Buying a brand new road bike can be an exciting experience - but it's important that you take your time over the decision. The bike you eventually buy will be your best friend over countless Saturday mornings, perhaps your companion on commutes and your entry into a new world of challenges and adventures.
You can get a good, entry level road bike from around £500. Such a bike will transport you merrily and safely over the hills and far away.
As brands up their price tags, the key changes they make are to the overall weight of the bike, either through frame material (carbon is lighter than alloy), components (gears, chainrings, saddles, handlebars) or both. So the more you spend the lighter and the more efficient your bike will be.
We've got more information about the key things to consider when choosing a road bike here. It's important to remember that you don't HAVE to buy a female specific bike, too. However, women's bikes will come with narrower handlebars and women's specific saddles, so they're more likely to fit without any adjustment.
Since £1,000 is bang on the government Cycle to Work scheme price point, it could be that you're applying for a voucher to pay your bike off in installments. If so - check out this guide if you have questions .
You can of course grab a deal by searching out a second hand bike. This often means you'll get a bike with a higher specification for less money. However, it's really best if you know the owner as that way you'll be absolutely sure it's not stolen and (hopefully!) in good working order - we've got more tips for buying second hand here.
If you're looking for a brand new women's specific road bike, here are a few suggestions...
Specialized Dolce Women's Road Bike - £525
The rule often applied to buying a bike is 'spend as much as your budget allows'. The reason being that if you don't, you might find yourself spending more in the long run via upgrades. However, if the most you have to spend is £525 then we'd recommend going for a firm favourite of the cycling world like the Specialized Dolce.
This bike is available with a predominantly Shimano Tiagra groupset for £900 or Shimano Sora for £675. But in the £525 model you get the same great frame, with a comfortable relaxed geomentry and Specialized's own 'Zertz' technology which aims to dampen road buzz for a smoother ride.
The groupset is mainly Shimano Claris, with Tektro brakes and Axis Sport wheels. All of these components will serve you well and you can expect reliability and longevity.
See it here.
Laura Trott RD 2 Women's Road Bike - £699
When Laura Kenny (nee Trott) announced she was launching a brand new range of road bikes with Halfords, we were excited to see how they would perform.
We had a chance to test the RD2. Our reviewer was impressed, commenting: "The RD2 is a great mid-level road bike, and if this is your first foray into amateur road cycling this bike does the job perfectly well. Everything is there for you to have a enjoyable ride while still getting in quality training."
She did add that the bike wasn't as light as those she's ridden in the past, but at the price point the weight of 9.5kg is around what we'd expect.
The RD2 comes with an ally frame, with carbon forks to reduce the weight and add comfort. The groupset is Shimano Tiagra 10 speed with a 12-28 cassette. That's enough gears to help you up the hills, but not so many the jumps between each cog on the cassette is huge.
You can see the RD2 for £699 here. There's also an RD1 for £499 and an RD3 for £899 - these share the same frame and geometry but differ slightly on spec - spending more reduces the weight and increases the smoothness of shifting.
Trek Lexa 3 Women's Road Bike - £750
The Trek Lexa road bike has been designed to suit a woman entering the road cycling world.
This bike has mounts for a pannier rack or mudguards, and places the rider in a fairly upright position so it's an ideal commuter as well as being a great sportive or weekend ride option.
Trek say that the aluminium frame and has been fine tuned for women, offering just the right blend of stiffness and comfort. The drivetrain is Shimano Sora, and finishing kit all comes from Bontrager and includes a Bontrager Ajna saddle (though all bums are different, we've heard good things about these saddles!)
Genesis Delta Women's Road Bike - £849.99
Genesis is the in-house brand at UK distributor Madison. Their bikes are designed at their offices in Milton Keynes, and this year they added their first ever women's specific options.
The Delta has been designed for newer riders looking to move into road cycling. It's been made using a double-butted alloy frame, which means two different grades of the metal have been used to provide stiffness and comfort in all the right places. A tapered carbon fork provides even more comfort and drops the weight at the front end.
Here you get Shiamano Tiagra mechs and shifters, Tektro brakes, and a finishing kit directly from Genesis with female specific touch points to help dial the fit.
See it here.
Ribble Sportiva Carbon Women's Road Bike - From £949
Ribble operate via a slightly different sales method to most brands. They allow shoppers to select their own components via an online 'bike builder'. This means you can customise your own bike - but Ribble won't let you pick anything that's not compatible, and they'll build it for you.
With the 'recommended spec' this carbon framed endurance bike comes in at £949 - and with that you get a Shimano Sora groupset with resilient Rodi Airline 5 clincher training wheels and a Selle Italia X1 Lady Flow saddle.
You can however reduce or increase the price by choosing different components - such as a slightly more efficient Shimano 105 groupset for quicker shifting. That's exactly what we did when we reviewed this bike, upping the cost to just under £1200.
Sticking with the recommended spec you'll get the same frame - which offers a comfortable ride ideal for long endurance excursions, whilst still presenting plenty of fun-to-ride punch on the hills and in accelerations.
Our reviewer was impressed, commenting: "The bike ate up the Sunday base miles with ease – bumps in the road were easily dampened and that same effect continued into longer solo trips. Cue: sunny, happy, summer smiles. Climbing was also a pleasure – out of the saddle the Sportiva felt sprightly and light as I pedalled, without offering any of the flex that sometimes occurs when a bike has been made so slim and smooth it loses its stiffness."
Liv Avail SL2 Disc Women's Road Bike - £975
An endurance focused frame, this bike puts the rider into a comfortable position. At this price point it's got a Shimano Tiagra drivetrain, with TRP mechanical disc brakes which offer superior stopping power in the wet when compared with traditional rim brakes.
See it here. If you want to spend less, the Avail family starts from £525 (and far exceeds £1k if you want to spend more!)
Pinnacle Dolomite 4 2017 Women's Road Bike - £1000
The Pinnacle brand is the in house creation from Evans Cycles and their Dolomite range offers a ride that's a little but more 'adventure ready' than most. Designed to cater for British roads, the Dolomite has wide 32c tyres, and eyelets for mudguards (and panniers).
What we really like about the Dolomite range is that nearly all models come with Shimano hydraulic disc brakes. These are superior to mechanical discs, and offer great stopping power year round.
The Dolomite 4 comes with a Shiamano Tiagra drivetrain and all Pinnacle women's bikes come with narrower handlebars, women's saddles and shorter cranks.
Boardman Team Carbon Women's Road Bike - £799.20 (was £999)
Perhaps a very slightly unfair addition on behalf of the other brands, this bike represents excellent value for money as it's carry over from 2016 and is currently on sale.
However, what we love about it is that it offers a great punchy ride whilst still being comfortable. The frame carried Nicole Cooke to Olympic glory in 2008, but it's still perfectly capable of carrying you over many miles.
This carbon frame is dressed in Shimano Tiagra with Tektro brakes and mile munching resilient Mavic CXP-Elite wheels.
Reviewing it last year, we concluded: "The trickle down frame geometry means it rides like a much more expensive machine. Of course, there are potential gains to be made from upgrades to the wheels and brakes, but those can always come later – what’s harder to find is a frame that balances compliance with a racey, fun-to-ride feel, and the Team Carbon has found harmony between the two beautifully."
See it here.
We hope those models give you at least a starting point for your search. If you're feeling baffled about some of the choices available, check out our road bike buying guide.
(AND if you fancy splashing out a little bit more, here's our selection of best bikes from £1,000 to £2,000.)