Road cycling is one of the best ways to keep fit. It is also important that you have a bike that is fit for the job, which can be difficult when you are shopping to a budget. The preconception is that spending less money means that you get a worse bike. While this is true in some cases, if you shop around it is actually possible to get a quality road bike for less than $1000.
Such bikes are ideal for novices who are just looking to explore the sport without placing any major investment into it, or experienced road bikers who may have run into issues with their existing bikes and need to find a quick replacement so they can continue with their exercise routines while they save up to buy a more expensive option.
But how do you go about finding one of the best road bikes under $1000 available to you? This handy consumer review will take a look at a few of the key features that any road bike needs to possess.
The Key Features Of The Best Road Bikes Under $1000
So now that your search is underway you need to have an understanding of the key features that all road bikes need to have, so you can narrow your search down and find one that will suit your needs.
Your search should naturally be narrowed down to bikes that fall below the $1000 mark already, but once you have that selection of options you should look for all of the following before committing your money to a purchase.
Even though your road bike will not be dealing with the rigors of difficult terrain, it still needs to have durability.
The best road bikes under $1000 tend to be made of aluminum alloy frames, as these offer a surprising amount of strength while also being lightweight. You may find some bikes that are made using steel frames, which are perfectly serviceable but do tend to carry extra weight. Aluminum is a great long lasting material for all types of road conditions.
Speed is of the essence with a road bike, especially if you are training to race competitively. As such, a heavier bike will affect your performance, even if it is only by a couple of seconds.
This means that the best road bikes under $1000 need to be lightweight. Again, this is an advantage that the aluminum alloy material has over steel. Titanium and Carbon Fiber bikes offer similar or better weight advantages, however, it is extremely rare to find bikes made using these materials that fall under the $1000 mark, so aluminum alloy is usually your best bet for a lightweight road bike on a budget.
Road bikes also need to have solid handling, especially as riders need to be concerned about other road traffic, corners and, if racing competitively, other riders as well.
Generally, you will find that the best road bikes under $1000 tend to have steeper headset and seat tube angles. This allows for the handling to be quicker, though predictability is compromised somewhat. This is less of an issue on roads, where the terrain tends to be smooth, so it is an easy compromise to make. This handling set-up also provides the aerodynamic qualities that the bike needs to reach top speeds during rides.
Some would argue that comfort is the main factor when choosing a road bike. The best road bikes under $1000 should be able to withstand the rigors of your rides, while also ensuring that you stay comfortable at all times. Saddles need to be well-positioned and shaped, while the frame and handlebars should also suit your body type, weight and flexibility.
It is crucial that you put in the research so you purchase a road bike that suits your needs. While good cycling gear can help with comfort, a poorly-fitted bike can cause a range of issues, including increased fatigue and muscle injuries.
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
So now that we know the five key factors you need to consider when purchasing a road bike, let’s examine some of the best road bikes under $1000 that are currently available.
5 of the Best Road Bikes Under $1000
There are few road bikes that can compete with the Diamondback brand, which stands as one of the best and most reliable in cycling. The Century is one of the best road bikes under $1000 as it is made primarily using components that you would expect to find on more expensive bikes.
The 7005 aluminum alloy frame features Diamondback’s Enhance Performance Geometry, which ensures riders experience less fatigue. This is particularly useful during endurance races and longer rides, where your times may be affected by tiredness.
The bike also features a Shimano/FSA 2×9-speed drive train, which offers top-notch performance while still allowing the bike to be offered at an affordable price point.
Durability is also a major consideration for the Century, with Diamondback’s Equation wheels ensuring the bike can stand up to the tests it will be placed under. The company’s double walling ensures the wheels have exceptional build quality.
The Phocus highlights itself as one of the best road bikes under $1000 because it combines its aluminum frame with a Carbon Fiber road fork, which dampens road vibrations to the hands and wrists.
The alloy rims used for the wheels also stand out, as they are both strong and lightweight, meaning they can withstand any length of ride while also ensuring the bike maintains higher speeds for longer.
A wide gear range is on display thanks to the SR Suntour alloy crank, whereas the Promax alloy caliper road brakes offer superior braking power. This provides riders with the peace of mind they need to allow them to reach higher speeds without having to worry about how well the bike will stop when needed.
Much like with Schwinn’s Phocus, the Vilano Forza sports an aluminum frame that is combined with a Carbon Fiber fork to allow for superior handling when you are on the road. The frame is strong and lightweight too, ensuring the bike can deal with the stresses of long rides while allowing the cyclist to maintain higher speeds for longer.
The bike also comes with 24 speeds, so it is great for climbing steep hills. Whether it is a downhill spring or an uphill climb, the Vilano Forza has you covered.
Shimano parts have been used to give the bike that extra bit of quality, with the manufacturer supplying both the STI Shifters and the Sora. Better yet, the bike also comes with free pedals, though these can be replaced with your own if you prefer.
All of this makes the Vilano Forza one of the best road bikes under $1000, particularly for club riders and those who are just starting to explore competitive racing.
The Libero is one of the best road bikes under $1000 on the market as it offers an enormous amount at a very low price point. The lightweight aluminum frame is hand-crafted, which ensures it maintains a high degree of quality, while the quick-release alloy rims are strong yet have the flexibility to take on tougher rides.
The Libero also features a 16-speed drive train built by Shimano, making it ideal for those who want to get started with the sport. However, other options in the list offer more complex drive trains, which is something to consider for more experienced riders who want a bike that is as flexible as possible.
The dual water bottle mounts are also a handy feature, ensuring you always have a bit of water at the ready for longer rides. All of this makes the Libero the ideal bike for those who want to use road cycling as a way to improve their cardiovascular conditioning.
Coming it at a similar price point to the Libero, GMC’s Denali actually offers a 21-speed drivetrain, however, it doesn’t have the seal of quality that comes with some of the above-listed bikes. That being said, the bike does feature a Shimano derailleur and Shimano Revo shifts, which makes gear changes as smooth as silk.
The frame is built using lightweight aluminum, which is reinforced by the aluminum calipers, brake levers and Vitesse racing rims. All of this combined mean the bike has the strength needs for rigorous rides.
The bike also comes with high-quality 700c tires, which are long-lasting and ensure less money needs to be spent on sourcing replacements after a number of tough sessions.
Best Road Bikes Under $1000 Review
|PICTURE||ROAD BIKE NAME||PRICE||RATING
|Diamondback Century Road Bike||$$$||4.4|
|Schwinn Phocus 1600 Road Bike||$$||4.3|
|Vilano Forza 3.0 Road Bike||$$||4.1|
|Giordano Libero 1.6 Road Bike||$||4.1|
|GMC Denali Road Bike||$||3.7|