10 Awesome Road Bikes That Offer a Solid ROI

by Marc Lindsay
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10 Awesome Road Bikes That Offer a Solid ROI

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Improvements in bicycle technology don’t just benefit the high-end consumer in search of a $10K steed. In fact, as technology improves, the mid to low end of the spectrum is where the most benefits show up. In today’s market, you can get a great bike for a fraction of the cost that the same one might have cost you a decade ago.

Dollar for dollar, these 10 bikes — that are the direct benefit of trickle-down technology —  won’t hold you back out on the road, no matter what your goals for the upcoming cycling season happen to be.
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BIANCHI INTENSO DAMA ULTEGRA (WOMEN’S)
$2,499

The Bianchi Intenso Dama doesn’t have the bells and whistles as some of the other bikes here, but as a women’s-only model, it’s a solid value. Built with endurance cycling in mind, the frame has a wider wheel base and uses a relaxed head tube angle to improve comfort and stability over rougher roads. It also allows for a 28 mm tire clearance and comes complete with the always-solid Ultegra group set.

Buy if: You want an endurance bike with geometry that’s women-specific.

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  • Charles Goldman

    The opening remarks are completely off base with respect to current pricing! Ten years ago $3000 would buy you a second from the top of the line bike. You probably wouldn’t get Dura-Ace or Record, but you’d for sure get a top quality ride with Ultegra or similar quality from SRAM or Campagnolo. The real value of trickle down is in the $800-$1300 where you’ll get a great ride that will do everything you need it to until you start competing at a high level.

  • Stanley

    OK, here’s the problem. When they say that these bikes won’t break the bank…whose bank are they talking about? My retired bank is more akin to the $400 to $700 bike. I know most of you hard core riders are probably laughing, but that’s my budget. The bikes I have (GT mountain bike and Canondale Hybrid) serve me well. I only have time and energy to put between 1000 and 1200 miles/year, so I am content. And, that’s what’s important

    • tdg54

      Bingo!

    • Jim Shashaty

      For 3,000 my flight deck better be made of gold. One bike is offered for this price point and has Shimao 105’s. I paid less than half for the same configuration. Now that’s what I call ROI.

    • Dennis Crapser

      Exactly, I was thinking the same thing.

      • Stanley

        Glad to know I’m not alone out there…

    • NSB FL

      I’m with you, Stanley.

    • Jammer59

      Great comment Stanley, I am with you 100%.

    • NCBrian

      Respectfully, where does the article say these bikes won’t “break the bank”or call them budget bikes? they’re referring to mid-range road bikes for serious cyclists who don’t want to spend 8k+ on their hobby. If you are riding 1000 miles a year these aren’t for you. That’s about 20 miles a week, whereas generally these bikes are for people riding 5-10 times that much. Hell, even if you do ride 5-10,000 miles a year, it always comes down to what you value.

      I bought a floor-model trek 520 touring bike about 6-7 years ago for right around $1k. i have put god only knows how many thousands of miles on it. I would love to buy a higher-end bike…just waiting for the time to be right.

      It’s all about what you value. Nobody is laughing at you for your choice. a $500 bike might be a perfect choice for somebody who only rides 2-3 times a month. I agree, why would you pay $3000 for 1000 miles a year? You might feel differently if you rode 5000 miles a year though, or you might not.

      Regarding people laughing, while i know there are snobs and elitists polluting every hobby – i think i’d be more likely to chuckle at a guy who rides 50 miles a year on a $14,000 pinarello than a badass who circles the earth on a $500 BMX, and i don’t think i’m alone on that!

      stay healthy whatever you do 🙂

  • samwichse

    LOLOLOL “10 bikes that won’t break the bank” list has the cheapest bike at $2400 and 1/3 of them at $3000?

    WTF is this and get outta here with this crap.

    Will a $3000 bike last 5x as long as a $600 bike? No. Will a $3000 bike make you 5x as fast? No. Will a $3000 bike be slightly faster and somewhat more comfortable? Possibly, but not necessarily.

    In no way, shape, or form can you call this a good ROI. It’s a pure luxury item and this article is so tone-deaf I actually snorted it loud when I say the first one.

    Been riding my [then] $280 Trek for 21 years. I’ve replaced everything on the frame once except the rims, brake levers, and front derailleur. But not twice. That’s real ROI.

    • mer2329

      i completely agree.
      i have other issues with this list.
      there are no mountain/hybrid frames on the list. (i use a mountain frame. because its comfortable and keeps well with all the pot holes.)
      these all these frames break the bank. sure these are not “$10k steeds” but a $1000 frame break the bank.

      suggested list:
      a list containing mountain and hybrid frames of up to $500.

    • Stanley

      I’m with you, amigo! I’ve been riding my $400 GT mountain bike for 13 years. Got it as a left-over for $250.00. That’s about $20 per year. I don’t know who this article is supposedly targeting, but it sure isn’t me!

  • William Narr

    My $250.00, 20 year old Huffy is just fine. This is a joke here, isn’t it?

  • Jammer59

    “Budget” bikes? Whose budget are you talking about, Donald Trump’s? Like other commenters here, my budget is more in the $400 to $800 price range. I love to ride, but I am not an endurance rider nor a sprinter. Give me a review of bikes that will hold up to a good 20 or 30 mile weekly ride, give a smooth ride, and abe to handle the hills and dales of western Virginia. Thank you.

    • NCBrian

      Respectfully, where does the article call these “budget” bikes? it says they’re not the top end, and they aren’t.
      This article isn’t geared towards people who are looking to ride 20-30 mile week. This is for people who are doing 5-10 times that much.

  • Mischelle Clark

    I agree Stanley .I was????

  • oldk

    It is a joke paying that much for a bike. You can get a car, a bass boat or a riding mover for that and less. Go to a local Bike store and talk to a down to earth person that knows.

    • NCBrian

      people value things differently. it’s not a “joke” if you want a top of the line bike. People pay upwards of $10k for those fancy road bikes. 2-3k for a solid road bike is not uncommon and that’s exactly what you will see at your local bike store unless you’re talking about the bike section at target.

  • StealthM93

    My first reaction is with most of you… Whoa! Are you kidding me, $2500! Well, that was for the first bike. Let me quickly peruse the others… Yeah, NOPE. 🙂
    In fairness, through, read the comments by NCBrian on here. I think he puts it in all proper perspective. There are the high-end, top-of-the-line enthusiasts for nearly every sport/hobby and I completely respect that. I suppose my thought is that this type of article either needs a new headline and intro paragraph, or it belongs on a dedicated cycling site, not a general purpose fitness site.
    I have a $350 Giant hybrid from 10 years ago that I just had tuned up. It’s perfect for me. Though, I have thought about getting a road bike, hence, clicking on this article. 🙂 Still, I look for the 10 Awesome Road Bike for the Causal Rider blog post. 🙂