The 14 Best Entry-Level Road Bikes Under $500 / $1,000

Cycling is a great hobby to work off stress, keep your body in tip-top shape, and an environmentally friendly way to get around town. When you purchase your first bike, you’ll want to ensure that you’re getting a great quality entry-level bike that will last you years to come. If you are a beginner, finding an entry-level option is imperative, since advanced bikes often come with lots of unnecessary bells and whistles that only advanced cyclist will use. Actually, it can all get pretty confusing, and with so many cheap alternatives out there, passing up great quality can be tempting. However, buying a great road bike that will get you to and from and satisfy your cycling desires doesn’t have to cost an arm and a leg (you’ll need those for riding your new bike anyway). In fact, there are a number of great road bikes out there that you can get your hands on for less than $1,000 (and a few quality steals at under $500.) We’ve rounded up a list of the best entry-level road bikes to help you get started on your cycling journey.

Best Entry Level Road Bikes Under $500

GMC DenaliGMC Denali

The GMC Denali is built for performance and value. Weighing in at just 30 pounds, the bike is built around a lightweight 6061 aluminum frame that makes it easy to carry around and comfortable to handle. The bike features 21 speeds with Shimano derailleur and Shimano Revo shifters allowing you to smoothly and quickly change gears during use without ever taking your hands off the handlebar. The tires are high-performance 700c granting the ability for riding in extreme conditions and able to take massive punishment and still maintain its condition. The wheels feature 36 alloy spoke rims turned by nylon pedals with steel cages to prevent slipping and giving the rider additional security. A padded Vitesse saddle equipped with a water bottle holder makes long rides as comfortable as possible. Alloy side pull brake calipers and levers make it possible to come to a quick stop if needed. This bike is perfect for an everyday rider and is very affordable.


Vilano Aluminum Road BikeVilano Aluminum Road Bike

This inexpensive aluminum road bike from Vilano is a perfect entry level road bike. It features a very lightweight 6061 aluminum frame and weighs in at only 24 pounds making it one of the most lightweight bikes in its class. An integrated headset eliminates the need for a cup and gives a clean and simple look as well as making it easier for the home mechanic. Shifting is easy with A050 handlebar mounted shifters and a Shimano drivetrain ensures a smooth flow while riding. Equipped with 700c tires for durability even in rugged terrain and alloy caliper brake system for a quick stop. The saddle is Urban Comfort making long rides as comfortable as possible. The wheelset is double walled CNC alloy machined sides. This bike comes in 3 size choices and 3 color choices including black, grey/red, and white. This bike is great for those just starting to ride due to its minimum requirements to propel the bike and the bikes weight.


Diamondback Airen Sports Road BikeDiamondback Airen Sports Road Bike

The Diamondback Airen road bike is designed with a slightly taller headtube and provides a more relaxed geometry by making it easier on the riders back while still giving them the ability to be capable when riding. This bike is held together by a 7005 series aluminum frame and features an alloy bladed fork for simple and reliable shifting performance. Its 2×8 drivetrain gives this bike a wide range of gears capable of maintaining any type of ride. Equation SE double wall rims and 700c tires make handling simple. Mechanical disk brakes grant reliable and quick stopping power. This bike is perfect for those who want a casual ride and to remain comfortable by allowing you to still get the power of a good road bike without having to expend all your energy. It is available in 5 different sizes and its silver-aqua and white colors will allow you to ride in style.


Schwinn Phocus 1600 Road BikeSchwinn Phocus 1600 Road Bike

This stylish road bike from Schwinn is a drop bar road bike featuring a 56c lightweight aluminum frame making carrying and hanging this bike a simple task. A carbon fiber fork makes for a smooth ride even on bumpy or uneven surfaces. This bike has 16-speed microshift shifters giving you the ability to simply glide for any type of ride you may see fit. Dual suspension and Kendra K-196 700x23c tires provide an ample amount of cushioning and ensure that the ride remains comfortable and smooth on any type of terrain. The seat and handlebars can be raised, tilted, or lowered giving the rider the versatility to fit their comfort or how they would like to ride. Promax alloy dual pivot caliper brakes provide excellent stopping power. The wheels are high profile alloy double wall rims with paired spokes granting the durability for a rugged ride. This bike comes almost fully assembled as ordered making it ideal for people new to the road bike scene.


Vilano Diverse 3.0 Hybrid Road BikeVilano Diverse 3.0 Hybrid Road Bike

The Vilano Diverse 3.0 is a great bike for a variety of activities and is very affordable without sacrificing the quality and optimum performance of a good entry level road bike. This bike features a lightweight 6061 aluminum frame that is equipped with a unique hybrid fork that acts as a shock absorber allowing for a smooth ride even on bumpy surfaces. Upright handlebars allow the rider to a position where the upper back, torso, and spine are all balanced providing great comfortability in long rides. Shimano derailleurs and shifters provide 24 levels of speed. Mechanical disk brakes give this bike excellent stopping power and control in any condition or situation. The bike’s tires are 700c Kendra with plenty of cushion to cruise through any terrain with ease. The Vilano comes in two different sizes at 53 and 57-inch frame catering to a variety of height as the rider needs.


Giordano Libero 1.6 Road BikeGiordano Libero 1.6 Road Bike

This Italian made bike from Giordano is handcrafted performs great for a very affordable price. A lightweight 6061 aluminum frame is the foundation that holds this bike together giving it great mobility. It features Shimano Claris 16 speed shifters and derailleurs granting the ability to glide between speeds with ease. An aluminum compact crank assists the rider with climbing allow you to expend less energy on the ride. The wheels are weightless aluminum 700c providing plenty of cushion and control even when riding in areas with rough surfaces. Dual water bottle mounts ensure that you remain hydrated on long rides. Weighing in at only 27 pounds this bike is transferred or hung on a rack with ease. Its weight and cranks give it the versatility to ride on a variety of terrain and make it ideal for climbing hills. The Libero is available in 3 different sizes allowing riders of any height or riders with specific preference plenty of options.


Vilano Shadow Road BikeVilano Shadow Road Bike

This affordable road bike from Vilano is versatile and great for a number of activities from casual riding to intense exercising. This bike features a double buttered aluminum aero frame giving it the durability to sustain plenty of punishment while maintaining its low weight. Its integrated brake shifters simplify braking and shifting while on the road making this a great choice for those that are new to riding due to its simple accessibility. Dual pivot alloy caliper brakes provide plenty of stopping power when needed. The wheels are 700c double-walled CNC machined side. The Vilano Shadow road bike provides 14 speeds allowing you to take hills and pavement with ease. Its drop handlebar design grants plenty of air-resistance when cruising at high speeds and allow you to propel as you see fit. This is one of the most user-friendly bikes on the market and its simplicity makes it a great buy for entry into the biking community.


Merax Finiss Aluminum Road BikeMerax Finiss Aluminum Road Bike

The Merax Finiss features a lightweight and sturdy 6061 aluminum frame that allows smooth riding as well as great portability and transport. Shimano shifters and derailleurs provide reliable and simple shift changing through the bikes 21 speeds. A 700c steel fork allows the wheel to turn with ease even at high speeds. Aluminum caliper brakes provide ample stopping power. A water bottle holder equipped on the bike allows you to keep your beverage of choice at arms reach and ensures you remain hydrated on long rides. The bike’s saddle can be adjusted for however the rider sees fit. Comfortable hand grips on the handlebars improve the feel of handling. Its sleek black and yellow design is very modern and stylish and its performance for the price makes it one of the best bikes in its class.



Best Entry Level Road Bikes Under $1,000

If you have a bit more in the budget or are looking for a few more luxury gadgets and accessories, there are still plenty of quality bikes for you to choose from, all from an affordable price range. Here are the best entry-level road bikes we could find for less than $1,000:

Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road BikeTommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike

This sturdy road bike from Tommaso takes affordable performance to the next level. The Imola is equipped with top of the line specs for its price. The shifters, derailleurs, crank, and brakes are all 2018 Shimano Claris R2000 giving the rider the full advantage of a Shimano groupset. This helps to ensure that the performance remains top notch by not mixing and matching several groupsets. Precise laser measured sizing gives this bike a compact frame geometry that is comfortable for any type of riding position or style. A shallow handlebar drop helps with wind resistance and keep the user’s body balanced. The Imola has great user functionality and is made for customization. The frame comes drilled for a variety of racks, fenders, and accessories. Wider 25mm 700cc tires help with turns and control making this a great choice for those new to cycling or those returning to cycling after a long break.


Giant Contend 3 Road BikeGiant Contend 3 Road Bike

The Giant Contend 3 Road Bike is widely considered as the best bike you can get for the cost. It features Giant’s unique Aluxx butted aluminum frame allowing the bikes frame to maintain hyper durability as well as keeping it very lightweight. The bike features a larger than standard tapered headtube and fork steer tube allowing for optimal performance when it comes to steering. This feature makes it easier for those new to cycling to maintain control of the bike. Giant brand wheelset rotates fast and smooth and provides ample traction and grip necessary to ride in any terrain. A Shimano Claris 8 drivetrain and FSA crankset provide reliable shifting without missing a beat in a very plentiful gear range. This bike is equipped with Tektro brakes giving ample stopping power you can on. The Giant’s compact road design coupled with its endurance geometry ensures a smooth comfortable ride. This bike is a perfect fit for those new to cycling as well as the seasoned cyclers who want a superior bike for a very affordable price.


Raleigh Merit 1 Road BikeRaleigh Merit 1 Road Bike

The Raleigh Merit 1 is a great endurance road bike. It is made of durable but lightweight 6061 Aluminum making carrying and transportation relatively easy. Shimano Claris drivetrain provides reliable shifting through plenty of gear suitable for a variety of terrain. An Aluminum fork and dual caliper pivot brakes provide ample stopping power and stability. Larger than standard 28c tires give this bike additional cushion on the ride making for a smooth ride even through bumpy areas. A drop bar design grants good wind resistance which is especially helpful at higher speeds. This classic road bike design along with its user-friendly functionality will keep you peddling regardless of the type of ride you choose whether it be commuting to work or climbing hills for endurance training. This bike is made for comfort and efficiency and is one of the more affordable bikes of its quality on the market.


Specialized Dolce Road BikeSpecialized Dolce Road Bike

This bike from Specialized is designed specifically for women featuring incredible geometry for comfort and women-specific components. The Dolce’s frame is made up of A1 aluminum and a carbon fork making this bike very lightweight and easy to handle for a smooth ride. The women’s endurance geometry ensures that a ride over any type of remain is a breeze while also providing a lower standover. This simplifies getting on and off the bike as well as putting to foot down to hold the bike up. Specialized includes zerts in their fork which are designed to absorb shock from road bumps and rough areas. Reliable Shimano Claris 8- speed shifters and a Shimano subcompact crankset, as well as drivetrain, provide you 16 gears to cycle through with ease. Durable Axis Sport wheels and Espoir Sport 25mm wheels will keep you rolling and provide plenty of traction for the ride. This is a stylish, affordable bike that is great for any type of ride from simple commuting to vigorous exercise.


Fuji Sportif 1.9 DiscFuji Sportif 1.9 Disc

This stylish bike from Fuji features a sleek orange and white design and is built for versatility and optimum performance. The trek road bike has a longer wheelbase and heightened headtube to allow the ride to be in a more upright position giving this bike great built-in geometry reducing strain on the back. The frame is made up of A2-SL custom-butted aluminum and paired with an FC-440 full carbon frame making for an exceptionally lightweight but sturdy ride. Waved seatstays brace you for any bump by disruption unwanted vibrations allowing for a more comfortable ride. Internal cable routing to the gears and brakes provide a more aesthetically pleasing overall appearance. This trek road bike is equipped with flat mount disc brakes providing reliable stopping power and keeping the rider in full control. Shimano Claris 2×8 drivetrain offers solid shifting and plenty of gears for any terrain.


Bianchi Via Nirone SoraBianchi Via Nirone Sora

Via Nirone is one the original pioneers of the endurance geometry bike and they continue a tradition of excellence with this beautifully crafted bike. This bike features a hyper strong triple butted hydroformed aluminum frame for maximum durability and weightlessness. Its carbon fiber fork utilizes their patented Kevlar Vibration Isolation device that acts as a shock absorber. The Bianchi’s unique active technology ensures that the rider has optimal sitting and pedaling position on the trek road bike reducing any stress to the posture of its user. Shimano Sora shifters provide a smooth and reliable transition through gears. Reparto corse dual pivot brake calipers give the bike top of the line stopping ability. Vittoria Zaffiro 700x 25c tires give plenty of traction for rides in a variety of environments and maintain longevity.  This bike is on par if not better than most high-end bikes and still at a very affordable price.