Last updated: 11/20/16
If you’re looking for an upgrade or are ready to get serious about investing in a road bike, these top road bikes under $2,000 are a great place to start. This price point hits the sweet spot between entry level road bikes and more serious racing machines. Drop 2k and you’ll have the pleasure of riding full carbon fiber. You’ll get a taste of a lighter bike that’s more speed and performance oriented. These tend to be solid all-day rides or decent entry level race bikes.
If you’re on a budget, read our article on the best entry level road bikes.
Here are our top picks for the best road bike under $2,000 for 2016 as well as some great deals we discovered on late 2015 models.
Money-saving tip: Save at least 3% or more on your new bike, by checking here for current coupons and activating Ebates.
At the $2,000 price point, expect to find:
- Carbon fiber frame and fork
- Upgraded components like Shimano 105 and Tiagra
- Some models with disc brakes
Best Carbon Road Bike Under $2,000 with Disc Brakes
GT Grade Carbon 105 $,1999
This is a do-it-all machine. The frame’s relaxed geometry and a slightly more compact rear triangle that similar frames, make this a stiff and responsive frame, perfect for grinding your local gravel or vying for points in your hometown crit. Hydraulic disc brakes and 105 add to its versatility.
Giant Defy Advanced 3 $1,800
Plenty of options and built in comfort make the Giant Defy Advanced 3 a solid option for riders who want a bike that will grow with them. Giant’s entire Defy line was recently overhauled and though the geometry remains the same, a new seat stay and top tube design make for a smoother ride while the oversized head tube and bottom bracket provide a stiff platform and responsive handling. Throw in disc brakes and you’re ready to ride anywhere. The Defy Advanced 3 features a Tiagra 10-speed drivetrain. For a slightly better drivetrain (Shimano 105), we suggest upgrading to the Giant Defy Advanced 2 for $2,100.
Ridley Fenix C30 $1,950
A jack of all trades, the Fenix excels on rough back roads and dirt, yet is a stiff speed demon on pavement. We love this bike’s fast accelerations and confident handling. A slightly taller head tube adds to this bike’s comfort without sacrificing performance and a Shimano 105 11-speed drivetrain gets the job done. If you want to increase performance even more, we suggest swapping out the Fulcrum wheels, which are bombproof, but heavy.
Women’s Specific Entry Level Carbon Bike
Diamondback Airen 4 (2017) $2,200
For women in need of a compact geometry frame that’s light, stiff and fast, Diamondback delivers. Specs include an 11-speed Shimano 105 drivetrain with a full carbon frame and fork and hydraulic disc brakes. First race or signing up for a Gran Fondo? The Diamondback Airen 4 is comfortable, yet performs well.
Looking for a women’s specific bike? Here are our top picks.
Best Value Entry Level Carbon Race Bike
Fuji SL 2.3 $2,119
The Fuji SL 2.3 is modeled after the higher priced Altamira racing line, utilizing the least amount of material in the high modulus carbon fiber frame, which keeps the bike light and responsive, but relies on trickle down technology to maintain a lower price point. An 11-speed Ultegra drivetrain adds to the overall value. We also like the more subtle features that add extra comfort, without sacrificing performance, like a 27.2mm seat post and clearance for up to 28mm tires. If you’re not into racing, but looking to throw it down in some town line sprints, this bike will be a solid contender.
Related: Get Fast! How to Find the Best Wheels for Your Road Bike
Trek Domane 4.3 $1,999
At less than $2,000, the Trek Domane offers many of the same features of its higher end bikes. A shorter top tube, taller head tube and wider wheelbase make for a comfortable, stable ride with smooth handling. Much of the Domane’s comfort is due to Trek’s IsoSpeed Decoupler, technology that allows the seat tube and top tube to move independently of the top tube to seat stay junction, adding the comfort and stability that’s instilled confidence in Domane devotee Fabian Cancellara, who has conquered the cobbled classics on his Domane. A 105-drivetrain can be expected at this price point. We would upgrade the alloy dual-pivot brakes and Trek’s uncomfortable saddle. Or spend $100 more and upgrade to the Domane 4.3 Disc for disc brakes and a carbon fiber seat post.