Best Road Bikes Under $500 For The Frugal Buyer

Introduction

Road biking is a thrilling way to enhance your shape and fitness. Plus, it will allow you to create relationships with other people and get in touch with the environment. You free your mind when you take a slower pace than any other vehicles around you. However, these bikes can still offer you the right agility, efficiency, and speed.

But, finding the perfect bike may be quite challenging, especially for beginners. But, you do not have to worry at all. Choosing a ride doesn’t need to be complicated and expensive. We have provided the details on the frames you have to select, the materials and components, and other tips to buy the best road bikes under 500.

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** Below, you'll find more detailed reviews, but you can click links above to see current prices and read customer's review on Amazon.

Rank

Image

Product Name

Price

Our Rating​

1

Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men Road Bike

2

Vilano Shadow 2.0 Road Bike

3

Giordano Libero Acciao Road Bikes

4

Merax Finiss Aluminum 21 Speed 700c Road Bike

5

Ancheer Fixed Gear Bike

What Is A Road Bike?

Best Road Bikes Under $500

First and foremost, before you select a bike for your trips, you have to acquire a primer on what to expect on a road bike. You can use a road bike for touring, mountaineering, and commuting. With that, here are the other things to learn from a road bike:

Essential Features Of A Road Bike

The very first thing you’ll notice in these bikes is that they are very lightweight. In fact, their wheels, frame, and other components are super light. They also have drop handlebars.

However, some still have flat bars such as the mountain bikes. Moreover, they have narrow tires and wheels and a carbon fiber fork in the front. But, they don’t come with rear or front suspension. Altogether, both men and women can use different styles and sizes of road bikes.

Function

Best Road Bikes Under $500

The road bike is for fitness and health enthusiasts. Also, they are for pro and competitive bike riders. Road bikes are for paved terrains like bike roads and paths. However, you may not use them for rough surfaces. These types of bikes will allow the bikers to go faster and farther than any other bikes. They are ideal for vehicle-supported touring. But, they cannot hold heavy loads.

Also, road bikes do not contain rack attachments which you can find on touring, commuter, and urban bikes. But, this does not mean that you cannot use them as bikes for commuting. It just means that you may have to bring your gear in your backpack instead of the mounted holders.

Essential Tips Before Buying A Road Bike

So, you have already chosen the road bike as your means of transportation; now it is the right time to decide what features to look for and what you should not. Before purchasing one, you have to read on for the crucial tips to consider before buying bikes.

Find Your Target Budget

Before you choose a model, you must need to consider your budget. There are a lot of factors that make road bikes either expensive or affordable. You have to take note of extra features like gloves, helmet, and proper cycling attire too.

Moreover, some bikers prefer the shoes, glasses, and pedals for cycling. So, you may want to consider all of these things into your budget. Just for the accessories and other items alone, you may want to keep at least a 100 bucks.

Picking Tools

The next thing to consider is that you may want to add some items like a repair kit, lock, lights, frame pump, etc. These things are essential, especially if you want to go on long trips. You may want to keep at least $50 for these items.

Maintenance Of Your Bike

Best Road Bikes Under $500

While still thinking about your budget, you may also consider keeping some of the money for the maintenance of your bike. You may want to consider setting aside around $150 to $200 for affordable tires, chains, brake pads, and shop labor.

However, if you know how to assemble these things, you may want to do it yourself. Not only that it will save you more cash, but it will also allow you to amplify your skills.

Doing Research

Before you head to the nearest bike store, you may want to make sure that you have done extensive research on which bike to bike. You should take note that a lot of local stores will offer some great deals, especially on holidays.

Consider The Material Of The Bike Frame

Best Road Bike Under 500

Which bike frame is better? Is it an alloy, aluminum, carbon, or steel? You see, the bike frame material can also determine its price range. For beginners, you may want to settle on aluminum frames. They may be easy to use for strides. However, you may want to check on them after three years because they may start to expire.

If you want a more expensive bike which can cost you $1,500, you may want the carbon material. Carbon is the most unpredictable since they may start to damage or crack after using your bike carelessly.

But, you may want to consider the carbon frame, especially for longer commutes. They can last longer with proper care and maintenance. However, if you want to purchase the most affordable ones, go for the steel frames. As long as they won’t rust, you can still use them.

Taking Notes On Other Features

Because of the overflowing technology and innovation today, bike manufacturers have considered a lot of add-ons in their features. Thus, this makes it harder to choose a road bike. However, if you know what you want in a ride, you can quickly pick one. All you have to do is to think about the features you want and ask an expert which of the models they may recommend.

Gear System Of The Bike

You may also want internally geared hubs for your bike. They can make your bike more durable, and they require little maintenance. They are also available in different versions with 3 to 14 gears.

However, they may only add up to your overall cost. Derailleur gears are also very famous. They can offer you up to 30 gears. Plus, they are light because they have prominent features. But, they need a lot of checking and maintenance. However, they can last longer than other systems.

Getting The Right Size

Best Road Bikes Under $500

You do not need to purchase a bike without checking the ideal size for you. Just like any other things like shoes, you need the right sizing of the road bike. Manufacturers may vary them from one size to another. While on a certain brand you may want to get a 54-centimeter frame, on other bikes you may get a smaller or bigger frame.

To measure the size, you have to stand over the road bike. Then, place both of your feet on the ground. Then, put your legs closer to each other. You have to hold the bike up. Make sure that you can lift the back and front wheels equally off the ground at around 7 or 8 centimeters. The value will allow you to have the right clearance between your top tube and your crotch.

Consider Test Rides

If you want to know the correct distance from the bars going to the saddle, you may want to take a test ride. It will help you know the right position on your bike that is more comfortable for biking. You may want to seek an expert’s help with this step.

Best Road Bikes Under 500

For bikers on a tight budget, here is a list of road bikes you may purchase:


Best Pick For Quality


Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men Road Bike


The Schwinn Phocus road bike is the ideal road bike for a workout session outdoors or a bike path. It is very lightweight, which makes it a perfect bike for an on-the-go person.

Equipped with an aluminum frame and carbon fiber fork, this makes an agile and fast bike.

For accurate shifting, you can also use its Microshift 14-speed brake lever and shifter combination. Also, the bike comes with Shimano derailleurs. The Schwinn Phocus also has high-quality alloy rims with lightweight spokes. Then, it also has a durable front wheel.

The saddle of this road bike also has a fast release, which allows you to adjust its height. The alloy caliper brakes also enable a quick and power halt. What’s even better is that it comes with toe straps and clips.

User Rating

Pros

  • This model is such an affordable bike for its performance level.
  • Also, the Schwinn Phocus bike came with high-quality tires.
  • It is an excellent road bike for any environment.

Cons

  • The only downfall of this bike is that it has a small front sprocket.

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Vilano Shadow 2.0 Road Bike


The Vilano Shadow bike has a Shimano STI-integrated shifters and brake lever. These factors offer a manipulative and accurate shifting and braking, which apply to a single unit.

​Plus, the model comes with a double-butted Aluminum Aero frame. It also comes with an integrated headset. The fork is already 700 cc Threadless, and the wheelset is 700 cc double-walled CNC machine side. It also comes with freebies, including the pedals.

User Rating

Pros

  • The Vilano Shadow is such a great bike for a low price.
  • Plus, it comes with high-quality materials, including the brake lever and the shifters.
  • Also, the bike already comes with a wheel set, which is such an excellent deal for frugal buyers.

Cons

  • The tires included are of low quality.
  • You still need to purchase a new set of tires for the bike.

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Giordano Libero Acciao Road Bikes


The Giordano Libero Acciao bike has a medium fit: 5 feet, 8 inches to 6 feet with a 30 to 32-inch inseam.

It already comes with a durable and dependable fork and steel frame. Moreover, the bike has an Alloy Handlebar and a 1 and 1/8 inch Allow Threadless Stem.

Another incredible addition to the product is the drive train, which is a 14-speed Shimano Tourney STI. Plus, unlike any other road bikes, it comes with a Down Tube mount for water bottles.

User Rating

Pros

  • This is a great deal for an affordable price.
  • The Giordano Libero Acciao bike is also an ideal commuter bike.
  • For beginners, you may want to go with this road bike without breaking your bank account.

Cons

  • The Handlebar came falling apart after a few tries.
  • Also, there is some friction in the wheels when I used it on rough roads.

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Merax Finiss Aluminum 21 Speed 700c Road Bike


The Merax Finiss road bike has a sturdy and lightweight Aluminum frame. So, it provides you with hassle-free transport and smooth performance.

Also, for a consistent shifting, the bike has a Shimano shifter and derailleur. Plus, it has quick-releasing front wheels, which are easy to assemble.

The road bike has an Aluminum kickstand, which is super lightweight.

User Rating

Pros

  • The bike is a great fit to my body-built. It is not too small nor large for me.
  • Also, the rides for this road bike are smooth and quick.
  • This is an excellent bike, which is a cheaper version of the other models.
  • The tires are also performing quite smoothly.

Cons

  • The only thing I have to replace to this road bike are the chains. They are quite cheap and low-quality.
  • Moreover, the brakes on this bike are quite stiff. So, I also took care of this issue.

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Ancheer Fixed Gear Bike


If you are looking for a road bike that will offer you a lightweight yet durable steel frame, then you have to choose the Ancheer Fixed Gear Bike.

Also, it comes with anti-wear 700c tires. The chains of this bike have high-quality Deep C, KMC. Moreover, it has an upgraded 40 knife ring and a flip-flop hub.

It also comes with additional non-slip straps and pedal toe clips. What’s even better is that the user can adjust the seat height to a desirable position.

User Rating

Pros

  • The road bike is easy and fast to assemble. In fact, the instructions are comprehensible for regular users.
  • Additionally, you only have to install the pedals, handlebars, seat, and the front wheel of the Ancheer Fixed Gear Bike.
  • The rides the bike produce are smooth and quick.

Cons

  • The kickstand does not work in this model. So, what you have to do is just to remove it and replace it.
  • The welds of the bike are somewhat with low-quality materials.

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Conclusion

Although a lot of people believe that it is pretty hard to see the right road bike, this may not be the case all of the time. What they only have to do is to check out the tips provided above before choosing a model.

For a bike that is suitable for different terrains, they may pick the Schwinn Phocus road bike. Not only that the materials of this road bike are durable, but they also deliver an excellent biking performance. So, what are you waiting for? Choose a road bike now and enjoy a cycling experience!

Heather L. Makar
 

My name is Heather Makar, and I’m from Seattle. I’m the main responsible for this little bundle of witty write-ups, a collection of tips, and guides about cycling and bikes.

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