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Best road bikes around £1,000 in 2023

£1,000 buys you a lot of bike these days. Here's what you need to know…

Best road bikes under £1,000

The best road bikes around the £1,000 mark are a great place to start if you’re new to cycling or if you’re unsure how much riding you’re actually going to be doing. They can also make brilliant speedy commuters or second-string bikes for more experienced cyclists.

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Reckon your budget could stretch a bit further? Check out our best road bikes under £2,000 and our best road bikes under £3,000. If £1,000 is too much to spend, here are the best road bikes for under £750, as reviewed by our team of testers.

We also have a list dedicated to the best aluminium road bikes and a guide to the best women’s road bikes.

If you need some help with what to look for, read our beginner’s guide to choosing the best road bike and watch our video guide to the best £1,000 road bikes in 2023 below.

Read on for summaries and links to all of our highest-rated road bikes under £1,000, with the highest scoring bikes shown first.

The best road bikes around £1,000 in 2023, as rated and reviewed by our expert testers

Boardman SLR 8.9

4.5 out of 5 star rating
It’s hard to argue with a carbon frame, Shimano 105 and some great-quality components.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
  • £1,100 as tested, international pricing N/A
  • Carbon frame and fork
  • Mostly Shimano 105 components

The Boardman SLR 8.9 is one of the least expensive carbon road bikes there is, and with the same aerodynamic tube profiles as Boardman’s top-end 9.6 and a nearly complete Shimano 105 groupset, it’s great value.

Boardman describes the geometry as endurance, but we found it lives on the racier side, delivering a ride that is equal parts fast and comfortable with impressive handling.

The wheels are basic but they are tubeless-ready and come with decent Vittoria tyres. You might consider upgrading these wheels at some point to make the most of the frameset. Check out our list of the best road bike wheels for some recommendations from our expert test team.

Overall, this bike is a great all-round package that is ideal for sportives, fitness training and commuting. It is simply loads of fun to ride.

Bristol Bicycles Expedition

4.5 out of 5 star rating
The Expedition is a proper old-school tourer, but with discs.
Robert Smith
  • £775 as tested, international pricing N/A
  • Weighty tourer with discs
  • Classic triple gearing and various upgrade options

If you’re looking for a speedy racer, the Expedition isn’t for you. It’s a heavy-duty tourer in the vein of classics such as the Dawes Galaxy, and it comes as standard with a triple crankset, now rarely seen on road bikes. 

The Expedition offers a nice upright riding position and a spec aimed at long-distance touring, or perhaps all-weather commuting.

The frame is alloy and the fork is steel, and Bristol Bicycles lets you customise component choice to an extent. If you fancied using the bike as a road bike, clever spec choices here could make it a bit more suitable.

It’s not for everyone, but if you appreciate a tough, well-thought-out machine, it’s worth a look.

Canyon Endurace AL 7.0

4.5 out of 5 star rating
The Endurace AL 7.0 combines a great alloy frame with a generous spec.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
  • £999 / €1,099 / AU$1,749 as tested
  • Direct-sales machine with a stunning frame matched to a great spec
  • Full 105 R7000 groupset and Fulcrum wheels
  • Lively but comfortable ride

When we first tested the Canyon Endurace AL, it cost £999, but it has since risen in price to £1,349 as of September 2021. This is a fair increase but it is indicative of what has been happening across the cycling industry of late, and this Canyon is still generously specced with very little to fault.

There’s nothing terribly elaborate about the Endurace AL’s frame, but it’s nicely finished and comes matched to a full-carbon fork.

It still includes a full Shimano 105 groupset – there are no nasty aftermarket brakes – and Fulcrum wheels are fitted with decent Continental tyres.

The ride is comfortable, and the relaxed geometry is perfect for new riders. A wide range of gears will get you up the toughest climbs, while top-notch brakes inspire confidence heading downhill.

Giant Contend SL 1

4.5 out of 5 star rating
The Contend SL1 is another great all-rounder from Giant.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
  • £1,000 as tested, international pricing N/A
  • Alloy all-rounder with 105 shifting
  • Wide gearing and mudguard mounts

Giant seems to be incapable of making a bad bike and the Contend continues that trend.

It’s a very, very competent all-rounder, offering a good spec with no major compromises and practical touches such as mudguard mounts.

The gearing on this 2020 bike is slightly harder than it used to be, which is a little strange, but the compact frame and D-Fuse carbon seatpost make for a comfy rear-end and it’s still a very good bike overall.

Ribble Endurance AL Disc

4.5 out of 5 star rating
The Ribble’s hydraulic brakes are unrivalled.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
  • From £999 (£1,099 as tested), international pricing N/A
  • Racier end of endurance geometry, plus disc brakes
  • Mounts for mudguards

Ribble offers a lot of bike for the money with its aluminium-framed endurance bike. The Endurance AL starts at just £999 with Shimano Tiagra and cable discs, but spending a bit more gets you full hydraulics.

It’s not the lightest machine, but it’s year-round capable and well suited to big rides, winter training or long-distance commuting.

Specialized Allez

4.5 out of 5 star rating
The Allez has been a consistent favourite for years.
  • £650 as tested
  • Striking alloy-framed racer that’s fun and fast
  • Shimano Claris shifting with a wide range of gears
  • Quality own-brand finishing kit

If you want a genuinely racy bike on a limited budget, you can’t go wrong with an Allez.

The cheapest version of Specialized’s entry-level road bike offers exciting performance and a competent Shimano Claris-based spec, along with one of the best-looking frames you’ll get for this kind of money.

It’s a surprisingly refined ride too, thanks to a skinny seatpost and reasonably plump tyres.

Specialized Allez Elite

4.5 out of 5 star rating
The Specialized Allez Elite was our winner of the £1,000 category in Bike of the Year 2020.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
  • £1,249 (£1,050 as tested)
  • Lively entry-level alloy racer
  • Goldilocks ride quality makes up for average spec
  • Shimano 105 shifting, Praxis cranks and own-brand everything else

The Specialized Allez Elite might have jumped up in price a fair bit since we first tested, but as our £1,000 Bike of the Year for 2020, we consider spending the extra cash a wise investment.

The spec is a bit piecemeal, with a mishmash of own-brand and third-party components mixed in with Shimano.

Nevertheless, the Allez retains the likeable qualities for which it is renowned. It is a good basis for upgrades down the line too and will likely serve you for a long time.

Triban RC520 Disc

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Shimano 105 and TRP’s HY/RD brakes make the Triban unbelievably good value.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
  • £850 as tested, international pricing N/A
  • Shimano 105 gears
  • Comfortable but pretty weighty

The Triban RC520 Disc is packed with tech that you’d expect to see on a bike with a much bigger price tag.

The derailleurs and levers are Shimano 105, which is excellent at this price. The chainset is Shimano’s RS510, which is 150g heavier than the 105 model, but there was no discernible difference in testing when it came to shifting performance.

The brakes are another plus. They are a hydro-mechanical combination that might not be equal to a full hydraulic system, but they are well-modulated.

The bike doesn’t have a racy geometry and it is on the heavier side too, but this isn’t really a surprise considering it’s aimed at the endurance and comfort side of the market.

The tubeless-ready rims and clearance for 36mm tyres give this bike a lot of potential, and it’s a serious contender if you’re looking for a bike to cover a lot of bases.

Van Rysel EDR AF

4.5 out of 5 star rating
The Van Rysel EDR AF is a fun and fast bike to ride, and it even has dropped seatstays.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
  • £1,200 as tested
  • Low weight
  • Full Shimano 105

The Van Rysel EDR AF might be a bit over £1,000, but if you’re looking for a seriously fast, flickable and fun bike to ride, and can push your budget a little higher, this is a great option.

Apart from the chain, the bike has a full Shimano 105 groupset, which works exceptionally well. While rim brakes might seem a bit outdated, these brakes perform really well and a lot better than many disc brakes you find on bikes around the £1,000 mark.

The Fulcrum Racing 6 wheels are better than many wheels you find on bikes at this price, too.

The EDR AF comes with 25mm tyres and has room for 28mm, but don’t expect to fit mudguards at this width.

Vitus Zenium Tiagra

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Carbon frame, carbon fork, disc brakes, good finishing kit… what more could you expect for the price?
Russell Burton / Immediate Media
  • £1,100 / $1,699 / €1,699 / AU$2,299.99 as tested
  • Carbon frameset
  • Decent disc brakes and kit

Vitus is Wiggle’s in-house brand and its Zenium has set a benchmark for what bikes in this price bracket can offer for a number of years. This new version is no exception, with a fully carbon frame and fork, and cable-actuated disc brakes that work well.

The Zenium has a 10-speed Shimano Tiagra groupset which, considering the price of the bike and that it has a carbon frame, is an absolute steal. The gearing is also ample for practically any ride you’ll go on.

The kit is as expected for the price, but still good. The bike has an aero handlebar that’s flattened on the top, which offers an aero advantage but, maybe more importantly, will comfortably fit your hands.

When it comes to the ride, the Zenium flies on the flat and is a lively climber. It is a firmer ride than a lot of other bikes, but that’s the only thing holding the Zenium back.

Boardman ADV 8.6

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Great comfort and versatility from Boardman’s big-tyred all-rounder.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
  • £750 as tested, international pricing N/A
  • Great comfort and off-road potential
  • Average disc brakes

Boardman describes the ADV 8.6 as its entry-level adventure bike, and we found it to offer a good compromise between on-road and off-road riding, concluding that it would make a great commuter, road or gravel all-rounder.

The aluminium frame is paired with a carbon fork, 9-speed Sora groupset, tubeless-ready rims and tyres that perform well on tarmac and gravel. The handlebar flares out to 50cm on the drops, which is particularly good for stable handling off-road.

The brakes are Tektro cable-actuated single-piston. While you wouldn’t expect hydraulic brakes at this price, we’d prefer Tektro’s dual-piston Spyre brakes for better stopping power.

Forme Monyash 2

4.0 out of 5 star rating
If speed isn’t your be and end all, this bike can do a bit of everything.
Dave Caudery / Immediate Media
  • £900, international pricing N/A
  • Do-it-all credentials
  • Bottle, rear-rack and mudguard bosses
  • Brakes could be better

The Forme Monyash 2 is an affordable option versatile enough for long days and short blasts alike.

Its array of fitting means you could deck it out with bags and mudguards for touring or commuting. More relaxed geometry lends itself to this kind of riding.

Plus, the Monyash 2 has decent own-brand wheels shod with Schwalbe One 28mm tyres. And the mechanical disc brakes are adequate.

You wouldn’t expect brilliant climbing at this price, but the Shimano eight-speed Claris groupset shifts fine and the 32t sprocket helps on steep gradients.

Giant Contend AR 3

4.0 out of 5 star rating
This is the bike for long-distance riding.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media
  • £1,099 as tested
  • Great looks and long-distance comfort
  • Not the best value

The Giant Contend AR 3 stands out thanks to its bold paint job and frame design that looks more expensive than the price tag suggests.

The bike doesn’t quite match some of the others in the category when it comes to spec. It has Shimano Sora rather than a Tiagra or 105 groupset, but really the difference between Sora and Tiagra isn’t that noticeable when you’re out riding.

Giant knows a thing or two about creating well-performing geometries, and the Contend AR 3 nicely balances speed and long-distance comfort. It is confident on descents too, aided by its 32mm tyres.

It might not be the best value for money, but there is a lot to like about the Giant Contend AR 3 and it is worth serious consideration if you’re after a plush ride and long-distance comfort.

Marin Nicasio

4.0 out of 5 star rating
The Nicasio is no lightweight, but there’s plenty to recommend it.
Robert Smith Photography / Immediate Media
  • £700 / $989 / €995 / AU$1,199 as tested
  • Comfy steel distance machine
  • Now with MicroSHIFT components and Tektro mechanical disc brakes

Most of the bikes at this price level are alloy-framed and built with race or sportive pretensions. The Nicasio is closer in spirit to a traditional tourer.

It’s heavy and versatile, with fat tyres as standard and the option to fit a rack and mudguards.

It’s not the fastest, but a bike like this makes a great commuter and long-distance machine.

Pinnacle Laterite 3

4.0 out of 5 star rating
This is a pleasingly straightforward entry-level bike with a comfortable all-round ride.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
  • £600 as tested, international pricing N/A
  • Surprisingly good ride
  • Great value

This is Evans Cycles’ entry-level Pinnacle Laterite. It might be a simple and straightforward bike, but it zips along nicely and offers a surprisingly lovely ride.

The gears are Shimano Sora, and while this is far down Shimano’s range, the shifting is nearly as good as its more expensive siblings. The gear ratios also make climbing tough hills more achievable.

The bike has enough room for 32mm tyres, which would provide ample comfort on rough roads, so it is surprising it’s been specced with narrow 25mm tyres.

There are mounts for mudguards and a rack too, which would help transform this bike into a capable commuter.

Braking comes courtesy of Tektro rim brakes. You might want to upgrade the brake blocks to cartridge blocks when they wear out to improve the stopping power.

Planet X London Road

4.0 out of 5 star rating
The Planet X London Road would make a great commuter.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
  • £800 as tested, international pricing N/A
  • Well-chosen components
  • Quick, lively ride

The Planet X London Road is a straightforward bike that shows what can be achieved when you keep things simple.

The London Road has a SRAM single-ring setup, thru-axles and cable-actuated disc brakes, as well as a good set of Fulcrum wheels with 32mm tyres and a carbon fork

This makes the bike an attractive package, but while there might not be a front derailleur to worry about, the single-ring setup does limit the bike’s gear range, so if you like to turn a big gear, this might not be the bike for you.

Otherwise, this bike is great fun to ride on bike paths and through town. It would make an excellent commuter.

Trek Domane AL 2

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Far from the World Tour’s Paris-Roubaix winning rigs, the Domane AL 2 promises elements of those bikes’ performance at a very realistic price. Is it just marketing, or does it really work?
Dave Caudery / Our Media
  • £775 / $1,099 / €794 as tested
  • Lively frame and smooth ride
  • Poor brake performance

Trek uses its IsoSpeed suspension fork in the Domane AL 2, which along with 25mm tyres that come out significantly wider than this on the tubeless ready wheels really helps to smooth out the road.

There’s a mix of Shimano Claris 8-speed shifting with unbranded brakes and Bontrager components, including a comfortable saddle.

The comfortable ride and sprightly performance belie the Domane’s price tag, although the wheels feel a little heavy.

Buyer’s guide to road bikes around £1,000

Perhaps the most important thing to note is that bikes around the £1,000 price point are typically not pure race bikes.

Although they look like race bikes and are perfectly capable of being raced, most lack the more extreme touches of the machines that are geared uncompromisingly towards competition.

Instead, a sub-£1,000 bike is intended as a beginner’s tool – a bike to introduce new riders to road cycling.

What does that mean, exactly?

Though entry-level road bikes tend to have more relaxed geometry, that won’t hold you back if you want to give them a good thrashing.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

Well, for a start, although there are exceptions, the bikes’ frames will often have more relaxed geometry compared to more aggressive bikes designed for racing.

They’ll have a shorter reach, so you won’t be stretched so far forwards, and thanks to a longer head tube and more elevated handlebar, they’ll have a higher front-end, so you won’t be so low.

In other words, you’ll be sitting in a more upright position than you would on a dedicated race bike, which is good for comfort and also helpful for building new riders’ confidence.

If all of that still went over your head, make sure you check out our beginner’s guide to road bike geometry and handling.

The bikes won’t be as stiff or light as an expensive race bike, and they’ll usually feature less carbon in their construction too. For the most part, bikes in this price range will have a frame made of metal, most often an aluminium alloy.

That’s not necessarily a bad thing, though, some of the best aluminium road bikes we have ridden easily rival their carbon equivalents.

What will I get for my money?

Tiagra is pretty common at this price point.
David Caudery/Immediate Media

Don’t go thinking that £1,000 road bikes aren’t the real deal. They’ll do whatever you need them to, whether that’s adding a bit of pace to your commute, dipping your toe into the waters of racing, taking on a sportive, touring or simply riding for fun at the weekend.

Bikes in this price range vary a good deal in spec. The best-value ones will often have a mid-range 11-speed Shimano 105 or SRAM Rival groupset, while many will be equipped with groupsets lower down the scale, such as 11-speed SRAM Apex, 10-speed Shimano Tiagra or 9-speed Shimano Sora.

With bike price inflation, Shimano 105-equipped bikes are increasingly rare at this price though, so expect to spend a little more than £1,000 if you want 11 speeds, and considerably more for a bike equipped with hydraulic disc brakes too.

A groupset is the collection of components that make your bike go and stop, i.e. shifters, derailleurs, cranks, brakes, etc. You can find out more in our road bike groupsets explainer.

Many bikes in this category will also mix and match components to save money. So you’ll often find bikes with Shimano Tiagra shifters and derailleurs but Tektro brakes, for example.

Mechanical disc brakes are most common at this price point.
Oscar Huckle / Our Media

Disc brakes are becoming more common at this level, but they will often be mechanical cable-operated calipers (or mechanically actuated hydraulic calipers) rather than the full hydraulic systems found on more expensive bikes.

In any case, don’t discount rim brakes, they’re perfectly adequate for most riding and save weight compared to discs, but stopping in the wet is less consistent, so it’s worth looking for disc brakes if you plan to use your bike as an all-weather commuter.

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Another feature that’s becoming more prevalent and that’s worth considering is tubeless-ready wheels. With the right tyres, along with sealant and a set of valves, running tubeless means that you can dispense with inner tubes and lower your risk of punctures and cold stops by the side of the road. Many bikes now come with tubeless-ready wheels, even at lower pricepoints, although you may find that the tyres fitted are not suitable for tubeless running.