Many of the bikes made today are made from carbon fiber. The material is light in structure but stronger than its steel frame counterparts. The drawback about having a carbon bike is the price: they are very expensive—often over $2000—because the process of making them is very lengthy.
Thanks to technological advancements, bike enthusiasts can now get a lightweight carbon road bike at an economical price—even under $2000. So, congratulations! Carbon road bikes have now been made more affordable, so all biker enthusiasts can have the opportunity to enjoy them.
The Difference Between Carbon and Steel
Because carbon is a lighter material than steel, you can expect to really soar on a carbon road bike! You can easily maintain stamina while racing or mountain riding. And here are a few other things about carbon that makes it very different from steel framed bikes.
- Different Durability- Most carbon bikes can survive the impact of accidents; but if there is significant damage from the impact, carbon bikes are usually no good after that. That’s because carbon bikes are more difficult to repair than steel bikes and are more prone to chip.
- Vibration- Carbon produces “frame vibration” which allows you to have a smoother ride when compared to aluminium alloy frames.
- No Oxidation- This is one of the most beneficial features of carbon road bikes. On bikes with steel and alloy, you can expect a little oxidation over time on unpainted parts.
- Frame Fatigue – Although all bikes will have some level of frame fatigue, carbon bikes tend to have the slowest progression of frame integrity degradation. That means you can anticipate having this bike in functional use for a long time.
Our Top 5 Best Carbon Road Bikes 2018
1. KESTREL TALON
The Kestrel Talon is a relatively new bike model, but it has become one of the top road bikes because of its nice design and inexpensive price. It has an appealing slender frame that makes this bike worthy of being among the top road bikes. It also has quality front and rear fork blades. The bike is an amalgamation of 800k and 700k carbon fiber, and it is stiff for tight control but flexible
This bike has stiff control thanks to being made of a blend of 700k and 800k carbon fiber. You can use this bike for sporting events, and recent improvements have made this bike also ideal for commuting and regular riding.
Not counting the pedals, the Talon is a little over 19 pounds. The Talon features Equinox folding tires, Tektro dual pivot brakes, Shimano 105 shifters and derailleurs, Oval, double crankshaft and Oval alloy wheels. This bike has excellent acceleration and a nice color scheme (red and black).
- Has good control (stiff control but smooth ride)
- Great acceleration
- Nice visual appeal
- Uncomfortable stem
2. DIAMONDBACK CENTURY
The Diamond Back Century is the bike of the millennials. It’s an upright carbon road bike that is affordable, fast, and efficient. Those who like to work out using their bikes will love this brand.
You will love the smooth ride this bike gives because it’s made from high-end carbon. Combined with upright seating, a Shimano Tiara front derailleur and a 105-rear derailleur, this bike offers lots of comfort and speed (with Tiagra 10-speed shifters).
The gears shift smoothly when accelerating, and its 50/34T Omega crankset gives you one powerful bike that can easily accelerate on various terrain. It comes with Tektro R325 dual pivot brakes, and the brake cables are made inside the frame to keep the frame smooth. This 19-pound bike also comes with C2+ wheels and alloy machine sidewalls.
- Smooth frame with alloy and carbon parts
- Quality performance on a variety of terrain
- Very expensive
3. FUJI GRAN FONDO
The Fuji would be one expensive bike if it were not for popular demand. This bike is good for travel and packs impressive speed. Right now, the Fuji Gran Fondo goes for about $2000.
The lightweight C5 high modulus carbon frame is also very sturdy. You will also appreciate the comfort and control of this upright bike that is made for lots of travel.
This bike does not come with a complete groupset. You have features such as the Oval crankset, Shimano disc brakes, aluminum stem, and Oval 327 alloy clinchers. The frame size will vary, but most Fujis are about 18.5 pounds.
- Comfortable seating
- Efficient disc brakes
- Lightweight carbon frame
- Easy to carry (most only 18.5 pounds)
- Costly (at least $2000)
4. NASHBAR CARBON
The Nashbar Carbon 105 is one of the best carbon road bikes you can find out there at an affordable price. After comparison shopping, you will discover that this bike is priced a lot lower than most carbon road bikes.
This bike screams sophistication and has a lot of features that make this one a very popular road bike. Riding on this bike makes you feel like a bird soaring through the air because of the “frame vibrations” and lightweight structure. Even the wheels are lightweight, but that doesn’t take away from this bike’s performance. The Nashbar Carbon’s drive train allows you to get quality performance without having to exert too much energy to ride. The gear shifter is parallel to the front and the rear derailleurs, and some models will allow you to move the gear shifter to your desired location.
- Nice slender model with black paint
- Lightweight but high-performing
- Limited to 11 gear speeds
- Very few configuration settings
5. RIDLEY FENIX CR2
A different discounted carbon road bike
Premium quality is what you get when you invest in the Ridley brand. Its latest creation—the Ridley Fenix CR2—takes durability to another level when it comes to high-performing road bikes. It has a luxurious Felix carbon frame and a thick down tube that gives this bike plenty of durability worthy of using for sporting events.
This 20.15-pound bike is praised for its comfort (with upright seating) and groupset. It comes with the PF30 Press Fit and has a nice working group of derailleurs, levers, and shifters. Continental Grand Sports Race tires and Alex Race alloy clinchers make this bike ideal for sports and long travel. It also has a quality crankset and Tektro R312 dual pivot brakes that allows you to bring this bike to a stop instantly.
- Very sturdy and powerful bike
- Comfortable, upright seating position
- Powerful brakes for instant stops
- To date, there is no negative customer feedback on this model.