Best Road Bikes Under 500
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Choosing the right road bike for you can be a challenge, as there are so many good bikes to choose from. So we have spent some time researching and finding the best road bike for you. The selection of these cheap road bikes that we have found are easy to ride, durable in all weathers, with minimal maintenance.
Among our top picks, we found the Trinx TEMPO1.0 700C Road Bike the best overall road bike under 500 dollars.
Top Road Bikes under 500
If you are looking for a entry level road bike, this is the one for you. It features what you really need, Shimano components for its shifter and gears. These components are usually found as expensive road bikes. This means you can easily shift gears when going up steep hills or downhill. It has a crosstop and drop bar lever installed, allowing you to enjoy your ride in an upright or aerodynamic position.
The bike comes with CST Czar 25mm tires which are very skinny and smooth. This makes it one of the best street bikes as it grabs the pavement well once your weight is on them. However remember not to over inflate the tires, as it may transmit impact to the rider. Its steel fork structure helps dampen shock and absorb vibrations.
You will find the bike pretty lightweight, at only 25 lbs. This is because it uses alloy frames, which makes it relatively light yet durable. However, upon assembly of this bike, you will need to perform some adjustments on the brakes, brake pads and shifters. If you are not familiar with assembling the bike, then take it to the bike shop and have it done there.
Some users have found the seat to be less comfortable, as it needs time to break in. But you can replace the seat to something more ergonomic to yourself if you so wish. The seat can be set to a maximum height of 15 cm. Generally based on the frame of the bike, it fits someone with a height from 5’10 to 6’2. The bike comes with a kickstand to let your bike stand anywhere.
This bike is definitely one of the best budget road bike, a bargain for its price and quality.
- Comes with kickstand
- CST Czar 25mm tires
- Shimano shifter and gears
- Beginner road bike
- Less comfortable seats
With the pandemic, if you need a reason to go out, then get this bike. One thing great about this bike, it comes 85% assembled. You will just need to fix the front wheel, pedals, handlebar, seat, pump the tires and you are ready to go! Even the tools to install this bike is included. So you pretty much save yourself the middle man of charging you extra for assembling the bike.
What we love about this bike is its top notch components. Its 21-speed Shimano shifting system gives you great flexibility for quick changing of gears. This allows you better control of speed. Like any other bike, after assembly, you should take the bike for test shifting and braking. This is just to be sure, it is working well.
You will find the brakes are pretty strong, and it grips well especially when cycling through rain. Make sure your handlebars are tightened well, as it makes a difference when going down steep descents.
If you are are looking for the best beginner road bike, you will love that the chain wheel is only 42T. This is slightly smaller than standard road bikes that come with 52T or 53T. Because the chain wheel is smaller, it makes it easier for you to pedal. You will appreciate this feature especially when tackling hilly areas.
As it is a stainless steel frame bike, it is not as light as carbon or aluminium. But rest assured, it is durable for long continued use. This bike comes in 2 different sizes to fit the physique of the person. There is the 49 cm Frame designed for adults or children from 5’5″ to 5’7″. The 54 cm Frame fits riders around 5’8″ to 6′. The 3 spoke bike comes in the size of 54, while the multi spoke bike is with the size 49. The weight limit for the 54cm frame is at 290lbs max, which fits most average riders.
This bike is one of the most versatile bikes that delivers the power you expect for an affordable price, making one of the best budget bike.
- 2 different sizes
- Small chain wheel
- Comes 85% assembled
We find this a great bike for commuting from place to place. It is a road bike as well as a mountain bike. This budget road bike is lightweight to take it to the mountainside, and smooth when tackling the streets. The bike can accommodate almost anyone regardless of height up to a maximum capacity of 250 lbs.
With the quick release for its leather seat, you can easily adjust the seat height for better comfort. However, some riders found the seat less comfortable as it is rather hard.
One thing that stands out for this bike is its frame. It is made from the best quality aluminium materials on the market. It is pretty lightweight compared to pricier models above the USD500 mark. It is designed in an upright manner, so you can ride it in comfort. The bike can accelerate rather quickly with its 21 gear speed from Shimano. We are also impressed with its 700c x 28mm tires, which is quite thin. It grips very well even in the rain.
As it comes almost fully assembled, you need only 30 minutes extra to piece together the front wheel and handlebars. We find the brakes reliable as it can lock the wheels at any speed with just moderate pressure. Its handlebars are not height adjustable though. The bike finishings are impressive and it looks like the bike costs 5 times more, making it value for money.
Schwinn Volare Adult Hybrid Road Bike does not disappoint. It is definitely one of the best beginner bikes and definitely performs decently on the road.
- 21 speed gear
- Aluminium frame
- Can be used on hilly areas as well
- Hard seats
- Handlebards are not adjustable
This is a superlight bike weighing only 28.2 lbs, making it portable to transport it around. What I love about this bike, it is super comfortable to ride around. This is due to the presence of 700C Aluminium fork as of part of its frame, which protects you against jolts from bumpy roads. Going off road does not disappoint, as the bike is crafted with Kenda 700 40c tires that grips on uneven pavement or grass, giving you better control.
You will find the aluminium frames that it is built with are pretty sturdy, providing high durability and stability on the road. Its 180mm front mechanical disc brakes and 160mm rear radius ensures precise braking when going downhill. You can accelerate really fast in this bike with little effort, thanks to the 24 Shimano speed gear shift.
Additionally, there are mounts to store your backpack if you plan to travel light with a bike. You will love that this bike is 85% assembled, so with some assembly tools (included), you can get it up in minutes. Some users found the front disc brake did rub if too much tension was put on the brake cable. You may need to tune the disc brakes and derailleur, which you can get a mechanic to assist you.
Although Hiland Road Hybrid Bike is a hybrid bike, it is predominantly a road bike due to its thin tires. This is definitely a top road bicycle with the qualities needed for paved path riding on hilly terrains.
- Hybrid bike
- 85% assembled
- 700C Aluminium fork
- 24 Shimano speed gear shift
- Front disc brake is rubbing
We are impressed with the high performance of this bike due to the given combination of features of its Shimano 21 speed gears and Go plus 700c heavy duty tires. It is simply the perfect bike to ride up steep hills or commute in adverse road conditions. There is a kickstand included so you can conveniently park your bike.
You will love that this bike is pretty lightweight due to its aluminium frame. Being lightweight, means efficiency increases due to better speeding qualities. Having an aluminium frame also means you will not need to deal with the common rusting issues. Another advantage of this bike is the frame can handle a maximum weight capacity of 440lbs which will cater to most riders.
The aesthetics are great with 5 fashionably attractive color options, black, green, blue, red and orange. The seat can be adjusted to be higher or lower depending your height. There is a quick release option on the front wheel as well as the backwheel so that you can easily remove the wheels to transport the bike in your car.
If you want to look the part without spending the money, this bike is for you.
- 5 different colors
- Adjustable seat
- Quick release option for both front and back wheels
- Aluminium frame
How to choose a road bike
Frame and Weight
The frame materials will affect the weight of your bike. What you should be looking for, is a lightweight yet durable frame material. The heavier it is, the higher the difficulty in peddling. But the lighter it is, the harder it is to control. Thus, try to find a balance in between.
It’s nice to have all the bells and whistles on the bike. But remember, the more components installed to the bike, the more weight you are adding on to it. A good road bike should be between 20 to 30 lbs.
There are several options of metals frames for road bikes, Steel, Aluminium, Carbon and Titanium. The common ones will be Aluminium and Steel. Usually, Titanium or Carbon frames are usually found in bikes above $500. Aluminium is usually the top choice as it is lightweight, corrosion resistant and crack resistant. Steel is more durable than aluminium, which is a great option if you have a wider variety of terrain challenges.
If the handlebards are too low, you need to bend over to ride which can be rather uncomfortable for longer periods of time. Some bikes have drop handlebars, which allow you to ride in an upright position.
Handlebards provide stability to your bike. Narrow handlebars can cause a common problem called handlebar palsy. This is when riders experience numbness in the 2 smallest fingers, caused by compression of the nerve.
Groupset is basically the bike’s brake and transmission. This refers to the brake levers, gear levers, shifters, derailleur and chain. Shimano groupset is a popular choice among riders as it offers superior performance with an affordable price.
Gears is one of the essential components of a bike. It gives you the flexibility to deal with steep slopes, but it also adds maintenance to your bike. The more gears you have, the more maintenance it needs. Road bikes generally have a gear range between 7 to 24 speed. If you want to race, a multi-gear system is a better choice.
Gear levels are changed using shifters to improve performance when in motion. It is important to get one that can perform precise shifting. A poor shifter can cause misalignment to the bike.
Getting the components from the same manufacturer for the shifters, and rear derailleurs will provide you the best performance on the bike. Don’t skip on quality. Avoid plastic brakes, shifters or derailleurs, as they are not sustainable in the long run. They bend, snap or wear easily.
Brake systems can be hydraulic or mechanical, but mechanical brakes are more common on road bikes. There are 2 types of mechanical brakes, Disc brakes and rim/caliper brakes.
Disc brakes are great for tackling roads in all weather conditions. However, it is heavier and adds weight to the bike. Traditional rim/caliper brakes are cheaper and have less maintenance but do not perform that well in wet conditions.
There is another option called the hydraulic brakes, but it is not common among road bikes. They are much more powerful than mechanical disc brakes, as the brake pads are pushed into the rim. But they are a much more expensive option.
Choosing the right size will make or break your riding experience. It may cause health issues, if it is not a good fit. Usually bike sizes are measured by the length of the seat tube, which is the metallic rod that supports the seat. It simply measures whether you can reach the handlebars comfortably.
The suitability of bikes sizes can also be determined by your height. A general guide, you should be able to put the pedal all the way to the bottom with a slight 20 degree bend at the knee. If yes, this is the bike for you. Also try standing with the top tube between your legs. Check if there is enough room clearance between the tube and your crotch.
If your bike comes with adjustable seats or handles, that is a bonus.
Some of the bikes come 80% assembled, and you can fix the rest yourself with tools that come along with the bike. Alternatively, just send it to your local bike shop to do the job for you.
Type of riding
Going off road on a road bike will damage your investment. The design and components do not cater for rugged terrain, especially on thin tires.
Tires and Rims
Road bikes are bikes that have thin rims and tires. This is to provide better aerodynamics and less friction when on the road. Although the tires are thin, the rims need to be sturdy. You should look for wheels which are made with strong materials like aluminium, to withstand the different terrains.
You will find that the most common sizes are 700c wheels. 700c wheels are easier to replace your tire, as there are so many varieties of tires to choose from. Smaller wheels are a preferred option among women. This is because it is a lot easier to mount the bike, as generally women are smaller in built.
A good road bike should have a width between 26 to 29 inch tires with 23mm to 28 mm rims.
Usually seats under $500 are rather hard, and you need time to break into it. If you want a quick fix, you can replace the saddle with a softer and wider frame.
Suspension is usually not found on road bikes, as you are facing less bumps in your ride. But having a saddle suspension can be a good option for a smoother ride.
You will not go wrong with any of these top rated bicycles, as they are one of the best entry level road bikes compared to other options you see on the market. You will definitely enjoy the speed, safety, and durability that it provides for a great experience. Work out what are your priorities that you need to have in a starter road bike. But Trinx TEMPO1.0 700C Road Bike is an excellent choice for a superb quality road bike without breaking the bank.
If you are looking for a rack to carry your bike on your adventures, here are the Best Spare Tire Bike Racks for your bike.