10 Best Entry Level Road Bikes Under 500 – A Helpful Review
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We all love a good bike ride. Not only is it a healthy pass time, but it also can replace a car or bus ride and thus lessen the pollution count on the environment.
Pretty much all of us have unearthed the technique of balancing on a two-wheeler, but as for those who have yet to learn, it's never too late to start.
Nevertheless, it’s difficult to find entry level quality bikes.
But to help you out, here, I’m going to review the best beginner road bike under 500$.
In addition, there will be a buying guide to help you make the right decision.
Let’s dive in.
Are Cheap Entry Level Road Bikes Any Good?
The short answer is yes, otherwise I wouldn't even be here putting this article together. However, I should regardless elaborate a little.
First off, an entry level road bike is simple. If you're just starting out, do you really want an instrument with a dozen different settings of which you have no idea?
With an entry level bike, you get what you see. There’s no room for deception.
Another aspect you have to look at is the price; if you're going to just try cycling out, perhaps it'd be better to not invest too much money in the beginning. Starter level bikes are usually pretty cheap. However, if you want, you can upgrade to high-end bikes after a few months of cycling.
Our Best Entry Level Road Bike Picks For 2019
Now it might be a bit difficult to pick the top entry level ride from so many great options. Thus, we’ve shortlisted a few from the finest bikes to make your task easier.
1. Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano
This might seem like a standard bike, but it does come with some extra features and gives it a good ‘feel’ of being a professional machine. With its streamlined handlebars and lightweight frame, it definitely is built for speed and boasts a very modern look. No wonder why this is regarded as the best road bike under 500$.
It also incorporates a set of additional features; namely the gear system which lets you change speeds. The gears have also been reported to have been transitioning very smoothly. Some other auxiliary features included here are the water bottle dispenser and a headset system.
Performance-wise, it is more than just up to the mark, particularly for the beginners. Like I said before, it gives the illusion of being a professional cycler. It is built for long rides along the road and can easily be used to cover over several tens of kilometers.
Its lightweight and streamlined design allows for minimal friction, and the machine can easily glide through the road. In fact, it only weighs around twenty-four pounds. And so, it is not only good for motion but also is easy to carry and put away. It is also a robust machine lasting for years.
However, when it comes to sizes, it does have one limitation. Even in its small size, it is somewhat of a hassle for smaller people. The reason is it's too big. The brakes and pedals can be difficult to reach for some, particularly women who tend to be shorter. Nonetheless, it is very accommodating for taller people.
2. Giordano Rapido Single Speed Road Bike
Being amongst the best affordable road bikes, this model by Giordano flaunts its simple and compact design. You won’t find any complicated gears or buttons or anything like that. It is simple, clear cut and down to doing its job. It's also got a pretty sleek design to boot.
In an ode to its simplicity, it doesn't contain too many additional features. And quite frankly, if you're a starter bike rider, you might appreciate that lack of so many confusing features. It does, however, accommodate the basic feature, a holder for your water bottle. After all, cycling and rehydration go hand in hand.
This bicycle is your best friend for the commuter. While it can hold its own in endurance biking sessions, the seating and simplistic design were made with the casual journey goer in mind.
It is very light, owing to its aluminum frame and compact design. So, the bike can be carried around and tucked away in any place you see fit.
When it comes to longevity, the bike can withstand many blows before it's about to go down. It can be subject to damage only when you overuse the bicycle and try to “test” its durability. Continued use is easily shrugged off by this machine, and it will provide the peak performance every time.
The bicycle also comes in three distinct sizes. The small one is for young adults and older women.
Also, the medium is for most of the men and some women, and the large one is usually for just men. So, you can even choose the bike that corresponds to your own build.
3. Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men's Road Bike
When it comes to overall rating, this bike takes the crown as the best road bike under five hundred, chiefly because of its great all-around specs. It has a very attractive design. A fine finish coupled with a smooth and streamlined frame makes it quite the covetous choice for any aspiring biker.
It comes with an adjustable saddle system so even if you are not of the conventional height, you can still reach the pedals once you screw the saddle up or down. It also contains the speed gears that let you control your desired level of speed so can choose to either race along the road or just cycle at a relaxed pace.
Either way though, your bike will not fail you as it is built for riding. And extensive riding at that. If you want to just ride at a leisurely pace it can offer you the comfort to do so; it's got a good seat, and the frame is spacious enough for that, but at the same time it also incorporates the elements of a speedy ride.
It is also very durable. If you are a regular rider, you will most certainly find this bike worth having as it can perform on regular bike rides for hours. And it keeps at it too for years. It also has pretty good mileage; you can use it travel for miles on end and still it would not give away.
This thing is lightweight and easy to assemble. Assembly can pose a conundrum if you're not that acquainted with mechanical aspects. Nevertheless, the instructions for the assembly of this bike is easy to understand and work with. The procedures themselves are simple. All in all, this is a great bike.
4. Giordano Libero 1.6 Men's Road Bike
Opposed to the simple design mentioned above, the model mentioned above has a lot of sophisticated features. First and foremost, it has a good finish and it easily viewed as a stylish bike. The handlebars are made to look like that of a sports bike, and the frame is seamless, and overall drives home how even starter bikes can look professional.
Of the road bikes under five hundred, this is definitely notable as possessing many additional features designed to enhance your biking experience. First off, there is the adjustable saddle. There is also the feature of a double water bottle dispenser. If you're someone who needs that extra water bottle, this bike has got you covered.
When it comes to the fact of riding itself, the bike more than just delivers, particularly if you are simply a commuter who likes to cruise the outdoors. It works like a charm, and the mileage on this is really good. If you plan just to get some cycling done on the down low, you’ll love this bike.
It also comes in three different sizes, small, medium and large and the adjustable saddle lets you move up or down to let your feet align with the pedals that are present. This is included as people, even within a certain height class still vary and so the saddle can help with that.
However, one issue that is problematic for the user is the assembly of the bike. It is on the heavier side, and the setup and assembly of the instrument are complicated. You can easily end up with a loose screw or improper fitting and end up with faulty performance. It is therefore recommended to take it down to the garage for a professional assembly.
5. Schwinn Women's Phocus 1600 700C Drop Bar Road Bicycle
The carbon fiber forks on this really do speak for themselves, as do the aluminum frame. All in all, it is a great bike and is one of the best women’s road bike under 500. It comes in two dainty colors, which are usually more popular among women.
It includes a saddle that you can raise or lower which is something that really helps, considering there are only two sizes of this bike. And as always, a water bottle dispenser is present as it is advised to remain sufficiently hydrated during these exercises.
For an easygoing user, it is perfect. You can cruise very comfortably; the pedals move like a breeze, and you can just sit and relax on the go. The saddle is also pretty comfortable. For even the avid biker, this product persists not to disappoint.
Along with some solid mileage, an intricate gearing system exists as well. You can easily switch between gears and go at your own pace. As a starter bike, it really does do great across the board.
If you’re looking for some thrill, it delivers just as good. In fact, as long as you aren’t looking into being a professional, this bike will do just fine for you.
The bike also is very durable and will last you years; it is built to withstand regular extensive use with no issue. As a matter of fact, it is only a few upgrades away from being a professional bicycle.
It is light in weight and so can easily be handled and assembled or put away at ease. Since it also comes in two sizes, you can choose the one that is most suited for you.
6. Vilano Shadow 2.0 Road Bike
Boasting a unique design consisting of a double butted aluminum aero frame, this model by Vilano can be considered as one of the best affordable road bikes. It has a clear cut, slim design and is a very good bike for anyone just starting out riding. Sure, it is nothing too fancy, but if you’re only starting, the extra bells and whistles are more of a hassle.
It has all the run-of-the-mill features you’d expect from any bicycle but also throws in free pedals as a bonus. It also consists of a total of sixteen gears to help your ride at the speed you want to. You could describe this as having some of the elements of a professional bike, to sort of introduce you to the whole realm of cycling.
Unsurprisingly, a cheap and somewhat unprofessional bicycle is the best friend of a carefree bicycle rider. If you are the type who doesn’t really care about peak performance, you might want to consider purchasing this bike, because it packs some cools features with a very affordable price.
In regard to maintenance, again, if you are a casual user, it is just for you. This bicycle is very resilient and does not go down easily. You can commute on this for hours and never require any sort of maintenance for the most part. This thing can last you for years like this.
However, you do have to go through some initial difficulties, particularly if you are not all that tech savvy. The assembly procedure is kind of tricky and the instructions are vague, so you might end up damaging some part.
If that is ever the case, you have to take it to the mechanics. You also might have to customize it a little to get things suited for you. Overall, this one is a good candidate for the best road bike under 500$ crown.
7. Merax Finiss Aluminum 21 Speed 700C Road Bike Racing Bicycle
Brought to you by Merax, this model is one of the best road bikes. In fact, it is quite inexpensive and thus very much in the reaches of the average person. And so, it makes for a very good bicycle for anyone looking to start cycling as a hobby. In fact, it might just be the best bike for beginners under 500.
It houses a gearing system to let you adjust the speed you are riding seamlessly, and also includes a pannier. This pannier bag can help you carry anything you might want with you on your ride, other than your water bottle, which has its own holder.
The bike also has an impressive set of color schemes to choose from, which encompass complementary colors. Its build is very streamlined, from the ultra slim frame to the curve of the handlebars, and hence it facilitates you to ride your bike at very monstrous speeds.
On top being streamlined, the pedaling and chains arrangement is very efficient and runs things very smoothly. To top it all off, the bike’s light weight makes you almost soar through the roads.
Its lightweight also contributes to storage as you can easily put it away whenever you want. It also enables you to carry it around when you aren’t able to ride it for any particular reason. However, that is unlikely to be the case as it is a very robust build that can withstand rigorous usage.
Assembling this can be a little troublesome since there are some motions you have taken very carefully. Nevertheless, it isn’t too hard if you are following the instructions properly. The shifters and brakes might need some tuning as well, but that is usually done easily at the bike shop.
8. Bavel Commuter Aluminum Road Bike
Brandishing an aluminum frame, this bike by Bavel is geared for cruising rather than racing. However, it can still hold out if you decide to take it out on a race. It comes in a sleek design and various paired color schemes. For the beginner biker, it is definitely worth, at the very least, a good look.
This packs in the usual gears, and lets you shift in accordance to how you ride. It is also a unisex bicycle, as it comes in four distinct sizes so you can pick one at suits your size. It also consists of a saddle that you can adjust according to the length of your legs; this enables easy riding.
On the streets, it is more of an easy-going bicycle that provides comfort and smooth sailing, although some of us have seen that the saddle can feel a little too rigid and somewhat uncomfortable after prolonged riding. The finish is not very streamlined to allow for room to make a spacious design for a comfy ride.
This bike, as with most bikes that are shipped or delivered, comes unassembled. You usually have to assemble them yourself, and this can seem puzzling at times. However, this bad boy has you covered; the assembling procedure is as easy as pie. The instructions are crystal clear; you will never have trouble with this one.
There are some issues; we have faced with this one. It can be quite fragile, and you need some maintenance semi-regularly. Of course, you can just maintain some things at home, but not everyone has a mechanical garage under their house. Some parts that come are fragile and prone to damage quite easily as well.
9. Vilano Shadow Road Bike
Manufactured and designed by Vilano, this machine stands out as the best entry level road bike. It has a pseudo-professional feel to it. The rims, frames, and handlebars all have a slim and professional look about it.
It is made to appear appealing to any beginning biker, and it also includes the functions to back it up so that you come for the looks and stay for the features.
It has a very slim design; its frame is narrow, and so are most of its other parts. The frame is made of the lightweight aluminum that also gives it strength. The slim design of the whole bike in and of itself also contributes to the low weight of the machine. This allows you to commute effortlessly without any issues.
Regarding performance, on the road, it stands up really well to hard-hitting professional bikes. Yes, you may not be able to outdo them with, but you can most definitely keep up. It was built to easy commute but can hold its own at high velocities too. The highest speed gear can let you travel very fast.
Again, assembly of the bike can pose quite a few problems for some. That is definitely understandable, considering most of us are not acquainted with mechanical knowledge and do not possess the necessary tools either.
So, it is refreshing to see bikes being manufactured that are easy to assemble. This bike, for example, needs only about thirty minutes to be assembled.
One complaint, though, that many of us who have tested it out have to issue is that the tire tubes in many cases come out to be faulty. There might be a leak, or some damage, or some sort of hole that makes the tires go flat after a few rides. Getting new tubes do seem to remedy the issue.
10. Tour de Cure Women's Road Bike
This is considered as the best cheap road bike by many. It comes in a pretty and dainty pink design with a sleek outlook. The finish is seamless, and the frame of the bike is slim and clear cut. The overall look is very attractive and fits it's demographic really well.
It is a very simple bicycle, but it does have the gearing system. It avoids the complications of installing a wider array of options as you would not need that if you’re just a beginner. If you’re looking for just the basics, this bicycle delivers. And it delivers really well too.
Rather than a high-speed racer vehicle, it leans on to the cruising side more. It is definitely for you if you are the type just to want to go for a relaxing bike ride along the road in the afternoon or something. While it can go at the higher speed settings, that is not recommended with this model.
The price for this is also very low, as most people who want to start out would not have the incentive to buy something very expensive. It is one of the cheaper bikes, and with the simple look, it makes for a great starter bike. In fact, for many people, this one is the best women’s road bike under 500.
There are some issues with this bike, however. The assembly manual is unnecessarily complicated, and that makes assembling rather troubling. The other problem is that many of its parts give way rather soon. So, you might need some servicing done beforehand or face maintenance often.
Things to Consider Before You Buy
Here I’d like to highlight some factors you should think about before you buy your bike. It’s a long-term investment, so be careful about what you get because you might just be stuck with it. Factors to consider before buying are as follows:
It should go without saying that you need to aware of how much you can afford, and how much you should pay up. If you are looking for an entry level bike, I’d advise that you for road bikes under 500. The reason is, entry level bikes are just that, entry level.
If you think just because a bicycle is expensive means that it’ll serve you well, you might just be the kind of person who sellers want to rip off.
On the other hand, I also have to insist that you not go for something that costs a hundred bucks, because what they’re selling will most probably be a pile of junk. Go for something that is between two hundred to four hundred; it’s probably a genuine bike you’ll like.
Now, frame types really might not matter to you, particularly if you just want a bike to stroll around and get some light exercise. However, there are some bicycle enthusiasts, and they are more aware of things like this.
Even people who cycle pretty regularly have some idea. Regardless, I’ll highlight some of them and their effects.
This is the lightest of all the frames. Typically, it is made of ultra-strong carbon fiber and resists a lot of strain. While it can be brittle and is somewhat pricey, it is a material that's light and very durable. It is also easily moldable so it can come in various intricate shapes.
While lighter than steel, aluminum is heavier than carbon. However, it has the unique property of being virtually unbreakable. Its structure makes it very hard for it to snap. However, it can be bent with enough stress.
Luckily, such a level of intense stresses is not easily attained. Also, the manufacture of aluminum is expensive.
Steel is a very strong and very resilient material. It not only is very resistant to snapping, but it does not bend or distort in any way easily. Extraction and processing of steel are usually cheaper. There is one issue though; steel is over twice as heavy as aluminum. This weight makes it inconvenient sometimes.
Tires and Wheels
The rims of the wheels should be rigid, and their shape depends on what you prefer. Box-shaped rims are more rigid and steady. They allow a more comfortable ride on your bike. Aerodynamic rims are thinner and more streamlined to provide more speed and acceleration at the expense of some riding comfort.
Tires should be firm, and the tubes should be adequate air pressure. Broad flatter tires give you more comfort. They cover a higher surface area, and thus less force is concentrated on the ground.
They are often safer too as they have a higher grip. For greater speeds, thinner tires are better as they have less friction and drag.
Be wary of maintenance. Some bikes have this penchant of breaking down every other ride or commute. There is nothing more annoying than going back, again and again to the same bike shop to get something fixed.
Some bikes are like this, very high maintenance and somewhat frail. The less maintenance required, the better and you should definitely keep a lookout for that.
Beginner Road Bike Tips
Before you get into the world with your brand-new two-wheeler, I’d like to give you a few tips. I know, that sounds a little preachy, but hear me out. I only want your well being and am trying to help you out. Here are some useful tips and some advice:
Make Use Of Helmets
A head injury can be fatal, and so you must make attempts to prevent that. Invest in a padded helmet to cushion the blow. You’ll thank yourself later.
Follow Traffic Rules
Not only will being a traffic outlaw have legal repercussions, but it is also dangerous as it raises chances of an accident. Being on a bike means you are exposed. In any form of accident, you’ll get the full brunt of the impact.
We all like the thrill of a high-speed bike ride with the wind in our faces, but you should not overdo it. The higher the speed, the more it is likely that you get caught up in an accident. Be responsible.
Keep Water With You At All Times
Cycling is a vigorous exercise and said exercise drains a lot of water from your body. Hence you need restock that water. You should rehydrate as often as you can. Otherwise, you might fall ill.
Frequently Asked Questions
1. What bike does get for my particular height?
Most bikes have a height scale for the convenience of their buyers. And most bikes do come with a variety of sizes for the user. Typically, the small size is for people under five feet, medium for people from five to six feet and large for people over six.
2. How do I assemble my bike?
The bike should have a set of instructions delivered with it that has the directions detailed. Should the manual prove too difficult to understand, you can always resort to the internet. Many helpful videos are showing how it is done.
3. What is the weight of my bike?
The weight is typically written on the box or the invoice, where the other details are. However, the general idea is that a bike should weigh between fifteen to thirty pounds
4. Does my bike need some servicing?
Yes, it may need some customizing. That doesn’t mean the bike is poor quality; it just wasn't for you.
5. What tools do I need to assemble my bike?
It is listed on the product page. Typically, an Allen wrench and some basic hardware.
I believe now you know enough to make a conscious decision about your next bike.
Anyway, I’m sure our reviews for the best entry level road bike under 500 will help you get your desired bike.
So, give the reviews and the buying guide a through read before you make a decision. And don’t forget to let me know which bike you have decided to purchase for you.