The 10 Best Road Bikes to Buy in 2018

Newbies and advanced cyclists alike will love these finds

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Pedal your way to better health with a new road bike. Whether you plan to train for an event, ride to work or simply cruise around your neighborhood, a road bike will quickly become a favorite piece of fitness equipment.

Different from commuter and mountain bikes, road bikes are made from a lightweight frame and have narrow tires. They’re intended for the road (rather than trails or rough, unpaved paths), which means that cyclists can zip along at a fast speed. Being that they are more specialized they often cost more than a basic cruiser or mountain bike. Ready to hit the pavement on your own bike? Here, some of our favorite road bikes.

Our Top Picks

Best Overall: Poseidon Triton Road Bike

Unlike heavy mountain bikes, road bikes are lightweight. This makes it easy to lift them into the trunk of your car or place them up on a wall rack. One that’s especially lightweight and easy to get around is the Poseidon Triton. This road bike has an aluminum frame and a carbon fiber fork (which helps reduce weight). It features shifters and derailleurs (the system that moves a bike’s chain from one sprocket to another in order to change gears) by Shimano Claris—a popular bike components manufacturer. The bike is also built for an upright seated position, which can make longer rides more comfortable. This comes in three colorways to suit your stylistic needs.

Reviewers say that the bike is easy to ride and responsive. People also appreciated that the bike arrived with little assembly required, allowing them to get on the road ASAP.

Best Budget: GMC Denali Road Bike

Top-of-the-line road bikes can cost you thousands. Luckily, it is possible to purchase an affordable bicycle that features some of the same bells and whistles that you would find on a pricier model. One to try is the GMC Denali road bike. The bike features an aluminum frame and 21 speeds with drop-bar handlebars. It also has a Shimano derailleur gearing system as well as Shimano Revo shifts, which makes changing gears an easy and smooth process. A padded saddle adds extra comfort, which will be especially appreciated during long rides.

Reviewers say that the bike is high quality for the price and that it makes a great entry-level bike for beginners or those who don’t plan to cycle very frequently. The bike is available in four different sizes to accommodate riders of different heights: x-small, small, medium and large.

Best Carbon-Fiber: Savadeck Carbon Road Bike

Carbon fiber road bikes generally cost more, but they can provide an extra comfortable ride thanks to the fact that the carbon frame is better at absorbing vibration compared with an aluminum frame. The Savadeck road bike is a high-quality option for those who want an efficient and enjoyable ride. It has an 18-speed derailleur gearing system as well as internal cable routing (meaning that it’s inside the frame) for a streamlined look. This comes in four different colorways and four different sizes to suit your build and comfort preference.

People who own the Savadeck Carbon Road bike say that it’s easy to assemble (the bike is almost completely preassembled upon arrival) and that it’s fun and fast to ride. As a bonus, the bike comes with a 3-year warranty on the frame.

Best Aluminum: Tommaso Imola Compact Aluminum Road Bike

For people shopping on a budget, aluminum road bikes are often the best bet. The Tommaso Imola is a well-priced aluminum bike that features a lightweight but durable compact frame, allowing for a more relaxed riding position. It is equipped with Shimano Claris components (such as shifters and brakes).

Those who own the Tommaso Imola say that this is a great quality road bike for the price and that it is as enjoyable to ride as more expensive options. The bike is available in three colors: burnt orange, black and white.

Best for Women: Schwinn Women’s Phocus 1600 700C Drop Bar Road Bicycle

Women-specific bikes are tweaked to better fit a woman’s body. These bikes may have narrower handlebars or put the rider in a more upright position, for example. The 16-speed Schwinn Women’s Phocus drop bar road bike has an aluminum frame and carbon fiber road fork that makes for an agile, fast ride. It’s available in both a white and a light blue color.

People who have reviewed the bike say that it’s great for beginners and well made considering the fairly low price point. One person even notes that when they took the bike to their local bike shop, the shop’s employees were impressed with how lightweight and economical the bike is. While the bike isn't necessarily built for speed it does a good job of taking your biking level up a notch or two.

Best for Men: Schwinn Volare 1400 Men’s Road Bicycle

Just like women’s bikes are catered toward their body size, men’s road bikes are built for a man’s proportions. The Schwinn Volare is a great choice for guys. It features an aluminum frame with a steel fork and has a Shimano shifter/brake level combo as well as Shimano derailleurs. If speed is what you’re looking for, this bike’s for you: Oversized tires make for a zippy but smooth ride.

People say that the Schwinn Volare is sleek and easy to put together, and one reviewer who is 5’ 11’’ says that the bike is a great fit for his height. (Someone who is 5’ 6’’, however, does mention that this bike was too tall).

Best for Kids: Diamondback Bicycles Podium 24 Complete Youth Bike

Bring your kids along for the ride with a pint-sized road bike. The Diamondback Podium bike is specifically made for kid-sized bodies. (Children’s legs tend to be longer in relation to their torsos.) The bike is made from a lightweight aluminum frame and has 24-inch wheels, 16 speeds, and drop handlebars.

People who have bought the Diamondback Podium say that their children love riding the road bike and that they are able to use the gears and brakes without a problem. For parents who want to introduce their little ones to cycling on the road, this is a great buy.

Runner-Up, Best Budget: Goplus Road Bike Commuter Bike Shimano 700C

Budget-friendly without sacrificing quality, the Goplus Road Bike Commuter Bike Shimano 700C Aluminum 21-Speed is both strong and lightweight, rendering this an easy pick. The perfect entry-level road bike, this popular Goplus bike boasts a staggering array of features, especially considering its reasonable price point. These features include a 6601 aluminum frame, high-performance 700c tires, 21 speeds, mount points on the frame for a water bottle and rear rack, and an urban commuter saddle, among others.

Installation is easy and you have your pick of five ultra-fashionable colors. This Goplus Road Bike is proof positive that purchasing a decent road bike doesn’t have to break the bank.

Best for Beginners: Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21-Speed Shimano

You don’t have to spend a ton of cash to get an awesome road bike, especially if you’re on the hunt for a starter bike. The Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21-Speed Shimano is a good pick for beginners since it’s both affordably priced and comes equipped with all the features necessary for a great ride.

This best-selling bike is just 24 pounds (so it’s very lightweight) and has both a 6061 aluminum frame, an integrated headset, 21 speeds, and A050 handlebar-mounted shifters. Reviewers on Amazon praise the Vilano Aluminum Road Bike for being a “great investment” and a “very nice bike for the money."

Best Cruiser: Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike

Comfy, functional, and stylish to boot, the Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike is the perfect bike for laid-back riding if you’re looking for the best cruiser bike. Featuring a solid 57-centimeter center top tube, tig-welded steel frame and fork, alloy rims and side brakes, and a rear flip-flop hub, the Takara Kabuto is ideal for everyday commuters who don’t want or need their bike to have too many bells and whistles—this bike has the essentials only. Amazon reviewers adore the Takara Kabuto Single Speed for being fun to ride, comfortable, and low-maintenance, in addition to being simple to install.

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