Our pick of the top endurance and race bikes for under two grand
❚The products mentioned in this article are selected and reviewed independently by our journalists. When you buy through links on our site we may earn an affiliate commission, but this never influences our opinion.
The best road bikes under £2,000 in 2019, as rated and reviewed by our expert testers
Cannondale CAAD12 105: £1,399.99
Giant TCR Advanced 1: £1,899
Giant TCR Advanced 2: £1,599
B’Twin Ultra 920 AF / Van Rysel RR 920 AF: £1,199
Cannondale CAAD12 Ultegra: £1,899
Cannondale SuperSix Evo 105: £1,800
Canyon Endurace AL Disc 8.0: £1,649
Canyon Endurace AL 8.0: £1,179
Canyon Endurace WMN CF SL Disc 7.0: £1,849
Giant TCR Advanced 1 Disc: £1,999
Giant TCR Advanced 3: £1,399
Kinesis Racelight 4S Disc: £700 (frameset)
Merida Reacto 5000: £2,000
Orbea Orca M30/M32: £1,499
Rose Pro SL Disc-2000 (Disc 105): £1,406
Trek Domane SL 5: £2,450
Trek Émonda ALR 6: £1,600
The bikes listed above all scored at least 4.5 stars out of five when our team of experienced riders put them to the test. Read on for comprehensive buying advice and our complete list of high scoring bikes.
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.
The main thing to bear in mind is 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.
Generally speaking, endurance bikes will offer a more relaxed, upright riding position.Matthew Allen / Immediate Media
Generally speaking, at this price, weights will drop and you may start to see features that have trickled down from the bikes ridden by the pros.
Aero optimisation, for instance, whether it be the shape of the frame’s tubes, the position of the brakes or the depth of the rims. You can also expect a higher grade of materials and components.
Carbon is more common, but there’s still a place for aluminium at these sorts of prices. In fact, the best aluminium frames are considerably better than some of the entry-level carbon options.
These days, good aluminium is often better than cheap carbon.Matthew Allen / Immediate 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 as the ones supplied wear out.
Read on for summaries and reviews of the best road bikes under £2,000.
Cannondale CAAD12 105
5.0 out of 5 star rating
The Cannondale CAAD12 is an example of just how good alloy bikes can be.Cannondale
One of the best aluminium frames on the market, better than cheap carbon
Sports giant Decathlon produces a number of exceptionally well-specced bikes. Previously, most fell under the B’Twin name, but a branding shake-up has seen the higher end road models relaunched as Van Rysels. The current Van Rysel RR 920 AF is identical in spec to the old B’Twin Ultra 920 AF.
The RR920 AF is built around a smart aluminium frame and although it’s not particularly light, the ride is exciting and refined.
Ultegra shifting is a huge bonus at this price point, and the Mavic Cosmic Elites cost twice as much as the entry-level wheels typically found on bikes at this price point.
It’s not the most exciting thing to look at, but the Endurace AL is one of our favourite entry-level bikes because it combines a flawless spec with outstanding ride quality.
You get a full Shimano Ultegra groupset, apart from the chain, along with Mavic’s trustworthy Aksium wheelset shod in the finest Continental rubber.
Relaxed geometry means this isn’t a racer, but it manages to be both lively and remarkably comfortable.
Canyon made some changes to its line-up back in 2018 and the current Endurace AL 8.0 is the direct equivalent of the old 7.0. The current model gets Shimano’s latest Ultegra R8000 groupset. If that’s too rich for your blood, the 105-equipped AL 7.0 costs £999.
Comfy, versatile endurance bike designed for women
Two smallest sizes get 650b wheels to keep handling consistent across range
Where Canyon previously offered women’s bikes that shared frames with their unisex counterparts, the latest WMN range has its own geometry, along with finishing kit that is entirely tailored to female riders.
In its two smallest sizes (XXXS and XXS) the Endurace WMN comes with smaller-than-standard 650b wheels, which are intended to keep handling consistent across the range.
The Canyon is a comfortable endurance machine with a handsome carbon frame, 105 shifting, and decent DT Swiss wheels. When we reviewed it, it had the lump RS505 hydraulic levers, but the current model gets the much more aesthetically pleasing 105 R7000 version.
The Giant TCR Advanced 1 Disc offers racy handling and disc-brake confidence.Ben Healy / Immediate Media
Aggressive racer with discs
Ultegra shifting with non-series cranks
2020 bike gets fully hydraulic braking
The TCR has long been something of a benchmark for race bikes, and the Advanced 1 Disc carries on the tradition of being incredibly capable.
As well as a top-notch carbon frame, this spec gets you Shimano Ultegra shifting (upgraded to R8000 for 2018). The 2019 bike used Giant’s own Conduct system to marry mechanical levers to hydraulic disc brakes but the 2020 model gets proper hydraulic Ultegra levers.
The fit will be too aggressive for some, but if it suits then the TCR won’t disappoint.
The Orca M32 carries on a long line of desirable Orbeas.Immediate Media
Entry level version of an old favourite
Refined ride, sharp looks
Orbea’s Orca has been around in various forms for years and it’s always been good. The latest model is an achingly trendy dropped-stay superbike, but the more affordable models are well worth considering.
The M32 variant we reviewed was kitted out with Campagnolo’s mid-range Centaur groupset and its entry-level Calima wheelset. It’s not in the range anymore, but the same money now gets you the Shimano 105 equipped Orca M30.
Great all-round ride, excellent spec with proper hydraulic brakes
Top-notch alloy frame, which is better than cheap carbon
Renamed the Pro SL Disc 105 some time ago, Rose’s affordable disc road bike offers a very appealing combination of looks, ride quality and spec.
The alloy frame is particularly well finished for the money and it looks (and rides) better than some cheap carbon bikes.
The lumpy Shimano RS505 shifters have been replaced by 105 R7000 units on the latest model. Along with other 105 components, Mavic Aksium Disc wheels and a full carbon fork, that’s a generous spec for the money, although it’s not as cheap as it used to be.
The classic formula of an affordable aluminium bike that accepts full mudguards has endured for good reason. The Italia is available however you want it, whether that’s ready-built or as a frameset alone.
It rides well and, while it lacks disc brakes, it’s a solid choice for year-round training, commuting or even light touring.
The Focus Paralane AL is a comfy all-weather machine.Focus
£1,499.99 when tested, £1,699 current Paralane 6.8
Versatile aluminium distance machine with relaxed geometry
105 shifting with hydraulic discs
Likeable all-rounder only undermined by sub-par mudguards
The Paralane is built for comfort over long distances, with modern frame design and a super-skinny seatpost for compliance.
It’s fairly well specced, with proper hydraulic brakes for all-weather performance and 105 shifting. The version we reviewed had RS505 levers, but the current Paralane 6.8 model gets updated 105 R7000 levers.
The bike ships with mudguards as standard, but we found them disappointingly noisy, the only real flaw in an otherwise excellent bike.
The Allez Sprint Comp Disc offers peerless handling and enormous speed potential.Courtesy
Aggressive racer with a super-stylish aluminium frame
Shimano 105 hydraulic groupset with Praxis Zayante cranks
While the standard Allez has long been Specialized’s entry-level road bike, the more aggressive Sprint model gets a completely different frame with a distinctive aero section seat tube and a unique manufacturing process that moves the welds away from the tube junctions.
This Allez is a fast and firm ride — not the best for all-day rides, but well suited to racing and fast training miles.
The spec isn’t amazing for money, but the fundamentals are good, with hydraulic discs supplying great braking.
Trek’s Emonda range focuses on light weight as opposed to aero.Oliver Woodman / Immediate Media
Unisex frame gets women’s-specific finishing kit
105 groupset plus in-house finishing kit
Trek has abandoned women’s-specific geometry in favour of unisex frames and gender-specific contact points.
The Émonda SL 5 is a lightweight climber’s bike that leans towards the racy end of the spectrum.
It’s a firm ride, but one that’s well suited to go-fast riding. The 105-based spec is decent for the money and while there’s plenty of scope for future upgrades, it’s well-enough equipped out of the box. The 2019 and 2020 bikes get the latest R7000 version of the groupset.
Matthew is an experienced mechanic and an expert on bike tech who appreciates practical, beautifully-engineered things. Originally a roadie, he likes bikes and kit of every stripe, and he's tested a huge variety of both over the years for BikeRadar, Cycling Plus and others. For a long time Matthew's heart belonged to the Scott Addict, but he's currently enjoying Trek's lovely aluminium Emonda ALR and having a torrid affair with a Giant Trance e-MTB. At 174cm tall and 53kg, he looks like he should be better at cycling than he actually is, and he's ok with that.