Buying a quality bicycle can be a major investment that requires a bit of research to find the make and model that best suits your needs. Some are built with versatility in mind, while others are specialized for commuting, mountain biking, triathlons and more. One way to narrow down your search is to start with a brand with a reputation for excellence, innovation, value and customer satisfaction. New models may come and go, but these top 25 bicycle brands consistently lead the way.
Courtesy of Raleigh
Raleigh is one of the oldest bike brands in the world and has an iconic place in cycling history. It also produces a wide variety of high-quality bicycles, including commuter, road and mountain bikes as well as electric and kids versions. The brand, headquartered in Nottingham, England, was founded in 1885 and is often applauded for its commuter bikes, including the stylish Road Heritage line with classic, vintage designs.
Courtesy of Focus Bikes
German-engineered vehicles have reputations for quality, and Focus bicycles are no exception. Based in Stuttgart, Germany, which is also home to the headquarters of Mercedes-Benz and Porsche, Focus is known for its high-end mountain and road bikes made for professionals and amateur athletes alike. Focus also has a line of electric bikes made for tackling everything from daily commutes to alpine trails.
Courtesy of Felt Bicycles
Though it’s younger than some of its peers, Felt Bicycles was born organically. Motorcycle mechanic Jim Felt found fame in the cycling world after building new bikes for triathlon champions. He founded his namesake company making racing bikes but has since branched out to offer a wide variety of models, builds and price points. The Felt VR series, which stands for variable road, makes for a great starting road bike.
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Specialized is a brand that’s been at the forefront of bike innovation, releasing its road tire in 1976 and then its first mountain bike, the Stumpjumper, in 1981, making it one of the first mass-produced mountain bikes on the market. The brand continues to innovate with developments in suspension, shock and aerodynamics. Specialized offers everything from entry-level mountain bikes to kid’s and women’s bikes to Turbo e-bikes with an extra boost.
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Today, Trek is a major bicycle brand, but this American brand has humble origins. The company started over beers in 1976, and its two founders kicked off production in a red Wisconsin barn. Trek produces a wide variety of reliable models including women’s, kid’s, fitness, commuter, gravel, mountain and electric. Trek’s Project One line allows riders to customize the model, parts and paint, with mesmerizing color schemes like molten marble, inspired by lava.
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High-end Italian bicycle manufacturer Pinarello is best known for its road bikes, though it also produces cyclocross, track, mountain and city bikes. Pinarello bikes have been ridden by a number of top pro cycling teams and have been used to win many top prizes. Seven of the last nine Tour de France winners have ridden Pinarello bikes, with Egan Bernal claiming the top prize in 2019 atop his Pinarello Dogma F12.
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The Belgian cycling brand Eddy Merckx was created by and named after legendary Belgian racer and five-time Tour de France winner Edouard Louis Joseph Merckx, Baron Merckx, better known as Eddy Merckx. Because of its pedigree, Eddy Merckx is one of the most prestigious bicycle brands. The company was purchased in 2017 by fellow Belgian bike brand Ridley but continues to produce steel racing bikes as well as road and gravel models.
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BMC, which stands for Bike Manufacturing Company, is a Swiss performance bicycle brand that makes bikes for all terrains with a focus on speed and endurance. Its bikes have been used to win Tour de Frances and Ironman Championships. Along with track and triathlon bikes, it also offers gravel and hybrid options.
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Giant is one of the best budget bike brands for those investing in their first bike or branching into a different model for the first time. Its road, mountain and hybrid bikes have comfortable, versatile designs and features. Giant has had a hand in popularizing technological advances in cycling, and the company controls its entire production process in-house. Giant’s sister brand, Liv, makes bicycles specially designed for women.
Courtesy of GT
GT is one of the most famous and respected American bike brands. Founded in Southern California in 1972, it’s known for its premium mountain, BMX and road bikes that are designed with cool style and colors. The brand has also branched out into more affordable and accessible bikes for fitness buffs, commuters, women and kids.
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Bikers looking for a smooth ride, high-quality build and comfort won’t make a mistake getting a Cannondale. They make reliable fitness, gravel, mountain and commuter bikes and more. Cannondale started in 1971 above a pickle factory with cycle apparel and accessories and introduced its first touring bike in 1983. Riders have won many prestigious cycling races aboard Cannondales, and the brand also introduced the industry's first dual-suspension mountain bike in the ‘90s.
Courtesy of Cervelo
If you’ve got a need for speed, look to Canadian brand Cervelo, which specializes in engineering some of the lightest and fastest road and triathlon bikes in the world. The company was created in 1995 by two engineers who worked to develop aerodynamic time-trial bicycles. The name combines the Italian word for brain, “cervello,” and “velo,” the French word for bike. The bikes are especially coveted by road racers and triathletes. The company currently makes four series of road bikes, the R series, S series, P series and C series.
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Italian cycling brand Bianchi, created in 1885, is the world’s oldest bicycle manufacturing company still in business. The brand is also among the most recognizable thanks to its signature “Celeste” teal color. Bianchi created technologies such as Countervail, which is an integrated vibration canceling system for cycling. Its road bikes are popular among cyclists but Bianchi also offers e-bikes, touring bikes, city bikes and more.
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Founded by the Jamis family in New Jersey in 1937, Jamis Bikes first began importing European and Asian bicycles before introducing its own bikes, beginning with its Earth Cruiser in 1979. Jamis is sold around the world and offers a wide variety of models, including mountain, road, fitness, commuter, kid’s and women’s bikes.
Surly is relatively new to the cycling scene, established in Minnesota in 1998. The rugged brand’s bikes are made from high-quality CroMoly steel, including its famous Pugsley model, the first production fat tire bike, which debuted in 2004 and was redesigned in 2018. Surly also offers tough cargo, touring, road and trail bikes perfect for getting out in nature and taking in fantastic views.
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Diamondback started as a BMX brand but today is known for versatile, affordable bikes as well as high-end models. It offers quality entry-level hybrid, road and mountain bikes in women’s and kid’s iterations. This accessible brand can be found in bike shops as well as at retailers like REI, Dick’s Sporting Goods and Walmart and on Amazon.com.
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Kona was founded in the Pacific Northwest in 1988 and is still owned by its original founders. The brand, which can be found at more than 150 retailers across the U.S. and Canada, has a practical, no-frills reputation for making hard-working road, mountain and city bikes that are built to last. Its bike suit every level from beginner to expert as well as different budgets.
Founded in 1899, Japanese brand Fuji, named for its country’s iconic mountain peak, is one of the world's oldest bicycle brands. Stateside, the bikes are distributed by Advanced Sports in Philadelphia and available in cycling shops across the country. Fuji produces competition bikes, city bikes and road bikes and more for men, women and children as well as electric bikes and even police patrol bikes.
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Founded in a single car garage in Santa Cruz, California, in 1994, this bicycle company began by producing dual-suspension bikes but has since expanded to a variety of high-performance mountain bikes made from either carbon fiber or aluminum. Santa Cruz also has an award-winning sister brand, Juliana, which makes mountain bikes for women.
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This Swiss company was initially founded by engineer and ski racer Ed Scott to produce his invention of the first tapered aluminum ski pole. The skiing and later motocross outfitter branched into the cycling world in 1989 after inventing the aerodynamic handlebar, which helped American Greg Lemond win the Tour de France. The company has continued to innovate over the years and offers a huge range of bicycles for men, women and kids.
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Headquartered in Golden, Colorado, Yeti has made high-quality mountain bikes for more than 30 years and formed the first-ever professional mountain bike race team. After being purchased by multiple companies and almost going under, Yeti was saved by a group of employees who banded together to buy the brand. Yeti’s frames come with lifetime warranties and the company offers replacement pricing in case of a crash.
Soma Fabrications is a bicycle parts manufacturer popular among cyclists who want to build their own bike with high-quality, affordable parts. Its steel frames come specialized for road, mountain, track and more while its cyclocross option is versatile for city, trail and road.
Courtesy of Marin
Marin was founded in 1986 in Marin County, California, the birthplace of competitive mountain biking. Today, it has expanded to produce fitness, road, adventure and even e-bikes and versatile kid’s bikes. Marin’s Headlands gravel bikes can go from your winter commute to off-road trails around the world, including the rocky, volcanic paths of Iceland. Iceland continues to be a popular destination for cyclists, honeymooners and more. Here’s the best time to check out Iceland and 49 other hot travel destinations.
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