, the cheapest road bikes they had were $600+, so I immediately knew that something this cheap was probably going to a little wonky. This bike is heavier than other top rated bicycles. The shifting is clunky and the brakes sometimes need a strong grip, but everything works and is usable. Speed is not GMC Denali’s strongest attribute. But it does its job and gets you around from place to place. One pro is that, compared to its competitors, the GMC Denali is a lot easier to assemble.

Price

Cheapest road bike option for those who don’t have money to waste.

Bottom line

A fantastic bargain if you’re looking for the best beginner road bike The GMC Denali Road Bike is best when used for fitness to get into shape. Designed for the average, everyday rider looking for value and performance. If you’re a starting cyclist, but want to get the hang of riding before buying an expensive endurance bike in the future, you won’t be disappointed with this purchase.

The Ultimate Buyer’s Guide to Road Bikes

Whether you are looking for an environmentally friendly way to get to work or just want to cruise around town, a road bike will be the best choice for you.

These lightweight road bikes are designed to be easy to handle, and most importantly ride smoothly over paved surfaces. With the right choice you’ll find it possible to run errands and even make it to work on time, all while getting in some exercise.

Road Bike vs Other Bicycles

There are a few things that separate road bikes from other types of bicycles.

  • Lightweight frame: While the material and even shape of the frame can vary, all are designed to be lightweight.
  • Narrow tires: The tire width typically ranges from 23mm to 28mm, though you can find some measuring 30mm wide.
  • Multiple gears: Road bikes usually have a wide gear span so you can make the ride as hard or easy as you want to. Some models can come with up to 22 gears.
  • Lack of suspension: Since road bikes are typically ridden on paved surfaces, there isn’t a need for suspension.

How to Choose a Road Bike

Whether you’re new to cycling or an experienced pro, choosing a good bicycle can be difficult. Before you start shopping, there are a few questions you should ask yourself. The answers will help you narrow down your choices so you can pick the best road bike for your needs.

  1. What type of biking do you want to do?
  2. Are you an experienced cyclist or just starting out?
  3. What is your budget?

If this is your first road bicycle or are planning on taking long rides, an endurance bike will be perfect for you. However is your goal is to simply “go fast”, you’ll want one with an aerodynamic design.

Road bikes also range in price from budget friendly models to higher end ones. If you are looking for performance in a road bike, you should expect to pay more.

Types of Road Bikes

There are several types available, each is designed for a specific use. When you are trying to decide which one is right for you the best advice is to think about the type of riding you are going to do, and the terrain.

Aerodynamic Bike:

Also referred to as racing road bikes, they are designed for speed. Comfort is not a main concern, which makes them ill-suited for long rides and bumpy terrain. They are also not the best choice for beginning cyclists.

Aerodynamic bikes have larger tube profiles that are shaped specifically to minimize drag. You’ll also notice that the cables and brakes are hidden to further reduce wind resistance.

Endurance Bike:

This is the most popular type of road bike, and a great choice for beginners. They are designed with comfort and stability in mind, and some models even come with disc brakes so stopping on wet streets is never a problem.

Longer headtubes and wheelbases set endurance road bikes apart, along with components that minimize vibrations. Since the group and wheelsets are similar to those found on aerodynamic models, you don’t have to sacrifice speed for comfort. They are also designed to be lightweight and easy to control.

Gravel Bike:

Adventure or gravel bikes are designed for all types of terrain. They are durable, comfortable and come with specific performance enhancing features.

The bottom bracket is higher so clearing obstacles won’t be a problem, and to allow for wider tires. They also have lower gear ratios so you can easily pedal over hilly or rocky trails, and they usually come with disc brakes.

What to Look for In a Road Bike

There are a few factors to consider when you are looking for a road bike. This is important since they will affect everything from comfort and performance to how easy the bike is to control.

Frame Material

The material used to build the frame is a deciding factor on the type of performance you get from the bike. It also affects the price.

Bike frames are typically constructed from aluminum, steel, titanium or carbon fiber, and there are differences between these materials that need to be considered.

  • Aluminum: Road bikes with aluminum frames are generally built for daily use since they tend to be the heaviest. They are also the most affordably priced. There have been some recent upgrades, such as butted tubes, so these entry level bikes are comparatively lightweight, and comfortable to ride.
  • Steel: Steel bike frames were common on road bicycles, until the 1980s. If comfort is more important than performance, you’ll love what a steel frame bike has to offer. Steel frames are heavier than ones constructed from aluminum, but they do give you the benefit of added comfort and durability.
  • Titanium: Titanium frames combine the advantages of aluminum and steel. These frames are lightweight, durable and comfortable to ride. Titanium is also resistant to anti-corrosion. However, since this metal is harder to work with you can expect to pay more for a titanium frame bike.
  • Carbon Fiber: If you need the top road bike, you want it to come with a carbon fiber frame. Despite being priced higher, the benefits typically justify the expense. You do want to be careful and ensure that the frame is built from high quality carbon fiber. If it is low-grade, it will be similar in durability to aluminum.

Fork

It’s easy to overlook the fork, but this is a mistake. It is a key component since it determines shock absorbing ability, stiffness and the weight of your bike. A fork is comprised of six parts, the crown, steerer tube, spring, legs, damping and axle.

There are two types of bike forks, and each has its own advantages:

  1. Rigid Bike forks: This fork uses a solid metal blade for a steerer, which is the long tube that connects the crown to the handlebars. This design also makes it inflexible. Rigid forks are great for smooth roads because they conserve kinetic energy, and eliminate the up and downward motion that comes with a suspension fork. However, this also means that you will feel every bump on the road.
  2. Suspension forks: Suspension forks use legs instead of blades. The legs are basically telescopic tubes that consist of an inner and outer one. They also come with shock absorbers that give you a smooth and comfortable ride on uneven roads and trails.

A fork can be constructed from aluminum, steel, titanium or carbon fiber. This will also affect the weight, performance and price of the road bicycle.

Components

There are various components that play a role in determining the comfort, performance and durability of your bike. The four key components that you need to consider are groupsets, tires, chainset and brakes.

Groupsets

A groupset is the combination of brakes and gears. It determines speed, how easy it is to shift gears, apply the brakes and control the bike when you’re riding.

Most top rated bike manufacturers use Shimano groupsets to power their bikes, and some of the common ones are,

  • Shimano Dura-Ace Di2
  • Shimano Dura-Ace
  • Shimano Ultegra Di2
  • Shimano Ultegra
  • Shimano 105
  • Shimano Tiagra
  • Shimano Sora
  • Shimano Claris

Since there is a wide variety, you can find them on budget friendly and high-end racing and endurance road bikes.

There are also a few other brands of groupsets that include SRAM, Campagnolo, MicroTec and FSA.

Chainset

There are three types of chain sets: Compact, standard and triple chainrings.

Compact and standard chainsets both have double chainrings. Entry level road bikes usually come with compact chainsets, while high-performance models typically have standard double ones.

If you are planning on pedaling up steep hills or carrying luggage, you’ll want the range of gears you get with a triple chain set. Though, they are becoming less common since you can now get lower gears with standard double chainsets.

Tires

The tires on a road bicycle are important for several reasons. They can affect weight, speed, control and even comfort. All models come with tires that are slick or have very light tread, but the width can differ.

Racing bikes typically have tires that are 23 or 25 mm wide, while endurance models use 25 or 28mm ones. Wider tires still roll fast and smoothly, but you also have the advantage of improved control. The downside is that it also increases the weight of the bike.

Brakes

Road bikes can come with caliper or disc brakes. Caliper or rim brakes are lightweight and ideal for racing bikes. Though, their performance does suffer in wet weather.

Disc brakes are slightly heavier, and often found on endurance bikes. You do have the advantage of improved stopping ability, even on wet streets. If you are just starting out, we recommend disc over caliper brakes.

The right set of brakes for you will usually depend on the type of riding you are planning to do, along with your experience.

Other Considerations

Size and Fit

The last thing you want is to buy a bike that is too high or short. Not only is this uncomfortable, it can even be dangerous for you to ride. If you can’t try one out at the store, all top models list their measurements in the product description.

Along with picking the right size frame, you also need to consider the saddle and height of the handlebars. While choosing a seat usually comes down to personal comfort, the height and angle of the handlebars will be determined by your arm length.  

Price

You will quickly notice that the cost of an endurance bike will vary, and making modifications can quickly make the price increase. You can find high quality entry level models that will get you around town, but if you are looking for speed and performance you should expect to pay more.

The best advice is to have a set budget in mind, before you start shopping. Knowing what you need in a road bike, will also help you find one that fits your needs and budget.

Appearance

The geometry of the frame, tube size and whether the brakes and cables are visible will vary depending on the type of bicycle, but this doesn’t mean that you have to settle for one with an appearance you are embarrassed to be seen riding.

You can find frames in almost any color, making it easy to find one that suits your personality. Whether you are looking for a classic look or want something a little edgier, there is a bike with an appearance that will be perfect for you.

What Every Beginner Cyclist Should Know

This applies not only to cyclists just starting out, but to experienced riders as well.

Helmets

You should always wear a helmet, even if you are just biking to the corner store. Accidents can happen, and the best way to protect yourself is by wearing a helmet. You can find bike helmets in a wide range of styles so finding one that you won’t be embarrassed to wear shouldn’t be a problem.

If you don’t wear a helmet, you are risking serious head injuries that could even result in death.

Repair kits

The best road bikes can still end up with a flat tire. This is when having an emergency repair kit will come in handy. You can spend the money to purchase one already assembled or save a little on the expense and create your own.

Your kit should contain a pump and patch, along with a spare inner tube. A good tip to remember is to cover the inner tube with talcum powder so it slides easily into the tire. You’ll be glad that you did when you’re changing a flat bike tire by the side of the road.

Hydration

Even if your bike comes with 22 gears, chances are you will still be exerting yourself. This means that you will need to stay hydrated if you want to prevent potentially serious health problems. Adding an inexpensive water bottle holder to the bike frame is a simple step that you will learn to appreciate.

Clothing

You do not want to bike around the city or over rugged trails with loose clothing on. Not only do you run the risk of getting caught on the pedals or handlebars, you’ll quickly find that it’s not comfortable on longer rides. Padded bike shorts not only ensure your comfort, but safety as well. The same applies to loose, long sleeved shirts. You want to find one that is fitted, especially if the sleeves are past your elbows.

Now that you know what to look for in a road bike, it will be easier for you to choose the perfect model for your needs and fitness goals.

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