The magic four-figure number is the most competitive price point in road bikes. Now updated for the 2017 season, we take a look at 15 of the best men’s & women’s road bikes for less than £1,000
Men’s road bikes under £1,000
Premium quality bikes that won’t look out of place at a club race, yet affordable enough to buy through the cycle to work scheme. With literally hundreds of bikes to choose from it can be tricky to single out which are the best value for money. Based on frame & component quality, price and style, we’ve hand-picked some of the best 2017 road bikes under £1000.
Specialized Allez E5 – £575.00
The Specialized Allez has been the benchmark for performance road bikes at an entry level price for a while now. Careful manipulation of the E5 aluminium frame shape and a FACT carbon fork result in a bike which feels as good as it looks. The 16 speed Claris groupset may not have the slick-shifting reputation of Shimano’s higher spec parts, but it’s every bit as reliable.
Charge Plug 1 Disc - £599.99
Simplicity and style. Charge bikes are famous for their trendy urban-friendly bikes, and the Plug 1 Disc is the perfect example of why. Beneath the slender-profile frame tubing that harks back to a golden age of cycling lies the surprise of a lightweight aluminium frame and fork. The fuss-free single speed gearing, powerful and reliable disc brakes and stylish looks make the Plug 1 Disc a fantastic urban commuter.
Orbea Avant H40 - £849.00
Impressively, despite having a price tag below £800, the Orbea Avant H40 is a serious bike with real performance credentials: Triple-butted aluminium frame, paired with a carbon fork and seatpost for incredible weight saving. Internal cable routing which maintains a sleek appearance and aids aerodynamics. 20 speed Shimano Tiagra gearing which is crisp, sharp and reliable. You also get a choice of five colour schemes when you buy.
Kona Rove AL - £699.00
We loved the 2016 version of this bike which we reviewed at the beginning of the year, and the 2017 update looks set to pick up the baton nicely. Like the Charge Plug, the Kona Rove AL has a gorgeously slim aluminium frame and fork which keeps the weight down, plus disc brakes for all-weather stopping power – perfect for the winter months. the Rove AL also has the mounts for front & rear luggage racks and mudguards, plus a 16 speed Shimano Claris gearset to get you up and over any mixed terrain your travels take you on.
Giant Contend SL 1 - £999.00
Kicking up a gear to what we think is going to fast-become an incredibly popular model, the new Giant Contend range is the replacement for the much-loved aluminium-frame version Giant Defy endurance bikes. The 2017 Contend SL 1 will still give you change from your £1000 budget, and yet you’ll be riding away on a bike equipped with Giant’s lauded ALUXX SL frame and hybrid-composite fork (read; carbon blade & aluminium steerer).
Marin Nicasio - £700.00
When there’s no substitute for real steel, the Marin Nicasio has the answer. Virtually identical in spec and price to the Kona Rove AL, the Nicasio has a double-butted CrMo frame & fork which gives that unmistakable solid and vibration-free feel you can only get from a steel bike. There’s also room to add luggage carriers and up to three bottle cages.
Merida Speeder 400 - £950.00
Who says fast bikes can’t be comfortable? The Merida Speeder 400 is a high-spec flat-bar road bike that can keep up with the pack, thanks to a super-lightweight aluminium frame and 22 speed Shimano 105 gearing. Based on their endurance-road geometry, the Speeder is a comfortable bike with rush-hour-beating speed, whether you work 5 miles or 50 miles away from home.
Scott Speedster Gravel 20 Disc - £1,075.00
A road bike you can take anywhere, the Scott Speedster Gravel 20 keeps on going even when the tarmac ends. The Speedster range uses a more ‘racey’ riding position for higher speeds and better on-bike aerodynamics. The difference with the graven version is that it has clearance for much wider tyres, spec’d with the 35C Schwalbe G-One Performance rubber from new. This lends the bike better grip and bump absorption on less forgiving road surfaces. The 20 speed Tiagra gearing and disc brakes complete a highly versatile package.
Cannondale CAAD Optimo Disc Tiagra - £999.99
Look beyond the funky colour scheme and the Cannondale CAAD Optimo has a lot to offer. Cannondale’s CAAD range are undoubtedly the kings of the aluminium road bike world, and the optimo is full of trickle-down wizardry, yet still comes in under a grand. The SmartFormed alloy frame & carbon fork are designed around the same geometry as the CAAD12 and SuperSix EVO, making it the perfect machine for the budding racer, or even as a training bike for regular competitors.
Women’s road bikes under £1,000
You don’t have to aspire to be the next Laura Trott or Lizzie Armitstead to get on a road bike. These low-cost road bikes make quality cycling accessible for everyone to enjoy, whether you’re cycling to work or entering your first race.
Liv Thrive 2 - £649.00
Giant’s Liv brand is well-established as a producer of excellent women’s bikes. The Liv Thrive 2 is the perfect bike to get a taste for the road with, thanks to it’s light and easy to handle ALUXX aluminium frame and flat handlebar. Although the Liv Thrive 3 is more affordable at £499, the Thrive 2 gets an upgrade to Sora gears with a beginner-friendly triple chainset, making short work of any hills that get in your way.
Specialized Dolce - £575.00
The Specialized Dolce is a fantastic first road bike in its own right, thanks to the A1 aluminium frame and FACT carbon fork (the same carbon used on their race bikes). But there’s one extra trick the Dolce keeps tucked up its sleeve that really sets it apart – the vibration absorbing Zertz inserts on the fork which help stop the road buzz from reaching your palms. The Dolce also gets Shimano’s 16 speed Claris gearing and Specialized’s own female-focussed components, including an ergonomic saddle and shallow drop handlebar.
Liv Beliv 1 - £799.00
You don’t have to turn around and go home when you run out of road. The Liv Beliv 1 keeps rolling on with its wider 32C tyre, trustworthy disc brakes with added cross-top levers (so you can brake from all hand positions), lightweight ALUXX step-through frame and 18 speed Shimano Sora gearing.
Cube Axial WLS Race 28 - £999.00
When it’s not enough just to take part, the Cube Axial WLS Race 28 has what it takes to win. Super lightweight smooth welded 6061 T6 aluminium frame, CSL Race carbon-bladed fork, full Shimano 105 groupset with 22 gears and a Mavic Aksium wheelset. This bike comes with all the gear on your wish list, all for under a thousand pounds!
Cannondale Synapse Women’s Disc Tiagra - £999.99
Race is on Sunday, ride it to work on Monday. Cannondale’s Synapse Women’s Disc Tiagra road bike is designed with an endurance/sportive geometry for all-day club events, with subtle rack mounts and clearance to add mudguards for the daily commute. Why buy two bikes when you only need one!
Liv Avail SL 1- £999.00
A clear indication that the Liv brand are producing some killer road bikes. Their third appearance in our top 15 is the Liv Avail Sl 1 Gives a balanced and comfortable position on the bike, giving you confidence around fast corners and difficult descents. It’s light, nimble, agile and with 22 Shimano 105 gears, it’s quick!