Buying a value road bike is easy when you know how. Our guide to getting the right one for under £1,000 will help you pick the perfect partner to suit your riding preference.
With modern high-end road bikes edging anywhere up to the £10,000 mark, you might be wondering if a quality bike for under £1,000 is a long-shot. But this bracket is in fact a sweet spot for those hunting a great road bike that will be fun, reliable, and even capable of competing at a high standard without the costs associated with the futurist frames and weight-sheared components of racing thoroughbreds.
For those looking for a capable entry-level machine, or simply a quality road bike for exploring within the £1,000 bracket, we’ve assembled some of the best models within this range and what you should look for.
How to choose the best sub £1,000 bike for you
If you’ve been recently browsing and are now suffering from 'overchoice,' unable to narrow your search, there are ways to simplify your decision-making. A simple prioritisation of your needs will lead you to the right decision. Here's our two-step solution to honing your search.
- Step one: Choose the style of bike for your needs:
The best bike for road riding
It’s well within the gift of a £1,000 budget to deliver a competitive road bike for those beginning to get into the more serious side of road cycling. For something race-ready, aim for a stiff frame that gives you a low, more aerodynamic riding position, and a speed-focused gear range. Those wanting to enjoy club rides or sportives should look for a comfortable, more upright frame and a wide gear range for climbing.
The best road-style bike for recreational riding
For those looking for something versatile and able to handle off-road as well as an urban spin, then a gravel or adventure bike, or even an entry-level cyclocross steed, could be the way to go. These bikes come built for bigger more forgiving tyres and offer a generally more rugged quality. Great for quick, fun gallops around the park and mixed terrains.
The best road bike for commuting
If you’re looking for a road bike adapted to leisurely city commuting or weekend rolling, a road bike with a comfortable upright frame could be the way to go, but there are other options to choose from. Have a look at some commuter specific or urban bikes. Indeed, you could go for a folding bike or a fashionable single speed. Worry less about weight (as you’ll be doing less climbing) and more about good components, wheels, and brakes, and even indulge your style.
- Step two: Should I go for a good frame or good components?
While buying a bike for under £1,000 will deliver substantial quality overall, you may have to balance the class of the frame against the standard of the components. At this price bracket, both should already be at a pretty high standard, but your requirements may warrant a focus on one rather than the other.
The best way to decide whether to go for the best frame over your desired components is to examine your plans for the bike.
Maybe you’re looking for something just to get started, with the plan of going for a more serious steed in the future. Maybe you already have a serious bike and need a back-up for casual riding or off-season training. Or, maybe you plan to use the bike infrequently, so you want a great experience in short bursts. If any of these scenarios sound like you, then look for a bike with the best components.
Alternatively, if you’re looking for a bike to sustain you for a long period over many miles, or for something with race pedigree from the off, then weigh your decision-making in favour of finding the best frame for your money.
If you need more information on component standards, check out our detailed groupset buying guide. Also, before you buy, make sure you check out our bike size guide, with details on how you can find the right size for you.
The best road bikes for under £1,000
The Zenium Carbon Disc punches well above its price tag in terms of performance. Featuring a full carbon frame, Shimano Tiagra drivetrain and disc brakes for reliable stopping power, this bike is ready for anything. Whether you have your sights set on the local crit race or you just need something for those social weekend rides, the Zenium is hard to beat.
The Wilier brand is synonymous with quality bikes, making some of the most advanced models in the market. This entry-level Luna bike comes packed with trickle-down technology from their premier range and features a quality Shimano Tiagra groupset, alloy frame, and quality carbon forks. It'll easily compete against bikes well outside its price bracket, whether you're tackling sportives or long training rides.
With a wide gear range and performance level Sora groupset, the Felt VR50 is the perfect option for all adventures. Stuffed with features, and exceptional finishing kit and components, this is a great choice for those looking immediate bang from the proverbial buck.
The best adventure bikes for under £1,000
Alternatively, If you’re looking for a more casual road bike that's capable of handling roads, trails, parkland or gravel, then an adventure bike could be the option for you.
The Vitus Substance has a go-anywhere attitude with a wide tyre clearance allowing you to go as huge as you like. Immensely versatile, offering a great balance between a quality frame and great components with its Sora groupset, this is a versatile bike that can handle any challenge.
The attraction of the Felt Broam is its incredible frame that will see you through all your adventure rides for years to come. Its Superlite custom-butted aluminium geometry is perfect for the aggressive road and adventure cyclist looking for responsiveness, agility, and robustness, dedicated to adventure with room to be upgraded and customised in line with the rider's skill and preference.
The best commuter bikes
Maybe an urban or commuter specific bike is what you’re after. If so, check out our complete guide to finding the best commuter bike here: