You wish to ride a pro bike but your pocket’s not that deep. Is there any way you can somehow find a great bargain?
Worry not — I’ve found the best road bikes under $2000, and they’re all pretty good.
In this article, we’ll explore how you can choose the road bike that’s worth the price, and then review some of the most dependable choices in today’s market.
Let’s get started.
Overview of Top Picks
After reviewing 10 road bikes, these are the 3 best under $2000.
How To Choose the Best Road Bikes Under $2000
Choosing a road bike that satisfies both you and your wallet is more about being really picky. So obviously, you’ll need to consider a few factors before making a purchase.
To help you out, I’ve outlined these factors in question form so you can easily assess a potential bike. Check it out.
1. What Type of Bike Do You Need?
There are many, many types of road bikes, but for the sake of brevity, we’ll tackle two basic ones — the race bike and the endurance bike.
These two differ in terms of geometry, braking, gearing, clearance, and comfort.
In terms of frame geometry, race bikes are fast-handling. Since it’s designed for speed, it would most likely be not as comfortable as an endurance (or long-haul) bike. Nonetheless, a race bike should be able to sprint more quickly.
Meanwhile, race bikes can’t use disc brakes, as imposed by the UCI (Union Cycliste Internationale).
A race bike might not have a lot of clearance either. Its narrower tires are often a necessity in order to achieve a lower rolling resistance, and hence, higher speed.
Endurance bikes feature slacker angles and lower bottom brackets than road bikes. As a result, an endurance bike feels quite more stable.
If you’re just looking for a daily pal or something that can ease you out of heavy traffic, then what you probably need is an endurance bicycle.
Endurance bikes also have wider tires, which tend to bring more comfort to the ride. These bikes allow for more clearance, with numbers that are crunching somewhere around at least 28c.
As for the braking system, endurance bikes have, luckily, no anti-disc-brakes rules to deal with. So, these machines get to suck up to the powerhouse that disc brakes are — versatile for all weather conditions and efficient for all kinds of rides.
2. Is it Going to Be a Good Fit?
The size will always be part of the criteria for assessing whether a road bike is right for you.
Stack and Reach
We often refer to the top tube length for sizing, but that is no longer the real standard, considering the era of curved tubes. What replaces this measurement is the stack and reach.
The stack is a vertical length, while the reach is horizontal. We measure them relative to the bike’s bottom bracket.
A handlebar stack would be the horizontal distance between the bottom bracket and the center of the handlebar.
Meanwhile, a handlebar reach would be the vertical distance between the bottom bracket and the same handlebar’s center.
So, you can actually define a bike’s stack and reach per bike feature, say, the handlebar (as defined above), or the frame (i.e., frame stack and frame reach), or any other location on the bike, or the elbow pad (i.e., elbow pad stack and elbow pad reach).
An aggressive bike frame geometry will usually have a lower stack and a longer reach. This allows you to tilt your body towards the handlebar, and you will be seated in a more race-worthy position (hence the term “aggressive”).
On the other hand, a more relaxed bike geometry will have a higher stack and a shorter reach. This allows your body to be seated in a more upright position, so you’re riding the bicycle like you’re just driving a car and looking at the beautiful scenery around (hence the term “relaxed”).
Fork Offset, Trail and Head Angle
Some bikes may feel shorter than what their frame geometry suggests. Well, you would owe that observation to three factors: the head angle, fork offset, and trail.
The head “angle” is an imaginary line drawn from and along the steering axis towards the floor.
The offset refers to how far the front axle goes or is “offset” from the steering axis.
The larger the offset, the shorter the trail, and vice versa.
The trail refers to the horizontal distance between the tire’s contact patch and the point where the head angle’s line hits the floor.
Both the fork offset and the wheel size affect the trail. Bigger wheels will have longer trails.
And, longer trails often result in slower steering. This isn’t necessarily a bad thing, though. Slow steering could mean a disadvantage to racers, but it could mean stability to another rider, or advantage to rather lazy or recreational riders.
Seat Tube Angle
The seat tube angle refers to how the seat tube slants rather than staying upright, and it’s measured in degrees relative to the horizontal. (Upright would be 90 degrees).
A correctly angled seat tube allows you to pedal in a biomechanically efficient way. So, you can reach the ground with your feet while still being seated on the saddle, which is particularly helpful if you’re on a stop.
It affects the position of your bike’s seat relative to the crank, and therefore, it influences how recumbent your riding position would become.
Wheelbase and Bottom Bracket Drop:
The wheelbase is measured as the distance between the centers of both bike wheels. This measurement will have a significant effect on handling.
The shorter the wheelbase is, the quicker its turning circle becomes. If you stretch the two wheels apart, the bike will likely feel more stable whenever you ride more slowly. This would, however, slow you down when you have to cut through corners or curves.
Meanwhile, the bottom bracket (BB) drop can also influence a bike’s stability. This factor refers to how far the bottom bracket drops down from the bike’s wheels. The lower the drop, the more stable, and that’s because the center of gravity has been lowered.
3. Is the Frame Material Worth the Price Range?
Two of the most common bike frame materials are carbon fiber and aluminum. These two differ in price and quality, so it would be helpful to determine if your potential purchase has the material and the overall make-up that’s worth its price.
Carbon fiber bike frames differ in terms of how the manufacturer processed the raw material. This process includes heating, the layering of carbon, the direction of the fibers, and the resin used.
By itself, raw carbon fiber is actually very brittle. What companies do is mix it with resin to create a composite. They layer carbon sheets (some up to 500 per frame) to achieve their desired compliance, stiffness, and strength.
Aluminum was the frame material of choice before carbon fiber appeared in the scene and became common. It’s light and stiff, and it’s also relatively cheaper to produce.
Usually, though, bikes that use aluminum frames are actually incorporating aluminum alloys. Plus, to make the frame stronger, it’s produced as “butted,” i.e., certain portions of the frames have a greater thickness, e.g., the end of the tubes where the frame receives more pressure.
The actual price difference between the two materials, especially when used in bike frames, does depend on the production process — especially with how they’re custom-designed. Carbon fiber frames, however, are generally lighter, so the overall bike that features such a frame would typically be more costly than one with an aluminum frame.
4. Are the Wheels of Good Quality?
Wheels matter because, of course, they’re the ones that actually hit the ground.
Cheaper bikes usually come with stock wheels — just a basic, functional pair. They don’t offer much, so they’d most likely be the cheapest link on the new bike. Still, they might be sufficient for occasional, recreational riders.
Well, the good thing about wheels is that they’re among the easiest to replace in a bike.
So you can choose an all-rounder pair of upgrade wheels instead.
Nonetheless, you’d still wish the bike already comes with trusty wheels. Else, you will have to purchase an upgrade, and it will have another dent in your pocket.
Anyway, when you get to choose your wheels, pick an aero type (if you’re into racing) or climbing wheels if you want a stiffness that conquers slopey steeps.
5. What’s The Warranty?
Some bikes come with “10-year warranty” labels. This means that the brand is granting you coverage for 10 years against any manufacturer defects on the frame and fork.
The other parts may have a different period of coverage. For instance, Shimano offers a 3-year warranty on Dura-ace, while the other groupsets are granted 2 years.
“Limited Lifetime Warranty,” on the other hand, says that the bike will not last forever, but it will last longer if taken good care of. You may be able to negotiate with the manufacturer to help you with some defects in the bike’s parts.
6. What Type of Brakes is Ideal?
There’s a lot of (specific) types of brakes out there, but I’ll only mention two of the most common of them, i.e., among road bikes. You could say there’s not an ideal type for everyone, but there must be an ideal one for you.
Caliper brakes are the standard on most road bikes. Because of the way it works, the caliper brake is called a “rim” brake. It clamps down on the metal rim. It’s a simple, lightweight system and is relatively inexpensive.
Disc brakes have entered the road bike scene only recently. They’ve been the standard in mountain bikes, and now we see why. Instead of clamping the rim, they clamp to a hub-fixed “rotor.”
So, they’re more efficient and immune to trail debris, mud, water, and heat from the friction that comes with use. A disc brake would be a little heavier though.
10 Best Road Bikes Under $2000 Reviewed
At long last, we’re now down to reviewing the best road bikes under $2000.
1. Schwinn Fastback 105 Carbon Road Bike
- Schwinn carbon frame and fork
- Shimano 105 22-speed drivetrain; STI shifters
- Shimano 50/34T compact crank; 11-32T cassette
- Shimano WH-RS100 aluminum wheels; Kenda 700x25c tires
- Schwinn 51 race saddle, stem, and handlebar
- Shimano 105 dual-pivot caliper brakes
Schwinn has most likely built the Fastback 105 Carbon Road Bike with the advanced rider in mind. The Fastback features a full Shimano 105 groupset, with parts that work together seamlessly to provide you smooth gear changes and accurate shifts.
Probably this bike’s greatest strength is the Shimano 105 equipment — something you won’t easily find in most bikes in this price range.
Sporting itself on a carbon frame and fork, the Fastback has been able to cut down on weight, all the while maintaining stability and strength.
With a Schwinn-designed race saddle, this bike feels like it can help you stay properly seated as you progress toward the finish line.
- Comfortable frame geometry, bars, and saddle
- Easy to ride
- Lightweight wheels
- Full Shimano 105 groupset
- Smooth gear change
- Accurate shifting
- Value for money
- With a limited lifetime warranty
- Cables may not be of the highest quality
- May have issues with the spokes (probably a production issue)
Last update on 2023-06-07 at 20:15 / Commission Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
2. Savadeck Phantom 2.0 Carbon Road Bike
- Toray T800 carbon fiber frame and fork, handlebar, seat post, and wheelset
- Stiff and lightweight at 7.8kg
- Shimano Ultegra 8000 groupset
- 2×11 speeds;
- 50/88mm carbon-fiber bearing wheelset
- Internal cable routing
- Michelin pro sports tires
- Fizik Nisene saddle
The Phantom 2.0 has a resoundingly aggressive structure. With almost every part of it being made of carbon fiber, it’s a pretty lightweight bike.
Plus, it features a design language that makes it aerodynamic through and through. You could say it’s definitely a racing bike. And on that note, it’s got aero wheels, too.
While the Phantom 2.0 is great for racing, it still feels pretty comfortable and easy to ride on. You’ll owe that comfort partly to the Fizik Nisene saddle.
Thanks to the Shimano Ultegra R8000 groupset, this bike can pull off some really snappy acceleration.
- Full carbon seat post
- Aggressive geometry
- Comfortable saddle
- Aero wheels
- Very lightweight overall
- Value for money
- Easy to ride
- Comes partially pre-assembled for easier installation
- Great customer service
- Full carbon frame
- The paint may scratch off rather easily
- The seat post may be extremely long for some riders (you can cut it though)
3. Raleigh Tamland 2 Carbon Road Bike
- Reynolds 631 Chromoly frame
- Carbon/alloy tapered steering fork
- Front and rear thru-axles
- SRAM Rival 1x drivetrain
- TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes
I haven’t mentioned Chromoly frames above, but this Tamland 2 Carbon Road Bike from Raleigh has a Chromoly one — and it’s one high-end bike frame. With a high strength-to-weight ratio, this frame material keeps your bike durable and at the same time super light.
Other than that, the Chromoly frame is also bump-absorbing, so the bike would be comfortable to ride on.
The fork is made of carbon alloy, so it’s quite easy to maneuver. Meanwhile, Tamland uses the TRP Spyre mechanical disc brakes, so it would be effortless to slow down or stop.
Overall, the Tamland 2 is quite a great choice for gravel riding and racing.
It’s an all-road bike, so it could be the answer to adventure junkies who are looking for a ride — whether it’s for speedy trips, gravel rides, or simply commuting in style.
- Gives smooth rides (even off-road)
- Gears rarely need tuning
- Thick tires (not easy to puncture)
- Rolls well
- Comes partially pre-assembled
- Easy to install (30 minutes for a bike mechanic; up to 120 minutes for a noob)
- Value for money
- Customer service available for help anytime (Raleigh’s online live chat)
- For beginners, you may need to bring the bike to the shop to be assembled without getting anything wrong
4. Cinelli Vigorelli Road Bike
- Chromoly steel frame
- Columbus Thron tube set
- Aluminum seat post and carbon fork
- Fixed-gear criterium racing heritage
- Aggressive geometry
- BSA 68mm BB threading
- Up to 700×28 tire clearance
The Cinelli Vigorelli Road Bike sports a fast and agile nature, thanks in part to its aggressive geometry. Indeed, the Thon Chromoly steel tubing provides a stiff, flexible frame.
Painted in purple, the Cinelli Vigorelli sports quite a classic look. You’d likely appreciate the overall finish and appearance of this bike.
Inspired by fixed-gear bikes, the Vigorelli’s frame geometry is pretty aggressive. And thanks to the high bottom bracket clearance, this bike allows you to continue pedaling through sharp turns.
Overall, it’s a bike that you could easily love if you’re an amateur or experienced cyclist, especially if you’re into short-distance races and road rides.
- Tract-like geometry
- Great-looking paint job
- Eye-catching design
- Excellent for an entry-level cyclist
- High bottom-bracket clearance
- Multiple hand positions on the handlebar
- Value for money
- There might be some compromises on the brake pads (caliper-type)
- The bike is relatively on the heavier side
- May not suitable for uphill rides
- May not be very comfortable to use over longer distances
5. Diamondback Arden 4 Carbon Complete Bike
- Carbon fiber monocoque frame and fork
- Women’s Endurance Road frame geometry
- Shimano Tiagra drivetrain; 2×10 speeds
- Tektro Lyra mechanical disc brakes
- HED Flanders C2+ Disc wheels
- Diamondback Century 700x28c tires
- Includes pedals
- With a limited lifetime warranty on the frame
The Diamondback Arden 4 Carbon Bike features the Women’s Endurance Road frame geometry by Diamondback. So yes, this Arden 4C bike is a women’s road bike that can provide ease and comfort on long rides. Thanks to its more-relaxed riding position.
The Arden 4C’s thru-axles can provide an enhanced steering precision, while its wide 28c tires can grant you more bump absorption and stability.
Its Shimano drivetrain can give you a smooth pedaling experience, while the Tektro Lyra disc brakes would be handy and reliable when the road is wet.
Moreover, the brake wires are threaded inside the frame, so the bike feels cleaner and the airflow is smoother.
- Lightweight at 19.3lbs (you can lift it with one arm)
- The gear shifts are tucked behind the brakes
- Internal cable routing
- Comes with 2 water bottle cages
- Stylish disc brakes and chain
- Relaxed riding; suitable for long rides
- Designed for female riders
- The seat may feel quite hard (you can replace it with a gel seat)
6. Schwinn Vantage RX 1 700c Adventure Bike
- Elastomer soft tail suspension
- SRAM Rival 22-speed drivetrain
- FSA Gossamer compact crank
- Continental sport contact II 35 tires
- Alex Draw 2.1P alloy rims
- TranzXErgo Endurance handlebar
- Antishock Elastomer stem
- SRAM Rival hydraulic disc brakes
The Schwinn Vantage RX1 is one of those do-it-all gravel bikes that still stays pretty lightweight — even a pregnant woman can lift it.
It’s quite versatile and comfortable, handling bumps pretty well from diverse terrains.
With an SRAM Rival 22 drivetrain and FSA Gossamer crankset, the RX1 offers a wide range of gearing.
Its 37mm Continental tires provide a low rolling resistance as well as protection for punctures. They can roll quietly when driven on pavement, but they don’t grip very well on loose terrain.
Overall, the RX1 is an all-around adventure touring bike that allows you to ride harder and longer.
- Easy to install (takes as low as 20 minutes for an experienced builder)
- Comfortable saddle
- Rides nicely on cement, gravel, and even dirt trails
- High-quality cranks
- Great shock absorbency
- Value for money
- The instruction manual may not be very clear about the components that came with the bike
- May require you the assistance of a bike mechanic to fine-tune the rear derailleur
7. Diamondback Haanjo 5c Adventure Road Bike
- Carbon frame with endurance geometry
- Full-monologue carbon fork
- Thru-axles front and rear
- Shimano 3×9 drivetrain
- TRP Spyre C mechanical disc brakes
- 47c tires
- Includes pedals
- Limited lifetime warranty on the frame
The Diamondback Haanjo 5c Adventure Road Bike has just the right features to keep up with its name. It’s pretty lightweight — thanks to the full monologue carbon fork and frame — and it’s strong enough at the same time.
Its wide, smooth, lower-pressure tires help increase the comfort you feel when riding. With triple crank, the Haanjo 5c can handle steep climbs quite well.
With an endurance geometry, this gravel bike allows you to go for long rides without significant fatigue.
- Built ready-ride; shipped as 95% assembled
- Bike assembly can take only 30 to 60 minutes
- Strong enough for challenging trails
- Gives super smooth rides
- Can handle steep climbs well
- Comfortable for long rides
- The shifters are at the end of the drop bar, which might be a little odd for some riders (you can get used to them later)
8. Steppenwolf Tundra Carbon Road Bike
- Carbon composite frame and fork
- Schwalbe Rocket Ron 29×2.25 Evo tires
- DT Swiss X 1900 Spline wheels
- Shimano XT shifters; FSA Afterburner 175mm crankset
- Shimano XT front and rear derailleurs
- Shimano XT/XT chain and 10-speed cassette with 11-36t
- Avid Elixir 5 180/160mm brakes
This Steppenwolf Tundra Pro Carbon Road Bike Phas plenty of features to love, especially its high-performance carbon composite body and Shimano drivetrain.
It can provide you with a balance of entry-level endurance and MTB-like racing performance.
The Tundra is also ultra-lightweight. Its short rear section and steep-steering angle allow you to accelerate rather quickly. With such geometry, it can perform fairly well in both offroad adventures and high-speed descents.
The Steppenwolf Tundra line has other variants as well, namely, the Ltd (30-speed Shimano), the Race (20-speed SRAM), and the Team Ltd (20-speed SRAM).
- Comfortable to ride
- Reliable Shimano drivetrain
- Feels agile
- Value for money
- The brake calipers may not be of the best quality
9. Kestrel Talon X Shimano Road Bike
- 800K ultra-high-modulus carbon fiber
- Shimano 105 front & rear derailleurs
- Shimano 105 11-speed STI shifters
- Oval Concepts 327: 700c 20/24H wheelset
- Vittoria Zaffiro Pro: 700x25c folding tires
- Reversible seat post for triathlon or road riding positions
- Oval Concepts 310 ergonomic handlebars
- Tektro dual-pivot brakes
Kestrel’s Talon X Shimano Road Bike is a road bike that’s versatile enough to handle triathlon positioning. Thanks to its reversible seat post.
Its carbon fiber frame and fork along with its Shimano components make it a lightweight but reliable road machine.
Plus, the seat post, tube, and stays are all aerodynamically contoured, allowing for smoother airflow and a much more speedy ride.
With Tektro dual-pivot brakes, the Talon X can give you a reliable and efficient stopping power, ensuring your safety throughout your adventure.
- Smooth and fast
- Great for triathlon training
- Ships immediately
- Reliable Shimano 105 groupset
- Incredible value for money
- Reversible seat post handles both road riding and triathlon positioning
- Ergo handlebars
- Comfortable to ride
- You may have to upgrade the wheels, bars, and stem to save further on weight
10. Ridley Fenix & Liz C105 Endurance Road Bike
- Modified carbon lay-up
- Shimano 105 shifters/derailleurs
- BB86 bottom bracket features 28-30mm tire clearance
- 27.2mm seat post and thin rear stays filter vibrations
- Tapered head tube
- Diamond-shaped down tube
Ridley has both Fenix and Liz C models — with the latter owning the features I’ve listed above. Fenix is for male riders, while Liz C is for female cyclists.
If you’ve heard about the Liz SL, you should be glad to learn that Liz C offers the same stiffness as the SL, but with an upgraded carbon performance. Its tube shape, along with its modified carbon lay-up, gives the Liz C a reliable and comfortable ride for women.
Thanks to the 27.2mm seat post and the thin rear stays, Liz C has the ability to dampen the vibrations you can meet along the road.
Its overall design can also transform your pedaling power into speed quite efficiently.
- Feels light and stiff
- Relaxed geometry
- Comfortable to use
- Saddle feels great
- Shimano 105 components work nicely and are easy to adjust
- Stock tires are durable enough
- Value for money
- Easy set-up (comes partially assembled)
- Good for everyday riding and some basic racing
- Bump-dampening ability may not be enough for really rough roads
Last update on 2023-06-07 at 23:30 / Commission Earned / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
Which One Suits You?
There may not be a perfect bike for everyone, but there certainly is a suitable choice for your own kind of ride.
With that in mind, I can recommend 3 bikes from our list of 10 (although each one of the ten can appeal to the right rider).
- Well, as for this budget list, it’s the Savadeck Phantom 2.0 Carbon Road Bike that wins my pick for a racing bike.
- For gravel riding, I’d recommend the Raleigh Tamland 2 Carbon Road Bike.
- And, as for an endurance bicycle, the Diamondback Haanjo 5c Adventure Road Bike easily tops the list.
- But wait, there’s still another one that I’d like to highlight for female riders: the Diamondback Arden 4C Carbon Complete Bike.
Again, your own choice would depend a lot on what you’d use your bike for.
1 thought on “The Best Road Bikes Under $2000 In 2021 Reviewed”
Great content! Super high-quality! Keep it up! 🙂