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Best road bikes under £2,000 or $2,000 in 2022

Our pick of the top endurance and race bikes for less than two grand

Best road bikes under £2,000

The best road bikes under £2,000 or $2,000 give you a quality frame and spec without the high cost of some of the best road bikes we’ve ridden and reviewed.

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Separately, we’ve rounded up the best endurance road bikes if you’re after long-distance comfort and aren’t so constrained by price. If you’re looking for something different, check out our guide to the best gravel bikes with wider tyre clearance and go-anywhere capabilities, or our guide to the best hybrid bikes with flat handlebars. You might even be tempted by one of the best electric bikes.

If up to £2,000, or $2,000, is still too heavy on your wallet, take a look at our best road bikes under £1,000. Or, if you can stretch your budget a little further, there are some fantastic options in our round-up of bikes under £3,000 / $4,000.

The bikes listed below all scored at least four stars out of five when our team of experienced riders put them to the test. Read on for our complete list of high-scoring bikes or head to the bottom of the page for a buyer’s guide detailing what to look for in a road bike under £2,000 / $2,000.

The best road bikes under £2,000 or $2,000 in 2022, as rated and reviewed by our expert testers

BMC Teammachine ALR Disc Two

4.5 out of 5 star rating
BMC’s Teammachine ALR Disc Two: classy looks and a performance ride.
Robert Smith / Immediate Media
  • £1,999 / $1,999.00 (as tested)
  • Performance-oriented alloy frame doesn’t lack comfort
  • Fast acceleration and predictable handling
  • 105 hydraulic disc brakes give assured stopping

With BMC’s top-spec alloy build and smart looks from its manipulated tubes, the Teammachine ALR rides like a performance bike, with fast acceleration and predictable handling.

You get BMC’s D-shaped carbon seatpost, as featured on its pricier bikes, to add comfort to a ride that’s compliant even on 25mm tyres. 

The groupset is Shimano 105 Hydraulic, for smooth shifting, loads of range and effective stopping power.

Boardman SLR 8.9

4.5 out of 5 star rating
It’s hard to argue with a carbon frame and Shimano 105, as well as great-quality components.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
  • £1,100 (as tested)
  • Aero profile carbon frame is stiff and racy
  • Shimano 105 rim brake groupset with Tektro brakes
  • Space for 28mm tyres or mudguards

The Boardman SLR 8.9 shares the same aero tube profiles and dropped seatstays as Boardman’s more expensive SLR bikes, and also comes with a carbon frame and fork.

It’s impressive that Boardman has been able to spec an almost complete Shimano 105 groupset as well, although the 105 rim brakes are swapped for Tektro calipers.

Boardman has shortened crank length and narrowed the handlebars, in line with modern trends, which also helps with aerodynamics, leading to a fast ride that’s a little racier than many endurance-labelled bikes.

Although the wheels are fairly basic, they are tubeless-ready; upgrade the 25mm tyres to better-quality 28mm rubber and you’ll get an even more comfortable ride.

Giant TCR Advanced 2

4.5 out of 5 star rating
The Giant TCR Advanced 2 is the rim-braked bike to beat.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media
  • £1,999 / $1,900 (as tested)
  • An amazing performer and great value for money
  • Rim-brake model gets full 105 groupset and weighs 7.9kg in medium

The Giant TCR has been around seemingly forever and each successive generation has impressed us. A previous iteration of the bike took top honours in our 2018 Bike of the Year mega-test.

The Advanced 2 model gets a really nice carbon frame – only one tier below the range-topping Advanced SL – and a full Shimano 105 groupset.

The TCR is a wonderfully lively ride that manages to be quite comfortable too. As a bonus, its wheels are set up tubeless out of the box and have 28mm maximum tyre clearance.

Kinesis Tripster AT

4.5 out of 5 star rating
The AT in the Kinesis Tripster AT’s name stands for all-terrain.
Robert Smith / Immediate Media
  • £1,850 / £800 frameset only (as tested)
  • 38mm tyres with excellent mudguards
  • Lively performance belies the 11kg weight and robust build
  • Tunable geometry 

With the AT part of its name signifying All Terrain, you’d expect big clearance from the Kinesis Tripster AT – up to 45mm. But this build only goes up to 38mm with its Schwalbe G-One tyres, adding extra-wide mudguards for a more road-going spec that will also cope with light gravel excursions.

Kinesis’ alloy frame and carbon fork offer the option to alter the steering geometry to suit your riding style. You can load up with bags and bottles for longer excursions and the SRAM Apex 1x groupset gives you lots of range too.

At 11kg, the Tripster AT isn’t light, but it feels livelier than that weight would suggest, with a stiff frame and quality wheelset.

Rose Pro SL Disc 105

4.5 out of 5 star rating
The Rose Pro SL Disc does a lot for not a lot of money.
Matthew Loveridge / Immediate Media
  • £1,451.20 / €1,599 (as tested)
  • Alloy frame has a quality look and features
  • Plenty of tyre clearance
  • Smooth and composed ride

With its smooth welds, you could mistake the Rose Pro SL’s alloy frameset for carbon, while the updated model gets a new lighter, more comfortable fork. There’s close to full internal cabling from the cockpit to complete the classy look. 

The Rose has clearance for tyres up to 32mm, with wheels running on thru-axles. You don’t get mudguard mounts though. Ride quality is smooth and composed, even on fast, bumpy descents. 

Spec is good, with a wide-range Shimano 105 hydraulic groupset, DT Swiss wheels and 28mm Conti tyres. Smaller sizes come with 650b wheels for consistent handling across the size range. 

Van Rysel EDR AF

4.5 out of 5 star rating
The Van Rysel EDR AF has a high-quality spec for its price.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
  • £1,200 (as tested)
  • Full Shimano 105 rim brake groupset and Fulcrum Racing 6 wheels
  • Dynamic ride quality and confident descending

With rim brakes rather than discs, the Van Rysel EDR AF nevertheless sports a complete Shimano 105 11-speed groupset, with the brakes effective and better than many cable-actuated disc brakes. The lower gearing than its predecessor helps with hill climbs.

There are robust Fulcrum Racing 6 wheels with 25mm Michelin Lithion tyres; there’s space for 28mm rubber. The ride feel is dynamic and exciting, and we were impressed with the Van Rysel’s descending prowess.

Vitus Zenium Tiagra

Carbon frame, carbon forks, disc brakes, good finishing kit… what more could you expect for the price?
Russell Burton / Immediate Media
  • £1,100 (as tested)
  • Carbon frame and fork provide excellent value
  • 10 speeds and cable-operated disc brakes
  • Racy character and ride position

The Vitus Zenium is a carbon-framed bike that barely breaks the £1,000 barrier and comes complete with TRP Spyre cable-operated disc brakes. 10-speed Shimano Tiagra adds to an impressive package.

We found the frame stiff and light, and the ride position more race-oriented than most bikes at this price, making for fast riding on the flat and lively climbing. There’s a wide gear range too, although it doesn’t go quite as low as some competitors.

The aero bar profile sets off the Zenium’s racy character and the wide tops add comfort when not riding in the drops.

Cube Axial WS Race

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Cube’s Axial WS Race rolls nicely on its 28mm tyres.
Russell Burton / Our Media
  • £1,749 (as tested)
  • Quality alloy frame and carbon fork provide comfortable ride
  • Full Shimano 105 groupset and decent wheels, although not tubeless
  • 9.6kg weight offset by 1:1 lowest gear ratio

The Axial is the women’s equivalent of the men’s Cube Attain SL, with an alloy frame, carbon fork and a shimmering paintjob, as well as women’s-specific touchpoints and smaller frame size options.

There are mudguard mounts for all-weather riders, but there’s not the clearance for tyres much wider than the 28mm fitted.

The Axial comes with a full Shimano 105 groupset that has a wide gear range and includes in-series hydraulic disc brakes for effective stopping. Wheels are Cube RA 1.9 Aero Disc, which can’t be run tubeless, but combined with the 28mm tyres give a comfortable ride that copes well with light gravel excursions.

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)
  • Comfy alloy from the world’s biggest bike maker
  • Wide-range Shimano Sora 9-speed shifting
  • Tubeless setup with 32mm tyres

If you’ve got some more cash to spend and value all-weather braking, this could be a better choice than the Giant Contend, thanks to its mechanical disc brakes.

The Giant Contend AR3 is middle-of-the-road on spec and weight, but it’s a solid performer that’s very beginner-friendly thanks to relaxed geometry and great ride quality. The 1:1 lowest gear helps you to winch yourself up the steepest hills.

Giant sets up the bike’s 32mm tyres tubeless, so there’s no conversion to do. There’s clearance for 38mm tyres, which means you can put plenty of rubber on the road for grip and comfort.

Kinesis R2

4.0 out of 5 star rating
The R2 is reasonably priced and fun to ride, despite its heft.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media
  • £1,680 / £650 frameset only (as tested)
  •  Now 2x drivetrain
  • Capable all-rounder

In line with the Kinesis 4S Disc, the R2 is a jack of all trades. Its cyclocross-specific wheels and 32mm-wide tyres cushion rough surfaces on- and off-road. Fittings and clearance for full-length mudguards cover commuting requirements.

But the R2 is far from lumpen on tarmac – its alloy frame is sporty and handling agile. The 10-speed Tiagra groupset shifts and brakes just as well as Shimano’s pricier offerings, while the prudent gearing helps on the climbs.

The fork is full-carbon and the R2’s zippy ride belies its 10.4kg weight in size XL. Kinesis’ own narrow handlebar, wrapped in thin tape that may prove uncomfortable, and the disappointing Selle Italia saddle are our only gripes.

Ribble R872 Disc

4.0 out of 5 star rating
With its full mudguard mounts, the R872 Disc could also make an excellent all-weather ride.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
  • £1,504 / $1,842 (as tested)
  • Full-carbon disc frameset with mudguard mounts
  • Great ride and a choice of alternative specs

Ribble gives you a lot for your money and the R872 is available in three specs starting at £1,099.

It’s a fast, fun bike and, unusually for a carbon one at this price, it accepts mudguards.

The R872 isn’t the smoothest ride – you’ll feel the road beneath you – but it’s composed overall and not harsh.

Shand Leveret

4.0 out of 5 star rating
The Shand Leveret is built to help you take in your surroundings, rather than speed through them.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media
  • £1,995 (as tested)
  • Beautifully welded quality steel frame
  • Low-maintenance Gates belt drive and Shimano Alfine 8-speed hub gear

The steel-framed Shand Leveret boasts neatly welded butted tubing with reflective logos and an all-carbon fork. The ride is stable and relaxing rather than racy, matching the upright ride position. The bike comes fitted with mudguards too.

Rather than the usual derailleur, the Shand Leveret has a low maintenance Gates belt drive and 8-speed Shimano Alfine hub gear. There are Shand’s own-brand tubeless-ready wheels with 35mm Schwalbe tyres and TRP hydraulic disc brakes. At 12kg, it’s no lightweight though.

Sonder Santiago Rival 1

4.0 out of 5 star rating
The Santiago features myriad bosses and guides, so you’ll be able to carry water like a camel.
Robert Smith / Immediate Media
  • £1,299 (as tested)
  • Versatile steel tourer and all-roader with discs
  • SRAM Rival and mounts for everything

It’s debatable whether a bike such as this belongs on this list, but if you’re more interested in hauling camping gear than earning KOMs/QOMs, the Santiago may appeal.

It’s a capable steel all-rounder with big clearances and mounts to accept all manner of accessories and luggage.

We tested a SRAM Rival-equipped bike, but the Santiago is available in various other builds, or as a frameset if you prefer.

Buyer’s guide to the best £2,000 / $2,000 road bike for you and your riding

Plenty of great bikes fall into the £1,000 to £2,000 price range. So many, in fact, that picking one can be quite a headache – so you need to have a clear idea of what you want.

If you need some help with what to look for in a road bike, watch our video primer below.

The main thing to bear in mind is that while all the road bikes in this price bracket are suitable for any type of tarmac-related riding, they start to become more tailored to specific purposes – branching off down either the sportive/endurance or racing route.

Race-oriented bikes will have a long and low riding position, stretching you out more to distribute your weight over the wheels for a more agile ride. In contrast, endurance bikes seat you in a more upright position, with a shorter reach from the saddle to the handlebars, which will be positioned higher. This can give you a more comfortable ride over long distances, but may reduce how sporty a bike feels.

The effects are nuanced and there’s a spectrum of how close to one end of the scale or the other individual bikes are; take a look at our guide to road bike geometry for more detail.

Frame material

Carbon starts to appear, but aluminium frames are more typical in this price range. In fact, the best aluminium road bike frames are considerably better than some entry-level carbon options.

You can also find steel frames, although many of the best steel road bikes cost more than £2,000, while the best titanium bikes almost all fall into a higher price category.

Superbikes were once aluminium, and some fairly affordable performance models still are.
Felix Smith / Our Media

Whatever you go for, it can be worth prioritising the frame over the components at this price. Doing so will give you a great platform that can be upgraded with better parts when the ones supplied wear out.

Components such as a replacement groupset can be expensive, but upgrades to tyres, handlebars and saddle are relatively inexpensive. Even replacing the handlebar tape can improve comfort.

An upgrade to the best bike wheels is pricier, but can really bring out the performance of a quality frame, as well as lowering rotating weight. Keep the wheels your bike came with as a second-best set for winter riding.

Aero features

Drag-reducing design now furnishes bikes around the £2,000 mark.
Russell Burton / Immediate Media

Aerodynamics have become a really important design feature, with the best aero road bikes majoring on wind-cheating elements such as aero tube profiles and handlebar shapes.

Those features are trickling down to the best road bikes under £2,000 / $2,000 and you can expect to find them on many bikes at this price point. What you’re unlikely to have fitted to a bike when it arrives are deeper-section wheels, which feature strongly in our list of the best road bike wheels.

They too will give you an aero benefit, but will usually be too expensive to come stock on a bike at this price, because they are usually made of carbon fibre.

Brakes

Disc brakes have largely taken over from rim brakes on bikes at all prices. They can give greater stopping power and better modulation, but crucially they are affected less by weather conditions such as wet roads than rim brakes. They also avoid wear on your wheel rims.

Disc brakes have largely taken over from rim brakes, although there are exceptions.
Ashley Quinlan / Our Media

The best disc brakes are hydraulically operated and you’ll find bikes under £2,000 / $2,000 that feature them. They’re more complex and expensive than cable-operated disc brakes though, so quite a few bikes in this price range have mechanical, cable-operated brakes.

There are still quite a few bikes with rim brakes priced under £2,000 / $2,000. Rim brakes are substantially cheaper than either of the disc brake alternatives and they weigh less too.

Opting for a rim brake bike might be a canny move if you live somewhere dry or don’t intend to ride in the wet, because you’ll probably get a higher overall spec or better-quality frame. Read our piece on bike brakes for more information.

Tyre width and pressure

Ashley Quinlan / Our Media

Another trend, that’s aided by the switch to disc brakes, is to wider tyres on road bikes. Whereas 23mm tyres were the norm 10 years ago, 25mm is now a minimum. Many of the best road bikes come with 28mm tyres and some with even wider rubber.

Wider tyres can be run at lower tyre pressures, which gives a more comfortable ride. They can be faster too because the tyre conforms to the road surface rather than bouncing you over it.

Tubeless tyres enable you to run even lower pressures without so much risk of pinch flats, while the sealant inside helps protect you from smaller punctures. A tubeless tyre may roll faster than a tubed tyre too.

You may not get a full tubeless setup at this price, but often the wheels and tyres are tubeless-ready so that you can convert to tubeless.

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Many of the best road bikes under £2,000 / $2,000 have clearance for 28mm tyres or more and there are often mounting points so that you can combine them with mudguards for all-weather riding.