10 Best Road Bikes Under $1000 in 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

Cycling, once limited to children and sports enthusiasts, has exploded into the cultural zeitgeist in a big way. An emphasis on reducing vehicular traffic in urban centers coupled with environmental concerns has seen bikes increasing in sales and popularity like never before.

Among the different classes of bikes, road bikes are the ones designed to be used mostly on both paved roads and graveled roads. Whether one wants to take a leisurely ride in the evening or shave off several minutes to get to work early, road bikes are the solution for almost every urban need.

Road bikes under $1000 are best for those starting out in this niche or for those unsure if bikes are something that suits their daily affairs. This price range doesn’t break the bank while simultaneously providing users a comprehensive experience related to the machine.

Below is a list of 10 bestselling road bicycles under $1000. While there are a lot of different bikes that fall under this bracket, these 10 are the best of the best in terms of performance and value.

At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Road Bikes Under $1000

If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the road bicycles under $1000 that most people buy).

  • Specialized Allez Top Pick
  • Trek Domane AL 2 Runner-up
  • Tommaso Sterrata Adventure Road Bike Runner-up

Top 10 Best Road Bikes Under $1000 2020 – Our Reviews:

1. Specialized Allez

To call the Allez the perfect entry-level road bike wouldn’t be an understatement at all. Housing an aluminum frame with components from a variety of third parties, the Allez Elite provides perfect performance for its cost.

More expensive models of the Allez include Shimano Tiagra whose performance is unmatched. Here, however, the Shimano Claris 8 speed groupset, save for its chain set and brakes, is present.

For an entry-level bike, the presence of Claris rather than Shimano Tiagra doesn’t affect performance.

The bike looks beautiful as well, with its dark gray color being easy on the eyes. The tubeless wheels perform great and the new toupe provides added comfort on uneven tracks.

The Allez may even be called a mountain bike, owing to the plethora of features it houses in its sturdy frame.

Costing only $840, these bikes are perfectly suited for those trying to ditch their cars to save time or for those wanting just a bit of speed and fun on the weekend.

Pros

  • Great power and maneuverability
  • Looks stylish
  • Perfect road bike all around

Cons

  • None; bike provides performance in line with its cost

2. Trek Domane AL 2

The second-best machine on this list is the AL 2 from Trek.

Trek has had decades of experience in developing a variety of bikes, each of them suitable for specific demographics. In line with their illustrious history, they don’t disappoint with the Domane AL 2. 

Butted aluminum comprises the whole frame and fork from the head tube to the chainstay. The choice of metal ensures that the whole bike weighs only 10 kg and vibrations while traveling on rough surfaces are avoided through the induction of carbon forks at each end.

Since the bike isn’t difficult to customize, veteran bike enthusiasts can easily swap out the original components for alternatives that they prefer for a more authentic and powerful biking experience.

Since this bike employs the entry-level Shimano Sora 9 speed groupset, newbies will find it perfect for starting out and exploring as well. The bike performs well in a variety of environments due to a multitude of Shimano gears that aid movement and speed.

Anyone who wants to dip his or her toe in gravel road bikes would find the Domane AL 2 to be a perfect fit for their riding needs.

Pros

  • Easy on the wallet
  • Lightweight
  • Dependable performance
  • Shimano Sora 9 speed groupset for newbies

Cons

  • Professionals may not love its entry-level specs and would want to swap them out

3. Tommaso Sterrata Adventure Road Bike

The Tommaso Sterrata provides fantastic value for money in a compact, cool black body and thus cements itself as one of the best entry-level road bikes I have tried.

The frame of the bike is light owing to aluminum being used and the Shimano Claris 8 speed groupset ensures high-end performance in a variety of riding conditions.

Tommaso knows that bikers despise vibrations on uneven surfaces. Since these vibrations are carried across the structure by the metal frame, dampening has been introduced through a carbon fiber fork.

Therefore, no vibrations reach the biker’s hands or body.

Tommaso goes a step further and provides disc brakes from Tektro Lyra—offering high stopping power that comes in handy in a variety of high-speed situations.

With a retail price of around $970, Tommaso Sterrata proves to be a high-performance bike at an affordable cost. These bikes can be taken almost anywhere without a second thought and are perfect for both driving around the neighborhood or exploring a nearby off-beaten track. 

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • High performance
  • Great value for money

Cons

  • Only one color scheme available

4. Giant Contend 3

Giant Contend bikes are arguably one the largest bike companies in the world and their Contend 3 is certainly an interesting entry-level road bike, perfect for road cyclists vying to improve their biking experience at an affordable cost. 

Built on a graded aluminum frame and fork, the Contend 3 provides room for customization. Larger size tires can be fitted in according to one’s desire and the Shimano Sora 9 speed driveset guarantees great performance in the most extreme of circumstances.

The Giant Contend’s endurance geometry enables the rider to comfortably fit either in an upright position or an arched forward riding position for any duration of the journey on the road.

Further comfort is provided by the D-fuse seat which prevents vibrations from traveling up to the body while providing ease of use over long distances. This improves the comfort level significantly.

Contend 3 has Tektro D-177 brakes which provide great stopping power across a variety of surfaces.

The bike is lightweight too, weighing only 9.6 kg. This makes it easy to handle and store.

Costing just over the $700 price point, Giant Contend 3 provides the bang for the buck and we found it the perfect bike for riders who wish to ditch their training wheels and move on to something more exciting.

Pros

  • Lightweight at only 9.6 kg
  • Superior performance across a variety of surfaces
  • Shimano Sora 9 speed driveset

Cons

  • Not for professionals

5. Raleigh Merit 2

Retailing for around $980, the Raleigh Merit 2 is among the perfect entry-level road bikes for youth recreation. Built with a complete aluminum frame, the first thing noticeable about the bike is its feathery weight of only 10.6 kg.

This bike turns great and also responds well while climbing or descending steep hills. Part of this is due to the Shimano Sora groupset whose 9-speed gears and mechanical disc brakes provide the rider with full control in such adverse landscapes.

This road bike may require a little bit of work from the support staff before one can put miles on the machine.

However, once I began the journey, the bike felt extremely easy to power up and maneuver. I found it responding to my movements efficiently especially on sharp cuts.

Furthermore, the seat design is great as well, ensuring a comfortable ride on long-distance journeys. Both the material and the design are selected so as to provide comfort to the rider’s crotch area in contact with the seat.

For bikes at such a price point, the Raleigh Merit 2 remains one of the most capable road bikes on this list, providing great specs at an affordable price for travel on paved highways or gravel roads.

Pros

  • Near perfect seat design that makes riding quite comfortable
  • Great performance over long distances
  • Shimano Sora groupset provides significant power and maneuverability

Cons

  • A little bit pricey at $980

6. Roll 1 AR

Among road bikes under 1 000 that work equally well on paved and unpaved surfaces, Roll 1 AR may be one of the more affordable ones. Costing only a dollar under 1000 dollar price point, this bike is built for road cycling and adventures alike.

Multiple racks at different parts of the frame provide ample area to house accessories and luggage while the butted aluminum frame ensures that the bike remains lightweight.

The Roll 1 AR bike has Shimano 105 drive trains that provide dependable performance in various topographies. The 9-speed drive train ensures smooth travel on most surfaces providing the required power for the biker to take this beast to its limits. 

The road bike’s frame geometry enables the rider to comfortably fit either in an upright position or arched forward for any duration of the journey, while the carbon fork provides protection against vibration when moving on rough surfaces.

Even though the Roll 1 AR may look a little basic visually, it more than makes up for it by being one of the most dependable bikes that can go just about anywhere for a rider of any size.

Pros

  • Great power transfer
  • Great over long instances of road riding
  • Shimano 105 drive trains provide dependable performance

Cons

  • Stylistically average

7. Raleigh Grand Sport

The second road bike from Raleigh on this list, the Grand Sport is extremely affordable at only $550. Although not an endurance bike, the Grand Sport should be the first choice for novice riders and those just looking for a ride that takes them without hassle from A to B.

Housing the Shimano Sora 9 speed drivetrain, the rider can easily shift the frame to any speed on any surface without any difficulty. In addition, high-quality tires from Clement provide extra grip and disc brakes are also present for added control.

Grand Sport’s frame ensures comfortable body posture and upright riding position which results in less fatigue over long distances. Further support is provided by the drop handlebars which enable the rider to lean downwards.

The carbon fork at both ends of the machine provides protection against vibration on rough surfaces. This makes for a more enjoyable experience in off-road adventures.

While the rest of the bikes at this price are made of aluminum, this one is forged from steel alloy. Although this makes Grand Sport a tad bit heavier, the steel provides excellent resistance against corrosion and won’t fail even after a crushing impact against any hard surface. 

As far as cheap road bikes go, the Grand Sport is one of the best.

Pros

  • Extremely affordable
  • 9-speed Shimano Sora drivetrain ensures unmatched speed and control during cycling

Cons

  • Heavy due to the steel alloy frame

8. Salsa Journeyman Claris 700

The Journeyman Claris 700 is built for adventure and adventure alone as each of its components is designed to survive the repeated wear and tear of the outdoors.

Sporting a bright red design, the bike has the widest tires on the list; 37mm Riddlers provide grip and endurance on paths less taken by the cautious with room available for even wider tires in the design. Therefore, the Claris 700 can even fulfill the role of a mountain bike.

This adventure bike has an aluminum frame for reduced drag and greater maneuverability. This also reduces the bike’s gross weight to just over 11 kg which makes it easy to handle and transport.

The drivetrain, mechanical disc brakes, and related components are Shimano Claris, which despite being an entry-level set, provides serious endurance and power on adventurous rides for this road bike. However, this can also easily be swapped with the Shimano Sora set if the Claris proves too powerless for a road bike.

Mechanical disk brakes are a welcome addition in Claris 700 as they make riding downhill easier. This adventure bike retails for around $950.

Pros

  • 37mm tires with room for even wider tires
  • Perfect frame for adventures on off-beaten tracks

Cons

  • Costs a lot considering the presence of entry-level Shimano Claris driveset

9. Co-Op Cycles ADV 2.1

The ADV 2.1 by Co-op Cycles is an entry-level road bike and a very good one at that. Costing just under $1000, ADV 2.1 is great for adventures and city-wide road cycling.

First, the whole bike weighs only 10 kg courtesy of its aluminum frame and carbon fiber fork that keep vibrations from erratic surfaces to a minimum.

The bike’s Kenda Flintridge tires provide the same performance on paved roads as they do on gravel surfaces. Then, the inclusion of Shimano Claris drivetrain into the road bike ensures great performance across a variety of steep and elevated surfaces.

In short, the ADV 2.1 is a lightweight, durable machine capable of providing peak performance on paved and unpaved surfaces equally. With several supports included for luggage, the bike is also suitable for week-long rides into the woods.

Pros

  • Works great on paved or unpaved roads
  • Numerous support points on the frame to carry luggage during riding

Cons

  • A bit on the expensive side at $1000

10. Fuji Sportif 1.9 Disc

Among the best road bikes under 1 000, the Fuji Sportif 1.9 Disc seems like a steal. Packing numerous high-performance features, this bike is sure to ignite the passion for long endurance rides.

A dependable frame made of aluminum alloy instills confidence in the bike’s ability to traverse all topographies. The light frame provides the necessary maneuverability to drive through such terrain.

In addition, the presence of full carbon fork dampers and brake levers improves mobility in rough terrain.

The seat is quite comfortable, meaning users won’t be stopping their rides after every hour to relax or overcome irritation brought on by long hours on the road.

Moreover, Shimano Claris 8 components provide the necessary power to overcome obstacles in a variety of landscapes for this road bike. Disc brakes are also provided for greater stopping power.

Pros

  • Quite comfortable for a road bike
  • Can easily traverse adverse terrain
  • Quite cheap as well for $800

Cons

  • While those starting out may love this frame, pro bikers will not be impressed by its specs

Conclusion

Each bike under 1 000 above is perfect both for those thinking about getting into biking to beat their daily hectic traffic and for those just looking to explore the outdoors in a relaxed and comfortable way.

Overall, selecting from all the bikes on this list, the best road bike would definitely have to be the Specialized Allez. Its frame is jam-packed with features for both on-road and off-road adventures in a very affordable $840.

For those starting out, Giant Contend 3 would be the perfect candidate. Its small weight ensures good maneuverability by all and its low price point of only $700 means a good starting road bike for those willing to dip their toes into this world.

For bikers looking to elevate their experience, the most fitting choice would be Co-Op Cycles ADV 2.1. This road bike provides the necessary speed and frame geometry to elevate the road biking experience to the next level.

Choosing the right road bike is key if one wants the right level of comfort and durability in an affordable price range. The list above will not only give interested parties an idea of what to expect from a bike in this price range but also familiarize them with the specs to check if and when they purchase such a bike.

If you’re a little short on budget though, consider these lists of road bikes under $500 and under $300.