If you’re interested in buying one of the best road bikes to reduce your carbon footprint, commute, or enjoy more time outdoors and stay in shape, you have your work cut out.
Buying a road bike these days is difficult due to the wide variety of bike styles, features, bells and whistles, etc.
But starting your search with a top-five selection and learning about the bike’s most essential features might make your decision easier.
- Best Road Bikes: Reviews
- Buyer’s Guide
- Final Verdict
Best Road Bikes: Reviews
EURXC550 21 Speed Road Bike
An excellent bike for men and women, the Eurobike EURXC550 is a lightweight model with exceptional performance and versatile sizing.
Several aspects and features make the EURXC550 one of the best road bikes on the market. First, it comes with a 21-Speed Shimano shifting system. This versatile feature helps users of various levels of biking experience find the proper gear resistance on flat, incline, and decline terrain.
Secondly, the 700c 27.6-Inch wheel size puts the EURXC550 in the sweet spot for average-sized and slightly taller users. The maximum recommended height is 6 feet 1 inch. But even users at 5 feet 8 inches can make full use of the bike after adjusting the seat.
Furthermore, the bike has disc brakes that are highly responsive and convenient for regular street use. The durable bike handles well, thanks to its carbon steel construction. In addition, the EURXC550 comes with strong 3-spoke magnesium alloy wheels and a comfortable aluminum handle.
The manufacturer also includes useful accessories like free pedals, a manual, a street-legal reflector, and a pump.
The bike is designed to support about 330 pounds despite weighing only around 37 pounds. This superior construction quality is one of its top features, along with the multiple grip positions available, dramatically reducing shoulder, neck, and wrist fatigue on long rides.
While this comfortable bike delivers almost race-like performance, the professional-style handlebar isn’t for everyone, especially inexperienced or older riders.
- Carbon steel frame
- Magnesium alloy 3-spoke wheels
- Aluminum handlebar
- Shimano 21-speed shifting system
- Mechanical rear and front disc brakes
Outroad Road Bike
This Outroad Road Bike model is an interesting choice because its frame and seat adjustability accommodate younger and shorter riders and larger adults. It’s one of the best road bikes you can grow into or grow with.
A 21-speed grip shifter gives users a flexible range of pedal resistance for a plethora of road applications and different elevations. Whether 5 feet 3 inches or 7 feet tall, you should still be able to ride this aluminum frame bike with a certain degree of comfort.
The Outroad Road Bike is one of the best road bikes, with 25.2-inch wheels and a slim tire design. While the wheels aren’t too impressive, they can pick up a lot of speed, and the stability is excellent, thanks to the steel road fork.
Like many road bikes today, this Outroad Road Bike features a professional-style handlebar. It’s considered ergonomic, and it’s definitely better for your posture. But if you haven’t used the model before, it will take some getting used to, especially in high-traffic areas.
Perhaps one of the best features of this bike comes from an aesthetic standpoint. The manufacturer uses something called invisible welding technology. This results in a sleek design with each bike component seamlessly integrating into another, eliminating many corners and exposed hardware you would see in most traditional bikes.
Although the bike is intended for a wide range of users, taller riders will have posture issues from the 25.2-inch wheels. There’s also something to be said about the Y-brake system being somewhat off-brand.
- Versatile 21-speed system
- Durable aluminum frame
- Pedals and wheel reflectors included
- Slim 25.2-inch wheels for faster speeds
- Steel road fork
Off-brand Y-brake system
Giordano Aversa Aluminum Road Bike
If you’re looking for a more professional road bike, the Giordano Aversa Road Bike is an excellent budget-friendly choice.
Right off the bat, this bike differentiates itself from others through its design and features. It comes with 29-inch wheels that are great for riding long strips of flat terrain.
In addition, the bike only has 14 speeds. This is well below the average for this bike category. However, an experienced rider will appreciate having fewer speeds. The Shimano drivetrain is well-calibrated and less likely to fail when aggressively shifting gears.
Another great addition is the dual suspension system. It’s not overly loose and won’t lose speed on flat terrain. But it still helps mitigate vibrations and impacts from potholes, borders, and rocky terrain.
The Giordano Aversa bike also has caliper dual-pivot brakes. One thing to note is that the 6061 aluminum frame isn’t as heavy as expected. This is due to the bike having a smaller frame. Note that it comes in a slightly pricier medium model as well.
At just 26 pounds, the bike is excellent for youngsters and women. Despite being primarily marketed to women, the Giordano Aversa comes in a neutral light blue color and is relatively fast and capable of putting bigger bikes to shame on the open road.
The positioning and angle of the brakes on the handlebar aren’t ideally positioned to offer an authentic ergonomic feel. In addition, some users say the seat cushion and design aren’t the best.
- Has 29-Inch wheels
- Available in small and medium sizes
- Neutral blue color
- Great suspension
- Tough 6061 aluminum frame
- Cheap-feeling seat
- Brake switches need readjusting
Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike
The gorgeous aesthetics, size availability, and smooth riding make the Vilano R2 Commuter one of the best road bikes.
There are a lot of features to like about the Vilano R2 Commuter starting with the rigid suspension. Riding on roads and flat terrain is more than enough to balance comfort and speed while reducing the maintenance required to keep the bike squeak-free.
Although it comes with 29-inch wheels, the R2 Commuter is available in small, medium, and large sizes. The lower pricing and compatibility with users of different sizes and experience levels make it a great all-rounder.
The bike has 21 speeds, a 6061 double-butted aluminum frame, and a 700c wheelset. The quick-release skewers make it easy to install and service, which is excellent for beginners and people in a hurry.
You may appreciate the A060 thumb shifters that allow quick gear adjustments and the quality alloy caliper brakes. The bike looks visually impressive and has a neutral black and green theme with a stylish white Vilano logo on the frame.
Having mechanical brakes is a great sign, and the 29-inch wheels are superb for maintaining speed with minimal effort on flat terrain or an incline.
No tools are included to assist with the bike’s assembly and tuning. For that reason, complete beginners might have difficulty putting it together and achieving the desired brake and shifter responsiveness. Also, the lack of a brand-name shifter or brakes manufacturer isn’t always ideal.
- Available in three sizes
- Has 21 speeds
- Features 29-inch wheels
- 6061 double-butted durable aluminum frame
- Gorgeous unisex aesthetics
- Off-brand brakes
- No rear rack mounting holes
Tommaso Imola Endurance
If you want the perfect size for your height and weight, the Tommaso Imola Endurance Road Bike might be one of the best road bikes on the market.
The sizing availability jumps out immediately, with the bike coming in sizes XXS through XL and covering users from 4 feet 10 inches to 6 feet 5 inches.
You’ll notice that the bike has a compact frame and is slightly more ergonomic than most similar models. This effect is amplified by the professional-style handlebar. However, its design makes it unsuitable for beginners as it already requires being accustomed to proper cycling posture.
The bike has 24 speeds, which is just more than enough for a wide range of road applications. In addition, it’s made from premium aluminum with superior impact resistance and weight capacity.
Three color choices are available, but the overall theme is restrained and visually pleasing without jumping out at anyone. With the rigid suspension system, you’ll manage bumps more efficiently while maintaining a comfortable pedaling pace when trying to gain more speed.
The VDT steel fork has superior damping technology. Combined with the Corsa TC20 wheels, it can help you cut through the air like a few other road bikes.
Some standout features include the WTB Volt saddle, which is softer and more comfortable for most riders. In addition, the bike frame comes with Shimano shifting and braking components and a highly customizable frame with supports for racks and multiple accessories. All of which help you really make it your own.
Unless you’re a long-time rider and prefer using professional-style ergonomic handlebars, you might experience some fatigue until you get the hang of the Tommaso Imola Endurance bike. Of course, it probably doesn’t help that the ultra-compact handlebars are designed for experienced riders and aren’t beginner-friendly despite their superior design, pressure relief, and overall comfort.
- Customizable aluminum frame
- Multiple accessories’ mounts
- Superior vibration damping technology
- Shimano components
- Great aerodynamics
- Comfortable pressure relief saddle
- Ultra-compact handlebars
- Not for beginners or casual riders
Choosing the right road bike for your needs can be slightly overwhelming, given the many styles, designs, and features available. But if you don’t get caught up in the details and focus on the five factors that matter most, you can make a better decision much faster.
Types of Road Bikes
Road bikes are generally segmented into two large categories – endurance and race bikes. The most significant differences between these types are the intended purpose of the bike and the feel you get when riding one.
However, there are plenty of subcategories you can look out for if you’re looking for a more specialized road bike.
For example, the best road bikes in the endurance category are about increasing your comfort. As a result, the frame geometry is relaxed, and the manufacturers usually emphasize ride stability. This could mean enabling a more upright riding position, more clearance to support larger tires and extra vibration damping features.
These bikes are similar in size, shape, and function to professional road bikes used by seasoned athletes. Of course, the bikes may compromise speed to offer ergonomics. But the drop in speed is unlikely to be felt in most commuting or casual riding scenarios.
On the other hand, aero road bikes aren’t blessed with as many quality-of-life features. While still quite comfortable for road applications, aero bikes or speed bikes are designed for maximum efficiency and aerodynamics.
Sometimes these models are distinguishable by their thicker and larger tube profiles. They may have deep section wheels and deeper rims, and most components, including cables, are generally tucked away to minimize drag.
Aero road bikes could be the best for riders who only go out for sprints, have access to open, low-traffic roads, or want an adrenaline-pumping downhill experience.
But you have other types like touring, gravel, lightweight, or fitness road bikes.
Each subcategory is a variation on the previously discussed categories with slight design changes that make them more specialized in particular applications.
For instance, a gravel bike is all about durability, clearance, and superior braking performance to allow safe riding in any weather conditions.
Alternatively, a touring bike doesn’t focus on pure performance but still strives to be all-terrain-friendly while providing plenty of mounting solutions for accessories. Moreover, a touring bike is likelier to have a steel frame.
A recreational bike has very few fancy features. It’s generally intended for beginners, people on a tight budget, or those who need easy-to-handle gear rations. However, these are often great solutions if you’re a casual rider, just learning, or you care more about practicality than durability, speed, and comfort.
Group Set or Drivetrain
If you compare a bicycle with a car, its group set is the equivalent of the engine. It contains the drivetrain and brakes that make the bike function, enable it to operate at different speeds, change pedal resistances, brake, etc.
Obviously, this is one of the most important aspects of any bike, not just road bikes. A drivetrain has many parts that need to operate properly for the bike to be functional and keep the rider safe.
Chain rings, cassettes, derailleurs, shifters, and cranks make up this closed circuit responsible for propelling the bike using rider-generated power. But multiple components mean a lot can go wrong. It also means that each part is vital. Thus its quality affects the overall bike performance, safety, and durability.
So, what should you look for? Unless you’re an engineer or long-time rider, it’s difficult to take apart a groupset and figure out which has a 5% performance edge or more longevity. The easiest way to make a decision is by looking at the brand.
Bikes are one form of transportation when buying recognizable brands isn’t a vanity issue. Instead, reputable brands are preferred because they manufacture dependable drivetrains. In addition, they use better alloys, engineering techniques, calibration processes, etc.
This is where you can look for names like Shimano or SRAM.
Of course, not every bike’s group set will be comprised of brand-name components. But sometimes, having even a few is better than none.
As a general rule of thumb, the more you plan on using your bike, the better its components should be. This will minimize servicing downtime and the need for expensive replacements and maximize performance.
The topic of gear ratios is a never-ending debate. It often comes down to personal preference, and the differences between one gear ratio and another could be too minor for casual riders to feel.
But make no mistake. Gear ratios matter, and they’re all designed for specific purposes.
So, what exactly are gear ratios, and how are they determined?
Ratios are determined by the number of chainrings, their teeth, and how many cogs and teeth are in the rear cassette.
Most of the best road bikes have two or three chainrings. However, two chainrings are considered the standard for performance-oriented bikes. The three chainrings design is not strictly necessary for road bikes, but it is popular since it allows for more speed and pedal resistance selections.
Some road bikes come with a single chainring. This is unusual as the single chainring design is viewed mainly as a mountain biking standard. That said, it can be helpful because fewer moving parts minimize the risk of mechanical failure.
But how these ratios appear on bikes is essential and should be accounted for based on your riding style.
A standard or typical setup will have 53 teeth and 39 teeth on the two chainrings. This configuration is preferred by racers and professional riders.
Compact setups come with 50 teeth on the large chainring and 34 on the small chainring. This is considered a friendlier configuration that requires less muscle power and stamina to pedal faster and shift gears.
An interesting choice that’s yet to find a specific niche falls right in between and is called a semi-compact setup. This is when the large chainring displays 52 teeth and is paired with a 36-teeth small chainring.
Road bikes using a triple chain ring setup may feature 50 teeth, 39 teeth, and 30 teeth, respectively, on each chainring.
Working the cassette cogs can be easier or more complex, depending on the chainring setup. Cogs can have anywhere from nine to 12 cogs and between 11 and 28 teeth, depending on the size of the cogs.
Getting the correct gear ratio ensures you can shift gears smoothly and avoid having the chain snap off. You should also know that a large difference in teeth numbers between the first and last cog in your setup directly impacts your pedaling consistency. Reducing the chain’s travel distance between gear changes is essential for ride quality, performance, and reducing technical issues.
For experienced riders, speed enthusiasts, or pretty much any non-racer, a combination of larger chainrings and a smaller cassette ratio is ideal. However, casual riders may benefit more from smaller chainrings and a larger cassette ratio due to the easier pedaling motion.
Determining the best road bike size for you could be the hardest thing you must do before deciding. Every expert will have a slightly different recommendation for what should or shouldn’t feel like the correct frame size.
But here’s some food for thought. Smaller riders will often be comfortable on larger bikes. On the other hand, tall users will seldom feel comfortable on smaller bikes. So if you’re tall, you should pay closer attention to the frame.
The seat will only do so much in posture correction, as will the handlebar. And after a certain age, riding a bike not intended for your height will add enormous stress to your knees and lower back, particularly if you’re tall.
A general road bike sizing guide looks something like this:
- Between 18.9 and 21 inches for riders between 5 feet 1 inch and 5 feet 7 inches
- Between 21 and 23 inches for riders between 5 feet 7 inches and 5 feet 11 inches
- Between 23 and 24.5 inches for riders between 5 feet 11 inches and 6 feet 5 inches
Ideally, you’ll want to hop on a bike to get a feel for it before you buy. However, even if you plan on ordering online, borrowing a bike from a friend or testing one at a local bike store can help determine the most comfortable frame sizing range.
Although wheel sizes and tire types may slightly affect your comfort level, they don’t have the same significant or direct impact as the frame size.
However, the wheels have other implications.
The width and depth of a bike’s rims generally affect the ride quality. In road bikes, the general consensus is that they should be wider to improve aerodynamics and allow more air volume inside the tires. In addition, the extra volume makes bikes more comfortable.
Due to this trend, wide tires are gaining in popularity. To some, larger tires provide better rolling resistance and comfort.
Deeper rims allow larger tires and improve aerodynamics but could make bikes harder to handle, especially at higher speeds.
Some users prefer narrower and smaller wheels to build up speed faster. Others like the long-term efficiency of thicker, larger wheels that accelerate slower but maintain high speeds longer with less effort
What’s the Difference Between a Mountain Bike and a Road Bike?
Road bikes are intended for flat terrain riding and come with a shorter rake and steeper fork design. In contrast, mountain bikes have much larger fork rakes, superior suspension, and different head tube angles. This helps the rider to maintain the optimum center of gravity on downhill rides, steep descents, and rocky terrain.
In simple terms, road bikes are designed for speed and aerodynamics, while mountain bikes are engineered to ensure stability on sketchy terrain. Hence, the two bike types differ regarding frame, the center of gravity, suspension, durability, and optimal rider positioning and posture.
Why Is Sizing Important With Road Bikes?
Road bikes often use professional-like handlebars and a specific frame style to promote a correct riding posture. However, riding on the wrong frame size for your height puts more pressure on your lower back, knees, and neck and will tire you faster.
How High Should My Saddle Be?
According to many riders, the correct saddle height allows your heel to gently graze the pedal when it reaches its lowest position. As a result, sometimes reducing front knee pain is a simple matter of raising the saddle, while the opposite is true for back knee pains.
Do I Need Suspension on My Road Bike?
Suspension isn’t mandatory for a road bike as it is for a mountain bike or trail bike. But it can still be helpful, especially if you can’t always count on riding perfectly flat roads without holes, gravel spots, etc. A rigid suspension system is more than enough, and dual suspension isn’t necessary for road bikes.
Why Do Some Bikes Have Drop Bars and Some Have Flat Bars?
Drop bars promote better overall rider posture and allow you to take advantage of multiple hand positions. Flat bars make bikes easier to control, hence their predominant use on mountain bikes, and create more comfort for upright riding.
Personal preference can’t be underestimated when discussing the best road bikes on the market. That said, it’s hard to find fault with Eurobike’s EURXC550 21-speed road bike.
Its design achieves an outstanding balance of durability, comfort, and impressive aerodynamics. That makes it a great all-rounder and, along with its higher standard of components, one of the best road bikes on the market.
But the Vilano R2 Commuter is a solid entry-level to midrange choice if size availability is your primary concern and you’d like larger wheels to maximize comfort.