If you’re reading this article there’s a good chance you are about to buy your first carbon road bike, and you’re wondering which is the best carbon road bike for under £2000. You can buy a carbon road bike for around £1000 but you get a lot more for your money if you can extend your budget.
Go straight to the bikes:
- Boardman SLR 8.9 105 2021 Road Bike
- Ribble R872 Disc
- Ribble Endurance SL Disc
- Giant TCR Advanced 2 2022
- Cube Attain GTC Race
Whether you are buying a road bike for everyday leisure use, or sport, or you’re finally planning on joining the Tour De France, you need a strong and reliable bike. For decades, aluminium and steel were the go-to for bikers, but every material king could be dethroned. In that case, carbon fibre took the crown as the superior material and the no.1 choice for bikers all over the world.
The biggest problem with carbon fibre is that it is expensive, and thus (in the past) it was mostly used for professional racing bikes, but nowadays there are a ton of options for sturdy, lightweight, and durable road bikes that won’t break the bank.
What Makes A Good Carbon Road Bike?
Not all road bikes are created equal, and even though the price could be a major deciding factor for most people, choosing a good bike based on its other properties could make a difference between a nice, smooth ride, and a complete disaster. Here are some of the biggest decisions when choosing the best carbon road bikes:
Don’t worry, you don’t need to brush up on high school maths for this. The geometry of the bike’s frame makes a big difference in the way it runs, especially with factors like wind resistance and bumpy roads. Some bikes are designed in a way that’s intended to be ridden frequently but not too much, and for competitions and events every now and then.
These bikes are known as “Sportive” or “Endurance” geometry bikes, which will generally be more comfortable for the biker. On the other hand, a “Race” geometry bike will give you more power, flexibility, and better aerodynamics. These bikes will be stiffer, stronger, and meant for competitions.
Other than the geometry of the frame, what the frame is made from is also a big factor to keep in mind, since the frame makes up the heart of the bike itself. Even though aluminium frames are cheaper than carbon fibre, you will find much higher quality, lighter weight, and comfort with carbon fibre.
Obviously, one would infer that the wheels are kind of a big deal when it comes to bikes. Even though the bikes come with their own wheels pre-installed, you can always buy separate ones and customize your ride. With the wheels, lightweight will be much better, since the wheels will make up a large chunk of the road bike’s weight.
The brakes are an integral part of any road bike, and you’ll find two options: Disc brakes, and rim brakes. Disc brakes are usually considered the more advisable option, as they will give you better performance.
Best Carbon Fibre Road Bikes Under £2000
Bike manufacturers such as Boardman, Cube, Giant, and more have been racing (pun intended) to produce the highest quality lightweight road bikes at affordable prices. There are our top picks, ranked from cheapest to most expensive:
- PRICE – £1,150
- GROUPSET – Shimano 105
- WEIGHT – 9kg
- BRAKES – Rim
This bike is itself an upgrade over one of the most common Boardman bikes. It’s light, stiff, aerodynamic, comfortable, and a giant improvement over the original Boardman SLR 8.9. The bike comes in a full carbon fibre frame, with a full carbon fork. That fact alone was enough for us to put this bike at the top of best carbon road bikes list.
The frame is specially designed to be aerodynamic to give you the highest speed possible. With brakes, you’re looking at Tektro R-315 brakes. The gears give you a 22-speed Shimano 105, with Boardman and Vittoria Zaffiro wheels and tyres.
The biggest selling point of this Boardman road bike is that you will find the same aerodynamic features and geometry as the more expensive SLR range. The pedigree is an absolute highlight as a result, even if it’s slightly less stiff at the bottom. For extra comfort and smooth rides, the bike comes with dropped seats and integrated seat clamps for less drag.
The bike is built to perform with speed at high wind resistance, especially when you hit the pedals hard. Even though the brakes aren’t the best in the market and it could use better tyre clearance, overall, at the price range, it’s a very efficient road bike that is worth the try, perhaps even if you’re beginning your road biking journey.
- PRICE – £1,399
- WEIGHT – 9.25kg
- GROUPSET – Shimano Tiagra
- BRAKES – Disc
Even though it doesn’t have the biggest brand recognition compared to others on this list, Ribble still produces a high-quality range of bikes at affordable prices. The R872 Disc is one of their more cost-efficient options, with a lightweight frame that can stand up to the toughest of competitors. Its geometry is sportive, so it’s ideal for your everyday biking endeavours.
The R872 Disc’s most prominent feature is its oversize downtube, which means you get more stiffness and better power transfer. Similar to the Boardman SLR, it also comes with dropped seats, which makes the experience much more comfortable, especially when it comes to vibration absorption.
Speaking of comfort, the road bike offers a padded Prologo Kappa RS saddle (Seriously, nobody likes post-ride numbness). Just like the frame, the fork is also carbon-bladed, which enhances steering.
With this model, Ribble has incorporated internal cable routing so as to give you better brake lines and protect the cables themselves. The disc brakes are also guaranteed to work perfectly in rough weather.
The one downside to the Ribble R872 Disc is the smoothness of the ride itself may not be perfect, with some vibrations due to the 26mm tyres, though it’s compatible with 30mm and 25mm with mudguards.
On the other hand, you can upgrade the road bike as you like, by replacing or adding some parts, and you can even make it lighter.
Reviewers praised the ease with which they set up and adjusted the road bike, and how nice the ride itself is.
- PRICE – £1,999
- WEIGHT – 8.25kg
- GROUPSET – SRAM Rival
- BRAKES – Disc
Another fine addition from Ribble, the Endurance SL Disc comes at a higher price tag than the 872 Disc, but you definitely get your money’s worth. The Endurance SL Disc is mainly designed for, well, endurance! This makes it perfect for racing with its Shimano 105 gears, even though there are lighter bikes available. However, don’t let this fool you with the assumption that it’s only for professional racers and endurance riders. The bike can be adjusted and fit any kind of rider.
Similar to the 872 Disc, this bike offers a high level of stiffness and power transfer. The bike’s main selling point is how aerodynamic it is, which has become a staple of Ribble bikes. For increased aerodynamic performance, Ribble has added a truncated aerofoil down tube, aero fork blade profile, and a truncated aerofoil seat tube.
The bike comes equipped with Toray T800 and T1000 carbon frame which reduces drag compared to other versions, internal cables, and modifications you can choose yourself to decrease or increase the price tag as you like.
As for power transfer, the Endurance SL Disc has an intentionally oversized BB area and box section chainstays. The bike also comes with discreet mudguards, and the tyres could go up to 32mm accordingly.
With its sportive geometry, the bike will give you proper stability on intense rides. Although it can be a bit heavy and aggressive, you can’t go wrong with this bike at that price.
- PRICE – £1,999
- WEIGHT – 7.9kg
- GROUPSET – Shimano 105
- BRAKES – Rim
This bike is a callback to the good ol’ days of simplicity. While some may find the bike too classic or simple, with the technological advancements of the time, it’s still 100% reliable and will give you a nice, relaxed ride with very little drag, due to the advanced reengineered tubing.
The bike is made from “Advanced-grade composite” carbon, weighing only 7.9kg for the medium, which is very lightweight. The composite frame is the cause of such a lightweight, though it doesn’t leave any stiffness on the table. Weight isn’t everything, and there are lighter bikes on the market, but not at this price point and not with comparable components. That’s why the TCR is featured in our list of best carbon road bikes under £2000.
The bike is still rigid and made for competitive riders with its aerodynamic frame tubing, 22 speed groupset and Shimano 105 brakes, which will make even a climb quite a hassle-free task.
The stiffness of the bike is supported by flat mounts and new thru-axles, and you’re looking at up to 32mm in tyres. The front end is also oversized, meaning you can really put it through the wringer and it will take it. Even though the bike is pricier than others, it’s still worth it.
The increased speed, stability, and comfort at both ascending and descending speeds make this traditional bike a worthy contender in the road bike game.
- PRICE – £2,049
- WEIGHT – 8.8kg
- GROUPSET – Shimano 105
- BRAKES – Disc
The Cube Attain GTC Race combines all the elements making a great, long-lasting bike that you could use for any event. It combines Shimano 105 2×11 gears, hydraulic disc brakes, folding continental Grant Sport SL tyres, dropped seats, and you can even fit it with mudguards.
The frame has GTC Monocoque twin mold technology and a Shimano FC-RS510 crankset, designed completely for comfort and speed. The Continental Grand Sport tyres, wider rims, and Cube wheels will give you the best handling and stability in all kinds of weather, even rough ones. The frame also comes equipped with aero Flex stays, and a full carbon fork for a smooth, vibration-free ride. The Attain gives you internally routed cables, a tapered head, and thru-axles.
The Cube Attain is made entirely with endurance in mind, and it delivers; its geometry is “Road comfort”, which Cube intends for long rides at fast speeds. To achieve this, the wheelbase gives you impressive stability and the headtube will position you in the most comfortable way possible at high speeds.
Reviewers even described the saddle as its most comfortable and shining element, which can keep you covered for hours on a ride.
Even though the Cube Attain is a little more money, and its headtube might be tall, it’s still an excellent contender in the price range.
Carbon bikes under £2,000(ish) – comparison table
|Boardman SLR 8.9||£1,150||9kg||Shimano 105||Rim||MORE...|
|Ribble R872 Disc||£1,399||9.25kg||Shimano Tiagra||Disc||MORE...|
|Ribble Endurance SL||£1,999||8.25kg||SRAM Rival||Disc||MORE...|
|Giant TCR Advanced 2||£1,999||7.9kg||Shimano 105||Rim||MORE...|
|Cube Attain GTC Race||£2,049||8.8kg||Shimano 105||Disc||MORE...|
Why Choose Carbon Bikes?
Carbon bikes have been the go-to for decades now, but what exactly made cyclists and manufacturers all over the world suddenly jump on the carbon fibre craze?
You’ve heard this term a bunch of times when it comes to bikes, but what exactly does it mean? A stiff bike is one where the frame won’t bend so much, especially around tight corners. It also means your energy and power go into the bike’s forward propulsion. For intense, long rides on rough terrain, this is a benefit. With a carbon fibre bike, you get more stiffness than your usual aluminium or other materials.
Carbon is lighter
Do you really want to pedal a super heavy bike? Riding shouldn’t be some ancient Greek trial, so the lighter the bike, the smoother things are for you (and your legs). Because carbon fibre is, literally, fibre, manufacturers adjust exactly where they want the tougher areas to be and which areas should be lighter. Compared to other materials, carbon fibre makes the lightest road bikes on the market.
Fewer vibrations mean a more comfortable, annoyance-free ride. This is where the carbon fork comes in, to counteract as many vibrations from the tyres hitting the road as much as possible.
Compared to aluminium, the frames on the best carbon road bikes is more durable, so they will last you much longer. With proper maintenance, a carbon fibre bike could last you years.
The world of road bikes is vast and there are a ton of options out there. Thankfully, narrowing down your search to something specific, such as carbon fibre gives you an easier choice. At a price tag of under £2000, manufacturers such as Cube, Boardman, Ribble, and Giant have plenty of lightweight, stiff options that will satisfy your exact need. Whether you’re looking for something competitive, or your everyday bike for exercise and leisure, you will definitely find what you need in our pick of the best carbon road bikes for under £2000