Best bicycle: get the best bike for under £2000 from road bikes to mountain machines

From fixies to road racers to mountain, electric and beyond, find the steed you need from £400 to £2000

There are plenty of reasons why more and more peeps are turning towards the bicycle as a reliable mode of transport. The spiralling cost of public transport, increasing congestion and a general need to save our stricken planet are just a few.

But let's not forget that pedal power also results in improved fitness and very little can rival that "wheeeeee, look at me!" feeling derived from coasting down a massive hill. 

We've collated a comprehensive list of bicycles that cover all bases, from relaxed urban cruisers to trail-shredding mountain bikes, lithe road warriors to maintenance-free commuters, electric machines and beyond.

Prices range from a mere £300, all the way up to £2,000, meaning there is a bike to suit all budgets, tastes and demands.

Bikes: what you need to know

There is a lot of talk about eBikes at the moment and that's mainly due to the fact they are stupidly easy to ride (getting you to the office without a sweaty shirt) and the price of these things has come down massively since their introduction.

As a result, we've now got a full guide on the best electric bikes out there, should you wish to add a little motorised assistance to your journey.

However, if you like things old school and human-driven, check out the tips in our guides to the best road bike and the best mountain bike – some of the rides listed are a lot pricier than the ones here, mind.

Interested in a single-speed but confused by talk of 'flop hubs'? Most of the single-speeds here can be converted between free-wheeling when you don't pedal, and a 'proper' fixie mode, whereby if you don't pedal, the bike immediately stops, hurling you over the handlebars into the path of an oncoming truck. No, we're just kidding. 

We've gone for the most affordable bike possible without significantly scrimping on quality here, which gets you off to a good start. Beyond that the key is to look for sale pricing, and above all, consider settling for last year's model if you can find it. The 2018 versions of most bikes will be all but identical to those from 2017 (and even further back) yet invariably cost a few hundred quid more.

The best bicycles of every kind

Canyon Commuter Sport 8.0

1. Canyon Commuter Sport 8.0

The most radical bike you can buy for less than £2000

Frame: Aluminium
Groupset: Shimano Alfine S700 and MT500
Wheels: Alexrims MD19
Finishing Kit: Canyon, Schwalbe, Selle San Marco
Reasons to buy
+It looks phenomenal+Super fast and agile+The perfect commuter machine
Reasons to avoid
-It's crying out to be stolen

Buy Canyon Roadlite CF 8.0 direct from Canyon

Beautifully designed and fantastically executed, this sporty urban warrior from Canyon is  arguably the finest way to cruise the mean city streets with speed and finesse. Don't just take our word for it, the jury for the Design and Innovation Award said it is, “like no other bike! It brings together a clear, minimalist design language with excellent, integrated components for an outstanding performance and the best-possible riding experience!”

Lots of exclamation marks there but they are justified, because this minimalist machine offers a stupidly fun ride with the accompanying components that are designed to last a lifetime.

Shimano 11-speed Alfine internal-gear hub, a Gates belt drive and hydraulic disc brakes and some lovely finishing elements from Schwalbe and Selle San Marco make this one extremely tempting package. Just don't leave it unlocked for long.  

Pinnacle Neon

2. Pinnacle Neon 4

Best affordable hybrid

Style: Hybrid
Frame: Aluminium **Weight** 11.1 kg
Gears: Shimano Tiagra 4700 10 speed
Reasons to buy
+Carbon front fork+Light frame+Comfy flat bars
Reasons to avoid
-Gearing not great

This is a great bike for the person who can't quite make up their mind. Road cycling, mildly rough terrain and rapid inner-city commuting are all totally achievable, as the latest 'all-rounder' offering from Pinnacle aims to please all.

It's also a great option for anyone looking to invest in a fitness bike, as it neatly blends some of the speedier features (carbon front fork and sharp handling) of a full-on road bike without the need to adopt that tucked-up Tour de France riding position.

The comfortable flat bars ensure the Neon 4 is good for longer rides too, while a generous spread of 20 gears from Shimano's Tiagra shifters will ensure that even tough hills can be tackled easily.

Granted, some of the components won't be up there with some of the more expensive bikes on this list, but we were impressed with the inclusion of disc brakes, some FSA finishing kit and a neatly designed Pinnacle sports saddle.

 Boardman HYB 8.9

3. Boardman HYB 8.9

Best affordable city bike

Style: Hybrid
Frame: Aluminium/carbon fork **Weight** 10.4 kg
Gears: SRAM Apex 11 speed
Reasons to buy
+Lightweight+Superb specification+Disc brakes
Reasons to avoid
-Limited gear spread

The cream of the Boardman hybrid crop is a great looking bike, its stealthy grey paintjob and subtle orange highlights standing it head and shoulders above the often drab offerings of previous years.

However, this ultra-light 6061 aluminium frame isn't merely an object to ogle as it rests against a radiator in your flat, because the Boardman 8.9 is built to hammer the daily commute and take advantage of a full carbon front fork for sharp steering and a pothole-smoothing ride. 

The SRAM Apex gearing is fast and responsive, while the hydraulic braking system is plenty powerful enough to avoid run-ins with clueless commuters.

As with most Boardman products, the specification is impressive given the price (economies of scale, innit), so this means you get smooth-rolling Mavic XM319 rims shod in brilliant Schwalbe Marathon Racer rubber.

It's difficult to fault the machine, with our only real gripe being the limited 11-speed transmission, which is fine for cruising around town but can be limiting if you're thinking of tackling hillier terrain.

Emu Crossbar

4. Emu Crossbar

Best affordable city e-bike

Style: Electric
Frame: Aluminium **Weight** 23 kg
Gears: Shimano Nexus 7 speed hub
Motor: 250W front hub
Battery: Samsung 10.4A or 14.5A
Range: 25-50 miles
Charge time: 6-8 hours
Reasons to buy
+Great price+Excellent spec and features+Practical storage solutions
Reasons to avoid
-Heavy-Traditional styling might not appeal to all

• A more in-depth guide for would-be ebike buyers

This number from e-bike newcomers Emu might not boast the trick belt drive or lightweight frame of the Gtech Ebike Sports, but it majors on specification in just about every other conceivable area.

A sub-£1k price tag bags a powerful 250W front hub motor, 10.4 Amp battery with a range of 40km (25 miles) on a single charge and a top-up time of six hours from flat.

At 23kg, it is a heavy old lump, but Emu attempts to negate this with a 'walk assist' mode, which incorporates a small amount of motor assistance when moving around but it's still tricky to get on and off a train, for example.

However, Emu sells a little foldable number if that's your bag. The Emu Crossbar is for  town commuters that require a sweet ride that's backed up by solid Shimano Nexus hub gears and Tektro brakes, which are adequate if not the best on the market.

Riding is smooth and easy, with the crank moving sensor doing its best to iron out any gaps in power delivery.

We particularly liked the integrated bell in the left brake lever, the chunky pannier rack and the built-in lights, which neatly plug into the on-board trip computer.

Whyte 905

5. Whyte 905

Best hardtail mountain bike

Style: Hybrid
Frame: 6061 Alloy
Weight: 13.5kg
Gears: SRAM NX Eagle
Reasons to buy
+A ridiculously fast and furious ride +Great handling
Reasons to avoid
-Hardcore geometry

Whether you’re looking for a bike to rip on more forgiving trails, or one to plummet down steep, gnarly runs, Whyte's excellent 905 model offers the hardcore geometry and hardy suspension components to handle most scenarios. 

The latest model runs on wide-rimmed, Boost width, WTB ST 135 wheels, shod with an ultra grippy, triple compound Maxxis High Roller II 2.8 tyre on the front and a faster rolling Maxxis Recon 2.8 on the rear. These plus-sized wheels and tyres let you seriously rip through almost every type of terrain allowing you to reach some proper warp speeds in the process.

The SRAM Guide T brakes are excellent stoppers and an upgrade on last year’s Levels, while the 1x12 SRAM NX Eagle drivetrain provides all the gear range you could ever need

Specialized Roubaix

6. Specialized Roubaix

Best road bike

Frame : Carbon
Groupset: Shimano 105 11 Speed
Wheels: Axis Sport
Finishing Kit: Specialized
Reasons to buy
+Phenomenal frame+Solid components
Reasons to avoid
-Money goes further with other brands

Named after the infamously gruelling Paris to Roubaix Challenge, this intelligent road bike features the marque's new Future Shock cartridge, which gives a staggering 20mm of vertical stem and bar movement to soak up bumps.

The frame and headset are chunky but it doesn't feel like a particularly heavy bike and those oversized elements are only put in place to house the clever suspension system. Although discreet, there's a noticeable difference in the way the handlebars and stem miraculously iron over imperfections in the road, while the squishy seatpost makes arduously long sportives slightly less painful.

Granted, the RRP set by Specialized is just a smidge over the £2,000 budget we set ourselves, but savings can be found if you shop around and its remains on our list because it is so good.

The entry-level Roubaix comes with bullet-proof Shimano 105 gearing components, but the wheels, tyres and finishing kit are al little stingy compared to those models slightly further up the model range.

Basically, we're saying if you take your riding super seriously, it might be worth splashing a little extra dosh. 

Canyon Neuron AL 7.0

7. Canyon Neuron AL 7.0

Best full-suspension mountain bike

Style: Downhill
Frame: Aluminium
Weight: 13.4kg
Gears: SRAM GX Eagle
Reasons to buy
+Rowdy paint job+Quick up hills+Massive suspension travel
Reasons to avoid
-Wheels and tyres not the best

In typical Canyon style, the company has crammed a ridiculous amount of features into its new and improved lightweight trail-shredder. Its updated geometry ensures improved power transmission through the excellent SRAM drivetrain, while greater suspension travel improves versatility.

While this might not be an out-and-out downhill machine, it has been conceived to tackle all that is thrown at it, and the lightweight 6061 aluminium frame is testament to this fact. Tough and durable, it will survive plenty of spills before it gives up the ghost.

On top of this, the spec found on this bike is hard to beat. Fox suspension, SRAM’s GX Eagle groupset, Mavic wheels and a dropper post make this just about the best bike you can buy under the £2k mark.

Vitus Vitesse Evo CR Disc

8. Vitus Vitesse Evo CR Disc

Best carbon racer

Style: Road
Frame: Carbon
Weight: 8.4kg
Gears: Shimano 105 1 11-speed
Reasons to buy
+So rapid+So light+So sexy
Reasons to avoid
-Lacking brand cache

Vitus won a place in our collective hearts when the near-50-year-old brand was resurrected by the Wiggle Group a couple of years back, simply because it offers huge amount of bang for the buck.

This carbon-clad, disc brake beast is a great example of this, seeing as it weighs just over 8kg and throws in the sort of finishing kit that bikes twice the price typically flaunt.

According to its maker, the machine is designed to provide exceptional comfort for long days in the saddle and superior power-transfer, which is perfect for high-adrenaline criterium races over demanding terrain 

We can attest to the fact that it is stupidly comfortable and the inclusion of Shimano's razor sharp 105 group set is an excellent decision. Perhaps the only slight letdown is the DT Swiss P1800 rims, which aren't the fastest out there. But we can forgive that. 

Gtech eBike Sports

9. Gtech eBike Sports

Best budget urban e-bike – lightweight too

Weight: 16kg
Range: 30 miles
Charging time: 3 hours
Gears: none
Power: 200W
Reasons to buy
+Very light for an e-bike+Computer monitored to adjust speed when pedalling+Good value for money
Reasons to avoid
-Not much difference between low and high power-Slightly uncomfortable saddle and grips

Most decent electric bikes still hover around the £2000+ mark but this one from Gtech is under a grand, has a maximum 30-mile range, and looks pretty much like a bicycle, which is still not quite the norm for e-bikes.

There are no gears and only two power settings, both quite low. So we wouldn't recommend this for taking on mountains or muddy trails, but for flat cities with the occasional hill, it's perfect. There's a carbon band rather than a chain, which means less chance of mucking up your trews, and the way the electric motor offers assistance as you pedal based on how much it's needed (on inclines, when pulling away from the lights, etc) works well too. 

The assisted speed is capped at 15mph, but the Gtech eBike Sport is relatively light for an e-bike, so it doesn't feel like it's fighting against you when you pedal faster. You do start to realise why it's so affordable when you contemplate the uncomfortable saddle and grips, the absence of any gears at all, and the feeble brakes, but none of these flaws is fatal.

Electra Loft 3i

10. Electra Loft 3i

Best bike for the suit-wearing cyclist

Style: Hybrid
Frame: Alloy
Weight: 12kg
Gears: Shimano Nexus 3-Speed
Reasons to buy
+Plenty of storage options+Stupidly easy to ride+Cheap
Reasons to avoid
-Not one for speed freaks

Californian bike builder Electra like to inject a dose of laid-back West Coast attitude into its creations and the men's Loft 3i bike is purely about comfortable cruising.

Simple Shimano gearing gives a relatively small spread of cogs to work with but it's perfectly suited to the sort of climbs one finds in the typical urban environment. I don't like the twist shift while a rear rack offers additional storage solutions for those who can't stand wearing a backpack.

In short, if you're allergic to Lycra and prefer cycling to work in the clothes you plan to wear for the rest of the day, this is the perfect bike for you.

State Bicycle Pigeon Core Line

11. State Bicycle Pigeon Core Line

Best fixie/single speed bike

Style: Fixie
Frame: Durable steel
Weight: 11.2kg
Gears: Single speed flop hub
Reasons to buy
+Serious looks+Amazing price
Reasons to avoid
-Components prone to rusting

State Bicycles has been a regular fixture on many a T3 best bicycle list and that's because they offer some seriously sexy steeds for an amazing price. Its latest Core Line drives the cost down further, without scrimping on those head-turning good looks.

The Pigeon is among our faves, with its flashy flat grey frame, contrast red hubs and 40mm Deep-V style wheels making it look like a velodrome-ready racer for a fraction of the cost.

All State Bikes come with a Flip-Flop hub, meaning you can ride it as a true fixie, or flip the rear wheel for some sweet coasting action. The Pigeon comes with both front and rear brakes, as well as sweet Vans grips, although we have noticed that some of the components are prone to rusting if you leave it out in the rain. 

But seriously, this is one of the best value fixie packages we've laid eyes on in a long time and certainly one of the most handsome.  

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