Which $1,500 Bike to Get? Giant, Cannondale or What?


We have received three similar questions wanting advice on what is the best bike around the $1,500 price range; there are many different bikes to choose from, so we have done a bit of detective work and come up with a few suggestions

From Tom:
Question: im really confused as to which is the better road bike in the 1200.00 price range, Giant OCR1, CANNONDALE SYNAPS, RALEIGH or some other brand? Dealers are no help as they put down the brands they don’t sell.

From Raymond Latreille:
Question: What is the best buy for a road bike for men around $1500.

From Rob:
Question: I am an entry level tri-athlete. New to the bike-shopping scene. Looking for a road bike to compete in Olympic distance races.
I am told, carbon, carbon, carbon…

I see catalog sales with lower prices but assembly required… and who will help me with any questions and adjustments. The stores offer life-time adjustments.

I figure I can spend up to $1500-$2000 TOPS! All inclusive, but would like to spend less. Any suggestions? bike frame, gear, other?

“A Bit Lost”

Hi Guys,
It’s a minefield out there, there lots to choose from and Tom is correct, if the shop don’t sell it they wont rate it, but that’s only natural as they want to sell a bike and obviously they want to sell one of their bikes, so they are not going to advise you to go somewhere else.


Giant, Cannondale and Raleigh are all a good place to start from, but there are many more, you can hunt for them on the internet or go round all the local bike shops. The components that you can expect to find on bikes in this price range will be Shimano 105 or Campagnolo Veloce, 9 speed or possibly 10, many factory built bikes also use branded components, these are cheaper for the bike company, but are good quality.

One of the main things to look for is the quality of the frame, it is the main part of the complete bike, other parts you can change as you go along, but the frame would be a major part to change at a large cost, so the better the frame, the better the bike in the long run.


I’ve trawled the internet and found a few factory built bikes that are available in the US from American dealers, try to find last years models and you can get a real bargain as the shops all want to clear these out for the new stuff.

Here is a list of bikes in and around the $1,200 to $2,000 price range:-

Scott team bike
Giant TCR Composite bike
Kestrel Talon Bike
Bianchi 928 Veloce
2005 Schwinn Fastback Pro Road Bike
Tommaso Trascinare Carbon Road Bike w/ Shimano 105 2007
K2 T:Nine Tempest Road Bike
Specialized Dolce Comp
Lemond Buenos Aires Double 06
Cannondale CAAD9 Optimo 3 Compact
Pinarello Galileo Aluminum / Carbon 105 Road Bike


These are all top class bikes and all are good enough to race on at starter level events on the road for Tri or just good fitness. Most are either Shimano 105 or Campagnlolo Veloce, mostly though they will be a mixture of these group sets and cheaper components to keep the price down. Probably the brake calipers, chain set and hubs will be from a different manufacturer, then saddle, seat pin, handle bars and stem will not be top of the range stuff.

As to Rod’s question about buying and building your bike up yourself from parts, this could save some money, but if you don’t know what you are doing it might cost you money to get it put right later by a bike shop. Many factory built bikes can be assembled much cheaper than we can do it. Some shops will assemble any frame and components for free when you buy them from them, this can sometimes be a good deal, but see if you can find a pre-built bike of similar quality and compare the price, you could be surprised.


Also Rob an Alloy/Carbon mix is very good, saving you money and giving you a light, strong bike frame that will handle very well in many road conditions. Carbon is great and if you can afford it get carbon, but if not, then carbon forks and a carbon back end with alloy main tubes will give you top class race bike at an affordable price, many good race bikes are made like this and win races, it will have comfort and reliability.

I hope we have helped you make some decisions and brought some more bikes to your attention? Maybe we have given you too many choices, you will have to look in your bank account and deside how much you can spend. Good luck!

Make sure you like BikeCyclingReviews on Facebook, and be updated every time we find really cool and nice tips for your bike from around the world.

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1 Comment

  1. tj

    Service with a bike is important, so buy from a shop close to your home so you can visit them often. Of course the shop wants to sell you one of the brands they carry, but the fact is bikes are more similar in their respective price ranges then we think. They all have Shimano or Campy parts, then you just need to decide what’s best for you, AL, Carbon, Mix or even CoMoly frame. Your weight and size will factor into this. If you haven’t had a new bike in years a sale on last year’s model can save you hundreds of dollars or allow you to get a component upgrade. But most importantly, BUY A BIKE THAT FITS! Don’t ever settle for the incorrect size no matter the price! The bike market is very competitive and there are at more than a dozen brands competing to give you the best bike, so it’s really a buyers market…If you spend $1200-$1500 you’ll get a good bike no matter the brand. If you use it as much as you’re imagining when you buy it, then in 2 or 3 years you’ll know why people spend $3,000+ on a bike and you’ll go get a new one! If you don’t end up using it as much, then you’ll be happy with it’s performance and have it for many years to come, enjoy!

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