Best Road Bikes

Regardless of whether you’re riding for recreation, fitness, a commute, racing, or long distance touring, finding the right road bike for your needs can be intimidating.

Among road bikes for sale today you’ll find everything from racing bikes to gravel bikes and beyond, which is why you should have some pointers under your belt to help steer you through your choices. Continue reading...

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Rating
Price
$129 to $1,849
$129
$1,849
Wheel Size

Based on 493 reviews
Leitner Berlin

Leitner Berlin 🏆 2024

4.8  (79)
 Summary
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Glenn
GlennTASNorth-West & West coast, TAS5 posts
  Berlin
Leitner Milan

Leitner Milan

4.6  (43)
 Summary
Leigh
LeighNSWSydney, NSW13 posts
  Verified 10Ah
Trike Bike Three Wheel Adult Tricycle

Trike Bike Three Wheel Adult Tricycle

3.9  (55)
 Summary
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Bradley Johnson
Bradley JohnsonQLDSouth East Queensland, QLD2 posts
 
Perfect for the MrsPurchased trike and assembled myself. Had a bit of trouble adjusting disc brakes. Took it back to place of purchase and they fixed it for me without a problem. Show reply
Reid Falco

Reid Falco

5.0  (12)
 Summary
Federico
FedericoNSWSydney, NSW13 posts
  Advanced
Great bikeI have bought this bike more than 3 years ago and I am extremely satisfied. I had no issues at all. Extremely recommended to all those who do not care about the brand but want a very nice road bike for a very reasonable price. The Shimano gear 105 works very well.

 Show details

Reid Vintage Ladies

Reid Vintage Ladies

3.3  (41)
 Summary
E E.
E E.QLDSouth East Queensland, QLD
  Vintage Ladies
Nixeycles Classic

Nixeycles Classic

4.3  (12)
HJG
HJGVictoria2 posts
 
Reid Osprey

Reid Osprey

3.7  (15)
Ryan M.
Ryan M.
 
DangerousWithin 1 year of purchase we had two of three bikes fail. The entire rear gear selector broke off and jammed into the wheel whilst my son was riding- TWICE Show details
Reid Condor

Reid Condor

3.4  (17)
Expectant
ExpectantNSWSydney, NSW4 posts
 
Velectrix Urban 2.0

Velectrix Urban 2.0

3.9  (11)
GeeJay
GeeJay2 posts
 
Giant Roam

Giant Roam

3.6  (13)
JOHN
JOHNmelbourne15 posts
  Roam
2011 Polygon Helios 700

2011 Polygon Helios 700

5.0  (6)
R700CWW
R700CWWSydney
 
Powerider Aries

Powerider Aries

4.8  (6)
EricL
EricL3165Vic, 3165
 
Verite Team 105 Carbon

Verite Team 105 Carbon

4.4  (7)
JC58
JC58SYDNEY16 posts
 
No pedals included with bikeThe way they keep the cost down is by not including parts that are needed to ride the bike! No peddles included with bike. Have never heard any such thing in my life. This should be disclosed in bold on the site but there is no mention of it. Cannot ride this bike now so very disappointed with my purchase. Buyer beware!
It is a bike
Missing pieces
Outdoors_Guy
Outdoors_Guy  
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Velectrix Foldaway

Velectrix Foldaway

4.3  (7)
Cathie H.
Cathie H.4 posts
 
Giant Seek

Giant Seek

5.0  (5)
Craig
Craig NSWNorthern Region, NSW2 posts
  Seek
Excellent easy bike to rideWithout all the gears stuff it changes smoothly and so easy to ride have had mine for 2 years and no issues if you can get them its worth the money Show details
Giant Defy Series

Giant Defy Series

5.0  (5)
Charles
CharlesSt. Lucia10 posts
  2
Can't go to school without itFound this second hand 2015 defy 2 on gumtree for 700. Have taken the train for 2 hours to reach the seller's place. Still worth it. Very light to handle it. Particularly useful to me because I am studying in UQ and I have to cross the bridge which only allows bus and bikes to enter. The only problem is that I have to lose weight.

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Trek 1.9

Trek 1.9

5.0  (5)
nzbred
nzbred
 
2011 Polygon Helios 500

2011 Polygon Helios 500

5.0  (5)
Dazzler62
Dazzler62AU
 
2011 Polygon Helios 900

2011 Polygon Helios 900

4.8  (5)
JW87
JW87AU
 
Apollo Peleton

Apollo Peleton

4.4  (5)
Jenny D.
Jenny D.
 
PleasedReally very pleased with the new set of wheels. Arrived well
Packaged and simple assembly. Quality of the bike is great. I would recommend the Peleton to friends and family. Jen
Brown Jersey Charlie

Brown Jersey Charlie

5.0  (4)
Dravid
DravidSyd17 posts
 
Exceptional quality bikesPurchased a new Monaco mens bike - faultless product at a great price. Extremely happy. Looks superb, rides well. If you want quality, looks & comfort, this is the bike to own. Thankyou!
Avanti Team Corsa

Avanti Team Corsa

5.0  (4)
Ted
Ted31 posts
 
Lot of funGreat bike that I thoroughly enjoy riding. Take of speed is amazing, gears are perfect and brakes are adequate. Handles terrifically and has that feel good felling when riding it. Super light do easy to lift up onto my Skoda Kodiaq Suv. Highly recommend. Show details
Giant TCR Advanced 2

Giant TCR Advanced 2

5.0  (4)
Tim
TimNSWSydney, NSW37 posts
 
ExcellentVery stiff carbon frame. Great bike very responsive and quick to accelerate. However tubeless tyres take some getting use to.

Now components are really good. BikeRadars bike of the year for 2018. Can't go wrong with Giant as they make frames for many other brands and they keep their best stuff for themselves.

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Giant Fast Road Comax 1

Giant Fast Road Comax 1

4.2  (5)
Ritchy
RitchySudbury6 posts
 
Avanti Electra

Avanti Electra

4.3  (4)
wommy
wommy
 
Avanti AvailabillityI would give these a solid 5 out of 5. I could not get the rationg to register 5. They are a true power assist and on slight uphill to down hill can recharge as you ride. This way you can get just the amount of excersise you desire. I have a male and female Avanti Electra for sale. The male version is size large. Avanti@thewommy.com

Malvern Star Oppy C7

Malvern Star Oppy C7

5.0  (3)
Jez H.
Jez H.
 
2011 Polygon Helios 400

2011 Polygon Helios 400

5.0  (3)
CJ41
CJ41NEWCASTLE
 
Great bike at budget priceLooks great, good quality components and overall good value for money, 350km on it so far and no issues. Definately worth a look and a great ride at a budget price. Also thanks to Bicycles Online, their help and communication throughout the sale and delivery is also worthy of a mention.
Inexpensive
 Show details
Aprilia Tuono V4

Aprilia Tuono V4

5.0  (3)
Richard
RichardNSWSydney, NSW2 posts
  Fair Incentive 1100
Beast on road and track!After a bunch of motorcycles, I finally found this bike. This is very comfortable bike I ever had. I'm 6 foot tall and I'm very happy and happy with this bike, the power, the Italian built quality surpasses my expectations. Top 5 Stars!!! Show details
Giant CRX1

Giant CRX1

4.7  (3)
Jay
Jay
 
Hasa R4

Hasa R4

4.7  (3)
Mick d
Mick d
 
Great bike. Very lightI have just received the bike and am very happy with it. If you don't know how to assemble this bike , then let a expert put it together. It took me about to hours to put together. I must say I have never ridden a bike that is as light as this one. It is the Haza R4 . Being use to a road bike that weights 15 plus kilos this bike feel great .

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What distinguishes a road bike from other bikes?

Three men wearing helmets riding bikes along a road with woodland in the background

Generally speaking, road bikes:

  • usually place the rider in a lower position compared to other bike types, so that they can better activate muscle groups such as the hamstrings and glutes.
  • have drop bars to allow for multiple hand placements, although flat bar road bikes are available.
  • have thinner tyres (usually 23mm, 25mm, or 28mm wide) than hybrid bikes, mountain bikes and BMX bikes.
  • don’t have suspension, as they’re designed for use on flat, smooth surfaces.
  • have multiple gears to allow riders to go at all kinds of speeds depending on whether they’re climbing a hill, descending one, or riding along flat ground.

These features make it easier and faster for road bikes to cover long distances than other bike types.

Types of road bikes

Endurance bikes

Endurance road bikes are designed for long-distance rides, and so are built to be lightweight and comfortable - riders have more stable handling and are in a more upright position. These bikes are among the most popular road bikes, and are a great road bike for beginners.

Gravel bikes

Gravel road bikes can tackle off-road terrains such as tracks and trails, while still offering up durability and comfort. They tend to have disc brakes, and are similar to endurance bikes, except they have more clearance for wider tyres and lower gear ratios.

Aero bikes

Aero road bikes are built for speed, meaning they’re aerodynamic and weight and comfort isn’t prioritised in their design. They’re mostly used by racers who often sprint, ideally on longer, flatter courses.

Lightweight bikes

Race road bikes are racing all-rounders: they’re lightweight and designed to go fast. They don’t have the wide tubing of an aero bike or the longer wheelbase of an endurance bike, but are more so designed for climbing and descending mountains.

Touring bikes

Touring road bikes are designed for comfortable riding over long distances, particularly while carrying heavy loads (such as camping equipment). They’re heavier than other road bikes, and often have steel frames for durability. Riders are usually in a more upright, stable position on a touring bike.

Recreational bikes

Recreational road bikes are usually designed with comfort and ease of use in mind, and are great for those wanting to bike for fitness or looking for a reliable way to get from A to B. They usually have flat bars, flat pedals, simple gearing, and wider tyres.

Other types of road bikes

  • Cyclocross bikes are designed for cyclocross racing, in which riders tackle a mixture of terrains and require the rider to frequently dismount the bike and carry it along parts of the course - this means they’re lightweight yet have stronger wheels than regular road bikes, which is making them gain popularity with commuters.
  • Electric road bikes give you a boost when you ride, and are mostly used for recreation and commuting - you can read more about them in our Electric Bikes Buying Guide.
  • Triathlon bikes are designed to go as fast as possible and come packed with aerodynamic features, positioning the rider lower.

Factors to consider when choosing a road bike

Frame material

The material of your bike frameset will affect your bike’s weight, durability, cost, and how it feels to ride. However, this doesn’t mean that one material is necessarily better than another - it’s more about how bike manufacturers use these materials in their designs.

  • Aluminium: Aluminium is the most common frame material in both inexpensive and higher-end bikes, as it makes for stiff, lightweight frames. Some frames also have butted tubes, where the ends are thicker than the middle to reinforce joins.
  • Carbon fibre: Carbon fibre is generally preferred for road bikes, however there can be huge differences in quality across different types of carbon fibre, which is why you probably shouldn’t opt for a carbon fibre frame unless you’re willing to fork out quite a bit of money for it. A high quality carbon fibre frame is stiff, lightweight, and comfortable.
  • Titanium: Titanium frames can be as light as aluminium and as durable as steel, and also possess corrosion-resistance properties, however it’s a difficult - and thus expensive - material to work with.
  • Steel: Steel was the frame material of choice until the 1980s, but now it’s mostly used on custom and touring bikes. It’s heavier than aluminium, but can be quite comfortable.

Size

On a road bicycle, you’ll spend lots of time in one position, as opposed a mountain bike, on which you’d move around a lot. That’s why accurate road bike sizing is even more important on a road bike, as spending long periods of time in the wrong position can lead to aches, pains, and even injuries.

You don’t need to fuss much about buying a specific mens road bike or womens road bike: the right fit for you often depends on your height and inseam.

You should also be able to stand over the frame and have at least a couple of centimetres between you and the top tube. When sitting on the seat, you shouldn’t be able to feel pressure on your seat or hands.

Here’s a rough size guide to get you started (these numbers vary slightly across different bike manufacturers and retailers), but you should have your bike fit assessed in a specialty bike shop for a better idea of which bike you need.

Rider HeightFrame size (effective top tube length)
148cm - 152cm47cm - 48cm
152cm - 160cm49cm - 50cm
160cm - 168cm51cm - 53cm
168cm - 175cm54cm - 55cm
175cm - 183cm56cm - 58cm
183cm - 191cm58cm - 60cm
191cm - 198cm61cm - 63cm

If you’re after a kids road bike, then the age and height of your child will usually determine what wheel size their bike should have. You can read more about this in our Kids Bikes Buying Guide.

Gears

Road bikes usually have two chainrings on the front of the bike and up to 12 gears on the rear cassette. Three front chainrings are usually just found in entry-level, recreational, or touring bikes, and might be more suitable only if you’re not as confident in climbing hills or building up speed.

It’s not necessarily better to have more gears - sometimes this can overcomplicate gear shifting, and while having just one chainring (this is common in cheaper commuter bikes) may limit how quickly you can build up speed, it can reduce the risk of mechanical issues arising.

Brakes

You’ll come across two main brake types when bike shopping: rim brakes and disc brakes.

Rim brakes

The stopping force on rim brakes occurs on the wheel’s rim, using a cable system to close the caliper on the edge of the wheel.

Pros
Lighter than disc brakes.
More aerodynamic than disc brakes.
Easier to repair and maintain.
Places less strain on the spokes and fork legs, helping them both stay true and last longer.
More affordable.
Cons
Less effective stopping power than disc brakes.
Don’t offer particularly reliable stopping power in wet weather.
Wear out your rims faster than disc brakes.
Difficult to run different wheel sizes.

Disc brakes

Disc brakes work by applying pressure on a rotor closer to the middle of the wheel. You can choose between hydraulic disc brakes and mechnical disc brakes: the former uses hydraulics to push the brake pads against the rotor, while the latter uses a cable.

Pros
Have better stopping power and speed modulation, which can be handy on long descents.
Offer more precise stopping, letting you control exactly how much braking force you need.
Don’t heat the rim, reducing the risk of tire blowouts on descents.
More effective in wet weather.
Compatible with wider tyres.
Cons
More expensive.
More difficult to repair and maintain.
Heavier than rim brakes, although developments in disc technology is closing the weight gap.

The average rider who rides for fun might find that rim brakes work just fine for their purposes, while commuters - particularly those riding in wetter conditions - might want the extra security that disc brakes offer.

Other components

The saddle, pedals, and tyres, can all be adjusted or changed to suit your preferences.

The right saddle for you is really a matter or personal preference. Ideally, you shouldn’t go for one that’s too soft and allows you to sink too far into it. A well-fitting, firm, but lightly padded saddle will be comfortable and supportive for longer rides.

If you’re racing, you’ll want to go for fast, lightweight tyres, while commuters and recreational riders should generally go for wider, heavier, more puncture-resistant tyres that are better suited to tackle rough roads and longer distances. These wider tyres however mean that more of the tyre comes in contact with the road, so there’s more friction to overcome when pedalling.

Depending on what you prefer, you can also choose to use clip-in pedals. While they’re more energy efficient over longer distances, you do need clip-in cleats to wear with them, meaning if you’re commuting to work, you’d need to carry your usual shoes with you.

Accessories

  • Helmet: A well-fitting, safety approved helmet can save your life. Also look for adequate ventilation, lightweightedness, an aerodynamic design, and easily removable and washable padding. Bright colours or reflective strips for increased visibility also make riding safer.
  • Lock: A sturdy lock can be the difference between having a bike and not having a bike, so go for a high quality lock if you don’t want to be met with a nasty surprise.
  • Lights: Whether you expect to be riding mostly during the day or night, you need lights. While riding at night in Australia, you need a white light on the front of your bike, and a red light and red reflector on the back. Ensure that your lights are as long-lasting for your needs - going for USB rechargeable lights can also make this easier.
  • Bell: Look out for bells that are easy to mount on a variety of bar diameters, that are also loud enough to be heard in noisier environments.
  • Basic repair kit: Having a kit with a spare tyre, a multitool, and a hand pump, can help make your bike roadworthy again before you get it to the closest bike shop for a more thorough look.

You might also choose to purchase a water bottle rack to take the stress out of staying hydrated. A pannier rack can also be useful if you’re carrying quite a large load or don’t want to wear a backpack.

Price

A road bike can cost you anywhere from $250 for entry-level, recreational bikes to over $10,000 for elite racing bicycles. The more you fork out, the more lightweight, stiff, durable, and comfortable you can expect your bike to be - however, you can find a decent bike regardless of what your budget is.

Cheap road bikes under $800 to $1000 - often designed for recreation - usually have rim brakes, with a steel or aluminium frame. When you reach the $1000 to $2000 price range, you’ll start to see carbon fibre frames and disc brakes.

Models over $2000 are usually specialised road bikes built for performance, and typically have carbon fibre frames, as well as features like aerodynamic tubes and a bike geometry designed for racing.

Wrapping up

If you can, go for a test ride to get a feel for a bike’s fit, geometry, and other features. If you can’t simulate the conditions you expect to be riding in, then consider whether the bike you’re testing out has what it takes for your riding style.

Taking your particular biking needs into account when visiting your local bike shop can help ensure that you go home with a road bike that’s right for you.

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