A great trend I noticed at Interbike was the quantity and quality of entry-level road bikes for 2015. The $1500-$2000 price range is getting spicy with solid, capable frames hung with entry-level components. The resulting package is still going to ride well and feel snappier than comparable aluminum frames, but at a more palatable price than ever before.
Granted, the wheelsets will be heavy and there’s a mixture of Shimano Sora and/or Tiagra components, but the bottom line is it will get more entry-level riders into a fantastic frameset and a better riding experience.
2105 BMC Teammachine SLR03
Tops on the list of affordable bikes is the BMC SLR03. Built from the same molds as the top-end SLR01, but using less expensive carbon fiber, this entry-level model still boasts everything that makes a BMC special, but at a fantastic price. The drivetrains will feature compact chainrings and dinner-plate cassettes (11-32t) to make climbs feel like second-nature. Expect a wide range of sizing (47, 51, 54, 57 and 60 cm) to fit small and large riders in three affordable flavors: Sora for $1699, Tiagra for $1999 and 105 for $2299.
2015 Garneau Gennix E1 Sport
Garneau is coming into the North American market in a big way with a solid bike program. Their Gennix E-series carbon frames are built using their comfort concept, but with a nod to performance with both wind-cheating profiles and stiffness to eke out every last watt. It gets a long wheelbase for added stability at speed. The Shimano Tiagra-equipped Gennix E1 Sport is set to be $1799 at retail while the E1 Elite Di2 (below) will be $3699.
2015 Felt Z5
This is quite possibly the best deal of the bunch. This ultra-compliant Z-series frame gets hung with a Shimano 105 11-speed drivetrain. It also arrives with house-brand wheels that are tubeless-ready (a nice touch). The frameset utilizes UHC Performance MMC carbon, which still performs at a high level, while lowering overall costs. A carbon fiber seatpost rounds out this respectable package. All this is available for $1899 at retail.