"You can buy a car for that!" It’s a comment we hear a lot when the subject of expensive road bikes comes up.
You certainly can spend the price of a small hatchback on a bicycle these days. To see just what exotica is out there for a price of a new Peugeot 108 and just for a bit of fun, we’ve rounded up some of the most expensive road bikes currently available.
The cheapest bike here costs over seven and a half grand (trust Giant to make a value-for-money superbike) while the most expensive is almost twice that, and you wouldn't even be allowed to ride it in a UCI time trial. In fact most of these bikes fall foul of the UCI's increasingly daft 6.8kg weight limit, but we don't think anyone who can afford one of these is going to care very much.
These aren’t crazy one-off bikes with expensive paint jobs, oh no, they're all standard production road bikes that you can buy online or from your local bike shop, though we doubt many shops will carry any of these bikes in stock.
With the ten grand psychological barrier well and truly smashed in the last couple of years, brands like Pinarello are taking off into the financial stratosphere with ultra-high-tech frames and the latest electronic shifting, in this case SRAM's brand spanking Red eTap AXS 12-speed groupset.
Pinarello says the latest Dogma "achieves the best aerodynamic efficiency values of any Dogma model to date" and comes in two distinct versions for rim and disc brakes.
SRAM's new 12-speed wireless Red eTap AXS group features at or near the top of many manufacturer's ranges, but none have garnered as much attention as Wilier's glorious Cento 10 with its sparkling iridescent paint. It's ten grand, but we can't think of a bike we'd rather have as a companion for long days in Italian mountain sunshine.
Canyon is usually associated with value for money bikes, but with the Ultimate CF Evo 10.0 Ltd the German direct sales specialist has pulled out all the stops to create a stunning superbike. It has the same design and tube shaping as the regular Ultimate CF SLX, but a more advanced and costly carbon fibre layup. The result is a 665g frame and 270g fork.
There's a SRAM Red eTap transmission hung on that feathery frame with some of Germany's finest über-light components including Lightweight Meilenstein Clincher wheels and a THM Clavicula M3 SRM chainset. Yes, you can see just how much (or how little?) power it takes to propel the Ultimate CF Evo 10.0 Ltd, right out of the box.
Swiss manufacturer BMC has stepped up a notch with its top model for 2019, a design BMC says is "lightweight, fast, and incredibly integrated". It leads — literally — with BMC's sleek Integrated Cockpit System bar and stem that routes the brake hoses and gear wires routed almost-invisibly through the frame.
BMC claims the Roadmachine 01 ONE is super-compliant for long, comfortable rides, but for this price it really should be.
If you meld modern materials with traditional Italian frame-building and design, this is what you get. The C64 is a deeply-refined carbon fibre frame that's constructed by bonding tubes into lugs. That might not sound as sophisticated as moulding a frame in one piece, but it makes possible a wide range of frame sizes for a better fit, and it allows incremental refinements like the C64's new one-piece seat tube and lug without crapping an expemsive mould.
The C64 is handmade in Colnago's workshop in Cambiago. This version is fitted with Campagnolo's top groupset, Super Record EPS, and has one of the stunning special paint jobs for which Colnago is renowned.
Go to Trek's Project One customisation website and you can have the new Madone 9 SLR in an array of wild colours, including this 'Refliptive' finish that's a different colour depending which direction you look at it from.
Scott’s Foil was a cutting-edge aero road bike when first launched in 2011, and the latest version still commands your attention if you want to ride fast. This top-end model gets a no-expense-spared build kit including Zipp 303 Firecrest wheels and a one-piece carbon fibre Syncros aero handlebar and stem.
It may not be blessed with looks, but if you’re into pure speed, the triathlon-specific Cervelo P5X is probably as fast as it gets. This is not a bike for riding to the cafe on, that’s for sure. It's a full carbon fibre construction with Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 gears and hydraulic disc brakes, and ENVE wheels.
Specialized says it's shaved an impressive 200g off the frame of the Tarmac SL6 compared to the previous SL5; a 56cm Tarmac SL6 frame weighs just 733g, which is pretty staggering. The Tarmac's aerodynamics has also been tweaked so it's now claimed to be 45 seconds faster over 40km than similarly-feathery road bikes.
And if you're going to ride Specialized's flagship speedster, then you'd have to go for the special edition designed in collaboration with multiple world champion Peter Sagan.
If you want an Italian-bred performance bike the Specialissima puts in a stunning performance, and this massive price tag gets you a frame equipped with Campagnolo Super Record and Fulcrum Zero Nite wheels.
No guide to the most expensive road bikes could be complete without a Storck. The German company has a reputation for producing some of the most well-engineered road bikes, and also for producing some of the priciest bikes we’ve ever reviewed (there are more affordable bikes in the range too).
Cannondale's flagship aero bike looks understated but is packed with high-end tech, including high-modulus carbon fibre, Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 shifting with hydraulic disc brakes and a Power2Max NG Eco Powermeter.
This beauty is Giant’s most expensive offering but compared to some of the other bikes here it doesn't look too pricey at all! Giant’s TCR Advanced has long been a favourite with racers, and the latest model offers a better stiffness to weight ratio than before - it’s stiffer for the same weight, basically. It comes fully decked out with SRAM Red eTap wireless groupset including a Quark power meter and Giant’s own carbon fibre wheels and finishing kit.
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.
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.