Road bikes balance lightness, stiffness, handling and comfort, with just a little focus on aerodynamics thrown in. This is because they’re designed to perform well over a multitude of surfaces: for short sprints of a few seconds or long slogs over several hours; on tight courses with many corners or long straights; against buffeting winds; in close contact within bunches of other riders; or on lone rides.
They’re the staple racing bike for many triathletes, and below are the road bikes that have performed the best in our reviews, with all scoring 84% or more…
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Best road bikes over £5,000
Only have room for one bike in your life for racing and training, and the odd gravel triathlon? Could the answer be found in the geometry-transforming, wheel-swapping 3-in-1 Rondo HVRT CF0 road bike that can be adapted for trails and offer the best for both worlds? Reviewer Warren Rossiter thinks so, and scores it 93%.
Best road bikes under £5,000
Reviewer Robin Wilmott put this road bike from Specialized through its paces and says “with its excellent Roval wheelset and great choice of tyres, the Tarmac is accelerative, agile and stable.”
Best road bikes under £4,000
Reviewer Simon Withers says that the Reilly is “an absolute blast, a two-wheeled treat that never stops delivering the thrills. It’s fast, sufficiently comfy rather than sofa-soft, and its directness has an appeal that never stops giving.”
“At £3,499 the Defy Advanced Pro 2 is a stunning machine that packs in value and great looks, and although it’s still early in 2020, the Defy is already one of the year’s bike highlights,” says Warren Rossiter. “Lesser bikes have compromised key components and never fulfilled the potential, but this 2020 bike comes with the full D-Fuse component package with brake upgrades and a better wheel package than some of the bikes at a much higher price.”
Best road bikes under £3,000
Is the Boardman SLR 9.2 Disc road bike good value for its £2,099 price tag? Yes says reviewer Warren Rossiter, “the Boardman’s SLR 9.2 Disc balances everything this tester likes about a bike: it’s quick to turn and accelerate. It doesn’t beat you up over big distances and, most importantly, it’s damn good value to boot.”
Need a new road bike at an affordable price? Then Giant’s TCR Advanced Pro 2 road bike could be for you says Robin Wilmott. “It’s one of the lightest bike at this price range, with enormous torsional rigidity and wheels that feel instantly responsive is a heady mixture. It’s a bike you feel immediately at home with and, as the miles fly by, it becomes very intuitive: line changes and weight shifts couldn’t be more natural, and the cossetting ride feel helps hugely.”
Best road bike under £2,000
“This do-it-all, all-action alu training bike Kinesis 4S Disc will ensure your winter riding isn’t consigned to Zwift in the garage, as it is equally at home on the road or gravel trail,” says Simon Withers
“Brand snobbery may come into it when considering whether or not to buy this bike, but if you can hop aboard the R872 Disc, you’ll realise that it’s just excellent, fast fun,” says Robin Wilmott
Best road bikes under £1,000
At just £800 this carbon road bike from Halfords is a real steal, says Simon Withers. “The Virago not only has a 1.1kg frame and full-carbon fork, but it comes with a Shimano Sora groupset. Overall, this is a real two-wheeled treat from Carrera.”
What does the recently upgraded Mango Point R Tiagra offer for £575? Jack Sexty scores it 86% and says: “Mango’s Point R has the best groupset for your money and, if you’re fussy about gears, then the 10-speed Tiagra gives you the most options.”
If you’re looking to dip your toes into the world of triathlon for the first time, and need a cheap road bike, the Merlin PR7 Disc could be a great start, says Simon Withers and scores it 85%
At just £500 can this road bike really deliver for triathletes? Yes says Jack Sexty: “The Razor is true to its name, and for a bike at this sub-£500 price point it’s race-ready and razor-sharp.”
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