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Best road bikes under £2000 2024 — affordable bikes for road cycling and beyond that combine performance and value

In our complete guide to the best road bikes under £2,000, we have the bike for you whatever type of road cycling you're into, including some options that are closer to £1,000

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Welcome to our guide to the best road bikes under £2,000. Bikes in this price bracket, are light, well-equipped and great value for money. We’ve spent hundreds of hours riding Tarmac and gravel roads to find the best bikes for £2,000.

Carbon fibre and aluminium vie for the title of most popular frame material for light weight and strength. Some people assume that carbon is always the better option but that’s not the case; there are plenty of excellent aluminium bikes out there, as you’ll see in our selection below.

Most road bikes at this price level now have hydraulic disc brakes. There are still a very few rim brake bikes available for traditionalists, but if you do opt for rim brakes over disc, often these bikes are a bit cheaper. 

Loads of bikes that were in previous versions of this buyer’s guide have gone up in price in recent years, and now sit outside the cutoff. For example, the least expensive Cannondale CAAD13 that’s available in the UK comes with a Shimano 105 groupset and has an RRP of £2,250, while the most accessible Giant Defy – equipped with Shimano Tiagra – is now the £2,299 Advanced 3. Unfortunately, that means you have to dig a little deeper – or shop around – for bikes of similar quality; but the good news is that at the time of writing, there are plenty of discounts to be had. With the bike industry's inventory levels having recovered (and in some cases overstocked) following the supply chain issues we saw in the aftermath of the Covid-19 pandemic, you can often pick up past-season bargains at online retailers or distributors. 

Although you can't quite get as much bike as you could a decade ago for £2,000, you still have a lot of choice at this price point. Carbon fibre frame, or the latest ultra-sophisticated aluminium? Racing geometry, more upright for comfort or something in between? How about taking to the byways and bridleways on a gravel bike? Whatever type of riding you have in mind, there’s a bike in this price range that’ll suit you perfectly. It's also worth mentioning that technology has improved compared to years gone by; so while the specification or tier of groupset and components might be lower than a decade ago, the entry to mid-level equipment has improved to match or surpass the premium-level stuff of old. 

Shimano dominates the equipment selection on road bikes around £2,000. You’ll probably be looking at 10-speed Shimano Tiagra 4700, 11-speed Shimano 105 R700 or maybe the new 12-speed Shimano 105 R7100 mechanical groupset if you go with an aluminium frame. Shimano's 105 Di2 groupset and beyond are reserved for bikes priced at £3,000 or more, unless you can find a second-hand bargain. 

If you want to know what more or less cash will get you, our general guide to the best road bikes with a wide selection at various price points will give you a solid understanding of what you can expect at various price points. If your budget is a bit tighter, be sure to check out our guide to the best road bikes under £1,000, and if you have a bit more cash at your disposal then our guide to the best road bikes under £3,000 is your friend. If £2k is your sweet spot though, here are our top picks. Remember we work off RRPs, so you might be very pleasantly surprised by some of the current deal prices... 

The best road bikes under £2,000

Ribble R872 Disc - Sport Shimano Tiagra

Ribble R872 Disc 105

Best road bike under £2,000 overall
Buy now for £999 from Ribble Cycles
Great value, excellent frame, ability to tweak the spec
Excellent frame
Ability to tweak the spec
Geometry will be too aggressive for some

The Ribble R872 Disc is a carbon-fibre road bike that's built to a sportive-friendly geometry and it offers a much higher performance than you'd expect. Plus, there's the bonus that you can tweak the spec to suit your taste and budget.

Our reviewer said: “The feature that surprised me most about the Ribble R872 Disc's ride is the front end stiffness. In this respect it feels like a bike costing way more than this. Haul on the alloy handlebar and everything is absolutely rock solid. You might not pull out your best Mark Cavendish sprint all that often but you'll appreciate the rigidity when climbing out of the saddle and also when cornering hard – you can really chuck this bike through the bends.”

Ribble offers the R872 in Shimano Tiagra, Shimano 105 and Shimano 105 Di2 builds. You can alter the spec of any of them. For example, you could take the standard Shimano 105 mechanical build and upgrade from Mavic Aksium wheels to Mavic Ksyrium 30s, or you could swap the alloy handlebar for a cabon model for £120, depending on your taste and budget.

Cube Attain GTC Race

Cube Attain GTC Race

Best road bike under £2,000 for combining comfort and performance
Buy now for £1999 from Sigma Sports
Comfortable ride
Positive and well-balanced handling

How does Cube manage to make a carbon-fibre endurance bike with 105 equipment for this price? Well, they've swapped out the hollow 105 chainset for the non-series FC-RS510, which is a Tiagra crank configured for 11-speed instead of 10. It's a bit heavier, but works just fine, saving a bunch on the price tag without substantial detriment to performance.

The Attain GTC Race is very much a mile-eating all-rounder, with clearance for mudguards so you can keep going through winter without getting drenched.

When he reviewed the Cube Attain GTC SL, which uses the frameset, Stu Kerton said he was surprised at how racy and fast the bike felt.

“A kick on the pedals away from the lights or when launching into a bit of a sprint sees the Attain respond well,” he said. There is plenty of stiffness around the lower section of the frame, especially around the bottom bracket area, and you feel like you are getting a decent return for your effort.

“It can maintain speed over a long period, the relaxed position being ever so slightly easier on your lower back but still allowing for a stretched-out position on the hoods or in the drops for faster sections.”

Specialized Allez Sport 2023

Specialized Allez Sport

Best aluminium road bike under £2,000 for versatility
Buy now for £1600 from Specialized
Geometry is well balanced
Decent spec for the money
Impressive comfort
Tyres are quite 'dead' feeling

Specialized’s Allez Sport is a lot of fun thanks to a geometry that flatters your skills and an aluminium alloy frame that isn’t at all harsh. The Allez bikes might not be as affordable as they once were but they’re still highly upgradable – ideal for beginners looking to progress.

Specialized follows the standard Allez formula here: a high-quality aluminium frame, carbon-fibre fork and decent components.

The latest model offers an involving ride while being quick and involving enough for winter training or the commute.

The Allez is very well-behaved, feeling balanced and easy to control, which allows you to push on quickly, carving your way through corners and down hills. It also feels planted so it doesn’t get unsettled by dodgy road surfaces. All of this is great for riders who aren’t especially confident.

The Shimano Tiagra groupset shifts well, even under load, and the hydraulic disc brakes provide confident control in all weather. The mudguard mounts could come in useful too, especially if you’re riding in the UK.

Kinesis R2

Kinesis R2

Best all-round road bike for practicality in UK conditions
Buy now for £1680 from Kinesis Bikes
A little heavy

The Kinesis R2 is a no-nonsense aluminium road bike that'll take fairly large tyres and comes with eyelets for fitting mudguards and a rack, so it's a practical choice as an all-rounder for typical UK conditions.

The R2 offers a quick yet comfortable ride. That comfort comes courtesy of a geometry that's fairly relaxed by road bike standards, a slim 27.2mm seatpost, and 32mm Continental Grand Sport Race tyres that actually measure 34mm on Alex Draw 1.9 rims. Run the tyres with a bit of squishiness left in and you get quite a cosseted ride here, especially by traditional skinny-tyred road bike standards. It's the sort of bike you can ride for hours without feeling you need to book a visit to the chiropractor.

Giant Contend SL 1 Disc

Giant Contend SL 1 Disc

Best road bike under £2,000 for ride quality and handling
Buy now for £1699 from Giant Bicycles
Great specification
Rewarding and composed ride
Impressive seated comfort
Aluminium handlebar transmits vibration
Wheels aren't especially quick

Giant has two families of endurance bikes: the Defy series with carbon-fibre frames and disc brakes throughout the range, and the Contend bikes with aluminium frames and a choice of discs or rim brakes. This is the top model in the Contend road family (although there's a more expensive Contend AR 1 designed for all-road riding). It has Shimano's excellent-value 105 11-speed transmission – with mechanical rather than electronic shifting – and Shimano 105 hydraulic disc brakes. It's a high-quality aluminium road bike that's relatively light, comfortable and well priced. It's not really a racer, but offers a lively, positive ride, with crisp handling.

Tester Rob concluded: “It has the feel of a quick bike, and decent performance potential, with even more composed handling and versatility, which makes perfect sense in today's market. For the price, the Contend SL 1 Disc is a great buy, with a thoroughly sound package that isn't crying out for immediate upgrades. It's a bike you could happily enjoy as it comes, but a future handlebar and wheel swap would make a brilliant bike really sing.”

Boardman SLR 8.9 Carbon

Boardman SLR 8.9 Carbon

Best carbon road bike under £2,000 for value
Buy now for £1750 from Halfords
Impressive frameset
Good components
Strong value
Tyres are not the most supple

The Boardman SLR 8.9 Carbon offers an excellent carbon-fibre frameset, an equally impressive Shimano 105 11-speed groupset, and it’s ripe for long-term upgrades.

At the heart of this bike, Boardman’s C7 frame offers a relatively stretched aero position along with plenty of smoothness and comfort. The tube profiles have been dictated by CFD (computational fluid dynamics) and subsequent wind tunnel testing.

This is a quick and efficient bike. You can take technical descents at speed, not only because of the planted feel but also thanks to the stiff fork and rigid, tapered head tube and steerer.

Tyre clearance is limited by the brake callipers but the Boardman still takes 28mm tyres. If you want to use the (discreet) mounts for mudguards, you can still get away with 25s, too – the 8.9 is pretty versatile.

This is a bike that works very well as a fast winter trainer or for year-round quick commuting and/or club runs.

The Boardman SLR 8.9 Carbon remains a top-level contender for bikes at this price.

Ribble CGR AL Shimano 105 gravel bike ridden on gravel

Ribble CGR AL

Best bike under £2,000 for those wanting to ride both road and gravel
Buy now for £1599 from Ribble Cycles
Hugely versatile
Superb value
Not overly compliant

Ribble's CGR AL Shimano 105 is a massively versatile bike for everything from gravel bashing to cyclocross and commuting on the road, and it’s superb value too.

Cross, Gravel, Road, that's what the CGR initials stand for on Ribble's all-rounder. A disc brake-equipped, mudguard-shod 'do a bit of everything' machine that makes a lot of sense for the rider who doesn't always want to stick to the tarmac. Thankfully, this jack of all trades is no master of none.

The aluminium frame is well made with flattened welds, there are 12mm through axles at either end with flat mount disc brakes, loads of guard, cage and rack mounts and the paint job is smooth and smart. This bike gives off the vibe of being a much more expensive machine than it is. 

The CGR starts at £899 with Shimano Tiagra, but going up to £1,599 gets you a Shimano 105 12-speed groupset and Mavic Aksium wheels. 

If you plan to mix a bit of gravel or a 'cross race in alongside regular commuting, then this Shimano 105 build is superb – and if you plan to vary it more towards one aspect than another, then Ribble has you covered with so many custom build options it's quite possible to lose a lot of time speccing up the bike exactly as you want it.

Canyon Endurace 7

Canyon Endurace 7

Best road bike under £2,000 for endurance riding
Buy now for £1449 from Canyon
Comfortable ride
Excellent finishing kit
Good value for money

It’s always worth checking out what Canyon has to offer, and this combination of the light, quick and comfortable Endurace AL frame and Shimano 105 components is good value and a superb all-day mile-eater that's fun to ride. The issue at the moment could be availability.

The aluminium alloy frame is tight and offers plenty of feedback from the road while offering stable handling and great geometry for those longer rides where performance might be secondary to comfort.

The carbon-fibre fork helps with comfort, as does the fact that the sloping top tube is likely to mean there’s plenty of seatpost extending out of the frame.

Being an endurance bike, the geometry is a little slacker than that of something like Canyon’s Aeroad race bike, with the most noticeable difference being the height of the head tube. You don’t get a ride position that feels completely upright but it will take a little strain off your back and neck.

For a bike that is designed to cover the miles and provide a position that is less extreme than a race bike, the Endurace AL still has that performance edge. It’s a well-specced endurance bike with the excitement and performance of a race machine.

Tifosi Rostra Disc Tiagra bike ridden by a man in cycling shorts

Tifosi Rostra Disc Tiagra

Best bike under £2,000 for roadies wanting to venture off-road
Buy now for £1299 from Tredz
Mounts for all the essentials
Good ride quality
Polished finish looks cool
Roadie gearing might be a little high for off-road riding
External hose routing on the fork looks a little old school

The Tifosi Rostra Disc Hydraulic Tiagra fills the gap between the road bike and gravel bike markets, “the perfect all-season bike that is capable of handling year-round British weather”, according to Tifosi. Reviewer Stu found it a pleasing bike to ride, and versatile enough to take on a range of surfaces.

The knobbly tyres might make you might think the aluminium Rostra is a gravel bike, but it isn’t. The geometry is very much road-inspired, with a slightly steeper front end than you’d find on a gravel bike and a shorter wheelbase.

The Rostra can take a maximum tyre size of 35mm which adds to the versatility. This makes it an excellent choice for the roadie who wants the option of venturing off-road without the expense of buying a dedicated gravel bike.

You also have the option of running full mudguards, a rear rack and three bottle cages, the one on the top of the down tube having three bolt positions to enable you to move your cage to fit a large frame bag, for instance.

This is a very good road bike at this price point for all kinds of riding, and it offers a great balance of speed and comfort.

Giant Revolt 0

Giant Revolt 0

Best gravel bike that's also good for commuting on the road
Buy now for £1799 from Giant Bicycles
Rides very well on road and gravel
Versatile for commuting or gravel
Great fun
A bit heavy
Not the smoothest ride
Fiddly seat clamp

Giant’s handsome Revolt bikes are designed for gravel, but they’re very much at the go-faster end of the gravel spectrum, so they’re suited to Tarmac shenanigans too with handling that's positive enough that you can push it into the bends and still have fun when the road heads downhill.

Dirt roads are where the Revolt Advanced really excels, though, rewarding flat-out effort with buckets of fun as the tyres scrabble for grip on loose surfaces. You can throw it through twisty gravel sections right on its limits and enjoy the thrill of feeling it could all go tits-up in an instant — but it doesn't.

Liv Devote 1

Liv Devote 1

Best women's bike under £2,000 for road and off-road riding
Buy now for £1349 from Cyclestore
Climbs and descends well on and off road
Bar position takes some fine-tuning for optimum comfort

In a relatively small pool of female-focused gravel bikes, the Liv Devote 1 delivers a fun and sporty but confidence-inspiring ride, on tarmac or trail.

Tester Lara writes: “Straight away, I noticed how stable and planted it feels, both on the road and off, with the geometry and lower bottom bracket position placing me firmly within the cockpit for maximum control and confidence.

“Climbing is an absolute pleasure, and even on a fairly tricky off-road climb, it gave no twitchiness in terms of handling or issues with front wheel lift at all. It actually climbs better than my hardtail mountain bike!

“There are no issues with flex or lack of power transfer – the ride is sprightly and fun. The steering is responsive without being twitchy, and it corners well. Descending is also confidence-inspiring.”

Spa Cycles Wayfarer

Spa Cycles Wayfarer

Best touring bike under £2,000
Buy now for £1445 from Spa Cycles
Great quality frame and fork with all the brazings
Excellent handbuilt touring wheels
Solid spec that can be tailored to suit
Harsh and draggy tyres

If your riding plans veer toward long, leisurely, multi-day trips rather than high-speed blats around the lanes, then the Spa Cycles Wayfarer touring bike should be on your 'must consider' list.

Tester Neil was initially deeply unimpressed. Then he changed the tyres. He writes: “The transformation was incredible. Now, when I put in some extra effort, the bike responded by going quicker! I found myself riding in the middle ring where I had been in the small ring, and the large where I'd been in the middle. Not only that, but the tooth-rattling, jarring ride over rough tracks was tamed.

“The Wayfarer went from being a bike I couldn't wait to see the back of, to one that I’d certainly recommend for serious touring duties, though the overall weight means there are better places to look in Spa’s range for more versatile all-rounders.”

Best road bikes under £2,000: how to choose and what you need to know

Is it worth spending £2,000 on a road bike?

Even though prices have increased a lot recently, you can get a very good road bike for £2,000.

Bikes at this price might not be as lightweight and/or as aerodynamically efficient as models that cost £3,000 or more, but you still get a lot of technology that has trickled down from the higher levels.

Frames are usually either carbon fibre or aluminium and you’ll usually get a 10-speed or 11-speed drivetrain. Disc brakes have largely taken over from rim brakes in this price band. Most of these are hydraulic options that perform better than the mechanical (cable-operated) alternatives you’ll find on cheaper bikes.

Most bikes at this level get groupsets from Shimano, but keep your eyes open for cheaper substitutes thrown in to keep the price down.

What frame material can I expect on a road bike for under £2,000?

The vast majority of road bikes in the price band we’re covering here have frames made from either aluminium alloy or carbon fibre.

A lot of people assume that a carbon fibre frame is inherently better than an aluminium frame – after all, nearly all of the best race bikes are carbon fibre and the material has plenty of high-tech kudos. However, many factors other than frame material come into play when deciding on the best bike for you.

We’d urge you to consider the whole package, including the groupset and wheels, and don’t discount a bike simply on the basis of frame material.

Steel makes the occasional appearance too, although it’s not common in this price band. It’s certainly an option, though, especially if outright stiffness isn’t your top priority and you like the traditional look of a skinny-tubed frame.

What groupset can I get on a £2,000 road bike?

As we mentioned in our intro, Shimano groupsets dominate across all price levels and particularly below £2,000.

Shimano’s third-tier 105 R7000 Series groupset (now superseded by the 12-speed version called 105 R7100) used to be the go-to option here, but prices have gone up recently. Many 105-equipped bikes that used to be priced below £2,000 now cost more, unless the bike is discounted and/or past-season. 

You can certainly still get bikes fitted with Shimano 105 – more often the 11-speed mechanical version rather than the 12-speed mechanical or Di2 electronic version – for less than £2,000, especially if you’re happy with rim brakes rather than more expensive disc brakes, but next-level-down Shimano Tiagra has become increasingly common.

Brands occasionally sling in components from the likes of FSA and Tektro, often to keep the price down.

Strong and reliable hydraulic disc brakes have become the norm, especially towards the top of this price band, although rim brakes are still an option.

Gravel bikes might be equipped with equipment from Shimano’s gravel-specific GRX groupsets. Shimano GRX RX600 is roughly equivalent to 105, while RX400 is about the same level as Tiagra.

There aren't many off-the-peg bikes with Sram groupsets on priced under £2,000, as the brand has focussed far more on its electronic offerings in recent years, all of which appear on bikes priced at well over two grand. The British bike brand Planet X does still offer a wide selection of bikes with Sram's mechanical Rival 22 and Apex 1 groupsets, though. 

What other components can I expect on a £2,000 road bike?

Parts like wheels, handlebars and stems frequently come from in-house brands at this price point. Most of these components are aluminium rather than carbon fibre.

Saddles can be hit and miss… as they can be at any other price point, to be fair. What works for one person won’t necessarily work for another, so take a test ride if at all possible.

Can I get a £2,000 road bike on a Cycle to Work scheme?

If you're reading this in the UK then you may be familiar with the Cycle to Work scheme, that allows you to get a bike and optional accessories at a discounted rate by taking a salary sacrifice. Before 2019 the bike value was capped at £1,000 on most Cycle to Work schemes, but now you can spend as much as you like if your employer has implemented a Cycle to Work scheme, so a bike up to and well over £2,000 is usually fine. 

Payments for your bike on a Cycle to Work scheme are taken out of your salary, usually monthly, and technically it's a loan. You'll then have the option to pay a very small fee to take ownership at the end of the loan period. How much you save will depend on how much tax you pay, but for most people this will be at least 25%.

Mat has been in cycling media since 1996, on titles including BikeRadar, Total Bike, Total Mountain Bike, What Mountain Bike and Mountain Biking UK, and he has been editor of 220 Triathlon and Cycling Plus. Mat has been technical editor for over a decade, testing bikes, fettling the latest kit, and trying out the most up-to-the-minute clothing. He has won his category in Ironman UK 70.3 and finished on the podium in both marathons he has run. Mat is a Cambridge graduate who did a post-grad in magazine journalism, and he is a winner of the Cycling Media Award for Specialist Online Writer. Now over 50, he's riding road and gravel bikes most days for fun and fitness rather than training for competitions.

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simonmb | 6 months ago

I have a years-old and pre-owned Spesh Allez - Claris 8-speed equipped but with a nice wheel, tyre and saddle upgrade - which is just as much fun to ride as my hand-built titanium framed-Sram-Red-and-carbon-everything-else-bike that costs five times as much. There's almost a 2kg difference in weight. Okay, it is measurably slower over identical routes, but I'll invariably return home with just as large a smile on my face. I bought it for my wife but, with the upgrades, find I'm happy to ride it myself!