Ready to move up a notch? This is the price/performance sweet spot

You’ve an abundance of riches in the £1,500 to £2,000 price
band, with bikes that are light, well-equipped and great value for money.

You also have a big range of choices. Carbon fibre frame,
or the latest ultra-sophisticated aluminium? Caliper brakes or discs?
Racing geometry, more upright for comfort or something in between? How
about taking the the byways and bridleways on a gravel bike? Whatever type
of riding you have in mind, there’s a bike in this price range that’ll
suit you perfectly.

Attain GTC SL Disc 2020— £1,999

2020 Cube Attain GTC SL Disc

How does Cube manage to make a carbon fibre endurance bike with Ultegra
equipment and hydraulic discs for under £2,000? Well, they've swapped out
the Ultegra brakes and shifters for 105 R7000 units, which saves a bunch
on the price tag without substantial detriment to performance.

The Attain GTC SL Disc is very much a mile-eating all-rounder, with
clearance for mudguards so you can keep going through winter without
getting drenched.

Find a Cube

Rysel RR 920 CF Ultegra — £1,999.99

2019 Van Rysel RR 920 CF

You don't get many bikes in this price range with Shimano Ultegra R8000
components and with its superb frame and Mavic Cosmic carbon wheels that
makes this eminently raceable speedster superb value for money.

When he tested the 105-equipped version, which has the same frame, Stu
Kerton said it was "further evidence, if any was needed, that B'Twin knows
how to build awesome-riding race bikes which offer excellent stiffness,
handling and speed while also managing to be unbelievably comfortable."
Decathlon has since rebranded these bikes as Van Rysel, but the sentiment
reminds solid.

our review of the B’Twin Ultra 900 CF

CAAD12 105 Disc 2019 — £1,295

2019 Cannondale CAAD12 Disc

Proving that composites don't quite reign supreme, Cannondale's
meticulously engineered CAAD12 frame wrings every last gram of performance
potential out of aluminium. Cannondale combines that frame with Shimano
105 shifting, its own HollowGram Si chainset and Shimano 105 hydraulic
disc brakes for a thoroughly modern fast road bike.

If you want the latest and greatest, Cannondale's
new CAAD13 105 Disc will set you back £1,900
, but while there are
still CAAD12s around at this reduced price that extra £600 looks like a
lot to pay for
the CAAD13's improvements.

a Cannondale dealer

Defy Advanced 2 2020 —  £1,898.99

2020 Giant DEFY ADVANCED 2

Giant's Defy line is one of the most popular bikes in the endurance and
sportive sector, and is the company's best-selling model, combining smart
geometry with a full range of competitively priced builds. It
was revamped for 2019
with a frame that will take up to 32mm tyres,
some tweaks to the cable routing, and the addition of Giant's new D-Fuse
buzz-reducing handlebar. Those improvements carry on into the 2020 models.

The 2019 Defy bikes also get tubeless-ready wheels and 32mm tyres, and
the Defy Advanced 2 has Shimano's 105 R7000 shifting with an 11-34
cassette for a 1:1 low gear.

our review of the Giant Defy Advanced SL

our review of the Giant Defy Advanced 3

Find a Giant dealer

Émonda SL5 2019 — £1,440

2019 Trek Emonda SL 5

Part of Trek's line of Émonda lightweight race bikes, the SL5
demonstrates one of two approaches to speccing up a bike in this range.
Trek takes the second-lightest of its Émonda frames and equips it with
Shimano's midrange 105 group for a bike that doesn't cost the earth but
has plenty of upgrade potential.

This 2019 model is usually £1,800, but there are plenty around at this
reduced price.

our review of the Trek Emonda SL5

Find a Trek dealer

Datum 10 — £1,649.99

2018 Genesis Datum 10.jpg

The Genesis Datum 10 will take pretty much whatever you can throw at it,
on or off-road. The spec represents excellent value and the ability to
jump between town and country use positions it as a sound contender for an
'only bike' that you won't be sheepish about getting muddy on, while being
worthy of a shine-up for the Sunday morning group ride.

At launch two years ago, Dave rated the Di2 11-speed Datum 30 at 4.5/5,
finding it a 'hugely capable bike that is loads of fun over all sorts of
terrain'. Later that year it won our Sportive Bike of The Year Award, with
only the Shimano Di2-influenced price holding it back from taking overall
honours. At £3,200 in 2015 money, the Di2 version was a hefty price to
pay, so this time around it's the base model £1,899 10-speed Tiagra model
on test. Again, for this spec it's not a class-leadingly cheap bike, but
the overall package is worthy of inclusion on anyone's to-be-considered

our review of the Genesis Datum 10

Find a Genesis dealer

Endurace CF SL Disc 7.0 2019 — £1,519

2019 Canyon endurace cf sl disc 7.0 red

It's always worth checking out what Canyon has to offer, and this
combination of the light, quick but comfortable Endurace CF SL frame and
Shimano 105 components is decent value, and — if the women's equivalent is
any guide — a superb all-day mile-eater. And the 2019 model is £100
cheaper than last years!

our review of the Canyon Endurace WMN CF SL Disc 8.0

Silex 600 2019 — £1,700

2018 Merida Silex 600.jpg

Merida's dramatic take on the gravel bike genre is as close as a bike
gets to being a mountain bike without becoming the bailiwick of our
sister site off.road.cc
. It has the long head tube and top tube
that's a feature of many contemporary mountain bikes, and single-chainring
gearing. It keeps its feet on the Tarmac with 35mm tyres, but if you
wanted to get adventurous there's room to go plenty bigger.

our review of the Silex 600's carbon fibre big brother, the Merida Silex

Find a Merida dealer

Raleigh Mustang
Comp — £1,200

2017 Raleigh Mustang Comp.jpeg

With Raleigh's aluminium-framed Mustangs, carbon Rokers and steel
Mavericks the Big Heron jumped into gravel bikes with both boots a couple
of years ago. Raleigh's folks say they started revamping their endurance
road range, then realised that for a lot of British riding a bike with a
long wheelbase and fat tyres was better able to cope with back roads
trashed by the combination of bad winters and hacked road maintenance
budgets. The Mustang Comp has SRAM hydraulic brakes and 11 speed SRAM Apex
1 gears.

Find a
Raleigh dealer

SLR 9.2 Ultegra — £1,599

2019 Boardman SLR 9.2 Ultegra

If you want to put that race licence to good use, smash those Strava KOMs
or just want a fast, comfortable, easy-to-ride road bike, then the
Boardman SLR 9.2 needs to be on your shortlist. With a full-carbon
frameset, Shimano Ultegra R8000 groupset, and Boardman's own
tubeless-compatible wheels, the SLR is a real contender even before you
take the price into account – and that challenges even the
direct-to-consumer specialists.

our review of the Boardman Road Pro Carbon SLR

Team GF 4 Disc 105 — £1,995.74

2018 Rose Team GF 4 Disc 105.jpg

Rose claims an impressive 7.9kg for the Team GF 4 Disc 105 and given that
its predecessor the Xeon CDX-4400 comes in at 7.5kg (16.6lb), we believe
it. The ride is quick, easy to live with and delivers a lot of fun miles.
It's a cracker of a machine ready to be ridden flat out or cruising the

our review of the Rose Xeon CDX-4400

About road.cc Buyer's Guides

The aim of road.cc buyer's guides is to give you the most, authoritative, objective and up-to-date buying advice. We continuously update and republish our guides, checking prices, availability and looking for the best deals.

Our guides include links to websites where you can buy the featured products. Like most sites we make a small amount of money if you buy something after clicking on one of those links. We want you to be happy with what you buy, so we only include a product in a if we think it's one of the best of its kind.

As far as possible that means recommending equipment that we have actually reviewed, but we also include products that are popular, highly-regarded benchmarks in their categories.

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You can also find further guides on our sister sites off.road.cc and ebiketips.

Road.cc buyer's guides are maintained and updated by John Stevenson. Email John with comments, corrections or queries.

Our official grumpy Northerner, John has been riding bikes for over 30 years since discovering as an uncoordinated teen that a sport could be fun if it didn't require you to catch a ball or get in the way of a hulking prop forward.

Road touring was followed by mountain biking and a career racing in the mud that was as brief as it was unsuccessful.

Somewhere along the line came the discovery that he could string a few words together, followed by the even more remarkable discovery that people were mug enough to pay for this rather than expecting him to do an honest day's work. He's pretty certain he's worked for even more bike publications than Mat Brett.

The inevitable 30-something MAMIL transition saw him shift to skinny tyres and these days he lives in Cambridge where the lack of hills is more than made up for by the headwinds.


Jamminatrix [203 posts] 2 years ago

Does the Merida come with an extra spoke for that rear wheel, or do I have to buy it?

*One comment I want to make about Giant bikes is their online ordering system (may be only applicable to USA), which tracks showroom inventory.* I ordered a bike online, it showed which local shop had it, went to pick it up, and the bike had seen some big use already. I guess it had been on a few extended test rides. Kind of a bummer when you think you are ordering a new bike going to be built out of a box, but in actuality it is whatever model is sitting on the showroom floor.

John Stevenson [447 posts] 2 years ago

Jamminatrix wrote:

Does the Merida come with an extra spoke for that rear wheel, or do I have to buy it?

Ha! Well spotted! A photoshopping fail on my part while cleaning up the original image. Here's the missing spoke:


DrG82 [260 posts] 2 years ago

My god that Raleigh Mustang frame is ugly, and the welds look like something I could have done.

DrG82 [260 posts] 2 years ago

My god that Raleigh Mustang frame is ugly, and the welds look like something I could have done.

Jamminatrix [203 posts] 1 year ago

As a follow-up, and to those reading this recently:

I just saw on CRC the Cube Agree C:62 is £350/$500 cheaper than the Giant Defy Advanced 2, and comes with name brand Fulcrum wheels and actual 105 crank instead of a non-series crank like the Giant. Geometry looks very comparable. Had I known, I probably would have got that instead and spent extra money on other things.

cdean [63 posts] 1 year ago
Jamminatrix wrote:

As a follow-up, and to those reading this recently: I just saw on CRC the Cube Agree C:62 is £350/$500 cheaper than the Giant Defy Advanced 2, and comes with name brand Fulcrum wheels and actual 105 crank instead of a non-series crank like the Giant. Geometry looks very comparable. Had I known, I probably would have got that instead and spent extra money on other things.


I bought the 2017 Defy Advanced 2 (the orangey one at the top of the article, which is more red in real life) recently at an end of season bargain price. Unlike the 2018 model it has a proper 105 crank and the actual Shimano hydraulic shifter brakes rather than the Giant hybrid thing that allows cable shifters to be connected to hydraulic brakes, so it looks like the 2017 model is a better spec than the 2018 one. Another victim of the reduction in value of the pound! The wheels feel alright and I like the way they look with the bike (oh, vanity) but there's definitely scope to upgrade them in future.

efail [156 posts] 1 year ago
1 like

The Boardman bike does not weigh 7kg. I've weighed one in the shop, with all of the tat removed, including the pedals, and it weighed 7.8kg, and that was a SMALL. Don't know where you got yours.