Road bikes aren’t cheap. It’s something that many people looking to take up cycling realize immediately, and that reality can be gut-wrenching, to put it mildly.
There are many reasons why road bikes cost as much as $2000.
Unlike in the past, there’s a lot of investment that goes into researching the designs, there’s heavy incorporation of technology, and then there’s the market economics to consider. All these and more will ultimately have an impact on the final retail price.
Reconciling the high prices and the purported features is where things get tricky because people love to see the value for their money. Finding an affordable bike that meets most of your needs is a challenge.
This is a detailed list of road bicycles under $2000, their strengths and weaknesses, and the things you need to consider when purchasing a road bike for yourself.
- At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Road Bikes Under $2000
- Top 7 Best Road Bikes Under $2000 2020 – Our Reviews:
- What to Consider when Buying a Road Bike?
- Side Note: The Deal with Pedals
- The Bottom Line
At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Road Bikes Under $2000
If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the road bicycles under $2000 that most people buy).
- Kestrel Talon X Ultegra Top Pick
- Co-op Cycles ARD 1.4 Runner-up
- Diamondback Century 4C Runner-up
Top 7 Best Road Bikes Under $2000 2020 – Our Reviews:
1. Kestrel Talon X Ultegra
This Kestrel was the first aero road bike that ever hit the market, and it was well-received by bike enthusiasts around the world. It’s a tri-speed bike with a $1,999 price point designed for decathletes and triathletes, but can still be repurposed for normal rides on any terrain.
It comes with a pair of sturdy wheels made from Oval Concept 527 and is supported by a 24-spoke rear wheel rim. The frame weighs about 18 pounds and is crafted out of the proprietary Super Light 800k modulus fiber from Kestrel.
The gears in this model are the Shimano Ultegra that packs about 11 speeds. The brakes also are equipped with Shimano Ultegra STI calipers that give the rider complete control of their high responsive functionalities.
- Adjustable and versatile
- 11-speed gears
- Brakes with great stopping power
- You’ll have to assemble it yourself
- Still heavier than similar models in the same price range
2. Co-op Cycles ARD 1.4
The Co-op Cycles ARD 1.4 is the bargain bike on this list; the features and the price point considered. It’s the ultimate all-road king that can handle asphalt, normal roads, mountain terrains, gravel, and just about any road that you can think of.
The fast-rolling Clement tires are huge but can hit amazing speeds, thanks to the quick acceleration provided by the bike’s Shimano 105 drivetrain gears. The high-grade alloy wheelsets are super responsive, and they play a big role in giving the bike its ability to reach top speeds very quickly.
The bike’s frame is in two options, aluminum, and carbon; each option comes with a customized carbon fork that takes the edge out of bumpy rides for a smoother and comfortable experience.
The disc brakes are crafted from Shimano hydraulics and are pretty decent; they give the cyclist ample control to pull split-second maneuvers on any surface. The rear brakes have an internal cable routing while the front derailleur is routed externally.
- Handles all types of roads
- Quality wheelsets
- Reliable and durable tires
- A strong aluminum frame/carbon frame and fiber fork
- Powerful Shimano 105 gears
- You have to buy pedals separately
3. Diamondback Century 4C
The Diamondback Century 4C is a unicorn in the bike world. With a $1,699 price point, It’s one of the few bikes that come with a high-tech carbon fiber frame and fork while being mightily affordable at the same time.
This is the best road bike for long-distance riding thanks to the blending of Enhanced Performance Geometry and the reliable full carbon fiber in the bikes’ frame to make it not just durable but strong enough to support huge weights.
The Century 4C has a tall headset that allows for an upright position when riding, providing the kind of comfort you’d need if you’re going for a long ride.
However, compared to other Diamondback models, the Century 4C comes with an inferior Shimano Tiagra groupset; the positive side of this is that you can always upgrade it later on.
- High-performance bike
- Reliable Tekro Lyra disc brakes
- Good for beginners
- Cheap, all features considered
- Strong carbon fiber frames with a fork
- Inferior gears
4. Giant Defy Advanced 3
The bike is designed for conquering mountains and tricky terrains. It’s an endurance road bike that offers quick acceleration on roads that most of the other bikes would struggle to navigate.
A stand out feature of the bike is its unique D-Fuse, a shock absorption technology employed in the handlebars and the saddle that takes care of the shocks the bike receives when speeding over bumpy roads.
The tires are wide for comfort, while the frame used is the Advanced-Grade Composite. The bike has Shimano 105 drivetrain 11-speed gears and Shimano hydraulic disc brakes.
- Strong frame
- Great handling
- Powerful Shimano 105 hydraulic disc brakes
- The tires wear out fast
- The wheels are heavy
5. Cannondale Synapse AL Disc Tiagra Bike
This bike, almost similar to the Synapse Alloy 105 BBQ, is the best endurance bike you’ll ever find below $2,000. Sporting Shimano Tiagra gears with 10 speeds, this is the kind of bike you hit the road with when you want to see how far you can go when pushing your limits.
The bike is reliable, smooth on the road, and lightweight, with a comfortable riding position that allows you to stay on the bike for long without feeling tired or your hands going numb.
The wheels used on the bike are the robust 28 cm Vittoria Zafiro 700X tires with a low-rolling resistance and an excellent grip. The SmartForm C2 aluminum alloy frame is equipped with carbon blade forks for extra strength.
The Cannondale Synapse AL Disc Tiagra bike also has Promax Decoder R disc brakes that are highly responsive with one of the best stopping powers of any bike in this price range. The mechanical disc brakes can perform optimally even in tricky weather conditions.
- The aluminum frame looks stunning
- An efficient braking system
- Can handle rough terrain
- Comes in many sizes
- Uses quality Shimano Tiagra gears
- Doesn’t come with pedals
- Handlebars can be a little uncomfortable at times
6. BEIOU 700C Road Bike
As far as workout bikes go, the BEIOU 700C Road Bike is what you should be looking at if keeping fit is the reason you are taking up cycling.
With a $1,599 price point, this entry-level bike is almost made entirely out of carbon fiber, from the frame, the fork, the drop bar, and the seat post. This design makes it one of the lightest road bikes for under 2000 dollars.
The bike also features Shimano components in its gear system.
A Shimano 105 11-speed gear gives it the acceleration it needs to eat up any terrain without breaking a sweat. The Shimano 105 5800 C-Brake then gives you all the power you need to bring into a stop as quickly as possible in any weather condition.
All features considered, the BEIOU could be the best full carbon frame road bike on this list.
- Quality Shimano 105 brakes and gears
- Aerodynamic design
- Offered in different sizes
- Durable carbon frame
- Has a carbon fork
- The derailleur isn’t that good
- There have been complaints about the quality of the frame
7. SAVADECK Carbon Road Bike
Equipped with 18-speed Shimano gears, a full carbon fiber fork frame, and powerful brakes, and an amazing $1,199 price point, the SAVADECK Carbon Road Bike isn’t just stunning to the eyes; it’s a beast on the road and a teddybear on the hands.
Everything about this entry-level bike, from the wind tunnel to the seat post, the seat tube, and the top tube, is ergonomically crafted to maximize comfort. The head tube is tapered to raise the torsion rigidity while providing you with the best bike handling.
The Michelin 25C tires give the bike low resistance that makes it easy for you to accelerate quickly.
The carbon frame is super strong with virtually no weaknesses; you’ll have to really mishandle the bike for the frame to register even the slightest damage.
The bike has powerful V-brakes for that instant stop, giving you more control on the road when dealing with unexpected obstacles.
- Quality Shimano parts
- Durable and strong
- Equipped with reliable shifting gears
- Free pedals
- Brakes with good stopping power
- The free pedals are flimsy
- Needs to be assembled and fine-tuned
- The tires don’t maintain pressure for long
What to Consider when Buying a Road Bike?
A road bike with a $1000-$2000 price point is still beyond the budget for most people who may want to take on cycling. However, when you consider the features some of these bikes have to offer, then it becomes a good deal in the long run.
That said, before walking into a bike shop, there are some things you have to know beforehand.
The material used to make the frame will determine the bike’s weight and, ultimately, the speed. The most common materials used for bike frames include:
- Steel: They’re durable, comfortable, and don’t cost much. The only downside to using steel as a frame material is the weight; it’s one of the heaviest metals around. It’s also prone to tarnishing and rusting.
- Aluminum: Aluminum frames are light, don’t rust or tarnish, and are the most preferred frames for a race bike. They have been in use for ages and continue to evolve as time goes by. A good number of the best road bikes use aluminum frames.
- Titanium: Titanium has the best qualities of aluminum and steel without most of its drawbacks. It’s as light as aluminum frames but stronger than steel. The only reason why it isn’t used that much is its high price.
- Carbon Fiber: Carbon fiber is another alternative that offers durability while weighing less than all the other three materials. The biggest advantage that carbon has over the others is that it’s easy to mold into any shape during production.
This is the engine of your bike, so you’ll need to pay very close attention to what you go for.
For the best endurance bikes, there are three main brands to choose from; it can either be Shimano, SRAM, or Campagnolo. Most bikes allow swapping, but if you don’t know much about drivetrains, always ask the shop, and you’ll be given a more detailed visual explanation.
Once you have identified the best drivetrains, give the bike a trial run to get the feel of it.
Wheels are designed for specific terrains and purposes. There are wheels for long rides, for race bikes, for short commutes, for rough terrains like mountains, and a host of other types.
They all come in different sizes and thicknesses. Figure out why you’re getting a road bike, be it an adventure or a commuter bike, then get a set of wheels in line with that purpose.
Rim brakes are crucial, and getting ones that work when needed will be the difference between a good ride and a road disaster.
When it comes to disc brakes, you can’t make decisions based on appearances or word of mouth; you’ll have to conduct a test drive to get the feel of it.
Some bikes come with pedals, and some have to be bought separately.
A majority of basic road bikes come with kit pedals attached, which are never that good anyway. For the high-end bikes, the pedals are sold separately.
Some riders have no problem spending extra on pedals.
Just like clothes, bikes have to be the right fit.
Wearing bigger or smaller clothes will get the job done, but you’ll be forfeiting comfort. In the same way, the bike size has to be in line with your body size.
If you’re heavy and tall, a bike with thicker wheels and a broad saddle is the better fit, and vice versa.
You’ll need to test the bike physically to get the general feel of the bike and to determine if it’s comfortable enough for you.
Does the bike allow upgrades? Are those road bike upgrades limited to one brand, or everything goes?
Is it easy to find accessories locally?
These are some of the questions you need to ask yourself for every bike model that catches your attention.
Some bike parts like gears and pedals break down faster than the rest because they are used the most. When that happens, you have to be able to replace them without forking out a lot of money.
Side Note: The Deal with Pedals
Why would a $2,000 bike come without pedals?
That’s the question ringing in your head as you go through this article, and you deserve to know the answers. From a buyer’s perspective, especially a beginner cyclist, it simply doesn’t make sense to spend that kind of money on a bike that doesn’t have something as vital as pedals.
Many brands in the bike manufacturing industry have attempted to justify the omission of pedals on their bikes by giving two reasons.
The first one is that selling pedals separately is done on the assumption that the buyer has a specific type of pedals they would want, so they’re giving them the freedom to handle that part themselves.
The second reason is that by disregarding pedals, the manufacturer can focus on other high-end parts of the bike to give riders a wholesome experience.
To be honest, these reasons simply don’t cut it with most riders.
This is like selling a phone at its full price without a battery or a car without wheels. In simple terms, if bike manufacturers can figure out the right type of bike parts as complicated as gears, then they have the ability to figure out the right set of pedals without any input from the buyer.
The Bottom Line
Finding the most suitable road bike under $2000 isn’t easy, but it can be done. Cycling is one of the few activities where you can combine a good workout with unlimited fun, but all that hinges on your ability to find the right bike.
The searching process can be exhausting, so I have prepared this extensive list to act as a guide. There are countless road bikes under $2 000 out there worth looking at, but the rules are the same.