Best road bikes under £1000

By Cycling Plus | Wednesday, April 24, 2013 8.46am

Whether you're looking for your first road bike or planning to upgrade on a tight budget, here are the best bikes for you. The good news is that finding a brilliant entry level road bike that will set you back less than £1,000 is a lot easier than you might think. And you certainly don’t have to worry about being shortchanged – you’ll get an excellent frame, good componentry and bullet-proof wheels.

At this price the frame will most likely be aluminium – carbon fibre or steel are available but pretty rare – but seeing as until surprisingly recently this was the material the bikes used by professional racers was made of, it’s more than up to the job.

Most of our recommended bikes come with a carbon fork, which helps to keep the weight down and, perhaps more importantly, increases comfort on long rides. Wheels are often the biggest compromise on bikes at this price, but you can still find good quality hoops from the likes of Mavic and Fulcrum on sub-£1,000 bikes. Cheap, hard tyres are one of the first things we'd recommend upgrading.

There are hundreds of models to choose from so we’ve selected the road bikes that we feel offer the best value, the best kit and the best frames, and ridden them for hundreds of miles. We'll add to this list during the course of the year if our testing unearths any more bargains.

Our testers are lucky enough to get to ride some of the most technically advanced bikes on the planet, but they’re not snobs and all admit that they’d happily ride sportives, do a bit of light touring, enter races and, of course, ride to work on any of the bikes in this selection.

Last update: 24 April, 2013

Scott Speedster 20


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"Packs aero tech into a responsive, friendly handling speed machine"

Scott speedster 20: scott speedster 20

  • Weight: 9.17kg
  • Frame: Scott Speedster double butted 6061 alloy, integrated head tube
  • Fork: Carbon, alloy steerer
  • Groupset: Shimano 105 black
  • Wheels: Syncros Race 2, Formula Team hubs

To put it simply the 2013 Scott Speedster 20 is a naturally fast and responsive bike with excellent upgrade potential. A lot of effort has been directed towards aero efficiency, these tweaks add noticeable stability to an otherwise fairly steep angled, short wheelbase bike. The Speedster is not only a great descender but an all-round well behaved bike. It's stiff too, the chassis ensures you can sprint up to speed quickly yet  it’s compliant enough to live with even on lumpy backroads

Click here for a full review of the Scott Speedster 20

Trek Domane 2.0


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Rutland Cycling


"Trek’s radical frame sets a whole new benchmark for ultra-smooth speed sustain"

Trek domane 2.0: trek domane 2.0

  • Weight: 9.57kg
  • Frame: Aluminium
  • Fork: Carbon, alloy steerer
  • Groupset: Shimano Tiagra
  • Wheels: Bontrager alloy

Throughout the Domane range Trek have introudced their ‘IsoSpeed decoupler’ pivots - Instead of a fixed connection between top tube, seatstays and seat tube this new design allows the seat tube to bow back and forth in response to road or rider loads. A slimmed down pivot section at the top of the tube also means you get a more flexible skinny seatpost, while the Affinity saddle is generously padded too. The result is that the Domane 2.0 offers the ultimate in high-speed cruising comfort.

That's not all though, expect sweet handling, surefootedness and a chassis that is responsive under power.

Click here for a full review of the Trek Domane 2.0

Mekk A1 Pinerolo AL 1.0


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"Excellent ride quality, frame and wheels, but average brakes and tyres"

Mekk a1 pinerolo al 1.0: mekk a1 pinerolo al 1.0

  • Weight: 9.16kg
  • Frame: Super Lite Aluminum Triple Butted Seamless Tubing
  • Fork: 3K carbon, alu steerer
  • Groupset: Shimano Sora
  • Wheels: Shimano R500

The name may not be familiar to you but the people behind Mekk – Mark Edwards and Ken Knight – have decades of experience in cycling. For less than £700 you get a bike weighing in at just 9.16kg, exceptional at this price point. Geometry is racy, rather than sportive-orientated and features shortish chainstays that make for a lively and easily flickable sub-metre wheelbase.

BIkes at this price will always have compromises and the A1 suffers in the tyre and braking departments, but even off the peg this is a recession-friendly road bike well worthy of a few future upgrades.

Click here for a full review of the Mekk A1 Pinerolo AL 1.0

Ribble Winter Trainer


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Ribble Cycles


"Quite simply the best value sub-£750 bike on the market"

Ribble winter trainer: ribble winter trainer

  • Weight: 10.2 kg
  • Frame: 7005 aluminium
  • Fork: Deda carbon
  • Groupset: Campagnolo Veloce
  • Wheels: Campagnolo Khamsin G3

The level of equipment for the price is simply outstanding. Add to this a great quality – if a little dated – aluminium frame and a good Deda fork and you have the perfect winter trainer/ year-round commuter. It’s not a machine to be thrown around and duelled crit style, but it’ll let you put in plenty of miles in reasonable comfort, with flawless performance from the components.

We wouldn’t be tempted to use it for much more than that, but we can’t think of a better value bike for seeing out the winter. When you consider the quality you’re getting for the money, the Ribble simply can’t be beaten.

Click here for a full review of the Ribble Winter Trainer

Civia Prospect


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Triton Cycles


"A weighty beast, but tough, comfortable and very well considered"

Civia prospect: civia prospect

  • Weight: 12.92kg ((28.48lb)
  • Frame: TIG welded 4130 chromoly, adjustable dropouts
  • Fork: TIG-welded 4130 unicrown, 11/8in steerer
  • Groupset: Shimano Deore/Sora with FSA Tempo cranks
  • Wheels: Alex DC19 alloy aero rims, forged alloy loose ball and cone hubs, stainless spokes 32 3-cross

With an unladen weight of 12.92kg (28.48lb), Civia’s Prospect steel commuter machine is nudging towards Clydesdale territory. But provided you factor in a slightly slower speed and keep your expectations for arrival times within reason, it’s none the worse for it.

This is a machine that you could easily replace your car with. Make the Prospect your main means of transport and you could use it for commuting, load it up with your shopping and ride it at the weekend for fun and fitness.

Click here for a full review of the Civia Prospect

Boardman Team


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"Hard to fault; exemplifies what you can do with a bike at this price"

Boardman team: boardman team

  • Weight: 9.04kg
  • Frame: Triple butted aluminium 
  • Fork: Carbon 
  • Groupset: Shimano 105
  • Wheels: Mavic Aksium 

Boardman have set the standard over the past few years at this price, and their Team is continuing that trend. At first glance the frame appears to be carbon, but in fact the fantastic finish disguises a beautifully smooth-welded aluminium frame. If you closed your eyes when riding it – not something we’d recommend – you’d swear you were on a much more expensive bike.

When it comes to the ride experience there’s a great balance of performance and comfort, helped by good wheels and tyres and a carbon seatpost. It’s a very impressive effort from Chris and co.

Click here for a full review of the Boardman Team

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