We'd all love to ride pro-level superbikes, but budget tends to dictate otherwise. Don't despair though — it's 2018 and the best road bikes under £2,000 are seriously good. We've rounded up the best sportive bikes, endurance machines and racers for your delectation.
- Ouy buyer's guide to the best road bike 2018
- The best road bike for £500
- Best road bikes under £1,000
- Best bike: what type of bike should I buy?
If £1,000–£2,000 is a little rich for your blood, head over to our best road bikes under £1,000 article here. If you can stretch your budget a little, there are some fantastic options in our round-up of bikes under £2,500.
If you need some help with what to look for in a road bike, read out our comprehensive guide here, and watch our video primer below.
Which bike should I buy?
Plenty of great bikes fall into the £1,000–£2,000 price range. So many in fact, that picking one can be quite a headache. If your budget stretches up to £2K, you will be spoilt for choice so you really need to have a clear idea of what you want.
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.
Generally speaking, at this price weights will drop and you may start to see some 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.
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 on 9 March 2018.
Cannondale CAAD12 105
- One of the best aluminium frames on the market, better than cheap carbon
- Wonderful handling, composed and smooth ride
- Good, if unremarkable spec
The CAAD12 105 was our Bike of the Year in 2016, and the current version has barely changed.
Cannondale is the master of aluminium and the Smartform C1 6069 frame is one of the best out there, outperforming budget carbon and giving mid-range stuff a run for its money too.
It’s matched to a super-light full carbon fork, and while the build isn’t exactly generous, there are no big misses.
Giant TCR Advanced 1 (2017)
- Affordable version of one of the best all-round race bikes
- 2018 model gets Ultegra R8000 for just £25 more
The Giant TCR has gone through many iterations and it is deservedly still ranked among the most capable, rounded race bikes.
It’s smooth and comfortable but properly racy, and Giant is generous with the spec too. The 2017 bike got more or less full Ultegra 6800, while the 2018 model gets the latest Ultegra R8000.
Canyon Endurace AL 7.0/8.0
- Engaging ride
- Great value for money
- Accomplished but understated
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.
Relaxed geometry means this isn't a racer, but it manages to be both lively and remarkably comfortable.
Canyon has 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 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.
There's also a disc version which is one of our favourite affordable disc bikes.
Canyon Endurace WMN CF SL Disc 7.0
- 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.
Cube Attain GTC Pro
- Buy the 2017 Cube Attain GTC Pro from Chain Reaction Cycles
- Buy the 2018 Cube Attain GTC Race Disc from Tredz
- Full Shimano 105 groupset with hydraulic brakes
- Frame design blends stiffness with comfort
- High-quality, own-brand components
The disc Attain follows the latest trends with oversized head and down tubes, a beefy bottom bracket, and slender dropped chainstays.
The Attain offers an intoxicating blend of stiffness and give on the road — it's one we really rather like.
For 2018, the Attain GTC's closest equivalent is the Attain GTC Race Disc, which throws in Ultegra R8000 derailleurs, swaps to a non-series crank, and gets Mavic wheels in place of the Fulcrums.
Cube Agree C:62 Pro
- Buy the 2017 Cube Agree C:62 Pro now from Chain Reaction Cycles
- Buy the 2018 Cube Agree C:62 Pro now from Chain Reaction Cycles
- Quirky looking carbon machine is at the racy end of ‘endurance’
- 2018 bike gets Ultegra R8000 for £100 more
The Agree is pitched as an endurance race bike and in geometry terms it’s more race than endurance.
It offers a lively and comfortable ride, plus a solid build with Ultegra components and Mavic Cosmic Elite wheels. The 2018 bike gets the latest R8000 Ultegra groupset in place of 6800.
Giant TCR Advanced 1 Disc
- Buy the 2018 Giant TCR Advanced 1 Disc now from Tredz (note: main image appears to show wrong brake levers, it still comes with RS505s)
- Aggressive racer with discs
- Ultegra shifting with RS505 hydraulic brakes
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), along with lumpy-but-effective RS505 hydraulic brakes.
The fit will be too aggressive for some, but if it suits then the TCR won’t disappoint.
Giant TCR Advanced 3
- Thrillingly responsive front end
- Rigid frame with a racy feel
- Ideal platform that won’t be eclipsed by upgraded components
The TCR Advanced 3 may only get 10-speed Shimano Tiagra, but the trade-off is a great frame whose responsiveness puts to shame plenty of bikes costing as much.
Tiagra's brakes aren't quite as good as 105, but the shifting is on par and there's a good spread of gears on offer.
Overall, this is a seriously impressive machine that offers racy geometry without being too extreme. It's also very upgrade worthy, a great place to start.
Kinesis Racelight 4S Disc
- £1,700 (as tested) / £700 (frameset)
- Versatile all-season road frame takes disc or rim brakes
- Sold as a frameset, so build is up to you
Kinesis is well known for its cheerfully versatile, UK-friendly bikes and the Racelight 4S Disc continues in that vein.
It’s sold as a frameset so the build is up to you, but our reviewer appreciated the simplicity of a 1x SRAM Apex setup.
Unusually, the 4S accepts both disc and rim brakes. It takes full mudguards too, making it ideal for winter training.
Rose Pro SL Disc-2000 (Disc 105)
- 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.
Trek Émonda ALR6
- Buy the 2018 bike now from Evans Cycles (featuring Shimano Ultegra R8000 and Bontrager Aeolus Comp wheels)
- A standout bike regardless of its frame material
- Comes with a full Shimano Ultegra groupset
- Nimble, exciting ride
Trek's aluminium Émonda puts cheap carbon to shame with a nimble, assured ride and a total weight of just 7.75kg for our 58cm test bike.
Shimano's outstanding Ultegra groupset takes care of shifting, while the wheels and finishing kit is all decent stuff from in-house brand Bontrager.
BMC Teammachine SLR03
- Grab a bargain on the 2017 BMC Teammachine SLR03 at Evans Cycles
- Buy the 2018 BMC Teammachine SLR03 One at Evans Cycles
- Racer that benefits from pro bike trickle-down
- Latest version gets more up-to-date cranks
BMC doesn’t given you as juicy a spec for your money as some brands, but the trade-off is a ride that isn’t as far off the pro-level version of this bike as you’d expect.
The SLR03 has the same geometry as the top end model and offers a firm, racy ride.
Shimano 105 takes care of shifting, and the (slightly more expensive) 2018 version of this bike comes with four-arm cranks that look far more up-to-date than the non-series ones on our review bike.
B’Twin Ultra 720 AF / Ultra 920 AF
- Great riding alloy with a mind-blowing spec
- Ultegra groupset, Mavic Cosmic Elite wheelset
- Latest model does away with silly hidden rear brake
B’Twin is the in-house bike brand of sports Giant Decathlon and it produces a number of exceptionally well specced bikes.
The Ultra AF is built around a smart aluminium frame and although it’s not exceptionally light, the ride is exciting and refined.
Ultegra shifting is a huge bonus at this price point, and the Mavic Cosmic Elite wheels cost twice as much as the entry level hoops typically found on bikes at this level.
The hidden rear brake was noted as a downside in our review, but the latest model (called the Ultra 920 AF) does away with this. It also gets an upgrade to the latest Ultegra R8000 groupset and an updated version of the Cosmic wheels. The price has increased by £250 at the same time, but we reckon it's more than worth the extra.
Eastway Emitter R2 Ultegra
- Claimed 800g carbon frame with racy geometry
- Ultegra 6800 components, Mavic Ksyrium wheels
Wiggle own-brand Eastway has come on a bit, now offering genuinely classy paintjobs along with enviable specs for the money.
At full retail the Emitter is middle-of-the-road on value, but Wiggle routinely discounts these bikes to silly low prices.
The R2 has most of Shimano’s outgoing (but still excellent) Ultegra 6800 groupset, plus Mavic Ksyrium wheels.
Eastway Zener D1
- Great value for money
- Hydraulic disc brakes and a full Ultegra groupset
- An endurance/sportive bike with a fairly aggressive position
Top of the Zener range, the D1 offers a huge spec for the money with Shimano Ultegra shifting and RS685 hydraulic levers with matching disc brakes.
The finishing kit is tidy Ritchey stuff while the wheels are quality DT Swiss items, ripe for tubeless conversion.
It's not the most exciting ride, but the Zener D1 is a very competent distance machine that offers great value for money.
Focus Paralane AL 105
- Versatile aluminium distance machine with relaxed geometry
- 105 shifting with RS505 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 bike ships with mudguards as standard, but we found them disappointingly noisy, the only real flaw in an otherwise excellent bike.
Neil Pryde Bura 105
- Race ready carbon with 105
- Second tier version of Bura SL superbike
The Bura SL is a bona-fide superbike with a price tag to match, but for a whole lot less money the Bura is a worthy alternative, with a frame weighing just a couple of hundred grams more.
The Bura is stiff and exciting, and it’s built with a decent Shimano 105 spec and perfectly acceptable Fulcrum wheels.
We’ve got no idea why Neil Pryde has fitted skinny 23mm tyres, but it’s a small thing that’s easily changed.
Orro Terra Gravel Road
- Gravel/all-roader that’s ideal for commuting too
- Big spec with Shimano 105 shifting, TRP Spyre disc brakes, Fulcrum wheels and 3T finishing kit
Orro is distributor i-ride’s in-house brand, and its bikes are designed with UK riding in mind.
The Terra has mounts to take a rack and mudguards, and clearances for tyres up to a huge-by-road-standards 42mm.
Cable disc brakes aren’t as good as hydraulics, but the TRP Spyres are the best of the breed and offer confident all-weather stopping.
Specialized Tarmac Sport
- Optimised design, so ride feel remains the same regardless of size
- Balanced ride with quick steering response
- Excellent tyres, bar tape and saddle
The launch of the latest range-topping SL6 Tarmac means the more affordable SL4 doesn't look like the pro bike anymore, but it remains a strong contender thanks to a truly balanced ride and a decent, if unremarkable spec.
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.
Viner Maxima RS 4.0
- Light, stiff, and quick handling with a claimed 795g carbon frame
- Now available for the same price with Ultegra R8000
The Maxima is a proper lightweight climber that offers an exciting, responsive ride at a good price.
It’s a feathery machine even with the heavy Shimano wheels on this build, and Planet X now offers the bike with Shimano’s latest Ultegra R8000 groupset for the same money.
Vitus Vitesse Evo Disc
- 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.