Best Road Bike Brands: Our Top 18 Picks! (2022)

(Last updated on October 31st, 2022)

I scrimped and saved to get enough money to buy my first ‘real’ road bike – a near herculean feat for me as a newly-single mom. But then I got stuck – with so many fantastic bike brands to choose from, I just didn’t know where to start.

What brands were the best ones? Which was the most valuable for my money? What brands could I trust? What did I really need to look for in a good road bike? Unfortunately, I had more questions than answers, and if you are looking for a new road bike, you might have plenty of questions, too.

In this article, we’re going to go over the top 18 road bike brands. We’ll tell you a little bit about each brand, what they’re known for, and why you might want to buy a bike from them. But first, let’s just take a quick look at what makes a great road bike.

What Makes a Road Bike a Road Bike

The primary function of a road bike is to, well, ride on the road. Sounds easy enough, right? But there are different types of road bikes to consider. For example, do you want to race? You should look for a race-oriented bike. But maybe you’d rather do some long-distance riding, in which case you’ll want to look for an endurance bike.

On the other hand, if you’re going to commute to work or school or get your groceries, you may want a more relaxed bike with lots of gears to manage heavier loads. Road bike saddles are typically firm and thin, but you can replace these with almost any saddle you like.

Overall, though, a road bike typically has a lightweight frame (usually carbon or aluminum), drop bars, and a gear set that will both help you climb and go fast. Of course, you’ll need some brakes – either rim brakes or disc brakes (which are becoming increasingly popular).

The best road bike is the one that you are comfortable riding safely. And there are plenty of brands and bikes to choose from, so let’s take a look at the 18 best road bike brands.

How I Chose the Best Road Bike Brands

There are hundreds of brands of road bikes to consider, but there are definitely some that stand out more than others. I chose the bikes that were leaders in innovation, offer great prices on top-of-the-line bikes, and provide outstanding customer service. I also looked for bikes that were exceptionally fast or had other special characteristics, such as Bianchi’s standout celeste color.

Many of these bikes are also used by professional cycling teams and have created winning bikes!

Favorite Brands and The Best Takeaway

TrekLifetime warranty
CannondaleInnovative aluminum bikes
KonaMost affordable and dependable commuter bikes
ColnagoOffers fully customizable bikes
CanyonDirect-to-Consumer Sales
Quintana RooBest Customer Service
BianchiIconic, celeste-colored bikes
RaleighMost affordable bikes
RidleyCommitted to great bike fits
LookMost popular track bike
CerveloHigh-end, fast bikes
LIV/GiantBest bikes for women
OrbeaBest accident policy and lifetime warranty
StateMost fun bikes
JamisWoman -owned company
SurlyBest steel bikes
ScottHigh-end race bikes
SpecializedHigh-end, fast, all-rounder bikes
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The 18 Best Road Bike Brands

1. Trek

The Trek Madone is one of the top Trek Road Bikes Trek offers lifetime warranties on their bicycles
The Trek Madone is one of the top Trek Road Bikes Trek offers lifetime warranties on their bicycles.

KEY INFO

Year founded1975 by Dick Burke and Bevil Hogg
LocationWaterloo, Wisconsin, USA
Most Popular BikeTrek Madone
Types of Road BikesEndurance, Aero, Lightweight, Gravel, and Ebike

Trek Bikes are one of the most well-known names in the United States. The brand started when two bike lovers, Bevil Hogg and Dick Burke, met over supper. Previously, they tried to create a chain of bike stores which failed. But the two saw a need for high-quality, American-made bikes, and they made their first bike in an old barn near Trek’s current headquarters. 

Trek went on to become a successful bike manufacturer and chain, providing bikes for some of the best cyclists and races in the world, including the Tour de France.

Trek offers high-quality bikes, lifetime warranties, and great customer service. You’ll find both aluminum and carbon frames in Trek’s lineup of road bikes.

Pros

Wide range of high-quality road bikes
Trek headquarters are in the United States
Trek offers in-depth buying guides and has stores across the USA
Lifetime warranty

Cons

Most of the bikes are available in stores rather than online
Trek’s image was once tarnished by pro-cycling doping scandals

2. Cannondale

Cannondale Synapse
Cannondale is famous for their innovative bikes, including the Cannondale Synapse.

KEY INFO

Year founded1971
LocationConnecticut, USA
Award-Winning BikeSynapse Carbon
Types of Road BikesRace, Gravel, Endurance, Cyclocross, Electric

Cannondale is known for tossing the rule book to disrupt the conventional world of cycling during a time when the bike world was steeped in tradition. Instead, they worked hard to create something new and start a cycling revolution. They are known for the use of innovation in creating bikes, especially around the use of aluminum frames, and offer a wide variety of bicycles, especially road bikes.

Pros

Amazing innovation for aluminum bikes
American brand, although the bikes are built overseas
Great resale value

Cons

Bikes are expensive

3. Kona

Kona Dew series is an affordable dependable commuter bike
Kona Dew series is an affordable dependable commuter bike.

KEY INFO

Year founded1988
LocationWashington, USA
Best BikeThe Dew series for serious commuters
Types of Road BikesRace, Gravel, Urban, Commuter, Electric

You may equate Kona with the mountain bike genre, but they also have a wide range of road and drop bar bikes. Kona still has its original founders, and they are a team of dedicated cyclists. One passion you’ll find at Kona is including bikes for people, both small and large- including kids and plus-sizes.

Pros

Kona is a team of dedicated cyclists at heart
They make bikes for extra small and extra large folks

Cons

Kona is not as well known for their urban commuter bikes

4. Colnago

Colnago V3 Colnago is known for its customizable bikes made in Italy
Colnago V3 Colnago is known for its customizable bikes made in Italy.

KEY INFO

Year founded1954
LocationFounded in Milan
Best BikeC68 Road, the pinnacle of craftsmanship
Types of Road BikesRace, Gravel, Urban, Commuter, Electric

This famous brand was founded by Ernesto Colnago, known for his incredible welding skills. His talent and eye for innovation led to many tech advances for cycling, including working with carbon instead of steel for bike frames and putting disc brakes on race bikes.

Colnago offers road bikes in carbon, steel, and titanium.

Pros

Bikes are fully customizable
The company is committed to innovation and advancing bike technology.
Carbon frames meet extremely high safety standards

Cons

Colnago bikes are pricey
Seat posts tend to be less comfortable than other brands

5. Canyon

The Canyon Endurace is an excellent endurance bikes and all rounder if you add gravel tires
The Canyon Endurace is an excellent endurance bikes and all-rounder if you add gravel tires.

KEY INFO

Year founded2002
LocationKoblenz, Germany
Best BikeCanyon Endurace makes an excellent all-rounder
Types of Road BikesAero, Triathlon, Race, Gravel, Endurance, Commuter, Electric, Cyclocross

Canyon supports a number of professional cycling teams and uses pro cyclist feedback to improve bicycles for all of their customers. Canyon has a showroom in California, but the bikes are designed in Germany. They ship direct to consumers, saving you money and time. Canyon bikes come with excellent guarantees and customer service to help you get the right bike for you.

I loved working with Canyon and found the outlet department has an excellent variety of bikes for sale.

Pros

Canyon offers bikes direct to consumer
They continually work to improve their most popular bikes
Bikes are a great value

Cons

Bikes can be hard to get
New inventory always sells out fast

6. Quintana Roo

The Quintana Roo SRSix is a fast aero bike that you can customize 1
The Quintana Roo SRSix is a fast aero bike that you can customize.

KEY INFO

Year founded1987
LocationChattanooga, TN USA
Best BikeSRSIX Aero Road Bike
Types of Road BikesTriathlon and Aero

QR is known for inventing the first triathlon-specific bike in 1987. With wind tunnel technology and real-life experience, they created a new line of aerodynamic road bikes. This direct-to-consumer company is located in Tennesee, where the bikes are customized to your specifications and hand-painted. They feature amazing customer service and great prices on carbon frames. QR is owned by the American Bicycle Group, which also owns Lightspeed Titanium and Obed Gravel.

I personally found Quintana Roo to be exceptional to work with, especially during the bike shortage.

Pros

QR offers excellent customer service and customizable bikes
Bikes are sold direct-to-consumer

Cons

Specific bike parts are hard to find

7. Bianchi

Bianchi bikes come in a beautiful celeste color
Bianchi bikes come in a beautiful celeste color.

KEY INFO

Year founded1885
LocationItaly
Best Bike Bianchi Specialissima
Types of Road BikesRacing, endurance, TT/Triathlon, Fixed Gear, Cyclocross, Gravel, Ebike

Known for its iconic celeste paint, Bianchi bikes are both prestigious and fast. Handcrafted in Italy, their road bikes span the range from the casual rider to pro cyclist. Bianchi approaches their bikes like an artisan, with style, beauty, technology, and speed.

Pros

Iconic celeste color
Offers a wide range of bikes from casual to pro cyclists

Cons

Bianchi bikes are expensive

8. Raleigh

Raleigh Raleigh bikes are some of the most affordable entry level bikes
Raleigh Raleigh bikes are some of the most affordable entry-level bikes.

KEY INFO

Year founded1887
LocationBritain
Best BikeMerit 2 Endurance Road Bike
Types of Road BikesSports Race, Urban, Kids

Raleigh bikes got its start making three bikes per week in 1887. In just a few years, they increased production to over 30,000 bikes per year. In the US, Raleigh is known for its ten-speed bicycles. Like other brands in this list, Raleigh Bicycles contributed to TDF wins and top riders.

Raleigh is known for its steel frames, making them more affordable and providing a smooth ride.

Pros

These are the most affordable bikes

Cons

These bikes tend to be heavier than typical road bikes
Raleigh  bikes are mostly entry-level
These bikes can be hard to find
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9. Ridley

The Ridley Noah Ridley is known for its great bike fits
The Ridley Noah Ridley is known for its great bike fits.

KEY INFO

Year founded1997
LocationBelgium
Most Popular BikeNoah
Types of Road BikesEndurance, Performance, Aero, Cyclocross, Triathlon, Gravel, Ebike

Ridley is a relative newcomer compared to some of the bikemakers on this list. But don’t be fooled – they are well known for their use of innovation and their command of speed. In addition, Ridley makes a road bike that will cover all territory – from the cobbles to the fast flats, so you can choose the bike that suits you best.

Pros

Ridley is committed to great bike fitting
Ridley is known for its lightweight, high-quality frames

Cons

Bike options are limited
These bikes are extra expensive

10. Look

The Madison is a popular track bike something that Look is known for
The Madison is a popular track bike something that Look is known for.

KEY INFO

Year founded1951
LocationFrance
Best Bike785 Huez Disc
Types of Road BikesAero, Altitude, Endurance, Track, Triathlon, Urban, Ebike

My experience with Look has been racing one of their bikes at the local velodrome. So naturally, you can’t go wrong with such a lightweight and stiff track bike. In addition, Look is responsible for game-changing innovations like the first automatic pedal (fashioned after its predecessor, the ski binding) and hand-built, lightweight carbon frames.

Pros

Look offers a wide variety of innovative bikes
The Look Madison is a very popular track bike

Cons

Some stock parts quickly need to be upgraded
You might have to wait for a Look bike to become available

11. Cervelo

The Cervelo R5 Cervelo is known for its fast racy bikes
The Cervelo R5 Cervelo is known for its fast racy bikes.

KEY INFO

Year founded1995 by Phil White and Gerard Vroomen
LocationCanada
Best BikeCervelo R5
Types of Road BikesRoad, TT, CX, Gravel

Cervelo is dedicated to making fast bikes and sets out to disrupt the traditional cycling world with well-engineered innovation. Unfortunately, their first pro road bike was never ridden by pros because it didn’t pass UCI standards. However, it became the launching point for speedy, winning bicycles.

Pros

Top-of-the-line, fast road bikes
Focused on innovation

Cons

The original bike did not pass UCI standards
These bikes are expensive

12. LIV / Giant

The Liv Langma is a womens specific bike something that LIVGiant is known for 1
The Liv Langma is a women’s specific bike something that LIVGiant is known for.

KEY INFO

Year founded1972, LIV was launched in 2008
LocationTaiwan
Best BikeLIV Langma Advanced Pro Disc
Types of Road BikesPerformance and Racing, Triathlon, Fitness, City, Cruisers, Ebikes, CX, Gravel

LIV/Giant bikes are so good that I thought nothing of driving five hours to get a LIV Brava in my size. Giant offers high-quality bikes and cycling gear to support all types of riders with innovation and technology.

Pros

LIV Giant advocates for all cyclists
They make women’s specific bikes to encourage more women  on bikes
Bikes are available in an affordable range of prices

Cons

Bikes are frequently out of stock

13. Orbea

You can customize your Orbea Orca
You can customize your Orbea Orca.

KEY INFO

Year founded1840
LocationSpain
Comfort Best BikeOrbea Orca
Types of Road BikesRace, Endurance, Gravel

The Global Cycling Network famously rides Orbea race bikes, and for a good reason. Orbea makes stable and responsive race bikes with aggressive geometry and precision handling. In addition, Orbea bikes are highly customizable.

Orbea bikes started out as a firearms maker, but after the war, when the need for guns diminished, they branched out into bicycles as a way of saving the family business in the 1930s. Unfortunately, the company was bought out by its employees in the 1960s. 

Pros

Lifetime warranty
Accident policy
Made famous by GCN

Cons

Comfort is not a priority on the race bike

14. State Bicycle

The Pigeon Core Line is an affordable street fixed that you can customize
The Pigeon Core Line is an affordable street fixed that you can customize.

KEY INFO

Year founded2009
LocationTempe, Arizona
Best BikeState Core Line Fixed Gear Bikes
Types of Road BikesFixed Gear, Klunkers, Urban bikes, Gravel, Race

When I first forayed into the world of fixed-gear bikes, I turned to State Bicycle. State Bicycle is known for its quality bikes at very accessible prices, and they like to have fun.

State wants to inspire enthusiasm for living life on the bike, but it has to be fun. So State prides itself on its limited bikes, color schemes, and collaborations to make riding a bike even more enjoyable.

I personally loved the Pigeon Core Line warehouse deal – I got the bike I wanted at a great discount. Steel bikes keep the costs low, but they have other offerings, as well.

Pros

Fun customizable bikes
Affordable pricing on regular bikes
Great deals in the warehouse

Cons

Needs more sizing to fit more riders 

15. Jamis

Jamis Renegade is great for smaller riders
Jamis Renegade is great for smaller riders.

KEY INFO

Year founded1937 as a distributor, it manufactured its first bike in 1979
LocationBritain
Best BikeJamis Ventura
Types of Road BikesRoad, Gravel, Urban, Cruiser, Ebike

Jamis is all about comfort on the bike but what I really love about them is their size-specific geometry. As a short rider, I have a hard time finding bikes that fit, but the Jamis Renegade has great geometry for small riders because the entire frame is adjusted, not just the height.

Pros

Women-owned company
Offers size-specific geometry to accommodate smaller riders

Cons

Small frames have little room for frame bags
Only one model of race bike

16. Surly

The Surly Straggler is a comfortable steel commuter bike
The Surly Straggler is a comfortable steel commuter bike.

KEY INFO

Year founded1998
LocationMinnesota, USA
Best BikeSurly Straggler
Types of Road BikesPavement, Gravel, Commuter, Touring, and Cargo

Surly bikes are definitely a niche market, but they do it well! If you want a sturdy steel bike that is comfortable and reliable, you want a Surly bike. Surly values utility, durability, and versatility, and especially fun. They want you to ride your bike your way. If I needed another bike, I would definitely consider a Surly bike for a fun, easy-going commuter.

Pros

Bikes are focused on a comfortable fit
Steel bikes are highly durable and have a nice ride feel

Cons

BIkes are only available in steel
Website contains vulgar language 

17. Specialized

The Specialized Tarmac is a fast all rounder bike
The Specialized Tarmac is a fast all-rounder bike.

KEY INFO

Year founded1974
LocationCalifornia
Best Selling BikeSprint Allez Entry-Level Bike 
Types of Road BikesPerformance, Gravel, CX, Triathlon, Ebike

Specialized bikes are, of course, highly reputable in the bike industry. They’re known for their award-winning, fast bikes, quality carbon frames, and innovative problem-solving abilities. These are high-quality bikes with high-quality components.

Pros

Focused on problem-solving
Best innovative, fast, and award-winning bikes

Cons

The lower-end bikes may not be worth the money

18. Scott

Scott bikes are known for their high end race bikes
Scott bikes are known for their high-end race bikes.

KEY INFO

Year founded1970 by Ed Scott
LocationSwitzerland
Best Selling BikeAddict RC
Types of Road BikesRace, Aero, Gravel, Endurance, Women’s Specific, City-hybrid

Scott Bikes got their start in the skiing world but started branching out more in the 1970s with motorsports and cycling. In 1989, Scott introduced the aero bar used by Greg LeMond for his Tour de France win that same year.

In 2007, Scott introduced the addict frame and had been at the forefront of sports innovation ever since.

Pros

Innovative bike designs
Scott takes risks to create winning, high-end bikes

Cons

These are some of the hardest-to-find and most expensive bikes

What Bikes Are Considered Road Bikes?

Road Bike is kind of an all-encompassing term that covers a lot of different types of bikes. And while you technically could ride a mountain bike on a road, some bikes are definitely better suited to roads than others. So here are the types of bikes we considered for our list of road bikes.

Race Bikes

Race bikes have a very aggressive, aerodynamic position. However, they are generally lightweight and designed more for speed than for comfort.

Endurance Bikes

On the other hand, endurance bikes are a little less ‘racy’ by design. You can still race them if you want, but they are geared towards comfort and longer rides rather than short, fast races. So they may have a slightly more upright position and more stable geometry.

Gravel Bikes

Gravel bikes look like road bikes with drop bars, but they have a longer, more relaxed, and stable geometry with wider, grippier tires so that you can take them on rough roads and even trails.

Cyclocross Bikes

CX bikes were originally road bikes with a little bit beefier tires, but now you’ll find them as their own category altogether. They have short, stiff frames that can make tight turns and knobby tires that can grip all kinds of terrain. In addition, they are lightweight, so you can pick them up to carry, and they often have 1x drivetrains.

Aero Bikes

An Aero bike has a more aerodynamic frame than a race bike, but it might be a little bit heavier. Nevertheless, they excel in long, flat races.

Track Bikes

While these bikes fall into the road category, you typically only ride them at a velodrome or on a track. They have a single, fixed gear, drop bars, no brakes, and slick tires.

TT (Time Trial) or Triathlon Bikes

These bikes are built for speed! They are extremely aerodynamic so that you can go faster with less power, but they aren’t built for lots of tight turns or steep climbs.

Commuter Bike

A commuter bike isn’t made for speed. It’s meant for daily riding in just about any weather. They are comfortable and can carry your groceries or take you to work.

Touring Bike

A touring bike is meant for long days in the saddle carrying lots of gear. They have very comfortable geometry but aren’t really built for speed.

E-bikes

Of course, we included e-bikes in this article because almost every major bike manufacturer now offers an e-bike. They are typically meant for road riding, commuting, or touring and will give you a power boost when you need it. They are heavy.

How do you know which bike is right for you?

First, consider the type of riding you’ll be doing and your fitness level. For example, if you want to race, you’ll want to look into race bikes and aero bikes or even TT/Triathlon bikes. On the other hand, if you love to go bikepacking, you may want to look at a touring bike or even an e-bike. Finally, if it’s an adventure you’re after, then a gravel bike might be the one you want since it can handle both road and off-road!

You may also want to consider your bike’s components.

Bikes come in a variety of frame materials:

  • Carbon: lightweight, stiff, and dampens road vibrations but more expensive
  • Aluminum: less expensive but feels harsh on the road
  • Steel: Less expensive, heavy, but feels smoother on the road
  • Titanium: More expensive, lightweight, and smooth

Gearing:

Some bikes are meant for hills and have lots of easy gears to help you climb. On the other hand, bikes that are meant for speed will have harder gears and fewer climbing gears. Gravel and cyclocross bikes tend to have fewer gears, while road bikes have more options.

More expensive group sets will be more precise, durable, and lightweight, while less expensive group sets will be heavier and less accurate.

Brakes

Rim brakes are still popular, but they limit the width of the tires you can use on your bike. Disc brakes will give you more stopping power, while hydraulic disc brakes give you the most stopping power and are really important on gravel bikes and steep descents.

Final Thoughts on the Best Road Bike Brands

Every brand of road bike will have a different feel, unique components and geometry, and its own signature style. Once you know what type of riding you’ll be doing, then you can look through the different brands to see who offers those bikes. Ideally, you’ll be able to test-ride a number of different brands to see which one you like the best!

Frequently Asked Questions

What is an all-rounder?

An all-rounder is a bike that does it all, well. It can be used for endurance, speed, and climbs. Race bikes are stiffer and less comfortable, while endurance bikes are more comfortable and slower.

What is the best road bike brand?

We’ve given you our favorite road bike brands to choose from, but ultimately, the best is the one that has the bike that you love the most.

How do I purchase these bikes?

Start by visiting the website of the bike you want to purchase. You can either order it online if it is a direct-to-consumer bike, or you can check inventory to find the bike in a bike shop near you.

What is the best women’s bike?

Many bike brands are beginning to offer women’s specific bikes, however, LIV Giant is on the forefront of offering women’s bikes and Jamis has an excellent selection of size-specific geometry bikes that fit women well.

What is the best steel bike?

Surly is known for making comfortable, fast steel bikes, however, Jamis also has an inventory of steel bikes.

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