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, including carbon, steel and aluminium choices
This was a popular guide last year so we've updated it with some of the best looking 2014 model road bikes, priced between £1,000 and £1,500. To reflect the choice available we've included bikes made from carbon fibre, aluminium and steel, so there is something for all tastes.
One thing this roundup of bikes highlights is just how much choice of high quality road bikes are available, you really do get a lot for you money. There's a wider choice of frame materials, and we've included a couple of alloy bikes, some carbon and even a steel bike too. Another 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 but it's still 10-speed for now, the newer 11-speed won't start to appear until the 2015 model year bikes begin arriving in shops this autumn. 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.
Boardman Road Team £999.99
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-directional carbon 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.
Trek Domane £1,000
Want to ride the same bike as the one Fabian Cancellera has just ridden to victory in Tour of Flanders? While this isn't exactly the same, it employs the same IsoSpeed Decoupler technology to tame bumps but in a more affordable alloy frame package. The Endurance geometry ensures a comfortable ride and a position ideal for commuting and sportives. The frame is wearing a Shimano Tiagra 10-speed groupset with a triple chainset. The wheels, tyres, saddle, handlebar and stem are all from the Bontrager catalogue. We're currently testing this bike, you can see our first look here for more detail and photos.
Genesis Bikes Volare 00 £1,199.99
Thanks to Genesis Bikes, we can chuck a steel frame option into the mix. There used to be a time when all road bikes were made from steel, and even though carbon has replaced it in professional racing, it's still a fine choice for everyone else. In fact, the Madison-Genesis team have been racing a version of this steel bike at the top level. This Volare 00 is based on the race bike but uses the more affordable Reynolds 631 tubing with a carbon fibre fork and full Shimano Tiagra 10-speed groupset. If you want to stand out from your mates, this is a smart choice.
Mekk Poggio 2.0 £1,249.99
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.
We've tested the cheaper Poggio 1.5, with the same frame. You can read the review here.
Giant Defy Composite 2 £1,299
The Defy Composite 2 at £1,299 gets you onto a Giant carbon frame. The Defy is the company’s sporty but comfort-orientated range, and this model has a carbon frame with Giant’s own PowerCore bottom bracket and OverDrive head tube which contribute to a stiffer frame. It’s finished with a Shimano 105 groupset and compact chainset, Giant’s own P-Elite C wheelset, and Connect saddle, stem, bars and seatpost. Further comfort is provided with the fitting of Giant's own 25mm tyres.
Focus Cayo Evo 4.0 £1,399
At £1,399 the Focus Cayo Evo 4.0 uses a race-proven carbon fibre frame and fork packaged with a Shimano 105 groupset. A compact FSA Gossamer Focus crank makes hills easy work and Concept EX brakes and Fulcrum 7.0 wheels with Schwalbe Lugano 23mm tyres complete the build.
Bianchi Vertigo £1399.00
We bet most people will want a Bianchi on any new bike shortlist. The Vertigo is a new bike from Bianchi, 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.
You can read our review of the Vertigo here. More info at www.bianchi.com
Canyon CF SL 7.0 £1,399
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 new-for-2014 CF SL was launched just last September, and is 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.
Moda Vivo £1,449
This brand new Vivo from British brand Modo 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.
Cannondale CAAD10 5 105 £1,499
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. You can read our CAAD10 review here.