If you’re looking to up your road cycling game, starting the search from £2,000 is your gateway to a bike to match your performance aspirations, and there’s a lot you can get for sub-£2,500. Carbon fibre builds that don’t compromise on parts are ideal for racing, while new innovations offer all-day comfort for speedy sportive riders and adventure-seekers alike. At Hargroves Cycles we offer a wide selection of road bikes; here we have a look at some of our highest-performing 2018 options.
GOING THE DISTANCE
Cube twins a low-weight, Comfort Flex carbon frame with premium parts for its 2018 Attain GTC SLT Disc for £2,099. Its beautifully sleek chassis features a tapered head tube which, together with its ultra-stiff qualities, simply invites speed. Fast as it may be, this is a bike built for comfort and endurance; the CUBE CSL carbon fork softens vibrations and works in harmony with flex in the seat stay. For 2018, its Fulcrum Racing wheelset is matched with a 22-speed Shimano Ultegra groupset that includes hydraulic disc brakes for strong, yet lightweight, stopping power. As a result, the Attain serves up speed, comfort and control, so you can focus on the ride.
With their Agree C:62 Race Disc, £2,499, Cube boast one of the most advanced disc-compatible carbon race frames on the market. The build features a full Shimano Ultegra groupset with hydraulic disc brakes like the Attain, but begins life with Cube’s premium C:62 carbon, adds all-over aero optimisation and finishes the look with DT Swiss Spline disc wheels and their stiff, semi-aero rims helping you fly on the ups, and descend with confidence even on rainy rides.
If the speed appeals but you’re looking for a race-friendly bike (draft-legal races in the UK require rim brakes under current governing body rules), the Cube Agree C:62 Pro 2018, £2,099, might just be your perfect match. Its Advanced Twin Mould carbon race frame is aero-inspired with a flowing, neat design featuring an integrated seatclamp and tapered headtube. And, while it excels over fast courses, it’s marginally more ‘relaxed’ than Cube’s out-and-out race bike the Litening, making it ideal for tackling century road rides and 100-mile TTs, too. And its components only bolster this – putting down the distance will be worry-free with the Mavic Cosmic Elite wheelset and a 22-speed Shimano Ultegra groupset which, more than simply reliable, combines pleasingly high levels of drivetrain performance with shifting that’s as crisp as a winter’s morning.
Specialized’s Tarmac SL4 Elite, £2,000, is another competition-ready contender at this price point. It features a lightweight, stiff FACT 9r carbon frame with tapered FACT carbon fork for front end stiffness and responsive steering, and serves up Shimano Ultegra 2×11 components for smooth, reliable performance. Its race-ready caliper brakes, aero design and winning geometry are the stuff of podium dreams – the Tarmac model has been ridden to victory in all three Grand Tours.
Specialized’s Roubaix Sport 2018, packs in a FACT 9r carbon frame and fork, performance Shimano 105 2×11 groupset and mechanical disc brakes for £2,200 – and adds its innovative FutureShock suspension that’s got tongues wagging, helping it win Cycling Plus’s 2017 Bike of the Year Award. This bike is designed to thrive on any road, anywhere – hence its name: the annual Paris-Roubaix monument race is known for its gruelling cobbles. The technology serves up 20mm of travel in the headtube which, together with its light, strong and laterally stiff frame, means smoother, faster, comfortable efficiency.
For time-tested performance, Cannondale excels – their 40 years in road bike production has gained them a solid reputation for quality. Cannondale Synapse Carbon Disc, £2,199.99, is built to go hard and long, in comfort and style. Its light, stiff, carbon frame and Shimano 105 groupset offers performance efficiency for speedy rides, yet the relaxed geometry and good helping of smoothing SAVE Micro-Suspension within the frame, fork and post beckon full days spent in the saddle. Want to put in the winter distance? Synapse is mudguard-ready, can fit 32mm-wide tyres and, equipped with Shimano hydraulic disc brakes, is primed for the worst of British weather.
With the blend of speed, comfort and efficiency that the top performance picks from our 2018 range deliver, you’ll be sure to fulfil your potential in the year ahead.