10 of the Best Road Bikes Under $3,000

February 16, 2016
10 of the Best Road Bikes Under $3,000

The term 'road bike' is very broad these days with the emergence of endurance and aerodynamic bikes, but the traditional road bike is still a staple of the pro peloton and any group ride around Australia. Traditional road bikes are built to be lightweight, agile, and high-performing machines. They don't have the aero tube shapes and profile of an aerodynamic bike, or the elongated headtube and wheelbase of an endurance bike. Instead, they have featherlight frames and are designed to perform equally well when climbing mountains or racing on flat roads. For this reason, the majority of general classification riders in the professional racing will favour the traditional road bike design over an aerodynamic or endurance specific bike.

Here are ten of the best traditional road bikes for 2016 for under $3,000.

Scott Addict 30

The Scott Addict 30 shares the same 'HMF / IMP SUPERLIGHT Carbon technology' frame and fork as the rest of the Addict range, except for the top shelf Team Issue and SL versions. The approximate weight for the complete bike is an astounding 7.86kg thanks largely in part to the 860g frame and 360g fork combo, but with different componentry could tick under the 7kg barrier (The Addict 10 with Shimano Dura-Ace components and Syncros wheelset weighs 6.92kg).

The Addict has the same race geometry utilised by Orica-GreenEDGE and IAM Cycling, and includes an oversized bottom bracket to improve power transfer. The frame comes in an impressive size range, from the tiny 47cm, right up to the XXL 61cm.

  • RRP: $2,999.95

  • Frame: Addict HMF / IMP SUPERLIGHT Carbon technology / Road Race geometry / Replaceable Dropout / STD Seattube / INT BB

  • Fork: Addict HMF, 1 1/8" - 1 1/4" Carbon steerer, Integrated Carbon Dropout

  • Drivetrain: Shimano FC - RS500 52x36, Shimano 105 Black RD & FD

  • Wheels: Shimano WH RS11-A, Continental Grand Sport Race Fold 700x23C

BE Road Bikes 20160407 Scott

Cannondale CAAD 12

For the longest time, Cannondale has been the industry leader when it comes to aluminium bikes thanks to the CAAD series. While many other manufacturers have switched their focus to carbon bikes, Cannondale have stayed the course and continued to develop and refine this aluminium classic. The frame is made from SmartFormed 6069 Alloy and is said to be lighter and stiffer than previous CAAD versions. The CAAD is available with a number of different groupsets, this version equipped with Cannondale HollowGram Cranks and Shimano 105 front and rear derailleur. It also comes in a Shimano BR785/505 Hydraulic Disc version with Maddux RD 2.0 wheels if you prefer a little extra stopping power.

There's never been a better time to join the Aluminati.

  • RRP: $2,499.99

  • Frame: CAAD12, SmartFormed 6069 Alloy, SPEED SAVE, BB30a

  • Fork: CAAD12, SPEED SAVE, BallisTec full carbon, 1-1/8" to 1-1/4" steerer, integrated crown race

  • Drivetrain: Cannondale HollowGram Crank, Shimano 105 RD & FD

  • Wheels: Mavic Aksium, Schwalbe Lugano, 700x25c, folding

BE Road Bikes 20160407 Cannondale

Trek Emonda S6

When Trek created their Emonda line they had one goal: 'to create the lightest line of production road bikes ever offered'. No doubt they succeeded with the Emonda SLR frame weighing a featherlight 690grams and a total build weight of 4.88kg for a 56cm. Thankfully much of the same technology has filtered down to the 'SL' and 'S' series, the Emonda S series representing a more affordable lightweight option. The S series is made from Ultralight 300 Series OCLV Carbon and shares the 'ride-tuned performance tube optimization' and 'E2 tapered head tube' the other Emonda models do.

The Emonda S6 is rounded out nicely with complete Shimano Ultegra groupset and Bontrager's own wheelset and tyres.

  • RRP: $2,999

  • Frame: Ultralight 300 Series OCLV Carbon, ride-tuned performance tube optimization, E2 tapered head tube, BB86.5, DuoTrap compatible

  • Fork: Émonda carbon, E2

  • Drivetrain: Shimano Ultegra, 50/34 (compact), Shimano Ultegra RD & FD

  • Wheels: Bontrager alloy hubs, Bontrager Tubeless Ready rims, Bontrager R1 Hard-Case Lite, 700x23c

BE Road Bikes 20160407 Trek

Merida Scultura 5000

Merida is another manufacturer that has gone down the super lightweight path. The top of the line Scultura 9000 LTD claims to be 4.55kg complete! Many of the Scultura 9000 LTD features trickle down to the 5000, albeit with a slightly tighter geometry. The Scultura 5000 is much better suited to comfortable all day riding with a longer wheelbase and taller headtube than it's super lightweight cousin. The Scultura frame is Merida's own 'SCULTURA CF2' and utilises Shimano for the drivetrain.

There is an 'E' version of the 5000 which has Di2, but at an additional price tag.

  • RRP: $2,499

  • Frame: SCULTURA CF2

  • Fork: Road carbon Race

  • Drivetrain: Shimano RS500 50-34 (compact), Shimano Ultegra RD & FD

  • Wheels: Merida comp 24 pair, Continental Ultra Sport II 23 folding

BE Road Bikes 20160407 Merida

Giant TCR Advanced Pro 2

The TCR has been Giant's flagship bike for over a decade, the latest incarnation a lighter version thanks to a re-designed frame. The TCR frame has some shed some weight and removed excess materials without sacrificing stiffness. The compact frame design with its small triangles still provides a stiff ride with great handling and some comfort thanks to the all new 'Variant seatpost'.

The TCR Advanced Pro 2 comes with Advanced-grade composite frame and fork, Shimano 105 groupset, and Giant's own SL 1 DBL wheelset and tyres. And a bright Orange colourway that will get you noticed.

  • RRP: $2,999

  • Frame: Advanced-grade composite

  • Fork: Advanced-grade composite, Full-composite OverDrive 2 steerer

  • Drivetrain: Shimano 105, 36/52, Shimano 105 RD & FD

  • Wheels: Giant SL 1 DBL WheelSystem; 30mm deep, 23mm wide, Giant P-SL 1, 700x23, Folding

BE Road Bikes 20160407 TCR

BMC TeamMachine SLR03

The TeamMachine SLR03 'pays homage to the characteristics of the Teammachine family', giving you a taste of what the pro's of BMC Racing Team have at their disposal. The SLR03 geometry is almost identical to the SLR02 and SLR01, albeit with different frame materials affecting weight and stiffness. The result is the same great handling and comfort of the SLR01 and SLR02, which took literally thousands of versions to perfect through BMC's proprietary computer technology.

The SLR03 is available with a range of Shimano drivetrains: Ultegra, 105, Tiagra or Sora. The 105 model here is equipped with a standard 50/34 compact setup on the front, and a large 11-32 cassette on the back, ready to conquer the steepest of climbs.

  • RRP: $2,999

  • Frame: Teammachine SLR03, ACE Technology, 03 Carbon

  • Fork: Teammachine SLR, 03 Carbon, Angle Compliance

  • Drivetrain: Shimano FC-RS500, 50-34T, Shimano 105 RD & FD

  • Wheels: Shimano RS010, Continental Ultra Sport 2 SL, 700 x 23C, Folding

BE Road Bikes 20160407 BMC

Specialized Tarmac Elite

The Tarmac from Specialized has to be one of the most winningest bikes in pro cycling history: Contador, Aru, Sagan, Majka, Nibali, the list is endless and it doesn't seem to matter what the terrain is. It could be the mountainous Giro, the prestigious Tour de France, the Classics, or even the World Championship; all have been won onboard the all-conquering Tarmac. The Tarmac Elite shares much of the same performance features of its cousins at a much lower price tag.

The 2016 Tarmac Elite has Specialized FACT carbon frame and fork, Shimano 105 drivetrain, and Fulcrum Racing S5 wheels: a ready-to-race package at an affordable price.

  • RRP: $2,999

  • Frame: Specialized FACT 9r carbon, FACT construction, compact race design, 1-3/8" lower bearing, OSBB

  • Fork: Specialized FACT carbon, monocoque, OS race for 1-3/8" bearing

  • Drivetrain: TURN Zayante by Praxis Works, BB30, 52/36T, Shimano 105 RD & FD

  • Wheels: Fulcrum Racing S-5, S-Works Turbo, 120TPI, folding bead, BlackBelt protection, 700x24mm

BE Road Bikes 20160407 Specialized

Avanti Corsa SL 1

Avanti say the Corsa SL is the 'lightest bike they've ever made', which is the obvious goal given 'SL' stands for 'Superlight' but also the 'stiffest bike they've ever tested'. The Corsa SL has been made with weight and stiffness at the forefront of their mind, but Avanti have worked hard to make this bike functional as well. The Corsa SL frame has universal component capability meaning that both electronic and mechanical cables can run through the same ports. The clever design doesn't end there, the drive side chain stay is larger than its counterpart to better cope with the extra load the drive side has to deal with.

Shimano provide the groupset and wheelset for the Corsa SL: 105 and RS010 respectively.

  • RRP: $2,499

  • Frame: ADT R5 Carbon, Performance Road Geometry, Universal component capability

  • Fork: ADT R5 Monocoque Carbon Integrated with 1.5-1 1/8" Steerer

  • Drivetrain: Shimano 105 5800 53/39T, Shimano 105 FD & RD

  • Wheels: Shimano RS010 Wheelset, Kenda Kountach 700 x 25c Folding with Superlite Tubes

BE Road Bikes 20160407 Avanti

Focus Cayo 105

The Cayo series from Focus fits into the performance category: racey enough for crits, and comfortable enough for Gran Fondos and long rides for hours on end. The Cayo's geometry is a little more forgiving than the 'Race' Focus Izalco Max, and also comes with 25mm Schwalbe Lugano tyres to further aid comfort. The Cayo 105 comes in a large size range from 48cm to 60cm and each frame is individually designed to optimize weight-to-stiffness ratio - a 60cm frame isn't just a bigger 48cm frame.

As the name suggests, the Cayo 105 comes with the ever-reliable Shimano 105 drivetrain and a disc version of the 105 is also available.

  • RRP: $2,499

  • Frame: Cayo P2T Carbon

  • Fork: Focus CRF 01 Carbon T4

  • Drivetrain: Shimano RS500 52/36, Shimano 105 FD & RD

  • Wheels: Fulcrum CEX 7.0, Schwalbe Lugano 622 X25

BE Road Bikes 20160407 Focus

Bianchi Intenso 105

The Intenso was created by Bianchi to be 'a true all-around endurance race bike', perfect for those looking for equal measures of comfort and performance. The longer headtube eliminates the need for spaces that can negatively affect handling of the bike, and Bianchi have developed unique carbon lay-up techniques to take some of the vibration out of the road without creating an endurance type geometry often seen with 'comfort' bikes.

As the name suggests, the Intenso 105 comes with Shimano 105 drivetrain and features Fulcrum Racing Sport wheelset.

  • RRP: $2,999

  • Frame: Carbon Endurance C2C

  • Fork: Full Carbon 1-1/8" - 1.5" with Kevlar

  • Drivetrain: Shimano FC-R565-L 50/34 Compact, Shimano 105 FD & RD

  • Wheels: Fulcrum Racing Sport, Hutchinson Equinox 2 700 x 23

BE Road Bikes 20160407 Bianchi

Did we get it right? What is your pick for the top ten road bikes under $3,000

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