Are you looking to take up the thrilling and invigorating sport of road cycling? You will want to choose one of the best entry level road bikes for your specific body type, environment and skill level.
This article will not only explore the most important factors to consider before making this important acquisition, but will also highlight some of the finest best entry level road bikes on the market today. Let’s begin with a few questions any aspiring road cyclist should ask themselves before choosing the best bike.
Geometry: Dedicated Road Racing Frame or Sportive Designs?
The first consideration has to do with the geometry of the bikes. Do you need a bike built for high-performance or a sportive bike that has a little more relaxed geometry and better for comfort?
The road racer that is regularly committing to long distance training and competitive events will prefer the aggressive geometries of road bikes with a lower front and longer reach. This maximizes pedaling power and provides increased energy efficiency. New riders and those with joint issues may find this extremely exhausting and even quite uncomfortable.
Some road bikes offer a more “sportive” geometry that allows the rider to ride their bike in a more upright position. Look for longer head tubes and shorter top tubes that allow the rider to sit straighter in the saddle. This is not the most aerodynamically efficient position but it sure is more comfortable.
Materials: Frame and Fork
The materials of your frame and fork will affect your experience on the road considerably. The best entry level road bikes often feature an aluminum frame and a carbon fiber fork. Aluminum is lightweight and also very strong. It is also much stiffer than carbon fiber and doesn’t reduce road vibration as well.
Having compliant carbon fiber forks reduces vibration which will save your hands and wrists a lot of agony; it also adds to the agility and mobility of the bike. Bikes made completely of carbon are lighter and more energy. Unfortunately, carbon fiber is much more expensive than aluminum and a complete carbon bike is perhaps an unnecessary expense to incur unless you are really serious about cycling.
Check out more on Carbon Fiber vs. Aluminum.
Braking System: Caliper or Disc Brake?
There are advantages and setbacks to both options and the selection should be left to the skill levels and personal riding style of the user. There is no “better” option, it’s just a matter of what suits your taste the best.
Disc Brakes — Clamps hard on a disc firmly attached to the spinning wheel, this action provides the stopping power. The biggest advantages of disc brakes are more stopping power and they maintain optimal braking power whether it’s wet or dry. The disadvantages of disc brakes are they are more difficult and expensive to maintain and add more weight to the bike.
Caliper Brakes — The type of brake that works by pinching down on the rim tends to lose some functionality when wet or grimy. This is offset by one big advantage; caliper brakes are far easier to maintain and can be used with just about any wheel type.
The single most important consideration when purchasing any bike is frame size. Riding a bike that fits you well is not just more comfortable, but also more energy efficient, allowing you to ride further and faster. Take the time to consider the right size for you. Here are some approximates:
52 cm = 5’2″ – 5’5″
54 cm = 5’5″ – 5’8”
56 cm = 5’9″ – 6′
58 cm = 6′ – 6’2
60 cm = 6’2” – 6’5
5 of the Best Entry Level Road Bikes
Not every jaunt on the road has to be performed at break neck speed. The best entry level road bikes will offer a bit of long distance comfort with an upright positioning rather than the full-tilt of an aggressive racing machine. For those riders interested in the efficiency and design of a high-performance race bike, but are not ready for the aggression of a nose-to-handlebar position, the Century 2 by Diamondback was made for you.
The 7005 aluminum frame features an Enhanced Performance Geometry that is made for comfort and power. A DBR AAMP disc Carbon Road Fork is compliant enough to reduce the road vibration felt through the handlebars and this protects one very important contact point, the wrists.
Diamondbacks Century 2 is also equipped with top-quality Shimano hydraulic disc brakes for optimal safety in all weather conditions. Shimano components are renowned for their durability and longevity; these won’t be a maintenance headache.
Superior comfort is coupled with high-performance features making the Diamondback Century a premiere choice in the best entry level road bikes.
Cyclists looking for an ideal entry level drop bar road bike for regular visits to the serious bike path or simply a better form of exercise will find all they need in the Schwinn Phocus. Top-quality design and formidable construction make this lightweight wonder your best reason for hitting the road with enthusiasm.
Agile comfortable riding is offered by aluminum Schwinn Frame and accompanying carbon fork. Carbon forks are essential for reducing the shocks and bumps felt through the handlebars without adding extra weight. Light weight rims feature paired spokes for increased energy-efficiency.
This bike has a convenient set of clips and straps that allow the rider to apply power on their upstroke as well as down stroke, this increases pedaling power and provides great practice for the more advanced clipless designs used by top professionals.
Improved safety that even rookie roadies can maintain is another plus. A formidable Promax alloy caliper braking system brings your ride to a full halt exactly where you need it. The front wheel and seat post feature a quick release for easy adjustments.
All in all, this bike is best for those entry level roadies who plan on pushing their limits. Those who are looking for a great way to get in shape will be presented with some high-performance features that contribute to their goals.
Road riding has often been associated with long hours in a hunched position that, while maximizing power can be unforgiving on the back and joints. This has all changed thanks to the versatile and high-tech Kestrel Talon Road Bike design that has been aerodynamically perfected in an A2 wind tunnel.
The entire frame and fork are crafted from Kestrel’s own Enhanced Modulus Hybrid, which contains 700k and 800k carbon fiber. This increases the compliance of the bike in terms of shock and vibration, more comfort means more energy efficiency. This raises the concern of durability and lateral stiffness which are addressed by Kestrel’s H-stay innovative asymmetrical design on the frame tubes and seat post. This design also dampens road vibration.
The Kestrel Talon is one of the best entry level road bikes a rookie roadie could hope for due to its great versatility and value. The unique seat post shape and design allow for more aggressive positioning suitable for triathlons but also allow for relaxed positioning perfect for regular training.
The Giordano Libero is a more cost effective option for the rookie roadie and. as might be expected, lack some of the top-of-the-line performance enhancing features found on other options. But don’t sell it short. The Giordano is also lightweight and fast and features all you would need in a Sportive road bike for a wide range of training intensities.
Designed from the glory of Italy’s superb cycling heritage the Giordano is designed to provide the most rewarding experience for cycling enthusiasts of all skill levels. A lightweight 6061 aluminum alloy frame is strong and durable, but lacks some of the vibration dampening qualities found in performance materials.
With a weight range on 26 to 27 pounds this is a great option for the weekend warrior and fitness enthusiast looking to build some serious cycling skills on an easy to maintain and durable road bike. A top-quality 16-speed Shimano STI drivetrain is activated with crisp precision from Claris STI shifters. This makes long distances and grueling climbs more manageable and riding more enjoyable.
Alloy caliper brakes add to the low-maintenance characteristics that make the best entry level road bikes so enjoyable. A dual water mount system ensures the rider will be hydrated even on longer rides. Professional assembly is recommended by the manufacturers. Be sure you have the tools and experience to do this job for riding safely, or find a professional who understands fine tuning a road bike to do this for you.
While the most dedicated road racer will find this option lacking in performance, those entry level road cyclists will hardly notice the difference. For relaxed road cycling for beginner to intermediate skill levels the Giordano Libero is an ideal choice.
In a world gone crazy with carbon bikes and frames it is very impressive to see how much can be done with aluminum. Ridley not only embraces the use of aluminum in their racing bikes but do one better with their insightful Nimonic Alloy 105. This is aluminum reinforced with titanium and steel for maximum durability and compliance on the road.
This one of a kind frame is equipped with a vibration reducing carbon fork for increased riding comfort that can convert into greater efficiency on the road. The 11-speed Shimano gear set provides easy shifting and maximum pedaling power when facing tough climbs and long distances.
Finally, saddles, grips, handlebars and seat post are all supplied by 4ZA, a reputable manufacturer of quality bike components. For an entry level road bike that will provide a lifetime of reliable service and long distance adventure, try a Ridley Fenix. You won’t be disappointed as it’s one of the best entry level road bikes.
|PICTURE||NAME ENTRY LEVEL ROAD BIKE||PRICE||RATING (1-5)|
|Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Century 2 Ready Ride Road Bike||$$$||4.8|
|Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men's Road Bike||$||4.4|
|Kestrel Talon Road Shimano 105 Bicycle||$$$||4.3|
|Giordano Libero 1.6 Road Bike||$||4.1|
|Ridley Fenix Alloy 105 Bicycle||$$||4|