Buying Guide

Best Road Bikes Under 2000

Written by: Dave NartinDecember 2, 2019Updated: March 4, 2020

The future may not exactly be car shaped. With the world’s current dilemma on road space and priority on maintaining a healthier environment, cycling has always been a hot topic of discussion. 

Of course, it helps that more and more people have been seeing the world on bikes. Tour de France is one of the most popular sports to watch. Moreover, there seems to be an emphasis on promoting fitness and wellness.

Cycling is an easy sport to take up; you just need a bike to start. But is it going to be expensive? Not at all. 

In this bike review, we’ll give a rundown of the best bikes below $2,000 that can help you begin your road journey right away.

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8.7/10
Co-op-Cycles-ARD-1.4-Bike

Co-op Cycles – ARD 1.4 Bike

Why it's better?

  • It smoothly runs across straightaway roads, big climbs, and gravel, making it the perfect companion for any type of tour or destination.
  • The bike’s high-performance wheelset and hydraulic discs can overcome various weather conditions.
  • Unlike most bikes, it’s versatile enough to shift smoothly and precisely.
  • Its frame clearance and tire options open up wilder outdoor adventures and explorations.
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Cannondale-CAAD-12-Ultegra-Bike
8.8/10
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Co-op-Cycles-ARD-1.4-Bike
8.7/10
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Kestrel-Talon-X-Ultegra-Bike
8.8/10
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Diamondback Century 3 Endurance Road Bike
8.7/10
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Cannondale Synapse AL Disc Tiagra Bike
8.8/10
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What Are The Best Road Bikes Under $2000

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Cannondale – Synapse AL Disc Tiagra BikeCannondale Synapse AL Disc Tiagra Bike

Pros:

  • SmartForm frame is aesthetically pleasing and performance ready
  • Braking system provides tremendous stopping
  • Rides smoothly on rough surfaces
  • Quality alloy frame
  • Offers various sizing

Cons:

  • Pedals are not included
  • Handle bars can be less comfy than expected
  • SmartForm frame is aesthetically pleasing and performance ready
  • Braking system provides tremendous stopping
  • Rides smoothly on rough surfaces
  • Quality alloy frame
  • Offers various sizing
  • Pedals are not included
  • Handle bars can be less comfy than expected

Anyone who would simply like to go on a ride for leisure or for their daily commute can benefit from Cannondale AL Disc Tiagra Bike. Smooth, reliable, and lightweight, it offers a stable and comfortable riding position that would keep cyclists on the bike all day long. While it’s not the bike for athletes, it’s perfect for exploration and group riding.

Wheels / Tyres

One of the Tiagra’s most notable features is its Vittoria Zafiro 700 x 28-centimeter tires, which grip well and create a low-rolling resistance. The bike can accommodate tires up to 32 millimeters wide. It also features subtle fender mounts. Wheelsets are versatile, while bottom bracket pedaling are efficient.

Frame / Body

A high-performance bike, it’s made up of SmartForm C2 alloy and carbon blade forks that offer variations of thickness. Compared to other frames, it looks slick and comes with dramatic shape changes. More than that, it optimizes performance, takes away joint stress, and improves durability. The bike’s fork and rear triangle have SAVE Micro-Suspension that ensures control and comfort, while its compact handlebars make it easier to handle.

Gears

All 20 gears shift smoothly, thanks to the bike’s Shimano Tiagra drivetrain and mechanical derailleurs. This wide gear range further makes it ideal for tackling almost any terrain, as well as for fast riding and extended climbs. Moreover, fenders maintain the bike’s compatibility across different weather conditions.

Brakes

The Cannondale includes a Promax Decoder R mechanical disc braking system that keeps cyclists on balance while showcasing a great stopping power. Even in rough conditions and weather, these asymmetric discs offer great stability.

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Diamondback – Century 3 Endurance Road BikeDiamondback Century 3 Endurance Road Bike

Pros:

  • Includes pedals
  • Minimal maintenance needed
  • Comfortable for an all-day ride
  • Enhanced wheelset
  • Aesthetically pleasing

Cons:

  • Not suitable for racing
  • More upright compared to other bikes
  • Includes pedals
  • Minimal maintenance needed
  • Comfortable for an all-day ride
  • Enhanced wheelset
  • Aesthetically pleasing
  • Not suitable for racing
  • More upright compared to other bikes

The Diamondback Century 3 Endurance Road Bike is all about comfort and affordability. Whether you’re headed into century rides or sportive events, this bike is the go-to vehicle for its precise and simplified steering. Endurance oriented, lightweight, and responsive, the bike is designed for longer rides and is an excellent vehicle for winter training, fast commute, or club cycling.

Wheels / Tyres

Wheelsets are designed with a wide profile rim to accommodate slightly wider tires and enhance performance. While this type of set-up aims to provide more comfort, it doesn’t compromise the bike’s speed and lightness.

Frame / Body

With a formed and butted tubing, the bike’s 7005 alloy frame proves to be highly durable while staying on the light side. It’s made up of full fiber and carbon technology that improve steering precision and vibration damping. Its slightly more upright position is a great support for the lower back and quickly eases new cyclists to the sport.

Gears

While a plain component of the bike, the Shimano 105 2 x 11 drivetrains pack power and ensure quality performance. Its range of gears also make the bike seamless in any terrain. It comes with its own pedals, making your work easier so that you can start riding in a few easy steps.

Brakes

There’s modulation and power in the bike’s TRP Spire mechanical disc brakes, which are robust and aggressively powerful. You can even make a clean stop when faced with danger and not wear out any of the bike’s parts.

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Kestrel – Talon X Ultegra BikeKestrel-Talon-X-Ultegra-Bike

Pros:

  • Versatile and adjustable
  • Lightweight and stiff
  • Can reach up to 11 speeds
  • Braking is consistent
  • Affordable

Cons:

  • Delivers mostly unassembled
  • Heavier than its contemporaries
  • Versatile and adjustable
  • Lightweight and stiff
  • Can reach up to 11 speeds
  • Braking is consistent
  • Affordable
  • Delivers mostly unassembled
  • Heavier than its contemporaries

The first aero road bike in the market, the Kestrel Talon X is the perfect introduction to bikes for sports enthusiasts. Its tri-bike speed is perfect not just for triathletes and decathletes, but for regular riders in search of a bike’s athletic prowess as well. Whether it’s climbing uphill or heading into straightaway roads, the Talon X offers the maximum level of performance. It’s also designed with the Dura-Ace series to maximize output, making it a likely winner in the field.

Wheels / Tyres

Made from Oval Concept 527, the Kestrel Talon’s wheels are both sturdy and light. The bike also provides more support and increased speed from its 24 spokes on the rear wheel. It also includes Vittoria Zaffiro Pro tires that are not only durable but excellently grip the road at any speed.

Frame / Body

At 18 pounds, this bike is light, stiff, and made up of Kestrel’s Super Light 800k high modulus fiber. Each frame size includes unique carbon layups, tube lengths, shapes, and diameters, providing different qualities for distinct riders. With an A2 Wind Tunnel Design, the bike has aerodynamically contoured seat posts, stays, and seat tubes. For one, riders can choose between road or triathlon style positions through its KSL carbon fork features.

Gears

This Kestrel bike has fully internal cable routing and a saddle that can be mounted in various positions. With aerodynamic seats and chain stays, the bike improves its energy transfer and lateral stiffness, and offsets the pedal power loss from carbon fibers. Shifters, and front and rear derailleurs are Shimano Ultegra components and come with 11 speeds.

Brakes

The bike makes use of Shimano Ultegra STI calipers, which essentially provide a controlled and responsive brake feature. Braking conditions are safe and consistent even in the rain.

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Co-op Cycles – ARD 1.4 BikeCo-op-Cycles-ARD-1.4-Bike

Pros:

  • Shift cable routing may be converted to electronic or internal
  • Offers a smooth ride even on gravel
  • High-end wheelset
  • Includes 28-millimeter tires
  • Has a carbon fork and frame

Cons:

  • Pedals are sold separately
  • Costlier than most bikes
  • MAXIMUM OF 2 CONS
  • Shift cable routing may be converted to electronic or internal
  • Offers a smooth ride even on gravel
  • High-end wheelset
  • Includes 28-millimeter tires
  • Has a carbon fork and frame
  • Pedals are sold separately
  • Costlier than most bikes
  • MAXIMUM OF 2 CONS

If you’re looking for a bike that can withstand road, asphalt, and gravel, the Co-op Cycles ARD 1.4 Bike offers a riding experience that’s akin to a finely tuned sports car. Performance oriented and adventure ready, this bike is a serious choice for beginner and intermediate cyclists.

Wheels / Tyres

The bike’s wheels are wrapped in Clement fast rolling tires that are larger in volume, providing quick acceleration. You can even install gravel tires or a 35-millimeter tire if you want to explore rougher terrain. Moreover, the Co-op Cycle ARD’s fender mounts make it an ideal candidate for wet weather commuting.

Frame / Body

This roadrunner is available both in aluminum and carbon. Whichever you choose, expect custom frame and fork that ease the drive along bumpy roads. Moreover, the bike’s upright seating position can keep cyclists comfortable for longer rides.

Gears

With threaded bottom brackets, the bike requires only minimal maintenance. Extra control comes from the front and rear thru-axles. There’s no problem heading into long straightaways or big climbs, as the bike’s Shimano 105 shifters and Shimano 105 2 x 11 drivetrains are versatile enough to shift precisely and smoothly. The bike’s quality alloy wheelsets are also responsive and make for a faster ride.

Brakes

Moreover, the Co-op Cycles’ brakes are made from Shimano hydraulic discs that help the bike maneuver across different weathers and powerfully deliver on or off-road. While derailleur cables are externally placed, rear brakes are internally routed.

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Cannondale – CAAD 12 Ultegra BikeCannondale-CAAD-12-Ultegra-Bike

Pros:

  • Light and easy for travel
  • Performs like a carbon bike yet far more affordable
  • Responsive to any handlebar position
  • High quality gears and components
  • Has excellent potential for upgrade

Cons:

  • Needs tire upgrade to reduce rolling resistance
  • Conservative rim widths
  • Light and easy for travel
  • Performs like a carbon bike yet far more affordable
  • Responsive to any handlebar position
  • High quality gears and components
  • Has excellent potential for upgrade
  • Needs tire upgrade to reduce rolling resistance
  • Conservative rim widths

Most bikers would naturally pine for light carbon-fiber frames, but the Cannondale CAAD 12 Ultegra changes all that. This bike weighs 16 pounds and contains SAVE Micro-Suspension that is similar to carbon bikes, making it a prototype of aluminum performance. With flared Delta seat tubes, flat back, and competitive speed, this race geometry bike is a match for sprinters and crit enthusiasts. 

Wheels / Tyres

Cannondale CAAD 12 typically provides a series of operating tires, the most suitable of which are Mavic Yksion Elite Guard that measures 700 x 25 centimeters. However, the tires are not limited to these dimensions, as cyclists can also fit 28-centimeter tires. The tires also fold, maximizing bike speed and handling.

Frame / Body

At just under two pounds, the bike’s SmartForm C1 premium alloy frame makes it light, stiff, and perfect for travel. Unlike carbon, this durable aluminum frame lasts longer and doesn’t crack when the chain comes off. Its carbon fork also absorbs road vibration and shock, improves comfort, and provides superior handling ability.

Gears

The bike has 22 gears, most of which are Shimano Ultegra 8000-made, including brake levers, back derailleurs, and shifters. Chain stays are asymmetric and come with an oversized BB30a bottom bracket junction. Levers grip well and are comfortable.

Brakes

The bike includes single-bolt Shimano Ultegra 8000 brakes, which are widely known for their quick response time to sensitive braking and better control. On the other hand, the bike’s shifters are essential for maneuvering through all 22 gear combinations.


Bike Characteristics Compared

1

Bike Weight

Bicycle weight is among the most important features to consider when choosing a bicycle. The weight of a bike is generally dependent on the design and material of the frame. Aluminum frames are lighter than steel ones and are the most commonly used material for hybrid bikes. Carbon fiber are the lightest but come at a steep price. 

For those into racing sports, especially triathletes, bikes must be light enough to easily hoist over their shoulders with just one hand. Also, the weight of the bike impacts the speed and power, with lighter bikes requiring less power to maintain high speeds.

There are no standard weights for different bike designs, but they usually range from around 18 to 40 pounds. Here’s a breakdown of the usual weights of bicycles: 

Road bikes: 18–22 pounds

MTB: 21–29 pounds

Beach cruisers: 35–40 pounds

Kids bikes: 24 Pounds (5–7yrs)

Synapse AL
Century 3
Talon X
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2

Chainstay Length

The chainstay length is the distance between the centers of the bottom bracket and the rear axle. Longer chainstays typically equate to longer wheelbase and wider heel clearance.

The length of the chainstay affects the overall performance of a bike. Shorter chainstays make it easier to “manual” and spin, while longer chainstays provide more stability at high speeds. Another advantage of longer chainstays is the ample heel clearance from the panniers which provides more space for riders with larger feet.

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Century 3
Talon X
ARD 1.4
CAAD 12



3

Stack / Reach

Stack and Reach are the horizontal and vertical distance from the bottom bracket to the top of the headtube, respectively. These measurements affect how a bike will feel when sitting. They’re helpful when choosing a bike that fits you best.

There’s no best measurement for the stack and reach. The length depends on your own body size, your comfort, and your riding preferences.

Generally, the longer the stack is, the more relaxed and upright the seating position is. The longer the reach, the more stretched and aerodynamic the bike becomes. 

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Century 3
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Talon X
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CAAD 12
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4

Wheelbase

The wheelbase is the length between the centers of the front and rear axles. It affects the speed, responsiveness, and stability of a bike.

A longer wheelbase provides more stability at high speeds but requires more force to turn. For more agility, choose a shorter wheelbase which has a more responsive frame.

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5

Effective Top Tube Length

The effective top tube length is the absolute horizontal distance between the head tube and the seat post. It is not the actual length of the tube itself. It determines how stretched your body would be while riding the bike. 

Bikes like MTBs usually combine a longer ETT with a steeper head tube angle for better performance. On the other hand, comfort bikes have short ETTs and slacker head tube angles.

Synapse AL
Century 3
Talon X
ARD 1.4
CAAD 12

Frequently Asked Questions

Q: How fast are road bikes?
A:

While the answer generally depends on the type of bike and experience the cyclist can bring to the table, road bikes are sometimes called speed machines. However, most riders average around 15 miles per hour, while beginners can go as fast as 10 miles per hour. Professionals, of course, are much faster and usually earn an average speed of 25 miles per hour, which is the ideal speed for Tour de France competitions. While speed is also influenced by route, terrain, distance, fitness, and equipment, bikes can typically go as fast as your legs can take you.

Q: How to Change Shifters on Road Bikes?
A:

Changing the bike’s shifters is quite an easy task if you’re familiar with handling basic equipment and mechanical concepts.

  1. Determine the side of the shifter that you wish to replace, and remove the handlebar. You can pour water under the grip or even use a knife to separate the handlebar and the grip.
  2. Since the shifter is connected by a cable wire to the derailleur, you’ll need to place the chain onto the rear gears to remove tension on the cable’s shifter. Remove the entire cable from the bike, unbolt the shifter using the appropriate hex key, and then remove it from the handlebar. It’s sometimes necessary to remove brake levers as well to get at the shifter.
  3. You can now replace your shifter with a new one by simply sliding it into your handlebar. Make sure that you tighten it with a hex bolt. Thread out the shifter cable through the barrel adjuster and back into the derailleur’s clamp. Pull at it until snug before tightening with a hex key.
  4. Adjust the cable’s tightness until the gears shift smoothly. This loops the derailleur through its new gear cycle.
  5. If necessary, reattach brake lever, then reattach your grips with hairspray to keep them from sliding. It’s important to make sure that the hairspray is dry before you use the bike, as loose grips can lead to loss of balance and control.
Q: Why do Road Bikes Have Thin Tires?
A:

Road bikes essentially want to exert less pressure on the road to ensure lower rolling resistance and greater speed. Less rubber on pavement not only does the trick; it also entails less noise, more road traction, and greater energy storage, making it lighter and easier for cyclists to maneuver their equipment. 

Moreover, thin tires usually come with large rims, which often leads to the installation of larger braking elements that are essential tools for high-speed cycling. This also entails better road grip, even in the snow. Furthermore, thin tires simply look great, sleek, and professional.

Q: What is the Difference Between Hybrid and Road Bikes?
A:

Essentially, hybrid bikes are heavier, chunkier, and cheaper sets of vehicles compared to road bikes. Geometrically, road bikes are lightweight, thinner, and more relaxed than the upright hybrid bike. With that said, it’s more comfortable to ride a road bike for hours at a time. Hybrids have more components and are more suitable for flat city and mountain cycling. Road bikes, on the other hand, are often ideal not only for smooth surfaces but for gravel and big climbs as well.

Dave Nartin
Dave grew up in rural Australia. Having no other mode of transport, he restored to riding his BMX everywhere. This necessity quickly became into an obsession. Which has seen him cycle across Australia. You can find him now riding along the beach in Ipanema, Rio De Janeiro.