As the master fitter and Founder of Fit Werx Ian Buchanan told us, “the very best bikes are the ones that match up well with the individual rider.” The perfect bike for you should match your needs, aspirations and body. Bike selection is a personal process and great bike shops like Fit Werx take that process seriously. When considering buying a bike, be sure to consult experts like those at one of the best bike shops and take your time finding a fit that feels right for you.
That said, there are some bikes that are objectively incredible rides. We consulted experts like Founder of Fit Werx Ian Buchanan, Director of Operations at the Cycling House Shaun Radley and Jason Woznick of Fair Wheel Bikes to get the scoop on the very best road bikes of 2015. If one of the bikes below matches your needs, budget and fits you well, you can be sure that it’s one of the best bikes out there.
“A pure road bike in almost every sense of the word, the Parlee Altum R captures the essence of carbon fiber’s potential,” said Founder of Fit Werx Ian Buchanan. The master fitter also added that “the very best bikes are the ones that match up well with the individual rider.” If you’re looking for a “light and nimble, yet stable and predictable” ride, this might be a top choice for you. The Altum R also comes with a Flex Fit top cap, which allows for more fit adjustments than most bikes.
parleecycles.com; starting at $3,999 for a frameset
Road bikes don’t come cheap—this is especially true of the newer models—but Cannondale’s CAAD10 is a high quality ride for a great price. The biggest difference from most other bikes on this list is that this bike is aluminum, where the others are carbon, but Cannondale insists that the CAAD10 can fly. Supposedly “lighter stiffer and smoother than many elite carbon frames,” this bike has won the hearts of new racers and seasoned club riders alike and frankly, it’s tough to beat the price.
cannondale.com; complete bike for $1,680
“Our best seller for 2015 and for good reason,” said Shaun Radley, Director of Operations at The Cycling House. “At $5299 for a boutique bike with electronic shifting you can't beat it.” Made with an emphasis on endurance, it’s the bike that The Cycling House Owner Owen Gue both races and rides and it’s the bike that Pro Continental Team Bretagne Seche Environnement rode for the Paris Roubaix. “In our testing the bike has proven to be extremely versatile. It can be a dedicated race rig or a high performance/comfortable charity ride ripper,” said Radley.
look675.com; starting at around $3,500 for a frameset, $5,299 for a complete bike
“Take it from someone who rides 10,000+ miles a year (for 10 years in a row)—The Cycling House Camp Director, Brendan Halpin,” said Radley. “If you are looking for a classic, comfortable, performance driven machine then Moots is the one.” The handmade frame can be custom built or ordered in standard sizing from Steamboat Springs, Colo.
moots.com; starting at around $3,300 for a frameset
This carbon frame is rigid in all the right places and is a top pick of 2015 for Jason Woznick of Fair Wheel Bikes. Made of one main piece, instead of three or four pieces molded together, the Ritte Ace is one of the sturdiest frames out there. Accepting all 25 millimeter tires (and some 28s), this bike is versatile and excels both on the race course and around the city.
rittecycles.com; $2,700 for a frameset
Undoubtedly one of the top road bikes available and a huge leap forward for Trek, the Émonda SLR 8 takes light weight to a new level, without sacrificing a great ride. Exceptionally proficient when it comes to steep climbs and long rides, the 13.5-pound (depending on frame size) SLR 8 strikes a near perfect balance between speed and comfort.
trekbikes.com; complete bike for $7,880
“The Pinarello ROKH is the perfect comprehensive bike for the avid cyclist,” said Radley. “With enough get-up-and-go stiffness for race day and a light enough frame to climb with anyone, the ROKH still offers enough comfort for daily mileage. The ROKH now comes in a full bike option with Ultegra components, [so] you don't have to break the bank to get into Italian greatness.”
pinarello.com; complete bike for $3,850
“Don't let the ‘comfort’ label sway you from this bike, it's the most versatile bike that Look sells,” said Radley, who has raced this bike all season. Need proof of its versatility? His dad (who is 73) also enjoys this bike. “It can be a full on carbon endurance bike or with a few tweaks if can be a performance driven group ride rocket. At $2,999 you can't beat the value. This 566 also comes in a Shimano 105 version for $2,399, same frame.”
lookcycle.com; complete bike for $2,999
This race-ready women’s-specific cycle is sure to help you dominate any race. It’s worth mentioning that many women prefer unisex cycles and ladies certainly don’t need to shop for women’s-specific frames, but for those looking for a gender-specific race option, this is one of the very best. From the composite frame to the SpeedControl SL brake system, every part of this cycle is top-notch.
giant-bicycles.com; complete bike for $5,325
Made for the roadie who loves to go the distance, the CX Zero Alu is built with an aluminum frame and a design that puts the rider in a more upright position, which tends to bring more comfort on long rides. A durable bottom bracket, chain stays that absorb some shock and available disc brakes ensure comfort and top performance on every ride.
colnago.com; complete bike for $1,750