The 8 Best Road Bikes for Racing or Endurance
If you’re looking to move from an exercise bike to the outdoors, you may be considering a road bike. These bikes are designed for use on paved roads, unlike the off-road capabilities of, say, a mountain bike. In terms of design, they’re pretty basic—most notably they lack the suspension of a mountain bike—but their lightweight frames and advanced features like electronic drivetrains separate them from bulkier, heavier, multi-purpose options. Whether you just want to travel fast and far on your own, or are interested in tackling speed or triathlon races, a road bike is essential.
Best Road Bikes
What to Consider
First, think about what type of road bike would work best for you. Although most road bikes share similar characteristics–they're lightweight, have narrow tires, and typically use drop handlebars—they can be roughly grouped into three categories: racing, endurance, and hybrid.
Racing bikes are designed for speed. These will usually feature extra skinny tires to reduce road resistance, and have the lightest overall weight of road bikes. Their frame is also shaped to be as aerodynamic as possible, ensuring that you’re not battling against any unnecessary drag. Endurance bikes are similar, but since they’re intended to be ridden very long distances, they pay a little more attention to overall comfort. Their saddles tend to be more comfortable than racing bikes, and their frame design allows you to sit upright a bit more. Wider tires and extra cushioning also mean you won’t be feeling every tiny bump in the road, either.
A hybrid bike could be the solution for someone who wants something more functional. These use a flat handlebar—like a mountain bike—instead of the low bars found on typical road bikes. This allows riders to sit a bit more upright, and have more control, which could be beneficial for those who want to use their bike for commuting as opposed to strict training. The tires are usually a little beefier too, which makes them better for any potential off-roading, but they're not typically as fast as the slim tires of dedicated road bikes.
How We Selected
To confidently choose the options for this list, we researched both road bikes in general, as well as leaning on road bike testing conducted by editors at Bicycling to get a confident grasp on the best road bikes out there. We also made sure to include a good mix of different types of road bikes, as well as models at a wide range of prices. Since road bikes can cost anywhere from a few hundred dollars to well over $10,000, we made a concerted effort to include options at every price level. This way, even if you’re just starting out and don’t need a high-end option, you can still find a quality road bike that fits your budget.
If you're eager to get in a great cycling workout at home, check out our picks for the best exercise bikes.
A good road bike can help you get where you need to go comfortably and with ease. These are the best road bikes on the market in 2022.