There comes a point in a cyclist’s life when they can justify buying a nice bike. Not just a new bike, but one that represents a real upgrade away from whatever they’re currently riding.
If you’ve hit this point and find yourself browsing new road bikes, then you’re in luck. This article rounds up six of the best road bikes you can get for under £2,000: a price point that opens up a whole new world of performance and engineering precision.
Here’s what we’ll cover:
- How to choose a road bike
- The best road bikes under £2,000
How to choose a road bike
It may be that you’re already familiar with the intricacies of a road bike and you know exactly what you’re looking for. But if not, or if you want a refresher, this section will quickly recap the key points to keep in mind when choosing a road bike.
If you’re buying your first road bike this information will help you make an informed choice and could make the difference between buying a bike you like and one you love.
- Aim light: Whether you're looking to ride a sportive or even race, a light road bike will be of benefit, accelerating faster and quicker at cruising. Aluminium or carbon fibre frames are both great choices.
- Choose versatility: at this price point it may be that you’re thinking about using your bike competitively, but still want something that can function as a commuter, or in more relaxed settings. Choosing a versatile frame lets you switch between uses based on your needs: mudguard and pannier eyelets, for example, let you add or remove these components as and when you need them.
- Consider the components: as you move upward through price points, you gain access to increasingly high-quality components. Look at the individual components - cassettes, derailleurs, gear levers etc - and don’t be afraid to research the specifications of each.
- Don’t rush it: take your time when deciding which bike to buy, and feel free to ask questions. Taking a considered approach to the decision will help you to find a bike that really aligns with your needs, and represents a solid investment rather than an impulse buy.
The 6 best road bikes under £2,000
Our team of road bike experts have hand-picked these bikes from our range. They represent the sweet spot between performance and value, and all come from reputable manufacturers.
Cannondale CAAD Optimo 2 Road Bike 2023
Retail price - £1,150
Starting our list of road bikes under £2,000 is a stunning offering from Cannondale. Here, with the CAAD Optimo 2, you can enjoy a full aluminium frame, which keeps weight down and features specially engineered flex zones to reduce fatigue. Added to this is a carbon fork which reduces feedback from the road.
- The SmartForm C2 aluminium frame keeps the overall weight of the bike lower, contributing to nimble, responsive handling
- SAVE engineered flex zones reduce fatigue when riding over rough surfaces
- Shimano Tiagra 10-speed gears provide crisp shifting
- Rim brakes offer responsive stopping and easier maintenance than disc brake alternatives
- Eyelets on the frame give you the option to add mudguards and reduce splashback
Cannondale CAAD Optimo 1 Road Bike 2023
Retail price from - £1,300
If you want to take another step up through the Cannondale range, CAAD Optimo 1 invites you to do just that. Your extra investment on the Optimo 2 translates to subtle but tangible refinements in riding experience, thanks to better components. The Optimo 1 also comes with a dazzling red paint job that will stand you out from the crowd in any group ride.
- SmartForm C2 aluminium frame with precision butting and double–pass welds to improve responsiveness and reduce ride weight
- Dropped seat stays combine with SAVE flex zones to maximise comfort and reduce shocks when riding uneven terrain - all backed up by the BallisTec full carbon fork
- The Shimano 105 11-speed drivetrain offers improved range over the Optimo 2: perfect if you want to push that little bit harder
- Mudguard eyelets facilitate winter training and rainy commutes, demonstrating this bike’s versatility
- Rim brakes for easier maintenance with no stopping power sacrificed
Orbea Avant H60-D Disc Road Bike 2022
Retail price - £1,349
As well as being a bike that you’ll happily put thousands of miles into, the Avant H60-D is a conversation starter: Orbea runs as a cooperative, meaning the workers have a stake in the company - an unusual occurrence in the biking world. Add to that the sleek aluminium frame and intelligently selected components, and you’ll be the talk of the bunch.
- A hydroformed aluminium frame combines with an Avant carbon fork to keep weight down while optimising handling and responsiveness
- Innovative geometry exemplified by the kinked top tube is designed to maximise rider comfort while retaining a performance riding position
- This bike comes with proven 28mm Vittoria tyres on Orbea Corsa wheels by default, and has clearance for 35mm tyres should your riding style require something a bit more grippy
- Gear and brake cables are routed through the frame for a slicker aesthetic
- Shimano Claris 8-speed gears offer ample gearing for inclines and flat sections
- Disc brakes offer near-instant stopping power to give you a confident ride
Orbea Avant H40-D Disc Road Bike 2022
Retail price from - £1,549
To the untrained eye, this may look exactly the same as the H60-D. But there are differences, and they’re differences that matter. First, the 10-speed Tiagra drivetrain for improved gearing versatility over the H60-D's 8-speed; second, the Shimano Tiagra brake levers in place of the H60-D's Claris ST-R2000. These subtle changes give you that little more bang for your buck when choosing the H-40D.
- Designed for long rides with no loss of comfort or unnecessary fatigue
- Hydroformed aluminium frame with variable thickness tubing and kinked top tube design combines into a compliant and comfortable ride
- A carbon fork reduces vibrations from rough road surfaces while lowering the weight of the bike
- Shimano Tiagra 10-speed gears offer a generous range of movement with seamless shifting, helping you to ride just as hard on long flat sections as on challenging gradients
- 35mm tyre clearance gives you the option to switch out the 28mm Vittoria tyres for something a little wider should your riding style demand it
- Fizik Aliante R5 saddle is hand-picked for comfort over any distance
Specialized Allez E5 Sport Road Bike 2022
Retail price from - £1,250
“Innovate or Die” - this was the motto of Specialized for over 30 years, and it’s an ethos that still sings through their range. This manufacturer is consistently amongst the most popular, and the Allez E5 Sport embodies all the key reasons why: the engineering is sound, the component selection is solid, and performance is at the heart of its design.
- The Specialized Allez E5 brings performance and affordability into perfect harmony, representing a great choice for any rider looking for a reliable, enjoyable road bike
- The E5 is defined by its lightweight frame that keeps weight low while being robust enough to perform
- A FACT carbon fork absorbs road buzz to give you a smooth ride
- Mudguard and pannier mounts let you quickly transform this road bike into a specialised commuter or even a light-tourer: great for the demanding rider
- Shimano Sora R3000 9-speed gear shifters offer precise and controlled shifting
- Rim brakes offer easy maintenance and assured stopping power
Bianchi Via Nirone 7 105 Road Bike 2022
Retail price - £1,879
Bianchi has a well-earned reputation for building beautiful bikes, and the effortlessly classy colour scheme of the Via Nirone 7 105 road bike embodies this perfectly. But this bike is more than skin-deep: the engineering, the components, the price point - all boil down to a road bike that will be a reliable companion for years to come.
- The combination of a lightweight aluminium frame and full carbon fork give this bike a build and weighting that lends itself just as well to sportives as endurance rides
- Shimano 105 11-speed gears offer a broad ratio with seamless shifting
- Shimano WH-RS100 wheels are durable and relatively lightweight for the price
- The aluminium frame keeps weight a forefront consideration, leading to a nimble and responsive bike
- Internal cable routing subtly refines the aesthetic profile of this bike, while keeping your brake and gear cables out of harm’s way
Investing in a new road bike is a joyous moment, whether it’s your first bike or your fifteenth. And taking the time to select a bike that aligns with your aesthetic preferences and your riding style will ensure you feel that joy every time you get on the saddle.
As trends evolve and development cycles progress the selection of bikes will continue to grow, but the bikes in this list are a solid bet for anyone looking for a high-quality, high-performance road bike under £2,000.