[This article was last updated on January 25, 2018]
The shops are now full of 2018 model year bikes, and that means 2017 bikes are being discounted. We have had a look around to see what 2017 road bike bargains are out there. And by golly it turns out there are some stonking deals.
Okay, so these aren’t the latest bang up-to-date bikes, but in many cases the changes amount to a new lick of paint and different components, the frameset is often the same as the 2018 model. That’s because the latest road bikes have a shelf life of at least three years before a new - lighter, stiffer, more compliant - version is launched. It's also worth pointing out that this year with all the economic uncertainty around bike companies seem to be discounting early and what would normally be the latest bikes in the range - and in some cases still are - are dropping in price earlier than usual.
The Technique proves that you really don't need to break the bank to own a very decent road bike. It's an ideal starter road bike for anyone looking to get into the sport, perfect for sportives, riding to work and leisure rides.
With a triple-butted aluminium frame, carbon fork and Shimano 105 11-speed shifting, this package from Merlin Cycles is decent value at its full price; for just six hundred quid it's a bargain.
As far as we know, this is currently the cheapest carbon fibre framed bike on offer in the UK, because Decathlon has just knocked £100 off the price to clear the decks for imminent 2018 models. The French sports megastore chain claims a frame weight of just 1,080g for a size M, and you get a full Shimano Tiagra 4700 groupset including brakes and chainset. It's now only available in two sizes — S and L — but if one of them fits you, it's a staggering bargain.
Boardman's well-liked carbon fibre frame gets a women-specific finishing kit here, with Shimano 10-speed Tiagra shifting, Mavic rims and 25mm Vittoria Zaffiro Pro tyres.
Wiggle’s in-house bike brand Eastway has been turning out some very decent bikes in the last couple of years, and this is your chance to enjoy a 40% discount on a Tiagra-equipped carbon fibre road bike, a great first or upgrade road bike if you want to get into longer rides or even try your hand at racing.
Chain Reaction Cycles has several models of Eastway bike on special at the moment, including this racy disc-braked endurance bike, reduced from its usual £1,500. There's a high-quality frame under that red paint, so it would be worth grabbing this bike at its bargain price and upgrading the parts as they wear out. We'd start with the brakes: upgrade them to hydraulics from the fitted cable discs.
Like the Zener D3, above, the Emitter has a high-quality carbon fibre frame that offers good upgrade potential, though a spec of Shimano 105 and Mavic wheels is pretty damn good to start with at this price.
Ash really liked Merlin’s new Fuse carbon fibre road bike when he tested it following its launch two years ago, and it was already a bit of bargain before they discounted this 2017 model. This bike wears the latest Shimano 105 11-speed groupset, in its entirety, with Fulcrum wheels and Continental Ultra Sport II 25mm folding tyres.
Despite the number of carbon road bikes we test here at road.cc, we really like a good aluminium road bike, and aluminium doesn't get much better than the venerable CAAD series from Cannondale, a company that made its name with aluminium before carbon was even talked about in the cycling world. The CAAD 12 is the latest version, lighter and more compliant than the previous CAAD 10, and is available with disc brakes.
Now cheaper than the original RRP of its 105-equipped kid brother, with which it shares a frame, this is a terrific fast-endurance bike. A superb ride and spec for the money, with the stopping confidence of disc brakes, and Chain Reaction Cycles has a full range of sizes in stock.
There’s also a new Tarmac out this year, the sixth generation version, and with each new update Specialized pushes the once top-level model down the price range. Which is why you can still pick up the SL4, which really isn’t showing its age in terms of performance and if you don’t have to have the latest and lightest, it represents a good buy. This one is available in two colours and most retailers are showing a good choice of sizes.
From the British bike brand that used to be best known for steel and titanium road bikes, came the all-carbon Zero bike designed primarily for racing. This model strikes a good deal, and is specced with a Shimano Tiagra 10-speed groupset.
The Pulsium's carbon fibre frame boasts Lapierre's Shock Absorption Technology, developed for the cobbles of the Spring Classic races. An elastomer connection between the seat and top tubes absorb and dampen impacts, improving comfort on rough roads. At this price it's a bum-cossetting bargain.
Dutch brand Sensa flies under the radar compared to more mainstream brands, but they shouldn’t be too hastily overlooked because the bikes really are up to scratch. A decent carbon frame and fork on this model that provides good performance for racers and sportive cyclists, and there’s still a reasonable size choice at the time of writing.
Let's be honest: the three grand RRP for this carbon fibre sportive bike was a little, ahem, optimistic. But £1,300 is a great price for a bike with a top-quality frame and a Shimano 105 groupset.
Unlike most of the other bikes here, this isn't a discontinued model; it comes with the new Ultegra R8000 groupset which has only been available for a few months. It's definitely a January bargain though. Most bikes with carbon fibre frames and a full Ultegra group are well over £1,500.
There’s a new Synapse out, but there’s nothing wrong with the previous version which even won the highly coveted road.cc Bike of the Year award not so many years back, and there are some good deals on the various models available. We’ve picked this carbon model with Shimano’s excellent 105 as offering a really good package for the money. Evans Cycles has good stock of sizes including the most popular 54, 56 and 58cm.
Felt's aero bikes have a reputation for being blistering fast thanks to their wind-tunnel-tuned frames. This is a serious race bike at a very sensible price.
Canadian bike brand Cervelo doesn’t crave the same attention they once used to, but they’re still world class bikes and the most affordable model, the R2, is even more affordable in the sales, with £500 knocked off the ticket price. This model gets a Shimano 105 11-speed groupset with Ultegra brakes and an FSA Gossamer BBright chainset.
A great price for Boardman's acclaimed endurance bike with hydraulic disc brakes. You'll have to be a size XS or S though.
Not a massive saving, though 10% isn’t to be sniffed at, the excellent Vitesse Evo Team from Vitus Bikes gets you a full carbon fibre race-ready frameset with Dura-Ace mechanical groupset and FSA SL-K Light chainset with Vision Team 30 wheels.
You can read what we thought of the disc version of this bike here
After he fell out with Ernesto Colnago, the legendary Eddy Merckx turned to Ugo De Rosa for his race bikes. De Rosa senior still supervises bike production at the firm that's now run by his sons Danilo, Doriano and Cristiano, so if the mystique of Italian design and old-fashioned standards is your bag this one comes with the new Shimano Ultegra R8000 group and Fulcrum wheels.
Colnago bikes have never been cheap, and even at 30% off the V1-R Ultegra isn't what you'd call inexpensive. But you get that legendary Colnago ride from a frame that's both light at a claimed 835g and has been tweaked in the wind tunnel for speed. Dave Arthur called it a "beautifully fast and responsive-handling aero road bike with stunning looks that begs to be ridden fast."
There are some extraordinary deals around on this wireless-shifting edition of Specialized racing flagship bike.. The link above is for size 56cm, but we've also found other sizes, albeit at higher prices. Need a 54cm bike? That'll set you back £3,200 at Leisure Lakes. Evans Cycles has 49cm and 58cm models for £3,250.
Our Dave Arthur was very impressed with the Tarmac Expert eTap. He wrote: "The Specialized Tarmac Expert eTap is a thoroughly rounded package, delivering great pace in all situations and an impressive level of comfort for a bike designed for racing. SRAM's Red eTap wireless derailleurs provide wonderfully crisp and intuitive shifting, but it's not the full groupset and corners have been cut on the spec list to accommodate it. Those shortcuts don't undermine the performance, though, which is just brilliant."
The RoadMachine was only introduced earlier this year as the Swiss company’s fast endurance road bike with disc brakes and an integrated stem and handlebar, but it’s already being discounted to make way for the 2018 bikes. Given the newness of the bike we doubt the frame will change with the 2018 version, but the spec and paint finish probably will. Still, nothing at all wrong with Ultegra Di2 and 3T Discus C35 Stealth Carbon clincher wheels with Fizik Aliante R5 saddle is there?
Okay it’s by no means a cheap bike (but look at how much it used to cost!) this is basically a pro race-ready bike. The Domane is Trek’s endurance bike and this team edition model gets the most aggressive H1 geometry and a full Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset and Bontrager Aeolus 4 D3 Tubular carbon wheels.
Gravel/adventure and cyclo-cross bikes
Like most entry-level 'crossers, the X-Bow is suitable for racing, but it's also versatile, with rack and mudguard mounts so that you can use it for commuting and general riding as well as playing in the mud. With a 46/36 chainset, though, it's definitely on the cyclo-cross side of the line.
The 2017 version of the CAADX 105 is almost identical to the 2018, but it's over £200 cheaper. It's a shade racier than the Ridley above, but only in having no rack mounts. There are mudguard mounts, though, so you can still use it as a winter bike or commuter and keep your bum dry.
The GT Grade has been one of our fave adventure bikes here at road.cc, we’ve tested several versions of it and been impressed every time. This one packs a carbon frame and fork with a Shimano 105 groupset with hydro brakes.
With a full carbon frame and fork, and a component selection based on Shimano Ultegra with hydraulic disc brakes, this is a properly raceworthy 'crosser for a very decent price.
One of the most radical and unusual new bikes that blurs the line between traditional road bike and modern adventure bike, the Cannondale Slate rolls on fat 650b tyres with a 30mm suspension fork with the company’s distinctive Lefty fork. Cannondale UK isn’t bringing the Slate into the country in 2018 so this is your last chance to get your hands on one.
If you lust over titanium then here is your chance to bag one at a knockdown price, but the only caveat being it’s only available in XS. But if it fits, what a lovely bike, and packed with the latest Shimano 105 gears and brakes and chunky Clement tyres.
We'll keep an eye on the retailers for more road bike bargains and update this article - if you spot any good deals do share them in the comments section.
David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.