The best entry-level road bikes for 2020

So you (or someone you know) have decided to get into cycling. Congrats! It’s a great time to join the sport—cycling has emerged this year as the perfect way to explore the world while staying close to home, as well as a safe, socially-distanced form of transit.  The road is calling your name, but getting into cycling can be a stressful and confusing activity if you don’t know where to start.

Many in cycling love to say “outside is free” but a more realistic saying would be “outside is pretty affordable when you compare it to an annual gym membership and opt for durable, good quality equipment that will last you multiple seasons.”

If you don’t have any experience with said equipment, it’s hard to tell what qualifies as a well-priced bike that will last for a while (and what slots into the over-priced and badly built category). These bikes are easily serviceable, come from reliable brands and will keep you safely rolling for a long time.

Trek Domane AL 2

The Trek Domane AL 2 does a good job of balancing road bike geometry with interesting features that make it unique. It has a more upright position, which is great for longer. Little touches like the fender and pannier mounts and clean colourways make this bike an appealing choice for any rider.

Trek Domane AL 2, $1,049.99 CAD

RELATED: Trek mixes all-road capability with everyday function for Domane AL Disc

Specialized Allez

The Specialized Allez is a surprisingly light for an entry-level bike. It comes in four different colourways, ranging from serious (Satin Black/Cast Battleship Clean) to fun (Gloss Golden Yellow-Vivid Pink Fade/Tarmac Black). Like the Domane, the Allez also has pannier mounts making it easily transformable for commuting.

Specialized Allez, $1,099.00 CAD

Giant Contend 3

The Giant Contend is a good entry-level bike for new road cyclists who are a bit gravel-curious. The D-Fuse seatpost helps reduce road shocks and vibrations, and there’s enough frame and fork clearance to run wider, all-road type tires (up to 32c). The Contend 3 is also the most affordable bike on this list, coming in at $899 CAD.

Giant Contend 3, $899 CAD

Felt VR 60

The Felt VR is optimized for road riding, especially on rough, chip-sealed, or pothole-stricken pavement (i.e. most Canadian cities). It was designed for all-day rides, with endurance geometry and clearance for tires up t0 30mm so it can take on any unexpected gravel. Although it’s a more expensive entry-level bike, the VR justifies its cost with disc brakes and a carbon fork.

Felt VR 60, $1,189 CAD

Norco Valence Aluminum

The Norco Valence is stable but responsive. Its stiff frame handles corners well and pairs nicely with the carbon fork. The cables are hidden inside the frame, giving the bike a clean, sleek look. Norco is also a Canadian company, a feature many people look for when making a big purchase like a bike.

Norco Valence Aluminum, $999-1,599 CAD

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