Biking on the roads is no longer a routine exercise commuters undertake to reach their workplaces. It is a means to keep fit and experience thrilling rides at great speed. However, choosing the best road bike requires keeping in touch with the latest technological advancements happening all around the biking world.
Has increased interest in the off-road biking niche given rise to a new brand of road bikes as well? Are new-wave bikes delivered with performance-enhancing features? Are there enough innovations and design changes implemented to increase interest in road bikes? Finding the answers to these relevant questions may actually help in buying one of the best road bikes currently on offer.
Common features found in top road bikes
If one were to go by design changes incorporated in newer bikes, then it becomes easier to understand why the desire to create road bikes that can also be used to experience off-road thrills is justified. People use road bikes to commute to work, exercise on a regular basis, and enjoy their speeding episodes along road tracks especially designed to thrill biking enthusiasts.
Focus on lightweight options
If you take a look at recent bikes releases, you’ll notice they are much lighter than they used to be. The reason is simple. These bikes are mounted on aluminum frames with compact geometry or made of the even lighter carbon frames that effectively bring down the weight of bikes to around the 25-lb range.
For example, one of the most recent aluminum frames hitting the market is the 6061 series that not just reduces weight but improves performance with multi-shape tubing and aero-shaped stays.
Effective gear-changing capability
Road biking is no longer considered a difficult task over inclines with smooth 14-speed and 21-speed gear changes possible at will. Consider a Shimano Claris triple crankset combined with a 12 x 25 cassette at the back. This exciting combination can help riders climb steep inclines at low gear without much fuss.
The rider’s contact point with the bike is of utmost importance and effective gear-changing capability affords a more comfortable ride over longer they are distances.
Cost effectiveness with durability
Buyers are now looking for cost-effective road bikes that last longer. Even beginners can demand powerful frames delivered with lifetime warranties. Cost effectiveness is increased by providing better control and top speeds in entry-level bikes. Handlebars are getting more compact. Better braking options have created a new class of safe road bikes.
The latest advancements in frame design and shaped tubing ensure even aluminum frame bikes can be categorized as lightweight bikes. Performance and power remain intact even after years of use with the help of ultra-durable components like the Shimano Claris groupset.
Reviews of the Five Best Road Bikes
Mercier Galaxy SC1 Aluminum 14 Speed Shimano Equipped Beginner Road Bike
The Mercier Galaxy SC1 Aluminum 14 Speed Shimano Equipped Beginner Road Bike offers so many new features designed to impress both new and professional bikers that the highly affordable price offering may surprise them. This exceptional-quality bike ensures comfort rides made possible by the introduction of the TaperBlade Chromoly fork at the front and its flexible Ergo saddle behind.
The 14-speed gear shifters enabled by Simona equipped components has resulted in a bike that requires little maintenance. It’s durable, and lightweight wheels made of double-walled aluminum alloy ensure riders will experience smoother rides. With new features added to this bike of uncompromised quality, the Mercier Galaxy SC1 can safely claim to be the best entry-level casual road bike.
- Comes with a Shimano double ring aluminum crankset
- Equipped with a comfort saddle
- Has 14-speed shifters-Shimano stem shifters
- Offers a taper blade Chromoly 1” fork
- Comes with wheels made of 700c DA14 double-walled aluminum alloy
- Measures at 52” x 8” x 31″
- Has stem shifters
- Riding on aluminum frame with semi-compact geometry
- Designed with forged aluminum caliper black brakes
- Has a 7-speed cassette
- Equipped with aluminum alloy black handlebar
- Equipped with Shimano front and rear derailleurs
- Has 27.2 micro-adjust seat post made of alloy
- Comes with a double 52/39 crankshaft made of alloy
- Sold as an affordable road bike
- Weighs only 30 lbs.
- Used by women and men
- Equipped with a quick-release front wheel for easy maintenance
- Offers simple gear changes with stem-mounted shifters
- Has an aluminum frame for more comfortable rides
- Equipped with a taper blade Chromoly fork and Ergo saddle behind to increase comfort
- Accommodates cyclists from 4’11” to 6’3″ with its 42 cm to 58 cm sizes
- Has durable and lightweight wheels
- Requires basic maintenance for its double chain-ring crank
- Customer pays shipping charges
- Requires professional assembly and tuning
The Mercier Galaxy SC1 Aluminum 14 Speed Shimano Equipped Beginner Road Bike is designed for comfortable rides made possible by its high-tech components. The taper blade Chromoly fork and Ergo saddle are the most recent additions to increase rider comfort. This model is continuously upgraded with new features, all geared towards increasing its casual-riding market share.
Beginners may notice this best road bike has easier gear-changing capability, minimum maintenance, and a 14-speed option. Equipped with Shimano components, the Mercier Galaxy SC1 has what it takes to encourage new riders to choose this highly affordable option.
Gravity Ave A Road Bike Shimano 14 Speed Semi-Compact AL Frame Aero Fork
The Gravity Ave A Road Bike Shimano 14 Speed Semi-Compact AL Frame Aero Fork is another useful entry in the affordable road bike category inclined towards offering bikers a performance-enhancing option. Made to accommodate riders of different heights, its sloping top tube and lower stand-over height makes it easier for bikers to make necessary adjustments.
The most attractive feature, however, is both men and women of different heights can access exact-size bikes, as designers have come up with six different sizes per series. Be it the hydro-formed tubes, 2XH2O mounds, Customer Frame Gravity Rseries aluminum, or the replaceable rear der, this is the perfect bike for riders seeking affordable options with comfortable riding positions.
Performance is enhanced with its wide gearing. Bikers can make any number of adjustments to arrive at their preferred riding levels.
- Comes with crankset Shimano alloy arms
- Has stem shifters with top mount brakes
- Equipped with quick-release spokes and stainless rims
- Sold with aluminum alloy wheels
- Manufactured on a lightweight aluminum frame
- Comes with a 14-speed Shimano drivetrain
- Has a replaceable rear der
- Fitted with bar-mounted brake levers on stem-mounted shifters
- Designed as a comfortable semi-compact geometric frame
- Comes with bottom bracket cartridge pedals
- Makes sizing easier with its compact frame geometry
- Shipped as a slim, lightweight, and comfortable bike
- Comes with highly adjustable six sizes per series
- Delivers tools with the bike kit
- Has adjustable customer frame gravity RSeries aluminum hydro-formed tubes
- Categorized as an affordable bike
- Delivered in sizes suitable for 5′ females to 6’5″ males
- Accommodates flexible user adjustments easily
- Requires assembling of pedals, bike saddle, drop bar, wheels, and shifters
- Visit to the local bike shop may be needed to ensure the right bike size
The Gravity Ave A Road Bike Shimano 14 Speed Semi-Compact AL Frame Aero Fork is delivered with an upright and comfortable position mounted over a semi-compact geometric frame to encourage new bikers. Aerodynamic functions are introduced including its aerodynamic aluminum frame. Professional riders are thrilled with this affordable best road bike option.
If its wide gearing enhances performance, its comfortable riding position ensures bikers with different capabilities are able to enjoy this bike. Both men and women can use this road bike, as it is delivered in different sizes. The Gravity Ave A comes with a 14 Shimano drivetrain, which is likely to attract both beginners and riding professionals.
Kestrel Talon Road Shimano 105 Bicycle
One of the most popular aerodynamic bikes released in 2007, the Kestrel Talon Road Shimano 105 Bicycle has all that is needed to position itself as a competition-grade triathlon road bike. Highly popular among triathletes, this new release has many interesting features including internal cabling to reduce wind resistance over its frame and other components like aerodynamically contoured seat post, stays, and seat tube.
Power is transmitted laterally with the help of its well-designed transmission and vibration-dampening components. A unique feature in this best road bike is its saddle that accommodates off-road bikers insisting on front seat positions, and then easily tilts backwards to satisfy hard-core road bikers.
- Weighs only 8.8 kg
- Comes with proprietary Kestrel H-stays
- Designed with a wheelset having oval concepts
- Extends oval concepts to its handlebar, stem, and saddle
- Constructed with aerodynamic stays positioned inside the A2 wind tunnel
- Equipped with folding Vittoria Zaffiro Pro, 700 x 25c tires
- Constructed with enhanced modulus hybrid (EMH) carbon fibers
- Comes with an adjustable Kestrel EMS Pro aero seat post
- Provides tri-bike speeds with road-bike handling capacity
- Has asymmetrical chain stays and seat stays for enhanced lateral movement
- Delivered as almost fully assembled bike including handlebar, seat post, and seat
- Fitted with internal cabling for smoother airflow over the bike
- Constructed with lightweight and stiff enhanced modulus hybrid (EMH) carbon fiber
- Positioned as affordable duathlon or triathlon entry-level bike
- Suggested as training road bike for triathletes
- Comes with a highly adjustable saddle
- Equipped with a compact drive chain for uphill climbs
- Compels user to buy separate pedals
- Shipped only to US locations
- Requires professional-grade fitting and tuning
If a professional bike could position itself as an entry-level bike for triathletes, this would be the ideal choice given that the Kestrel Talon Road Shimano 105 Bicycle has been one of the most affordable options since it was first marketed in 2007. Over the years, value-added features have been included such as a high-performance carbon platform.
This best road bike does come at a hefty price as compared to other more affordable options in its category. Beginners may hesitate to go in for this costly entry bike, but its aerodynamic fixtures and tri-bike speeds may force them to reconsider, especially if they are looking to try out off-road competitions including duathlons and triathlons.
Tommaso Imola Compact Aluminum Road Bike
The Tommaso Imola Compact Aluminum Road Bike is a bike that fully justifies its price. Fitted with exciting features like the aluminum lightweight compact Imola frame and Shimano Claris shifters, this Imola release has upgraded components making it one of the preferred options in this category. The company has spared no efforts in upgrading vital components like brakes, handlebar, and cassette.
Gear changing has been simplified with the help of its 12 x 25 cassette set on a Shimano Claris triple crankset. Several components like its lightweight frame and fork are delivered with lifetime warranties. Ideally, this is a valuable purchase for a biker seriously considering the option of biking for fitness.
- Comes with the latest frame and tubing designs
- Has a rear drilled triangle, ideal for racks
- Weigh roughly 35 lbs.
- Made in the United States
- Has an ultra-compact, exclusive handlebar
- Equipped with upgraded Shimano Claris brakes
- Delivered with 24-speed power and performance
- Comes with a Tommaso Corsa TC20 wheelset
- Has an aluminum compact frame
- Shipped to international locations
- Comes with a full Shimano Claris drive chain
- Extends optimum comfort with its Shimano Claris triple crankset & 12X25 cassette
- Comes with matched components along its full Shimano Claris drive train
- Increases comfort and reduces wind resistance with an ultra-compact handlebar
- Comes with a technologically advanced lightweight yet powerful frame
- Drives more power with its compact frame geometry
- Offers an ultra-durable compact frame
- Comes with premium Tommaso Corsa TC 20 wheels
- Delivers 24-speed power and performance levels on the road
- Offers upgraded and value-added cassette, handlebars, and brakes
- Ensures safe rides with powerful upgraded Shimano Claris brakes
- Shipped with cheap platform pedals
- Must be assembled by a professional
The Tommaso Imola Compact Aluminum Road Bike banks on the Imola brand name to deliver a bike high in quality. It has included all the latest technological advancements into its 2018 release. A powerful 24-speed power drive chain is used to ensure riders have comfort rides even over steep inclines.
At its entry level price, beginners will consider it a bargain, as this high-performance bike is delivered with upgraded handlebars, cassette, and brakes. Made to last, gear changes are simplified with its Shimano Claris triple crankset and 12 x 25 cassette. An exclusive ultra-compact handlebar is fitted to afford comfort and reduce wind resistance ensuring longer comfort rides with minimum effort in this best road bike.
Windsor Wellington 2.0 Aluminum 21 Speed Shimano Equipped Road Bike
The Windsor Wellington 2.0 Aluminum 21 Speed Shimano Equipped Road Bike is a highly preferred 21-speed entry bike which comes at an affordable price, making it one of the best-selling items in this category. Whether it’s the 700C double-alloy CNC machined sides or its 7-speed freewheel, considerable thought has been given to produce a durable and lightweight bike.
Weighing just 24 lbs., this new entry also has several exciting features like aluminum dual pivot caliper brakes, KMC Z-51chain, and Shimano A050 21 speed shifters. Premium Tommaso Corsa TC20 wheels are integrated into its 6061 SLA compact aluminum frame making it even lighter and better equipped with multi-shaped tubing and aero-shaped stays.
- Comes with 700C double-walled CNC alloy machined wheel sides
- Fitted with dual pivot aluminum brakes
- Has a 27.2 alloy seat post
- Equipped with a triple aluminum crankset
- Comes with a Shimano rear derailleur
- Delivered with 700x25C Presta valve tube tires
- Has a new aluminum frame
- Fitted with a 7-speed freewheel
- Comes with Shimano A050 21-speed shifters delivering 21-speed options
- Fitted with a comfort saddle
- Delivered as a lightweight bike weighing just 24 lbs.
- Affords more convenience with its handlebar-mounted shifters
- Dispatched with free pedals
- Mounted on a lightweight aluminum frame
- Positioned as affordable entry-level bike in the 21-speed road bike category
- Competes with recent road bike releases in its class
- Comes with durable and lightweight wheels
- Makes cycling uphill difficult with its limited options
- Delivered as a partially assembled bike
- Needs adjustments during assembly
The Windsor Wellington 2.0 Aluminum 21 Speed Shimano Equipped Road Bike is an exciting offering with its comfort saddle, bar-top shifters, lightweight and durable wheels. Weighing in at just 24 lbs., this road bike is constantly upgraded with several new additions made to the 2018 model.
Bikers may need professional help to assemble these new components, then tune it to their personal preference level. It is selling extremely well and is listed as one of the best-selling road bikes released by the manufacturer.
The new 6061 series aluminum frame has ensured the bike is listed among the lightest bikes in its class. Multi-shaped tubing and aero-shaped stays are other interesting additions to improve performance levels. Safety in this best road bike is assured with its dual pivot aluminum brakes.
As it is partially assembled, some parts like its brake pads may pose challenges to new bikers trying to assemble their first professional road bike. The Windsor Wellington 2.0 is delivered with free pedals and is one of the most affordable options in the 21-speed road bike category.