With a plethora of new road bikes on the market for model year 2018, it is a great time to bag yourself a bargain on last year’s machines.
You'll find vastly-reduced prices on top bikes from a range of retailers - covering the entire spectrum of the market. Don’t get us wrong, we love a newly-launched bike as much as anyone, but if you want a first-class machine at a knock-off price, the sales are the best place to look for a cheap road bike.
After all, ‘last year’s model’ is otherwise still the same bike we were drooling over just 12 months ago – and sometimes all that will change on next year’s bike is a fresh lick of paint and a spec update. With that in mind, we’ve pulled together 14 of the best bike sale bargains from across the internet.
Cannondale set a trend when they redesigned the Synapse back in 2013, opening up a market for cobble-busting race bikes that would not look out of place on your local training roads or sportive.
Endurance is at its heart, but versatility is key – the Synapse marries a relaxed geometry for all-day riding with low weight, disc brakes and road-smoothing comfort.
Off the peg, the Synapse featured here is dressed in a Shimano Ultegra Di2 groupset, plus Shimano's R785 hydraulic disc brakes. You also get Cannondale’s own-brand chainset, handlebar, stem and seatpost, Mavic Aksium Disc wheels wrapped in Mavic Yksion tyres, and a Fabric Spoon Shallow Race saddle – with a huge £1,200 off the asking price at Evans Cycles.
A former RCUK 100 inductee, the BMC TeamMachine SLR01 is the long-standing flagship race bike from the Swiss firm, and can be spotted under BMC Racing riders on the UCI WorldTour.
BMC set out to find the best balance of lightweight, stiffness and compliance and the SLR01 is said to be the product of more than 34,000 virtual prototypes developed using their ACE technology. This is the previous generation bike, with BMC launching its successor last summer, but it's still one hell of a machine.
In short, it’s a top-end racing machine, with this Shimano Ultegra Di2-equipped version coming complete with DT Swiss’ RC 38 C Spline carbon clincher hoops, Conti tyres and a Fizik Arione R7 saddle. And you'll save nearly two grand.
The Scott Foil was already a successful bike in the Swiss brand's stable, with Tour de France stage wins and Milan-San Remo and Liege-Bastogne-Liege titles on its palmares – mainly thanks to Simon Gerrans’ success with the various iterations of the Orica-GreenEDGE team.
But Scott weren’t done there, and overhauled the bike to add even more aerodynamic prowess and comfort, without compromising stiffness. The Foil 10 has more than £1,000 off at Evans Cycles and comes with a full Shimano Ultegra groupset for well under £3k.
With the introduction of an overhauled Lapierre Pulsium range, the older models of the French brand’s answer to the Classics racer/endurance bike can be snatched at bargain prices.
The Lapierre Pulsium 500 was already smart value-for-money, and now you can grab a real bargain in the sales at Chain Reaction Cycles. You still get the innovative Shock Absorption Technology, in the form of an elastomer connection between the seat and toptubes, while the Shimano 105 groupset make this an ideal sportive machine.
Responsive enough for racing, but comfortable and versatile to ensure it's a worthy companion for sportives and longer training rides, the Wilier GTR Team Endurance 105 is a direct competitor for the Lapierre Pulsium 500 above.
The carbon frame weighs a claimed 1.19kg, paired with a 390g carbon fork, while the spec sheet includes Shimano 105 components, FSA finishing kit, a Selle Italia saddle and DT Swiss Spline 24 wheels, ensuring plenty of bang-for-your-buck at less than £1,200.
‘Road plus’ is one of the latest trends in the bike industry and the GT Grade helped set the standard, having been ahead of the curve since it first launched.
A stiff frame meets a comfort-focussed geometry – with skinny seatstays meeting the toptube well away from the seattube junction. You can get big savings throughout the range, but this SRAM Red-equipped version caught our eye, with more than £2,000 off the asking price at Wiggle. Bargain.
It’s hardly surprising the De Rosa SK Pininfarina looks fast even when it’s stood still – it is the result of a collaboration between the iconic Italian marque and Formula One designers Pininfarina, whose clients include Alfa Romeo, Ferrari and Maserati.
And the 2017 model featured here steps things up another notch too, combing that partnership with Shimano’s updated, flagship Dura-Ace R9100 groupset. There is no escaping the fact this is a top-spec racing machine.
And yet, with nearly £2,000 off in the sales at Wiggle, you can bag yourself a relative bargain – whether you want a fast, rigid, top-specced racing bike with an unmistakable aero prowess or simply a stunning machine to be the envy of the club run.
At the other end of the pricing scale to the De Rosa above, the NeilPryde Nazare can still claim some similarities. A collaboration with the automobile industry for starters – in this case BMW – and a bike which aims to marry aerodynamics, stiffness and responsiveness for racing.
A Shimano 105 drivetrain and FSA finishing kit complete the build, alongside Fulcrum Racing Sport wheels and Schwalbe tyres, currently just a fraction above the £1,000 mark at Wiggle.
Cannondale’s SuperSix Evo already boasted a fine reputation before the brand’s decision to redesign it for 2016 – improving it across the board for a bike the American brand pitched as a ‘balanced’ all-rounder.
In fact, they go further than that – calling it ‘the best all-around road racing bike ever made thanks to its perfect balance of everything it takes to go fast’. Marketing bluster? Of course, but our experience of riding the Hi-Mod version certainly backs those bold claims.
This 105-equipped model is a little further down the chain, but it represents great value for a race bike, especially when you throw in a £400 discount at CycleStore.
With a carbon frame and the same Grand Tour-winning geometry as the flagship Specialized S-Works Tarmac favoured by the WorldTour’s best, trickle-down tech makes the Tarmac Expert Disc superb value for money at this price.
For the £2,300 asking price you get an 11-speed Shimano Ultegra 6800 groupset, DT Swiss’ disc-specific wheels and Specialized’s own-brand finishing kit. Not bad, especially considering you get £1,000 off the RRP with Tredz.
Not all bikes in the sales are last year’s models – Tredz are also offering £500 off the latest iteration of the Orro Gold Special 105 road bike.
We featured the premium-spec Orro Gold STC in this year’s RCUK 100, and the Orro Gold Special 105 is the more affordable version of that bike.
A custom-blended carbon frameset meets a Shimano 105 groupset, with Token components and bottom bracket completing the build with Fulcrum Racing Sport hoops and Continental tyres.
We found a place for Cannondale’s alloy race bike in our 100 best products of last year thanks to the American brand’s ability to push the boundaries of what is possible with aluminium.
Building on the successful blueprint of the popular CAAD10, the CAAD12 Ultegra offers stiffness and low weight in line with its carbon rivals. In fact, it's better than a lot of carbon bikes.
It's also super-responsive, with an improved stiffness-to-weight ratio and higher grade of aluminium than the CAAD10 helping this bike stand above the crowd. When it comes to value-for-money, and affordable race bikes, you can't go far wrong with the Cannondale CAAD12 Ultegra, especially when you're getting £500 off.
Built around a high-modulus carbon frame, the SLR Endurance Disc has, at its heart, the same frame we rated so highly on the 9.4 version we tested early last year.
That featured Ultegra Di2 shifting, but you trade it out for mechanical Ultegra here – and get a healthy saving in price as a result. Boardman’s own-brand finishing kit helps keeps costs down, but don’t be fooled by the low price – the Boardman SLR Endurance Disc 9.0 delivers when it comes to value-for-money.
The Cube Litening is the brand’s flagship race bike, and can be seen under British rider Mark McNally and his Wanty Groupe-Gobert team-mates in some of the world’s biggest races.
The C:62 Disc uses a slightly lower grade of carbon fibre and adds in disc brakes, but you still get the same pro-proven geometry.
A full Shimano Ultegra groupset, with Fulcrum Racing 55 QR wheels and Schwalbe One tyres, ensures the spec is top-notch, too. With £750 off at Tredz, you can bag yourself a bargain.