Road Cycling

7 Jaw Droppingly Stunning 2016 Women’s Road Bikes Between £2,000 and £2,599

We've picked out some of the most mouth watering bikes available in this line up...

Is it your intention to achieve your greatest results during the 2016 season? Well, with all the hard work we know you’re going to put into your training, then surely you deserve a shiny new bike to help you smash those goals.

Two-grand is, we’ll admit, rather a lot of money to spend on a bike. And if it’s not in your price bracket, don’t despair, we’ve got eight £1.5k-£2k bikes here, and a sub £1.5k round up coming soon. However, as the saying goes, ‘the bike on top of the car should always be worth more than the value of the car’, and if you’re anything like us you’ll be spending more time behind the bars than behind the wheel, anyway.

When you spend over £2,000 on a bike you can expect some pretty high end spec – more than likely carbon (unless you particularly wanted alloy or titanium), Ultegra or similar level groupset and some fancy features such as aerodynamic tubing and integrated brakes. You may even get lightweight or aero wheels, though many bike brands still use entry level hoops on the expectation you’ll upgrade at this level.

Road Bike Buying Guide: Groupsets

All of these elements will culminate to create a ride quality that will be notably different to that of a more value orientated bike. And if you’re spending hours and hours on the bike, that extra ‘zing’ is kind of worth it.

Here are seven stunning bikes that might leave a dent in your bank balance, but will certainly bolster your motivation at the same time…

Liv Avail Advanced Pro – £2,599

Liv have showed a clear dedication to creating bikes that women want to ride – branching out with their own brand alongside Giant. All Liv bikes are designed for women from the ground up, with their own geometry.

The Avail Advanced Pro is a high performance endurance bike. That means that whilst the frame is lightweight and the spec Ultegra, this is a bike for the mile munching sportive queens as opposed to those seeking a race ready machine (such as the Liv Envie).

An endurance or sportive focused bike will favour compliance – a springy frame that means you can ride smoothly over lumps and bumps in comfort. In this case, the D-Fuse seatpost helps to reduce vibrations, but you still get a ‘PowerCore’ bottom bracket to ensure optimum transfer of your efforts.

The Pros and Cons of Disc Brakes for Road Bikes

Like many endurance bikes these days, this one has disc brakes – and here you get Shimano hydraulics fitted around Giant SLR1 disc wheels with a slightly deeper rim for aerodynamics, and comfortable, safe handling 25c tyres that will travel well around corners and over gravel.

Specialized Amira SL4 Comp – £2,000

Want a bike that rides like it was put on this earth for one reason only, that being to race? Then the Amira is for you.

The frame shares its geometry with the top end version ridden by World Champion Lizzie Armitstead in her title winning race, so you know this is an aggressive attacking ride.

Lizzie Armitstead Receives Custom World Champion S-Works Amira

Described as ‘stiff, snappy, responsive’ – our own TWC editor rides this bike and couldn’t agree more. With a full Ultegra groupset, including the brakes (which are often compromised by brands trying to save cash) you can be as confident in the stopping power as the acceleration.

Buying Guide: Road Bike Wheels

The only let downs are the Fulcrum S4 wheels, which you might want to upgrade at a later date. These are shod with Specialized Turbo Pro tyres – still race rubber, but you might want to swap them for a slightly faster rolling, more supple option come ‘the season’ proper.

Canyon Ultimate CF SL 9.0 DI2 Women – £2,599

There’s a lot of letters and numbers in the product title for this bike. You know which ones stand out the most? DI2. This bike comes equipped with Ultegra DI2 for £2,599 – which is pretty unique at this price point.

The Ultimate is Canyon’s lightweight model, designed to be capable of turning mountains into molehills, whilst utilizing ‘sport pro geometry’ that’ll feel good in racing mode and over long rides. Controversially, the frame is identical to the unisex version, with more smaller sizes available. However, the contact points have been tailored to women and we’re very impressed with the saddle choice: the excellent Selle Italia SLS Lady Flow.

Working with the new women’s team Canyon//SRAM, the brand will use data and feedback to decide if the geometry should be further tweaked for women.

As well as DI2, you also get excellent quality, lightweight Mavic Ksyrium Pro Exalith wheels, neat integrated cable routing, and a 50/34 compact chainset which allows you to tackle the toughest climbs, but can be made more racey with a narrower ratio cassette.

Available in black and purple, or the stunning metallic blue pictured, we honestly think this bike represents amazing value for money. Only drawback? You need to buy direct from Canyon, so you can’t test ride as easily as you might if buying from a retailer, and stock is due in March.

Trek Silque SL Women’s – £2,200

When we reviewed the 2015 version of this bike, the key take away was that it’s silque by name and silky by nature, in fact we called it “as smooth as a well brewed flat white.”

Little (or perhaps nothing) has changed for the 2016 model – the bike still features Trek’s famous IsoSpeed decoupler – which acts as a buffer between the seat tube and top tube, preventing lumps and bumps from being transmitted. The OCLV carbon is super lightweight, but engineered not to lack stiffness – though we’d say this ride does feel more relaxed than a more aggressive race oriented bike.

The groupset, as you may have come to expect, is full Ultegra with a 50/34 compact chainset, and an 11-32 cassette – great if you’re heading to the alps, but if you’re a confident climber you may prefer to swap that cassette for a narrower ratio 11-28 option. This will mean that you won’t find big gaps between the gears, but should give you plenty of spin for the likes of UK climbs.

If you’ve got your sights set on a Trek, but are specifically after the lightest bike you can get, check out the feather like Emonda SL6 which is also £2,100 and is available in a women’s specific fit.

Bianchi Intenso Damabianca Ultegra 2016 Womens Road Bike – £2,100

Known for their beautiful, passion filled Italian Stallions, Bianchi have a range of women’s options which share unisex geometry with smaller sizes available, shorter cranks, narrower handlebars and women’s saddles.

As a rule, Italian bikes feature shorter top tubes than most American or UK brands offer – so you shouldn’t be too concerned about finding you’re overly stretched out, though of course bike fit is always personal. The length is shortened with a 70mm stem on smaller models, and a 90mm stem on larger sizes.

Fitting a Female Body to a Unisex Bike

The Intenso is Bianchi’s endurance focused model – though this women’s version doesn’t come with discs as some of the unisex models. The Vittoria Zaffiro Pro Slick 7 tyres are 25c, but there’s clearance for 28c rubber if you want something wider for rougher roads.

The groupset is full Ultegra, with a compact chainset and pretty standard 11-28 cassette.

Boardman SLR Endurance Women’s – £2,299

Boardman bikes have seen a huge overhaul for 2016 – they’ve got a new, cleaner looking logo, and have added more women’s models to their higher end lines.

With a high performance frame you get an Ultegra groupset, aside from the 11-28 cassette which is a slight let down at 105 spec. Shimano 105 is a perfectly respectable groupset that will function and shift well, but will add a little extra weight to the rear of the bike.

The wheels are Boardman’s own SLR Elite Five’s – they believe they can make better quality wheels at a more value price tag using their own brand. These feature a 28mm semi deep aero profile, clincher rims and are shod with 25c Vittoria Rubino Pro tyres which are hard-wearing without being too draggy.

This model is £2,299 and comes with women’s specific contact points, whilst sharing the unisex geometry. Up the kitty to £2,599 and you can get Shimano Hydraulic disc brakes for faster all weather stopping. 

Specialized Alias Tiagra 2016 Women’s Road Bike

This one is for those thinking of attacking triathlons or time trials this season, but only have space or cash for one bike. There are plenty of lovely road bikes, and plenty of lovely time trial bikes out there – but none are truly proficient at race and training duties as the Alias claims to be.

What to Expect at a Club 10 Time Trial

The Alias comes with clip on bars and two seat post options – a standard and a zero offset that will put the rider in a position that is more aerodynamic when teamed with the bars. Unlike simply attaching clip on bars to any road bike, the geometry is fine tuned to create a true TT/triathlon set-up which will allow the rider to get much lower, much more aero, and thus much faster.

Where do you lose out? You’re paying £2,000 for a Tiagra groupset with Axis 1.0 wheels and brakes – so a much lower spec than those above at the same price. However, you do get a machine you can love in training and on race day – which is a rare treat – and groupsets can always be upgraded come your next Birthday!

These are seven of the bikes that have really caught our eye, from brands that are making a clear effort to include women’s models in their ranges. When shopping, don’t forget to keep an eye on unisex models. Depending on your height and personal measurements, you might get on just as well with a unisex model – read more about this heavily researched topic here. 

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