The 7 Best Road Bikes of 2021

Newbies and advanced cyclists alike will love these finds

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Our Top Picks
It boasts a durable-yet-lightweight carbon fiber frame, which should help you stay stable while you pick up some serious speed.
A high-quality aluminum bike with a 21-speed drivetrain, it promises a quick, nimble ride and reliable shifting in all conditions.
Best Budget for Women:
Hiland Road Bike at Amazon
It has classic road tires that promise a smooth, quick ride, and reliable caliper brakes for when you need to come to a stop.
The bike’s ergonomic saddle was designed with commuters in mind, resulting in a comfortable and nimble bike for every day rides.
Featuring a motor that speeds up to 20 miles per hour and a strong battery, it promises long-lasting, drag-free bike performance.
In mere seconds, you can fold the bike down to a fraction of its size, making it a particularly portable option.
Equipped with two brake options, it gives kids the opportunity to get familiar with both types.

Cycling can be a fun way to get around—not to mention, an effective way to log a little exercise. But in order to get the most out of your cycling experience, you need a comfortable bike that supports your regular cycling activities. Cruisers are great for pleasure rides, and mountain bikes can help you tackle off-road adventures. If you're one to stick to city streets and slick pavement, your probably best served by a road bike.

Road bikes are lightweight and designed to pick up speed on city streets, making them great for commuting, urban cycling, and racing. Since they're designed with a purpose in mind, it's imperative that you find one to fit your typical cycling habits. There are a variety of road bike models and brands on the market and you can find everything from budget-friendly options for beginners, to more advanced models at a higher price point.

Here are the best road bikes to fit your cycling needs.

Best Overall for Women: HeartsBio Carbon Road Bike Model H

Pros
  • Available in five frame sizes

  • Accommodates riders of different heights

  • Anti-numbing seat

  • Available in a vibrant shade of aqua

Cons
  • Very expensive

  • Ships unassembled

If you're an advanced cyclist looking for a new road bike, the HeartsBio Carbon Road Bike Model H is worth the investment. The durable and lightweight carbon fiber frame helps you stabilize while picking up speed, and the road tires are designed for a smooth ride. Featuring an 18-speed drivetrain, the bike allows for adjustment to hills and other obstacles in the road.

The ergonomic seat is designed to cut down on numbing—an issue long-distance riders face— and the adjustable handlebar and seat height will help you fight muscle strain during your ride.

Height Capacity: 4 feet, 11 inches to 5 feet, 10 inches+ | Frame Size Options: 5 | Weight: 18.7 pounds

Best Overall for Men: Tommaso Fascino Sport Performance Aluminum Road Bike

Pros
  • Available in five frame sizes

  • Accommodates riders of different heights

  • Ergonomic seat

  • More affordable than most performance bikes

Cons
  • Still pretty expensive

  • Ships unassembled

Tommaso’s Fascino Performance Road Bike is affordable, high-quality, and a good option for more advanced cyclists. With characteristics like an aluminum frame and compact handlebars, the bike is designed for a smooth and fast ride.

The 21-speed drivetrain offers the ability to shift on all road conditions, including flat surfaces and hills, and the dual-pivot breaks can stop on a dime. While it's still an investment, the bike is still affordable in comparison to other quality, high-performance road bikes.

Height Capacity: 4 feet, 9 inches to 6 feet, 5 inches | Frame Size Options: 5 | Weight: 23.6 pounds

Best Budget for Women: Hiland Road Bike 700c with 21 Speeds

Pros
  • Budget-friendly

  • Available in two frame sizes

  • Accommodates riders of different heights

  • Available in several vibrant colors

Cons
  • Ships partially unassembled

  • Not as high-performance as pricier bikes

If price is a factor, this budget-friendly road bike from Hiland won't disappoint. Boasting a lightweight aluminum frame, it offers sturdy support and the ability to turn quickly with ease. The tires are situated on double-wall aluminum frames for extra durability and the Shimano gears are designed to last you through years of riding.

Whether you're on the road or on an unstable surface, the 21-speed drivetrain will keep you in control. Additional control is provided by the caliper breaks—a reliable system that supports smooth and efficient stops.

Height Capacity: 5 feet, 3inches to 6 feet, 4 inches | Frame Size Options: 2 | Weight: 18 pounds

Best for Commuters: Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike

Pros
  • Budget-friendly

  • Available in two frame sizes

  • Ergonomic seat

  • Accommodates a relatively large height range

  • Boasts a sleek black frame

Cons
  • Pretty heavy for a road bike

  • Ships partially unassembled

If you're searching for a nimble ride to take you to and from work, the Vilano R2 Commuter Road Bike is a sound choice. It boasts a lightweight aluminum frame, and its 21-speed drivetrain gives you control while navigating packed roads.

Designed with tires that feature minimal traction, the bike is made for quick turns and an effortlessly smooth ride. However, some cyclists complain that the small seat is uncomfortable for long commutes.

Height Capacity: 5 feet, 3 inches to 6 feet | Frame Size Options: 2 | Weight: 27 pounds

Best Electric: Cannondale Synapse Neo SE Electric Bike

Cannondale Synapse Neo SE Electric Bike
Pros
  • Available in two frame sizes

  • Can reach speeds up to 20 MPH

  • Long-lasting battery

  • Short charge time

Cons
  • No height range provided

  • Very heavy

  • Ships unassembled

  • Very expensive

At first glance, the Cannondale’s Synapse Neo SE Electric Bike looks like most standard road bikes. However, it comes with a motor that you can use to reach speeds up to 20 miles per hour. While the electric function is great for long commutes, you can also make use of the 11-speed gear shifter if you want a self-operated bike.

Fixed with drag-free performance, the lightweight aluminum frame is designed to keep you feeling light on the road—even though the bike weighs 40 pounds. Additionally, it has a long-lasting battery that can keep you going for up to 93 miles.

Height Capacity: Not listed | Frame Size Options: 2 |Weight: 40 pounds

Best Folding: Xspec 7-Speed Commuter Bike

Pros
  • Foldable

  • Easy to transport or store

  • Budget-friendly

  • Boasts a sleek black frame

Cons
  • No height range provided

  • Heavy for a road bike (36 pounds)

  • Ships unassembled

Commuter-friendly, the Xspec’s Folding City Commuter Bike can fold up between uses for easy storage. It's made with durable steel so it feels heavier than most bikes, but thanks to its sleek tires, it still promises a smooth, quick ride you'd expect from a typical road bike.

The 7-speed derailleur is helpful for leisurely rides or commutes, and the adjustable seat offers ultimate comfort, no matter how long you'll be riding. But what sets this bike apart from the rest, is that it folds down to a fraction of the size making it extremely portable.

Height Capacity: Not listed | Frame Size Options: 1 | Weight: 36 pounds

Best for Kids: Co-op Cycles REV 20 Kids' Bike

Co-op Cycles REV 20 Kids' Bike
Pros
  • Small handlebars and saddle

  • Heavier road bike (good for beginners)

  • No gear shifting required

Cons
  • No height range provided

  • Relatively limited weight capacity (80 pounds max)

  • Ships unassembled

Weighing in at 20 pounds, the Co-op Cycles’ REV 20 Bike is made to help kids build confidence as they gain cycling experience. While the aluminum frame is crafted for maneuverability, the heavier weight provides additional control for new riders.

The bike comes with two break options— a Tektro linear-pull and coaster brake—giving kids the opportunity to choose what break style makes them more comfortable. It also comes with a fun sticker pack for kids who want to customize the style of their road bike.

Height Capacity: Not listed (but weight capacity is 80 pounds) | Frame Size Options: 1 | Weight: 20 pounds

If you’re looking for a performance road bike at a more accessible price point, Tommaso’s Fascino Performance Road Bike (view at Amazon) is a solid pick. It comes in five sizes and the aluminum frame keeps it lightweight for ultimate maneuverability. Its 21-speed drivetrain is great for tight navigation, and the bike was designed with both beginners and advanced cyclists in mind.

What to Look for in a Road Bike

Height Capacity

Before committing to a bike, you want to know that bike will fit you correctly. Take a close look at the "height capacity" or "recommended height range" online. This will help you determine what size you need for a comfortable ride.

Frame Size Options

When buying a bike, paying attention to frame size is imperative. Since the frame can't be replaced (unlike wheels) you want to find one that fits your height and weight from the start. Also, check to see if the frame includes an adjustable seat and handlebars.

Weight

Road bikes are designed to pick up speed, which means they tend to be pretty lightweight. However, some bikes are heavier, making them slower, sturdier, and easier to control. If you're a beginner, a heavier bike may be a good option.

FAQs 

What size road bike do I need?

Most retailers specify what size bike you need. For starters, many road bikes come with a "height capacity" or "recommended height range" which is a great place to start. You can also pay attention to metrics like "weight capacity" and "standover height." Combined, these metrics should help you determine what bike size is right for you.

How to ride a road bike

Riding a road bike is a lot like riding a hybrid bike or a mountain bike, but you can expect a quicker, more nimble ride. Since road bikes tend to be lightweight, you may have to work a little harder to maintain your balance and stay in control of your ride. Road bike tires are also slimmer, taking away some shock absorption that most mountain bikes have.

Can you use a mountain bike on the road?

Yes, you can ride mountain bikes on multiple terrains—slick city streets, included. They're designed to handle rugged trails, so their frames tend to be heavier and their tires are often on the "plush" side. Though they can comfortably handle city cycling, they are often slower.

Why Trust Verywell Fit? 

As a seasoned health and fitness writer, Lindsey Lanquist understands how vital quality product recommendations can be. She is careful to recommend products that are reliable, comfortable, and genuinely well-reviewed by those who’ve tried them.

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