Are you looking for a road bike that offers excellent quality at an affordable price? Are you also having trouble finding ‘the one’ amongst the overwhelming amount of options you’ve found so far? Lucky for you, I did my research, and I’ve comprised a list of the best ten road bikes under $500 to make things easier for you.
Excited to start cycling again, I began to search for the best endurance road bike I could find at an affordable rate, with hopes that it would be quick and easy. Unfortunately, it was much more challenging than I expected. Just go to a site like Amazon, and you’ll find a whopping 406 options to choose from. I know, 406! And yes, I counted. It was a long process, but I did finally narrow down my search to 10 road bikes that I feel offer great value at an affordable price.
Top 5 Best Road Bike Under 500 Dollars In 2017 - Comparison
(**At the time of publishing this post,products were under 500 in Amazon)
|Name||Bike Features||Editor Rating|
|Merax® Finiss Aluminum 21 Speed 700C Road Bike Racing Bicycle Shimano||Strong & lightweight frame,easy gearing comes with an affordable price tag!||(4.1 / 5)|
|Schwinn Men's Phocus 1600 700C Drop Bar Road Bicycle||Attractive design,easy assembling,smooth gear & brakes. Perfect for daily commuting to racing!||(4.3 / 5)|
|GMC Denali Road Bike, 700c||Lightweight,great gearing comes with very affordable price!||(3.6 / 5)|
|Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike, 700c||Strong frame,attractive design,smooth riding. Ideal bike for commuting!||(4.0 / 5)|
|Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano||Light frame,smooth shifting comes with great price!||(3.5 / 5)|
Before I share my recommendations with you, let’s take a look at the most important aspects of a bike you need to consider before purchasing one.
How To Choose The Best Road Bike Under 500
When searching for the best road bike under $500, there are four things that you should consider: the bike’s comfort, the bike’s frame, the bike’s wheels, and the bike’s efficiency.
A mountain biker on Stack Exchange once said that “what becomes clear is that the mountain bike’s geometry is not designed for comfortable riding for more than a few hours.” He went on to say, “After 20 miles or so my back starts to hurt and I desperately wish I could lean down and do that ‘resting on the handlebars’ pose that you see road riders doing.
I’ve tried, and it doesn’t really work on a mountain bike.” He’s right. If you’re looking for a bike to use to travel long distances or exercise, road bikes are the best option. The main comfort-oriented benefit to a road bike is its drop handlebars that offer multiple hand positions and a more relaxed geometry for better back positioning.
Road Bike Frame
When looking for the best road bike under 500 you want to find a frame that’s light, but also sturdy. Road bikes have four common frames: steel, titanium, carbon and aluminum.
- Steel frames are comfortable, durable and pretty inexpensive. Unfortunately, they weigh more, which would slow you down, and some do rust.
- Titanium frames have a similar weight to aluminum and are just as comfortable as steel and carbon frames while being extremely durable. However, titanium-framed bikes are insanely expensive and can cost up to $8,000.
- Carbon frames are durable, comfortable and light. The downside is that they do cost a lot more, almost as much as titanium-framed bikes.
- Aluminum frames are sturdy and light, which make them excellent for racing or traveling longer distances at faster speeds. They are also shock absorbing, and won’t crack or rust easy. Aluminum provides great efficiency at a more economical price. You can read more about bike frames here.
Most road bikes have thinner tires while mountain bikes have thicker tires. In an article that Exploratorium wrote about bicycle tires, they mentioned that on a hard asphalt surface thinner tires won’t flatten much.
The less the tire flattens at the bottom, the less surface area is in contact with the road. Less contact means less friction, and more speed.
When you are looking to buy the best road bike under $500 You want a bike that minimizes your effort and increases your comfort when cycling. Compared to mountain bikes, road bikes give you better efficiency by allowing you to travel further distances quicker, with minimal effort.
- Drop handlebars – for multiple hand positions and plenty of space to rest your arms when you’re tired.
- A more upright riding position – that makes longer rides more comfortable.
- Frames made from aluminum – which makes the bike lighter and increases riding speeds. A user on Meta-filter noted that when he owned a mountain bike the furthest distance he could travel was 16 mph, but when he switched over to a road bike he was now able to travel 18-20 mph.
- Tires – thinner tires for less contact and friction with the road. Road bikes usually come in 700c tires that are durable and lightweight, and that helps increase riding speeds.
Ten Best Road Bike Under 500 Review
After an extensive search, I truly believe that these are the best road bikes under $500. These road bikes offer speed, agility and efficiency, and I highly recommend them. You don’t have to spend a ton of cash to find a great quality, durable bike, and this list clearly shows that. In the end, I went with the GMC Denali Road Bike but I would definitely have been happy with any one of the 10 road bikes listed above. I hope this list will make your bike buying experience much easier, and have fun with whichever road bike you choose to buy!