The topic of the best road bikes used to be a relatively simple one; but where once round, steel tubes dominated and most road bikes were made purely for racing and fast riding on the road, there's now there’s a huge variety to suit every budget and every need.
Best all-rounder for racing: Canyon Ultimate CF SLX 8 Di2 2023
The most affordable road.cc-recommended road bike: Triban 100 Road Bike
Best road bike under £1,000: Boardman SLR 8.8
Best money-no-object road bike for racing: Specialized S-Works Tarmac SL7 Dura-Ace Di2 2021
Best road bike for affordable comfort: Merida Scultura 300
Best steel road bike: Fairlight Strael 3.0
Best aluminium road bike: Mason Definition
Best value titanium road bike: Van Nicholas Ventus
Best road bike around £3,000: Scott Addict 10
Best carbon road bike for ride quality: Moda Finale
Best value fully integrated road bike: Trek Émonda SL 5 Disc
Best road bike for all-round practicality: Kinesis R2 2021
Best aluminium road bike for fast handling: Specialized Allez Sprint Comp
Off the top of our slightly sweaty post-ride heads, on road.cc alone there’s the best endurance road bikes, best aero road bikes, best sportive bikes, best carbon road bikes… the list is endless!
The bad news is that inflation has seen road bike prices rise over the past couple of years.. but the good news is that they’ll still save you huge money over an automobile, are better for the planet and will improve your health.
The road bike market is a confusing one, with frame materials, geometry and components all influencing road bike design. Whereas the endurance road bikes might have a more relaxed geometry for many comfortable miles in the saddle, the best aero road bikes will have a greater focus on cutting drag and boosting speed by using aero tubing, and will often come with deeper wheels for more aero gains.
You need to ask yourself many questions on your road bike buying journey. The biggest one, of course, is what’s your budget? Then it’s questions like: what will I be using my road bike for? Commuting, long Sunday morning rides, the occasional shorter midweek sojourn with friends? Is weight important? Do you need disc brakes? Is a carbon frame a need or a must?
We're under no illusions that crowning the 'best road bike' is pretty much impossible, because as we've explained already, the road bike genre is a very broad one. If you're just dipping your toe into cycling, then consider this guide as a useful introduction to road bikes with a wide selection of top picks from our bulging reviews archive, plus some handy advice under our selections. Some might be wildly out of your price range, others you may not like the look of... but whatever you're after, we're hoping there should be something here for you. Then, if your budget is, say, around three grand but you want to see a wider selection, you can refine your search and check out our guide to the best road bikes under £3,000.
Capiche? Check out our choices and hopefully, the perfect road bike for you is amongst them!