Check out these 10 road bikes all priced under $1,500 that are suitable for beginners, racing and just about everything else in between.
Cannondale CAAD Optimo Disc 105$1,460 1 of 11
Stealing technology from the lightning fast CAAD 12, the Optimo is a killer option for anyone looking for an everyday trainer or entry-level race bike. It's also one of the most comfortable frames you'll ride—regardless of price—and the inclusion of disc brakes gives you the option of using 25cc to 28cc tires for the occasional off-road ride.
Specialized Sequoia$1,350 2 of 11
With stainless steel tubing, the new Sequoia adventure bike is strong and comfortable on a variety of terrains due to its unique geometry, which features a wide wheel base, a low bottom bracket and relaxed tube angles. Ample mounts for fenders and racks, plus 42mm tires, make it easy to go from road to dirt, gravel or anywhere else you decide you might like to ride. And while it might seem like a tank, it's much lighter than you think and is quite responsive to accelerations when riding on the road.
Trek Domane ALR 4$1,419 3 of 11
While the geometry is more relaxed and the aluminum frame isn't quite the same as the higher-end carbon Domane, this bike is still efficient, smooth over rough roads and handles incredibly well. This stability makes it a very good option for beginners not yet confident in their bike handling skills or for anyone looking for a ride that's known for comfort over rougher surfaces.
GT Grade Alloy 105$1,460 4 of 11
While it isn't the lightest or quickest bike, the budget-friendly GT Grade Alloy is a very comfortable bike that is extremely versatile thanks to disc brakes and a laid back endurance geometry. Long weekend training rides, the occasional Gran Fondo or the spur-of-the-moment dirt track trek are all within this bike's capabilities, making it the perfect choice for cyclists looking for one bike that can do it all.
Raleigh Merit 3$1,399 5 of 11
If you're into century rides or long, slow training sessions, the Merit 3 was created with you in mind. The frame absorbs road shock well, keeping you from fatiguing, and the larger 28mm tires provide great stability and confident handling. Disc brakes and a solid Shimano 105 component package make this a great buy for anyone looking for a bike in the endurance cycling category.
Diamondback Airen 1$1,400 6 of 11
The Airen 1 is a women-specific endurance bike that allows you to be in a more natural, upright position to take pressure off your lower back and neck for those long days in the saddle. Even though the geometry is relaxed, it's still plenty responsive and easy to control at higher speeds on descents. The 11-speed Shimano 105 components also offer excellent value at this price point.
Giant Fastroad CoMax 2$1,475 7 of 11
Though the flat-bar isn't very traditional, this road bike is agile and fun to ride. The stock wheels are fast, and the frame feels lively when accelerating. Hydraulic disc brakes offer excellent stopping power, and the overall solid component specs make this bike a great option for urban cyclists or commuters whose daily rides fall in the 10- to 20-mile range.
Felt FR 60$799 8 of 11
For anyone looking to get into cycling without spending a ton of money, the entry-level FR 60 from Felt is about as good as it's going to get. Built with a solid aluminum frame, Shimano Claris groupset and a similar design to Felt's other high-end race steeds, this bike won't hold you back and can be ridden in almost any weekend event. For under $800, it's as solid a buy as you'll find anywhere.
Cube Axial WLS Race$1,299 9 of 11
Cube's lineup of bikes is known for its race-worthy performance at an excellent overall value. The women's specific Axial Race is no exception, equipped with a fast aluminum frame, Shimano 105 components and solid Mavic Aksium wheels. Consider this a top option for any woman considering an entry-level race bike that's suitable for training miles as well.
BMC TeamMachine ALR01 Tiagra$1,399 10 of 11
If we're to pick one frame under $1,500 that we like the most, the TeamMachine would be it. It's basically the same shape and design as the much more expensive carbon TeamMachine, lowering the cost by utilizing aluminum instead. The result is an excellently valued bike that's well-balanced, stiff and won't feel out of place in the mountains or at your local crit. If you're willing to spend a little more, for just over $1,500 you can upgrade to Shimano 105 components, which are a better match for this extremely high-quality frame.