Cheapest and Best Value Road Bike 2020 | The Sun UK

CYCLING is renowned for being an expensive hobby, but it doesn’t have to be.

In fact, if you know where to look, you can get a great entry-level road bike or cheap runaround that will not only last you for years and numerous rides to come, but also won’t break the bank.

How much is a decent road bike?

It’s possible to pick up something that resembles a road bike – dropped handlebars, skinny tyres, aggressive riding position – for less than £100 with your weekly supermarket shop. But, like the rest of your shopping, something that cheap will come with a short shelf life.

If you want a decent cheap road bike, you can expect prices to start at around the £350 mark. At this point, you’ll get a brand new bike that’s perfect for weekend rides and will also be able to withstand the daily commute.

This is thanks to the trickle-down of technology over the last decade or so, which means what were once top-of-the-range features are now found on entry-level machines.

Most cheap modern road bikes will, therefore, benefit from lightweight aluminium frames, carbon fibre forks, basic branded components and, nowadays, wider tyres than road bikes are renowned for. These features alone will make a new bike miles better than your rusty excuse of a road bike that hasn’t left the garden shed since you moved into your home.

So if you’re looking to replace that tired old bike, or want a low-cost introduction to road cycling, use our guide to help you find some of the best cheap road bikes on the market.

1. B’Twin Triban RC120

  • B’Twin Triban RC120 Road Bike, £379.99 from Decathlon – buy here

There is a whole host of road bikes available at your local Decathlon branch, and the Triban RC120 is the starting point for its well-regarded road bike line.

Its lightweight alloy frame has a slightly relaxed geometry, meaning you won’t be hunched over in an uncomfortable position while riding, while its 16-speed range of gears should get you up even the steepest hill.

The bike also comes with a carbon fork (a steal at this price range, where most are made of steel), and 28mm tyres provide a lot more comfort than the skinny tyres seen on road bikes from the 80s and 90s.

At a penny under £380, it’s the perfect low-cost introduction to a road bike.

2. B'Twin Triban RC500 Disc

  • B'Twin Triban RC500 Disc Road Bike, £549.99 from Decathlon – buy here

The flat bar version of this bike also made it into our round-up of the best hybrid bikes, and it’s easy to see why.

The lightweight alloy build is miles away from the steel road bikes of old, and its slightly relaxed positioning will ensure a comfortable ride even during a long day in the saddle.

The Shimano Sora components are a rare find at this price point, while space for 28mm-wide tyres and full mudguards make it a versatile option if looking for something that can be used for commuting on too.

3. Boardman SLR 8.6 Alloy

  • Boardman SLR 8.6 Road Bike, £550 from Cycle Republic – buy here

Chris Boardman’s bike brand’s entry-level road bike is the nicest looking ride on this list, thanks to an aerodynamically-inspired aluminium frame and eye-catching silver and lime paint job. But it’s not just a pretty face.

The bike shares the same DNA as the brand’s £4,500 range-topping SLR 9.8, and is built for going places – fast.

The 16-speed Shimano gearing is a step down from that seen on the RC500 from B’Twin, but the inclusion of full carbon forks more than make up for it.

Finishing touches include a set of grippy Vittoria Zaffiro tyres.

The bike is also available in a women-specific build.

4. Pinnacle Laterite 2

  • Pinnacle Laterite 2 2020 Road Bike, £500 from Evans Cycles – buy here

Evans Cycles’ in-house brand’s entry-level road bike is another that sits around the £500 mark, and provides its own compelling reasons for you to part with your cash for it.

The bike’s mid-range build manages to combine the best bits of the Boardman and B’Twin offerings – aluminium frame, carbon fork, second-tier Shimano components – while also having unique features of its own.

The main highlight is the frame’s internal cabling.

The design keeps the gearing and brake cabling out of harm’s way, minimising maintenance, and is a rarity at this price point.

Like the Boardman offering, the Laterite also comes in a women-specific build.

5. Trek Domane AL 2

  • Trek Domane AL 2 Road Bike, £595 from Evans Cycles – buy here

If you're looking for a cheap road bike with peloton pedigree, then the Domane AL 2 from Trek might be the one for you.

The entry-level aluminium model from the American manufacturer shares the same DNA as the range-topping, endurance-focused Domane SLR line it shares its name with, albeit for a fraction of the cost.

Highlights include a full carbon fork and the same 16-speed Shimano Claris drivetrain seen on the Boardman offering above.

The rest of the components come courtesy of Trek’s sister brand Bontrager, providing a nice finish to already solid foundations.

While it is the most expensive in the list, you’re paying for more than a brand name to be slapped on the frame – the race-winning technology that has gone into the Domane AL 2 makes it a great base to start your cycling journey on.

What is the best cheap road bike?

Settling on the best value-for-money road bike will always come down to how much you’re willing to spend. If you’re looking for a real budget, entry-level bike to see if road cycling is for you, then the B’Twin Triban RC120 is a great place to start.

If you have more cash to splash, its more expensive sibling, the inclusion of disc brakes and an 18-speed Shimano Sora gearset makes the Triban RC500 tough to beat.

How can I get a good cheap road bike?

Buying a cheap road bike is easy – simply head to a specialist bike retailer and you’ll be able to find something that matches your budget and needs; in fact, the likes of Evans Cycles and Decathlon even have their own in-house brands (Pinnacle and B’Twin) that are generally great value-for-money.

What is a good price for a road bike?

A half-decent new road bike will generally start at around the £350 mark, with bikes improving remarkably around £500. Any less than this and there’s no real guarantee how long your investment will last due to poor build quality and cheap components.

What's the best road bike for beginners?

If you are an absolute beginner and are looking to make the switch from a hybrid bike to something more racey, it’s worth looking for a bike with an endurance-focused geometry. A slacker angle on the frame’s toptube will provide a much more comfortable riding position and will allow you to ride further and for longer.

All of the bikes featured fall into this endurance bracket, so it ultimately comes down to your budget and what you like the look of. The Triban RC500 from B’Twin is probably the best value bike a beginner could choose, but if this is out of your budget, then the slightly cheaper Pinnacle Laterite 2 could be a good place to start.

Enjoyed our roundup of the best value road bikes? If you only want the best, we've rounded up the best road bikes that money can buy, too.

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For more active recommendations, check out our dedicated health and fitness section.

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