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Best Carbon Fibre Road Bikes Under $2000

Updated on September 13, 2014

Ride Affordably: Carbon Fibre Road Bicycles Under $2000

If you're an avid cyclist looking for a lightweight ride, chances are you've seen or heard of carbon fibre road bicycles before. They tend to be extremely light, fast and more durable than steel, and some of the highest quality bike frames are made from this material. It's cutting edge and very high end, but it's not impossible to find a carbon fibre bike under $2000 anymore, thanks to advances in technology.

Carbon fibre is strong, up to ten times the strength of steel, and it's extremely light. It's hard to imagine just how light a carbon bike frame can be until you pick one up (with a single finger)! This low weight and high strength is perfect for anyone seeking to get faster and ride farther, maximizing performance.

This article is all about carbon fibre road bikes for less than $2000. We'll talk about what makes up a carbon fibre cycle and the process by which it's built, and touch on the advantages over steel and aluminum. And lastly, we will review four carbon fibre bicycles under $2000 to get you started.

Let's take a look at some bikes!

What is a Carbon Fibre Road Bicycle?

(And why are they worth thousands?)

A carbon fibre road bike is basically a bike with a frame made entirely out of carbon fibre. It is basically spun carbon nanutubules which is coated with a type of epoxy and heat hardened. The result is a frame that is 10 times stronger than a steel equivalent, while being extremely light. Because of the way in which it is made, carbon can be formed into virtually any shape. This explains why it's found in so many applications.

A carbon fibre bicycle isn't entirely made of the stuff. They will also include some metal components, usually the crankset, the wheels, the shifters and various nuts and bolts will be metal. While carbon is strong and light, metal is better suited to certain applications.

Advantages of Carbon Fibre Bikes:

Here are a few reasons why carbon cycles are so sought after.

  1. Lightweight. A carbon fibre road bike commands a high price because there is a significant savings in weight. There are some frames that are only a few pounds. In a race setting, saving a few pounds can make the difference in winning or losing.
  2. Stronger than steel. You don't sacrifice any strength with carbon fibre. In fact, it's technically much stronger than steel.
  3. Does not corrode. Unlike many metals, there is no concern with oxidization or rust. A carbon fibre road bicycle will not have any rust or structural degradation over time like a steel frame would experience.

2015 Kestrel Talon Road Shimano 105 Carbon Fiber 48CM Bike 3055191548 Grey/Red
2015 Kestrel Talon Road Shimano 105 Carbon Fiber 48CM Bike 3055191548 Grey/Red

Full Shimano 105 drivetrain, including even the chain, full carbon frame and fork, and probably the coolest brand name out there.


Kestrel Talon: Well equipped carbon fibre road bike under $2000

A carbon framed road bicycle, affordable price tag

Kestrel is a brand that's known for producing mid to high bicycles, and they are extremely reputable. They tend to specialize in high end race race bikes, and in particular carry a lot of great carbon frame bike models. The Kestrel Talon is a great road bike with a carbon frame for well under $2000, and it's another bargain at this price. A 700k carbon fibre frame and fork, a full Shimano 105 drivetrain and components, Oval 700c wheelset, and Vittoria slick tires are just a few of the goodies on this guy.

I'd recommend you check out the Talon since it's pretty much the most affordable option I've currently found. It's a great carbon fibre road bike far below $2k, but read some reviews and see what you think!

Tommaso Superleggera: A great and inexpensive carbon race bicycle for less than $2000

Well under $2000, this carbon fibre road bike has a great brand in Tommaso and comes with a bunch of very nice components. With a full 12K monocoque carbon frame and fork, Shimano Dura-Ace 7900 drivetrain components, an FSA Gossamer Pro compact crankset and awesome Mavic Aksium wheels that are strong and lightweight, it's got real street cred. With the whole bike coming in at around 17.6 pounds, there are some significant weight savings here.

This bike has a frame that dissipates road vibrations, and it is very strong. It's been purposefully built with a strong front end for stable road riding and climbing, without sacrificing agility. This is a bicycle that can truly carve corners. The Tektro dual calliper brakes are pretty simple when compared with the rest of the components, but they will stop you on a dime.

The whole bike is available for well below our target price, and available in a number of frame sizes. It's a great carbon fiber road bike, and for below $2000, it's definitely worth a look.

Diamondback Century 3: A high quality carbon fibre road bike under $2000

An affordable carbon fiber road bicycle

The Diamondback Century 3 model is a bike intended to offer a carbon road bike experience for well under $2000, and it's a great deal with nice accessories. Diamondback is a strong brand with a focus on affordability.

The Century 3 features a lightweight full carbon frame and fork, and it comes with a Shimano 105 rear derailleur, a Tiagra front derailleur, an Equation wheelset paired up with Michelin Dynamic Sport tires, and an FSA Omega compact crankset.

The Century is an extremely strong and nimble ride, perfect for anyone looking for an affordable yet high performance carbon bicycle. It spins smoothly and shifts with precision, and you'll power up those hills on this lightweight ride.

It's a cheap carbon fiber road bike with great reviews. Below $2000, it's well worth your time to consider.

*Diamondback has a female frame equivalent of this bike, the Airen.

Nashbar CR4: A top quality carbon fibre bike, just under $2000

A top quality carbon road bicycle with Ultegra components

Nashbar is a brand that I gravitate to. They offer a fine compromise between quality and price tag, and the CR4 is no exception. Most Nashbar bicycles aren't flashy, with nothing in the way of branding on the frame itself. Don't let that fool you: this is a serious cycle.

The frame and fork are full carbon monocoque, light and incredibly strong. The bottom bracket is a smooth BB-30, and it's paired up to a full Shimano Ultegra drivetrain, including shifters, derailleurs, brakes and crankset. Ultegra is one of the best groupsets in the business, and it really makes the CR4 shine.

The ride is agile and snappy, and you have an unbelievable amount of energy heading up those hills. The brakes are sharp and the shifting is incredibly precise. It's exactly what you'd want in an affordable carbon fiber road bike. Just below $2000, Nashbar has created a hit with the CR4.

Tommaso Corvo: A very well priced carbon fiber road bicycle under $2000

An affordable carbon framed road bike

Tommaso produces road bicycles in a range of budget options, and the Corvo is one of their least expensive carbon fiber road bikes. Inexpensive doesn't mean poor quality, luckily!

The 950 gram carbon frame is everything you'd expect it to be: strong, light and beautiful to look at. The shifting is excellent thanks to a pair of Shimano 105 derailleurs, giving you 20 speeds in total. The FSA Omega compact crankset pairs up with the 105 components beautifully, and provides a very acceptable gearing range for a mixed ride.

The dual calliper brakes are Shimano Tiagra, and they stop this lightweight carbon fiber bicycle very nicely.

It doesn't hurt that this is a stunningly good looking bike, and sure to get you some looks. It's one of the cheapest carbon fiber road bicycles reviewed here today, and it's a contender.

Some great carbon fibre bike goodies to look at:

Here are some related carbon fibre items for road bikes. You might consider investing in some race style handlebars or upgrade components to carbon fibre if they aren't already.

What do you think about carbon fibre cycles?

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    • Michelllle profile image

      Michelllle 4 years ago

      Someday...gonna get one of these bikes.

    • BikePro profile image

      Graeme 5 years ago

      @IamShea: Whoa, a Felt for that low? Was it from your local bike shop, or online? Particularly with the Mavic wheels, finding a carbon road bike like that under $2000 is pretty phenomenal! (Mavic's can easily run over $600 alone, as you probably know)

    • IamShea profile image

      IamShea 5 years ago

      Great article! I bought a Felt Z5 carbon bike last year that came with the Shimano 105 group set and Mavic wheels for $1849. There are deals to be had for carbon bikes if you look.