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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
Similarly, time trial bikes Trusted Source Time trial bicycle - Wikipedia A 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.
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 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 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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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.
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 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.
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.
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.
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.