Fifteen of the best 2017 road bikes for £1,000-£1,500

The market is packed with bikes at this competitive value-for-money price point. We’ve selected 15 of the best for your consideration.

The new year is upon us, and in full swing. In fact, due to the quirk of the bike industry sales model, it has been for some time, with the latest 2017 bikes filling websites and stores around the UK from the end of summer 2016.

While many love to peruse over the hyper-machines that cost many thousands of pounds, fitted with the latest and greatest groupsets (see our pick of the best SRAM Red eTap-equipped bikes for 2017 to see what we’re on about), for many of us, those rarefied bikes are a dream.

Instead, the £1,000-£1,500 price bracket offers a much more realistic price bracket, and fortunately there are plenty of exciting bikes that offer great value for money, as well as a taste of high-end componentry teamed with race-ready frames.

We’ve run the rule over the market and selected our top fifteen. As ever, shop around and you may even find them cheaper than their listed RRP.


Boardman Road Pro Carbon (£1,499.99)

Indicative of the current trend towards disc brakes permeating the road bike industry, the Boardman Road Pro Carbon features Shimano RS505 hydraulic stoppers, each with 160mm rotors.

The groupset they’re connected to is a Shimano 105, with the only exception being the FSA Gossamer Pro 52-36t chainset.

The ratios are accessible for most sporty riders, with an 11-28 cassette fitted, and the finishing kit includes Boardman’s own alloy stem and bars, carbon seatpost and Prologo New Nago Evo saddle.

The centerpiece of the bike though is the frame, with a full C7 carbon build throughout, which features a geometry borrowed from the SLR Endurance frameset for all day comfort. It’s a go-anywhere-in-any-conditions all-rounder, weighing in at 8.3kg for a medium size.

Website: Boardman Bikes

Cannondale CAAD12 105 (£1,299.99)

The CAAD12 frame is regarded as one of the best-performing alloy rigs available, with Cannondale claiming it’s lighter, stiffer and smoother-riding than many carbon frames out there.

It’s constructed of their SmartForm C1 Premium alloy material, and incorporates Cannondale’s SpeedSave rear triangle spotted on their high-end race machines.

The front end boasts a SpeedSave-equipped Ballistec carbon fork, and it doesn’t cut corners elsewhere either, with a full Shimano 105 groupset teamed with Cannondale’s excellent Si 52-36t crankset around a BB30 bottom bracket.

The wheelset is Mavic’s solid endurance Aksium WTS, while the CAAD12 105 also packs in full internal cable routing, as well as a Selle Royal Seta S1 and Cannondale’s own C3 6061 alloy constructed bars, stem and seatpost.

Website: Cannondale

Cube Attain GTC  (£1,399)

The Attain GTC is the first bike in our list that features a full Shimano 105 groupset with no exceptions. As a result, you get the premium look of a full groupset, and performance to match, especially considering 105’s position as the best compromise of performance and value of Shimano’s offerings, in a climbing-friendly compact 50-34t and 11-32t setup

The Attain’s carbon frame is designed for all-day comfort, constructed with ‘Twin Mold’ technology into a comfort-based geometry, with slim seat stays helping to absorb road buzz before it makes it to your rear end. It’s not without its edge though, thanks to a beefy down tube and PressFit bottom bracket for efficient power transfer.

Elsewhere, it features a Mavic Aksium Elite wheelset, matched up to Continental Grand Sport Race SL rubber, giving excellent grip and low rolling resistance. The bike is finished with a full Cube finishing kit, with an FSA headset the only deviating component. Total weight comes in at a claimed 8.45kg.

Website: Cube

Canyon Ultimate CF SL 7.0 (£1,349)

Canyon’s Ultimate CF SL frame may be a couple of years old now, but it’s still mightily impressive. Thanks to Canyon’s direct sales model, you also get super-competitive pricing, in a UCI-approved and WorldTour capable ‘Sport Pro’ geometry it shares with the top-of-the-range Ultimate CF SLX Nairo Quintana rides.

The 7.0 is the entry level version of the SL, yet receives the top-tier ‘One One Four’ SLX carbon forks, and features a full Shimano 105 52-36t groupset – no exceptions – allied to a fully internally-routed frame that weighs in at 940g for a medium. As a result, you get crisp and reliable shifting performance in a bike that comes delivered in a total weight of 7.6kg for a medium.

That weight comes about with Mavic Aksium hoops paired with premium Continental Grand Prix 4000S II tyres, a Fizik Antares saddle, and a finishing kit from Canyon themselves, including a compliant VCLS seatpost (which uses basalt in its construction for extra give) with 25mm of setback, and an ergonomic bar and stem.

Website: Canyon

Ribble R872  (£1,500)

As we found out earlier this autumn, Ribble have overhauled great swathes of their range, including the R872. The best-selling bike features reprofiled tubes and chainstays and a PressFit bottom bracket, with a claimed ten per cent improvement in stiffness.



Elsewhere, it’s usual Ribble fare – and that’s to say, excellent. This is one of the only bikes that comes in under £1,500 while still featuring full Shimano Ultegra for race-ready shifting, and lightweight Mavic Ksyrium hoops – a great foil for the racy geometry.

The great thing about Ribble is you can customise the build until you’ve arrived at your perfect machine, so although the price can vary, you know you’ll be getting all the machine you’re paying for.  

Website: Ribble Cycles

Giant Defy Advanced 3  (£1,499)

The value of the Giant Defy is in its frame, which uses T-700 raw carbon fibre as its base material. Giant are one of the few manufacturers on the planet to completely own their own frame-building process, from concept to manufacture.

In the Defy Advanced 3, you get an electronic groupset ready frame, matched to Shimano’s recently refreshed 10-speed Tiagra groupset, which now features the premium-looking four-spider chainset legacy from higher-level groupsets. You also get Shimano’s RS405 hydraulic disc brakes for excellent all-weather performance, married to 12mm front and rear thru-axles.

Giant keep it in house with the finishing kit aswell, with a D-Fuse carbon seatpost for added compliance on top of the flattened seat stays, Connect bars and stem, a Contact Neutral saddle, as well as its own disc-specific SR 2 wheelset and P-SL 1 tyres.   

Website: Giant Bicycles

Trek Domane S 4 (£1,400)

We waxed lyrical about the super-smooth cobble-floating ride the Trek Domane SLR Disc offers recently, and the S is its baby brother, sitting third-tier below the SLR and SL versions. As a result, you don’t get all the latest innovations here, but you do get a lot of know-how.

The S 4 is priced at £1,400, and for that you get 400-series OCLV carbon layup in the frame, which is designed to give maximum compliance alongside good responsiveness, and an IsoSpeed decoupler at the seatpost junction to save you from the worst a cobbled road can offer. The forks also feature ride-smoothing tech, with an outward sweep and tuned positioning of the dropouts for optimal handling. It’s a go-anywhere endurance machine with a geometry to suit, featuring external cable routing for easy replacement.

Like the Giant Defy, the bike features Shimano Tiagra, with Bontrager flourishes throughout, keeping the finishing kit on-brand. The total build for a 56cm bike comes in at a round 9kg.

Website: Trek Bikes

Ridley Helium SLA (UK pricing TBC)

The Ridley Helium is the Belgian brand’s climbing machine, maximising stiffness-to-weight. The ‘A’ in ‘SLA’ stands for aluminium, but that doesn’t mean you’re not getting a premium frame, because it’s built with a combination of triple-butted hydroformed 6005 and 6061 alloy, used in specific spots for best effect.

That distribution helps maintain a smooth ride despite the light weight, helped along by the unidirectional carbon forks. The bike is built up using Shimano’s bullet-proof 105 groupset, with the exceptions of an FSA Gossamer Pro compact chainset and 4ZA Cirrus brake calipers. The gearing is specifically installed, so you get the wide-ranging 11-32t cassette as well.

Tying off the bike is a quality 4ZA finishing kit, including RC23 SL wheels, Stratos stem, handlebars, seatpost, and saddle. The rolling stock is completed by Continental’s Ultrasport 25c tyres, so rolling resistance is kept low when you’re chasing down those KOMs.

Website: Ridley Bikes

Orro Pyro (£1,350)

Orro specialise in all-day sportive bikes – claiming it’s the best combination of endurance geometry and pinpoint handling most riders will enjoy. The Pyro is the second-tier bike with this focus, and is available in either disc (£1,350) or rim brake (£1,299.99) forms.

You get quality Fulcrum Racing Sport hoops for the rolling stock, teamed with a full Shimano 105 groupset and a premium Prologo Kappa Evo saddle with 3T stem, bar and seatpost finishing off the bike.

Where the bike impresses though, is the frame, with strategic use of different layups of carbon – 20, 40 and 60 Ton carbon fibres – which each have different properties to improve the ride quality of the bike, keeping things as compliant as possible in key areas, while stiffening up the bike in others.

Website: Orro Bikes

Specialized Tarmac SL4  (£1,500)

The Tarmac range is well-known for its racing prowess, having been ridden by none other than Peter Sagan and Alberto Contador in recent years. The SL4 meets our budget, and features FACT 9r carbon, with premium extras like full internal cable routing and a top-tier S-Works tapered fork.

That forms the basis of a stiff race-bred bike – which we loved in its more expensive form this summer – with a mix of Shimano 105 and Tiagra kit to make up the groupset, teamed with a Praxis Alba chainset and threaded bottom bracket.

As is common with big-brand bikes, the finishing kit is sourced from within, with Body Geometry Toupé Sport saddle atop a Comp carbon seatpost, Specialized alloy bars and stem and Axis tyres shod with 23c Espoir Elite tyres.

Website: Specialized

Merida Reacto 500 (£1,300)

An aero road bike for under £1,500? Until recently it was a pipe dream, but Merida have built a striking looking bike here. As you might expect, it’s constructed of aluminium to meet this price point, but it’s a high-grade 6066 variety, with tubes crafted using a hydro-forming process which helps retain stiffness and ride quality.

No corners have been cut elsewhere, either, with Shimano Ultegra featuring at the shifters and derailleurs, with Merida’s own Road Pro and Reacto direct calipers used to apply the braking force to the Merida Super Aero rims.

The crankset is an FSA Gossamer Pro with 52-36t, with FSA headset and bars also included, while the seatpost is a Reacto-specific carbon post which matches seamlessly with the seattube. Total weight for the bike is claimed at 9.5kg, for the relatively paltry sum of £1,250.

Website: Merida Bikes

Pinnacle Dolomite 6 (£1,400)

As we mentioned in October, the Pinnacle Dolomite 6 has received a refresh for 2017, with extra clearance allowing up to a 32c tyre to be fitted around its 6061-T6 heat-treated aluminium frame and full carbon fork.

The 6 features a full Shimano 105 groupset, and makes the most of disc-brake technology as part of its overhaul. That means RS805 hydraulic discs with 140mm rotors, and an endurance geometry for long days in the saddle, although Pinnacle pitch the bike as a perfect fast commuter.

The finishing kit is all Pinnacle, with the exception of an FSA Omega compact handlebar and Alex Draw rims. The wheels are wrapped in high-quality 25c Continental Grand Sport race tyres too.

Website: Evans Cycles

BTwin Ultra 700 CF  (£1,400)

The BTwin Ultra 700 CF Ultra Evo Dynamic frame weighs in at 850g for a medium, which is seriously light for a frame at this price point. The total build comes in at 7.85kg, making it a great budget mountain goat option.

The frame features a racy geometry, with internal cable routing throughout and a PressFit bottom bracket for stiffness when the power needs to be laid down by sprinters and climbers alike. You also get an Ultra Evo Dynamic fork, specially selected for use with the frame, and a full Shimano 105 groupset in a 52-36t and 11-28t combination for race-precise shifting.

The finishing kit is supplied by Deda, who provide the Zero 2 bars and stem made of high-level 6061-T6 aluminium, while you’ll spot Mavic Aksium One wheels and a premium Fizik Antares saddle.

Website: Decathlon

Rose Xeon RS-2000  (£1,420)

Like Ribble, Rose allow a custom build of your bike – so once you’ve chosen your frame, you can spend as little or as much as you like to arrive at your ideal bike. The Xeon frame is triple-butted, built from 6066 T6 ultralight alloy, with a total frame weight at sub-1kg.

The frame itself is race-ready, with an aggressive geometry that Rose claim is ‘sporty’, with high stiffness to lap up your power. For the RS-2000 model, you get a full Shimano 105 groupset weighing in at around 7.1kg depending on the kit you spec with it.

Assuming you keep it below the £1,500 mark, you can have a Rose Flex carbon seatpost for added compliance, along with a Selle Italia SLS Flow saddle and a Ritchey finishing kit including the WCS Evo curve handlebar and WCS stem. Keeping the price low is Rose’s own wheelset as standard, although you can customise your own hoop choice at an extra cost.

Website: Rose Bikes

Tifosi Scalare Potenza (£1,499.99)

The Tifosi is the only bike in our list that doesn’t feature a Shimano groupset – instead coming fitted with the new Campagnolo Potenza. It’s a smart choice if you’re after the charm of an all-Italian bike, complete with a carbon monocoque frame.

The stiffness of the bike comes from the dynamic tube shaping, which flares at the bottom bracket area to house a stiff Miche PressFit bottom bracket to maximise power transfer, while the frame has been future-proofed to accept electronic groupsets should you want to upgrade in the future.

For now, the £1,499 model features the Potenza groupset, allied to a Miche Race HSP Evo Max chainset, with a Deda Elementi Zero bar, stem and seatpost finishing kit. The Italian flavor spreads to the wheelset as well, with Miche race 707 hoops ringed in Vittoria Zaffiro 25c rubber.

Website: Tifosi Cycles

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