When looking for a new bike it’s easy to get lost, there’s so many out there it can hard to know which bikes will actually give you good value for money. Well we’ve done some of the work for you; here are 3 of the best road bikes of 2015 that don’t have extortionate prices.
Lapierre Pulsium 700 – £2418 (was £3099.99)
The Pulsium 700 is a great race bike for those long hard days spent in the saddle. The first thing you’ll notice is the twin section top tube which contains a rubber elastomer designed to take the edge from the impact from hard edged cobbles and potholes in the streets, and it works! It actually smooths out those troublesome bumps on the road from broken tarmac and bad surfaces, without the unwanted spongy rebound.
The Pulsium is an extremely comfortable machine to ride; the whole top section of the frame is designed to flex and take the sting out of the ride; making it great for long rides. It may not be what you may call a ‘sprinters machine’ though, efforts made off the saddle don’t give much response from the bike - it’s designed to work best from the rider giving power from a seated position. That being said, you can gain speed almost effortlessly.
The 11-speed Utegra Di2 is a full groupset, and easy to use with jus just a light tap of the shifters; making it very easy to ride. What’s more all the cabling is internal, leaving a very clean looking bike. The dual pivot brakes are the highlight of the kit; they work extremely well and give great stopping power along with loads of feel and modulation at the lever. Once all set up the Di2 works faultlessly and gives fantastic value for money compared to Dura-Ace.
On the whole, the Pulsium 700 has proven to be a successful project. The elastomer concept provides a lot of comfort without really sacrificing stiffness and performance. The geometry and comfort provide a nice ride for those long days and a sensible and durable build of alloy bars also add to the experience. The only thing you may want to change would be the Yksion tyres; they don’t perform great on damp surfaces which could be quite dangerous when out on the roads.Want to buy this? Click here to visit the retailer.
The Domane 2.3 offers great value for money, with a unique selling point- the IsoSpeed Decoupler. The IsoSpeed Decoupler works to dampen high frequency vibrations and to take the edge off bigger hits.
The Domane 2.3 is made from Trek’s AlphaAluinium, and is built to their ‘endurance fit’ which Trek say is ‘still slightly racy but with a slightly higher head tube’. In other words the geometry is more relaxed and you’ll be seated in a more upright, less stretched out position. The geometry of the Domane is also very stable; a long sweep to the fork and longer chainstays result in an extended wheelbase, and the greater bottom bracket further adds to the stability.
As far as ride is concerned, the IsoSpeed Decoupler does work to give a smooth and comfortable ride. The smooth ride of the Domane is slightly superior to other bikes at this price, although there are carbon bikes available that offer a better ride than this without the need for an IsoSpeed Decoupler. That’s not to say the Domane 2.3 isn’t a very good bike (we wouldn’t be featuring it if it wasn’t), there’s certainly a lot to give it praise for. The frame has not lost any rigidity with the Decoupler and the bike is pretty stiff, even when you throw it about out of the saddle. The spec is good for the money too. Featuring a Shimano 105 groupset and a Bontrager kit, you are certainly getting a good kit for your money.
Trek’s Domane 2.3 is a comfortable and stable bike; if you like to get the miles in on long weekend rides or sportives, this bike should be a strong contender.Want to buy this? Click here to visit the retailer.
Cannondale’s synapse Ultegra Disc is for the cyclist who like to ride fast, but doesn’t want to race and demands comfort from their bike. The ride on this bike is amazingly smooth with the capacity to turn up speed quickly. A big appeal of the Synapse to riders is also its capacity for wider tyres; Canondale have fitted 28mm Mavic Aksion WTS tyres, which are extremely smooth, fast, and have plenty of traction.
Adding hydraulic disc brakes onto this bike has made the Synapse an even more compelling bike, compared to previous models. The Shimano RS685 hydraulic disc brakes have allowed Canondale to produce an incredibly competitive ‘all-rounder’ at an incredibly competitive price point that would not have been possible with a Di2 groupset. The disc brakes work wonderfully, they have great power and the lever feels firm no matter the conditions, speed, or steepness of a descent.
The Cannondale Synapse is very versatile; you could ride it to work every day, take it on sportives, and get racy and ride it as fast as you can, without having to make any changes. It also makes for a comfortable ride; the gel bar tape provides good cushioning and the Fabric Spoon Shallow saddle is very comfortable with a high degree of flex in the bikes; making those longer and harder rides more bearable.
Something unique about the Synapse is the ‘Power Pyramid’ at the bottom of the seat tube. This is a split tube which works to increase the stiffness at the bottom bracket, without the added weight of a larger diameter seat. It also adds to the aesthetics of the bike; this plus the gear cables being routed inside the frame make for a clean, eye-catching bike.
Cannondale’s Synapse offers the classic ride of the previous model but with the addition of Shimano’s superb hydraulic brake discs couples with an 11-speed mechanical transmission. This combination makes for a brilliantly fun ride all year round.Want to buy this? Click here to visit the retailer.
With so many great road bikes it is very tough to know which to buy. The 3 bikes discussed here are all great and for the quality their price tags are very reasonable. Whatever bike you choose make sure you use it to its full potential and start hitting the open roads.*All prices are correct at the time of writing. They may however change if the retailer modifies their prices.