Whether you are after a performance road, all-road adventure, or an endurance road bike, down here we’ll be introducing the best road bikes you can buy online today!
Has the interest in road biking increased or decreased over time? Well, ‘true cyclists‘ have different phases in their life and you’ll often hear life-long mountain bikers turn over for road bikes, and vice versa. By the end of the day, what matters the most is the fact that a cyclist would truly enjoy the essence of cycling, and we believe that road biking is something that attracts the bunch who are performance orientated. Speed and distances are something many road bikes are after, and obviously, the level of components increases the maximum outtake on it.
The more you pay the more you get? In the competitive world of road biking, it just happens to be like that. The most important factor would be that doing you really need a high-end carbon bike, or are you happy with an alloy frame & carbon fork combination? Carbon bikes need more attention against elements, and obviously the thieves while offering the best performance at a lighter weight and better bump absorption.
Is a carbon bike good for a beginner? Carbon bikes need a little more attention from transportation to storing, other than that, they offer an optimized combination of comfort, speed, and durability.
The key aspect to look in for a road bike in 2021 is obviously mechanical/hydraulic disc brakes, a carbon frame, and an above-average groupset. On entry-level bikes, you’ll find an aluminum frame coupled with a carbon fork. There are many bike brands that offer steel and aluminum high-end road bikes such as Surly and All-City, too.
Best Road Bikes of 2021
Endurance / Race / Gravel / CX
1. Bianchi – Oltre XR3 – $4,300
2. Orbea – Orca M30 – $3,299
3. Cannondale – Synapse Disc 105 – $1,800
4. Co-op Cycles – ADV 2.1 – $1,099
5. Tommaso – Monza – $950
6. Giant – Revolt Advanced 3 – $1,400
7. Trek – Domane SL 6 – $3,800
8. Orbea – Avant H40-D – $1,599
9. Cannondale – Topstone Carbon 105 – $2,750
10. Salsa – Warbird Carbon Apex 1 – $2,599
11. Retrospec – Drome V3 – $435
12. Diamondback – Century 4C – $1,900
1. Bianchi – Oltre XR3 CV Disc Ultegra
MSRP $4,300 CompetitiveCyclist
The Oltre XR3 is an aggressive all-around road bike for strong and needy cyclists. There is a sweet blend of components and aerodynamics which are best suited for flatter surfaces. Although as Competetive Cyclist comments that the bike carries a little extra weight compared to climbing bikes and it is not equipped with an integrated cockpit, it still makes a perfect road bike for anyone who’s willing to up their game in means of performance. After all, this is a performance-driven road bike by Bianchi which should assure you the trustworthiness.
The 2x11speed drivetrain, full carbon -frame, -fork, and -seatpost coupled with Shimano center lock disc brakes are the essentials one could ask from an all-road bike. The total weight of the bikes comes down to 18.5lbs (8.4kg)!
- Carbon Countervail
- Ultegra R8000 groupset
- Shimano Hydraulic disc brakes
- Fulcrum Racing 418 Disc Wheels
- 700c x 28mm
2. Orbea – Orca M30 Team-D
MSRP $3,299 JensonUSA
The new 2021 sleek aero design combined with Shimano R7000 105 drivetrain makes it an excellent road race bike for many! The whole geometry topped with internal cable routing and one of the most bulletproof settings used for drivetrain and braking – there’s not too much to give or take from the bike on this price range when you are really after a carbon race bike. The Orbea Orca M30 rolls on Fulcrum 800DB Racing wheels and 700c x 25mm Vittoria Rubino 4 tires, and the stopping is powered by Shimano R7070 hydro disc brakes.
Orbea has used improved torsional strength on this bike by optimizing the connection between the bottom bracket, head tube, and chainstay joints. This bike is ready to handle a lot of stress by powerful cyclists! The bike also uses a new freeflow fork, and flattened sides to provide reduced friction at the front of the tubing.
- Carbon Monoque
- Aero geometry
- Shimano R7070 Hydraulic Disc Brakes
3. Cannondale – Synapse Disc 105
MSRP $1,800 REI
The Synapse is a known name in the game, so is the 105. This is one of the best aluminum road bikes with a carbon bike that features a 2×11 Shimano 105 drivetrain, mechanical disc brakes, and a full-carbon fork. This bike also features a SAVE micro-suspension technology in the frame, fork, bar, and seat post that insulate the bumps you may be encountering on a typical day on the road.
Cannondale has been using the SmartForm C2 Alloy construction on this bike which is both durable and lightweight, giving the bike a final weight of 22lbs. The 700x30c tires are made by Vittoria Zaffiro. The geometry is focused on endurance racing which means it’s a perfect combination of endurance and sport.
Is there anything to change or expect more from the bike? No, definitely not. The aesthetics of a bike play a huge role as well, and it might be hard to really grasp the total image of what the bike looks like in real life, but that is truly and a nice surprise!
4. Co-op Cycles – ADV 2.1
Best value Road-Adventure bike
MSRP $1,099 REI
Whether you are looking to buy your very first road bike, Co-op Cycles has done a great job combining an all-road bike at a budget-friendly price. It features a solid set-up for entry road bike riders, who are not yet sure if they’d commit to a 2000+ dollar bike just yet to chase that 10-15% improvement.
The Essentials. Shimano Claris groupset, Promax mechanical disc brakes, 24-pound weight, 700c x 35mm tires, WTB ST i19 TCS 2.0 rims. It is by far one of the greatest set-ups for that little money. With lightweight aluminum frame and a carbon fork, mechanical disc brakes, and much more make it indeed the best-priced bike on this list for entry-level riders! There is room for improvement if you’d like to start competing, but don’t forget it is built for multi-purpose road biking!
- Aluminum frame & carbon fork
- Shimano Claris groupset
- 700c wheels
- 24 lbs
5. Tommaso – Monza
Best Value Road Bike For Training Purposes
MSRP $950 Giantnerd
Tommaso Monza is one of the best road bicycles you can get for less than $1,000 (if not the best one), and it is the perfect upgrade that you need to smash those group rides filled with friendly competitiveness or complete arduous centuries. If you feel like your trusty hybrid just doesn’t cut it anymore and that all of your friends are leaving you behind on weekend rides, it’s time for an upgrade!
Tommaso Monza is the ultimate entry-level aluminum road bike, weighing around 22 lbs. It has an aluminum frame, but it comes with a Tommaso’s HCT (high-modulus carbon technology) fork, which contributes to the low weight. You can pick between two really attractive colors if you decide to buy Tommaso Monza – Matte Black and Blue. Whichever you choose, you’ll certainly like it, because it looks like it’s flying even when it’s sitting in your garage.
Nitty-Gritty Details. To show you how good of a deal Tommaso Monza is, we should deal with the nitty-gritty details as well. First of all, the Tommaso Monza comes with a full Tiagra groupset, which has a great ratio of money vs value. It is a low-end road bike groupset, but it will shift through the 20 speeds like a charm. On the back is an 11-32T cassette, and on the front is a 34/50T crankset. This gear ratio is intended for more casual riders or riders who live in hilly areas, so you’ll end up with a decent range of speeds for all situations. The Tommaso Corsa TC40 wheels will take your riding to another level! They are really lightweight, and the fact they are deep section means they will be fast as well. They come clad in Kenda’s 700x25c tires, which will grip well even on harsher roads.
Finally, the brakes are part of the Tiagra groupset, so you’ll stop by using Tiagra brake calipers. Compared to disc brakes, they save weight but don’t detract too much from the performance. Therefore, if you are looking for the best bike under $1,000 to train on it or take it on group rides and casual weekend rides, Tommaso Monza should be your first choice!
- Aluminum frame & carbon fork
- Two designs
- Shimano Tiagra groupset
- 25c tires
6. Giant – Revolt Advanced 3
Best for gravel geeks
MSRP $1,400 evo
Giant Revolt Advanced 3 is one of the best bicycles designed by Giant, which is evident from the popularity it has among riders. Gravel riding is becoming more and more popular so it does not surprise us. It is one of those bikes that you want to jump on and start riding the moment you see them. The truth is, most riders can and should afford to do that since this is one of the best gravel road bikes in this price range.
This is a full-carbon road bike, with a frame developed by Giant, using their Advanced Composite Technology. It weighs only 22 lbs, so it will fly up any hill you take it out on.
Key Specifications. The best value for money moto extends on components as well since Revolt Advanced 3 is fitted with a tested and proven Shimano Tiagra groupset. That includes everything but the crank and the brakes which are FSA Omega and Giant Conduct. The crankset is a super-compact 48/32T, whereas the cassette has an 11-34T range. Therefore, you have a great gear ratio for gravel roads and loose climbs. Giant’s hydraulic disc brakes are powerful and need minimal maintenance to keep your speed in check at all times. For the wheels, Giant decided to go with Giant S-X2 Disc and wrapped them in Giant Crosscut AT 1 tires, 700×38. Their profile is perfect for gravel. Another high point of this Giant bike is that it comes 98% assembled already, so if you buy it, you will be able to ride it almost straight away. Therefore, if you are a person who is looking for training and gravel endurance rides, the Giant Revolt Advanced 3 will check all of your boxes without any problems.
- Full carbon frame & fork
- Shimano Tiagra groupset
- 2×10 drivetrain
- Disc brakes
- 38 mm tires
7. Trek – Domane SL 6
Best carbon performance road bike
MSRP $3,800 Trekbikes
If you like spoiling yourself from time to time and you’re looking to buy the best in the cycling world, Trek Domane SL 6 road bike is just the thing you need! Trek Domane SL 6 not only rides well but also looks splendidly, thanks to an all-black paint job. A lot of riders say that looks do not matter, but we believe that a beautiful bike is a bike that you will ride more often. There aren’t many road bikes in this price range that combine such a lightweight carbon frame with top-notch Shimano components and disc brakes.
Domane SL 6 is super light – it weighs only around 20 lbs. This is in part thanks to the lightweight 500 Series OCLV Carbon frame and the all-carbon fork, but also to other high-grade components. Let’s check those out as well.
Key Specifications. The first thing that catches the eye on Trek Domane SL 6 is its drivetrain. This capable carbon bike comes with full Shimano Ultegra R8000 components. With 22 gears under your feet, you will perform well and leave competition choking in the dust. To go really fast, it’s also important to be able to brake well, especially in the corners. This role is given to Ultegra hydraulic discs, which is an upgraded version, so you can brake with a lot more confidence and makeup time in the corners.
When it comes to tires and the wheelset, this bike does not lack here either, with Bontrager Paradigm Comp 25 wheelset, which is fast, light, and extremely durable. It comes coupled with Bontrager R2 Hard-Case Lite 700x32c tires, which are specifically designed for this wheelset, to maximize performance. As you can see, you get what you expect for $3,800, and even more! This bike will put a smile on the face of anyone who wants to get a competitive edge when racing or take their training regimen to another level. We definitely recommend it!
- Shimano Ultegra
- 32c tires
- Bontrager wheels
8. Orbea – Avant H40-D ‘2021
MSRP $1,599 JensonUSA
This is the most classical and modern road bike you can get by today for that amount of money. Orbea is a very well-known bike in the cycling industry, and the Avant H40-D is their solution for riders who are looking for a well-performing bike for endurance road cycling. It’s got quite a good set-up for entry/mid-range riders who are after the level of components you should be expecting in 2021.
Is there anything to add or remove the bike at the sixteen-hundred price tag? No, it is a solid bike for training purposes, fast commuting. It looks as good as it performs, as Orbea is the name you can surely trust on!
- Alloy frame & carbon fork
- Shimano Tiagra Groupset
- Tektro Mechanical Disc Brakes
9. Cannondale – Topstone Carbon 105
MSRP 2,750 REI
Cannondale Topstone is an attractive full-carbon gravel bike with some interesting technology that makes it capable both on and off-road. The suspension is slowly entering the world of gravel bikes and Topstone is Cannondale’s take on this new trend. Namely, this bike has a lightweight KingPin suspension system that provides you with 30 mm of plush travel at the saddle. The suspension is provided by a thru-axle pivot that joins the carbon seat stays and seat tube. It will let you ride harder on dirt and gravel and enjoy your rides more.
Pleasant surprises on Topstone do not end there. Namely, this bike is equipped with Shimano 105 GS components, which is where high-end Shimano groupsets begin. It offers 22 gears with a 46/30T crankset and an 11-34T cassette. This is by far the most popular gravel-riding drivetrain setup. The hydraulic disc brakes are also from Shimano’s 105 groups, operating with 160 mm RT30 rotors. Possibly one of the first things you’ll notice on Cannondale Topstone will be the tires. WTB Riddler TCS Lite has brown sidewalls, so they really stand out. They’re 37 mm wide, which means they’re ready for some fast gravel riding. If you want a bike that will be superior both on paved and gravel roads, Cannondale Tombstone provides good value for the money. It’s one bike that can replace all other ones in your garage.
- Full carbon frame & fork
- Rear suspension 🏆
- Shimano 105 groupsetHydraulic disc brakes
10. Salsa – Warbird Carbon Apex 1
MSRP $2,599 REI
Salsa Warbird is a race-ready gravel machine with an impressive geometry, equipped with the VRS (Vibration Reduction System) that will make you more efficient on unpaved roads. Warbird offers some serious value for the money reflected in the design of the carbon frame and fork. Namely, the Class 5 VRS refers to tall and thin, vertically oriented chainstays that flex upon impact and soak up vibrations. It improves your performance and comfort, without taking watts away.
Race-Ready Components. Salsa Warbird features SRAM’s Apex 1 components paired up with a 1×11 drivetrain and mechanical disc brakes. The rear Apex 1 derailleur shifts through 11 gears offered by SRAM’s 11-42T cassette. The crank has 42T, which makes Warbird pretty fast. Thanks to multiple eyelets all over the frame and fork, you can also use this bike for backpacking, although you might be struggling up very steep hills. For braking purposes, Salsa Warbird uses TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes which are the best you can get in the cable-actuated world. Finally, its 700x 42c Teravail Cannonball tires are tubeless-ready and will get you through loose gravel without any issues. All in all, if your cycling goals include winning a few gravel races or you just want to complete fast cross-country rides, Salsa Warbird will not disappoint you one bit.
- Full carbon frame & fork
- Multiple mounts for racks
- Gravel race-ready set-up
11. Retrospec – Drome V3
Best fixed-gear road bike
MSRP $435 Amazon
Did you know that you do not need a lot of gear in order to be fast? Just one will be enough, as this fixie bike shows. Retrospec Drove V3 is definitely one of the best road bikes of 2021 for under $500.
Lightweight but strong, the handcrafted alloy frame and carbon fork are reliable. This frame is the only choice for bikes under $500 because you really can’t make a decent carbon frame for that money. But you can add a carbon fork!
- Flip-flop Hub – This bike comes with a flip-flop hub which means it can be ridden both as a fixie and as a single-speed bike. You can choose by flipping the rear wheel.
- Rims – It has 700c wheels like all road bikes. They’re clad in relatively sleek and narrow tires, perfect for paved city streets.
- Weight – They claim it weighs from 27 to 28 pounds
- Assembly – You have to add pedals, handlebars, and few small things. If you’re not comfortable with it, you can always take it to your local bike shop. It might be crucial if you don’t know how to adjust the derailleur.
- Sizes – Five main sizes. 49 to 61 cm.
Bottom Line: Great bike for this price. Researching this bike led me to think that it is the best bike for an entry-level road bike for under $500. This is a “Starter bike” as they say. And if you compare my reviews with Amazon ones, then you’ll realize the same – it is a great bike for a beginner in 2020.
Related: Best Single-Speed/Track Bikes
- Aluminum frame & carbon fork
- Flip-flop hub
- 700c wheels
- Aero tubes
12. Diamondback – Century 4C
Best endurance road bike!
MSRP $1,900 Diamondback
Diamondback is well-known for producing some of the best road bikes on the market and offering them for very competitive prices. They’ve done it again with the Diamondback Century 4C, by developing a full-carbon road bike for less than $2,000. You can try to look further, but it will be difficult to find a better bike for that money anywhere else.
Century 4C is painted in gloss burgundy, which looks elegant and sleek. At first glance, it looks more like a high-end than a mid-priced bike, and even at a second glance, it’s hard not to think that way. Take a look at the specs to find out why. Finding a road bike that weighs only 18 lbs and paying less than $2,000 for it, sounds like an impossible task. That was true before Diamondback changed the game.
Now, apart from the low weight, for that price, you’ll get durable Shimano components as well. The dominating groupset on the Century 4C is Shimano Tiagra, which you can see on the derailleurs and shifters. This is not a high-end groupset, but it will get you where you need to be. It’s known to have a good money-value ratio and to shift seamlessly in most conditions. Moreover, it will be shifting through 20 speeds in total, on a 2×10 drivetrain that has 50/34 teeth on the crank, and an 11-32T cassette. The lightweight construction and the 32 teeth on the cassette mean that you will be able to conquer even the steepest hills.
- Full carbon frame & fork
- Shimano Tiagra components
- Disc brakes
To wrap it up, the best road bike for under $500 is the Retrospec Drome V3. It’s been one of the best-selling fixie bikes in this category and is worth a look. If you got into cycling for training and you’re looking for a bicycle that can support your workout regime, you should consider buying the Tommaso Monza. This bike will get you in shape and easily keep you fit!
Those who want to hop on the gravel bandwagon should consider Giant Revolt Advanced 3. If you are planning to ride centuries or Gran Fondos, Revolt will be your best friend. Roadies who are results-oriented should look for the Diamondback Century 4C – a hard value to beat, in our opinion. By investing a little extra $, you can get the upgraded version 5C Carbon, which has even better components for just $2.1k. Those two picks are definitely some of the best-looking bikes on the market!
Do you only want crème de la crème in life and that moto extends to cycling? Then you should buy Trek Domane SL 6. It comes with carbon all-around and high-end Shimano components!