Best Road Bikes for 2017 – Top 10 Reviewed

best road bikes featuredRoad bikes are a specific type of bicycle that is built for cycling at high speeds on paved roads. They usually have lightweight construction, narrow and smooth tires with high pressure, and derailleur gears. If you’re looking to get a new one for your daily commute, exercise, or for athletic pursuits, this complete buying guide has everything you need to know before purchasing. From the benefits to consideration and reviews of the top 10 best road bikes on the market right now. Please read on to be enlightened.

 

Top 10 Best Road Bike Comparison Table

Product Name

Speeds

Frame

Wheel Size

Our Rating

Price

GMC Denali Road BikeGMC Denali

21

Aluminum

700c

4

$

Vilano Aluminum 21 Road BikeVilano Aluminum 21

21

Double Butted Aluminum

700c

4

$$

Merax 21 Road BikeMerax 21

21

Aluminum

700c

4

$

Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road BikeTakara Kabuto Single Speed

Single

Steel

NA

4

$$

Vilano Shadow Road BikeVilano Shadow

14

Double Butted
Aluminum Aero frame

700c

4

$$

Vilano Fixie Road BikeVilano Fixie

Single

Fixed Gear Tig

700c

4

$

Giordano Libero 1.6 Men’s Road BikeGiordano Libero 1.6 Men’s

16

Aluminum

700c

4.5

$$$$

Schwinn Men’s Phocus 1400 Road BikeSchwinn Men’s Phocus 1400

14

Aluminum

700c

4.5

$$$

Vilano Performance Commuter Road BikeVilano Performance Commuter

21

Double Butted
Aluminum Aero frame

700c

4

$$

Critical Cycles Fixed Gear Urban Road BikeCritical Cycles Fixed Gear Urban

Single

Premium Hand-Built Steel

700c

4

$$

Benefits

  • Exercise

Cycling is a great form of exercise. It not only improves your leg strength, but your cardiovascular health as well.

  • Balance

Cycling makes you focus on staying upright, which means you need to find that sweet balancing spot between your bike and your body when riding.

  • Adrenaline

When you ride downhill and the wind is blowing in your face, you get a delightful adrenaline rush.

  • Less Stress

Cycling can relieve the stresses you encountered over the course of a day, especially when you don’t have to deal with the annoying rush hour traffic.

  • Time Saving

Bikes save you time on refuelling and maintenance. They can even zoom in and out through traffic.

  • Money Saving

Cycling doesn’t require additional fuel and costly maintenance.

Considerations

Frame Materials

  • Aluminum is the most common material used for frames. It’s fairly inexpensive, lightweight, and sturdy. Stronger aluminum frames use butted tubes which have varying wall thickness to handle greater stress on its joints.
  • Steel was the popular frame material in the 1980s. It can still be found on custom and touring bikes, because although it is heavier than aluminum, it is extremely comfortable.
  • Titanium frames are light like aluminum, but strong like steel. It is also resistant to corrosion. However, titanium is extremely difficult to work with.
  • Carbon fiber is the most expensive choice in frame material, but it’s extremely easy to work with. If you have the cash to splash then new carbon fiber bikes all the way.

Size

The worst mistake you can make looking for bikes is to get one that is too small or too large just because it’s got the right price tag. Take a look at the size chart on the manufacturer’s website and try riding it before buying it. You should be able to stand over the bike with a small space between you and the top of the frame.

Components

Manufacturers of the components for bikes have a range of matching parts that are grouped into sets, so that brake sets and gear parts match in terms of quality and function. The three manufacturers that are most popular in the bike world are: Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo.

  • Shimano offers components at entry-level prices. From Shimano, their entry-level to top-end components, in terms of quality and price, are Claris, Sora, Tiagra, 105, Ultegra and Dura-Ace.
  • Campagnolo, from entry-level to top-end, consists of Veloce, Athena, Chorus, Record and Super Record.
  • SRAM offers Apex, Rival, Force and Red.

Chainset

The chainset contains chainrings of different sizes and range. On a beginner’s bike, there’s usually a compact double chainset with one 50 and one 34-tooth chainring so you can get up a hill easier. If you’re into racing, then a standard double chainset with a larger pair of chainrings, 39/53, is probably what you’re looking for. If you want to cycle fast on hilly terrain, you want a mid-compact or semi-compact chainset with chainring sizes of 52 and 36 teeth. Triple chainsets are very rare, but are great for extremely steep hills, riding in mountains, or if you have a lot of luggage with you.

Wheels

Decent wheels are a must if you want a nice ride, and they’re more expensive to upgrade, so getting a good wheelset with your purchase is a must. Standard tires used to be 23mm wide, but wider tires at 25mm and 26mm are being used by pro riders because they’re more comfortable and handle the road better.

Brakes

Mountain bikes have disc brakes, which are seen more and more on road bikes. Disc brakes give you increased power and modulation and work just as well in bad weather or if you put a ding in your rim. Rim brakes are lighter and more aerodynamic, but are affected by bad weather and don’t work as well if your rims are less than perfect.

Top 10 Road Bike Reviews

GMC Denali

GMC Denali Road BikeThe GMC Denali is made with a 22.5” lightweight aluminum frame and weighs 32.9 pounds. It features Vitesse racing hi-profile alloy rims, stainless-steel spokes, 700c hi-performance tires, a Shimano 21 derailleur, alloy crank and water bottle cage, Shimano shifters, a 19 speed Microshift with integrated shift/brake levers, and a dual pivot brake system.

The GMC Denali comes in many different color options. It’s a pretty light bike with a quality frame that assembles easily. It has an aerodynamic design, great gearing, and a slim wheel with a smooth tire. However, the seat angle is not adjustable, the brakes could be better, and the pedals are narrow.

Vilano Aluminum 21

Vilano Aluminum 21 Road BikeThe Vilano 21 is made with a lightweight 6061 double butted aluminum frame and weighs just 24 pounds. It features 21 speeds, a 700c fork, Shimano A050 shifters, Shimano front and rear derailleurs, an alloy triple 50/40/30 crankset, a 700c doubled walled wheelset with CNC alloy machine sides, 700x25c tires, a KMC chain, alloy caliper brakes, an alloy handlebar, and an urban comfort saddle.

The Vilano Aluminum 21 is extremely lightweight with great frame construction. It offers smooth shifting and simple assembly. However, the tires are of poor quality and the seat is uncomfortable.

Merax 21

Merax 21 Road BikeThe Merax 21 is made with a strong but lightweight aluminum frame and weighs 27.5 pounds. It features a 700c steel threadless fork, Shimano front and rear derailleurs, Shimano shifters, alloy caliper brakes, aluminum rims, Kenda tires, an aluminum seat post, and an aluminum bottle cage.

The Merax 21 is lightweight but sturdy. It has a great braking system with a high performance wheelset and quick-release front wheel. The drivetrain is smooth, and the handlebar and saddle are both fairly comfortable. This bike comes almost completely assembled, so putting it together is a breeze. However, not all gears are usable and it does not have any mirrors or fenders.

Takara Kabuto Single Speed

Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road BikeThe Takara Kabuto Single Speed is made of a Tig-welded steel frame and weighs 29.5 pounds. It features a Tig-welded 1-inch threaded fork, alloy singlewall rims, Joytech alloy 16-tooth freewheel and fix gear, Kenda 700x32c tires, steel road handlebars, an alloy quilt stem, alloy side pull brakes, alloy cage pedals with toe clips, and a steel seat post.

The Takara Kabuto Single Speed has a unique color scheme that gets you noticed. It has hybrid tires, so they are thicker than road tires and can take on roads that aren’t so smooth. This bike is geared well for flat roads and rides fast. However, it is a bit heavy for a road bike. Also, the rear tire tread is directional, so if you flip the wheel to ride in fixed mode, the tread will be backwards.

Vilano Shadow

Vilano Shadow Road BikeThe Vilano Shadow is made of a lightweight 6061 double butted aluminum frame and total shipping weight is 32 pounds. It features a 700c threadless fork, Shimano A070 STI shifters with an integrated brake lever, Shimano front and rear derailleurs, an alloy double crankset, 700c double walled wheelset with CNC alloy machined sides, a Shimano 7 speed freewheel, 700x25c tires, a KMC chain, dual pivot alloy caliper brakes, an integrated headset, an anatomic comfort saddle, and an alloy seat post.

The Vilano Shadow has a strong, sturdy, and lightweight frame that will last a long time. It is built with the athlete in mind, but it’s also a great bike to travel around with. Assembly is easy, and the easy shifters are great for triathlons. However, the saddle is not the most comfortable and the derailleur gears get worn easily which causes them to slip constantly.

Vilano Fixie Road Bike

Vilano Fixie Road BikeThe Vilano Fixie is made with a fixed Tig-welded frame, a 700c threadless fork, 700c double walled wheels with CNC machine sides, a flip-flop freewheel and fixed rear hub, an alloy crankset, caliper brakes, an alloy threadless headset, an alloy threadless stem, an alloy handlebar, and an urban saddle.

The Vilano Fixie is easy to assemble without any complicated tools. The flip flop hub gives the bike versatility and allows the riders to have options to switch their riding experience to suit their personal style or road condition. With fixies, the design requires fewer parts, so these bikes are easier to maintain. However, as the name suggests, this bike lacks gears. The tires are also unreliable.

Giordano Libero 1.6 Men’s

Giordano Libero 1.6 Men’s Road BikeThe Giordano Libero 1.6 is made from a hand-crafted, lightweight 6061 aluminum frame and weighs 26 pounds. It features a high tensile steel fork, a steel threadless headset, an alloy handle bar, an Uno alloy threadless stem, Shimano 16 speed shifters with integrated brake levers, Shimano front and rear derailleurs, Vitesse 700c alloy rims, and alloy hubs.

The Giordano Libero 1.6 is lightweight and easy to transport. It’s also easy to assemble and has great shifters that let you ride with ease on different types of roads. However, the saddle is not very comfortable for long rides, and the tires are of low quality.

Schwinn Men’s Phocus 1400

Schwinn Men’s Phocus 1400 Road BikeThe Schwinn Phocus 1400 has a Schwinn aluminum frame with a road fork for quick and agile riding. It features a TruVativ alloy road crank, a KMC-Z51 chain, Shimano A050 shifters, a Shimano rear derailleur, alloy aero 32h rims, a QR alloy front hub, a bolt-on alloy rear hub, Kenda K-196 700x26c tires, resin/alloy pedals with toe cage, Promax alloy caliper brakes, alloy road brake levers, a 25.5 road drop handlebar, an alloy A-head stem, a threadless headset, an alloy seatpost, and a Schwinn road saddle.

The Schwinn Men’s Phocus 1400 has a sturdy but lightweight frame. It handles well and is easy to assemble. This model runs very smoothly. However, the tubes are very thin, and the brake levers need to be upgraded.

Vilano Performance Commuter

Vilano Performance Commuter Road BikeThe Vilano Performance is made with a lightweight 6061 aluminum frame. It features 21 speeds, a Hi-Ten steel straight blade fork, Shimano shifters, Shimano front and rear derailleurs, a ProWheel Triple crankset with chainguard, an alloy stem, a Shimano freewheel, a KMC Z chain, alloy hubs with quick release, 700c double walled rims with CNC machined sides, Kenday 700x28c tires, alloy linear pull v-brakes, an integrated sealed alloy headset, an alloy riser handlebar, and an ergo comfort saddle.

The Vilano Performance is sturdy but lightweight. It is easy to assemble. However, the derailleurs are not easy to adjust and the shifters don’t always work well with them. This bike requires that you adjust the rims and brakes before your ride. Also the saddle may be too narrow for you.

Critical Cycles Fixed Gear Urban

Critical Cycles Fixed Gear Urban Road BikeThe Critical Cycles Urban Fixie has a hand-built steel urban coaster diamond frame. It features a KT loose ball front hub a Sturmey Archer internal three speed rear hub with coaster brake, a Sturmey Archer three speed grip shifter, an alloy 170mm crankset, a KMC Z410A chain, alloy pedals, alloy handlebars, an alloy stem, an alloy seatpost, double wall alloy rims, Kenda Kwest 700x32c tires, and Kenda 700x32c tubes.

The Critical Cycles Urban Fixie is easy to assemble with all required tools provided. It has a user-friendly gear system and the tires are of high quality. However, this bike only has a rear brake which wears out quickly. The pedals are also made for those who use toe clips and straps.

Summary

Road bikes are great because they offer a form of exercise, a way to work on your balance, alleviates stress, and saves you time and money. Before buying a new one, you should consider the frame material, size, components, chainset, wheels and brakes. After reading our reviews for the top 10 options on on the market, we’re sure you are more than capable of now choosing the best road bike for your lifestyle.

Also see our top 10 picks for commuter bikes!

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