First of all, what exactly is a road bike..?
A road bike is distinguished from other bikes for its lightweight components that make it great for traversing long distances at a brisk pace.
A road bike is designed to be ridden on smooth and consistent terrain, with speed being prioritized over control. So, if you’re interested in being a ‘Speedy Gonzalez,” get ready to zip past everyone on your new road bike, and arrive at your destination quicker than you’d think.
Without further ado, let’s dive into ten of the best road bikes under five hundred dollars!
10. GMC Denali Road Bike
One of the road bikes for less than five hundred dollars that you’ll love, this GMC Denali Road bike is designed for the everyday rider that seeks great value for the cost and a high-performance set of wheels.
This bike features Shimano Revo shifters that allow you to select gears without needing to take your hands off of the handlebars. So, in other words, shifting gears is a piece of cake with this GMC Denali.
This masterpiece is available in different sizes, so be sure to select the one that is appropriate for you.
When it arrives you must assemble it, but that part is easy- and the bike comes with detailed instructions for set-up.
One slight con is that there is no quick-release lever in case of a flat tire.
- Lightweight aluminum frame (weighs 28 pounds)
- Comes with water bottle holder
- Features 21 speeds
- 36 spoke rims on 28mm tires
- Alloy caliper brakes
9. Shimano Aluminum Commuter Bike, 21-Speed, 700cc
This best beginner road bike under five hundred dollars is an ideal one to ride around the neighborhood or to and from your college campus.
This model won’t break your bank account too bad- it runs for about two hundred dollars.
One downfall is that the pedals are made of plastic. Granted, the plastic is very durable, but some prefer plain ol’ metal pedals.
- 21 speeds
- Lightweight aluminum frame
- A050 thumb-shifters
- Very easy to assemble (bike arrives ready to be set-up)
- Easy to shift gears
8. Kent GZR700 Road Bike
This Kent road bike has a solid steel frame and fork that’s perfect for your commute or any sort of recreational activity.
This beauty allows for smooth shifting between twenty-one speeds, and it also features a dual set of brakes.
One of the great road bikes under five hundred dollars, this Kent road bike features alloy caliper and brake levers that allow for quick stopping. It’s nice peace of mind to know that you can stop in an instant for that squirrel crossing the road.
One slight downfall is that the shift lever position is at an awkward angle for some, per what Amazon reviewers say, but it gets easier after you get the hang of it. It will be a learning experience at first, as with anything.
- Comfortable seat for longer rides
- Medium-size bike
- Alloy caliper brakes
- 700 x 32c tires
7. Vilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Road bike, 24 Speed
Betcha didn’t think a road bike could be a ‘hybrid!’ It really just means that the bike features a wide range of riding conditions and uses. It’s sort of a mix between a road bike and a mountain bike.
One of the road bikes for sale under five hundred dollars, this Vilano 3.0 packs a powerful punch.
It has 24 speeds, an aluminum frame, and it’s mechanical disk brakes allow it to easily stop in wet or dry conditions, a major highlight of this one.
This best road bike arrives partially assembled, but it’s easy to put the rest together, per what Amazon reviewers say.
One slight downfall is that the saddle (the term for where you sit) could be cushier and more plush for the private parts. This depends on your sensitivity level, of course. You can always replace it, or just wear an extra pair of underwear for padding- just kidding!
- Disc brakes provide for superior stopping power
- Upright handlebar for overall ease while cycling
- Shimano components with 700 c tires
- Brakes easily in both wet or dry conditions
- 24 speeds
6. EUROBIKE Road bike XC550, 21 Speed, 49 cm/54 cm
The Eurobike is an excellent and stable starter bike with a lightweight, contemporary frame.
One of the top road bikes under five hundred dollars, the Eurobike has impressive speed with likable braking power.
This one sells for a happy medium price of two hundred and fifty dollars.
One downside is that if you shift gears too fast or pedal too hard while you’re in the middle of shifting, the chain will become loose. So, you may want to avoid doing that.
- Includes Shimano (quality bike components) derailleurs and shifters
- Disc brake system for maximum stopping power
- Steel frame (it’s lighter than you’d imagine!)
- 21 speeds
- The company provides noteworthy customer service
5. Schwinn Volare 1400 Road bike, 700 cc
A fantastic commuter or everyday bike, this speedy bike has been built to go fast!
One of the road bikes under five hundred dollars, this light aluminum Schwinn frame has been combined with a steel road fork for flexible riding, weighing a total of twenty-three pounds.
This Volare 1400 features a Shimano 14-speed shifter and brake lever combination, and Shimano derailleurs, quality gear-changing mechanisms.
One slight downfall is that some Amazon reviewers have stated that the brakes need fine tuning upon arrival of the bike.
- 14 speeds
- Comes with a limited lifetime warranty
- Alloy linear pull brakes on both front and rear ends
- Flat-style handlebar and sport saddle
- Smooth shifting with Shimano components
4. Goplus Road Bike- Quick Release Racing Bicycle
One of the best road bikes under five hundred dollars, the Goplus road bike will withstand the test of time with its sturdy aluminum frame, and provides quick get-up-and-go power.
This road bike is versatile and ideal for commuting to and from work, traveling, or even racing.
One minor con is that the handlebars may be a bit low for those that have long legs. However, you decide for yourself.
- Colorful- comes with attractive blue, black, green, orange, and red paint
- Quick-release front wheels for easy install and maintenance
- Strong aluminum frame
- Very lightweight
- High-performance 700 cc wheels
3. Vilano Shadow 2.0 Road Bike
One of the road bikes under five hundred dollars, the Vilano Shadow 2.0 is a great first-time road bike with integrated shifting that provides maximum comfortability.
This smooth-riding speed demon road bike has no problem going uphill, downhill, and through flats, it picks up speed very well, so don’t get too in over your head when you start free-falling down those hills!
One slight con is that some reviewers wish the gear range was more complex. Can’t win ’em all!
- 700 cc wheels
- 6061 double butted aluminum aero frame with integrated headset
- Shimano STI integrated brake lever/shifter provides controllable braking
- Lightweight bike
- 14 gears
2. Pure Cycles Classic 16-Speed Road Bike
One of the top road bikes under five hundred dollars, this Pure Cycles classic 16-speed road bike is perfect for the beginner to the advanced rider.
This road bike features smooth Hutchinson nitro II tires, an adjustable drop bar with a variety of hand positions, and a performance designed road saddle to cushion your tush!
One minor con is that the eight sprocket cassette in the rear can make hills a bit of a challenge if you plan on doing lots of them. So, consider this.
- Arrives 90% assembled
- Front and rear caliper alloy brakes
- 16 speed Shimano Claris STI shifters
- 17 mm-deep dish alloy rims with stainless steel spokes
- Strong 4130 chromoly steel frame
1. Giordano 42742 Libero 1.6 Men’s Road Bike 700c
One of the best road bikes under five hundred dollars, this Giordano Libero men’s road bike is sound for the mountain biker, casual exercise around the city, or if you want to just hit the road and see where it takes you.
Despite this road bike’s label of being designed for a man, women have used this bike just the same and seem to be satisfied, per what Amazon reviewers state.
This road bike is available in small, medium, and large, so be sure to consider this if you decide to purchase it.
One of the entry level road bikes under five hundred dollars, this Giordano Libero is truly a gem. It features a 16-speed Shimano STI drive train, a one and eighth of an inch threadless stem, and a handcrafted 6061 aluminum frame.
One minor downside is that some reviewers comment that if you’ve been stopped at a traffic light and then shift gears to resume riding, it can be a bit rough but overall, it’s smoother than a cheaper entry-level bicycle.
- Dual water-bottle cages
- 32 spoke quick-release alloy rims
- Lightweight 6061 aluminum frame
- Very easy to assemble
Best Road Bikes under $500 FAQ’s:
What exactly is a road bike?
There are a few details that distinguish a road bike from a bicycle or mountain bike.
First, road bikes have a frame that’s very lightweight, thin tires, and multiple gears to choose from- sometimes there can be up to over twenty different ones (so, if you want to up the resistance, or contrarily make it easier to pedal, adjust the gear!).
Another way in which a road bike is unique is that there is no suspension. Seeing as how the majority of terrain covered on a road bike is flat and smooth, no additional suspension is needed.
If you ever plan on traveling far and wide on a road bike, it’s easier to cover long distances on one, as opposed to a different set of wheels.
What are the different types of frame materials for road bikes, and how do they differ?
Typically, road bikes are constructed from steel, carbon fiber, aluminum, titanium, or a mixture of other materials.
Carbon fiber is a combination of carbon fiber and resin that glues the fibers together. Carbon fiber has a long ‘life-span’ and its performance will withstand time.
Aluminum is used to design lightweight, strong bikes at a cost-effective rate. A slight con is that the material can degrade over time, but if you take care of it, of course, it’ll last longer.
Prior to aluminum and carbon fiber, steel was the most common material used for road bikes. Contrary to what you might think, a steel bike can be just as comfortable as any other frame material. Modern day manufacturers now make ultra high strength steel tubes that are used to construct bikes with moderate weight and performance.
Titanium frames are less common to see- however, they make for a lightweight, very long-lasting bike, that won’t corrode like steel. As opposed to aluminum and copper, titanium is flexible even in the wake of a crash- it takes a lot to inflict damage upon it.
What size of bike should I purchase?
It’s all about comfort, right?
Electing the perfect road bike for your body size is essential.
Buying the wrong bike might leave you feeling uncomfortable, or prone to injury and a poor riding experience.
Each manufacturer has its own specific size and frame descriptions, and in the same way, the size of each model from the same manufacturer may vary.
The most reliable method to find the right-sized bike for you is to use is the ‘Stack’ and ‘Reach’ measurements.
‘Stack’ pertains to the height of the bike measured vertically from the bottom bracket to the top of the head tube, whereas the ‘Reach’ relates to the length covered horizontally from the bottom bracket to the head tube of the bike.
Once you know these two values, it’ll be easy to go from there and find the appropriately sized bike.
What are general price ranges for road bikes?
The value range for road bikes varies tremendously. Prices range from three hundred dollars and under to over six thousand dollars. For the best of the best, expect to pay over ten thousand!
The more money you spend on a bike, the better shift quality you’ll have, in addition to more comfort, and increased stiffness. The ones that are most expensive are either more aerodynamic, lightweight, or tailored more for endurance performance.
What are potential bike accessories I may need?
First things first- a helmet is a necessity!
You may want to consider the weight of your helmet (you don’t want it too light, not too heavy), and ensure that it fits your head securely. Do you want it to be well ventilated? You might, if you sweat a lot. Maybe you want a bright colored one to enhance your visibility on the road. Or, you could ‘diy’ and choose to stick some fun colored patches on your helmet.
Perhaps you may want to purchase a light to attach to your bike if you plan on being on the road.
Maybe you’d like to add a bottle cage to your bike to hold your water bottle while you’re hittin’ the trails.
These are all accessories to consider as you prepare to invest in your set of wheels.
How can I maintain my bike?
It’s important to keep the bike chain clean and lubricated. When the grease cakes up, riding the bike won’t be quite as smooth.
Also, having access to a hex set is handy for whenever your bolts need tightening. They should always be tight, but not overly tight to avoid damaging the frame (especially if its made of carbon or carbon components.)
References for Best Road Bikes under $500: