Best road bikes under £2,000 for 2018

Our pick of the top endurance and race bikes for under two grand

We'd all love to ride pro-level superbikes, but budget tends to dictate otherwise. Don't despair though — it's 2018 and the best road bikes under £2,000 are seriously good.

We've rounded up the best sportive bikes, endurance machines and racers for your delectation.

If £1,000–£2,000 is a little rich for your blood, head over to our best road bikes under £1,000 article, but if you can stretch your budget a little, there are some fantastic options in our round-up of bikes under £2,500.

If you need some help with what to look for in a road bike, read out our comprehensive guide here, and watch our video primer below.

Although this list features women's specific models, you can check out our top 9 women's road bikes too, priced from £999.

Road bike buyer's guide — what you need to know

Which bike should I buy?

Plenty of great bikes fall into the £1,000–£2,000 price range. So many in fact, that picking one can be quite a headache. If your budget stretches up to £2K, you will be spoilt for choice so you really need to have a clear idea of what you want.

Generally speaking, endurance bikes will offer a more relaxed, upright riding position
Generally speaking, endurance bikes will offer a more relaxed, upright riding position

The main thing to bear in mind is that while all the road bikes in this price bracket are suitable for any type of tarmac-related riding, they start to become more tailored to specific purposes — branching off down either the sportive/endurance or racing route.

Generally speaking, at this price weights will drop and you may start to see some features that have trickled down from the bikes ridden by the pros. Aero optimisation, for instance, whether it be the shape of the frame’s tubes, the position of the brakes or the depth of the rims. You can also expect a higher grade of materials and components.

Carbon is more common but there’s still a place for aluminium at these sorts of prices. In fact, the best aluminium frames are considerably better than some of the entry-level carbon options. 

These days, good aluminium is often better than cheap carbon
These days, good aluminium is often better than cheap carbon

Whatever you go for, it can be worth prioritising the frame over the components at this price, as doing so will give you a great platform that can be upgraded with better parts as the ones supplied wear out.

Read on for summaries and reviews of the best road bikes under £2,000. 

This article was last updated in May 2018.

Cannondale CAAD12 105

BikeRadar score5/5

The Cannondale CAAD12 is an example of just how good alloy bikes can be
The Cannondale CAAD12 is an example of just how good alloy bikes can be

  • One of the best aluminium frames on the market, better than cheap carbon
  • Wonderful handling, composed and smooth ride
  • Good, if unremarkable spec

The CAAD12 105 was our Bike of the Year in 2016, and the current version has barely changed.

Cannondale is the master of aluminium and the Smartform C1 6069 frame is one of the best out there, outperforming budget carbon and giving mid-range stuff a run for its money too.

It’s matched to a super-light full carbon fork, and while the build isn’t exactly generous, there are no big misses.

Giant TCR Advanced 1 (2017)

BikeRadar score5/5

The TCR is still one of the best all-round race bikes
The TCR is still one of the best all-round race bikes

  • £1,775
  • Affordable version of one of the best all-round race bikes
  • 2018 model gets Ultegra R8000 for just £25 more

The Giant TCR has gone through many iterations and it is deservedly still ranked among the most capable, rounded race bikes.

It’s smooth and comfortable but properly racy, and Giant is generous with the spec too. The 2017 bike got more or less full Ultegra 6800, while the 2018 model gets the latest Ultegra R8000.

Giant TCR Advanced 2

BikeRadar score5/5

The 105-equipped TCR is phenomenal value for money
The 105-equipped TCR is phenomenal value for money

  • £1,449
  • BikeRadar’s Road Bike of the Year 2018 is an amazing performer and great value for money
  • Rim brake model gets full 105 groupset and is set up tubeless out of the box

The Giant TCR has been around seemingly forever and each successive generation has impressed us. This particular bike took top honours in our 2018 Bike of the Year mega-test.

The Advanced 2 model gets a really nice carbon frame and a more-or-less full Shimano 105 groupset.

It’s a wonderfully lively ride that manages to be quite comfortable too. As a bonus, its wheels are set up tubeless out of the box.

Cannondale CAAD12 Ultegra

BikeRadar score4.5/5

The Cannondale CAAD12 is a benchmark for aluminium bikes
The Cannondale CAAD12 is a benchmark for aluminium bikes

  • £1,900
  • Top spec rim brake version of Cannondale’s universally loved alloy racer
  • Ultegra R8000 with Mavic Aksium wheels

The CAAD12’s alloy frameset is one of the best on the market and whatever the build it doesn’t disappoint.

The top spec version gets the latest Ultegra bits and Mavic Aksium wheels, plus Cannondale’s own rather tasty Hollogram Si cranks.

It’s never going to be a cosseting endurance ride, but the CAAD12 remains an outstanding choice thanks to fantastic power transfer and racy handling.

Canyon Endurace AL 7.0/8.0

BikeRadar score4.5/5

The Canyon Endurace AL 7.0 is fantastic value for money
The Canyon Endurace AL 7.0 is fantastic value for money

  • £1,074
  • Engaging ride
  • Great value for money
  • Accomplished but understated

It's not the most exciting thing to look at, but the Endurace AL is one of our favourite entry-level bikes because it combines a flawless spec with outstanding ride quality. 

You get a full Shimano Ultegra groupset, apart from the chain, along with Mavic's trustworthy Aksium wheelset shod in the finest Continental rubber. 

Relaxed geometry means this isn't a racer, but it manages to be both lively and remarkably comfortable. 

Canyon has made some changes to its line-up for 2018 and the current Endurace AL 8.0 is the direct equivalent of the old 7.0. The new bike costs £1,199 and gets Shimano's latest Ultegra R8000 groupset. If that's too rich for your blood, the 105-equipped AL 7.0 costs £999

There's also a disc version which is one of our favourite affordable disc bikes

Canyon Endurace WMN CF SL Disc 7.0

BikeRadar score4.5/5

The new Canyon Endurace WMN features women's specific geometry
The new Canyon Endurace WMN features women's specific geometry

  • £1,799
  • Comfy, versatile endurance bike designed for women
  • Two smallest sizes get 650b wheels to keep handling consistent across range

Where Canyon previously offered women’s bikes that shared frames with their unisex counterparts, the latest WMN range has its own geometry, along with finishing kit that is entirely tailored to female riders.

In its two smallest sizes (XXXS and XXS) the Endurace WMN comes with smaller-than-standard 650b wheels, which are intended to keep handling consistent across the range.

The Canyon is a comfortable endurance machine with a handsome carbon frame, 105 shifting, RS505 hydraulic levers and decent DT Swiss wheels.

Cube Attain GTC Pro

BikeRadar score4.5/5

The Cube Attain GTC Pro looks sharp in 2017 colours
The Cube Attain GTC Pro looks sharp in 2017 colours

  • £1,699
  • Full Shimano 105 groupset with hydraulic brakes
  • Frame design blends stiffness with comfort
  • High-quality, own-brand components

The disc Attain follows the latest trends with oversized head and down tubes, a beefy bottom bracket, and slender dropped chainstays. 

The Attain offers an intoxicating blend of stiffness and give on the road — it's one we really rather like. 

For 2018, the Attain GTC's closest equivalent is the Attain GTC Race Disc, which throws in Ultegra R8000 derailleurs, swaps to a non-series crank, and gets Mavic wheels in place of the Fulcrums. 

Cube Agree C:62 Pro

BikeRadar score4.5/5

The Agree sits at the racier end of 'endurance'
The Agree sits at the racier end of 'endurance'

  • £1,999
  • Quirky looking carbon machine is at the racy end of ‘endurance’
  • 2018 bike gets Ultegra R8000 for £100 more

The Agree is pitched as an endurance race bike and in geometry terms it’s more race than endurance.

It offers a lively and comfortable ride, plus a solid build with Ultegra components and Mavic Cosmic Elite wheels. The 2018 bike gets the latest R8000 Ultegra groupset in place of 6800.

Giant TCR Advanced 1 Disc

BikeRadar score4.5/5

The Giant TCR Advanced 1 Disc offers racy handling and disc brake confidence
The Giant TCR Advanced 1 Disc offers racy handling and disc brake confidence

  • £1,999
  • Aggressive racer with discs
  • Ultegra shifting with RS505 hydraulic brakes

The TCR has long been something of a benchmark for race bikes, and the Advanced 1 Disc carries on the tradition of being incredibly capable.

As well as a top notch carbon frame, this spec gets you Shimano Ultegra shifting (upgraded to R8000 for 2018), along with lumpy-but-effective RS505 hydraulic brakes.

The fit will be too aggressive for some, but if it suits then the TCR won’t disappoint.

Giant TCR Advanced 3

BikeRadar score4.5/5

The Giant TCR Advanced 3 offers huge upgrade potential
The Giant TCR Advanced 3 offers huge upgrade potential

  • £1,199
  • Thrillingly responsive front end
  • Rigid frame with a racy feel
  • Ideal platform that won’t be eclipsed by upgraded components

The TCR Advanced 3 may only get 10-speed Shimano Tiagra, but the trade-off is a great frame whose responsiveness puts to shame plenty of bikes costing as much.

Tiagra's brakes aren't quite as good as 105, but the shifting is on par and there's a good spread of gears on offer.  

Overall, this is a seriously impressive machine that offers racy geometry without being too extreme. It's also very upgrade worthy, a great place to start. 

Kinesis Racelight 4S Disc

BikeRadar score4.5/5

The Racelight 4S Disc is well suited to UK riding
The Racelight 4S Disc is well suited to UK riding

  • £1,700 (as tested) / £700 (frameset)
  • Versatile all-season road frame takes disc or rim brakes
  • Sold as a frameset, so build is up to you

Kinesis is well known for its cheerfully versatile, UK-friendly bikes and the Racelight 4S Disc continues in that vein.

It’s sold as a frameset so the build is up to you, but our reviewer appreciated the simplicity of a 1x SRAM Apex setup.

Unusually, the 4S accepts both disc and rim brakes. It takes full mudguards too, making it ideal for winter training.

Merida Reacto 5000

BikeRadar score4.5/5

The Reacto 5000 is surprisingly comfy for an aero machine
The Reacto 5000 is surprisingly comfy for an aero machine

  • £2,000
  • Aero racer with great ride quality and handling
  • Ultegra shifting plus a mixture of other components

The more affordable version of the aero Reacto gets Merida’s slightly less aggressive CF2 geometry

There are some compromises on the spec — 105 brakes in place of Ultegra, an FSA crank, somewhat average own-brand wheels — but the Reacto is a solid performer.

It’s surprisingly comfy for an aero bike and stiff enough to climb and sprint well.

Orbea Orca M32

BikeRadar score4.5/5

The Orca M32 carries on a long line of desirable Orbeas
The Orca M32 carries on a long line of desirable Orbeas

  • £1,499
  • Spanish racer with a Campagnolo groupset
  • Refined ride, sharp looks

Orbea’s Orca has been around in various forms for years and it’s always been good.

The relatively affordable M32 variant is kitted out with Campagnolo’s mid-range Centaur groupset and its entry-level Calima wheelset.

Our reviewer didn’t love the FSA bar, but found the ride to be efficient and rewarding. It’s also a bike that looks more expensive than it is.

Ribble R872

BikeRadar score4.5/5

Ribble's R872 offers a lot of bike for the money
Ribble's R872 offers a lot of bike for the money

  • £1,099
  • Fully 105 and a carbon frame for a very good price
  • Firm ride but poised, light and stiff

Now in its third generation, Ribble’s R872 isn’t the most exciting looking thing, but it’s great value for money.

The latest version is stiffer than before and its ride does tend to veer towards the firm, but it’s a capable performer that’s well suited to general club riding, fast sportives and the like.

Rose Pro SL Disc-2000 (Disc 105)

BikeRadar score4.5/5

Rose's affordable disc road bike has a great spec and a really nicely finished alloy frame
Rose's affordable disc road bike has a great spec and a really nicely finished alloy frame

  • £1,197
  • Great all-round ride, excellent spec with proper hydraulic brakes
  • Top notch alloy frame which is better than cheap carbon

Recently renamed the Pro SL Disc 105, Rose’s affordable disc road bike offers a very appealing combination of looks, ride quality and spec.

The alloy frame is particularly well finished for the money and it looks (and rides) better than some cheap carbon bikes.

The lumpy Shimano RS505 shifters are aesthetically challenging but they mean you get proper hydraulic disc brakes. Along with 105 shifting, Mavic Aksium Disc wheels and a full carbon fork, that’s a generous spec for the money.

Trek Domane SL 5

BikeRadar score4.5/5

Now even the more affordable carbon Domane gets front and rear IsoSpeed
Now even the more affordable carbon Domane gets front and rear IsoSpeed

  • £1,900
  • 105-equipped version of Trek’s universally liked endurance bike
  • IsoSpeed bump absorption front and rear smooths out every road

The Trek Domane shook up the world of endurance road bikes with its clever IsoSpeed rear shock absorber.

The latest versions of the bike add front IsoSpeed too, giving a smooth ride on poor roads, one reviewer described it as making 25mm tyres feel like 28s.

The bike isn’t super light and the 105-based spec is good rather than amazing, but the Domane is worthy of consideration for its outstanding ride quality.

Trek Émonda ALR 6

BikeRadar score4.5/5

The Trek Émonda ALR6 is very lightweight and comparable to some carbon frames
The Trek Émonda ALR6 is very lightweight and comparable to some carbon frames

  • £1,600
  • A standout bike regardless of its frame material
  • Comes with a full Shimano Ultegra groupset
  • Nimble, exciting ride

Trek's aluminium Émonda puts cheap carbon to shame with a nimble, assured ride and a total weight of just 7.75kg for our 58cm test bike. 

Shimano's outstanding Ultegra groupset takes care of shifting, while the wheels and finishing kit is all decent stuff from in-house brand Bontrager.

BMC Teammachine SLR03

BikeRadar score4/5

The BMC Teammachine SLR03 offers a near pro bike experience at a more realistic price
The BMC Teammachine SLR03 offers a near pro bike experience at a more realistic price

  • £1,599
  • Racer that benefits from pro bike trickle-down
  • Latest version gets more up-to-date cranks

BMC doesn’t given you as juicy a spec for your money as some brands, but the trade-off is a ride that isn’t as far off the pro-level version of this bike as you’d expect.

The SLR03 has the same geometry as the top-end model and offers a firm, racy ride.

Shimano 105 takes care of shifting, and the (slightly more expensive) 2018 version of this bike comes with four-arm cranks that look far more up-to-date than the non-series ones on our review bike. 

B’Twin Ultra 720 AF / Ultra 920 AF

BikeRadar score4/5

The B'Twin Ultra 720 AF is a lot of bike for the money
The B'Twin Ultra 720 AF is a lot of bike for the money

  • £1,099
  • Great riding alloy with a mind-blowing spec
  • Ultegra groupset, Mavic Cosmic Elite wheelset
  • Latest model does away with silly hidden rear brake

B’Twin is the in-house bike brand of sports giant Decathlon and it produces a number of exceptionally well specced bikes.

The Ultra AF is built around a smart aluminium frame and although it’s not exceptionally light, the ride is exciting and refined.

Ultegra shifting is a huge bonus at this price point, and the Mavic Cosmic Elite wheels cost twice as much as the entry-level hoops typically found on bikes at this price point.

The hidden rear brake was noted as a downside in our review, but the latest model (called the Ultra 920 AF) does away with this. It also gets an upgrade to the latest Ultegra R8000 groupset and an updated version of the Cosmic wheels. The price has increased at the same time, but we reckon it's more than worth the extra. 

Canyon Endurace AL Disc 7.0

BikeRadar score4/5

The disc version of Canyon's Endurace AL has lots to offer
The disc version of Canyon's Endurace AL has lots to offer

  • £1,349
  • Disc version of one of our favourite affordable bikes
  • 105 shifting plus RS505 hydraulic brakes

The Endurace AL has long been a BikeRadar favourite, offering generous specs and great all-rounder performance at an impressively low price.

The latest disc version isn’t quite as good value as some iterations, but it remains a solid choice.

The current model gets those aesthetically unappealing RS505 hydraulic levers, but we’ll doubtless see an update to the more svelte 105 R7000 version in the near future.

Condor Fratello Disc

BikeRadar score4/5

The Fratello is a versatile steel machine that you can tailor to your needs
The Fratello is a versatile steel machine that you can tailor to your needs

  • £849.99 frameset / £1,825 as tested
  • Versatile steel machine ideal for commuting, training and more
  • Sold as a frameset, so build it to suit your riding

Condor has added discs to its versatile all-weather Fratello, a bike that’s ideal for long winter miles, commuting or a bit of light touring thanks to its full mounts for guards and a rack

Sold as a frameset rather than a complete bike, the Fratello uses Columbus Spirit steel, and comes with a carbon-legged fork.

We tested the bike with Shimano 105 and TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes, but you can build it however you like.

It’s a ride that provides plenty of feedback without being harsh or aggressive

Eastway Zener D1

BikeRadar score4/5

The Eastway Zener D1 offers a lot of bike for your money
The Eastway Zener D1 offers a lot of bike for your money

  • £1,440
  • Great value for money
  • Hydraulic disc brakes and a full Ultegra groupset
  • An endurance/sportive bike with a fairly aggressive position

Top of the Zener range, the D1 offers a huge spec for the money with Shimano Ultegra shifting and RS685 hydraulic levers with matching disc brakes. 

The finishing kit is tidy Ritchey stuff while the wheels are quality DT Swiss items, ripe for tubeless conversion. 

It's not the most exciting ride, but the Zener D1 is a very competent distance machine that offers great value for money. 

Focus Paralane AL 105

BikeRadar score4/5

The Focus Paralane AL is a comfy all-weather machine
The Focus Paralane AL is a comfy all-weather machine

  • £1,499.99
  • Versatile aluminium distance machine with relaxed geometry
  • 105 shifting with RS505 hydraulic discs
  • Likeable all-rounder only undermined by sub-par mudguards

The Paralane is built for comfort over long distances, with modern frame design and a super skinny seatpost for compliance.

It’s fairly well specced, with proper hydraulic brakes for all-weather performance and 105 shifting.

The bike ships with mudguards as standard, but we found them disappointingly noisy, the only real flaw in an otherwise excellent bike.

Neil Pryde Bura 105

BikeRadar score4/5

The Neil Pryde Bura 105 is a proper racer
The Neil Pryde Bura 105 is a proper racer

  • £1,650
  • Race-ready carbon with 105
  • Second tier version of Bura SL superbike

The Bura SL is a bona-fide superbike with a price tag to match, but for a whole lot less money the Bura is a worthy alternative, with a frame weighing just a couple of hundred grams more.

The Bura is stiff and exciting, and it’s built with a decent Shimano 105 spec and perfectly acceptable Fulcrum wheels.

We’ve got no idea why Neil Pryde has fitted skinny 23mm tyres, but it’s a small thing that’s easily changed.

Orro Terra Gravel Road

BikeRadar score4/5

The Orro Terra is a do-it-all machine
The Orro Terra is a do-it-all machine

  • £1,199.99
  • Gravel/all-roader that’s ideal for commuting too
  • Big spec with Shimano 105 shifting, TRP Spyre disc brakes, Fulcrum wheels and 3T finishing kit

Orro is distributor i-ride’s in-house brand, and its bikes are designed with UK riding in mind.

The Terra has mounts to take a rack and mudguards, and clearances for tyres up to a huge-by-road-standards 42mm.

Cable disc brakes aren’t as good as hydraulics, but the TRP Spyres are the best of the breed and offer confident all-weather stopping.

Rose Xeon CWX

BikeRadar score4/5

The Xeon CWX is amazing value for money
The Xeon CWX is amazing value for money

  • £2,395 as reviewed, now £1,768.29
  • Aero racer with full Ultegra disc groupset
  • Now even cheaper than before

Previously called the Xeon CWX 3000 and built with Ultegra 6800 components, this aero machine from German brand Rose now comes with Shimano’s latest R8000 components and it’s actually cheaper than it was last year.

The Xeon’s ride is on the firm side, but it’s responsive and eager, making it well suited to riders who want to go fast all the time.

Scott Addict 30 Disc

BikeRadar score4/5

Scott's Addict range has switched from racing to endurance
Scott's Addict range has switched from racing to endurance

  • £1,899
  • Endurance disc bike with Tiagra hydraulics
  • Not light, but ride quality is excellent

The Addict name used to apply only to hardcore race bikes it’s not used on endurance models like this one.

The Addict 30 Disc is a plush machine with 32mm tyres that smooth out the worst roads.

With Tiagra-level hydraulics it’s not particularly light, but the Addict makes up for it with impressive comfort and impeccable descending manners.

Specialized Tarmac Sport

BikeRadar score4/5

The Specialized Tarmac Sport offers a very balanced ride
The Specialized Tarmac Sport offers a very balanced ride

  • £1,700
  • Optimised design, so ride feel remains the same regardless of size
  • Balanced ride with quick steering response
  • Excellent tyres, bar tape and saddle

The launch of the latest range-topping SL6 Tarmac means the more affordable SL4 doesn't look like the pro bike anymore, but it remains a strong contender thanks to a truly balanced ride and a decent, if unremarkable spec. 

Specialized gives you 105 shifting, understated Praxis cranks and own-brand wheels and finishing kit. 

We weren't great fans of the own-brand brakes on our test bike, but the 2018 version gets Shimano Tiagra calipers instead. These are stiffer, although the one-piece pads are acceptable rather than great. 

Trek Émonda SL 5 Women's

BikeRadar score4/5

Trek's Emonda range focusses on light weight as opposed to aero
Trek's Emonda range focusses on light weight as opposed to aero

  • £1,800
  • Unisex frame gets women’s specific finishing kit
  • 105 groupset plus in-house finishing kit

Trek has abandoned women’s specific geometry in favour of unisex frames and gender-specific contact points.

The Émonda SL 5 is a lightweight climber’s bike that leans towards the racy end of the spectrum.

It’s a firm ride, but one that’s well suited to go-fast riding. The 105-based spec is decent for the money and while there’s plenty of scope for future upgrades, it’s well enough equipped out of the box.

Viner Maxima RS 4.0

BikeRadar score4/5

Viner's Maxima RS 4.0 has a properly light frame for the money
Viner's Maxima RS 4.0 has a properly light frame for the money

  • £2,000
  • Light, stiff, and quick handling with a claimed 795g carbon frame
  • Now available for the same price with Ultegra R8000

The Maxima is a proper lightweight climber that offers an exciting, responsive ride at a good price.

It’s a feathery machine even with the heavy Shimano wheels on this build, and Planet X now offers the bike with Shimano’s latest Ultegra R8000 groupset for the same money.

Vitus Vitesse Evo Disc

BikeRadar score4/5

The Vitus Vitesse Evo Disc offers bags of value with a carbon frame, Ultegra shifting and hydraulic discs
The Vitus Vitesse Evo Disc offers bags of value with a carbon frame, Ultegra shifting and hydraulic discs

  • £1,999.99
  • Racy online-only carbon with Ultegra shifting, RS685 hydraulic levers, FSA Vision Team 30 wheels
  • Indifferent paintjob made up for by fast, fun ride and huge spec

The Vitus Vitesse Evo Disc is a pretty average looking bike, but it makes up for it with a generous spec and a ride that’s racy and rewarding.

The RS685 levers are a lot less lumpy than the RS505s found on many bikes at this price point, and Ultegra shifting is always welcome. While it’s on the firm side and it’s not particularly light, the Vitus soaks up road buzz effectively and handles sweetly.

The 2018 Vitesse Evo CR Disc is a good chunk more expensive, but it gets an upgrade to Ultegra R8000.

Matthew Allen

Senior Technical Writer, UK
Former bike mechanic, builder of wheels, hub fetishist and lover of shiny things. Likes climbing a lot, but not as good at it as he looks.
  • Discipline: Road, with occasional MTB dalliances
  • Preferred Terrain: Long mountain climbs followed by high-speed descents (that he doesn't get to do nearly often enough), plus scaring himself off-road when he outruns his skill set.
  • Current Bikes: Scott Addict R3 2014, Focus Cayo Disc 2015, Niner RLT 9
  • Dream Bike: Something hideously expensive and custom with external cables and a threaded bottom bracket because screw you bike industry.
  • Beer of Choice: Cider, please. Thistly Cross from Scotland
  • Location: Bristol, UK

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