When looking to buy your first road bike, you are sure to see a huge contrast in prices. Road bikes range anywhere from $200 to over $10,000. But is it necessary to shell out a ton of cash if you just want to enjoy a ride? At Cheap Road Bikes we don’t think so! This is why we have put together this review of the best road bikes under $500. Perhaps you won’t catch up with Contador, Quintana or Froome on one of these, but you will have a reliable bike.
If your cycling dreams do not include racing, any one of the following road bikes under $500 is an ideal option for you. These economic options also serve as formidable commuter bikes, an inspiring form of regular exercise, and as an essential ingredient for recreational weekend activities.
Following are some of the most important considerations when shopping for the best road bikes under $500.
The Cost-Effective Option – Cheap Bikes
Today, a road bike is specially designed to match the physique, riding tendencies and terrain specific to the cyclist and event. Innovative designs and top-quality features make these bikes very expensive.
Spending such high amounts of cash on a road-bike, especially for an entry level cyclist, is a big gamble! What if you don’t even enjoy road biking?
A hardcore avid road cyclist would most likely prefer the high-performance features of a bike costing over $1,000. For everyone else, any one of these cheap options is ideal. Try it out with an inexpensive option first, then decide if you want to upgrade.
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. The right size is not just about raising or dropping the saddle height. 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
You can’t expect these fairly-priced bikes to feature all the cutting-edge features and components of an expensive bike. But consider the standard issue rims, pedals, handlebar grips, saddle and even the wheels and tires as placeholders. You can always upgrade these parts later!
5 of the Best Road Bikes Under $500 Review
The Schwinn Phocus has everything you’d look for in a top quality road bike at a fraction of the price. The lightweight aluminum frame features a carbon fiber fork to decrease road vibrations transferring to your hands. High-profile 700x23cm rims feature paired spokes that are also lighter and stronger than standard stock wheel options. A quick-release clamp makes the front wheel removable in an instant.
The Phocus by Schwinn features a Shimano 16-speed derailleur and integrated shifters. Smooth and precise shifting increases energy efficiency and makes even the steepest climbs attainable. For precision stopping power, Promax caliper-style alloy brakes provide increased safety.
The saddle comes in a simple design for lightweight road riding, but it can be easily removed for a more comfortable variety, should you use this bike for commuting or simple recreational fun. The standard platform pedals feature toe straps for maximum pedaling efficiency.
This is the best all around cheap road bike on the market and has been for several years.
The Diamondback Century Sport provides all the features a road cyclist needs to start their training. A specially designed lightweight aluminum frame features an Advanced Geometric design that allows for increased comfort and less fatigue after a long hard ride.
A great performance fork and Cro-Mo steel handlebars significantly reduce the shocks and road vibration that can be felt through the hands and wrists, one of the three most important contact points.
This entry level road bike is very comfortable with a relaxed geometry, but still aggressive enough if you want to push the envelope around corners.
The Diamondback is worth its budget-friendly price, providing durability and high-performance to any road cycling enthusiast.
To counteract the stiffness of a top-quality, lightweight aluminum frame, the Vilano R2 Commuter Road Bike features a cushiony urban comfort saddle for decreased road shock while navigating the uncertain asphalt jungle. A 21-speed Shimano gear system provides precision shifting from a convenient “thumb-style” A050 shifter. Precision braking power is provided by top quality caliper-style alloy brakes for improved safety in all types of traffic and terrain.
As a commuter road bike, the Vilano R2 excels expectations regarding comfort, convenience, and high-performance. Along with a shock absorbing urban comfort seat to protect the sit bones, a solid steel handlebar system can effectively reduce the vibration, and road bumps felt in the hands and wrists.
One downside is the very limited amount of space on the handlebars, making the attachment of bike phone mounts difficult — a good thing to keep in mind.
All in all, the Vilano R2 is the ideal choice for commuters going long distances, helping them mitigate the cost of transportation and gas prices. This is also one of the best road bikes under $500 for an avid road biker who can appreciate the increased comfort of the urban bike saddle and the specs featured in the Vilano R2.
Street racers will adore the cost-effective yet high-performance specs of the GMC Denali Road Bike. A 21-speed racer wrapped around a lightweight aluminum frame provides the optimal ride for a dedicated road cyclist.
The 21-speed gear system features Shimano’s convenient Revo gear shift providing responsive shifting with the flick of a wrist and no need to take your eyes off the road. Alloy caliper braking system allows this speedster to stop on a dime every time, which is ideal for avoiding accidents in unpredictable urban traffic.
This is without a doubt a leading choice for best road bikes under $500; it has the lightweight design and high-performance gear shift system that provides optimal energy-efficiency when heading out for a 50-mile training exercise. It even features a handy water bottle cage, reminding you to stay hydrated on those long rides.
The Giordano Libero Road Bike provides gender-specific geometry to match the physique of its riders better. This provides an improved fit; women tend to have longer legs and shorter arms than a male rider, and the Giordano cockpit is designed with this in mind.
The 14-speed System is equipped with impressive Shimano craftsmanship. An STI drivetrain and Shimano derailleur provide a crisp and precise shifting action for energy-efficiency on steep climbs and long rides. Compact Aluminum cranks also increase power on steep climbs, making this an ideal choice for the energy conscious road cyclist.
In addition to a women’s geometric frame, the saddle of the Giordano Venus Acciao has also been designed to match the female physique and provides superior cushioning to protect the sit bones and soft tissue. For greater comfort, a high-tensile steel bike frame to reduce road vibration and shocks.
By far the most commuter specific of our best road bikes under $500, the Giordano Libero/ Venus Acciao provides superb control and comfort and precision gear shifting for time-pressed commuters navigating congested traffic. The gender-specific design offers many benefits that will only be noticed after extended use.
Best Road Bikes Under $500 Review
|PICTURE||NAME ROAD BIKE||PRICE||RATING (1-5)|
|Schwinn Phocus Road Bike||$$$||4.6|
|Diamondback Century Sport Complete Road Bike||$$$||4.6|
|Vilano R2 Commuter Road Bike||$||4.3|
|GMC Denali Road Bike||$||4.1|
|Giordano Libero/ Venus Acciao Road Bike||$$||4|