Best road bikes under £3,000 in 2020

Got £2,000 to £3,000 to spend? Here are your best options as tested by the BikeRadar team

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Best road bikes under £3,000

It’s 2020 and the best road bikes under £3,000 are really good. Where once this price range was the sole preserve of racers, you now have a huge choice that includes sportive and endurance bikes, disc brakes (or not), and race bikes too.

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Read on for our round-up of the best bikes under £3,000.

The best road bikes under £3,000 in 2020, as rated and reviewed by our expert testers

  • Cannondale SuperSix EVO Carbon Disc Ultegra: £3,000
  • Canyon Ultimate CF SL Disc 8.0: £2,399
  • Boardman SLR 9.2 Disc: £2,100
  • Dolan Titanium ADX Disc Ultegra: £2,198
  • Focus Izalco Max Disc 8.7: £2,649
  • Focus Paralane 8.9: £2,459
  • Isaac Boson Disc: from £2,360
  • Kinesis RTD: £850 frameset, £2,250 with Ultegra
  • Orro Venturi Evo 105: £2,100
  • Ribble Endurance SL Ultegra / Endurance SL Ultegra Disc: £2,349 / £2,709
  • Rose X-Lite Four Ultegra Di2: £2,720
  • Specialized Tarmac Disc Comp: £2,899
  • Whyte Wessex: £2,499
  • All-City Zig Zag: £2,750
  • Cannondale Synapse Disc Ultegra: £2,700
  • Giant TCR Advanced Pro 2 Disc: £2,999
  • Specialized Roubaix Sport: £2,600

Prefer to spend less? Check out our best road bikes under £2,000 and best road bikes under £1,000.

Not sure what you’re looking for in a road bike? We can help you to choose the right road bike for you

Finding the right bike for you

The best bikes in this category tend to be the all-rounders that can take a decent stab at everything. Think lightweight frames that offer all-day comfort for those sportive riders chasing fast times, but that will also hold their own on your local chaingang.

These are bikes that aim for the sweet-spot between stiffness, comfort and weight while keeping prices within reach of the enthusiast.

Best road bikes under £3,000
Most of the contenders at this level have carbon frames.
Mick Kirkman / Immediate Media

More specialist models such as featherweight climbing machines or aero-optimised rigs feature, but the compromises made to bring them into this price range will usually be bigger than the small advantages their specialisation can bestow.

Also, bear in mind that the type of riding the term ‘all-rounder’ encompasses is widening with the emergence of gravel/all-road bikes.

And, for this price, you can expect to find bikes carrying a lot of worthwhile kit, including thru-axles and quality hydraulic disc brakes in many cases.

Best road bikes under £3,000
Disc brakes and thru-axles are now a common sight on bikes in this price range.
Matthew Allen / Immediate Media

Whichever bike you choose, the good news is that if you’re spending this sort of money you’re unlikely to be disappointed with your purchase.

You could certainly spend a lot more on a bike if the urge takes you, but over £3,000 the margins for improvement get smaller and smaller while the prices get a lot bigger.

So-called ‘halo’ bikes from the major manufacturers now routinely exceed £10,000, but, unless you absolutely have to have the latest top-spec model, that kind of outlay is very hard to justify.

Cannondale SuperSix EVO Carbon Disc Ultegra

5.0 out of 5 star rating
Best road bikes under £3,000
The Cannondale SuperSix EVO Carbon Disc Ultegra is a race thoroughbred that punches far above its weight for its reasonable price.
David Caudery / Immediate Media

Cannondale took a big risk in reinventing the traditional formula of the SuperSix EVO, and though the new looks may divide opinion, there’s no denying the performance gains have been substantial.

So much so, in fact, that this bike is our 2020 Bike of the Year. The new frameset takes the original’s legendary handling and puts it in a form that shows off the best of modern carbon road bike design.

It may have gained a little weight thanks to the addition of more aero features, but when it comes to speed, aero generally trumps weight, so we think it’s worth it. And, when you take into account the quality wheels, we also think it represents pretty great value too.

There’s also a women’s specific version available in addition to this unisex model.

Canyon Ultimate CF SL Disc 8.0

5.0 out of 5 star rating
Best road bikes under £3,000
The Canyon Ultimate CF SL Disc 8.0 is value packed and dripping in great components.
Canyon

Canyon offers both a class-leading spec and a seriously good ride with the Ultimate, and there’s a women’s-specific version as well as a unisex model.

Canyon shuffled its model names back in 2018 and the current Ultegra-level bike is called the Canyon Ultimate CF SL Disc 8.0 (it used to be the 9.0).

It now gets the latest Ultegra R8020 hydraulic groupset, an integrated aero carbon cockpit and a slightly different (but equivalent) set of DT Swiss wheels.

Boardman SLR 9.2 Disc

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Best road bikes under £3,000
Boardman should be congratulated for including so much tech at this price.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
  • £2,100
  • Full Shimano Ultegra disc groupset
  • Somewhat firm but enjoyable ride
  • Hidden mudguard mounts

Boardman’s SLR offers a lot of kit for the money with a full Shimano Ultegra hydraulic groupset not commonly seen at this price.

It has a somewhat firm, racy ride that rewards an aggressive style. Hidden mudguard mounts lend year-round practicality.

Like many other brands, Boardman also makes a women’s specific version of this unisex bike.

Canyon Endurace CF SL Disc 8.0 Pro

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Best road bikes under £3,000
The Endurace’s carbon frame and full-carbon fork are paired with an all-carbon cockpit.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
  • £2,449 as tested, now £2,499
  • Buy now from Canyon
  • Great riding endurance bike with Campagnolo Potenza

There aren’t many bikes that come as standard with a Campagnolo groupset, but Canyon offers this version of its excellent Endurace carbon machine with a full Campagnolo Potenza disc setup.

Potenza is roughly equivalent to Ultegra, but offers a very different feel which some riders prefer.

The Endurace itself is a brilliant bike for putting in the miles, offering a relatively relaxed riding position and plenty of comfort without being dull.

Dolan Titanium ADX Disc

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Best road bikes under £3,000
Dolan’s ADX Disc is a classic sportive bike, combing a smooth ride quality and confident handling.
Dolan

Titanium has a timeless quality to it and the Dolan puts this premium metal to particularly good use.

The ADX Disc is an outstanding all-rounder that manages to be exciting and lively, but not overly aggressive. It’s practical too, with mudguard mounts as standard.

The Shimano Ultegra R8000 groupset runs as flawlessly as you’d expect, and the finishing kit is all quality stuff.

Handily, Dolan allows specs to be customised to some extent as well, or you can roll your own with a frameset.

Focus Izalco Max Disc 8.7

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Best road bikes under £3,00
The cheapest Izalco Max Disc generates speed for fun, but it also generates a near-constant whistle.
Courtesy
  • £2,649
  • Aero redesign of a lightweight racer
  • Shimano 105 disc groupset plus carbon wheels

While the old Izalco Max was a purely weight-focused machine, the current model adds aero to the mix and features a bang up-to-date frame design with dropped stays and truncated aerofoil tube profiles.

Focus gives you a full 105 hydraulic groupset and 45mm deep Alexrims carbon clinchers.

The Izalco isn’t the lightest bike in its class but it’s no heavyweight and it offers a racy ride. The only real niggle we had with the bike was an odd whistling noise present at normal riding speeds.

Focus Paralane 8.9

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Alexrims carbon clinchers.
The Paralane is a capable all-roader.
Focus
  • £2,459
  • All-weather, all-surface carbon machine
  • Now with 2× gearing

The Paralane is Focus’s all-road or gravel-lite bike and it’s well suited to all manner of surfaces. Unusually, it also ships with full mudguards.

The 2019 bike we reviewed had a SRAM 1× groupset but the 2020 equivalent gives you a Shimano Ultegra double setup for the same money, addressing our one concern which was the less than ideal gearing.

Isaac Boson Disc

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Best road bikes under £3,000
The design of the Boson is refreshingly understated.
David Caudery / Immediate Media

In a world of truncated aerofoils and radically dropped stays, we still appreciate more organic lines such as those of the Boson Disc.

The Isaac is a great all-round performer, handling beautifully and riding impressively smoothly.

The choice of specs is yours because Isaac lets you spec your own build and we were certainly happy with our Ultegra-equipped bike, which came in at a fairly reasonable price.

Kinesis RTD

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Best road bikes under £3,000
There’s enough stiffness to give the Kinesis RTD true race bike speed and responsive handling.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
  • £850 frameset, £2,250 as tested
  • Racy aluminium with all-weather capability

Kinesis has long been a go-to for practical everyday bikes designed for the realities of UK riding. The RTD is no exception, offering racy handling plus disc brakes and the ability to fit full mudguards.

Like other bikes from the brand, the RTD is sold as a frameset, so you can build it up to suit your budget.

Orro Venturi Evo 105

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Orro Venturi Evo 105
Handling is smooth and stable, so you get super-aero speeds for less cash.
Robert Smith / Immediate Media
  • £2,100
  • Aero focussed bike with racy riding position
  • Good value and clearance for 28mm tyres

Orro might not yet have the history or social status of an established WorldTour brand, but it more than makes up for that by offering fast, smooth bikes that offer excellent value for money.

If you want a racy aero bike that offers a smooth ride, even on British roads, and is rapid on undulating courses, then Orro’s Venturi Evo 105 could be right up your street.

Ribble Endurance SL Ultegra and Endurance SL Ultegra Disc

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Best road bikes under £3,000
The Ribble is light, fast and fun.
David Caudery / Immediate Media
  • £2,349
  • Aero bike with a juicy spec
  • Mudguard mounts add practicality

Despite the name, the Endurance SL is a racy machine, one that’s very on-trend with aero tube profiles throughout, dropped seatstays and an integrated aero cockpit. Despite all this, the bike has rim brakes, although there’s also a disc version if you prefer.

Ribble gives you a full Shimano Ultegra groupset at this price plus a set of own-brand carbon clinchers. A range of alternative builds starting at around £1,600 are also available.

Rose X-Lite Four Ultegra Di2

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Best road bikes under £3,000
As one of the last bastions of the humble rim brake, this black beauty offers performance and value that very, very few bikes can match.
Immediate Media
  • £2,677 as tested, now £2,722 (varies with exchange rate)
  • Good value and a great ride

If you’re still a fan of rim brakes then the X-Lite Four is a great buy (there’s a disc version too, if you prefer), offering an excellent all-round ride and a big spec for the money, with full Shimano Ultegra Di2.

The X-Lite is on the firm and sporty side of things but has a taller front end than some pure race bikes. It’s available in a variety of specs to suit different tastes and budgets, and you can’t go too far wrong with any of them.

Specialized Women’s Tarmac Disc Comp / Tarmac Disc Comp

4.5 out of 5 star rating
Best road bikes under £3,000
The Tarmac is a benchmark all-round race bike for good reason.
Specialized
  • £2,899
  • Ultegra disc groupset plus DT Swiss alloy wheels
  • Lightweight, racy carbon

The Specialized Tarmac is a fine machine in virtually all its incarnations and the mid-level Comp spec doesn’t leave you wanting for much, unless you’re itching for carbon wheels.

The latest SL6-generation Tarmacs have abandoned the classic looks and gone with the trend for dropped seatstays. The result is a fairly comfy and delightfully responsive race bike, one that’s well suited to big days out as well as smashing round your local crit course.

There are better value bikes out there in terms of spec, but you really can’t go wrong with a Tarmac.

All-City Zig Zag

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Best road bikes under £3,000
More concerned with comfort and style than chasing every last watt? The All-City Zig Zag could be your new best friend.
David Caudery / Immediate Media

The Zig Zag combines an old-school steel frame with the best of modern tech, such as a carbon fork, hydraulic disc brakes, tubeless wheels and tyres as stock, and clearance for up to 35mm tyres.

All things considered, it’s great fun to ride. It handles very confidently and feels faster than its 9.71kg weight and steel tubing would suggest.

There’s no denying All-City’s wonderfully stylish steel bikes are a little pricier and heavier than your equivalent carbon road bike, but we’d also argue it has a lot more character. You’ll be getting great Instagram content out of this thing for years to come.

Cannondale Synapse Disc Ultegra

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Best road bikes under £3,000
The Synapse is a supremely comfortable and versatile road bike.
Felix Smith

BikeRadar Videographer Felix Smith has been testing this as his long-term review bike for 2020. He found that if comfort and versatility are the main things you’re looking for, you can’t go far wrong with Cannondale’s Synapse Disc.

Thanks to its generous 32mm tyre clearance and smart, shock absorbing SAVE technology, it’s a very smooth ride. It’s also capable of taking on a wide variety of terrain, from smooth European roads to gravel tracks.

At close to 9kg as stock, it’s by no means a featherweight climber, but this is a bike for cosseting you over long distances rather than helping you to take KOMs/QOMs.

The only real negatives are that the excellent frameset could use a wheel upgrade to really make the bike sing, and the stock cable routing could do with being tidied up.

As with the SuperSix, Cannondale also makes a female specific version of the Synapse.

Giant TCR Advanced Pro 2 Disc

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Best road bikes under £3,000
The TCR has finally gone aero for 2021 and the addition of more generous tyre clearance is also very welcome.
Simon Bromley / Immediate Media

Having held out for years while the rest of the market moved on, the latest update to Giant’s legendary all-round road platform finally incorporates aerodynamic efficiency as an integral design feature.

That, combined with excellent handling, clearance for up to 32mm tyres and a very solid spec makes this an attractive proposition. Some may sniff at Shimano 105 on a £3,000 road bike, but it works just as well as its pricier siblings and the overall bike weight is still kept down to 7.87kg for a size M/L.

Our only quibbles are that the hookless rims and 1 1/4in steerer tube currently limit aftermarket upgradability somewhat, but there’s little else to fault.

The women’s specific Langma Advanced Pro Disc fills a similar performance niche to the TCR for Giant’s sister brand, Liv.

Specialized Roubaix Sport

4.0 out of 5 star rating
Best road bikes under £3,000
The Specialized Roubaix is built for big miles.
Specialized
  • £2,500 as tested, now £2,600 for the equivalent Roubaix Sport
  • Super comfy endurance ride with Future Shock front suspension and elastomer seatpost
  • 105 shifting with hydraulic discs

The Roubaix is something of a benchmark in endurance road bikes and the 2017 model was our Bike of the Year winner thanks to its exceptional ride quality, earning a full five stars.

While the current model isn’t as good value and scored lower as a result, we think the Roubaix deserves to be on your radar all the same.

The Future Shock front suspension effectively suspends the rider, while dropped seatstays and an elastomer-equipped seatpost add comfort to the rear end.

Specialized keeps juggling its model names but the 2020 equivalent to the old Roubaix Comp is the Roubaix Sport, which gets a Shimano 105 disc groupset with Praxis Alba cranks

Have you found what you’re looking for?

If £3,000 is stretching it, there are some fantastic bikes in the sub-two grand bracket.

Still not sure what you’re actually looking for in a road bike? Make sure you’ve read our introductory buyer’s guide.

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