We’d all love to ride pro-level superbikes, but budget tends to dictate otherwise. Don’t despair though, the best road bikes under £2,000 are seriously good. Right now there are bargains to be had on outgoing 2018 models, and shiny 2019 ones are also appearing in bike shops.
We’ve rounded up the best sportive bikes, endurance machines and racers for your delectation.
Plenty of great bikes fall into the £1k–£2k 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.
Generally speaking, endurance bikes will offer a more relaxed, upright riding positionMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
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, 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 carbonMatthew Allen / Immediate Media
Whatever you go for, it can be worth prioritising the frame over the components at this price, as 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.
This article was last updated in November 2018.
Cannondale CAAD12 105
5.0 out of 5 star rating
The Cannondale CAAD12 is an example of just how good alloy bikes can beCannondale
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 for 2018 and the current Endurace AL 8.0 is the direct equivalent of the old 7.0. The new bike now costs £1,299 and 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, RS505 hydraulic levers and decent DT Swiss wheels.
2019 bike gets R8000 with Conduct hydraulic converter
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 uses Giant’s own Conduct system to marry mechanical levers to hydraulic disc brakes.
The fit will be too aggressive for some, but if it suits then the TCR won’t disappoint.
Great all-round ride, excellent spec with proper hydraulic brakes
Top-notch alloy frame, which is better than cheap carbon
Recently renamed the Pro SL Disc 105, 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 are aesthetically challenging but they mean you get proper hydraulic disc brakes. Along with 105 shifting, Mavic Aksium Disc wheels and a full carbon fork, that’s a generous spec for the money.
Lightweight, racy bike with semi-sportive geometry
Outgoing model available at knock-down prices
Now discontinued with the advent of a completely new model for 2019, there are bargains to be had on the outgoing SLR. Despite the name, it’s a racy ride that’s not the most cosseting, but it make up for it by being fast and light.
We recommended it to those seeking a race bike, but with a more back-friendly position.
The bikes gets previous generation Ultegra and non-series shifters, along with FSA cranks and Boardman’s own wheels.
Specialized gives you 105 shifting, understated Praxis cranks and own-brand wheels and finishing kit.
We weren’t great fans of the own-brand brakes on our test bike, but the 2018 version gets Shimano Tiagra calipers instead. These are stiffer, although the one-piece pads are acceptable rather than great.
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 bike gets the latest R7000 version of the groupset.
Racy online-only carbon with Ultegra shifting, RS685 hydraulic levers, FSA Vision Team 30 wheels
Indifferent paintjob made up for by fast, fun ride and huge spec
The Vitus Vitesse Evo Disc is a pretty average-looking bike, but it makes up for it with a generous spec and a ride that’s racy and rewarding.
The RS685 levers are a lot less lumpy than the RS505s found on many bikes at this price point, and Ultegra shifting is always welcome. While it’s on the firm side and it’s not particularly light, the Vitus soaks up road buzz effectively and handles sweetly.
The 2018 Vitesse Evo CR Disc is a good chunk more expensive, but it gets an upgrade to Ultegra R8000.