Got around a grand to spend on a road bike, but not sure what to look for? You're in luck, because we've done the hard work for you and tested loads of the best road bikes under £1,000 over the years to give you a selection of our favourites all in one place.
Best road bike under £1,000 overall: Triban RC 520 Disc Road Bike
Best road bike under £1,000 for budding racers: Specialized Allez E5 2022
Best endurance road bike under £1,000: Boardman SLR 8.8
Best road bike under £1,000 to keep and upgrade: Merida Scultura Disc 200
Best road bike under £1,000 for tubeless tyre fans: Giant Contend AR 3
Best women's road bike under £1,000: Triban RC520 Women’s Disc Road Bike
Best-looking road bike under £1,000: Cannondale Synapse Disc Sora
Another versatile sub-£1000 road bike with full mudguard mounts: Vitus Razor Disc Road Bike (Claris)
Another very affordable, comfort-orientated road bike under £1000: Cube Attain
Best women's road bike for training rides: Liv Avail AR 4
Best road bike under £1,000 for mixed terrain adventures: Genesis CDA 30
Best road bike under £1,000 with pro-level pedigree: Trek Domane AL 2
Despite the events of recent years including pandemic-related supply chain issues and inflation, there is still a pretty healthy variety of road bikes to choose from around and up to £1,000. You can't really get brand new road bikes with carbon fibre frames at this price point any more unless you buy second hand, but you will still find entry-level race bikes, touring-style bikes and budget gravel-style bikes that take bigger tyres, made with materials that can be produced for cheaper such as aluminium and steel.
You can narrow your options by coming up with a list of features you want from your new road bike. Do you want to fit mudguards? Look for bikes with extra clearance that will accommodate your tyres and mudguards, and preferably come with eyelets for full-length guards. Do you want extra stopping power? Go for a bike with disc brakes rather than rim brakes. Prefer a lighter bike? At this price point, a racing-style road bike with increasingly rare rim brakes might be a good idea to save some weight, because sub-£1k bike frames will be heavier than more expensive ones.
While a grand is still a lot of money to spend on anything, a bike towards the top end of this price bracket will likely provide you with many thousands of miles of cycling joy. There is very little in the road bike market you can get for close to £500 or under nowadays, so we'd recommend spending around £1,000 (ideally more, but we would say that) to get the best bike for your buck. Many employers also now offer cycle to work schemes, where you take a salary sacrifice to pay for your new bike in instalments and get it (technically on loan) at a discounted rate.
> How to save money on a bike with the Cycle to Work scheme
You might have noticed that one or two of our selections don't have a sub-£1,000 recommended retail price, but we've included some bikes that were under £1,000 when we reviewed them or can be found for under £1,000 with discounts at some retailers. Pickings are slimmer at this price point nowadays, so we want to recommend you the most bike for your money!
If you still want a bit more info before browsing our choices and picking your new road bike, head on down to our Q+A section where we answer some FAQs about road bikes under £1,000. Without further ado...
First Published May 23, 2023