The Most Popular Reviewed Road Bikes That Match Every Price Range For The Year 2022.
Thanks to enormous developments in material, design, and manufacturing techniques, selecting the ideal road bike for your needs is not as simple as it previously was.
From featherweight climbs and supersonic races to mile-munching endurance machines and everything in between, road bikes have branched out into many distinct categories and specialties. With so many options, making an informed decision comes down to your preferred riding style and the terrain you’ll be traversing.
The best lightweight bikes, for example, will dance up the steepest of climbs, but you’ll have to put in a lot more work to stay up with the best aero road bikes on fast flat or rolling terrain. If you prefer to ride long distances, the energy savings of an aero road bike may be appealing, but the vibration absorption and comfortable ride of the best endurance road bikes may be a better choice if you plan on pedalling from sunrise to sunset. Alternatively, you might look at the best carbon road bikes, which can take all of these factors into mind.
As each manufacturer strives to outperform the competition, they create motorcycles that push the boundaries of what was previously thought feasible. We’ve got you covered with everything from adjustable compliance on aero road bikes to integration and built-in storage solutions, as well as road bikes that go beyond the bounds of tarmac to open up even more riding opportunities. Electronic shifting, power metres, and disc brakes have all become standard on a growing number of bikes, providing an even broader range of characteristics to evaluate.
We have a number of guides filled with information to assist you choose the best possible option in each category to help you choose your next bike. However, some bikes are just a little bit more special than others, so we’ve selected the bikes in each category that we believe stand out.
Scroll down to see which road bikes we think are the finest in their respective subcategories.
Table of Contents
Bikes For Race
These road kings represent the top of the food chain when it comes to a bike that can perform on any course. They’re light, efficient, aggressive, and aero-optimized. These race bikes are built to be as quick as possible, whether facing long climbs, battling windy flats, or carrying as much speed as possible through turns.
To offer the most uncompromised road riding experience possible, aggressive placement and shape meet a carefully calculated balance of aerodynamic performance, low weight, and stiffness.
Cannondale Supersix Evo
The SuperSix Evo is a lightweight race bike with an aerodynamic design.
Cannondale’s latest SuperSix Evo was released just in time for the 2019 Tour de France, and it features a sloping top tube, as well as a dedication to disc brakes (on the Hi-Mod model). But it’s not only the flat top tube that’s gone; Cannondale has switched to aero tube designs, claiming a 30 watt reduction (at 48kph) over its predecessor.
The frame also features a flat-backed seat post and seat tube, as well as the dropped chainstays that have become standard on race bikes. The new frame is reported to weigh 886g in a size 56, painted, with room for 30mm tyres (28mm on non-Hi-Mod rim brake variants).
Cannondale has also chosen an integrated cockpit, with KNOT components providing the bar, stem, seat post, and wheelset. The 45mm deep road wheels are carbon fibre and tubeless-ready, as you’d expect for a bike in this price range, and the gearing is Shimano Dura-Ace Di2. A Power2Max NG Eco power metre was put in the Dura-Ace-equipped SuperSix Evo at launch (which you had to pay to activate). That is no longer available for 2021, and only the SRAM eTap variant includes a power metre.
Giant Tcr Advanced Sl 0
The TCR is light, has a hint of aerodynamics, and dances up hills.
TCR from Giant has long been a reliable performer, and the brand as a whole offers excellent value for money. While the top-end variants are far from cheap, the TCR’s performance-to-price ratio makes it one of the greatest road bikes available.
The TCR has always been noted for its nimble handling, which is mostly due to its tiny rear end. The TCR has Giant’s massive Overdrive steerer up front, which, when combined with the front and rear thru-axles and strong carbon fork, ensures that no steering input is wasted due to flex.
For 2021, the Giant TCR switches to disc brakes entirely and receives a massive dose of aero thinking, including modified tube shapes and new Cadex wheels. There is no Dura-Ace model at the top of the heap, which may deter some customers, but the bike is available with eTap AXS, which has the integrated Quarq power metre.
All models come tubeless ready – simply apply sealant – and throughout our time with the TCR Advanced SL 0, the Cadex tyres held air better than many tubed setups and had zero punctures. The bike was lightweight overall (at under 7kg for a 58cm-equivalent), power transfer was outstanding, but comfort was significantly worse than its competition, and handling took some getting used to.
Specialized S-Works Tarmac Sl7
The SL7 is so quick that it has replaced two top-level motorcycles.
We’re looking at the Specialized Tarmac SL7, which not only marked the end of the Tarmac but also the end of the Venge aero bike. Essentially, the SL7 combined the Venge’s aerodynamics with the Tarmac’s low weight to create one bike. On race day, this was touted as “no sacrifices,” but we felt the compromise was a lack of the old Tarmac’s ride feel and comfort. The SL7 was transformed into a race rocket.
Naturally, Specialized followed up with the Aether, which perfectly captures that certain something.
The Tarmac is based on what Specialized calls Rider-First Engineering, which means each frame size is constructed with a particular geometry, layup, and tube shapes, so the days of the ultra-stiff XS and noodly XL frames are long gone. Gender-specific geometries are also no longer present; the only difference between the men’s and women’s versions is the touchpoints and cranks.
Only disc brakes are available, allowing the company to increase the maximum tyre clearance to 30mm. The Expert version includes a Shimano Dura-Ace DI2 groupset, Roval CLX 50 Disc carbon rims, and S-Works Turbo 320TPI rubber in a nice tan wall.
Bikes For Aero Road
One of the most important developments in cycling history was the incorporation of aerodynamics into road bikes. Computers now create frames using computational fluid dynamics to mould wind-cheating forms, replacing the sleek tubes of artisan frames.
As a result, bikes that are lightning fast damage high-speed flat and hilly roads. The benefits of aerodynamics are so great that they’ve made their way into all high-end bikes; nonetheless, nothing compares to the raw speed of an all-out aero road bike. These are the best aero road bikes available.
Basso Diamante Sv
One of the most comprehensive aviation packages available.
When compared to its closest competitors in the highly competitive aero road bike category, the Basso Diamante SV stands out as a super-fast machine that delivers excellent value for money.
The SV in the name means for Super Veloce (super quick), and it tells you everything you need to know about the bike. The design includes a fork/tyre/wheel interface with greater spacing to improve airflow and minimise drag, and a fully integrated cockpit with all wires housed internally. Basso claims that the painting incorporates compressed ceramic nanoparticles that are less prone to drag and dirt contamination.
Rolling terrain is no match for the Diamante SV, which maintains momentum and accelerates as the road rises. The stem spacers and seat tube junction in the frame do have some vibration-damping features, but the ride quality is on the firm side.
Canyon Aeroad Cfr Di2
This aero road bike features an integrated cockpit, adjustable handlebars, and a smart quill stem.
With greater tyre clearances, integrated cockpits, and, umm, a quill stem, the latest Canyon Aeroad pulls the previous Aeroad into the twenty-first century.
Although the quill stem isn’t modern, Canyon’s take on the ancient method is. The integrated cockpit may be lowered with a quill without cutting the steerer tube, allowing it to be raised again if necessary. The handlebars are split at the tops (so Canyon can ship it to you in a standard bike box), but they can also be adjusted by up to 40mm in width.
There’s also a seven-watt gain in speed over the previous model, a 14-percent stiffness increase, and a 168-gram weight reduction. All of this comes together to provide a ride that is both quick and comfortable. It bills itself as an aero all-rounder, but there are still aero-optimized bikes that weigh less, so we’ve kept it in the aero bikes category because its flat-land speed is what’s most impressive.
After the high-profile shattering of Mathieu van der Poel’s handlebar, Canyon issued a stop-ride notice shortly after introduction, but with a remedy on the horizon, there’s no doubting the Aeroad is a quiver-killer of a bike.
Bmc Timemachine Road 01 Two
An radically aero road bike with tremendous acceleration.
The Timemachine Road 01 Two is a full-throttle aero bike that screams with speed. It’s part of a category of specialist aero bikes that’s at a crossroads these days, thanks to the growing popularity of lightweight semi-aero road cycles. This two-year-old frame design, on the other hand, still has what it takes if you’re seeking for an uncompromising chase of speed.
It has truncated tubing, dropped seat stays, and integration, as well as BMC’s TCC Speed tune for quick and direct power transfer. The ICS stem and handlebar hide all cables and a perfectly integrated out-front GPS mount in the front.
Elite has included integrated storage throughout the frame, and shrouds cover the front disc brake calliper for further aero benefits. The Road 01 Two is outfitted with a Fizik Argo Vento R5 saddle, SRAM Force eTap AXS 12-speed, ENVE SES 5.6 Disc wheels, and Vittoria Corsa Graphene 2.0 tyres.
The Timemachine Road’s greatest strength is its flat-out speed, but it also shines at turns and curves, retaining its pose throughout, and its finely sculpted geometry provides purposeful and direct handling.
If you’re seeking for pure speed and aren’t concerned with climbing technique, this is a top-performing horse to consider.
Road Bikes For Lightweights
When the road starts pointing up and the grades become steep, lightweight is still king. It’s a simple fact that the less weight that needs to be powered up a climb, the faster the ascent will be.
While the UCI limits bike weight for racing to 6.8kg, for the ordinary road rider, weight weenism can easily take a bike well below the racing limit for even better performance.
Specialized S-Works Aethos
The rider, not the racer, is the focus of this lightweight road bike.
After a year of research into what comprises the essence of riding pleasure, Specialized designers tore up the racing rule book and created the Aethos. The proposal challenges the cycling status quo and, we believe, has the potential to revolutionise bike design in the future.
Rather than building a bike around the many rules laid out by the UCI in an attempt to achieve marginal gains and eke out as much innovation as possible with a legislating body breathing down its neck, Specialized built the Aethos from the ground up, claiming to have achieved the world’s lightest disc frame, weighing around 585g in production.
The Aethos is intended to function to perfection, including Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 electronic shifting, Roval’s Alpinist CLX wheelset, 26mm wide Specialized Turbo Cotton tyres, and a Specialized Power Pro saddle. The very first pedal stroke, with low mass, is met with instant movement that feels absolutely remarkable, according to our riding experience.
The Tarmac SL7’s geometry and handling are pulled directly from the brand’s dedicated race bike, and the bike’s cornering and weight distribution are highly precise. ‘Specialized may have recovered that missing Tarmac DNA and evolved it into a whole new species,’ Graham wrote in his first look review.
Wilier Zero Slr Disc Dura-Ace Di2
A modern lightweight bike from one of the world’s oldest racing bike manufacturers.
Despite their long histories, Italian bicycle makers are not known for being at the forefront of bicycle design. We tend to think of Italian racing bikes as being elegant, traditional, and perhaps even old fashioned, but this couldn’t be further from the truth, at least with Wilier.
Wilier’s latest lightweight bike is the Zero SLR Disc. It’s a totally modern lightweight bike that borrows design influences from the Cento10 Pro aero bike. It has everything: a superlight carbon frame with truncated aerofoil tube forms, integrated handlebars with completely hidden wires, hydraulic disc brakes, carbon wheels, and clearance for 28mm tyres.
Its tried-and-true geometry, strong frame and fork provide excellent handling, while its sleek aesthetics and seamless cable integration make it a terrific eye-catcher. Wilier also has some really stunning paint jobs available, including a matte black with white detailing, a matte velvet red, and a glossy admiral blue. The matte black frameset is a little lighter, but the red or blue will give you that extra bit of Italian style.
There’s no doubting that this is a pricey bike — Wilier keeps that traditional Italian bike look – but you’re investing in a European brand with over 100 years of bike-making knowledge, as well as the racing legacy that comes with it.
There don’t appear to be any women’s specialised variants available currently, but hopefully Wilier will offer them soon.
Trek Emonda Slr 9 Disc
For true climbers, this is the ideal road bike.
Originally designed as a pure climbing machine to allow Alberto Contador to unleash his iconic out of the saddle attacks, the addition of hydraulic disc brakes, clearance for up to 28mm tyres, and aerodynamically optimised tubing has greatly expanded its potential ambit.
The new Emonda is expected to halve the aero gap between the Emonda-old and Madone SLR, while preserving most of the older Emonda’s low weight, thanks to Bontrager’s new RSL 37 wheels and integrated cockpit, the OCLV 800 carbon layup, and aero tube designs.
Trek bikes come in a variety of sizes and can be customised through their Project One programme. The possibilities are wide, ranging from paint treatments to virtually every major component on the bike (though any improvements would naturally increase the overall cost), so if the default paint job isn’t to your liking, you should be able to find something that is.
Road Bikes For Endurance
An endurance road bike with relaxed geometry, greater tyre clearances, and built-in comfort features makes a huge difference when the miles start to add up for people who desire long days on the road. Many of the greatest endurance road bikes have compliance zones, optimised tube shapes, or suspension systems to protect the rider from rough roads and fatigue-inducing vibrations. These bikes have relaxed geometry, larger tyres, and disc brakes, making them stable and predictable for any long-distance ride, regardless of terrain.
Specialized S-Works Roubaix
Specialized has designed a better balanced ride by boosting compliance to the rear end with a more adjustable future shock that is less’springy.’
When it was first released in 2004, the Specialized Roubaix was the first commercially available endurance road bike. Early versions of the Roubaix had Zertz inserts, which were said to absorb road buzz and had a little more relaxed geometry and larger head tube – their usefulness is still up for debate.
Since then, the Roubaix has progressed significantly, and currently includes the Future Shock. The Future Shock 2.0, designed in partnership with McLaren, now has a hydraulic piston within the head tube that gives 20mm of travel and a dial to regulate the compression and rebound damping.
When you press the pedals, it’s not as responsive as Tarmac, but it does an excellent job of smoothing out sharp edges on the road. ‘Smoother is Faster,’ according to Specialized, but so is aero. The Roubaix has undergone wind tunnel testing, and Specialized claims that the new Roubaix is more aero than the Tarmac SL6 while being lighter than a Venge. It, like the Tarmac, only has disc brakes and a unisex geometry, with the touchpoints being the only variation between the men’s and women’s bikes.
Trek Domane Slr 9 Etap
The Domane is at ease on pavement and light gravel, following the trend of people riding road bikes past where the road stops.
The Trek Domane’s third generation features twin front and rear IsoSpeed technology. The rear IsoSpeed features a top-tube mounted adjustable pivot that can be modified with only a few tools and 5 minutes to suit your next ride, whether it’s on the road, pavé, or mild dirt.
Trek claims that the new Domane is more aero than its predecessor, saying that it is a full minute per hour faster than the previous model – however we don’t know at what power level.
Trek has fully committed the Domane to disc brakes, allowing it to accept tyres up to 38mm in diameter, or 35mm with a fender. A handy cable guide is located under the stem at the front; it’s not quite as clean as internally routed choices, but not having to run cables and housing through the handlebars and stem makes maintenance and modifications to bike fit much easier.
The Domane also has a unique down tube storage box that stores tools and a spare tube inside a plush tool roll inside the frame. While the normal Domane is based upon Trek’s H2 Endurance Fit, the somewhat more aggressive H1.5 ‘Pro Endurance’ geometry is offered on the Project One SLR. Trek has also done away with gender-specific geometry, with the main distinction being the touchpoints and paint treatments.
Bmc Roadmachine 01 One
The perfect bike for anyone looking for a race bike with a Gran Fondo flair.
The BMC Roadmachine appears to be identical to the Teammachine racer at first appearance, but closer investigation reveals a higher stack, shorter reach, softer ride, and room for fat tyres. The Roadmachine retains much of the efficiency and snap of its racier cousin when pressure is put to the pedals, but with slightly more forgiving steering qualities.
The TCC (Tuned Compliance Concept) Endurance lay-up, according to BMC, is designed to take the sting out of uneven roads. Angle Compliance technology, which is marketing language meaning flex integrated into the fork, seat stays, and seat post, has also been used by BMC. It’s no surprise that BMC used its integrated cockpit design on the Roadmachine, and we like the addition of mounting for a top tube food/storage box so you can keep your pre-knock Haribo close at reach at all times.
Even though the name says “road,” there is enough room in the frame for 33mm tyres, so you may take the Roadmachine beyond where the pavement ends. The new asymmetric fork is 10% stronger in the front, while the brand’s lowered seat stays are featured in the back. However, the issue is the BMC-sized price tag.
Road Bikes Made Of Aluminum
While all of the top-tier bikes are constructed of carbon, that does not mean that metal bikes are outdated. Aluminium is still an excellent material for making light and sturdy bike frames, and modern production techniques have made them lighter and more comfortable than ever before. The top aluminium road bikes are listed here.
Cannondale Caad13 Force Etap
The pinnacle of aluminium road bikes.
Cannondale’s CAAD frames have long been regarded as the gold standard in aluminium race bikes, and the CAAD13 continues that tradition.
The CAAD13 has the same geometry as the new SuperSix Evo, with light steering and quick pedal reaction. Cannondale employed hydroforming to integrate truncated aerofoils to assist the frame slice through the wind.
The new CAAD13 is available in rim and disc models, the latter of which has Mavic’s Speed Release thru-axle dropouts. The bike is equipped with a Force eTap AXS gear, a complete carbon fork, Knot HollowGram45 carbon wheels, and several fender mounts.
Specialized Allez Sprint Comp Disc
Criteriums are at the heart of this budget-friendly race bike.
The Specialized Allez Sprint is a criterium racing weapon with high-speed turning. The sprint is extraordinarily stiff in every manner thanks to aerodynamic D’Alusio Smartweld tubing, and no watts or steering input are lost due to flex. This also implies you can express granular details about the road surface purely based on vibrations sent via the seat.
The frame stack is 10mm lower than the Tarmac, placing a lot of weight on the front wheel and giving it laser-guided missile-like steering qualities. Weld sites are shifted away from high-stress regions like the bottom bracket using D’Aluisio Smartweld technology across the frame, using less material for the same amount of rigidity and strength.
Depending on where you reside, Specialized offers varying specs and colours, but most full options are built around a Shimano 105 groupset. If you wish to customise your bike, Specialized provides the frameset with disc or rim brakes.
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