Best Road Bike Reviews of 2017

when in doubt, pedal it out…

kestrel talon

KESTREL TALON

tommaso imola

Tommaso Imola

vilano shadow 2.0

VILANO SHADOW 2.0

Riding a bike on a beautiful spring day is a great way for you to improve your health, mood, and most importantly – shape. Millions of people across the globe use quality bikes for commuting. However, the thing that can ruin the whole experience is a low-quality bike. In fact, poorly made bicycles can have a negative impact on your health by putting pressure on your spine, neck, legs, and more.

How many times did you have a problem with neck pain after getting off of your bike?

You can avoid such scenario by reading our reviews and following some of our tips and advice. We are here to give you a better insight into the world of road bikes, the things you need to look for, and much more.

Different Types of Road Bicycles

cyclecross

Cyclocross

These models are usually used for bicycle racing. The best seasons for this type are autumn and summer because they are most effective on grass and muddy surfaces. The cyclo-cross models roughly resemble the road racing bicycles. The main differences between these two are larger tires on cyclo-cross models and the frame geometry.

retrospec amok v2

RETROSPEC AMOK V2

touring bike

Touring Bikes

As the name suggests, touring bikes are specially designed for touring purposes. The main characteristic of these models is a sturdy frame, heavy duty wheels, a long wheelbase, and mounting points. All of these features have two common goals – durability and comfort. Therefore, touring bikes strive when it comes to comfortable rides through the city.

everyjourney womens 26 inch

EVRYjourney WOMEN’s 26″

triathlon bike

Triathlon / Time Trial Bicycles

When it comes to supreme aerodynamics, speed, and precision, the triathlon type is the way to go. These bikes usually have handlebars and other features to mitigate the ride and improve the aerodynamics. One of the main differences between these and road bikes is higher gearing. Since time trial races are short, you can ride at a higher pace thanks to higher gears.

diamondback serios s

DIAMONDBACK SERIOS S

flat bar road bike

Flat-Bar Road Bikes

This type is probably the most common one you’ll see on the streets of your city. The characteristics are pretty obvious – it has a flat handlebar in place of a drop bar. These bikes are sometimes referred as fitness bikes because they are most commonly used by people who want to get into or keep a good shape.

kestrel rt 1000

KESTREL RT-1000

fixed gear bike

Track / Fixed-Gear Bicycles

The main difference between this type and the others is the fact that it has only one gear. While other ones can have up to 21 or 24 gears, this particular one utilizes an 18-tooth cog mounted on the back wheel. It is quite a popular alternative to multi-geared bikes, especially if you like simplicity and ease of use.

pure fix original

PURE FIX ORIGINAL

Top Rated Products on the Market

tommaso imola review
  • TOMMASO IMOLA
  • SIZES: XXS - M
  • FRAME MATERIAL: Aluminum
  • SPEED: 24
kestrel talon 105 review
  • KESTREL TALON
  • SIZES: XS - XL
  • FRAME MATERIAL: Carbon fiber
  • SPEED: 11
vilano shadow 2.0 review
  • VILANO SHADOW 2.0
  • SIZES: S
  • FRAME MATERIAL: Aluminum
  • SPEED: 14
schwinn phocus 1600 review
  • SCHWINN PHOCUS 1600
  • SIZES: L
  • FRAME MATERIAL: Aluminum
  • SPEED: 16
giordano libero 1.6 review
  • GIORDANO LIBERO 1.6
  • SIZES: S-L
  • FRAME MATERIAL: Aluminum
  • SPEED: 16

Tommaso Imola Compact Aluminum Road Bike

tommaso imola review

OVERVIEW

Value
Quality
Comfort
Lightweight
Overall Rating
tommaso imola review

OVERVIEW

Value
Quality
Comfort
Lightweight
Overall Rating

If you’re looking for lightweight models, the Tommaso Imola would be a good one to start with. It’s made of aluminum and SST steel which is a great combination for sturdy, durable, and yet lightweight frame. One of the best things about the frame is the fact that it’s drilled for a variety of fenders, racks, and other useful commuting accessories. Therefore, it’s one of the highly customizable models on the market.

The drivetrain is a 3x8 Shimano Claris Groupset, with a 30/39/50T crankset. It’s one of the best entry-level drivetrains made by Shimano. There is a sufficient amount of gears for driving through most terrains including mud, sand, hills, and more. As you can see, versatility is one of the strongest points of this particular model.

Smooth and consistent shifting is one of the most important factors of any geared bicycle. A lot of other models have a common problem with the smoothness of shifting gears, especially while you’re on a climb. However, the Tomasso Imola has an innovative shifting system which is technologically quite ahead of its competitors. Also, the responsiveness of the system is admirable.

As far as the frame goes, its compact geometry and high-quality handlebars offer great comfort while commuting. The best thing about it is that every part of the frame was specially designed for comfort and efficiency. Therefore, you’ll have the same feeling regardless of the length of your ride, whether it’s a mile or a hundred miles, the level of comfort always stays the same.

One of the things people don’t like about this particular model is the fact that it requires professional assembly. In simpler words, you won’t be able to put it together by yourself. The price may be considered hefty, but when you think about all the advantages and supreme quality, it’s worth every penny. LEARN MORE

Kestrel Talon Road Shimano 105 Bicycle

kestrel talon 105 review

OVERVIEW

Value
Quality
Comfort
Lightweight
Overall Rating
kestrel talon 105 review

OVERVIEW

Value
Quality
Comfort
Lightweight
Overall Rating

Carbon fiber bikes are always a good choice, especially if you like durable and lightweight models. This particular one is made of a combination of 700K and 800K carbon fibers. It means it’s quite durable and sturdy, but it’s still able to retain an envious level of comfort.

When it comes to aerodynamics, this model is one of the best in its price range. It’s designed in the A2 wind tunnel, and every single component including the seat and the handlebars is fine-tuned accordingly. Therefore, the biggest “wow” factor of the Kestrel Talon is its aerodynamic form.

The seat is designed so that it reduces the vibrations significantly. Also, the power transfer is much easier with this seat thanks to its innovative design, smoothness, and above all – high quality. The seat post allows you to mount the saddle in a variety of positions. Therefore, if you’re someone who often changes their seat, this model has a great post that alleviates a lot of the hassle.

The Kestrel Talon is a perfect model for people who want to prepare for a triathlon, but don’t want to invest ridiculous amounts of money. It acts as a perfect substitution for a triathlon bike thanks to the quality of its parts and supreme design.

One of the things people don’t like about it is the level of noise it produces while stumbling upon bumps and potholes. Also, the oval concepts can be considered a bit weak meaning you will probably have to align the wheels several times a year. While it’s not a major drawback, it’s worth mentioning so that you can get an idea of what’s waiting for you if you decide to purchase this model. Apart from the oval concepts, the price is also a problem for some people. Honestly, if you’re on a tight budget, try finding some other models with similar features, because this one will cost you over a grand.

Vilano Shadow 2.0 Road Bike – Shimano STI Integrated Shifters

vilano shadow 2.0 review

OVERVIEW

Value
Quality
Comfort
Lightweight
Overall Rating
vilano shadow 2.0 review

OVERVIEW

Value
Quality
Comfort
Lightweight
Overall Rating

When it comes to convenience and innovation, the Vilano Shadow 2.0 is one of the ideal choices. The Shimano STI integrated shifters are designed to offer precise shifting and breaking without too much hassle. In fact, a lot of people find the shifter system of this bike to be quite useful and also refreshing. There aren’t many models on the market with the same method, and that’s what makes this bike pretty unique.

The double-butted aluminum frame is light, durable, and reliable. Whether you’re planning to ride your bicycle on a bumpy road or a highway, the reliability is usually one of the most important factors. You cannot commence a journey if you’re not absolutely convinced in the reliability of your bike. Luckily, you won’t have such a problem with the Vilano Shadow 2.0.

While this model isn’t as complex as the others on our list, it serves as a great substitution for some much more expensive models. Therefore, its price is one of its greatest benefits. Affordability is not a common factor with high-end bikes, especially if you’re looking for quality aluminum frames and precise shifters. However, this bicycle is suitable for most people with a mid-sized budget.

The thing you might not like about it is the number of speed levels. This is a 14-speed model, and that’s a few speeds shorter than conventional bikes. Therefore, you cannot fine-tune the speed as much as you can with other models on our list. However, thanks to the great gearing system, you shouldn’t have any issues with finding the right speed setting for the occasion.

A common misconception people have about this bicycle is the fact that most of them think it’s a professional piece. Even though it has some pretty neat features and parts, it’s just an entry-level model. However, that doesn’t mean it’s worthless. On the contrary, it’s a great substitute for other more expensive ones.

Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men’s Road Bike 700c Wheels

schwinn phocus 1600 review

OVERVIEW

Value
Quality
Comfort
Lightweight
Overall Rating
schwinn phocus 1600 review

OVERVIEW

Value
Quality
Comfort
Lightweight
Overall Rating

The Schwinn Phocus 1600 is a great all-around bicycle. It has everything you’ll ever need for a comfy and convenient road trip. The frame is made of aluminum with carbon fiber road fork. Therefore, it’s a pretty light bike. In fact, it weighs only around 30 pounds which is a great weight-to-size ratio. Agility and consistency are the two most notable upsides of this particular model.

The Shimano Claris derailleur offers 16 speeds with a micro shift lever combo. The innovative technology allows you to shift through the gears without too much hassle. Also, the shifting process is very smooth; therefore, you won’t have issues with shifting gears while riding uphill.

One of the things people don’t like about this particular model is the sturdiness of the seat. However, you can switch it easily; the factory seat isn’t a mandatory thing. Although changing the seat isn’t a big deal, hooking up some other parts is borderline impossible if you aren’t willing to drill through the frame. Remember; don’t mess with the frame if you don’t know what you are doing because you’ll jeopardize the whole integrity of the bike. Furthermore, you’ll lose the warranty rights.

The greatest upside is the fact that it comes pre-assembled. Though it requires some assembly; it’s nothing you can’t comprehend. In fact, it comes with a step-by-step guide, so you can’t go wrong or mess up anything as long as you stick with the instructions. While it is a great bike, it’s only an entry-level model. It means you can’t expect miracles from it, but if you’re not a devoted athlete, it should be a great addition to your garage.

The price is acceptable. One can’t say it’s a cheap model, but it’s certainly worth checking out. If your budget allows it, don’t hesitate to invest some money, you’ll see it’s a worthy investment.

Giordano Libero 1.6 Men’s Road Bike-700c

giordano libero 1.6 review

OVERVIEW

Value
Quality
Comfort
Lightweight
Overall Rating
giordano libero 1.6 review

OVERVIEW

Value
Quality
Comfort
Lightweight
Overall Rating

This model offers a great deal of versatility. Even though it’s not a professional one per se, it’s still good enough for your everyday activities. The frame is made of high-quality aluminum which is lightweight yet durable enough to withstand bumps and potholes on the road. The model features a 16-speed Shimano drive train. It’s not an impressive part, but it’s safe to say it does its job quite well.

The biggest upside of the Giordano Libero is the fact that it suits most of your needs. The size is somewhat universal, although you have three choices – small, medium, and large. Most riders go with the medium size because it’s designed for people who are from 5 feet 8 inches to 6 feet tall.

The drawback that most people notice is the lack of the “wow” factor. In other words, it’s a pretty standard bike without many accessories. Also, it requires assembly, and quite a few people said it’s a pretty complicated model to put together. In that case, you’re bound to hire a professional and avoid the stress and worries.

A worrying number of people also reported getting faulty parts meaning the company isn’t great when it comes to quality check and customer support.

The price is quite arguable. Some say it’s an expensive model while others swear it’s a bargain. At the end of the day, it’s up to you to evaluate whether it’s worth investing money in it. If you’re looking for a bike that’s capable of fulfilling your daily needs, don’t hesitate to check this one out.

It has its downsides and upsides, it’s not perfect by any means, but it’s more than enough for commuting, training, and having fun.

Choosing the Best Road Bike – Buyer’s Guide

Many people think most bikes are the same. However, it’s not the case whatsoever. In fact, there are a ton of small factors you need to take into account before purchasing a bicycle. We have made a list of the most important elements you need to look for on every bicycle so that you end up with a perfect one for yourself. If you follow some of these tips, the chance of getting exactly what you want and need is significantly higher.

3

Pay attention to the frame size

One of the most common mistakes people make is the wrong size choice. It’s quite easy to go wrong, so make sure to get informed about the actual size of the bike you’re considering to buy. For example, if you’re a 6 feet tall, it’s probably not a good idea to buy small-sized bikes, regardless of their quality. A lot of people think it’s easy to overcome the size issue by adjusting the height of the seat. However, it’s a completely wrong assumption, and you should avoid tweaking a model that’s already designed for something else. Instead, make sure you buy a mid or large-sized unit, and you shouldn’t have any major issues.

3

Frame materials

When it comes to frame materials, it’s all about the weight and integrity. The two most common ones are carbon fiber and aluminum frames. As you may assume, the biggest difference between these two is the price, with carbon fiber ones being the more expensive. Steel was the dominant material back in the 1980s, but as the technology progressed, the lighter materials took the front seat. It’s quite hard to work with steel, but it offers much more comfort than aluminum. Titanium is one of the exotic materials alongside carbon. It’s as durable as steel, light as aluminum, and most importantly – resistant to corrosion. However, it requires a lot of work and talent which makes titanium frames one of the rarest.

3

Various components

Things like the number of speeds, breaks, gear parts, are usually assembled into groupsets. In other words, these components are specially designed to work in conjunction with one another to offer an optimal level of quality. There are three major companies you’re likely to stumble upon – Shimano, Campagnolo, and SRAM.

For entry-level purposes, Shimano is the most convenient and affordable one. The main Shimano groupsets are Claris, Sora, 105, Ultegra, Dura-Ace, and Tiagra.

Campagnolo offers Chorus, Veloce, Athena, Record, and Super Record being the most expensive (high-end) one.

SRAM has four groupsets – Rival, Apex, Force, and Red.
The rule of thumb for these groupsets is – You get what you paid for. Therefore, you can’t expect a miraculous performance from lower-end groupsets, but if you decide to invest more money, you’ll get better performance, lower weight, and so on.

3

The wheels

The last, but not least is the wheels. They have a great influence on the overall performance of the bike. Therefore, it’s safe to say that wheels play a major role in your decision. The two main factors you need to determine are the size and weight of the wheels. When researching a new bike, quality wheels should be on the list of your priorities.

Quick Product Overview

MODELSRATINGFORKSADDLEPRICE
tommaso imola review
Tommaso Imola Compact Aluminum Road Bike
Aluminum Steer TubeTommaso WTB Volt Road SaddleCHECK ON AMAZON
kestrel talon 105 review
Kestrel Talon Road Shimano 105 Bicycle
EMH full-carbonPrologo Scratch Pro, STN railsCHECK ON AMAZON
vilano shadow 2.0 review
Vilano Shadow 2.0 Road Bike - Shimano STI Integrated Shifters
700c 1 1/8" ThreadlessAnatomic ComfortCHECK ON AMAZON
schwinn phocus 1600 review
Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men's Road Bike 700c Wheels
Carbon Fiber Road ForkSchwinn Road SaddleCHECK ON AMAZON
giordano libero 1.6 review
Giordano Libero 1.6 Men's Road Bike-700c
Carbon 1 1/8" Alloy SteererVelo Road Steel RailsCHECK ON AMAZON
road bike icon

Conclusion

Every single model from our list is worth checking out. They all have some uniqueness involved so that you can pinpoint exactly what you want and need. As far as we are concerned, the Tommaso Imola Compact Aluminum Road Bike would be the best choice. It’s an all-around bike, and it offers a lot of versatility. It’s also well-made and constructed of fine top-quality materials.

A bike should be one of your main sources of fun, healthy life, and commuting. Apart from being a non-polluting vehicle, it’s also quite healthy regardless of your health condition. Therefore, pick wisely and make sure you get what you’re looking for. Once you start exploring the benefits of road bikes, you’ll forget about other forms of transportation.