The 22 Best Road Bike BrandsPublished on 05/12/2023 · 15 min readCycling Expert Joel Fletcher breaks down the biggest and best road bike brands on the market right now to help you find the best bike brand for you.
Photo by Algi
Looking for a new road bike can be overwhelming, to say the least. What brand makes the exact bike I am looking for, what brand ethos and background do I associate best with, and what brands do I want to steer away from? Those are just some of the questions you might have when looking for a new bike. This list breaks down the biggest and best road bike brands on the market right now to answer some of those questions and narrow down the list of the best road bike brands for you. We hope you find this list useful!
Argon 18 is a cycling brand out of Canada specializing in road, gravel, track, and time trial bikes. They have been making some of the lightest and most technologically advanced bikes on the market since 1989. Argon 18 race bikes can be seen on the likes of the Project Echelon and Team Novo Nordisk professional road cycling teams, the HUUB Wattbike track team, as well as on professional triathlete Sam Long and many, many others. Argon-18 bikes have a very specific geometry through using their 3D fit system to take advantage of multiple different heights of their headtube. This will allow you to best dial in the fit and specs that are perfect for you and allow you to be more comfortable on the bike and ride further!
Popular Bike: Sum Pro
We all know Bianchi bikes by their beautiful signature Celeste Green colorway. Bianchi is one of the oldest bike manufacturers in the world, starting in 1885 in Milan, Italy with Edoardo Bianchi making steel bikes. Today, they have moved primarily to lightweight carbon bikes (with some throwbacks to the steel heritage), making bikes across a wide range of categories including road bikes, ebikes, mountain bikes, city/fitness bikes, and kids’ bikes. Bianchi can still be found using their signature Celeste Green on their bikes but, of course, their bikes have a very updated look from the bikes Edoardo was making in 1885. The Bianchi bikes are used by the Team Arkea Samsic cycling team.
Popular Bike: Specialissima
BMC makes some of the highest-end bikes on the market and supplies them to the likes of the AG2R Citroen World Tour Cycling Team. Starting in Grenchen, Switzerland in 1994, BMC is a small brand with around 120 employees that put out some of the best all-around road, time trial, triathlon, track, lifestyle, mountain, gravel, and ebikes on the market. They are very well known for their Swiss design and manufacturing, as well as for making some of the best bikes that combine comfort, aerodynamics, stiffness, and aesthetics into one package.
Cannondale Bikes started in the early 1970s, a time when cycling was very traditional. Cannondale came into the sport to innovate the way bicycles were made. They started with alloy frame bikes when most bikes had a steel frame and then change their frame material to carbon fiber. Most of their bikes today are made from carbon, but they design and produce some of the most sought-after aluminum frames, just like in the ’70s. In a time when carbon rules the cycling market, Cannondale aluminum frames are very high-performing and rival the likes of some other brand’s carbon frames. You can find their bikes on the likes of the EF Nippo Pro Cycling Team as well as many other professional mountain bikers and triathletes.
Popular Bike: Supersix Evo
For two decades, Cervélo has had the goal of making the fastest bike frames out there, whether that’s for the Jumbo Visma World Tour Team, World Champion Marianne Vos or someone just looking to set a PR up their local climb. Cervélo makes some of the fastest and most aerodynamic road, time trial, track, and gravel bikes on the market using careful science to learn how to best cut through the wind. They are also one of the best road bike brands when it comes to reducing its carbon footprint. Riding bikes is one of the best ways to reduce your carbon footprint but making them isn’t always the same. Cervélo is trying to change that.
Popular Bike: R5
We all watched Tadej Pogacar win the 2021 Tour de France on a Colnago (with disc brakes, finally!), but what is this Italian brand all about? Colnago is one of the oldest bike manufacturers in the world with Ernesto Colnago and Fiorenzo Magni starting the company in 1954. Colnago has made bikes for Eddy Merckx and the Mapei Team over the years and now supports the UAE Team Emirates World Tour Team, as well as many others. Colnago went from using steel in the mid-1900s to, today, being at the forefront of designing some of the most technologically advanced carbon fiber bikes on the market. They were one of the first to design a specific road racing bike with disc brakes that have better-stopping power in 2012 and are now one of the few brands designing lugged carbon frames that are like nothing else on the market. Colnago still makes a small number of bikes in Italy and has a smaller but more specific product range sticking with road, gravel, and time trial.
Popular Bike: V3Rs
Diamondback, founded in 1977 and based in Kent, WA, is one of the most globally recognizable bikes on the market. Diamondback has moved from being one of the biggest BMX brands in the ’80s to now making more cost-effective bikes that tackle different types of terrain across the mountain, gravel, and ebikes categories. Their bikes are superior in value, with their bikes coming in at a lower price point than some of the other big brands but providing durable high quality for what you do pay. Whether you are looking for your first mountain or hybrid bike with mechanical disc brakes or you are a more experienced gravel/adventure rider and need a new bike with a carbon fiber frame and full carbon fork with internal cable routing, Diamondback might be just what you are looking for.
Popular Bike: Haanjo
Felt bikes are designed in the state of California and can be seen on the likes of the Human Powered Health team (including Joey Rosskopf, the current U.S. Pro Road Race Champion) and the U.S.A. Track Team. Felt only makes “drop-bar” bicycles which include, road, gravel, track, and time trial, and is one of the premier brands in the US. They are a newer brand only founded in 1991, but they make up for that with some of the most aerodynamic, fast, and stiff frames on the market. If you are looking to show off a sleek-looking new bike but also, more importantly, beat your cycling crew to the coffee shop, Felt might just have what you are looking for.
Popular Bike: FR
You might not know this, but Fuji bikes have been around since 1899, named after Japan’s most iconic peaks. Fuji started making steel bikes in Japan before moving to automobiles and airplanes and then back to the bicycle brand you know today! They have dropped out of the main tours, but currently, sponsor US triathlete, Matt Reed. Fuji makes just about every bike you could want under the sun and ranges from the entry-level road bike with low-cost gears for new cyclists and kids up to the high-end road bike with a carbon frame, carbon fork, and wide-range cassette to race or train on.
Popular Bike: Transonic
Giant Bikes pioneered a lighter aluminum, or as our friends across the pond say, aluminum frame when they were formed in the 1970s and then moved into making the first “compact” road frame which is now used by almost all major bike manufacturers on the market today. Notice how your top-tube on your bike sloped downward instead of straight across the bike? That is thanks to Giant and their bike design. Giant has more than 12,000 dealers worldwide which makes them one of the most globally recognized bike brands on the market. They make every bike you could want and even make their own components, saddles, pedals, and handlebars. Their bikes can be seen on the Giant Factory Off-Road Team, with triathletes, and many others. Giant is also one of the best brands when it comes to social change and diversity in cycling by supporting teams like The Black Foxes and Team Onyx.
Popular Bike: TCR
GT bikes were widely known for their BMX bikes in the ’80s, and today they honor that heritage by making bikes for dirt, from gravel and mountain bikes, but they have also expanded to the road, lifestyle, and city bikes. After being formed in 1972, GT’s mission to bring fun to cycling hasn’t changed, and that motto still resonates in all of the bikes they design and produce today. GT bikes can be found on their Factory Team racing endurance and downhill, as well as on global BMX freestyle and BMX racing teams.
Popular Bike: Grade
French brand Lapierre started making bikes in a small French village in the mid-1940s. They grew into a globally recognized brand over the next 75 years, taking advantage of the mountain bike boom in the ’80s by sponsoring different mountain bike teams. While they didn’t make a road bike until the early 2000s, once they did, they sponsored some of France’s biggest teams and even a French Road National Champion. Today, Lapierre makes some of the best road, mountain, urban, kids, and ebikes on the market and can be found on France’s biggest pro cycling team Groupama FDJ. After 75 years, Lapierre is still pushing the limit of what you can do on a bike.
Popular Bike: Xelius
Liv bikes is the sister company of Giant bikes. Giant and Liv are equally important brands, and Liv’s focus on pushing the limits of women’s cycling shows through the teams, athletes, and initiatives they support. Liv puts women first in everything they do. The production policy “shrink it and pink it,” for making female versions of traditionally male products, does not apply to Liv and their bikes. Liv is truly women-led from the design of their bikes up to marketing and sales. Liv sponsors multiple different pro teams in every discipline from mountain biking to road racing and makes bikes to fit any and every need you have. If you’re thinking about something specific you want your bike to do, Liv will make a bike to fit that need.
Popular Bike: Langma
Orbea is Spain’s oldest and largest cycling brand, having made their first bike in 1930 after producing guns from 1830 to 1930. They are based in the Basque Region in Spain which is one of the most cycling-crazed areas in the world. Orbea makes carbon fiber road, gravel, mountain, triathlon, and urban bikes and offers very cool paint customization for a lot of their bikes called My-O. Orbea’s e-road and e-mountain bikes are some of the most highly sought-after, have some of the best aesthetics in the cycling world, and their performance is unmatched. If you are on the hunt for a slick-looking e-road-bike, Orbea might be for you. You can find Orbea bikes on the Euskadi Murias Pro Team as well as the women's pro team Ceratizit–WNT Pro Cycling.
Popular Bike: Orca
Merida makes carbon fiber bikes that are designed in Germany and handmade in Taiwan. The Merida brand has been making bikes since 1972, and though they probably aren’t the most recognized bikes on the road, they make some of the highest-end frames you can find and have one of the best R&D teams who constantly push the limits of what their bikes can do. You can find Merida bikes on Team Bahrain Victorious as well as professional mountain biker Gunn-Rita Dahlé Flesjå who is a living legend in the sport of mountain biking.
Popular Bike: Scultura
Pinarello makes some of the most successful and best carbon road bikes of the last +10 years, having won more Tour De France’s with any other brand under Team Sky (now Ineos). They are a brand that was built out of the spirit of racing and that shines through their bikes. Today, they make some of the most expensive and technologically advanced road and gravel bikes on the market and even make titanium parts for their aero bikes to make them even lighter. The Cicli Pinarello bike shop opened in Italy in 1952 and they haven’t looked back since. Pinarello started sponsoring racers in the 1960s and today sponsors one of the best World Tour Teams in the World, Ineos Grenadiers. Pinarello has a small but very high-end catalog of bikes, making road, gravel, ebikes, urban, and time trial bikes.
Popular Bike: Dogma F
Ribble Cycles is the UK’s leading bike brand and provides a direct-to-consumer product to cut out the middleman and save you money when looking for a new bike. They have been hand-assembling bikes in Lancaster since the late 1800s and over that time, have learned a thing or two about making a great bicycle. They sponsor the British Pro Team Ribble Weldtite and are at the forefront of trying to make the most aerodynamic and fastest bike on the planet with their new Ultra SL R bike. Ribble is also one of the last brands on the market using rim brakes on new bikes in a world dominated by disc brakes. If you are still wanting caliper brakes, even though Shimano and Sram have veered away from them, Ribble may be the brand for you. If you are on the hunt for something else, Ribble makes a wide range of bikes including road, gravel, hybrid, mountain, and ebikes.
Popular Bike: Ultra SL R
We all know Belgium as one of the cycling meccas of the world. From Cyclocross to the Tour of Flanders, Belgium is widely known as the most passionate country for bike racing, and Ridley Bikes is the biggest bike brand in Belgium. They are a small but powerful brand that has been part of Belgian cycling since 1990, and its Belgian R&D team designs bikes that are painted and assembled on-site. You can find almost any bike you want from this Belgian brand, from mountain bikes to e-gravel-bikes and everything in between. The Ridley bikes can be seen ridden by a large number of Belgian pro cycling teams including Lotto Soudal and Pauwels Sauzen-Bingoal, just to name a few.
Popular Bike: Helium
Scott USA goes back to 1958. In 1995, Scott created the first-ever carbon mountain bike, followed by their big push for 27.5” wheels on mountain bikes in 2012 which was a huge change from the 26” wheels that had been used forever. Their bike development continues from there, and, today, they work with pro team BikeExchange to create some of the fastest and lightest hydraulic disc brake road bikes on the market. Furthermore, they have worked with Nino Schurter (widely known as the best XC Mountain Bike Racer of all time) throughout his career and have developed a line of mountain bikes that are some of the best. No matter if you are looking for a mountain, road, gravel, commuter, ebikes, or kids’ bike, Scott has what you need.
Popular Bike: Addict RC
Specialized bikes are one of the biggest and most widely known bicycle companies in the U.S. Back in 1974, they set out to create a better mountain bike tire, then moved on to the first production mountain bike, and they haven’t looked back since. Based out of California, they are a superpower that not only creates bikes for every genre with almost every drivetrain, but all of the bike accessories, clothing, and equipment you could ever want. Their in-house brand, Roval, makes some of the best wheels in the world for all bikes, and their Outride program works on initiatives to get more underserved communities on bikes. No matter what type of bike you want or could ever dream up, Specialized has a bike for you. The Specialized Tarmac has been one of the best high-quality bikes on the market right now and the Allez has been one of the best cheap road bikes.
Popular Bike: Tarmac SL7
Trek is the other big brand in the U.S., being formed in 1976 in Wisconsin with the mission to create the best bicycles the world has ever seen. They make bikes of all genres with almost every groupset so no matter what you are looking for, Trek will have a bike for you. Their in-house brand Bontrager makes all of the bicycle accessories you could want and keeps everything for Trek’s bikes under one roof. You can find the Trek bikes on men’s and women’s pro teams Trek-Segafrado, as well as many other individual racers across multiple disciplines of the sport. From urban commuters with rear racks to full-on triathlon bike set-ups, Trek will have exactly the bikes you are looking for.
Popular Bike: Madone
Wilier Triestina, or just “Wilier” as they are known in the bike industry, is another bike manufacturer over 100 years old, having started making bikes in 1906. Today, they make some of the highest-end bikes with high-end components coming out of Italy. Their bikes are broken down into “racing”, “endurance,” and “leisure” categories so you can best find the bike to perfectly suit your needs. You can find Wilier bikes on World Tour Team Astana-Premier Tech who race some of the biggest races in the world. If you are looking for a high-end Italian bicycle with a load of class and prestige, look no further than Wilier Triestina.
Popular Bike: Filante
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