So, the entry road bike you’ve been using just isn’t cutting it anymore, and you have $1,500 to spend on a road bike. Well, bikes in-and-around the $1,500 price range are actually good; this is, in fact, a great price range, and you’re opening yourself up to a huge selection of quality bikes at this range.
In fact, for around this price, you can expect a bike that packs a ton of bells and whistles, has a frame with a high-spec finish, and a somewhat high-end and reliable groupset. I mean, to be sure, we’re not exactly talking about the cream of the crop here, as the price of road bikes can extend beyond the $10,000 range, but certainly, bikes at (or under) the $1,500 price range are more—a lot more—than a few notches above the entry-level bikes one can purchase off of a department store.
So, without further ado, here’s a roundup of the best road bikes under $1,500.
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Like we said earlier, you can get a fantastic frame at the $1,500 price range, and that’s exactly what you get with the Kestrel Talon X Aero Carbon Road Bike. The frame is made from carbon, so it is extremely light and will be much lighter than anything one can get at more entry-level-friendly prices. Indeed, the carbon suspension fork this bike has is like butter when going through bumpy trails, absorbing shocks like a boss. Again, we have to say that this carbon frame is of very—very!—high quality, which is one of the things that we absolutely love about this road bike.
The Oval Concept 327 wheels that come paired with Vittoria Zaffiro Pro tires are excellent for any terrain. It’s got an excellent grip, and it corners extremely well, whatever the weather condition. The componentry—the Shimano 105 kit—is a sublime addition to an already excellent road bike. You are, after all, practically getting all the latest Shimano innovations with this groupset.
This is a road bike that wants to be everything for everyone—and it succeeds in that regard. Even its saddle seems to have been designed for riders to be able to transition between a triathlon position and a more relaxed racing one. The only reservation we had was that the color options were limited, but other than that, we can pretty much assure one wouldn’t feel a pang of buyer’s remorse over purchasing this road bike. It is a good and solid choice for anyone looking to upgrade their entry-level.
The frame of this bike is made from what Schwinn calls N LITENED Black Label carbon, and it is, in a word, awesome! The weight of the bike is a mere 19.5 pounds, so you can be assured that you’re getting a quality and great performing bike here. Indeed, the Schwinn Fastback Road Bike ranks among Schwinn’s lightest road bikes, and that is saying something since Schwinn makes a lot of road bikes.
When we tested the bike, one thing we immediately noticed is that the bike is fast… really fast. The geometry of the frame is quite well-designed, too, for endurance riding. This bike has kept pace with a lot of the other expensive bikes we’ve tested it with, which surprised me and a lot of my squadmates—a great thing.
The 11-speed Shimano 105 drive train that the bike comes with is no slouch, either. Just like in the Kestrel Talon, the inclusion of this component simply leaves buyers little room to doubt that they’ve made a great purchase here.
This bike will be closer to the $1,000 price range, and thusly on the cheaper end of this list. But trust us, you’re still getting a lot of bike for the money. True, the frame of this bike was made from hardened aluminum, which means it won’t be as lightweight as the other bikes we’ve listed above, but don’t let that fool you since it’s still light. Indeed, at only 23.2 pounds when fully assembled, this is not, by any means, a heavy bike. They were able to keep the weight down somehow—we are not sure how—but the carbon fork of the bike must have had a little to do with it—yes, the fork is made from carbon.
Those who have owned a Raleigh Merit 2 in the past won’t be seeing an upgrade as far as the wheels of this Merit 3 are concerned since the Clement Strada LGG 700 x 28c tires is exactly what was used in the Merit 2. That’s not actually a bad thing since our experience with these tires has been mostly good. It handles great in all weather conditions, and you won’t need to swap them out for slippery trails.
The 11-speed Shimano 105 gear shifters are a fantastic addition to the bike. You’re practically getting all the innovations of Shimano from this groupset.
All-in-all, this is a great option for an upgrade. True, we would recommend the Schwinn or the Kestrel Talon above if you had the money, but if your budget was a bit tighter, then you can’t go wrong purchasing the Raleigh Bikes Merit 3 Endurance Road Bike.