10 Great Road Bikes Under $500: Best Affordable Options for Cycling Enthusiasts! (Winter 2022)

We explore the best road bikes available under a $500 budget and how to pick the ideal bike for you.
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Last updatedLast updated: September 20, 2022
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A poor-quality road bike, or one that isn’t suitable for the conditions can be constantly breaking down for you.

If you’re going to spend a lot of time riding your bike, so it is worth spending a bit of time working out which is the ideal choice for you. Fortunately, it is possible to find several quite reliable, low-budget bikes on the market today. We have found and explored the best road bikes under $500 in this guide.

We’ve explored various features including reliability, build quality, gears, pedals, the weight of the bike and how portable it is. We make it easy to take the right pick and get a road bike or even a hybrid bike (suitable for road and trail) that is ideal for your own needs.

Top 10 Road Bikes Under $500 Review 2022

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Editor’s Choice

Vilano Diverse 3.0

Features
  • Frame material: aluminum
  • Speeds: 24
  • Frame size: 53 cm
  • Wheel size: 700C
  • Weight: 41 lbs.

Other features: hybrid road bike, rigid suspension, upright handlebar, variable height seatpost, disc brakes

This hybrid bike does a fantastic job on the road, but it can also be a fantastic option for some trails. The Vilano Diverse 3.0 doesn’t break the bank, but it has a relatively lightweight design and a lot of flexibility for users.

There isn’t too much of a difference from the previous incarnation, the Diverse 2.0. This bike has replaced the V-pull brake design and upgraded them to more efficient and effective discs.

What are its best features?

  • We love the fact that this bike is a complete package and it is ready to go. If you haven’t owned a bike for years but find that you need a road bike, this can do the ideal job on a budget. It has a variable height and the suspension as well as high number of gears means that you can ride it in so many different scenarios. it doesn’t just have to be a road bike if you want it to do a little more than that.

What could be improved?

  • There’s a little bit of construction needed. If you aren’t too comfortable with this then it can be intimidating to complete the build and get the bike up and running. Though the pedals are included,which is a bonus and not something every road bike can offer.
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2
Best Entry-Level Road Bike under $500

Trinx TEMPO1.0

Features
  • Frame material: aluminum
  • Speeds: 21
  • Frame size: 56 cm
  • Wheel size: 700C
  • Weight: 24.6 lbs.

Other features: Shimano shifter lever, rear and front suspension, colorful tires, alloy double wall rim, Winzip alloy brakes, KMC C50 chain

Those looking for the best entry level road bikes under 500 will usually consider a model such as this. It has a smart and eye-catching design and the Shimano parts make it  reliable bike for the road.

This is a 56 cm bike with suspension and it weighs under 25 lbs on the road, meaning it is convenient for transport, too. The bike itself has a lot to like, and it is the first iteration of the product so it isn’t an upgrade on any previous bikes. It is popular for those who need something light enough to take on the train, for instance.

What makes it stand out?

  • We liked the fact that this has such excellent parts in spite of being so light. There’s an alloy double wall rim, and an alloy brake system. The Shimano design incorporates suspension for a smooth ride, and the 21 speeds allow you to deal with any inclines easily enough. It has a low and sporty handlebar design. While not for everyone, it does provide a dynamic look.

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • The brake system has come in for some criticism, but we found that it was fine for the majority of road uses. There’s simple assembly but the instructions really don’t help a great deal with that. If you’ve never put a bike together before it can be tough. Luckily, you can go on YouTube and find some brilliant examples and tutorials to get you started on the road.
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Best Single-Speed Road Bike under $500

6KU Urban Track Bike

Features
  • Frame material: aluminum
  • Speeds: 1
  • Frame size: 52, 55, 58 cm
  • Wheel size: 700C
  • Weight: 23 lbs.

Other features: rear and front suspension, caliper brake, flip-flop hub, riser handlebar

This bike is a great single-speed option which comes in three different frame sizes. 52, 55, and 58 cm are all available.

Some users find that there aren’t many good options available for smaller riders. If you want something that can suit a 5’2” cyclist then this could be ideal. The 52 cm frame model is exceptionally lightweight and the simple design might be exactly what you are looking for.

Why are we impressed?

  • We really like the fact that this bike is so flexible, with its three different sizes and the riser handlebar allowing for different heights. You can match up to your ideal needs. There are two simple designs, you can buy this in black or in white, and it is an ideal solution for the urban commuter. If you need to take it on the train or leave it somewhere at work then this isn’t a problem for most.

What negatives must you be aware of?

  • This is a “fixed gear” bike meaning it has only one setting. This is fine for urban riding across similar levels but if you face any sort of hills or inclines then it can be very difficult to ride. We’re not big fans of the seat that comes with the bike, and it isn’t the most comfortable. However, this can be easily replaced if you find it isn’t to your liking.
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4
Best Women's Road Bike Under $500

Eurobike 21-Speed Road Bike

Features
  • Frame material: high-carbon steel
  • Speeds: 21
  • Frame size: 54 cm
  • Wheel size: 700C
  • Weight: 30.8 lbs.

Other features: shimano, rigid suspension, curved handlebars

We know, if you’re looking for the ​​best road bike under 500 for women then there will be plenty of cheap options, but the Eurobike 21-Speed Road Bike is even more affordable than most.

This is a good bike for anyone who wants to save some money but still enjoy lots of the features that top road bikes enjoy, including 21 speeds for riding at different inclines, and let’s face it, a very cool design. If you are looking for something to customize, the brand also lets you alter the preferences including handlebars.

What are its best features?

  • We’re a big fan of the carbon-based build of this road bike. It’s fantastic for those who want something that can be sturdy without weighing too much. We also love the fact that there is the option to buy in different sizes and customize, getting the exact bike specs that you want (or at least something close). The price is also a big selling point for anyone in the market for a cheap beginner road bike under $500.

What could be improved?

  • In a word, it’s the suspension. We know that not every road bike has to have suspension to be suitable for use, but when we ride this bike it feels like the rigid suspension is something that could be improved. Even if you go on a road surface that isn’t totally smooth, you certainly feel it on this bike. The seat is also cheap and basic, something many people have come to expect at this price range.
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5
Best Men's Road Bike under $500

Merax Finiss

Features
  • Frame material: aluminum
  • Speeds: 21
  • Frame size: 52 cm
  • Wheel size: 700C
  • Weight: 40 lbs.

Other features: comfortable hand grips, Shimano derailleur, caliper brakes, 330-lb weight capacity

This bike by Merax Finiss is a little heavier than some of the other options on the list, but that doesn’t mean it should necessarily be ignored as it still has some good features, including the quick-release wheels.

This is great for heavier riders as it can support people who weigh up to 330 lbs riding the bike. While the manufacturers recommend that you’ll get the longest life out of the bike if you are 220 lbs or below, it is great for larger riders to have an option.

What are our favorite features?

  • We really rate the quick-release wheels which make life a lot more convenient. If you need to, you can pop off the wheels to fit this bike in the trunk of your car, for example. Plus, if you need maintenance to be carried out you might not need the same level of tools and to take quite as long on your wheels. This aspect of the design is also really simple, and it’s easy to detach and reattach the wheels.

What could be better?

  • While we wouldn’t say that the construction itself was particularly difficult, there are some very specific instructions and it is easy to get something wrong. Newbies should definitely get the construction done by a pro. Also, we don’t really like the heavier weight if you can get away with lighter. It makes it a little bit less of a smooth ride and harder to take from one place to another if you’re not the strongest and you need to carry your bike.
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6
Best Road Bike under $500 for Commuters

Hiland 21-Speed Road Bike

Features
  • Frame material: aluminum
  • Speeds: 21
  • Frame size: 49, 57 cm
  • Wheel size: 700C
  • Weight: not specified

Other features: Shimano shifters and derailleur, KMC Z7 chain, Presta valve 48 mm

This is an affordable road bike under $500, and it has three different frame sizes ranging from 49 cm to 57 cm, you can choose the ideal model for you.

This is good for people who want a relatively bulky bike, and the bigger size is lightweight (although the weight is not specified) and the ride is really smooth. Shimano shifters and a quality KMC Z7 chain makes this bike a good option if you’re happy with an aluminum frame.

What are its best features?

  • This comes 85% constructed and though some of the construction you have to do is a little bit tricky, those who have any experience at all should be able to get it fully-built and ready to go in just a couple of hours. It’s also very sturdy and simple in its design, with a smooth yet no-frills ride supported by quality Shimano gear shifters offering 21 different gears.

What could be improved?

  • There are a couple of aspects of the construction that are less than ideal. The tires aren’t the best quality out of any we’ve seen, and we didn’t find it particularly easy to calibrate the brakes either. This is an affordable bike, but feels a little bit more budget than some of the competing models on our list. It’s quite a basic model, but does a sturdy job on the road.
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7
Best Beginner Road Bike

Vilano R2 Commuter Road Bike

Features
  • Frame material: aluminum
  • Speeds: 21
  • Frame size: 50, 54, 58 cm
  • Wheel size: 700C
  • Weight: 27 lbs.

Other features: rear and front suspension, A050 thumb shifters, doubled walled CNC machined wheelset with quick release skewers

This aluminum bike is lightweight and convenient for commuters and urban travel. It’s one of multiple Vilano models that have made it to our list, and you know you’re getting a reliable bike when you purchase one of the best road bikes from this brand.

This is a great model for beginners as the construction is relatively straightforward, it’s light in weight, and you can match up one of the three frame sizes to allow you to get the perfect size and shape for your riding needs, and comfortably reach those sporty handlebars. Some bikes have that beginner feel and this would be one of the best to get started with.

Why are we impressed?

  • We particularly like how well-made this is, for a price tag that won’t make your eyes water. The parts include an excellent double-walled wheelset with a quick release skewer in case you need to remove or do some maintenance. There are also easy thumb shifters and the added benefit of a little bit of suspension on the wheels. This makes it a little bit more smooth on even tougher surfaces.

What negatives must you be aware of?

  • In an ideal world, the tires would be a little bit better in terms of their quality. They’re a good size for road cycling, but we would recommend upgrading them if the budget allows. That said, many beginners don’t have a frame of reference on this and find that this bike is more than acceptable, with quality braking and a smart lightweight aluminum design.
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8
Best 14-Speed Road Bike

Outroad 14-Speed Road Bike

Features
  • Frame material: aluminum
  • Speeds: 14
  • Frame size: 24 inches
  • Wheel size: 700C
  • Weight: 35 lbs.

Other features: 300-lb weight limit, steel road fork, anti-skid tires, soft seat cushion

There aren’t that many 14-gear bikes on the list, but the Outroad is one of the ideal bikes for those who are looking for something sturdy with quick gear adjustments. It’s not for the faint-hearted as this bike is one of the chunkier models on our list.

This bike perfectly suits those who need their road bike to have a larger weight limit, as this can handle riders up to 300 lbs, and also has a steel road fork and hefty, anti-skid tires. The flexible bike can suit riders between 5’3” and 7’0” so it’s incredibly versatile.

What makes it stand out?

  • We love the incredible safety features and stability that this bike gives you. If you’re a larger rider, like to go at higher speeds, or both, it is great to have the reliability of this bigger, heftier bike and those chunky tires backing you up. They’re even anti-skid and have a long tread life, especially when used on the road. The aluminum frame is as sturdy as they come.

Which disadvantages must you keep in mind?

  • Many of the things we think could be better with this bike are just a matter of personal opinion. Such stability comes at the price of a heavier bike, so you will find that it is a bit harder to transport. It’s also relatively big and bulky as bikes go, and the tires are pretty wide. Those who want 21 gears may also find that there isn’t quite as much flexibility for allinclines, but that’s not too much of a problem for most riders.
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9
Best Dual Suspension Road Bike under $500

Giordano Libero Road Bike

Features
  • Frame material: aluminum
  • Speeds: 16
  • Frame size: small, medium, large
  • Wheel size: 700C
  • Weight: 26 – 32 lbs.

Other features: high tensile steel fork, Shimano Claris STI shifters, alloy dual pivot brakes

This is a hefty and well-made aluminum bike. The 700c Giordano Libero Road Bike is the ideal model for someone who knows exactly what they are doing with bikes and it can allow you for a lot of flexibility.

If you have the ability to tweak and perfect your own bike and you know what you are doing with gears, tires, and more, then this model can be ideal for you. The quality hardware including the dual pivot brakes and quality gear shifter add to the elegance. If you’re looking to ride quickly and smoothly then this could be the ideal platform, but be ready to tune.

What are its best features?

  • The parts that are included are excellent, and we liked the fact that this bike is available with such quality hardware, and for all different sizes of riders. There are three sizes catering for Small (riders 5'4"-5'8"), Medium (riders 5'7"-5'11") and Large (Riders 5'10"-6'4"). For the money, if you know what you are doing with the bike then it can be a great option to get a lot of bang for your buck.

What could be improved?

  • We wouldn’t want to be a total beginner trying to work out this bike for the first time. It doesn’t come fully constructed, and while that isn’t unusual, to have to do quite so much of the construction can be very frustrating and intimidating for newcomers. Spending the money to get it done professionally can also take your costs well over the $500 budget.
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8.7
Features
  • Frame material: aluminum
  • Speeds: 14
  • Frame size: small, medium, large
  • Wheel size: 700C
  • Weight: 33.4 lbs.

Other features: dual suspension, Shimano drive train with stem shifters, double wall alloy rims, dual pivot side pull brakes

The Giordano Aversa Road Bike manages to remain affordable without compromising too much on the features.

This road bike is great for those who know a bit about bikes already as there is some construction involved. If you are happy to take this on, the money that this bike can save you could be very appealing. It comes in well under the $500 mark that we’ve set for this post.

Why is it special?

  • This bike easily feels like some bikes that are twice as expensive, and though it is cheap, this probably comes from the fact that the frame is made out of aluminum rather than carbon or any more expensive materials. The dual pivot side pull brakes are high in quality, and the Shimano drivetrain is up there with some of the far more expensive models.

What are the flaws?

  • To get all of this package at such an affordable price, there are some downsides. The bike is heavier than most small bikes due to the hefty aluminum frame, and like the other Girodano road bikes it is easier if you know a little bit about the bike, and how these two-wheeled transport devices work! This way, you can put it together without having to pay for the help of a professional, which can really add up.

Things to Consider

Understanding more about bikes, and road bikes in particular, is one of the best ways to make sure you can get the ideal bike for you. Our convenient buying guide is great for those who are looking to buy any sort of road bike, especially if you are on a budget. Nobody wants to jump in and make a purchase only to regret it later on. $500 is still a lot of money.

Types of Road Bikes

There are many different types of road bikes out there. Many people assume that once you’ve decided whether you want a mountain, hybrid, or road bike, the choices have all been made, but this is not the case at all.

A number of the different types of road bikes are really designed for people who are in the more advanced stages of their passion for biking or who have moved well past the “beginner” phase. For instance, there are a lot of competitive road races that cyclists partake in, and they need some pretty impressive bikes to be able to do the job. Fortunately, if you’re a beginner, you don’t need to worry about some of the features that different types of road bike offer.

Racing

10 Great Road Bikes Under $500: Best Affordable Options for Cycling Enthusiasts! (Winter 2022)

Racing bikes are lightweight and quick

A racing bike won’t usually fit the bill if your budget is $500 or less. However, they’re fantastically well-made and have a lot of power, as well as being lightweight and able to move very quickly. The brakes also need to be great. Only opt for one of these if you are serious about racing.

Time trial

10 Great Road Bikes Under $500: Best Affordable Options for Cycling Enthusiasts! (Winter 2022)

Trial bikes are best for competing and not really good for commuting

Similarly, time trial bikes Trusted Source Time trial bicycle - Wikipedia time trial bicycle is a racing bicycle designed for use in an individual race against the clock. Compared to a road bike, a time trial bike is more aerodynamic, has a shorter wheelbase, and puts the rider closer to the front of the bicycle. It may have either solid disc or spoked wheels. en.wikipedia.org are made for competing and being able to ride as quickly as possible. If you go for a time trial bike, expect to get something that is only suitable for use on a track rather than being a solution for commuting to work.

Sportive

10 Great Road Bikes Under $500: Best Affordable Options for Cycling Enthusiasts! (Winter 2022)

Sportive bikes are best suited for long-distance riding with their durable hardware and tires

Yet more bikes for competitive sport. A sportive bike can be good for commuters or casual users though, as they have a more sporty design but aren’t uniquely made for racing. They tend to have great tires and hardware.

Touring

10 Great Road Bikes Under $500: Best Affordable Options for Cycling Enthusiasts! (Winter 2022)

Another extremely durable option for long-distance commuting

Touring bikes Trusted Source What is a touring bike? - BikeRadar What makes a good touring bike? What should it be made of? What’s the difference between a gravel bike and touring bike? We answer all of these questions and more www.bikeradar.com are a great way to go on long trips, they’re often designed to be very solid and sturdy and go thousands of miles without needing too much maintenance at all. It’s not essential, but commuters who go long distances might find that this is an ideal choice for them. Realistically, the vast majority of cyclists will not need the sort of endurance features that touring bikes offer.

Aero

10 Great Road Bikes Under $500: Best Affordable Options for Cycling Enthusiasts! (Winter 2022)

Aero bike is a great choice for experienced cyclists

Aero bikes are built to be aerodynamic and fast. They’re often made of carbon-composite style materials that make them lightweight, with aerodynamic tire designs. Because they allow you to go quickly, experienced bikers will get more out of them.

How to Pick the Best Road Bike Under $500

Below, we go through a lot of the most vital considerations if you are looking to get yourself a quality and reliable road bike. Even if you just want the best beginner road bike it is worth understanding a little about how they are made.

Frame material

A lot of the more expensive bikes on the market are made out of materials such as carbon fiber, these manage to give the same level of durability and stability without weighing as much. On the cheaper end of the market it is likely that you will have to go for an aluminum model such as 6KU Urban Track Bike or Hiland bike, but these are still relatively lightweight, and certainly suitable for most commuters.

Frame size

Frame sizes can vary, and the smaller the size, the smaller the intended user. 6KU Urban Track Bike has three sizes between 52cm and 58cm. If you’re over 6ft then you should probably be looking to find a frame size that is on the larger side of this spectrum. The frame size directly correlates with rider size. If you’re a smaller rider, you’re going to find it really difficult or even totally impossible to get on a bike with a big frame.

Drivetrain

The drivetrain of the bike is a big part of the propulsion. This has pedals, cranks, the chainring and the chain, and a well-made drivetrain makes all the difference. If you opt for a poor-quality bike then don’t expect the drivetrain to do a good job, or to last long. This can lead to you needing to do a lot of running repairs.

Gears

Your bike will likely have gears to choose from on the front and rear wheels.

When a bike says 28 speed, this could be because it has 7 on one wheel and 4 on another.
It’s not uncommon for road bikes to not have a great deal of choices, but if you know you are going to be going up and down hills then more gears to choose from will always be beneficial.

Brakes

There are numerous types of brakes to choose from. Rim brakes clamp down on the metal rim and are common on this sort of budget bike, but you can also get some disk brakes that need less strength and work with a disk brake rotor system. Though you should consider which brakes you’re going to use, this isn’t necessarily the biggest consideration for your new road bike if you’re a beginner or you just plan to ride a couple of miles a day. Reliable brakes are needed, but not brakes that can stop you at high speeds, you’re probably not going to reach these speeds.

Chainset

Most bikes have double or triple chainsets at this range. Shimano are very much an industry-leader in this area and you can find some affordable bikes that have these types of chainsets and are perfect for riding on the road.

Wheel size

What sort of wheel size should you be looking for? Well, the standard for a road bike is a 700C which has a diameter of 622 mm. The vast majority of road bikes have the same size of wheel though tires and other factors come into play here. If you get an unusual size then tires can be harder to come by.

Suspension

Not all road bikes have suspension. In fact, you don’t necessarily need any sort of suspension if you are riding on smooth surfaces. The Vilano Diverse 3.0 is an example of a bike with no suspension, or what is referred to as “rigid suspension”. It still does a fine job on the majority of road surfaces. If you go for a hybrid bike, so that you can take it off the road and onto some trails, you will probably want to make sure you’re getting some suspension to help you out, otherwise you will be putting extra pressure on the bike and making your ride a bit more bumpy too.

Weight

Weight can vary immensely and this is often intrinsically linked to the materials used. Expect that aluminum bikes are likely to be a little bit more heavy, but not so much that they are unusable or hard to transport. Bikes can range from over 40lbs to under 25, with the Trinx TEMPO1.0 being one of the best lightweight road bikes out there. If you live in an apartment block and have to carry your bike up some stairs to where you store it, the 15lb difference can be huge.

Assembly

10 Great Road Bikes Under $500: Best Affordable Options for Cycling Enthusiasts! (Winter 2022)

It’s a good idea to ensure your bike comes with clear assembly instructions

The vast majority of road bikes that you buy online will need some level of assembly, but not a great deal. A lot of manufacturers claim that their bikes are shipped around 80% to 90% ready to use. However, if you don’t know what you are doing then the easier the assembly the better. You also need to make sure that there are good instructions. Some manufacturers have poor instructions that can lead to more problems in the future.

Other features

There are some added features that can be useful, though shouldn’t play a huge part in your decision. For example, nice added extras like a padded saddle and a water bottle holder are great, but not always integral to getting a good road bike.

FAQ

The time a bike can last really varies based on the quality of the bike itself and how you take care of it. All of the bikes on our list have the capacity to last five years or even far longer if they are looked after. Just like your car, if you take good care of it and get it served it will last longer. Some bikes will come with warranties to protect your purchase, but you should be getting vie years before issues like rust can set in.

Expensive road bikes may be better, but it depends on your demands. If you aren’t riding the bike competitively then there might be no point whatsoever in buying an expensive bike just because it is more lightweight, or has better brakes that you don’t even make use of because you aren’t at the competitive level. There truly are some fantastic options out there without having to spend too much money at all. If you want to compete in road races and become a professional, you’ll have to spend a little more on an upgrade eventually, but a bike under $500 can get you started, or just provide an accomplice to get to and from your workplace or get some exercise.

Simply put, road bikes are made for pavement and the terrain of a road, whereas mountain bikes are better for a variety of other situations including trails. Mountain bikes can be used on the pavement and they have an upright riding position, but they don’t necessarily work as well on these types of surfaces.

Our Verdict

There are some excellent road bike options that don’t cost too much money, and they’re perfect for commuting or riding around a city. The Vilano Diverse 3.0 gets a rating of 9.9/10 and it is hard to fault, it gives a smooth ride with excellent components and it is suitable for a variety of different heights and sizes.

The Trinx TEMPO1.0 is another fantastic model and one of the very best road bikes under $500. It has such a great set of components, and Shimano hardware along with a lightweight design and an eye-catching look. The colorful tires are especially cool, and the 21 gears means you can use this on all sorts of inclines. You’ll struggle to find many better-made road bikes that are so reasonable when it comes to their price tag.

Other well-made bikes include the 6KU Urban Track Bike, great for women in the smaller sizes and fantastic for zipping around the city if there aren’t many inclines or declines. This has one gear, a sturdy and durable design, and can really fly in the right hands.

References

1.
Time trial bicycle - Wikipedia
time trial bicycle is a racing bicycle designed for use in an individual race against the clock. Compared to a road bike, a time trial bike is more aerodynamic, has a shorter wheelbase, and puts the rider closer to the front of the bicycle. It may have either solid disc or spoked wheels.
2.
What is a touring bike? - BikeRadar
What makes a good touring bike? What should it be made of? What’s the difference between a gravel bike and touring bike? We answer all of these questions and more
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