Best value road bikes

If you’ve decided a road bike is what you are looking for, then it makes sense to get the most value for your money. Below, I’ve rounded up three road bikes that promise to perform to a high level without depleting your wallet.

Remember, when buying a bike the most important measurement isn’t necessarily your height. It is the inseam (inside leg) that you most need to measure. Make sure you check this against the manufacturers recommendations as this varies per bike.

Planet X Pro Carbon Rival Road Bike

£999 | From –> Planet X Bikes

Planet X value road bike

Planet X’s road bike range is well known amongst those looking for a high-spec road bike at an entry level price. At just one pound under £1000 you get a lot of bike for your money.

It features the SRAM Rival Group Set which provides performance comparable to far more expensive offerings. This guarantees a low enough weight, excellent control and lasting performance.

This is a fast, beautiful carbon road bike that can take on many of its higher priced rivals.

Trek 1.2

£599.99 | From –> Evans Cycles

Trek 1.2 value road bike

The Trek 1.2 is a firm favourite for those searching for entry level road bikes.

The 1.2 is a well rounded bike, suitable for commuting, training and pretty much anything else you throw at it. The lack of a carbon frame shouldn’t put you off, as the Alpha White Aluminium provides reasonable weight and feels comfortable to ride.

At £599.99, there’s a lot to love with the Trek 1.2.

Battaglin Start 2011

£599.99 | From –> Wiggle

Bataglin start 2011 road bike

The Battaglin Start road bike goes head to head with the Trek 1.2 targeting entry level road cyclists.

The value for money offered by this little Italian number is superb. Similarly to the Trek 1.2, the bike features a steel frame which provides a comfortable ride whilst keeping the price down and not sacrificing too much of a weight gain.

It relies on the Campagnolo Veloce groupset which should provide lasting, strong performance and arguably slightly takes the edge over the Trek 1.2.

This is a responsive, speedy road bike that is excellent for those dipping their toe into road cycling for the first time.

More articles from road bike week:

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As seen on The Guardian, BBC and The Independent.

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22 Responses to Best value road bikes

  1. Yuriy 30/08/2011 at 2:34 pm #

    Starting a list of “value” bikes with the one available for only £999 is probably not the best idea.

    • Cath 30/08/2011 at 3:00 pm #

      Value doesn’t necessarily mean budget.

      From the specs that looks ilke a really excellent value bike, and I would expect to pay significantly more for it – my only question is, why is it so (comparatively) cheap??

      • Yuriy 30/08/2011 at 4:29 pm #

        It doesn’t. Also, that’s an excellent bike as I can see. However, why stop there then and limit ourselves? Great “value for money” bikes could be also found in, say, £1500+ range, I can name a few.

        But on the second thought you’re probably right. It just looked a bit odd to me.

    • Andreas 30/08/2011 at 4:52 pm #

      What Cath said. Plus a £999 bike is £600 through the cycle to work scheme tax savings – thus making it more affordable.

      • james 02/09/2011 at 10:15 am #

        Except only those of us who work for giant corporations have that option.

        £999 is not ‘affordable’ or ‘value’!

  2. EcstaticGaucho 30/08/2011 at 4:20 pm #

    Then there are the Halford’s own-brand Chris Boardman bikes. Great value for a splendid bike.

    • Karl Roche 30/08/2011 at 4:45 pm #

      Not actually Halfords own brand, they just have the sole distribution rights but yes, they are great bikes too.

      • Andreas 30/08/2011 at 4:52 pm #

        Agreed on the Boardman bikes. It was between posting about that and the Planet X – both very good!

      • Gandalf 31/08/2011 at 11:45 am #

        According to the Boardman website the Halfords monopoly only applies to the ‘performance range’.

        It lists a number of independent stockists for the ‘Elite’ (£££££) range and also Wiggle for both ranges, which I assume is incorrect as there are no Boardman bikes to be found on Wiggle.

      • Andrew Ebling 03/09/2011 at 6:10 pm #

        If you get a Boardman from Halfords, best to get an experienced mechanic to review and adjust the setup accordingly – I’ve heard a few horror stories. Mind you, Evans didn’t even pump the tyres up to the required 100psi when they setup my road bike – both wheels were sitting at just 30psi :-/

  3. Stuart 30/08/2011 at 4:22 pm #

    Ribble bikes are fantastic value

    • Woody 30/08/2011 at 5:31 pm #

      Yup, I have a feeling my next bike is going to be a Ribble.

  4. @carbonollie 30/08/2011 at 4:23 pm #

    Yep, I ;pve my Planet X SL Carbon Pro. They are relatively cheaper due to Planet X not having stores to fun all over the country! It’s one warehouse where everything is assembled in Sheffield (I believe).
    For a carbon road bike, you can’t get any better for the price and that remains the same when looking at other frames also.
    Take a look around London at frames riding around and you’ll see a good few of these…for a reason.

  5. Jasper 30/08/2011 at 10:14 pm #

    Whats your views on the Specialized Allez? Ive had it for a few months and its been fantastic so far

    • Andreas 31/08/2011 at 2:48 pm #

      Couple of friends of mine have the Allez and no complaints.

  6. phil 31/08/2011 at 1:13 am #

    The first one i had was a Claude Butler (sp?) cheapest one that Evans stocked, 259 or 299 GBP and that was plenty good enouh for 3-4 years. Once you got rid of the duff tires it was a fun bike to ride and as an entry level road cyclist was the limitign factor not the bike on my performance

  7. Paul 31/08/2011 at 1:41 pm #

    I can testify to the joys of a Boardman – got one as a replacement for my cycle-to-work scheme bike that got nicked… from outside work! (steal-from-work pay free scheme?)

    First time I’d ridden a road bike, having been firmly in the MTB school of cycling previously. I have to say its a joy. Once I swapped out the bondage pedals (toe clip and strap) for a set of SPDs I haven’t looked back since.

  8. Chris 31/08/2011 at 2:45 pm #

    I picked up a Merida 901 road bike from eBay for a few hundred quid. At the time I figured that for my first road bike it was a good start. If it sat in the shed gathering dust for a year, then it’s no real loss and I’ve not wasted too much cash on a brand new bike.

    For what it’s worth, when I was bike hunting, the entry level road bikes from Trek, Boardman or Specialized don’t seem to devalue too much on there either.

  9. themicksa 01/09/2011 at 12:04 pm #

    Due to overcrowding in the hall I had to ditch the old clunker and have been using my road bike (an allez elite) for my 7-mile commute for the past few months. A huge improvement to both speed and pleasure. However I’m somewhat concerned that the grime, the stopping and starting, and the jungle of workplace lockups is taking its toll on the wheels and other components. (The bike shop reckons the rims have no more than a few months left in them.) Do folks think that commuting on a road bike is asking for expensive trouble? Anyone have any advice on mitigating the damage? A second set of cheaper wheels perhaps?

  10. Andrew Ebling 03/09/2011 at 6:07 pm #

    Having done some homework in this area recently myself, the consensus seems to be you should spend at least £600 for a serious entry level road bike, compared to £500 which buys you a serious entry level mountain bike.

  11. nathan 06/01/2012 at 8:27 pm #

    £300 with carbon forks, had it for a week, fantastic value for money

  12. billy 29/04/2015 at 8:20 am #

    Planet x bikes are very good value for money
    when you consider what you get for the cash
    go for xls
    I have had over 25 bikes in a lifetime of riding
    now 61 and the planet x xls with flat bars was probably my best bike ever

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