Cycling can be a lot of fun and it is great exercise. But, you need to make sure that you’ve found the right bike. This list of the top 10 best road bikes under $500 in 2021 will help you make that choice.
How to Choose the Best Road Bike
What should you look for? This really depends on how you plan on riding, along with your preferences. Typically, road bikes have a lightweight frame, a drop handlebar, and narrow wheels. Other features to look for include:
- Cranksets and gears
- Wheel size
When it comes to bike materials, most frames are made from aluminum or carbon-fiber. Aluminum frames are less expensive. But, they don’t absorb bumps as well as carbon-fiber frames.
The crankset is another feature to look at. A triple crankset with a 9-speed cassette will have a total of 27 gears. This may be more than what you’re looking for. If you’re not used to changing gears constantly, then a double crankset is a more suitable choice.
Other options include the height of the bike and the overall style. These are personal preferences. Some people prefer a taller bike while others want a shorter ride.
Best Road Bikes Under $500 in 2021
You should also read reviews. This offers a more in-depth look at each of your options. This list of the top 10 best road bikes under $500 in 2021 is a good place to start your search.
Last update on 2021-11-30 / Affiliate links / Price / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API
10. Bavel Ultralight Aluminum 21-Speed 700C Road Bike Racing Bicycle
The first road bike to consider is this 21-speed bicycle. It has an ultralight aluminum frame and 700c wheels, along with these features:
- Weighs 27.3-pounds – aluminum frame and fork
- Shimano EF-500 shifter and derailleur
- Quick-release front and rear wheels
- Pro-wheel crankset
- Comes assembled and tested
This bike is ready to ride as soon as you receive it. It has been fully assembled and tested to ensure quality. The manufacturers perform a 500-meter riding test before packaging. It is also available in a variety of sizes, depending on the color that you choose.
There are a few drawbacks. But, they’re minor. One issue is the seat. The included seat isn’t very comfortable. This is especially true if you’re going on a long ride. You may also have some issues with the shifter. It can be a little tight and may need some tweaking to get it to function smoothly. Despite these issues, this bike is still a great value. The bottom line is that it looks great and rides well. It’s a light bike and comes with road bike tires.
9. Kent GZR700 Road Bike 700c
This steel-framed bicycle is your next option. It is a 21-speed road bike with alloy caliper brakes. Other features include the following:
- Affordable price
- Medium-sized frame – should suit anyone of average height
This is an excellent bike, especially for beginners. It is easy to assemble and shouldn’t require professional assembly. You get a dual set of brakes that might need adjustment.
There is one major disadvantage that keeps this bike from appearing further down the list. It is heavy. In fact, it is the heaviest bike in this list. Though, while it is on the heavy side, it is also durable. Basically, it offers a good combination of value, durability, and rideability.
8. Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men’s Road Bike 700c Wheels 56CM Frame
The 8th best road bike is a Schwinn. This is a 16-speed bike for beginners and experts. Built for the road, this bike should meet your needs. Here are the main features:
- Aluminum road frame with carbon fiber fork
- High-profile alloy rims
- Quick-release front wheels
This bike is a little lighter than some of the others. It weighs about 24-pounds. It has an 8-gear rear cluster and 4 shift levers. It comes with everything needed, but assembly is required. Everything should hold up for a while. Though, don’t be surprised if the tires need replacing after a few weeks.
The bike comes with economy tires that won’t last for long. Also, some may find the seat uncomfortable. Other than these issues, this bike is a good option for its price range.
7. Merax Finiss Aluminum 21-Speed 700C Road Bike Racing Bicycle Shimano
Here is a sturdy aluminum 21-speed road bike for both men and women. It includes an aluminum kickstand and quick-release front wheels. You should also examine the other features:
- Lightweight design
- Shimano shifter and derailleur
- Quick-release front wheels
- Aluminum kickstand
You get an affordable bike that works. That is what you’ll find with most of these bikes. They are made by experienced manufacturers that know how to produce quality road bikes. With this option, you get the standard Shimano shifter and derailleur, along with other expected features. The real advantage is the price. This bike costs between $199 and $219, depending on the size and color that you choose.
There are no important disadvantages to choosing this bike. It’s a well-built machine. But, some assembly and tuning are required. You may notice as read these reviews that this is standard. Typically, after purchase, you’ll need to adjust parts of the bike to suit your riding style. Overall, this is another great choice – affordable, durable, and available in various sizes.
6. Aluminum Road Bike Commuter Bike Shimano 21-Speed 700c x 25c
This aluminum road bike is another good option to consider. It has a 21-speed Shimano crankset mounted on the handlebars. It also features 700c wheels and the following details:
- 700c 1-1/8-inch fork
- Shimano front and rear derailleurs
- Alloy caliper brakes
- 700c x 25c wheels
- Urban comfort saddle
This bike is easy to put together. But, you need to make sure that you follow the instruction manual. You may need to adjust the brakes after assembly and then pump air into the tires. This is a 21-speed bike, which means that it should handle most situations. If you have any difficulty assembling the bike, you should consider using professional assembly services at a local bike shop.
There are no major drawbacks. Some customers have mentioned that the chains rub against the shifting mechanism at higher gears. This may be an assembly issue, which is another reason to pay close attention to the instructions. In the end, this road bike is affordable and comes with the standard mid-range road bike features.
5. Cyrusher XC760 Races Road Bike Commuting Cycling 52cm Aluminum Frame
Up next is a 14-speed cycling bike designed for commuters. It has a lightweight aluminum frame and a steel fork, for improved durability. Other features include:
- Shimano Tourney shifter and derailleurs
- Compact frame
- Comes 90% pre-assembled
- 700c x 23c tires
This bike works great and easy to assemble – as it comes mostly assembled. The frame and handlebars are compact, to reduce the overall weight. It is also durable, with a steel fork. Another advantage is the extended warranty, which covers damaged parts.
The only disadvantage relates to the assembly of the bicycle. As mentioned, it comes partially assembled. While this can make it easy to set up the bike, it can also lead to occasional problems. Sometimes, the brakes are reversed or the crankset may need adjusting. If you choose this bike, after you assemble the bike you should take it for a short ride to test the brakes, handlebars, and gears. Adjust the bike when you get back home. Overall, this is a better bike for less money than some high-end road bikes.
4. Giordano Libero Acciao Road Bike
Next is a 14-speed road bike with a steel frame and fork. This is a women’s road bike and comes in several colors and sizes. You should also look at the benefits and other features:
- 14-speed Shimano Tourney STI drivetrain
- 1-1/8-inch alloy thread
- Pro-wheel aluminum crankset
- Kenda 700c x 25c tires
- Weighs about 28-pounds
The main advantage of this bike is the solid frame. It’s a little heavy, but sturdy. Also, it comes with a quality crankset and shifter. This is a suitable bike for long rides. The seat is comfortable and the balance is great. Even the tires are quality and should last for a while.
This bike comes unassembled. Professional assembly is recommended to ensure performance and riding safety. But, if you’ve assembled your own bikes before, then you should have no problem putting this bike together. Another potential issue is the weight. This bike weighs 28-pounds, which is on the heavy side. At the same time, this weight adds stability, which is good for a road bike. The bottom line is that this is a solid entry bike for women. Guys will need to consider the remaining ride bikes.
3. Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike
Up next is a single-speed road bike. For those that are new to riding as an adult, this is a good starter road bike. You don’t need to worry about shifting, which can make a for a relaxing ride. Here are some of the other details:
- Available in varying sizes and colors
- Rear flip flop hub for fixed gear or freewheel
- Steel frame and fork with alloy rims
- Alloy side pull brakes
This road bike is a simple solution for those that need to get around on a bicycle. You don’t need to deal with a complicated shifter and gears. It’s also easy to assemble. You just need a cheap Allen wrench to put this bike together. Other benefits include the appearance of the bike and the solid frame. Though, the best reason to consider this bike is the price and overall quality. In this price range, you’ll have trouble finding comparable options. It should offer years of use.
Now, there are a few drawbacks. You will need to adjust the brakes after riding. Fine-tune the brakes until they operate evenly. This may take several rides to adjust. In the end, this is an economical solution.
2. GMC Denali Road Bike
The second-best road bike is another 21-speed bicycle. It’s got a lightweight aluminum frame and is available in several sizes. Explore the top features and advantages:
- Alloy calipers and alloy brake levers
- Shimano derailleur and Shimano shifters
- High-performance 700c tires
- Weighs about 28-pounds
This bike is sturdy and comes with high-end parts, including a Shimano derailleur and Shimano shifter. It also looks great. For this price, it’s one of the best bikes available. You can consider an entry level bike. Though, the price should appeal to experienced riders. The frame is solid, but the seat and pedals may need replacing. This brings us to the disadvantages of choosing this bike.
One disadvantage is the weight. Despite the lightweight aluminum frame, this road bike weighs about 28-pounds. But, if you’re not carrying your bike, this shouldn’t be a problem. Also, this doesn’t come with the best seat. If you’re planning on going for long rides, you may want to purchase a better seat. Overall, this is a study bike at a great low price.
1. Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano Road Bike
Here is the top road bike for 2018. It’s less than $500, yet rides like a more expensive bike. It’s the most popular bike on the market in this price range. Here are a few of the reasons why:
- Durable butted aluminum frame
- 700c fork
- Shimano A050 handlebar mounted shifters
- 700c wheels
- Pedals included
This is a 21-speed road bike with 700c x 25c tires. The saddle is comfortable and it comes equipped with quality Shimano shifters. It is also relatively light. It weighs about 24 pounds. Other benefits include the provided pedals and the quality components.
Keep in mind that the road bike comes disassembled. If you’ve never put together a bicycle, you may want to take it to your local bike shop. Most shops offer assembly services, which ensures that the bike is properly assembled. This can also be helpful as the bike will need some fine-tuning and tweaking after assembly for optimal performance. But, overall, this is the best entry level road bike in this price range.