In order to help you make good purchasing decisions we have been compiling a series of buyer’s guides for various price brackets of road bikes. In-case you missed our other articles, you can get up to speed by clicking here.
Surprisingly, most of the road bikes we have listed so far are 2022 models, despite already being in June 2023, in this price bracket we at least start to see some 2023 road bikes. We also see more carbon, more integration and more tech!
If you’re wanting some advice on scouring the second hand market, this is our guide to finding a good deal!
Cover Image: Titan Racing
In no particular order, here are our top 5 picks of road bikes under R60 000:
Price: R48 999
If you are after a little Bianchi Celeste flare in your life, but at a decent price point, then look no further. The Italian brand has been synonymous with this colourway for many years now, whilst their beautiful ‘Italian’ road bikes are made in the East (like most), they are in-fact assembled in Italy.
This is Bianchi’s 2023 base racing machine, manufactured with the highly acclaimed monocoque carbon along, with a full carbon fork that can accommodate 28c tires. Equipped with a Shimano 105 11 speed groupset and Shimano aluminium rim brake wheels, there’s not all that much to write home about on the build kit. It seems like there might still be some rim brake purist’s kicking about in the Bianchi head office. To my surprise, it also comes with an aluminium seatpost, if you’re still keen on some racing and don’t want to get rid of those rim brake racing wheels, then this is a good option.
Like: Bianchi Celeste.
Dislike: Rim Brake.
Price: R55 000.
I was pleasantly surprised by the price of the Specialized Allez range, I am once again pleasantly surprised by the 2022 SL6 Sport price point. Having 3 colour options is a big win in my books, they all seem to be rather appealing.
The SL6 is equipped with Shimano’s 105 11 speed groupset and hydraulic disc brakes, this groupset has become increasingly popular over the years due to its smooth shifting and durability, let alone the fact that it won’t cost you an arm or a leg to replace something. Like most of the bikes at this price point, the groupset is a ‘Compact’ one, meaning the chain rings are a 50t and 34t, unlike the 53t+ we’re used to seeing on the world tour.
I also like the fact that the brake system has barrel adjusters located up in the cockpit, allowing the rider to make minor adjustments on the fly with ease. The bike is finished off with a solid and reliable DT Swiss wheelset, paired with the super fast rolling Specialized Turbo Pro 26mm tires.
Like: Good all-round build.
Dislike: Hard to say really?
Price: R35 000.
With a full carbon frame and fork, 12mm through axles and aerodynamic profile, this looks like a killer racing machine at a killer price point. The 2023 Valerian has a few models at different price points, the Carbon Comp is equipped with SRAM’s 11 speed rival groupset and a compact FSA Omega crankset.
The rest of the build is finished off with Titan Racing components, also nice to see a carbon seat post at this price point. Unfortunately the disc brakes are mechanical, which is not a quick upgrade, changing from cable to hydraulic brakes on a road bike usually means you need to replace the entire groupset, but once again this is a mean racing machine for the price you pay.
Like: 5 Year multi-user warranty, Aerodynamic Profile.
Dislike: Colour, Mechanical Disc Brakes.
Price: R48 000.
Don’t tell me you’re walking past this bike on the shop floor or at the coffee shop without taking a second look, I won’t believe you. It’s not often that you get ‘team edition’ striking colour ways at a good price point (‘good’ is relative, ok?). This paint job is a replica of the bikes ridden by team Bahrain Victorious, who compete on the world tour.
Whilst this bike is a 2022 model, it is the only road bike we feature here that has the Shimano Ultegra 11 speed groupset and hydraulic disk brakes (minus the Ultegra crank), despite not being the most expensive. This build also includes a light integrated into the seatpost, a rear light is a must have for our South African roads, so I highly approve of this feature.
The aero profile of this road bike, striking paint job and solid groupset would make this my top pick in the line-up, throw on some carbon deep section wheels and you’re definitely winning your local group ride sprints.
Like: Ultegra Groupset, Aero Profile.
Dislike: Shimano RS510 Crank.
Price: R50 000
This lightweight climbing Emonda from Trek beautifully integrates the brakes and gear cables, much like that of the Merida, giving it a very clean minimalist look. The 2023 SL5 is equipped with Bontrager tubeless ready wheels and 28c tires, bigger and wider tires are very much becoming the norm which definitely suits our rough and rugged South African roads.
Fitted with a full Shimano 105 11 speed compact groupset, there’s not much to criticise on this bike. Pretty much every other component on the bike is from Bontrager, except the Praxis bottom bracket. The nice thing about having all of these components come from one brand or manufacturer is when it comes down to repairs or warranties, making your local bike store a one stop shop, no blame games or hunting around for spare parts.
With a size 56cm coming in at 8.87 kg, this must be the lightest disc brake bike in our lineup, you can definitely shave off some weight by ditching the wire bead tires and adding some more carbon to the cockpit. The slight glitter paint detailing looks great, however I’m not a big fan of all the red, other than on the Trek logo itself, but that’s just my opinion.
Dislike: Wire Bead Tires.
There are some really nice road bikes in this price bracket, all quite competitively priced and similarly specced. Performance wise I believe they will all be very similar, it will just come down to what you want, or what suits you riding style. At this price point you really want to start doing more research, reading reviews and diving a little deeper before making a purchase of your new road bike. Then get out there and enjoy the new ride!