Best Road Bikes in 2021

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Whether you’re new to road cycling or already have some experience, you need to find a reliable and durable two-wheeled companion. For many folks, buying a road bike is a significant commitment.

After all, there are so many things to consider. Does your bike need disc brakes? Should you get a race bike or an endurance bike? How lightweight should your bike be?

If you’re confused about which road bike to purchase, you’ve come to the right place.

In this article, you’ll find out more about the best road bikes on the market. As a bonus, you’ll learn exactly what to consider with our useful buyers’ guide.

Comparison Chart

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Eurobike Dual Disc Brake XC550 Road Bike 21 Speed Shifting System 54Cm Steel Frame 700C 3-Spoke Wheels Bicycle
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Outroad Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano Shifter 700C Wheel Wheels with Aluminum Alloy Frame, Rider Bike Faster and Lighter Commuter Bicycle, Blue
Giordano Aversa Aluminum Road Bike, 700c Large
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Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed 700c
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Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike, Shimano Claris R2000, 24 Speeds – Black – Extra Small

Best Road Bikes Reviews

EURXC550 21 Speed Road Bike 700C Wheels

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There aren’t many budget-friendly road bikes suitable for beginners. This Eurobike model is one of the few that beginner road cyclists will love, and that also won’t break their bank.

Review

The first model on our list comes from a renowned bicycle manufacturer with a long tradition of crafting good-quality bikes. Although you might be surprised at the lower price tag, the EURXC550 21 Speed Road Bike doesn’t sacrifice quality.

One of the most essential features of a road bike is the frame. It determines the performance of your bike and its longevity. This bicycle is made of premium tangible steel, generally less expensive than carbon and aluminum, which is why this model is affordable.

The shock-absorbing frame is slightly heavier, but that doesn’t affect how the bike performs. On the contrary, it’s fast enough for commuting, road cycling, etc.

Another major part of every road bike is its gear system. This one is equipped with Shimano A050 21-speed gear, unique for bikes at this price range. Like most Shimano speed gear systems, shifting gears on this bike is smooth and almost effortless.

Brakes-wise, this road bike boasts a dual disc brake mechanism, suitable for entry-level road cyclists. It offers more control and constant braking security. This system is also suitable if you love riding on hilly terrains or during wet weather.

Keep in mind you need to test gear shifting and the braking system before going on longer rides. That way, you can tune it to suit your needs and preferences.

You might also need to clean the disc brake, as it tends to be noisy.

The bike comes with 26-inch aluminum rims that look sleek but are also functional. Since they’re on the lighter side, the rims compensate for the heavier steel frame.

Furthermore, the wheels on this Eurobike model are suitable for most average height cyclists. The tires aren’t the best quality, but you can always get new ones.

Moreover, the seat on this model isn’t entirely comfortable. Although it offers lower back support, it isn’t suitable for long road rides, so consider purchasing a new one.

Remember that when you purchase the bike, it won’t be fully assembled. However, you can check videos on YouTube, and it won’t take more than an hour to put it together.

Pros

  • Budget-friendly
  • Suitable for entry-level road cyclists
  • Sturdy frame
  • Good-quality gear system

Cons

  • Uncomfortable seat
  • Poor-quality tires

Outroad Road Bike 14-21 Speed Shimano Shifter 700C

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Are you looking for a solid, aluminum road bike that will get you around town for less than $300? This model might be your top choice. But because of its construction, you can use it as a mountain and a road bike, as well.

Review

The Outroad bike is versatile. Riders can use it for long rides and other activities. The bike comes in four different colors: black, red, blue, and white – so we’re sure you can find a model that suits your style.

Generally speaking, the bike is on the heavier side, although the frame is made of aluminum. However, it’s also well-built, sturdy, and reliable, so the heaviness shouldn’t be a huge issue.

With an aluminum frame, the bike is also anti-corrosive and responsive, so it’s a great choice if you enjoy road bike racing.

The standard 26-inch rims on this bike look stylish but are also sturdy. These rims are great when you need to react quickly. However, they aren’t suitable for terrains with bumps and rocks, so keep this in mind when cycling.

The bike features a 21-speed shifter, which is easily managed. Therefore, you won’t have issues shifting gears to move through various types of terrain.

A component of this bike worth mentioning is its handlebar. It’s ergonomically designed, so it’s quite forgiving on hands even during longer rides.

Moreover, it’s slip-resistant, so there’s no fear of sweaty palms interfering with your performance if you aren’t used to wearing cycling gloves.

Pros

  • Stylish
  • Fast assembling
  • Slip-resistant handlebar
  • Versatile

Cons

  • Not suitable for bumpy terrains
  • Heavy

Giordano Aversa Aluminum Road Bike, 700c

Thanks to its smaller-sized frame, this Giordano Aversa is a popular choice for female road cyclists. It’s suitable for beginner riders and those with some cycling experience due to its good ride quality.

Review

When choosing among the best road bikes, functionality is essential. But that’s not the first thing you notice. Instead, you first see its design. That said if you’re looking for a road bike that looks modern and high-end and is designed for women, consider this model.

The bike comes in two sizes. If you’re between 4’1 and 5’ 3” tall, then the smaller size should be just right for you.

On the other hand, if you’re taller than that and your height is between 5’ 3” and 5’ 7”, opt for the medium-sized frame. You can always change the seat position to fit your height.

Since this is a female bike, it’s relatively lightweight, weighing 33.4 lbs—the reason being the 6061 aluminum frame. Although generally light, it feels sturdy, durable, and reliable. Therefore, if you opt for this model, you’ll get a bike that’s fast but also long-lasting.

Speed-wise, this bike features a 14-speed Shimano drivetrain that allows female cyclists to shift gear fast and accurately.

So, although this is a relatively inexpensive road bike, its drivetrain is top quality. What’s more, the slim tires on this model are designed to help the bike adjust to a higher speed.

Most Giordano Aversa bikes have a dual pivot side pull brake, renowned for being powerful and effective. This model is no exception. With its braking mechanism, you can rest assured you’ll be able to slow down anywhere safely.

The high tensile steel forks on this Giordano Aversa model maintain strength. They are easily repaired if something should happen to them.

The issue with the bike is that you need to assemble it on your own, but you don’t get the proper tools. The instructions are also not specific to this model, which is a problem for some riders.

Unfortunately, the bike only has one bolt that holds in place the handlebar while it’s rotating. If it loosens while cycling, it can be potentially dangerous.

Pros

  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • High-end design
  • Powerful braking mechanism
  • Slim tires for high speed

Cons

  • Only one bolt
  • Generic assembling instructions

Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed 700c

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Vilano manufactures stable, good quality road bikes for those who are price-conscious. This model comes in black but features attractive green details all across the frame. Be sure your bike will receive a few compliments from fellow cyclists.

Review

Owing to its double-butted aluminum frame, this bike is incredibly lightweight, so you’ll have no issues carrying it around. But the frame is also well-made, so you don’t have to worry if you love riding a bike on rough terrains.

The great thing about this model is that you don’t only have to use it for road cycling. You can use it for commuting but also when you want to ride a bike for fun.

When riding for a long time, it’s useful to know you have a bottle of water close by. You don’t want to grab it from the backpack and lose precious time.

With this bike, you can grab a bottle within a few seconds because it comes with a water mount on the frame.

Although not a top-quality bike, what separates this model from other affordable models is its seat. Unlike the seat on cheaper bikes, this one is quite comfy.

And even if you find it uncomfortable after long rides, you can always upgrade it. This brings us to the next thing – how easy it is to upgrade this bike.

Generally speaking, it isn’t always convenient to upgrade your bike’s components to make it more comfortable. But you can easily change the seat on this model, improve the quality of the handlebar, tires, or paddles. That way, you can change anything that needs improvement.

Some riders have issues with their wheels being wobbly when they first get a bike. Fortunately, this isn’t a problem with this Vilano model. It’s stable and performs well.

The handlebar is equipped with three-speed shifters positioned at the center. This might be uncomfortable for some riders and a hassle as you’d have to move your whole hand while cycling to shift gears.

Keep in mind there isn’t any space to mount a phone or a bike computer on the handlebar. So, you might have to use the frame for additional accessories.

Pros

  • Sporty design
  • Stable wheels
  • Easily upgraded
  • Relatively comfortable seat

Cons

  • No additional space on the handlebar
  • Center-position speed shifters

Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike, Shimano Claris R2000

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If you’ve got money to spend, then your choice might be this Tommaso Imola bike. It combines style with functionality and will serve you for the years to come.

Review

You might think this bike is too expensive, slightly less than $1,000, but it’s definitely worth it. This model is carefully designed for cyclists who don’t want to get a new bike every few years.

The unique component is the bike’s frame. It’s specially created to offer a relaxed riding position, suitable for different riding styles. This is supported by a handlebar that has a shallow-drop.

Therefore, a comfortable riding experience is ensured whether you’re going uphill or riding on bumpy roads.

Although some people don’t need a stylish bike, we have to admit this is one of the best road bikes that doesn’t sacrifice looks for functionality.

Tommaso Imola offers this model in three attractive colors: sleek black, minimalist white, and unique burnt orange. Not to mention that any color you choose will look stunning while on the road.

The bike is suitable for men and women, beginners, or returning to cycling after a long break. However, it’s not a pro bike because it won’t satisfy professional riders’ performance needs.

Unless your bike is more than $1,000, don’t expect to have a superior drivetrain. But that’s what makes this Tommaso Imola model so unique.

The manufacturers equipped the bike with a top-quality Shimano Claris group set, including derailleurs, drivetrain, shifters, and brakes. The shifters and derailleurs work together exceptionally well, so you can seamlessly change gears to ride on different terrains.

The bike comes with flat pedals, so you can ride it immediately. They’re good when you’re just starting out, but you can always upgrade them.

When you go road biking, the surface might not always be in top condition. That’s why the braking system on a road bike should be reliable and offer different speeds to get you through almost any road.

With 24 speeds, you can rest assured speed shifting won’t be an issue.

Seat-wise, you can expect comfort even on long rides. This model’s seat results from the collaboration between Tommaso Imola and WTB, renowned for manufacturing premium seats.

Pros

  • Comfortable seat
  • Frame suitable for various positions
  • Premium drivetrain
  • Flat pedals included

Cons

  • Not suitable for professional riders
  • Expensive

Buyer’s Guide

If the time has come to get a road bike, you might be overwhelmed with the factors you need to consider. After all, you don’t want to end up buying a poor-quality bike whose functionality doesn’t meet your needs.

To help you avoid this mistake and be fully prepared, we’ve listed which core features you should consider when buying the best road bikes.

Types of Road Bikes

Road bikes are created for the road. They’re often lightweight, have a sleek design, and usually come with a curved handlebar.

However, did you know there were different types of road bikes? For instance, you can get an aero road bike, bikepacking bike, commuter road bike, endurance bike, racing bike, etc.

Each of these models has slight differences in the design, from geometry, tires, and setup. Depending on its components, the bike will offer a different riding experience.

Aero road bikes are optimized to lessen the wind impact because of their aerodynamic tubes. They are also fast, so racers prefer them to some other models.

Bikepacking bikes are great if you love to go camping via bike. Their design supports additional equipment and gear.

Commuter road bikes are a smart choice if you want to use a bike to commute to work or school. And although they are great for the city, these bikes are fast and efficient.

Owing to their geometry and saddle, endurance bikes are suitable for long rides when comfort is vital. Racing bikes are exactly what the name suggests. Their primary purpose is to offer speed and agility on roads. Suitable for beginner riders and pros, these are the most popular choice of road bikes.

Group set / Drivetrain

A groupset on the road bike consists of various components: drivetrain, brakes, and shifters. These components enable you to ride the bike and slow down.

The three most popular groupset manufacturers are Shimano, SRAM, and Campagnolo. Although all their group sets perform the same functions, there are slight differences.

Shimano is the most popular choice for groupsets, and it’s the best of the three. Their components are well-built, reliable, and riders can switch gears almost effortlessly.

There are also differences among Shimano. For example, if a bike has Sora or Tiagra groupset, know that these are entry-levels.

Then, there are mid-range groupsets 105 and Ultegra. Finally, Dura-Ace is suitable for professional riders.

SRAM is known for manufacturing lightweight RED group sets. Other models are Apex, Rival, and Force, and each of them has a hydraulic disc brake.

Finally, in terms of pro groupsets, Campagnolo is the leading brand. It has three pro-level models that all offer fantastic performance.

Gearing

Gearing enables you to maintain cadence on various terrains. The gearing system can vary from bike to bike. There are single speed bikes but also multi-speed bikes.

Folks who use bikes for commuting opt for single speed bikes for their lack of maintenance. However, some racers also ride these bikes because the gear shifting doesn’t interfere with their ride.

Multi-speed bikes can have up to a 33-speed system, which offers more speed on the road.

Bike Size

The bike size is one of the most important factors you should consider when purchasing a bike. After all, it determines whether you’ll be able to ride it comfortably or not.

Most people think their height will help them choose the right bike size. And while that’s generally true, it actually won’t help you get the most suitable road bike.

Road bikes come in sizes from XX-small to XX-large. If you’re 4’ 10”-5’ 2” tall, then the smallest bike should be the right fit. On the other hand, for those who are 6’ 3”-6’ 6” tall, XX-large bikes will most likely suit you well.

You can use a size chart in a bike shop or on the internet. Keep in mind that sizes can vary between manufacturers.

Wheels

As for the wheels, most road bikes are either 700C or 650b. The standard size for most bikes is 700C. Some new road bike models with 700C are versatile, which means riders can use tires of up to 32mm.

However, more manufacturers equip their bikes with 650b wheels because they can support the wider tires. These tires are better for rough terrains as they offer better traction and more comfort on a bumpy road.

FAQs

Now that you know what to consider when choosing the road bike read the next section to find out the answers to the most commonly asked questions.

What’s the Difference Between a Mountain Bike and a Road Bike?

Mountain bikes and road bikes are designed for different purposes. Their wheels, handlebars, and frames are different, including some other parts.

The main difference between a mountain bike and a road bike is that a mountain bike isn’t quite suitable for long distances.

They’re also better for off-road rides and in snow, on dirt tracks, etc. You can’t really ride this bike on the street unless you change the tires.

On the other hand, road bikes are built with speed and distance in mind. They’re suitable for sidewalks but don’t perform well on rough terrains. This is because they lack suspension, so if you ride a road bike on the rocky terrain, it won’t be a pleasant experience.

Road bikes are also lighter than mountain bikes. The riding posture is different – cyclists usually lean forward because this helps them boost aerodynamics and offers more power paddling.

Finally, wheels are different on a mountain and a road bike. Mountain bikes have wider tires that prevent the bike from slipping on rough terrains. Road bikes have more narrow tires, suitable for the sidewalk.

Why Is Sizing Important with Road Bikes?

Riding a road bike that’s an incorrect size can cause several problems. One of the first is that it can affect your posture, thus resulting in back pain. Even if you try to adjust the seat, it won’t do much if the bike size is incorrect.

Furthermore, if your bike isn’t the right fit for you, you’ll need to paddle much harder, which will make you tired. Your wrists might also suffer as a result of bad riding posture.

Finally, when you ride a bike that isn’t the right size for you, there’s more chance of accidents and injuries because you can’t control it fully.

It’s essential to understand bike sizes and how to get the correct size for all these reasons. Not all brands will have the same size, so keep that in mind.

The size is usually determined by your height. But besides trying out the bike, it’s also a good idea to find the chart size and see which size would be the best for your height.

How High Should My Saddle Be?

Setting up the saddle on your road bike is essential for performance. The height of the saddle depends on the rider. To determine the best position, you can try the heel-to-paddle method. This involves sitting on a bike and grabbing onto a chair or a table nearby for support.

You should put your foot on the paddle and start paddling backward until you get to the six o’clock position. The knee should be straight if the saddle height is right.

If your foot doesn’t touch the paddle anymore, then you should lower the saddle a bit. On the other hand, if your knee is still bent, then the saddle should be higher.

Make sure to make small adjustments until you get to the proper height.

Do I Need Suspension on My Road Bike?

Older models of road bikes don’t usually have suspension. However, the suspension does make long rides more comfortable because it ensures better shock absorption.

That said, road bikes don’t really need suspension as riders don’t ride through bumpy terrains. Adding suspension might be a good idea if you use the bike on rough terrains, but know that it’ll add weight and slow you down.

Why Do Some Bikes Have Drop Bars and Some Have Flat Bars?

Road bikes can either have drop or flat bars, and both models have pros and cons. For example, cyclists can hold drop bars in various positions. They’re also a good choice because of how fast you can ride with little energy required.

On the other hand, flat bars are wider, so there’s better control of your bike. Since it’s easier to steer them, they’re more suitable if you like off-road rides.

Moreover, flat bars are generally cheaper than drop bars, which is why money-conscious cyclists prefer them.

Depending on their design, you can also mount a phone or a bike computer to the flat bars. If you prefer sitting in an upright position, then these bars a batter option for you.

Final Verdict

All models we’ve reviewed here are on the list of best road bikes for a reason. Compared to other road bikes on the market, they’re relatively affordable, offer excellent performance, and are suitable even for beginner cyclists.

However, one model that stood out the most was Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike.

Although the most expensive bicycle on our list, it features a premium drivetrain, a comfortable seat, which isn’t always the case with road bikes, and a reliable braking system. On top of all of that, it looks high-end and attractive.

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