We’re on a mission to find the best road bike for under $3000. If your current bike just isn’t providing the performance you know you’re capable of, it might be time to upgrade.
Models in the $2000-$3000 range can give you a noticeable boost in speed and power transfer. They are built to an all-round better standard than cheaper models, and you can expect some seriously high quality technology included for the price.
When searching for a bike under $3000 it’s important to think about the features or components you can do without, as well as what you need. Bicycles in the $2000-$3000 range are nearly all good models, but most have specific strengths and weaknesses. It’s important to match these to your riding style.
There are a huge number of different brands, models and component types, so choosing the best road bike under $3000 can be confusing. We’ve listed three of the top road bicycles for under $3,000 below to make your decision easier.
Each of these are capable of serious competitive riding, and provide performance levels comparable to more expensive models. Even if you don’t buy one of these models, they offer a good overview of the quality you can expect at this price.
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Our Top Three – Best Road Bikes Under $3000
Note: The comparison table above uses the, “Our Rating” score (out of 100 points) to rank the bikes based on our review. The individual reviews you read below may not be in order. We’ve added them in an effort to give you a better sense of each bike’s unique strengths and weaknesses.
1. Tommaso Superleggera Carbon Road Bike
The Tommaso Superleggera is built with a lightweight carbon fiber frame that weighs just 950 grams. It’s a stiff, high modulus frame, which means faster acceleration. The frame also transmits more power to the wheels than lower quality models. Even the seat post is made from carbon fiber for a smooth and comfortable ride.
Also included are Shimano Dura Ace 9000 shifters and derailleur, which provide top-quality performance. Shifting on the Superleggera is incredibly smooth, due to the complete Shimano drivetrain.
If you’re looking for one that provides superior performance, high quality components and a carbon fiber frame, then the Tommaso Superleggera is difficult to beat. Weighing just 16.4 lbs and available in several different sizes, this could be the only model you ever need.
2. Kestrel Legend Ultegra
Other features include the Shimano Ultegra groupset, a tapered head tube for extra stability and reduced weight, and a tapered down tube so more of the power you generate is directed to the pedals.
If you compete in road races, or just want one that lets you reach your potential, then the Kestrel Legend with Shimano Ultegra components is a great choice. It’s undoubtedly a racing bike, but Kestrel has made sure it’s also comfortable to ride.
3. 2018 Kestrel RT-1000 Shimano Ultegra Carbon
If you’re looking for a comfortable model for endurance riding, then the RT-1000 is an option to consider. Its geometry allows for a more comfortable riding position, which can make a big difference after a long day on the road.
The carbon frame is lightweight, and designed to be both stiff and comfortable to ride. Other features of the bicycle include the fully aerodynamic design, Shimano Ultegra drivetrain and a sloping top tube. This makes it easy to mount, and also adds to the attractive design.
The RT-1000 successfully manages to combine excellent performance with a comfortable ride. It’s a great option for endurance riding.
Other Buying Considerations
Once you start looking above $2000, full carbon frames become the norm. Components should also be from a specific groupset, rather than the mix-and-match of branded and generic components you find on cheaper models (Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo are by far the biggest manufacturers).
Buying one in this price range is often a balancing act between frame and groupset. If you choose a model with a more expensive groupset, then you’ll probably have to settle for a lower quality carbon frame. We generally recommend prioritizing a high quality frame before other components. A poor quality frame can ruin the benefits of a top-end groupset, and isn’t easily upgradable.
There is also the option of choosing an aluminum frame with higher level groupset components. Aluminum frames are typically less comfortable to ride than carbon fiber, and are also more likely to corrode. While carbon fiber is the material of choice in this price range, some cyclists prefer the feel of aluminum.
Whether you’ve been riding for years and are ready to upgrade, or are starting the hobby and want to get going with a great bike, there are some excellent options for under $3000. You can expect a carbon frame and forks, high quality brand name components and a smooth and responsive ride from a model in this price range.
While you usually can’t get everything you want from a bike for less than $3000, by choosing a model with a high-quality carbon frame you have the foundations of a high-performance road bike. You can then upgrade components in the future to create your dream ride.
The best road bikes under $3000 listed in this article are all more than capable of entering competitive races. Even if you just want to buy one for leisure riding, the three are designed to be both comfortable and fun to ride.