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2020 Road Bikes for Beginners

Words by Cycles UK

on 13/03/2020 14:53:12


Starting to Road ride can seem full of pitfalls and overwhelming information, but primarily road bikes for beginners need to do a couple of things. They need to be fast enough to keep up on group rides, well made to see you through at least a couple of years of riding and be comfortable and stable enough to let you learn the ropes.

Traditionally road bikes were built with a very race-focused geometry and ride position where you are bent right over the handlebars with a very flat back. This is great for super-fit pros with fantastic bike handling skills and high pain thresholds, not so great for Sunday morning café rides. That's why a lot of road bikes for beginners tend to use a more 'endurance' focused geometry providing a more upright riding position, slightly longer wheelbase and more predictable handling. Most endurance bikes also come with wider tyres and are designed to soak up the bumps on your local country lanes.

We've rounded up some of our favourite road bikes for beginners which meet the essential criteria of being fast, road focussed and fun to ride.

Cannondale Synapse Al SoraSynapse Disc Sora

Cannondale Synapse AL Sora and Women's Disc Sora £849.99

The whole of the Synapse range features comfort and endurance in every aspect of its design. With elements that make this bike the step-sibling of the gravel bike. It is full of capability and opportunity. The kind of bike you buy and don't part with for years. Packed with features such as SAVE (synapse active vibration elimination), Cannondale's SmartForm C2 alloy frame and full carbon fork, internal cable routing, Shimano Sora groupset making the synapse a comfortable workhorse of a bike. It'll look after you as you ride and ride and ride.

Next bike up Cannondale Synapse AL Tiagra £999.99 uses a 2x10 speed Shimano Tiagra gearing with mechanical disc brakes for powerful and reliable stopping, giving you a secure setup for everyday use and plenty of range to get you up the hills.


Cannondale CAAD Optimo Claris £649.99

The CAAD Optimo has a race-style position similar to the award-winning CAAD 13 meaning you'll be bent right over the bars with a flat back. Cannondale's innovative aluminium frame building boasts a frame that rides better than our competitors' highest-end alloy offerings. Designed for handling, speed, the durability CAAD Optimo belongs on the road.

Next bike up Cannondale CAAD Optimo Sora 749.99. Virtually the same bike in every way, but for a more substantial nine-speed groupset meaning a bigger gear range.

2020 specialized allez

Specialized Allez £649.00

The Allez has always been a great mix of value and performance. The 2020 versions are lighter with beyond gender sizing, meaning it has a considerable size range of frames 44cm to 61cm. The lighter frame improves the feel of the ride and speed full FACT carbon fibre fork achieves lightweight and excellent handling. The Allez is a road bike that will not let you down and which will also double as a fast commuter.

Next bike up Specialized Allez Sport Endurance £849.00 comes with durable Axis Sport alloy wheels, a super-comfy Body Geometry Bridge saddle, and well-protected Espoir Sport tyres. The nine-speed Sora gears give you two extra gears (18 total) compared to the entry-level bike and will also give you smoother and longer-lasting shifting.

2020 Trek Damane al2 womensDomane al2 mens

Trek Domane AL 2 Women’s and Men’s £595

The Trek Domane AL 2 is a great entry-level road bike. It's stable, light, and fun to ride – all of which makes it the ideal choice for anyone looking for a great first road bike. The Domane range is built around Trek's endurance geometry. That means you get a slightly more upright riding position which is more comfortable on long rides and more stable handling to cope with rougher sections of road. The Domane AL has an aluminium frame with and a Trek IsoSpeed Carbon fork, which absorbs vibrations from the road. Although the Domane AL is a road bike Trek has set it up to do double duty as a commuter. It comes with mudguard mounts so you can use it all year round. The Domane AL 2 has 16 speed Shimano Claris gears and comes with wide 28c tyres so get plenty of grip and plenty of help on the hills.

Next bike up Trek Domane AL 3 £750 has many of the same elements as the AL2 except it has better Shimano Sora groupset including 18-speed gears and better wheel rims.