10 of the best £1,000 to £1,500 road bikes
Got a budget of up to £1,500? Here are 10 bikes to consider
If you have £1,000 to £1,500 to spend on a road bike, you really do get a lot for you money. A benefit of spending this sort of money is that the bikes start to get much lighter than those costing half as much, which will have a significant impact on the ride quality and performance, and your times up your local hills.
Shimano 105 is the dominant groupset at this price point. While there is a lot of own-brand kit for parts like wheels, handlebars and saddles, which is no bad thing (manufacturers have really raised their game with own label components), there is a lot more branded kit from the likes of Mavic and Fizik.
Let’s dive in with the Boardman Road Team at £999.99. It’s hard to fault the Boardman range of bikes for their affordability and the Road Team now features a T700 uni-directionalcarbon frame with a carbon fork with a tapered steerer tube, with a BB30 bottom bracket and internal cable routing. A Shimano 105/Tiagra groupset, Mavic CXP22 wheels, Continental Ultra Sport II 25mm tyres and Tektro R540 brakes complete the fine package.
The Sensium 100 is an easy bike to get along with. It’s comfortable to ride for hours on end at the weekend or for an hour’s blast after work. It’s agile and fun when you want to mix it up in a group, and it’s solid and reliable enough to keep maintenance to a minimum. It doesn’t really have a notable weakness. Okay, it could have better wheels, but that is an option higher up the Sensium range.
The Sensium’s carbon-fibre frame is built with a comfortable ‘endurance’ geometry: a lengthened head tube compared to a standard road bike, and a shorter top tube to put you into a more relaxed riding position.
The Mekk Poggio 2.0 is a good all-round road bike with tons of upgrade potential. It features a full carbon-fibre frame, the same one that Mekk use across the whole of the Poggio range right up to the £2,399.99 Poggio 3.5. It has a tapered head tube and press-fit BB86 bottom bracket to add stiffness. This model is built up with a Shimano 105/Tiagra groupset, R500 wheels and Vittoria Zaffiro 23mm tyres with a new Selle Royal saddle.
Giant’s Defy has long been a benchmark for bikes that combine comfort, endurance and value. Over the years the model range has grown from being purely a mid-price aluminium bike to where we are now where the Defy spans price points all the way from £500 up to £8,000.
The Defy Advanced models are the first carbon bikes in the Defy range - and are new for 2015. There are three models but the Defy Advanced 2 which replaces the Defy Composite 2 in Giant’s range looks the pick of the bunch. The new bike is £100 more than the one it replaces but for that you are getting a new and extremely highly rated Shimano 105 11-speed plus TRP’s also highly rated Spyre mechanical disc brakes - plus of course that new frame.
At £1,199 the Defy Advanced 3 is also worth a look, same frame and brakes but with a largely Shimano Tiagra groupset.
This is an excellent bike that’s reasonably quick, solid and reliable. It offers a comfortable, assured ride that comes from a dependable frame and fork and a well-considered equipment package. You get Shimano's excellent hydraulic discs without any major compromises elsewhere.
The frame is hydroformed and double-butted aluminium while the fork has carbon legs and an alloy crown and steerer. The head tube is tall for a fairly upright ride position. It's a comfortable bike, both because of the position and because the 28mm tyres and decent bar tape and saddle take a lot of sting out of the ride. Overall, this is a really good multi-purpose road disc bike that's well-specced.
The Vitus Venon is an inexpensive carbon build that is fun, stiff and surprisingly comfortable to ride over long distances. It comes with a pretty decent build kit too, and last time we checked, the price was reduced to £1,079.
At the heart of the Venon is a T700 high modulus, unidirectional carbon fibre frameset. Apart from an FSA Gossamer chainset, the groupset is mostly Shimano Tiagra. It's solid, reliable stuff, providing a good compromise of shifting and longevity.
The Venon is a very easy bike to ride, with precise handling. Initial acceleration isn't the sharpest due to heavyish wheels and an all up weight of 9.0kg (19.8lb) but once it's up and rolling it maintains speed well.
The Focus Cayo 7.0 uses a race-proven carbon fibre frame and fork with a more relaxed fit and geometry than the German company's racier offerings. The frame is fitted with a Shimano 105 11-speed groupset and RS500 semi-compact crankset, along with Fulcrum WH-CEX 7.0 wheels and Schwalbe Lugano tyres. Focus use its own-brand Concept for the handlebars, stem, saddle and brake calipers.
We bet most people will want a Bianchi on any new bike shortlist. The Vertigo is built around a carbon frame and the company’s Coast to Coast geometry which places an emphasis on comfort over long distances. That means a slightly more relaxed geometry and more upright position than a traditional race bike. Bolted to the frame is Campagnolo's Xenon groupset with an FSA Omega chainset and Bianchi's own label Reparto Corse for the wheels and all finishing kit, including the brake calipers.
German company Canyon has made quite an impression in the UK with their direct-to-consumer business model meaning big savings for those prepared to bypass the bike shop for their next bike purchase. The Ultimate CF SL is produced using the exact same mould as that the Ultimate CF SLX we tested last year, it's just using a cheaper carbon fibre. That keeps the price lower. Although the weight does go up a bit, it's still light at a claimed 940g. This is the entry-level model built with a full Shimano 105 groupset, Mavic Aksium wheels and 25mm tyres and Ritchey WCS bars and stem and a Fizik Ardea saddle.
Thw Vivo from British brand Moda Bicycles uses an updated aluminium frame which saves a bit of weight over the Primo it replaces. Aluminium is an excellent frame material choice at this price; it's light, stiff and the latest generation aluminium bikes ride as well as many carbon frames. It's cheaper than carbon too, which means you get a better component list. This model gets a full Shimano 105 groupset with American Classic wheels. They can do custom builds too if you wanted to upgrade the wheels, for example.
It might seem a lot of money to spend on a frame that isn't carbon, but the CAAD10 still sets a benchmak for all aluminium frames and puts a lot of carbon bikes to shame. With a frame weight a little over a kilo, it's not much heavier than carbon either. Cannondale package the frame with a full Shimano 105 groupset, carbon fibre fork with tapered steerer tube, Shimano RS11 wheels and a Prologo Kappa EVO saddle.