10 Best 2018 Carbon Endurance Disc Road Bikes for under £2,000
December 7th, 2017
December 7th, 2017
Anna is a jack-of-all-bikes, and has been riding and racing in a myriad of genres for over seven years; from World Cup level cross-country, to grass roots coaching kids on the road.
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Whether you are a competitive racer looking for an off-season training tool, or a weekend club-rider wanting something with a bit more stopping power, the disc road bike is a versatile machine for most weather conditions, and if you've ever grabbed a handful of rim brakes in the rain and been caught overstepping the white lines on the road, then you'll already understand the benefits of discs.
When considering a disc road bike, do keep an eye on whether you get cable operated disc brakes or hydraulic disc brakes. Cable operated disc brakes are easy to maintain, but they do require manual adjustments as the pads ware out and don’t offer as much controlled stopping power as hydraulic. Hydraulic are the better choice, but changing the fluid may be a tad trickier than changing a cable and they come at a slightly higher price too. Shimano 105 and above are now all hydraulic. Whatever you choose, here’s a few of our favourites already out on the market for 2018:
Showcasing some of the most affordable bikes on the market are Cube, including two disc models in their 'fast endurance' range with the most affordable being the Agree C:62 Race Disc bike, with full Shimano Ultegra groupset, including the hydraulic disc brakes, for £2,499. There's also a women's equivalent in the Axial, which comes with a different paintjob and women’s specific components.
Specialized are offering their beloved Roubaix with all the comfort gimmicks you could possibly dream of; from 20mm of front suspension to a purposely flexible seat post, all starting at £1,900 for a carbon frame with Shimano Tiagra and entry-level cable operate brakes at £1,700. To upgrade to hydraulic brakes, the Shimano 105 model comes in at £2,200. There is also a women's specific model in the Ruby, with slightly adjusted geometry; a shorter top tube and a less racey feel.
Giving Cube a run for their money is Ribble, a direct sales company based in the UK. Last year was the unveiling of their first endurance disc road bike, the Grand Fondo Disc, featureing the same geometry as their tried and tested Gran Fondo, but with more tyre clearance for further comfort, and a few extra modernizations, all from a staggering £1,619 fully built, or £1,799 with an upgrade to Shimano 105.
Scott Solace Disc
In the endurance road department, Scott offer the Addict in three disc specs, starting from £1,899 with the Addict 30 Disc equipped with a carbon frame, Tiagra 20 speed, cable operated brakes, and a mix of carbon and alloy in the finishing kit. The Addict 20 Disc with Shimano 105 retails at £2,199.
Although the TCR Advanced offers discs on a carbon frame from £1,800, this is predominantly considered a 'performance race' bike. For a more endurance oriented road bike, the longstanding Giant Defy range offers a carbon frame with disc brakes starting at £1,500 for Shimano Tiagra 20-speed with cable operated brakes, or £1,800 for Shimano 105 and hydraulic brakes. Note that there are certain frame differences available too; the Advanced SL and the Advanced Pro both come at a slightly higher price.
Starting the disc-specific range at £2,100 with a Shimano 105 11-speed groupset is the carbon Trek Domane S5. All of Trek's models are now being made available with women's specific components, and the equivalent Women's Domane starts with the S5 at a slightly higher price of £2,500. Be sure to check out your local Trek dealer for a free bike fitting.
Merida don't seem to advertise the Scultura as an endurance bike, but it's basically not their aero road racing bike. It comes in carbon and aluminium. Although I haven't worked out what numbers correlate with what frame material as yet, I know that the Scultura 5000 is the entry-level spec carbon model priced at £2,000 for 22-speed Shimano Ultegra with hydraulic brakes.
From the 'performance endurance' range, Boardman have a few models, starting with the Boardman Road Pro Carbon, with Shimano 105 for £1,500, available in molten silver or stealth grey (pictured). For a fraction more money, you can grab the SLR Endurance (from the 'Elite' range, meaning the frame favours more of a race position over leisure), where the base model comes with Shimano Ultegra, hydraulic disc brakes and retails at around £2,000.
The Cannondale Synapse is possibly the most popular endurance road bike on the planet, so we couldn't leave it off the list, even though it comes just outside of budget. With the range starting from £2,200 with a Shimano 105 groupset and hydraulic brakes on their critically acclaimed carbon frame and forks, it is one of the most expensive bikes in this line-up.
Wilier are a highly regarded, high-end manufacturer, but the GTR Team Disc (pictured) is the only disc model available in the GTR endurance range, with only Shimano 105 on offer. At the time of publishing, Wilier had not released their 2018 range, but the 2017 models are already on out-of-season offers, taking them from £2,300 full retail, down to £1,500 on sale.
And one for luck - Bianchi
We also recommend looking at the Bianchi Infinito CV Disc; it is a recent addition to the Infinito CV range, a frame that is already regarded as one of the most comfortable bikes on the market, thanks to the use of Counterviel (their vibration damping technology) within the frame. Though the new 2018 models sneak over the £3,500 mark, there are some earlier 2016 models kicking around in budget if you look around.