Summer's not out but already 2018 model year bikes are starting to appear in the shops, and that means 2017 bikes are being discounted. We have had a look around to see what 2017 road bike bargains are out there. And by golly it turns out there are some stonking deals.
Okay, so these aren’t the latest bang up-to-date bikes, but in many cases the changes amount to a new lick of paint and different components, the frameset is often the same as the 2018 model. That’s because the latest road bikes have a shelf life of at least three years before a new - lighter, stiffer, more compliant - version is launched. It's also worth pointing out that this year with all the economic uncertainty around bike companies seem to be discounting early and what would normally be the latest bikes in the range - and in some cases still are - are dropping in price earlier than usual.
Despite the number of carbon road bikes we test here at road.cc, we really like a good aluminium road bike, and aluminium doesn't get much better than the venerable CAAD series from Cannondale, a company that made its name with aluminium before carbon was even talked about in the cycling world. The CAAD 12 is the latest version, lighter and more compliant than the previous CAAD 10, and is available with disc brakes.
There’s a new Synapse out, but there’s nothing wrong with the previous version which even won the highly coveted road.cc Bike of the Year award not so many years back, and there are some good deals on the various models available. We’ve picked this carbon model with Shimano’s excellent 105 as offering a really good package for the money. Evans Cycles has good stock of sizes including the most popular 54, 56 and 58cm.
If you happen to ride a 51cm, pop over to Hargroves Cycles where this Synapse can be picked up for the even lower price of £1,450.
There’s also a new Tarmac out this year, the sixth generation version, and with each new update Specialized pushes the once top-level model down the price range. Which is why you can still pick up the SL4, which really isn’t showing its age in terms of performance and if you don’t have to have the latest and lightest, it represents a good buy. This one is available in two colours and most retailers are showing a good choice of sizes.
Canadian bike brand Cervelo doesn’t crave the same attention they once used to, but they’re still world class bikes and the most affordable model, the R2, is even more affordable in the sales, with £500 knocked off the ticket price. This model gets a Shimano 105 11-speed groupset with Ultegra brakes and an FSA Gossamer BBright chainset.
The RoadMachine was only introduced earlier this year as the Swiss company’s fast endurance road bike with disc brakes and an integrated stem and handlebar, but it’s already being discounted to make way for the 2018 bikes. Given the newness of the bike we doubt the frame will change with the 2018 version, but the spec and paint finish probably will. Still, nothing at all wrong with Ultegra Di2 and 3T Discus C35 Stealth Carbon clincher wheels with Fizik Aliante R5 saddle is there?
From the British bike brand that used to be best known for steel and titanium road bikes, came the all-carbon Zero bike designed primarily for racing. This model strikes a good deal, and is specced with a Shimano Tiagra 10-speed groupset.
Wiggle’s in-house bike brand Eastway has been turning out some very decent bikes in the last couple of years, and this is your chance to enjoy a 40% discount on a Tiagra-equipped carbon fibre road bike, a great first or upgrade road bike if you want to get into longer rides or even try your hand at racing.
Okay it’s by no means a cheap bike (but look at how much it used to cost!) this is basically a pro race-ready bike. The Domane is Trek’s endurance bike and this team edition model gets the most aggressive H1 geometry and a full Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 groupset and Bontrager Aeolus 4 D3 Tubular carbon wheels.
Not a massive saving, though 10% isn’t to be sniffed at, the excellent Vitesse Evo Team from Vitus Bikes gets you a full carbon fibre race-ready frameset with Dura-Ace mechanical groupset and FSA SL-K Light chainset with Vision Team 30 wheels.
You can read what we thought of the disc version of this bike here
Ash really liked Merlin’s new Fuse carbon fibre road bike when he tested it following its launch two years ago, and it was already a bit of bargain before they discounted this 2017 model. This bike wears the latest Shimano 105 11-speed groupset, in its entirety, with Fulcrum wheels and Continental Ultra Sport II 25mm folding tyres.
Dutch brand Sensa flies under the radar compared to more mainstream brands, but they shouldn’t be too hastily overlooked because the bikes really are up to scratch. A decent carbon frame and fork on this model that provides good performance for racers and sportive cyclists, and there’s still a reasonable size choice at the time of writing. Sweetening the deal is the fact you get a pair of Mavic Ksyrium Elite II cycling shoes and choice of Look or Time pedals thrown in as well.
And now for some adventure bikes…
One of the most radical and unusual new bikes that blurs the line between traditional road bike and modern adventure bike, the Cannondale Slate rolls on fat 650b tyres with a 30mm suspension fork with the company’s distinctive Lefty fork. Cannondale UK isn’t bringing the Slate into the country in 2018 so this is your last chance to get your hands on one.
The GT Grade has been one of our fave adventure bikes here at road.cc, we’ve tested several versions of it and been impressed every time. This one packs a carbon frame and fork with a Shimano 105 groupset with hydro brakes.
If you lust over titanium then here is your chance to bag one at a knockdown price, but the only caveat being it’s only available in XS and S at Evans Cycles for £2,599, while Rutland Cycling has a size small in stock for just £2,399. https://www.rutlandcycling.com/374152/products/genesis-croix-de-fer-ti-2...
But if it fits, what a lovely bike, and packed with the latest Shimano 105 gears and brakes and chunky Clement tyres.
We'll keep an eye on the retailers for more road bike bargains and update this article - if you spot any good deals do share them in the comments section.
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David has worked on the road.cc tech team since July 2012. Previously he was editor of Bikemagic.com and before that staff writer at RCUK. He's a seasoned cyclist of all disciplines, from road to mountain biking, touring to cyclo-cross, he only wishes he had time to ride them all. He's mildly competitive, though he'll never admit it, and is a frequent road racer but is too lazy to do really well. He currently resides in the Cotswolds.