Most of the people looking for a new bike want it to be manufactured by one of the best bike brands. This a very normal wish, all of us want only the best. But what does ‘best’ mean when it comes to bike brands? Is it the one who manufactures the most bikes, or the most expensive ones, or maybe innovates more than others?
See, the key is not to get a bike from the best brand but to pick the best bike for your needs. Competition among bike manufacturers is so fierce nowadays that they have to both innovate and produce a quality product, sold at a reasonable price. Otherwise, they are eaten and thrown out of the market.
Yeah, that’s all clear, but what brand is still the best? Well, here’s an example for you. Toyota manufactures over 10 million cars per year. Ferrari – just over 8 thousand. Which of them is the best? It’s questionable. For people with cash riding in duo – the Italian car would be better. For a mom with four kids – a Ferrari won’t solve any of her problems (well, unless sold).
The same can be applied to bikes. There are boutique Italian manufacturers whose bikes are hand-built for a specific purpose, let’s say time-trial or triathlon, or Tour de France races. Needless to say, they cost more than some cars.
Let’s imagine you’re a beginner and have money for such a bike (lucky you!). Will it make sense to buy one? Just to crack its carbon frame on a first fall?
Or, there are bike manufacturers like Giant, Trek or Specialized who manufacture in millions (just like Toyota). With that said, they still have some ultra-expensive series for professionals. But their mass-market models are time-proven and reliable, with even minor issues fixed a long time ago.
See, the best brand is only a question of perspective. So, manufacturers we decided to include in our list are in alphabetical order to avoid any speculation. However, each one of them is here for a reason, and we try to explain why they are worth checking out.
Claiming the reputation of being the oldest bike brand in the world, Bianchi dates all the way back to 1885 and has boasted an impressive track record since the beginning. Italian design and performance, there rests some similarity between Bianchi and Ferarri.
Now, they offer some exceptional rides with ultimate pedigree and prestige being one of their core values. Definitely more expensive than many other choices around, it’s a fine tradeoff in exchange for guaranteed pedigree and quality.
BMC based in Switzerland is special for their approach to track and competitive cycling. Their machines are all of the highest quality and uncompromising in performance. Swiss perfection and engineering at its finest, BMC bikes are for people who have a desire for some of the best without much thought of cost.
While they carry a wide array of styles and bikes with different purposes, the team at BMC has a large priority invested in road and track bikes. Claiming fame to multiple tournaments and races, you’re guaranteed a machine that is suitable for the best.
A brand with a kind reputation for quality and performance, Cannondale has been around since the ‘70s and has specialty in mountain, road, and activity focused machines while providing other rides for all walks of life.
Their offerings range greatly in price, though with avoidance to lower price brackets as an aversion to a compromise on quality. Definitely, a high-quality manufacturer if you’re looking for a reliable and sturdy bike with a strong reputation behind it!
Putting out products at some of the best prices around without skimping on quality, the German manufacturer is relatively young, only being established at the turn of the millennium. Most of their lineup is focused on road, mountain, and other activity-focused rides.
They offer high-quality and capable bikes at a cost which is better than many as they sell direct-to-customer, though you’ll be out of luck if you hope to test one out at a bike shop. Canyon is particularly attractive for those who know what they want and are craving a good value.
A Canadian bike brand which popped into the scene in 1995, Cervelo is no slouch when it comes to high-end machines with raw performance and perfection at its forefront. A household name in the competitive cycling community, you can expect nothing but the best.
Specializing in rides which are suited for triathletes, Olympians, and others who take the sport of cycling seriously, you’ll be hard-pressed to find any Cervelo bike which isn’t fit for the best. With that in mind, they don’t have any offerings under $2,400.
A brand born from the ever-popular REI brand, the Co-op Cycles badge offers some surprisingly good bikes at impressive rates. Designed for the adventurers and those on a budget, it’s a great place to look if you’re wanting a capable machine without the extra baggage.
A popular pick for entry and mid-range bikes, Co-op Cycles also carries a nice reputation and good track record as a result. While you may not get the prestige associated with other brands, you get terrific value and a solid bike.
Another Italian manufacturer with a Ferarri-like reputation and image, Colnago has been around since the 1950s and has deep focus in the competitive cycling and road bike scene. Ask any cycling connoisseur about Colnago and they’d be first to tell you about what quality really is.
Pioneers in many modern technologies and the first to implement carbon fiber frames, they have a strong heritage and equally powerful reputation in modern times. Some of the best bikes around if price is not a factor.
An ever popular brand more commonly found in Europe, Cube incorporates the German philosophies of price and performance very well. Famous for their specialty in the MTB scene, Cube also makes plenty of hybrid, trekking, road, casual, and budget bikes.
With a wide range of offerings and some solid budget picks, Cube is a great balance between value and function without sacrificing on any key aspects. Reliable, robust, and reasonably priced, you can’t go wrong with any of their modern offerings.
While Diamondback may have an unfavorable reputation as many of their rides can be found at big outlets like Wal-Mart or Target, there’s no faulting the success and quality of some of their more serious options.
Now, they lay claim to some of the best and most capable machines on the planet, offering products for triathletes, downhill racers, beginners and children. There’s something out there for everyone and it makes sense as to why they’re one of the biggest bike brands around.
A smaller yet well-accomplished creator, since 1991 Felt has their interests focused on high-end performance bikes and stylish cruisers with a mission to top the podiums with their pro-level creations.
Though their priority isn’t focused on building budget bikes or catering to a wider audience, they do have a good selection of entry and mid-range rides for enthusiasts and those who want something better than average.
Born and raised in Japan and paying homage to Mt. Fuji, the history of Fuji bikes dates all the way back to 1899 and they’ve been at the forefront of innovation and quality from the get-go. They carry a wide selection of styles from casual cruisers to race-ready machines geared mostly towards the entry and mid-range crowd.
Many people have familiarity with the brand offering high-quality rides for humble prices. Chances are that you’ve seen the Fuji badge around before, and there’s a good reason for that.
An iconic name found in households and garages everywhere, Taiwanese-based Giant is undoubtedly one of the biggest bike brands in the world. Amateur or pro, they have excellent rides at reasonable prices.
With the widest selection of bikes out there, you’re sure to get something good, no matter the budget. Particularly for entry-level and mid-range, Giant has something for everyone and it’s hard to argue that the quality is there!
A common household name found everywhere, GT bikes has been a staple in American households since 1972. Carrying a wide array of rides, their lineup is mostly geared towards entry-level and mid-range machines.
While they do carry some high tier units, the majority of their lineup is focused towards beginners and newcomers. Don’t be fooled though, they certainly carry some very high-quality bikes with an impressive track record to accompany it.
After launching their first bike in 1979 and playing part in popularizing beach cruisers, Jamis now carries a range of exceptionally capable adrenaline machines as well as casual commuters at a comfortable cost.
A great reputation, quality customer service, and friendly attitude is what separates Jamis from the rest. Low costs without sacrificing on what’s really important, you get terrific value for what you pay and a solid name to back it up.
One of the pioneers in the professional cycling scene by bringing carbon frames to light, Kestrel has had their gears set towards development of high-end road, triathlon, and mountain bikes since 1983.
Representing excellent performance at reasonable prices, Kestrel bikes are an excellent value for the professionals and serious cyclists out there who need a competent machine without breaking the bank.
Initially focused entirely on mountain bikes back in 1983, Kona stays true to their roots and maintains a strong focus on off-road and adventure-ready machines while also selling road and e-bikes.
A terrific reputation and adored by many MTB enthusiasts, Kona puts out solid bikes that can stand the test of time and perform among the best in the industry. Not too big, not too small, Kona is an example of what a nice group of dedicated and passionate cyclists can do.
Appreciated for their virtues of quality and value, Marin has their roots set in the Californian MTB scene since 1986 and emphasizes their motto of ‘Made for Fun’. Quality, value, and function in one, they’re an excellent example of what a humble upbringing can do.
Known for their exceptional mountain bikes, they’ve also branched off into the gravel, road, and e-bike world with some great designs with a comfortable price tag. Competitive pricing, solid bikes, and a solid reputation, they’re a good brand to consider on your bike hunt.
Focused more on budget and bikes for children, Mongoose is a common brand found in big box stores rather than dedicated cycling shops. Offering mostly mountain, BMX, and even scooters, they’re geared towards a younger crowd.
Their real quality stuff is found in dedicated bike shops and not department stores, and are more than fine in quality. Brand image aside, you can definitely find some quality Mongoose bikes out there that are capable of anything you can throw at it.
Specializing specifically in folding bicycles, Montague has been constantly pushing the envelope of innovation and technology by delivering full-sized folding bikes meant to stand toe-and-toe with their equivalent non-folding competition.
These rides are very well designed and priced comfortably so you won’t break the bank on a unique yet functional bike. The comfort and capability of your regular bike with the versatility of one that packs into half the size, Montague is a great option if you want a folding bike without being nerfed by the half-sized wheels.
A new kid on the block, Niner started just in 2005 however has been pushing the field of innovation for mountain bikes since. Aimed primarily at passionate enthusiasts, their lineup primarily consists of mid to high-end gravel and mountain bikes.
Offering great value and terrific performance, Niner bikes are excellent for those wanting a fully capable and high-quality machine without an inflated price tag. For those who will really bring their gear to the limits of performance, we definitely recommend looking into this lineup!
Legendary and highly regarded in the cycling scene, Orbea started in Spain and started making bikes back in 1930 and continues to this day. Vesting their interests in producing high-end triathlon, road, mountain, and e-bikes among others, you’ll struggle to find a brand with more prestige out there.
For those who are looking for some highly capable and incredibly well-built bikes with an attractive aesthetic flair, then you might have found your pick. Orbea doesn’t produce much in the way of budget bikes, however, they do have a couple more which are in reach for more of us.
Hailing from Italy and started back in the 1950s, Pinarello has earned high acclaim for their excellent road, triathlon, and time trial bikes. The brand is aimed at professionals and others who take the sport of cycling seriously and is a well-regarded name in the scene.
Embracing attractive design philosophies in true Italian fashion, Pinarello makes some of the most prestigious and premium-priced rides on the market today. If you’re a hardcore enthusiast who wants a machine capable of excellence, you’d be well suited by one of these rides.
A small company with big dreams, Priority Bicycles is wholly dedicated to developing high-quality e-bikes, casual cruisers, and commuters focused on comfort and quality above all else. Founded only in 2014, they’ve achieved good success for the quality rides they’ve released.
If you need a city cruiser that will get you there in comfort and class, then you’d be well suited by something by Priority Bicycles. Sure, you won’t be winning any races, but that’s likely not important when you’re coasting down the street to the park.
One of the longest standing bike brands around, Raleigh has been around since the 1880s and has been a strong force in the market ever since. Offering a wide array of lifestyle, casual, and value-oriented rides, they’re well-deserving of the reputation they’ve earned.
There’s something out there for everyone and whether you’re a roadie, casual commuter, or searching for something with extra style points, you can rest assured knowing that you’re getting a great value and solid build with the money spent.
Being around since the 1990s, Salsa Cycles have been a perfect example of quality and value fused together. Primarily focusing on mountain, gravel, and road bikes, they occupy the mid-range price brackets offering great values and solid gear for the cost.
A common name among enthusiasts, Salsa has developed a healthy reputation among the community for quality, reasonably priced bikes for those who want a machine capable of the best without the cost associated with it.
An iconic name for many, Santa Cruz bikes came into conception since 1994 and have been putting out high-quality rides since. Directing focus entirely on development of mountain and gravel bikes, they’re at the forefront of innovation and set the standard for other observing companies.
Refusing to put out anything sub-standard, you’ll be hard-pressed to find anything by Santa Cruz under $1,000. Quality, reliability, and performance in mind, they’re bikes at a reasonable cost (for what they offer) with a deserving reputation behind them.
While they’ve lost their position as a world leader, Schwinn still puts out a versatile array of quality products worthy of regard. Aimed towards a more casual group however offering some quality items still, they’re particularly known for their comfortable cruisers and commuters.
We would recommend against their lesser-quality bikes found in department stores for cheap and rather opt for a better pick. Value-oriented and fine for a bike to get you from point A to point B in fashion, we would recommend a Schwinn only found in dedicated bike shops or online, rather than big-box stores.
Though they make a ton of non-cycling related gear, Scott also has a lineup of solid bikes all across the spectrum. Good value and a good build, you can get tremendous value from their MTB and road bikes or enjoy a quality casual cruiser.
For serious cyclists out there, their high and mid-range selections are both well regarded and well-priced. You get a great piece of kit for the cash spent and while Scott bikes don’t have a prestigious reputation, they work just fine.
Focused entirely on building cool cruisers and functional fashion statements, Sixthreezero splits off from the norm and puts all their interest in releasing the best beach cruisers possible. Offering e-bikes alongside their typical lineup of cruisers, they blend modern engineering with admirable aesthetics.
With bikes in all price brackets but mostly aimed towards the budget crowd, they’re a good option if you want a comfortable grocery-getter or simply a relaxed bike which is a creative extension of your personality and lifestyle.
A common and highly-renowned manufacturer, Specialized directs most of their interest in mid-high range MTBs, road bikes, e-bikes, and other active lifestyle offerings. Active since 1974, Specialized has become an iconic figure across the entire cycling scene.
You’re guaranteed a capable and competent bike that features some of the leading tech and innovation around. There is a price to pay for that, however, it’s certainly worth it for the quality received.
Garnishing a cult-like following, Surly is a perfect example of adhering to the “If it ain’t broke, don’t fix it” formula. Priorities set on developing bomb-proof touring and active bikes, most of their lineup consists of touring, road, mountain, and adventure-ready rides.
Admired for their dedication towards simplicity and versatility, a Surly bike is a machine you can throw endless modifications and customization at. Life-proof and capable of most anything, they’re a great pick if you want one bike that can do it all.
Built by enthusiasts, for enthusiasts, Tommaso dedicates their work towards producing premium bikes without the premium price tag. Offering a healthy array of road, mountain, and activity-focused rides, you get excellent bang for buck and a company that cares.
While they don’t offer much in terms of high-end and prestige, you get a humble ride which is both well-crafted and can outperform others in the same price bracket. For riders who take things seriously but don’t want to shell out the big ones, Tommaso is one to highly consider.
One of the most recognizable names in the cycling scene, Trek has been renowned for their high-end and fully capable bikes since 1973. Offering rides in almost every category, you can easily find anything from downhill mountain bikes to cruisers, and from cyclocross to commuters. Quality guaranteed, they put out a solid product indeed.
Not exactly value-oriented though still offering great value, Trek bikes have become a staple around the world and for good reason. You’d have a hard time finding anyone with a bad experience riding any of these.