Like so many other products, road bikes range wildly in price. Entry-level models will start at around $500, while models of the same quality as those ridden by professionals can fetch in the neighborhood of $8,000 or more. According to consumersearch.com, consumers can expect to pay anywhere from $1,000 to $3,000 for a mid-level road bike. The best bikes will include competition-grade components, race-inspired geometry and lightweight carbon parts.
Inspired by Trek's top-of-the-line Madone, the aluminum Alpha Black 2.3 brings race-winning geometry and performance to the masses. The bike features a lightweight carbon fork and seatpost and Bontrager brand wheels and tires. The Shimano 105 drivetrain offers reliability and precision. The crank is available in either compact 50/34T or triple 50/39.30T. The 2010 2.3 comes in eight different sizes and retails for $1699.99.
Giant TCR Alliance 1
One of the largest manufactures of road bikes, Giant proves its worth by providing bike frames for the 2010 Rabobank professional cycling team. The Composite/White/Black aluminum frame comes dressed in a Shimano 105 drivetrain and Shimano WH RS-10 wheelset. The compact 50/34t crankset, mated with a 12-25 10-speed cassette, permits a wide range of gear ratios. As of 2010, the Giant TCR Alliance 1 was offered in six different sizes and retailed for $1,800.
As the bike supplier of the Garmin Professional Cyling Team, Felt knows something about putting together a race-winning package. The F75 offers race-proven performance and reliability. The bike features a Shimano 105 drivetrain, Gloss White 7005 double-butted aluminum frame and Felt-brand carbon fork. The F75 is powered by a 50/34T crankset and 10-speed 11-25T cassette. As of 2010, the Felt F75 came in seven different sizes and retailed for $1,469.
Cannondale CAAD9 6
Cannondale claims that the 2010 CAAD9 6 is the best alloy bike at any price. With a quarter-century of experience in producing aluminum bicycles frames, Cannondale may very well be right. A combination of Shimano Tiagra and Sora provides a reliable, race-inspired drivetrain. A Cannondale Slice carbon fork reduces overall weight and helps absorb road shock. The CAAD9 6 crankset is available in either 53/39T or 50/39/30T. Cannondale offers the 2010 CAAD9 6 in eight different sizes. The bike retails for $1,229.