- Bikes with the best value often come with high-quality designs, features, and materials.
- You don’t have to spend top dollar to get a premium bike with advanced capabilities.
- Some of the top bikes for the money come from brands like Trek, Cube, and Giant.
- A bike with great value may offer excellent features for beginning riders at a lower cost.
Premium bikes can be quite expensive these days, but you don’t have to break your bank account to get a good value on an outstanding bike.
The best bikes for the money include the Giant Contend 3, Decathlon Triban RC 520, Trek Domane AL 2, Vitus Razor Claris, Scott Speedster 50, Cube Attain Pro, Cannondale Synapse Sora, Fuji Sportif 2.3. These bikes can enhance performance, safety, and comfort at an affordable price.
Though I’ve never been a professional-level rider, I’ve always loved watching the Tour de France and other top cycling competitions. Buying a premium road bike was a way for me to enhance my long distance biking experiences. Though some of the top premium bikes cost a ton of money, it wasn’t hard for me to find great deals on other premium bikes.
The 8 Best Bikes For The Money
Giant Contend 3
- Smooth and stable ride over long distances
- Solid all-around features
- Some features not as premium as other road bikes
Quality bikes can come from any company, but I feel more confident about a bike when I get it from a company that specializes in premium bikes.
Giant is a very accomplished company that is highly respected in the premium bicycle world.
They not only produce fantastic road and mountain bikes, they produce excellent electric and kids bikes.
Giant is undoubtedly well-versed in making a variety of high-quality modern bicycles.
One of the bikes with the best value from Giant is the Contend 3 road bike.
This bike has a lovely traditional design with all the key characteristics of a powerful road bike.
One of the most outstanding things I like about the Giant Contend 3 bike is its level of comfort.
The Contend 3 has a seat and handlebars that combine to create a balanced upright feel that keeps me effortlessly balanced throughout my ride.
This Giant bicycle comes with solid shock absorption elements from top to bottom, so you can expect to remain relatively stable on most standard roads.
Dependable Shimano brake levers and shifters are included on this bike to add great speed flexibility and brake reliability.
One of the key aspects for making the Giant Contend 3 a good value is its aluminum frame and alloy fork.
These two parts combine to create a strong and lightweight core that holds everything together.
Decathlon Triban RC 520
- Excellent brakes and gear system
- Comfortable ride
- A bit on the heavier side
The Triban RC 520 bike from Decathlon is quite simply an object of beauty.
Just looking at this bike grabs my attention without even knowing what components are included.
I can instantly tell the Decathlon Triban RC 520 is a robust bike with tightly-woven features in an overall simple design.
I appreciate the top tube being slightly angled lower around the seat to allow for easier mounting and dismounting.
The Triban RC 520 is very comfortable to ride on a variety of road surfaces and provides excellent braking and traction in dry or wet weather.
I find the handlebars and saddle to be quite soft, which helps to make the ride more comfortable wherever you go.
When riding in rougher conditions such as mud or rain, the Triban RC 520 has inserts for mudguards to protect you from troublesome encounters with wet and sticky road elements.
Having brakes that work well when riding at high speeds are one of the highest priorities I have when riding a bike.
At a relatively low price tag, this Decathlon bike comes with high-performance disc brakes that can give riders added confidence when riding at high speeds and around tight turns.
Though this bike may not have a wide selection of color choices, it is available in a wide range of sizes to allow for the right fit for different riders.
Trek Domane AL 2
- Easy to maneuver
- Premium components
- Ride can be shaky at times
If you want to dip your toes into high-performance bike riding, the Trek Domane AL 2 may be one of the best bikes you can get at its price level.
Trek is one of the top bicycle manufacturers in the world, so buying this bike should give you a great introduction into the premium bike domain.
The difference between the Domane AL 2 and higher-end bikes will probably not be as noticeable as the Domane AL 2 is to a typical lower-end bike.
The first thing I noticed when I rode this bike was the exceptional performance, comfort, and overall feel I got from it.
For those that are not familiar with the technical specifics of certain components, you should at least be able to appreciate the lightweight aluminum frame that gives the bike a sturdy core.
This bike frame allows for the mounting of useful objects like racks, fenders, and bottle cages to give you more complete riding experience.
The fork of the Trek Domane AL 2 is made of a high-quality and durable carbon material that is hard to find on a new bike at this price point.
You'll also be outfitted with a smooth 16-speed drivetrain, which should be more than enough for someone that is just starting out with a premium bicycle.
For added safety, this Trek bike is equipped with puncture-resistant tires and tough Bontrager wheels.
Riders that aren’t used to using drop handlebars may find this bike to be an effective way to learn and transition from flat handlebars.
Vitus Razor Claris
- Wide tires helpful on rougher roads
- Mounts for mudguards
- Rim brakes
The Razor Claris bike from Vitus is one of the lower-priced endurance road bikes on this list.
Though the price isn’t as high as other road bikes, new owners will get a splendid range of premium features that should give novice riders a warm welcome into the realm of high-quality road bikes.
The Vitus Razor Claris bike has a comfortable ride and a geometry that makes it easier for beginner riders to use.
The frame on this bike is made with a solid double-butted aluminum that will give you great stability and durability whether you're commuting on a Tuesday or riding for fun on a Sunday.
Razor Claris comes with a carbon fork that will give you added stability and strength at the front end when going over bumpy roads.
The tapered head tube allows for enhanced steering capabilities and simply gives the bike a more attractive and modern look.
If you have little experience with a high-performance road bike, it can be helpful when the bike is not too heavy or too light.
This bike is in the middle of the road when it comes to weight, which can be helpful when controlling the bike on various terrain.
Scott Speedster 50
- Sturdy and sharp-looking alloy frame
- Comfortable geometry
- Weaker off-road traction than other bikes
If you're looking for a top-quality bike to boost your fitness or take you to work, the Speedster 50 road bike from Scott can be a solid option.
The Scott Speedster 50 comes in a variety of sizes to help fit the body measurements of many different riders.
This bike is a sharp-looking bike that is capable on the road as it is attractive.
It comes with a sturdy alloy frame and a novice-friendly geometry to support long distance endurance rides.
If you decide you want to add fenders or other accessories, this bike comes with plenty of mounting capabilities that will help you attach those items with ease.
For those that don’t like the rim brakes that come with other bikes on this list, you might appreciate the more dependable mechanical disc brakes on the Speedster 50.
Riders that are just getting used to a premium endurance road bike should greatly benefit from this bike’s disc brakes for safety and performance.
Riding a premium road bike for the first time might be a bit tricky for even experienced adult riders, so it can be helpful to have disc brakes and a more upright geometry to make the riding experience more intuitive.
Though the minimal gear options on this bike’s Shimano crankset and cassette are more limited than other road bikes, the lack of gears can be helpful for beginner riders looking for a more simplified biking experience.
Cube Attain Pro
- Good stability
- Good high-speed performance
- Heavier than other bike models in its class
Though color is usually not one of the main factors I consider when buying a new road bike, I can't help but love the contrast of the black and light gray on the Cube Attain Pro.
Since many premium road bikes have similar features and performance capabilities, it's not a bad idea to look at the overall style when choosing a new bike to purchase.
The style of the Attain Pro bike from Cube really stands out from other bikes on this list.
Light colors on a frame like this can also make the bike easier for cars, other riders, and anyone else on the road to see.
This bike is pleasant to ride with its comfortable geometry, compact handlebars, and natural-fit saddle.
The overall suspension from the seat post to the fork allows for a stabler ride across a variety of road surfaces and conditions.
Though the Cube Attain Pro may not be the best bike to use on rugged terrain, it can be a very comfortable bike to use when riding on flat paved roads.
If you plan to carry supplies like food, water, and gear with you, this bike will give you adequate space to mount water bottles, racks, and other containers for your journey.
The Attain Pro comes with a light aluminum frame and carbon fork that should remain durable for a long period of time.
This bike offers reliable disc brakes that can deliver confident stops across different types of road conditions and speeds.
Cannondale Synapse Sora
- Excellent versatility
- High-quality frame and fork
- Brakes sometimes seem a bit weak
The Synapse Sora from Cannondale may be a bit higher in price compared to other bikes on this list, but it's a fantastic value among the top endurance road bikes.
Cannondale is a well-respected bicycle manufacturer with a strong reputation for creating high-performance bicycles.
Unlike many bikes that integrate a large amount of components from third-party manufacturers, Cannondale includes many of their own components on their bikes.
Several of the body contact points on this bike are made by Cannondale including the handlebars, grips, and saddle.
The Synapse Sora is a comfortable all-around bike that can deliver smooth rides over flat or hilly roads.
It has a solid structure with its lightweight alloy frame and carbon fork.
You'll get a dependable Shimano drivetrain to help you navigate roads with varying inclines.
When it comes to braking, the Cannondale Synapse Sora is outfitted with disc brakes that can give you solid braking power with simple controls.
If you're a biker that is relatively new to premium road bikes, this bike can be an excellent choice to get you started.
Fuji Sportif 2.3
- Comfortable ride over long distances
- Great for casual rides
- Geometry at front end might be too high for some riders
The Fuji bike company may not be the first brand I think of when it comes to the best road bikes, but the Fuji Sportif 2.3 is a standout model when it comes to overall value.
The Sportif 2.3 has an abundance of features that address riding performance and comfort.
At the center of it all is the alloy fork and frame with a threaded bottom bracket.
Those that value a stable seating position should appreciate the taller head tube and longer wheelbase on this bike.
The geometry on the Sportif 2.3 helps me to reduce fatigue when going on long rides.
I found this bike to be lightweight enough for me to carry around when I need to transport it between rides.
The overall look is modern, but it also has a classic style that makes it a joy to look at and ride.
The Fuji Sportif 2.3 comes in a variety of sizes from very small to very large, so it's bound to fit a wide range of rider body measurements.
This bike comes with a Shimano Claris shifter and brake levers, so you'll have plenty of flexibility to maneuver through various flat and angled terrain.
What Makes A Good Mountain Bike Or Road Bike?
With all of the available bike options on the market today, it can be a challenge to find the highest-quality bikes with the best value.
When browsing through the wide selection of bikes, you should consider your body size, biking capabilities, and the type of terrain you plan to ride when picking a new bike.
If you have a diverse range of needs, you may want to consider buying a well-balanced bike with solid overall characteristics.
A good all-around bike will often have reliable brakes, durable tires, attachment options, a comfortable seat, and smooth gears.
These bikes may not be the best at any single thing, but they should at least have sufficient quality and versatility to make them worth the money.
If you're mainly looking for a high-performance bike that is a good value, you should look for bikes with strong and light materials such as aluminum and carbon fiber, modern engineering, and dependable pedaling, shifting, and braking systems.
You'll also want a bike with high-quality tires that can last long and perform well in a variety of road and weather conditions.
Mountain bikes or gravel bikes can provide more support when it comes to riding on uneven surfaces with loose road elements like dirt, rocks, and snow coming at you.
Mountain bikes can commonly be found at general retail stores and specialty bike stores, so you should be able to choose from a wide selection of mountain bikes wherever you shop.
Road bikes tend to offer better performance and smoother rides over flat surfaces like paved roads.
Compared to a mountain bike or gravel bike, a road bike or endurance bike may have a lighter frame material that helps enhance the ride quality.
When you're out on the road for miles without any people around, you’ll want tires that will not only make you go fast, but will protect you from unexpected road hazards.
Though safety and performance features are big factors you should consider in a new bike, you should also consider a bike’s style and how it suits your personal preferences.
There are many bikes today that have beautiful and innovative designs with plenty of custom options.
Though most bikes that are newer and more expensive today have outstanding paint jobs and overall designs, you can often find more affordable bikes with wonderful designs and modern technology at far lower prices.
Some of the latest electric bikes, hybrid bikes, folding bikes, and performance bikes can be heavy on the wallet.
If you don't need one of the latest models of a step-through bike, commuter bike, or electric bike, you can typically buy an older model that is not much different than the latest model and may cost significantly lower.
Even buying a bike that is a year or two old can save you a great deal of money and offer tremendous value.
If the bike you want is out of your price range, you should consider lower-cost bikes that have similar designs, materials, and features of pricier bikes.
Riders that don't prioritize certain features like a lightweight frame might save money on buying a bike with a heavier frame.
Though it’s not always the case, bikes with heavier frames like steel frames tend to cost less than bikes with aluminum or carbon frames.
You might even be able to downgrade components of a premium bike to make its overall cost lower than the standard option.
For instance, if you don't value certain types of wheels, handlebars, brakes, or other components, you may lower the final cost of your bike by swapping one or more components out for cheaper ones.
How To Get A Good Deal On Mountain Bikes And Road Bikes
Some bike manufacturers might lower the prices of their bikes by cutting out intermediary sellers and reducing their overhead.
If you don't need your bike right away, you may be able to save money by buying directly from a bike manufacturer instead of a local store.
Many bike manufacturers have catalogs or websites that allow you to place orders from them.
It might take some time for the bike to get delivered to you, but the wait could be worth it for your wallet.
Some high-quality bike brands that you can order from directly include Cannondale, Trek, and Decathlon.
Though Decathlon is a general sporting goods company, I find they have excellent bikes at their lower price range.
I think Decathlon produces bikes that are just as good as bikes from companies like Cannondale and Trek.
Decathlon bikes are particularly good for beginner riders that are just starting out and may not want to invest much money on their first bike.
Once you get a hang of riding and have a better idea of your bike preferences, you can upgrade to more expensive bikes and optimize features to meet your needs.
What Makes A Bike More Or Less Valuable?
Getting the best bike for your money largely depends on the quality of the components and materials used.
A bike may have a very simple design with basic engineering, but can be very valuable due to its advanced and costly materials.
If a bike has an advanced aerodynamic design, but is made with weak or clunky materials, it might not be a good overall value to some riders.
Rim Brakes Vs. Disc Brakes
One of the most important components for safety and performance on a bike are the brakes.
Two of the most common types of brakes available on lower-cost premium bikes these days are disc brakes and rim brakes.
Though rim brakes can be effective for more intense riding, they are generally more suited for casual rides at the beach, campgrounds, and other leisure spots.
Disc brakes often come with hydraulic mechanisms that allow for more firm and dependable stops.
If you don't plan to ride at high speeds and perform risky maneuvers around tight corners, getting a bike with rim brakes may be a good way for you to save money on a new bike.
Many adult bikes for casual or more endurance-oriented riding often come with robust gear systems that allow riders to optimize their speed over various road surfaces and conditions.
When a rider is going uphill, it can be more challenging for them to pedal at lower gears.
A bike with a wider range of gears gives the rider more options to adjust their pedaling configurations on the fly so the rider can optimize their physical exertion more efficiently.
If you don't plan to ride in a variety of road inclines, you may be able to save money by minimizing the number of gears available on your new bike.
Since tires are the part of a bike that makes contact with the road, they play one of the biggest roles with regards to performance, safety, and comfort.
If you intend to ride mostly on flat roads, you might be better off with a thinner tire that gives you stable performance, optimal grip, and a lighter overall bike.
When bicycling on rougher terrains such as mountain trails and dirt paths, you may be better-served with a thicker and wider tire that can stand up to slippery surfaces and pesky road objects.
Thick mountain bike tires may also have more robust traction characteristics that allow for enhanced traction that can prevent you from sliding around roads with loose dirt, gravel, or snow.
Overall Design And Engineering
You should also keep in mind that a bike’s design may help to enhance comfort and boost speed.
These types of enhancements may add a great amount of money to the price tag of the bike.
If certain design elements aren't as important to you, you should consider bypassing such bikes for bikes with more simplistic designs.
Accessories And Mounting Options
The price for a bike can increase due to accessories and mounting options available for the bike.
So if you are looking for a simpler riding experience, you may want to forget about adding unnecessary accessories and upgrades.
If you don’t anticipate joining cross-country races and needing an advanced hydration system, you can probably save money by doing without it and other complex bike features.
I usually don't mind just attaching a basic water bottle and other storage containers when I go for a ride.
Since I generally don’t ride long enough to be starving at any point, I can usually find something to eat wherever I’m riding or just turn around and get something to eat at home.
Places where I ride often have restaurants and food stores nearby, so I feel I can always ride somewhere to grab a quick bite without any major hassles.
Geometry And Adjustment Options
When considering different types of bikes, you should understand that bikes are not often designed to be a one-size-fits-all product.
Some bikes may be more suitable for others based on body measurements and fitness level.
Choosing the right bike for each person can be a very personal process that depends on many factors specific to the rider.
You shouldn’t only look at the base model of a bike when determining if it’s the right fit for you.
You should also look at configuration options that can allow the bike to be modified to fit your requirements.
Since customizations can sometimes be quite pricey, they should be factored into your decision on buying the bike.
Though a bike’s core model may have a low price, you may end up spending much more when configuring the bike to meet your specific needs.
About THE AUTHOR
Mountain biking is more than just a hobby for me - it's a way of life. I love the challenge and excitement that comes with it, and I'm always pushing myself to go faster and ride harder. Some people might think that mountain biking is dangerous, but I see it as the only way to live.Read More About Danny Lawson