- 7 Best Road Bikes Under 500$(Short Cut)
- COVERING THE BASICS
- 7 TYPES OF ROAD BIKES YOU MIGHT COME ACROSS
- DOS AND DONTS WHEN BUYING A BUDGET ROAD BIKE
- List Of 7 Best Road Bikes Under 500$ (Detailed Analysis)
- OUR CHOICE
- FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
If you found your jaw drop at the ‘Best Road Bike Under 500’ title, you’d better keep reading!
Road bikes are one of the most common bikes on the trails today. But not all of us can afford the high-end carbon-fibre semi-machines. There is a big market for the budget-savvy bike enthusiast, but can you really expect any level of performance or durability on them? The road bike, in particular, can be a tricky class to find a solid road-ready bike at an affordable price. Finding yourself stranded in the middle of a trail with a broken-down budget roadie you bought online is a scary prospect, and we don’t want to leave you hanging there. So, in this article we’ve rounded up the best budget road bikes you can find on the market today.
Here are the entries for the best road bike under 500 Dollars for 2021:
7 Best Road Bikes Under 500$(Short Cut)
- Trinx TEMPO1.0 Road Bike
- Vilano Shadow 3.0 Road Bike
- Merax Finiss Road Bike Racing Bicycle
- Vilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Road Bike
- Schwinn Phocus 1400 and 1600 Road Bicycle
- Pure Fix Original Road Bicycle
- Windsor Wellington 2.0
COVERING THE BASICS
What is a road bike?
In “Road bikes for Beginners” terms, a road bike is – a bike designed to perform well on roads. They’re all about speed and distance – perfect for those who like to do a lot of fast pedaling. There are many different types of road bikes depending on what you want to do with them. There are some that are great for daily commuting, those that are meant for racing, some that give you a great workout, and those that backpackers and campers can fit out for long days on the road. There are also those that combine all of these functions and perform as ‘hybrid’ road bikes.
|What are you looking for in your roadie? Read on for info on how to identify a roadie, the different types of roadies on the market today, and a listicle of the best roadies you can get on a budget.|
How do you identify a road bike?
Every bike on the market may look the same in many respects, but there are sure-shot ways of identifying each class of bike. It becomes a little more difficult after hybrids have entered the market, but the purists will still be able to pick out their class of bike from any pack.
When you are looking for a road bike, look for these features:
- The biggest identifier is the dropped, curving handlebars, though some roadies do feature flat handlebars.
- The geometry of the roadie positions the rider in a “bent over” posture, making the overall set-up aerodynamic for speed and distance. Depending on what you’re ‘road-riding’ for, the roadie can feature ranges of aggression in the riding posture – more relaxed for the daily rider and more aggressive for the racing enthusiast.
- The saddle on a roadie is smaller, maybe racer-styled, depending on what type of roadie you get, though this is one of the first things riders change out for comfort.
- Roadies are sleek. Their frames are shaped a certain way to focus on speed and longer distances – think lightweight.
- Wheels and tires are slimmer, and you’ll see a lot of gears.
7 TYPES OF ROAD BIKES YOU MIGHT COME ACROSS
- Aero Road Bike: specifically designed for professional racing to enhance aerodynamic properties and reduce ‘drag’.
- Commuter Road Bike: more of a daily grind bike that can take on pannier racks for ‘luggage’ and is designed for a bit more comfort than racer bikes. Seating posture will be a little more upright. (Related : Best Commuter Bikes Under $200 )
- Dual-sport Bike: a hybrid of the Hybrid bike for those who want a hybrid with more of the aggressive racer/road style features. They can be thought of as hybrid bikes that lean slightly more towards the road-style than the adventure bikes.
- Endurance/Sportive Road Bike: these road bikes sport features that enable the rider to stay in the saddle for longer periods of time. They are specifically designed for endurance events and long bike-treks and so feature upright seating posture, forks, wider tires, disc brakes and a wide gearing range.
- E-Road Bike: a fairly hot product in the market right now because of the assistive motor that takes a lot of the effort out of the cycling process, leveling the field for those who are slower, or may be injured or handicapped in some way, but still want to keep up.
- Gravel (All-Road)/ Adventure Bikes: a highly versatile bike that can handle almost any kind of surface you ride it on. They feature lightweight frames with wider tires and disc brakes, and a wide gearing range to eat up those miles.
- Racing Bikes: the classic roadie, built for speed, agility, and endurance. You will find the typically aggressive ‘racer’ frame with lightweight wheels and slim tires, narrow seats and wide gear range on these bikes. These are the “go-to” bikes for high-flying roadie racers.
These are just a few of the types of this class of bikes on the roads today. Road-biking styles can be highly specific, and most styles have a corresponding bike style. What kind of a roadie are you?
|Q: Why are road bikes so fast?Road bikes have been designed for speed. Everything from their riding posture and frame to their wheel-set, shifters, and gear systems has been aerodynamically crafted to offer very little resistance to the wind. This lets you fly through the streets at top speeds!|
DOS AND DONTS WHEN BUYING A BUDGET ROAD BIKE
- NEVER compare a cost-effective road bike to a higher-end bike. If you were looking for the same level of comfort, performance and design, you’d be sorely disappointed. If high-level performance is what you’re looking for, your best POA will be to save up and invest in a high-street bike.
- Always make space in your budget for upgrades and a professional tune-up. This is especially important when you’re buying a bike online. Most manufacturers insist on professional assembly and tuning, going so far as to refuse free replacements if you did not consult a professional.
- Invest in a very good frame. Other parts can be upgraded or tweaked along the way.
- Explore all your other options before you buy a budget bike. While there are great models to choose from, do some research on whether you can spend those Gs a little more wisely, say perhaps, in a used high-budget road bike.
|Q: Are expensive road bikes worth the investment?|
Higher-end road bikes are made with top-of-the-line components, while the lower-priced models may sport inferior quality parts. The toss-up is between what you want in your bike and what you can afford.
Over-spending on a high-end bike as a beginner may not be a very wise move – we’d recommend getting a simple entry-level roadie to start with and saving up for the big leagues when you’ve found ‘your pedals’, so to speak.
List Of 7 Best Road Bikes Under 500$ (Detailed Analysis)
1. Merax Finiss Road Bike
- Lightweight aluminum frame
- Dual suspension
- Shifters and 21 speed derailleur from Shimano – great for speed
- Light and slim 700c Kenda tires
- Quick release front wheels – easy installation
- Aluminum kickstand included
- Easy assembly
- Limited warranty period
- Excellent customer service
- Assembly manual is not very helpful
- Caliper brakes are not great for all-weather stopping
- Tuning and alignment check necessary at your local bike shop
Merax is not a dedicated bike brand, and they don’t really have a line of biking products to their name – all the more reason that this entry from Merax – the 21 speed 700c Finiss road bike – is surprisingly good at delivering on what it’s designed to do!
The bike is lightweight, and fast! The 6061 aluminum frame is sturdy, yet light – you’ll feel like you’re on a jet, compared to a lot of other bikes in the same category and price range! The 21 speed derailleur and the gear shifters from Shimano certainly do their bit to give you a stellar ride on this roadie. These enable the bike to conquer rough terrain and fly over mixed surfaces. Shifting is reliable, smooth and soundless!
We love the little details like the easy adjustment saddle, the quick-release front wheels, and the aluminum kickstand. There’s also the 2-year warranty on the frame and a limited period warranty on the spare parts to add to our star-rating.
Our favorite part about this bike is that it has been designed to be customer-friendly. Assembly is easy, and does not require specialized tools, though the assembly-guide is not very user friendly, and tuning and alignment will have to be looked over by a professional. Above everything, Merax has an outstanding customer service record. They are easy to reach, quick to respond and can be quite creative in accommodating their customers.
If we flip the coin over, we would upgrade the caliper brakes for some all-weather stopping power, unless you ride in fairly consistent dry weather, and do not anticipate too many hurdles along your route. While the assembly guide isn’t very useful, putting the bike together is pretty straightforward, and we can’t really complain. A little shipping damage can be expected, though Merax is pretty good with packaging the bike, and responds very well about replacement. There have been some reports about the hand grips being unreliable, so we would change these out soon.
This is the bike for you if you are looking for something fast, light and reliable. It is great for the beginner roadie, someone looking for a daily commuter bike, the weekend biker/ racer, or even someone looking for a reliable trainer roadie. There is a lot of versatility in this road bike, and it certainly gets high points from our side!
2. Vilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Road Bike
- Hybrid road bike for versatility and comfort
- Upright handlebars
- Rear, front suspension
- All-weather disc brakes
- 24 speed drivetrain
- Free pedals included
- Easy assembly
- Adjustable seat post
- Heavier than high end bikes
- Requires fine-tuning after assembly
Vilano has been making some noise with their high-performance affordable road bikes for some time now. The Diverse 3.0 seems to have raised the bar on performance with value, and the crowd is going wild!
You will notice that the Diverse 3.0 differs from other road bikes with its flat bar handlebars. This ‘performance hybrid’ road bike scores prime points for versatility. Take it out as a daily commuter, an exercise bike, or an urban roadie, or even for some weekend fun!
It is comparable to higher end roadies in its build and performance. The 24 speed drivetrain and the highly functional (integrated) trigger-shifters allow for great performance on multiple terrain. The all-weather disc brakes are also a surprising detail on a budget road-bike. These are highly responsive and, together with the flat bars, give you great control and responsiveness.
Point to note: Vilano takes the recommendation to have the bike assembled and trued by a professional very seriously. Budgeting for a visit to your local bike shop will be a wise move so that you have the best experience with your Vilano Diverse 3.0 Hybrid Roadie.
3. Trinx TEMPO1.0 Road Bike
- Aluminum alloy frame
- Rear and front suspension
- Trinx custom-made Fork (Hi-Ten Steel)
- 21 speed bike with Shimano gear-system
- Linear pull Winzip alloy brakes
- Fast, sturdy, responsive, lightweight
- Dual brake-handle system to allow for racer-style riding, or relaxed riding
- Available in two sizes
- Great looks
- Instruction manual is generic and may be a challenge to follow.
If you haven’t heard of the Trinx Tempo 1.0 Road bike, we wouldn’t be surprised! But we are gleefully excited to feature a newbie that outperforms most of its counterparts on the field.
You’ll notice immediately that this bike is a LOOKER! We love the combination of simple colors and a solid, sleek design, typical of the road-bike category. You can easily identify the drop handlebars and slimmer Cst 700*25 C tires with the smooth tread on this bike.
If you were looking for ‘value for price’, this would be the place to look. While it wouldn’t outperform a $3000 bike in the roadie category, it is a solid winner in performance – it delivers well on all levels.
The use of the aluminum alloy frame makes the frame sturdy and lightweight, compared to most other bikes at this range. We also dig the dual hand-brake system, giving you the option to ride racer-style, or upright.
As one expert rider/reviewer observed, the bike shines after about a 100-mile streak: the gears may start out a little stiff and hard, but smooth out perfectly after this point. The brakes may also seem less responsive on the first few rides, but they settle in once the bike has been ridden a few times. The saddle may feel uncomfortable at first, but give it at least a few days before you opt to change it out.
Overall, this is a great entry-level road bike for the beginner roadie, daily commuters, recreational racer, and modestly-long-distance tourer. We would recommend, though, that you have an expert assemble and fine-tune the bike for best results, since the assembly guide is not very helpful. We always recommend that tuning and sizing up be left to professionals, especially if you’re a beginner.
4. Vilano Shadow 3.0 Road Bike with Integrated Shifters
- Aluminum frame (double butted): Aero style
- 14 speed bike
- Single-unit brake-lever shifters for convenient controlling and braking
- 700c double walled CNC machined side wheelset
- Water-bottle cage-mount
- Available in 3 sizes
- Free pedals included
- Heavier than the average road bike
- Not great for speed
- Assembly may be a little difficult
- Wheels may need to be upgraded soon
- Caliper brakes may not be as responsive
This is our second entry from Vilano, and it’s another winner! It hits all the right points with the Aero style aluminum frame for durability and agility, integrated brake/lever shifters, and the 700c *25c wheels. What you get is a durable 14-speed bike that is great for daily commutes, getting up a good sweat, and some weekend riding – quite a sweet deal at this price! We also love the sleek looks and water-bottle cage mount that comes on the frame.
This is the perfect entry-level bike for anyone looking to step into biking, and is unsure of what to expect. It is definitely far from perfect – it is slightly heavier than most road bikes, isn’t really suited to climbing hills, and may not be the fastest in the market, but it still serves as a good beginner bike! The highlighted feature is the integrated STI shifters which give you precise controlling and braking power.
Assembly is not the easiest on this bike, but a professional assembly and tuning service will set you up for years to come with just a few upgrades along the way.
|Tip :- If you’re not in a hurry, it will be a good idea to watch for price slashes that shave off a significant few hundreds from the sticker price on a bike, especially when purchasing online.|
5. Schwinn Phocus 1400 and Schwinn Phocus 1600 Road Bikes
- Great packaging
- Schwinn aluminum road frame
- Carbon fibre fork
- 16 speed Shimano Claris derailleur
- Integrated micro-shift brake/shift lever combo
- Alloy double-wall rims with paired spokes
- Lightweight wheels
- Quick-release front wheels
- Dual pivot Promax alloy caliper road brakes
- Alloy crank for gear range
- Bike tubes are thin and may need replacement
- Brakes may need replacement
- A little pricier – wait for price slashes
The Phocus road bikes come from a company that has aged as well as good wine does. Both the Schwinn Phocus 1600, as well as the Phocus 1400 models come highly rated, boasting ultimate customer satisfaction!
The Phocus road bikes come with an aluminum road frame and a carbon-fibre road fork. The sturdy, durable frame is exactly what you should be looking for when going budget on a road bike. It will handle paved roads, bike paths, commutes around the city, even fitness trips, but may not fare as great on rough or uneven trails.
You will notice the tell-tale drop handlebars right off. These provide various grip positions to prevent pressure on your hands and wrists on the ‘aggressive’ seating posture. They also free up your posture to focus on pedaling power and give you a really great workout.
In true road bike style, Schwinn Phocus bikes have been designed for speed – they are lightweight, nimble and responsive. They combine lightweight frame and components with narrow, high pressure tires and drop-bar handlebars for aerodynamic riding posture to enhance your road-biking experience to the max.
This is a winner in terms of budget road bikes, and offers you endless customizable options, which we love. In our opinion, this is the true sign of a ‘friend-for-life’ budget bike!
Schwinn is pretty responsive in terms of customer service, but they, like a lot of other companies, stick fast to their warranty conditions – a visit to a local bike shop or a professional bike mechanic is highly recommended. So do make sure to budget for alignment and tuning assistance from a professional.
6. Pure Fix Original Road Bicycle
- Stylish, lightweight steel frame
- Low maintenance
- Dual suspension
- Flexible flip-flop rear hub
- 40 mm deep-dish wheels
- Drome style seat for comfort and style
- Numerous customizable options
- Comes with a warranty
- Rear brakes would be desirable
- Professional assembly is a must to initiate warranty
Pure Fix’s Original roadies are an exciting range of fixies that are made for the pure joy of simple cycling. Because of its simple design, lightweight frame and low maintenance features, you can take this fixed-gear road bike almost anywhere!
In the true style of a high-performance budget road bike, the durable, lightweight frame and fork are the star feature, made of Tig-welded high-tensile steel. They also come with dual pivot alloy front brakes for great stopping power, though a few reviewers did state that the addition of back brakes upped the confidence and security on this ultra-lightweight, fast ride.
As with a lot of other companies who sell their bikes online, Pure Cycles also insist on professional assembly, tuning and alignment. This is necessary to initiate the warranty and replacement agreement.
The space Pure Cycles gives for customization and upgrades is one of the biggest plus points on this bike! They also have a range of accessories, parts and styles to keep you excited and updated!
The Pure Fix Single Speed Road bike is a perfect daily commuter, medium-distance roadie, and a high-speed city slicker. It works great as a beginner bike, or for someone who is restarting a biking journey after a long hiatus. On the whole, anyone who loves the simplicity of a fixie will love the purity of this road bike,
7. Windsor Wellington 2.0
- Durable 6061 aluminum frame
- Comfort saddle
- Bar top Shimano SIS shifters
- 21 speeds
- Dual suspension
- Easy assembly
- Low budget
- Tires need to be upgraded
Windsor’s Wellington 2.0 may not look like much at first glance, but this is the budget roadie’s dream bike on many counts! While it wouldn’t compare to the high-budget roadies on the market, there is enough traction on this entry-level beginner’s road bike to warrant it a sensible, manageable investment.
The aluminum frame and carbon fork are lightweight and durable, giving you great speed. The 24 speed Shimano drivetrain has integrated brake levers which give you fast, smooth gear shifting. With these components you get the advantage of great speed-range – perfect for casual, or beginner-level racing and moderate climbing power for hills and similar terrain.
Assembly is simple and straightforward, since about 80% of the bike is already assembled. The instructions are also clear.
Above everything, this is one of the best budget-friendly, yet quality bikes you could find on the market today. As with other bikes, professional tuning and assembly is recommended.
BEST OVERALL BIKE
A quick look at the scores reveal that the Vilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Road Bike has gained the highest number of brownie points for its road-worthiness. We’d rate it one of the most versatile road bikes on the market!
Schwinn Phocus bikes are also a winner, and deserve a mention here, though they do work out a little more expensive than other bikes.
BEST VALUE FOR MONEY
We declare the Trinx TEMPO1.0 Road Bike the “best value for money” entry because of the combination of high-end features at this price point, and for its KILLER looks!!
BEST CUSTOMIZABLE BIKE
If you’re looking for a fresh, exciting bike that gives you a lot of space for customization, we’d recommend the Pure Fix Original Road Bike from our list. Their stylish features and endless customizable options will keep you excited for more!
BEST SERVICE AND PERFORMANCE
Merax Finiss Road Bike takes the top place for stellar customer-service, and high performance!
BEST ENTRY LEVEL, LOW BUDGET BIKE
What was your favorite bike from our “Best Road Bike Under 500$” list? Is there another bike you would have liked featured in our list? Let us know in the comments below!
FREQUENTLY ASKED QUESTIONS
Answer : The short answer is ‘YES’. A number of bike manufacturers today offer a great set of features on budget models. So, it is possible to find a really good road bike under $500, as you will find in this article.
Answer : We have established that you can get a decent, functional road bike for under 500 dollars, and it is common knowledge that the highest models can cost you in the tens of thousands of dollars, and higher. Budget for a bike should always depend on you and your needs.
Answer : We’ve included some of the best every-level road bikes in this article, and we would recommend the Vilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Bike.
Answer : If you are coming in from riding another style of bike, and trying the roadie for the first time, it may take a few seconds to get used to the experience. But road bikes are generally fast and perform well on paved and smooth roads – pretty straightforward.
Answer : Our article dedicates a small section to the features on a bike that will help you identify a road bike. But when you are searching for a bike for yourself, you need to consider what your needs are, and what kind of terrain you will be riding. The section called “7 types of road bikes you might come across” can help you identify the kind of “roady features” best suited to your needs.
Answer : Our research has found the Trinx TEMPO 1.0 to offer the “best value for money”. Read our review to find out the kind of high-value components you get on this budget road bike to find out more.
Buying a budget road bike should not be a daunting task for anyone! We hope that this article has helped you gain a good amount of information to use as a point of reference. Happy road biking to you!