Best Entry Level Road Bike For Beginners Under $500, $600 In 2021

Many secretariat members of countries and even some Presidents can be witnessed while riding bicycles. While this is an effort of convincing their citizens to shape their ways towards an environmentally friendly society, it helps to achieve good health and burn calories.

Cycling is recommended by many medical officers for people looking to shed weight and shaping up their bodies. Road bikes are one of the most efficient ways for losing weight because they are comfortable in riding and provides every other feature that the latest entry-level bike should possess. Moreover, cheaper options are also available for people who are looking for owning the best budget entry level bike in 2020.


Entry Level Road Bike vs Ordinary Bike

While there are no distinctive features to set an entry level or beginner road bike apart from a high-grade one but we have been able to spot some minor differences after reviewing plenty of the models.

1. Weight

Entry level bikes tend to be a little bit on the heavier side comparatively. High-grade road bikes use expensive construction materials that weigh less and are higher instability which reduces their weight. This includes the inclusion of a lighter carbon fiber fork with an aluminum frame or a lightweight aluminum overall.

2. Width of the tires

Beginner bikes are not meant for high speeds because then they would be difficult to control hence their tires are wider than the expensive ones. Thinner tires reduce drag and allow greater acceleration.

3. Drivetrain

This varies largely but usually, bikes meant for starters have less number of cassette cogs that give a smaller range of speeds. You are mainly focused on building road sense and learning how to cruise on variable terrains as a starter thus do not require huge versatility in terms of speed transitions. Additionally, a greater span of options would confuse a beginner.


Best Entry Level Road Bikes For Beginner Under $500 & $600

It is not difficult to find the top-rated beginner bikes but when you’re limited on a budget then you have to look for the better options that can be availed. So finding the Best Beginner Road Bike Under 500 and 600 dollars is somehow a tricky and tough task for most of us.

You can go online and make a purchase from Amazon, eBay or directly from the manufacturer’s website. Even you can contact a bike enthusiast to get knowledge of various fitting models but the question is which one to go for.

There are so many available options for a good first road bike that you tend to get confused about. After all, anything around $500 is not a small investment and should be done on an acceptable piece. So, the best beginner road bike under 500 should have a sturdy frame, good handling capability, comfortable saddle, and an efficient drivetrain.

In the below-given discussion, we listed best budget models specially made for entry-level riders, from some of the highly recognized brands including Shimano, Vilano, and Giordano.

So let’s begin.

**Disclosure: As an Amazon Associate I earn from qualifying purchases.


1. Giordano Libero 1.6 (The Best Entry Level Road Bike Under $500)

Engraved with true Italian craftsmanship and adorned with a striking combination of red and glossy black, this bike comes from Giordano which has served the cycling community for the past 30 years with an aim of safety equipment that is fused together with tradition and technological advancement.

Libero 1.6 is ideal for starters owing to its unproblematic embarking quality and non-vigorous geometry. 6061 aluminum is used in the manufacture if its frame with fine welds joints and precise surface finishing. You don’t get any idea of a cheap-priced bike by looking at this bike. It contains a threadless stem that overpowers the traditional quill stem in terms of rigidity. Threadless stems are better adjusted and remain in have a higher tendency to remain in position on bumps and impacts.

The drivetrain is popularized with Shimano components with a crank that is of Prowheel only. The front and rear derailleurs work effectually with the speed cassette and crank to permit 16 speeds. There have been some minor complaints about jerks when transiting from one gear to another after a yearlong use but we regard this issue to be a result of untimely maintenance and minimal care. STI shifters make speed shifting and braking a breeze. It is fitted with dual pivot brakes that are responsive and require just a little tightening when delivered fresh although they offer limited functionality in wet weathers.

If we talk about the wheelset, it is appreciable too. Kenda 700x25c tires are reinforced with 32 spokes which provide the sufficient support a tire needs to access unleveled and rough terrains like loose gravel or pebbled roads. You don’t have to worry about the tire being bent on slight impacts.

Libero 1.6 features Velo saddle which is lined with cushioned padding that allows the rider to cycle for a long period of time without complaining about body pains. The height can be adjusted according to the desired position and the size of the rider. You can also attach up to two bottles with the frame and have the advantage of better foot grip due to metal spiked pedals instead of the general plastic ones.

At such a price tag, you cannot expect much more than what this bike offers. We highly recommend this model because it is backed with a high rating by a huge customer pool and is raved upon by entry-level bikers themselves.

Reviews, pros and cons for women’s version of this model can be checked at best women road bikes.

  • Non-vigorous geometry with threadless stem for better adjustability
  • STI shifters
  • Shimano drivetrain
  • Kenda tires are reinforced with 32 spokes that provide sufficient support
  • Velo saddle lined with cushioned padding
  • Brakes face difficulty in wet weathers


2. Mercier Galaxy SC1 (Best Beginners Road Bike For The Money 2020)

Mercier brings the credibility of the brand and upbeat strength of their models to the aluminum-framed Galaxy SC1. It could potentially be your pick for best beginner bikes for the money. Available in two colors with black being our personal favorite, this model is highly inexpensive but certainly not fitted with cheap components.

The aluminum frame provides a highly comfortable ride due to an upright manufactured body and Taper Blade fork upfront. The rider can easily adjust the seat and handlebars to maintain a steady posture for an easy first ride. This is the prime reason for its inclusion in this entry-level bike’s list. The seat stays are a bit too thin for our liking but have not been complained to be damaged or get bent by weight and impact.

As for the drivetrain, it is integrated with Shimano front and rear derailleur and a 7-speed cassette. The speed shifters and cassette work in harmony along with the 52/39 crankset to give smooth shifting from one speed to another. Shimano seldom fails to disappoint their customers and this bike gives no chance of doing that.

Kenda tires rest peacefully over the double walled aluminum wheelset with enough support and durability to be ridden over normal road conditions. The saddle is very comfortable with no thick padding but a thin, soft cushioning.

Caliper brakes are the only weak point of this model. They are responsive in nature but don’t offer a high braking power. In a way, it is good for the starters so that they don’t go very fast but again, good brakes are critical for any bike.

Overall, this model manages to satisfy most, if not all of the demands of a beginner. It’s cheaply priced, fairly durable and conveniently ride-able.

  • Aluminum frame which allows an upright posture due to Taper blade fork up front
  • Comfortable saddle
  • Shimano drivetrain
  • Double walled wheels
  • Very cheap
  • Seat stays are a bit thin
  • Weak caliper brakes


3. Vilano R2 Commuter Road Bike (Low Budget Entry Level Bike)

Vilano proposes an inexpensive solution to the biking needs of beginners by the manufacture of R2 commuter Road bike. Coupled with a strong, upright frame and convenient speed shifting capability, this model is highly suitable for starters or beginners who’re looking for their first ride.

This model is not only suitable for road commuting but can also manage trails and uphill terrains effectually as well. Fabricated with 6061 double-butted aluminum frame, the bike weighs 40 pounds and gives a very smooth and steady riding experience to the user. It carries a simple geometry with a straight top tube and a comfy saddle that is supported with a stable configuration of aluminum arms.

Speed shifting capabilities are accommodated by good-grade Shimano parts which include an A050 7-speed shifter, Tourney front, and rear derailleur and front-friction 3-speed translator that combines together to give 21 speeds which enables you to access every terrain at the pace you wish for.

Alloy caliper brakes give it a good braking performance at the price with well-shaped and hard unsuppressed brake pads. Wheels are double walled for maximum support and are machined through CNC which provides it with a professional finish and no loopholes with regards to the build.

Two of the disadvantages this model carries are its cheaply wrapped handlebars and difficult-to-access brake levers for people with short heights. The wrapping would need replacement after some time and the brake levers become high if you adjust the handlebar backward. So if you are under 5’4’’, we recommend you not to consider this bike.

  • Double butted aluminum frame with convenient geometry for the beginners
  • Versatile in terms of usage as a commuter and adventure bike
  • Good-grade Shimano parts used in the drivetrain
  • Alloy caliper brakes offer appreciable braking performance at this price
  • Double walled and CNC machined wheels
  • Cheaply wrapped handlebars
  • Not suitable for short-height riders


4. Goplus 21 Speed Bike (Cheapest & Lightweight)

If you want a lightweight beginner road bike to fulfill your commuting needs, here is a highly competitive option under 500 dollars, in fact, it will cost you around $350 after delivery and minor up-gradation.

A lightweight aluminum frame with a strong fork, as shielded crankset and an included kickstand, set this model apart from others. Weighing only 32 pounds, it provides an enjoyable riding experience and can easily move over all terrains like gravel roads, grassy patches, tarmac roads, and hiking trails. Because of the weight, it is easily transportable. Not only this, it is aesthetically very appealing with three different color options ranging from jet black if you like to be manly and a combination of white and blue for a much calmer aura.

The drivetrain configuration is the same as that of Vilano R2 so there are no doubts when it comes to the running and speed shifting quality of this bike. Likewise the previous model, it gives 21 speeds so is highly versatile in terms of speed selection.

Double walled alloy wheels strengthen the bike even more and the availability of 36 spokes integrated into an overlapped scheme strengthens the wheel even more. There is one reflector in each wheel so alert any car approaching you at night and features 700c tires. The front wheels have a quick release mechanism that allows easy installation and maintenance.

To further enhance the utility, it contains mount bosses for attachment of a rear rack and bottle holder and, a kickstand, a padded saddle which can be altered according to the size of the rider and precisely mounted caliper brakes. The pedals are plastic and prone to break but then, most of the road bikes in this range are furnished with similar pedals.

One of the issues with this model is its delivery. Some customers have complained that the bike arrives with bent and scratched parts. It is recommended to look for the best delivery method to abstain from a similar issue.

  • Aluminum frame with a strong fork
  • Shielded crankset and included kickstand
  • Shimano drivetrain
  • Double walled wheels with reflectors
  • Mount bosses for attachment of rear rack and bottle holder
  • Issues with the delivery (some complaints)


5. Pure Cycles Classic (Best Rated Beginner Road Bike Under $600)

Most of the customers that bought this bike from Amazon gave 4-star and above rating to it and that is the reason we categorize it as the best beginner road bike under $600.

Pure Cycles delivers a competitive yet cheap road bike that doesn’t carry one of the most alluring aesthetics but is certainly equipped with the required features of a trustworthy road bike.

4130 steel is used in the fabrication of the frame and all the tubes are circular which reduces drag and gives higher speeds. Beginners can embark and ride this model with ease because the geometry is not vigorous.

If we talk about the drive mechanism, it is integrated with Shimano derailleurs, 16-speed STI shifters, and Shimano cassette. STI shifters are better because they provide brakes and shifting levers at the same time so the rider has complete control over the bike even at high speeds as he can press the brakes quickly if required.

Wheels are a much stronger point of this entry level bike because it is double-walled, have 17mm deep rims and stainless steel spokes which are not only much durable but are not prone to rust as well. It gives hassle-free maintenance because you don’t have to wipe off the rust from the spokes.

A set of good caliper brakes, decent saddle and an adjustable handlebar with gel-padded handles make this bike a highly desirable choice under $600. The only aspect of breaking the deal for some people would be its heavy weight. Because of steel, it weighs about 80 pounds which is almost double what aluminum-framed bikes of this list weigh.

  • 4130 steel frame which is stronger than aluminum
  • Circular tubes to reduce drag
  • Drive mechanism is all Shimano
  • Double walled wheels with stainless steel spokes
  • Heavy in weight


6. Schwinn Volare 1200 (Entry Level Road Bike Under $500)

You might be thinking why Schwinn hasn’t featured in this list. With genuinely fitted components and a relaxed flat handlebar profile, this bike is available to the customers well below the $500 mark, that is the reason we called it as the top beginner road bike under 500.

We start with the frame which is a thicker, all-aluminum frame as opposed to the previous model. The fork works to absorb the road vibrations while you ride while the composed frame body allows the rider to sit in an upright posture which is significant for beginners. In order to increase the comfort, the handlebars are flat so that you don’t have to transform in a slouched posture to reach the handle. You can manage length commutes easily with this bike.

The wheels have a unique scheme of spokes. Unlike many other competitor bikes, it features a grouped combination of spokes with eight 4-spoked groups through the entire circumference of the wheel. Although this is an uncommon design, we personally consider it to be weak because it leaves spaces between intermittent groups and that can be dangerous for the wheel on bumps and obstructions.

EZ Fire Shifters and Shimano rear derailleur work smoothly through 21 speeds their combination allows. As for the other features, it comes with a soft saddle, high profile caliper brakes, and protected chainrings so any loose cloth doesn’t get entangled in it. Apart from the wheels, it is a very strong bike with a price range that is sure to open your eyes wide open.

  • Composed aluminum frame
  • Flat handlebars for an easy-to-manage ride for the beginners
  • EZ Fire shifters and Shimano derailleur
  • High-quality brakes and soft saddle
  • Inexpensive and reliable
  • Protected chainrings
  • The unique design of wheels is prone to damage to high impacts


7. Vilano 21 (Top Rated Entry Level Bike For The Beginners)

With this drop-handled model, we will bring an end to the list. It is highly reviewed on Amazon and shines with reasonably good ratings. Available in two different colors, Vilano is an extremely good option for starters.

The bike is constructed with a double-butted aluminum frame which features tapered tubes that add elegance to the outlook and reduces air resistance. It also includes mount bosses for attaching bottle holders and a rear rack.

Drivetrain is the strongest point of this model as it is bedecked with Shimano front and rear derailleur and a 7-speed crankset that works in conjunction with the SIS shifters to give a total of 21 speeds. SIS relies on a separate clicking mechanism rather than being integrated into the brake levers in case of STI which prompts greater effort on part of the rider. This range of speeds, however, allows this bike to be ridden over slopes, inclines and leveled terrains with equal satisfaction.

Safety is an important aspect of the construction and Vilano answers this through the attachment of front and rear caliper brakes with ergonomic levers and durable brake pads that are designed to last for a long time.

Double walled wheels with 700x25c tires are high in strength and good in traction. The saddle is Urban Support, is well padded and has a comfortable surfacing which doesn’t give rise to torso pains.

  • Strong double butted Aluminum frame
  • Drivetrain is commendable
  • Good alloy caliper brakes
  • Double walled wheels with 700x58c tires
  • SIS shifters are not integrated within the brakes so requires to be adjusted separately.


Conclusion (Editors Verdict On Best Beginner Road Bike)

This is another highly competitive list of the best budget beginners road bikes with some models inching just below $500 but others in the range of $250-$350 which makes it one of the deciding factors.

We are talking about cheap beginner bikes so even a small gap of $50 is considerable.

Mercier SC1, Vilano R2, Schwinn Volare 1200 and Goplus Road Bike are the much cheaper options within which Schwinn Volare and Goplus would have to be better choices as they have been reported to be little problematic and are equipped with fairly similar features.

Giordano Libero 1.6 is our top pick from the expensive lot primarily because of its no-vigorous frame design and durable wheels. If you are okay with the heavyweight, you can also opt for Pure Cycles model.

It is recommended to the readers to take proper and consistent care of these bikes as they are prone to issues if kept attended for a long time.

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Last update on 2021-11-18 at 16:09 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API