Best Road Bike Under 500 in 2018 – Buyers Guide

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 road bike under 500 to make things easier for you.

best road bike under $500 reviewExcited 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.

Best Road Bike Under 500 Dollars - Comparisons

(**At the time of publishing this post,products were under 500 in Amazon)

NameBike FeaturesEditor 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 / 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 One?

When searching for a top quality cycle, there are four things that you should consider: The bike’s comfort, frame, 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

road boke frame review

When looking to find the best bike 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.

Wheels

road bike wheels

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.

Efficiencey

road bike handlebars

When you are looking to buy a top quality cycle,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.

6 Best Road Bikes Under $500 Reviews in 2018

1. Vilano Shadow Road Bike – Shimano STI Integrated

**At the time of publishing this post,product were under 500 in Amazon

Vilano Shadow Road Bike is constructed with a 6061 double butted aluminum aero frame that makes it ultra light weight. It’s fitted with an integrated headset. It has a 700c thread-less fork and 700c double walled CNC machine side wheel-set that helps absorbs shock from harsh surfaces, making the ride smoother and much more enjoyable.

The Shimano Integrated Shifter/Lever is easy-to-use and ensures that you have complete accuracy and control when braking. The bike has a front and rear quick release that makes it easier to remove the bicycle wheels with no tools. This feature makes it simpler and much faster to replace a flat tire, and makes it easier to fit the bike in a car. Free platform pedals come with every Vilano Shadow Road bike.​

Highlighted features-​

  • Ultra lightweight – the bike weighs less than 23 pounds.
  • Integrated headset.
  • The braking and shifting are located in one accessible place.
  • A 700c fork and 700c double walled CNC machine side wheelset that absorbs shock from rough surfaces.
  • Shimano STI Integrated Shifter/Lever for precise and controlled braking.
  • A front and rear quick release.
  • Every vilano shimano road bike comes with free platform pedals.

2. Giordano Libero 1.6 Men’s Road bike-700c

Giordano Libero 1.6 Men's Road Bike-700c

**At the time of publishing this post,product were under 500 in Amazon

Giordano Libero 1.6 Men’s Road bike-700c has a lightweight, hand-crafted 6061 aluminum frame. Giordano Libero 1.6 bike features a 32 spoke, and alloy handlebars and stem. This makes the bike stronger and more durable, and ensures you have more control of the bike. This road bike also features lightweight Vitesse 700c alloy rims and 700c x 25c road tires that are thicker, longer wearing and absorb more shock.

Quick release hubs in the front and back make the bike easier to take apart if you’re trying to fit it into a place that doesn’t provide much room, and the Shimano Claris 16 speed shifters and derailleurs help make climbing less grueling. The Giordano Libero 1.6 road bikes is available in men’s small, medium and large, and has dual water bottle mounts.

Highlighted features-​

  • Lightweight, strong and attractive body.
  • Durable wheels.
  • Quick release hubs.
  • 16 speed shifters to make climbing less grueling.
  • Comes in men’s small, medium and large.
  • Dual water bottle mounts.

3. Merax Finiss Aluminum 21 speed 700C Road Bike Racing Bicycle Shimano

Our Recommendation

**At the time of publishing this post,product were under 500 in Amazon

Merax Finiss Aluminum 21 speed 700C Road Bike Racing Bicycle Shimano has a lightweight and sturdy aluminum frame, can carry riders with a weight of up to 330 pounds and comes in three different color schemes. The weight of the bike makes it convenient to carry up the stairs, hang it on a bike rack or carry on a train. It has an aerodynamic design that’s intended to increase speeds and make your ride smoother.

Merax finiss aluminum 21 speed 700C road bike features a Shimano Shifter that’s easy-to-use and accommodates rapid shifting between gears, and the Shimano Derailleur ensures that you have multiple gear range options as you ride. The quick release front wheels and aluminum kickstand offer easy and smooth gearing shifting as needed.

Highlighted features-​

  • Strong, lightweight frame.
  • Can carry riders with a weight of up to 330 pounds.
  • Aerodynamic design.
  • Comes in green and black, red and white, and yellow and grey.
  • Easy gearing and shifting.

4. SE Bikes Royal 14-Speed Road Bicycle

SE Bikes Royal 14-Speed Road Bicycle Review

**At the time of publishing this post,product were under 500 in Amazon

SE Bikes Royal 14-Speed Road Bicycle Built with an alloy main frame, the bike is light, comfortable and strong. The 14-speed Shimano Shifter provides agility and high performance, and makes it easier for you to handle any grade change you may encounter. The wheel set is made from alloy 32H walled rims, the tires are 700 x 25c and the brakes are made from alloy road caliper.

These components work in harmony to allow you ride on rough terrains and stop at a moment’s notice. In addition, The SE bikes royal 14 has a comfy foam-padded saddle and soft suede tape grip to maximize your comfort. This bike is guaranteed to last you for years to come.

Highlighted features-​

  • Lightweight.
  • Strong main frame equipped with water bottle mounts.
  • 700 x 25c tires are thicker, longer wearing and facilitate more shock.
  • absorption.
  • Foam-padded saddle and soft suede tape grip to increase your riding comfort.

5. Windsor Wellington 2.0 Aluminum 21 Speed Shimano Equipped Road Bike

Windsor Wellington 2.0 Aluminum 21 Speed Shimano Equipped Road Bike Review

**At the time of publishing this post,product were under 500 in Amazon

Windsor Wellington 2.0 Aluminum 21 Speed Shimano Equipped Road Bike is a very simplistic but efficient bike. It’s built from a lightweight 6061 aluminum frame with an integrated headset, and a Shimano drivetrain with A050 handlebar mounted shifters for smoother gear changes.

Windsor wellington 2.0 is a good-looking bike that’s light, durable and has one of the most comfortable saddles you will find on a road bike.It has durable wheels, which makes it perfect for your local paved trails, and commuting to work. In addition, the bicycle weighs 24lbs, one of the lightest in its class, and free pedals are included with every bike.

Highlighted features-​

  • Lightweight aluminum frame.
  • Comfortable saddle.
  • Lightweight and durable wheels.
  • Free pedals are included with every bike.

6. Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike Review

Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike Review

**At the time of publishing this post,product were under 500 in Amazon

Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike designed to fit riders from five feet, eight inches tall to six feet, two inches tall. This bike is unique in that it’s fitted with a rear flip flop hub for fixed gear or freewheel. This means this road bike gives you two riding options: the bicycle allows the pedals to stay stationary while the bicycle is in motion so that the rider can ‘coast’ (freewheel), and the rider has to keep on pedaling to keep the bike in motion (fixed gear).

Without the parts that are usually required for a drivetrain – derailleur, cables, shifters, etc. – Takara kabuto single speed road bike is lightweight compared to its geared equivalent. The bike’s frame and fork are made from Tig-welded steel and its brakes and rims from alloy, which make it really strong and durable. The bike’s tires are a little thicker than the standard road bike, but this just means you’ll be able to get a much smoother ride on rougher terrains.

Highlighted features-​

  • Lightweight Tig-welded steel frame and fork.
  • Fits riders from 5 ft 8 inches to 6 ft 2 inches.
  • Fitted with a flip flop hub, which means the bike requires less energy to move.
  • Strong, durable body.
  • Thicker tires for a smoother ride on rougher terrains.

 

Final Verdict

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 Takara Kabuto 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!