There are many bikes to choose from if you’re looking to get into road cycling. There are many manufacturers that compete for your business.
We want you make informed decisions so we have created a guide of the 6 best road bikes for under $500 in 2023.
We’ll provide a guide to help you choose the best bike for your needs after you have seen the bikes. These will not be complicated terms or jargon. They are straightforward advice. Continue reading to find the road bike you want.
Vilano Shadow 3.0 Review
- 6061 aluminum frame
- Shimano A070 group set
- 14 Speed
Vilano Shadow 2.0 is an aluminum frame 6061 frame road bike. Like many more expensive bikes, the bike has an aero profile. Vilano does not give any more information beyond the fact that it is aero-shaped. We will have to rely on their aero credentials.
Even though the aero shape doesn’t cut through wind, the good news is that tube profiles can cancel road vibrations. This will make it less likely that you get numb hands while riding this bike and also save you from fatigue.
The Vilano comes with a Shimano A070 set of groupsets to get it up and running. You can easily change between the 14 gears available on the Shadow 2.0 with the A070 shifters. The Vilano is an excellent starting point to your exploration of the world road bikes.
Schwinn Volare 1300 Review
- Shimano A050 shifters
- Double wall alloy rims
- 14 Speed
The Schwinn Volare 1300 road bike is affordable and features an aluminum frame. Schwinn is a brand most people will have encountered in their lives, and many will associate the brand with fond memories.
Schwinn has bundled Shimano A050 Shifters to keep the bike economical. These big, plastic thumb shifters are attached to your handlebar alongside the stem.
These shifters are so positioned that you will have to lift your hand off of the bar to change gear if you’re riding in the hoods.
The hoods are the most comfortable place to ride. It is especially useful if you plan on riding long distances. The Schwinn Volare 1300 has 14 gears that you can choose from when out riding.
Schwinn fitted double-wall alloy rims to the Volare 1300 to ensure reliability. Double wall rims give spokes a stronger bed, will prevent them from going out of tune as easily, and will make your wheels more resistant to knocks, particularly from potholes.
Schwinn also fitted the bike with 28mm-wide tires. The 28mm tire is larger than the standard 23mm you would expect to find on a bike this price. We think the extra 5mm will give you more comfort and grip in corners.
Giordano Libero 1.6 Review
- Compact gearing
- 6061 aluminum frame
- Shimano Claris gearing
The Giordano Libero 1.6 is the bike with the best groupset in our review. This means the Giordano will shift gears quicker and more smoothly than other bikes in our review. The Libero 1.6 is equipped with a Shimano Claris 16-speed groupset.
Claris’ best feature is the STI-shifters. Your gear shifters and brakes become one unit with STI shifters.
It will then be easy to switch gears from the hoods and drops. Shimano STI Shifters are considered one of the most technologically advanced road bike shifters.
The Claris groupset is made from lightweight 6061 aluminum frames. This will make your bike look great on group rides and it will also make it easy to find spare parts at your local bike shop if you have any mechanical problems.
If you are a big fan of road cycling, the Giordano is a good choice. This bike will make you regret not buying a more expensive one from the beginning.
- 6061 aluminum frame
- Shimano Tourney gears
- Quick release wheels
Sundeal R7 seems much more expensive than it really is. The Sundeal R7’s nicely curved fork is complemented by the straight-laced front tire. It could easily be in the pro ranks. However, it is a very affordable road bike that will encourage you to ride.
To keep the R7 light and give you a quick feel when you pedal down, the 6061 aluminum frame is used. It will be strong enough to get you racing around corners and trying to reach every street sign before other riders.
A Shimano Tourney groupset that supplies the Sundeal with 14 gears will ensure you have the right ones when you go out riding.
Double chainsets at the front add to the professional look of the frame. You can also use the high enough gear to sprint for street signs.
You will get punctures if you ride a lot. Quick release (QR), wheels make it a lot easier. You can quickly get your tire repaired by simply turning the lever.
Giordano Acciao 700c
- 14-speed Shimano Tourney STI drivetrain.
- Very durable
- Steel frame
Giordano’s new 2021 road bike is a great example of how hard it can be to find a high-quality road bike at a reasonable price. This bike is suitable for both men as well as women and will allow you to start pedaling on the roads.
The frame and fork are both made from steel. This is not surprising given that this bike is an entry-level roadbike. This material is very resistant and will compensate for the increased weight.
This bike is very comfortable and offers a good price-quality ratio. You can pedal comfortably with excellent biomechanics even if your height is not an issue.
The bike’s configuration will reveal a Shimano Tourney STI14 speed drivetrain that provides efficient pedaling. For effective braking, it also has rim brakes. These brakes will only be available on 29-inch wheels.
One of the many differences between it and the Giordano Libero, also reviewed in this article is the difference in the drivetrain. It has 14 vs 16 speed.
Critical Cycles Fixed Gear Review
- Flip-flop rear hub
- Traditional looks
- Handlebars for Pista
The Critical Cycles Classic Fixed Gear bike is a retro-styled road bike that has as few gears possible. The bike’s Pista bars, which are massively drop, hark back to when riders of Le Tour De France could only use one gear.
This is the exact setup used by Critical Cycles for the bike. There is a fixed cog on the rear hub and a free wheel at the other end.
Both of these will have been fixed cogs in the past, but if your goal is to coast, having the option to use a free wheel might be a boon. Because they were used during races, the hub was called a flip-flop. They could be flipped over and put back in.
Because it is a fixed-gear bike, the Critical Cycles will be more affordable than a geared one. Fixed gears are more likely to produce better quality parts than geared bikes. It could be the best way for you to maximize your budget.
Another advantage of the Critical Cycles is its simplicity. You won’t have to spend too much time maintaining it. The chains on geared bikes will wear faster than you might think.
Single-speed chains are less likely to wear down as quickly as double speed ones, because you won’t be changing gears. This is a great option if you’re looking for a bike you can pull out of your garage and take on the occasional ride.
Vilano R2 Bike Review
- 6061 aluminum frame
- Shimano A050 groupset
- 21 Speed
The Vilano R2 is our second Vilano test bike. The Vilano R2 is described as a commuter bicycle, but it’s actually a fast commuter bike that has drop bars.
This makes it a more comfortable bike you can use for your daily commute or as a workout bike. This could be the bike that maximizes your budget.
The VilanoR2 comes with a 6061 aluminum frame. It is lightweight and strong where it’s needed. You will be able to ride up hills and have a bit more speed when you race for traffic lights.
The R2 has 21 gears to help you pedal more efficiently.
You’ll need to change gears with another set of Shimano A050 thumb shifters. Although these shifters are easy to use, you will need to remove the bar from the shifter to change gears. These shifters can be used with a Tourney rear derailleur.
Tips to help you choose the best roadbike
- Fit. The most important thing about a road bike is its fit. You’ll be riding for long periods of time on the road. If you buy the wrong bike, it can cause pain and even damage to your long-term health.
Buy a bike that fits you, not because it’s cheap. Each manufacturer will have a size guide for their bikes. Be honest about your height and choose the one that fits you best.
- Color. Yes, it is important to consider the color. You don’t want to buy a bike with bad parts and a price you don’t like. This is how many people argue that buying a bike in a color you don’t like is the best, but I have a problem with this.
It will be a joy to ride. It will be easier to ride a bike that you like and it will make you feel good.
- Weight. This is an easy way to pick a roadbike. It is also why magazines use it. It’s easy to see that a bike weighing 12kg is more than a bike weighing 10kg, so a bike weighing 10 kg is the better choice. Bikes that are priced at the same level will be comparable in weight regardless of their listed price.
Don’t worry about your weight, and choose a bike you love. A bike that weighs 80kg isn’t going to make a difference, regardless of what the marketing department tells you.
Do I need a budget-friendly road bike?
If you are unable to afford more than $500, the answer is undoubtedly yes. If you think you could afford more than $500, the answer is yes.
It is best to be honest with oneself. Are you looking to be more fit and active than you are?
Spending more than $500 to become fitter and try road biking is not the best option. If you don’t like it after a month, you will be left with a costly bike.
You can start road biking with a cheap bike, but you can also buy a better bike later on.
Remember that a bike costing more does not necessarily make you a better rider. Cycling makes you a better biker.