Top 10 Best Road Bike & Brands in 2017

If you are new to the world of road bike riding, then there’s one thing you must know: road biker riders are some of the most passionate sports enthusiasts on Earth. For them, it’s all about finding and enjoying the highest quality bikes, best performance for the price, and enjoying great rides; whether racing or touring for pleasure. It’s a sport which can last a lifetime, and plenty of fun goes along with the experience.This guide will help you get started the best way; with basics about bikes, and some excellent choices to look over. Your first bike may be one of many! Lots of riders use a different bike for different reasons. But, you only need one to begin…

This guide will help you get started the best way; with basics about bikes, and some excellent choices to look over. Your first bike may be one of many! Lots of riders use a different bike for different reasons. But, you only need one to begin…

What is a Road Bike?

The most common definition of a road bike is that it is a bicycle which is designed for riding mostly on pavement, and for long distances. Road bikes are usually racing bikes, and because of that function, they have lightweight frames and narrow tires.The frames are strong, featuring aerodynamic design so that wind resistance is limited. Riders need to bend far forward while riding these bikes so that they get the most speed possible. Bending forward keeps the wind flowing over the rider, helping to maintain riding speed.

The frames are strong, featuring aerodynamic design so that wind resistance is limited. Riders need to bend far forward while riding these bikes so that they get the most speed possible. Bending forward keeps the wind flowing over the rider, helping to maintain riding speed.

Road bikes share these characteristics:

  • High pressure, narrow tires
  • Frames made from materials which are light in weight, yet strong
  • Handlebars which have a distinctive curled shape
  • Brake and gear shift levers mounted on the handlebars
  • Different gears for different functions
  • Clipless or platform pedals
  • Different bike sizes for different riders

Road bikes require learning riding techniques which help the bike to achieve faster speeds and longer distances with less effort. The lighter frame weights allow for achieving these goals.

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10. Ultra-Light Aluminum 21 Speed 700C Road Bike By Bavel 10. Ultra-Light Aluminum 21 Speed 700C Road Bike By Bavel

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09. Pure Fix Single Speed by Pure Cycles 09. Pure Fix Single Speed by Pure Cycles

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08. Denali Road Bike by GMC 08. Denali Road Bike by GMC

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07. Finiss Aluminum 21 Speed 700C Bike Racing by Merax 07. Finiss Aluminum 21 Speed 700C Bike Racing by Merax

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06. Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike by Takara 06. Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike by Takara

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05. Libero 1.6 Men's Road Bike by Giordano 05. Libero 1.6 Men’s Road Bike by Giordano

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04. Phocus 1600 Men's Road Bike 700c Wheels by Schwinn 04. Phocus 1600 Men’s Road Bike 700c Wheels by Schwinn

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03. Shadow Road Bike Shimano STI Integrated Shifters by Vilano 03. Shadow Road Bike Shimano STI Integrated Shifters by Vilano

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02. Imola Compact Aluminum Road Bike by Tommaso 02. Imola Compact Aluminum Road Bike by Tommaso

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01. Talon Road Shimano 105 Bicycle by Kestrel 01. Talon Road Shimano 105 Bicycle by Kestrel

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What are the Types of Road Bikes?

Road bikes are most easily categorized by the different materials in their frames. The lighter the frame, the more expensive the bike will be. The frames are generally made from the following materials:

  • Steel- heavy and able to cushion bumps slightly; the least expensive
  • Aluminum-lighter than steel, but a rougher ride than steel
  • Carbon fiber-lightweight and quite strong
  • Titanium-strongest and lightest, but the most expensive and used by serious cyclists and competing racers

Other distinguishing features include the pedals. There are two basic types:

  • Platform pedals
  • Clipless pedals

Most basic bikes come with platform pedals. The rider pushes down to increase the speed each time the pedal makes a complete circle. Riders attach toe clips to these so that they can pull up on the pedal as well as push down, without losing their foot grip.Clipless pedals attach to special shoes which are attached to the pedals. Sometimes clipless pedals are called clip in pedals. Bikers use two hole versions for touring and mountain biking and three hole versions for racing and riding the road. Most riders do best with wider pedals, which give more support, and offer wider entry to make accessing the pedals easier.

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Clipless pedals attach to special shoes which are attached to the pedals. Sometimes clipless pedals are called clip in pedals. Bikers use two hole versions for touring and mountain biking and three hole versions for racing and riding the road. Most riders do best with wider pedals, which give more support, and offer wider entry to make accessing the pedals easier.

Some specific types of bicycles used on the road include:

  • BMX-bicycle motocross sport bikes used for racing on the road or on specially built stunt tracks
  • Racing-a stiff framed bike with dropped handlebars for aerodynamic performance
  • Recumbents-ergonomic design with seats that lean back for comfortable weight distribution
  • Touring-strong bikes with heavy duty wheels and capacity to hold luggage and heavy loads
  • Utility-the most common bike form, used for short distance transportation, shopping and errands such as delivering merchandise or mail

What are the Advantages of Road Bikes?

Because bicycles are easy to use, relatively inexpensive, and easily available, many people around the world enjoy road cycling. Road bikes can be used for recreation or for practical transportation. Many ride their bikes for regular exercise to stay healthy or to work on goals they have for losing weight or becoming stronger.Part of the popularity of road bikes is due to its reputation as a low-impact sport. Riding allows exercisers to avoid putting unnecessary stress on their ankle and knee joints, so they may exercise longer and more efficiently without injury.

Part of the popularity of road bikes is due to its reputation as a low-impact sport. Riding allows exercisers to avoid putting unnecessary stress on their ankle and knee joints, so they may exercise longer and more efficiently without injury.

Many make the decision to save money by commuting on their road bikes. Riding a bike to work or school, when possible, saves money on gasoline, vehicle repairs and parking fees. Those who spend time riding back and forth to work often report extra energy for their day and relaxed attitudes when they return home.

Road Bikes on the Market Today

For years, riders who used road bikes referred to them as 10-speeds, because their construction allowed for shifting gears to ride in 10 different speeds. This was convenient for adjusting for climbing steep hills, riding at a racing speed, touring at slower speeds, or riding on different surfaces.Most road bikes currently on the market have more than 10 speeds because they are built with multiple sprockets and gears. Road bike designs vary, but they are capable of riding on bike trails, maintained tracks and paved roads. Generally, the heavier the bike, the more energy it takes to ride it. So, most look for lighter weight frames.

Most road bikes currently on the market have more than 10 speeds because they are built with multiple sprockets and gears. Road bike designs vary, but they are capable of riding on bike trails, maintained tracks and paved roads. Generally, the heavier the bike, the more energy it takes to ride it. So, most look for lighter weight frames.

Some of the Best Road Bikes Brands

Some of the currently popular brands evaluated by bike experts are listed here:

  • Kestrel
  • Vilano
  • Haanjo
  • Giordano
  • Schwinn
  • Bavel
  • Takara
  • GMC

But, just as important is to consider the features. The best road bikes:

  • Feel comfortable
  • Are within your budget
  • Ride smoothly on different road surfaces
  • Have fast and responsive handling
  • Have a lightweight frame, wheels, and sturdy chainset
  • Reliable brakes, gears and components designed for climbing and sprinting
  • Have components which dampen vibrations on bumpy road surfaces
  • Are easy to repair with easy to get parts
  • Include the best technology within the price range

Whether it’s an entry level bike priced under $1,000 or pricier models at $8,000 and up, the fit is the most important consideration. Other perks to look for are disc brakes, comfortable saddles, carbon fiber frames and forks, larger gear ratios for easier climbing, complete component systems rather than mixed groupings, and friendly support at your local bike shop.

Buying Guide

Though it may be surprising, the price of the bike is not the first thing to consider when buying one. Of course, everyone has a budget and the good news is that there is a bike to fit each one. Some new riders will buy a new bike, and some will borrow one or buy a used bike for a short time to get an idea of what is comfortable and practical before buying.

But, price is not the most important consideration. Proper fit is. When going into any bicycle shop to try out bikes, work with a certified bike-fitting specialist.

Make an appointment for this professional to observe torso length, leg length, height, weight and body proportion. Each person moves in different ways, and it is important for the fitter to see how prospective buyers ride different kinds of bikes.The fitter can evaluate riding posture and technique and then pair the rider with the best bike in the right price range. Bikes have different frame geometry, and this construction affects the way riders ride. Bikes should be chosen based on how they fit the rider’s riding style, rather than whether the rider is male or female. Communicating how the rider will use the bike and what kind of expectations and goals the rider has for the bike will help the fitter to invest money in the right bike.

The fitter can evaluate riding posture and technique and then pair the rider with the best bike in the right price range. Bikes have different frame geometry, and this construction affects the way riders ride. Bikes should be chosen based on how they fit the rider’s riding style, rather than whether the rider is male or female.Communicating how the rider will use the bike and what kind of expectations and goals the rider has for the bike will help the fitter to invest money in the right bike.

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Communicating how the rider will use the bike and what kind of expectations and goals the rider has for the bike will help the fitter to invest money in the right bike.

When a bike fitter is not available, it is helpful to use a standard road bike chart to compare measurements:

Height Inside Leg Frame Size:

5’1” to 5’3”: 27” to 29”: 48cm
5’3” to 5’5”: 28” to 30”: 50cm
5’5” to 5’7”: 29” to 31”: 52cm
5’7” to 5’9”: 30” to 32”: 54cm
5’9” to 5’11”: 31” to 33”: 56cm
5’11” to 6’2”: 32” to 34”: 58cm
6’1” to 6’3”: 33” to 35”: 60cm
6’3” to 6’5”: 34” to 36”: 62cm

Though there are many competitive and professional riders seeking distinctive specialty bikes and features, these are not necessary for the average entry-level rider. It’s possible to buy a starter bike, learn the ins and outs of riding, and make decisions about what you can and cannot live with concerning that first bike. Once you decide to stick with the sport, there are thousands of upgrades possible.

Here are some great choices for the entry-level buyer, with a wide selection of features and affordability:

10. Ultra-Light Aluminum 21 Speed 700C Road Bike By Bavel

10. Ultra-Light Aluminum 21 Speed 700C Road Bike By Bavel

This is a very nice racing bicycle with a strong frame and fork made from aluminum. Adding quality are the Shimano derailleur, freewheel and shifter. The disc brake is a favored feature, as well. The bike offers a comfortable and smooth ride on a lightweight frame.It is a likely choice for anyone entering road bike riding for the first time, and particularly helpful for those transitioning from other riding bike styles. It’s a good first road bike for a younger rider who doesn’t require quite so much speed.

It is a likely choice for anyone entering road bike riding for the first time, and particularly helpful for those transitioning from other riding bike styles. It’s a good first road bike for a younger rider who doesn’t require quite so much speed.

Pros
  • Excellent gears and disc brakes
  • Attractive bike design, paint colors and decals
  • Great customer service
Cons
  • Chain wheels are small in diameter, with traction problems
  • Tires are not top quality
  • Bike is about 90% assembled but should be tuned and checked professionally before riding

09. Pure Fix Single Speed by Pure Cycles

09. Pure Fix Single Speed by Pure Cycles

Pure Cycles specializes in creating simple bicycles. The company makes stylish and affordable bikes with frames made from Hi-Ten steel. They come with a one year warranty on their wide selection of varied component brands, and a lifetime warranty on the frame. The bikes are single speed and do best as commuting bikes.

Pros
  • Solid construction in frame and crankset
  • Relatively light weight
  • Optional fixed gear
  • Good front brake system
Cons
  • Tires tend to pop off the rim and should be replaced before using the bike
  • Plastic rim strips are flimsy and should be replaced
  • Saddle is not comfortable
  • Brake pad wears down quickly

08. Denali Road Bike by GMC

08. Denali Road Bike by GMC

GMC is a noted brand name in the road bike world. The Denali has many nice features for a road bike. It has an aluminum frame with alloy brake levers, and calipers; with the plus of alloy racing rims by Vitesse. Even the bottle cage is made from alloy.There are 21 speeds available for easier riding on varied terrains. The Shimano shifts and derailleur offer smooth and quick gear changes. This bike is great for just about any function, including pleasure rides, commuting, touring or racing.

There are 21 speeds available for easier riding on varied terrains. The Shimano shifts and derailleur offer smooth and quick gear changes. This bike is great for just about any function, including pleasure rides, commuting, touring or racing.

Pros
  • Budget product with durable frame
  • Low first investment cost for anyone unsure if they want to ride as a hobby
Cons
  • Design flaws contribute to difficult maintenance
  • Brakes require adjustment for proper function

07. Finiss Aluminum 21 Speed 700C Bike Racing by Merax

07. Finiss Aluminum 21 Speed 700C Bike Racing by Merax

With its lightweight aluminum frame and steel fork, the Finiss includes quality Shimano shifters and derailleurs. It’s a popular bike for many just trying out the hobby of riding. Most riders enjoy its smooth ride and stylish design. For the average cycler, this bike is great for the occasional ride for exercise and enjoyment. Though most riders noted that the components are cheaper quality, most didn’t mind replacing parts or adding upgraded items because the initial purchase price of the bike is very reasonable.

Pros
  • Great starter price
  • Easy to ride
  • Stylish appearance
  • Good tire performance
Cons
  • Chains can be noisy enough to require replacement
  • Saddles are uncomfortable for some and needed replacement
  • Pedals are not quiet
  • Water bottle holders are flimsy

06. Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike by Takara

06. Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike by Takara

Takara is a well-respected name in the bike world. The Kabuto is designed to be a commuter bike, and its single speed offers durable transportation. The frame and fork are Tig-welded steel. The rims, hubs, and side pull brakes are made of alloy. It’s a nice looking bike with great colors and racing style for the average rider who simply wants a functional bike which rides well with great acceleration and handling.

Pros
  • Relatively easy to set up
  • Affordable commuter for short rides
  • Great look and price
  • Low maintenance single speed
Cons
  • Comes with some pre-built parts but requires several socket wrenches and allen wrenches to assemble completely
  • Part sizes often come mismatched to bike size
  • Additional gear required to improve functionality

05. Libero 1.6 Men’s Road Bike by Giordano

05. Libero 1.6 Men's Road Bike by Giordano

The Libero features an aluminum frame crafted by hand. The drive train is Shimano STI with 16 speeds. Giordano claims its inspiration from the well-respected Italian cycling history. This bike is designed with the enthusiast in mind, offering light and strong materials for safe, easy riding in comfort.

Cons
  • Some assembly and adjustments required
  • Brake pads or entire brakes should be replaced as they are spongy
  • White handlebar tape is difficult to keep clean
  • Shimano shifters need to be properly adjusted

04. Phocus 1600 Men’s Road Bike 700c Wheels by Schwinn

04. Phocus 1600 Men's Road Bike 700c Wheels by Schwinn

This Schwinn features carbon fiber road fork and an aluminum frame. It also has the excellent Shimano Claris derailleur with integrated shifters and 16 speeds. Other pluses include the quick release saddle and included toe clips, plus straps.The famous Schwinn brand was taken over by Pacific Cycle without affecting the durability which made Schwinn famous. Schwinn provides

The famous Schwinn brand was taken over by Pacific Cycle without affecting the durability which made Schwinn famous. Schwinn provides rugged construction in combination with quality parts made by superior brands. This is an excellent entry level road bike.

Pros
  • Fast ride speeds
  • High quality seat and brand name components
  • Responsive carbon fiber fork
Cons
  • Not appropriate for professional level riders
  • Only available in one size
  • Tires may need upgrades for a smoother ride

03. Shadow Road Bike Shimano STI Integrated Shifters by Vilano

03. Shadow Road Bike Shimano STI Integrated Shifters by Vilano

The Shadow is designed with the entry-level rider in mind. It offers the flexibility to ride it while commuting, when joining in on club rides, while riding for exercise or for an ongoing fitness program.

Though it’s frame is aluminum, it is lightweight and has an integrated headset. The addition of Shimano STI shifters elevates the bike to a higher level of function, comfort and quality.

Pros
  • Simple assembly with correct tools
  • Good looking bike at fairly light weight
  • Excellent Shimano parts
Cons
  • Seat is not comfortable for long rides
  • Brakes should be adjusted professionally before riding
  • Some problems with road vibration

02. Imola Compact Aluminum Road Bike by Tommaso

02. Imola Compact Aluminum Road Bike by Tommaso

This bike features excellent quality Shimano Claris cassette, derailleurs, shifters and front triple crankset. These components provide superior power and function on steep roads, keeping shifting smooth and accurate. The Imola features upgraded brakes and handlebars, too, as the company’s effort to provide an excellent entry-level bike.

The company’s Italian design team created this bike using the newest developments in frame design and tubing shaping. Their goal was to make a durable bike which would be comfortable to ride, lightweight and long lasting.

Pros
  • Accurate, quite shifting
  • Noiseless and secure breaks
  • Wide range of gears provides handless shifting
Cons
  • Professional assembly required
  • Wheels may have vertical wobble requiring spoke adjustments

01. Talon Road Shimano 105 Bicycle by Kestrel

01. Talon Road Shimano 105 Bicycle by Kestrel

This high-quality bike has been designed in the A2 Wind Tunnel, and the frame components are contoured for aerodynamic performance. Coupled with the proprietary saddle and seat and chain stays, the bike allows for ergonomic comfort while riding and superior vibration dampening.

It’s the superior function and reliability which riders expect from Kestrel. Two engineers working in aerospace founded the brand. Kestrel is known for creating the first composite carbon bike frames in the world. The company works with aerodynamic, bio-mechanic, engineering, and materials science experts right along with road riders and triathletes to produce innovative and fast bikes.

Talon has been a popular bike since its 2007 launch, because it offers carbon’s high performance and versatile adjustable riding positions at a competitive price associated with heavier weight aluminum bikes.

Pros
  • Light weight, beautiful bike
  • High quality 105 group set
  • Responsive frame
  • Fast, climbs well
Cons
  • Requires more assembling time than expected
  • Some difficulty shifting on the front with the Oval Concepts 520
  • Some components are noisy, requiring frequent wheel alignment
  • Customer service can be slow

The nicest part about road bikes might be that there is a great one for each rider. Finding the best fit does require some research, but for the most part, it’s fun to see what kinds of bikes there are and how each type might become part of a new lifestyle. This list of 10 top road bikes is a good place to start.

Road bike riding is certainly an enjoyable hobby. There are many who ride bikes for exercise. Some like to ride outside and enjoy the nature views and breath in fresh air. Others commute to work or school on their road bikes because they want to help preserve the environment and use less of the world’s pressure fuels. Some find that biking really helps to keep their stress under control…or even remove it entirely! Riding is the perfect way to see things up close and personal.

Bikes do take maintenance, and riders need to learn the rules of the road and some bike riding tips for riding safely and politely. These are simple guidelines; such as wearing bright clothing to be easily seen, keep an eye on traffic, use clear hand signals when changing direction, and be polite to other riders and drivers around you.

There are also friendly road bike groups that welcome new members. Joining one can offer opportunities for making new friends, learning all about road bikes, and exploring new places together. There are also as many organized road bike riding events as there are enthusiastic groups and clubs. With some guidance and practice, and a solid road bike to ride, there’s a whole new world of riding enjoyment waiting for you.