Cannondale CAAD10 5 105

FOR YOUR FIRST "REAL" BIKE

This is the best deal in road biking, and proof that high performance isn't necessarily synonymous with carbon fiber. The aluminum Cannondale CAAD10 has been tweaked and refined to perfection, with features normally found on bikes costing hundreds more. That savings leaves room for high-end parts, like a full carbon-fiber fork. It lacks the longer-lasting drivetrains of pricier bikes, but it's fast, stiff, and as forgiving as all but the best carbon-fiber frame. [$1,670; cannondale.com]