Best Road Bikes Under $200, $300, $400 In 2021 [Cheap & Affordable]

A decent road bike that answers the basic biking needs doesn’t have to come at an expensive cost.

Sure, you would get masterpieces for large sums of money but what if you want a simplified version of a road bike that can take you to a grocery store or hold you during the morning fitness ride?

Local bike shops might not be very helpful if you’re eyeing cheap bikes, therefore, you have to consult e-commerce platforms. Neither do they have to pay place rents nor have to bear transportation charges thus can provide you with suitable and feasible options.

Best Selling Cheap Road Bikes 2021

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

 

Top Rated Road Bikes Under $200 & $300 & $400

This article will decipher the best road bikes under $200, $300 and 400 dollars. It would be unjustified to expect a lot from such price-ranged bikes but they must be unproblematic in speed transition, equipped with good braking capabilities, must be properly aligned and should also cope with normal road terrains.

 

Road Bikes Under $300, $400

 

Road Bikes Under $200

 

We greatly value the time our riders invest in this guide, therefore, we have tried to the full extent to provide an impartial and highly accurate account of the best models in this regard.

 

6 Best Road Bikes Under $300, $400

Features of each best road bike under 300 and 400 dollars are discussed separately with their pros and cons which will definitely help you in making your final decision regarding purchase. So let’s initiate with the first bike of the list.

1. Schwinn Volare 1200 (Best Road Bike Under $400)

Some wouldn’t consider Schwinn to produce such inexpensive models but as always, the company fails to neglect any class of its customers. Volare 1200 is a completely furnished bike that can be a cruiser at one time and a fitness rider the other.

Aluminum, lightweight frame is sturdy enough to bear riders weighing about 200 lbs and is complemented by a strong frame that holds the wheel rigidly along with working as a decent shock absorber. It’s surface finish and aesthetics are top-notch and gives no clue of being cheap.

Shimano front and rear derailleurs work together with to give 21 speeds which are shifted from one level to another using EZ Fire shifters which are inaccessible hand reach. Crankset is cast out of alloy and incurs no risk of catching rust. The freewheel, however, needs to be replaced sooner or later because it doesn’t hold the 7th gear.

To accommodate safety, a good road bike must be properly furnished with brakes. Volare 1200 is fitted with alloy pull brakes that are well aligned with the tires and responsive in functionality. 700x28c tires features grouped spokes which might look visually appealing but doesn’t provide the amount of support a general spoke scheme presents.

This bike is designed for comfort because its saddle is pretty soft despite being lean and narrow. The flat handlebars have a short head tube and their handle can be altered according to the height of the rider. If you are above 6 ft, you need to lift up the saddle and push the handlebar away from you and do the exact opposite of both if shorter in height.

Apart from the two issues discussed here, it is a perfect road bike, fitted with high-grade components and equipped with sufficient features.

Pros
  • Sturdy aluminum frame
  • 21 speed Shimano gear set
  • Alloy pull brakes
  • Adjustable soft saddle and flat handlebar for a comfortable ride
  • 700X28 c tires
Cons
  • Faulty freewheel which has to be replaced
  • Grouped spokes are entitled to less strength

 

2. EUROBIKE XC550 (Best Low Budget Road Bike Under 300)

Wholesomeness seems to be infused with great effect in this model because it is not just an efficiently running road bike but carries alluring aesthetics along with being aerodynamically feasible.

This 26 inch road bike truly deserves to be a lot more than it is available at but thanks to the user-friendly motive of EUROBIKE, they have made this amazing model available under $300.

One couldn’t imagine the use of steel in the frame, such as the curvature of the frame but it is lightweight steel that has been molded superbly to produce tapered tubes that reduce air resistance. In fact, it is 8% more drag efficient than the previous models. A great paint job enhances the elegance of the frame with a striking combination of red, black and white.

The drivetrain is covered up by Shimano components including a TZ30 font and TZ50 rear derailleur. They are highly responsive to the shifters and smooth in operation but the model received some complaints regarding the malfunctioning of the hub and transmission gears. Mainly it was due to the unprofessional fitting of the bike; to achieve maximum benefit we recommend its installation to be performed by a professional mechanic so that every component is fixed tightly with proper alignment.

Disk brakes are rare for under $300 road bikes and this model integrates that rarity. Fitted with disk brakes, it offers more braking power and a quieter, much effectual stopping capability for the rider. The saddle and handlebar are ergonomic although we found the seat to be a little more inclined than the usual which may be uncomfortable for new riders. Double-walled wheels with 700x28c tires make up a stable wheelset that can access any terrain.

XC550 is a cruising road bike at one instance and a swift speed bike the other, such is its versatility. Its heavyweight might be a bit of mood killer but with the rest of the features at hand, that is acceptable.

We highly recommended purchasing this bike but be conscious to get is assembled from an experienced mechanic.

Pros
  • Strong steel frame with a geometry that is aerodynamically feasible
  • Dual disk brakes
  • 21 seed Shimano drivetrain
  • Kickstand included
  • 700x28c double walled wheels
  • Very attractive
Cons
  • Heavier than others
  • The saddle is a bit inclined towards the ground which may be uncomfortable for new riders

 

3. Schwinn Volare 1300 (Best Budget Road Bike Under $300)

Volare 1300 is the best budget, useful, road bike comes at a very cheap price and is equally compatible with beginners and expert riders.

A lightweight aluminum frame with a durable fork makes sure that you can access all commuting tracks, with easy-going riding experience. The fork takes in the road vibrations while the stable design keeps the rider in a stable position.

Speed shifting is made possible by Shimano A050 shifter and derailleur that can allow 14 speed changes. The shift from one speed to another is effortless and instills no stutter during the ride. The alloy pivot brakes are decent in performance and the saddle is comfy.

Drop handlebars with padded grips allow you the freedom to cover long distances without feeling and hand fatigue. Of course, the handle can be adjusted if you feel it is disturbing your desired posture. The 700c tires contain 29 spokes and grip well to the road’s surface. The crankset is shielded with a metal covering and the cables route precisely along the contours of the frame.

As a whole, this cheap bike gets the job done despite being complained about the uncomfortable saddle. It is recommended to get the bike assembled from an experienced person so that accidents and malfunctions can be avoided.

Pros
  • Lightweight aluminum frame with durable fork
  • Shielded crankset
  • Tires supported with 29 spokes
Cons
  • Complaints about uncomfortable saddle

 

4. Vilano R2 (Best Cheap Commuter Road Bike)

Perfected with sublime construction and facilitated with striking aesthetics, this road bike will surely be a treat for you and your road riding needs.

Frame, if we discuss it first, is 6061 aluminum double-butted with perfect welds and no loopholes. Not only can it be used in rain with no fear of catching rust, but it can be pushed over inclined roads because of its lightweight. The glossy black color with periodic smudging of green grants an extravagant look to the bike.

The drivetrain is the best part of this bike. Shimano Tourney Derailleur functions so smoothly that you forget you are riding such a cheap bike. It works in combination with Shimano A050 speed shifter allowing a total of 21 different speeds. Such a range of speeds in a bike which is under $500 is hard to imagine but Vilano, like many time before, gives the customers more than they desire. The shifters are STI in nature which means braking and speed shifting is incorporated in the same component.

The bike features alloy caliper brakes that have commendable braking power. They can bring the bike to a stop in all conditions; wet or dry and thus can be used effectively on busy roads too. The tires are double-walled with 36 spokes that provide a scheme of double support. It comes with a quick-release skewer that allows attaching of tires with the frame.

There is nothing particularly wrong with the bike but some of the complaints that customers had were related to delivery issues like damaged parts and unassembled packages.

Pros
  • Attractive bike with aluminum frame
  • Great Shimano drivetrain allowing 21 speeds
  • STI shifters
  • Alloy caliper brakes with the great braking power
  • Double walled tires
Cons
  • Some issues with the deliveries

 

5. MERAX Fitness (Affordable Road Bike)

MERAX manages to find a way into all bike lists, be it suspension mountain bikes or expensive gravel bikes, accessorized hybrid bikes of cheap road bikes. MERAX Fitness model weighs only 28 pounds and is great to be used as a racing road bike.

We can’t resist but discuss the alluring aesthetics of the bike. It is available in three different color options each of which is blended with a classy design and attractive feel. Not only is it pleasant to the eye but very sturdy in nature. The frame is built with aluminum and is aerodynamically effective. Most road bike frames are cylindrical but it has a flattened frame which makes it go quicker than other competitors and it can hold riders of weights up to 330 lbs.

The bike is fitted with Shimano derailleurs and speed shifters. It gives a range of 21 speeds allowing you to sear along tarmac roads or whizz past people on cemented platforms. The tires are double-walled with a total of 36 spokes that accounts for high support so it is effective over bumps and rough terrains. The front wheel is fitted with a quick-release mechanism whereby it can be detached and attached with ease.

An aluminum kickstand and a bottle holder along with a free pannier bag enhance the utility of this bike because you have to purchase these components separately in other bikes. The saddle is thin and long with reflectors on the handlebar, beside the saddle, and on tires so that cars from behind can spot the driving bike.

The handlebar is the major concern in this model. It is just s far away from reach and is curved excessively. If you grip the handlebar from the top, it is okay but if you want to hold it from the bottom, you position yourself very awkwardly unless you adjust it backward.

Even with this shortcoming, it is a reliable and highly acceptable road bike with a price which is below $300 on Amazon.

Pros
  • Fast bike with attractive aesthetics
  • Shimano derailleurs and shifters
  • Front wheel quick release mechanism
  • Included bag, kickstand and bottle holder
  • 36 spokes in the wheel give it a good support
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • Handlebar is far away from reach and not well-designed

 

6. Takara Kabuto (Low Price Single Speed Road Bike)

We won’t give very high marks to this model for its outlook as the color combination replicates that of a childhood toy but its performance as a single speed bike has forced us to include it in the list of best road bikes under 300 dollars.

The biggest feature which grasped our attention was its multi-mode capability to use the bike as a single gear or freewheel, with a flip-flop hub, this has been made possible. Freewheel allows you to coast downhill and disengages the pedals with the drive hub. Simply, the wheel is removed and turned around to fit it back. It takes the pressure off the excess pedaling power that was exerted during uphill riding.

It features a steel frame with a simplified geometry. To compensate for the excess weight of the steel, several high-quality alloy components are used in the construction which takes the weight to a decent 33 pounds. Tubes of the frame are thin and but strong with a fork which effectively damps some vibrations along with giving sufficient rigidity.

Wheels of the bike are appreciable as they contain 32 spokes fashioned out of durable alloy and 700x32c tires that perform increasingly well as compared to the normal urban bikes on off-road terrains. There will be times when you have to leave the tarmac roads due to a traffic diversion, occasional adventure ride or as a measure to avoid a silent neighborhood at night. This is when these strong wheels will come to great effect because it can go over bumps and cracks much smoothly.

Alloy pull brakes alongside a padded saddle make commuting ache-free and relaxing. The adjustable handlebar provides multiple holding positions for the rider where he can opt for the best position he likes to be in while riding. It is a simple, yet sturdy road bike that can sustain more road abuse than general commuter bikes and offers diversity with regards to usage in odd road conditions.

Pros
  • Very cheap
  • Tig-welded steel frame
  • Multimode to be used as a single gear or freewheel bike
  • Alloy brakes
  • Durable wheels
  • Padded saddle
Cons
  • Only single speed bike
  • Not very attractive

 

2 Best Road Bikes Under $200

Below we’ve enlisted and discussed three of the best road bike models for people on a very low budget, say $200.

1. Kent GZr700

Immersed in an orange color scheme, this inexpensive bike doesn’t resonate with any idea of cheap components and sub-standard performance.

Built with a high tensile steel frame, it can serve your biking needs for a very long time provided you keep it well-maintained. The connections are welded strongly through TIG welding and bolted with precision where required.

As for the shifters, they are Shimano and allow up to 21 speed which is thrilling to know. Remember, we are talking about an under $200 bike here. But unlike the general placement of the shifters, they are attached to the central stem of the bike which may be a bit unique for the riders. The rider would need to remove one hand from the handlebar while changing the speed which is not very user-friendly.

The braking power is praiseworthy. Owing to its powerful alloy caliper brakes, the bike can come to a stop instantly on any type of surface. It also features high-grade wheels which are a combination of 25mm wide tires and 36 spokes. This gives additional strength to the bike when going over bumps and jumps.

Kent GZr700 supports up to 250 pounds so the heavier riders need to look elsewhere. It has a 54 cm frame which is suitable for heights between 5’ to 6’, and a padded saddle.

If you are an experienced biker, you wouldn’t have any issue assembling the bike but you should opt for the assembly charges if a newbie because the manufacturers will deliver you a fully-assembled piece with riding guidelines as well. You can also get a headlight and taillight by spending an additional $8.

Pros
  • Strong Steel frame
  • 21-speed bike with Shimano shifters
  • Powerful caliper brakes
  • Good wheel assembly
Cons
  • The shifters are placed at an awkward position
  • Max weight limit of 250 pounds

 

2. Vilano Rampage (Fixed Gear Cheap Road Bike Under 200)

We go further in the simple line of road bikes. Vilano Rampage is a fixed gear bike with a flip-flop hub that causes it to be used as a freewheel bike as well. Advantage of freewheeling in terms of coasting capability and being relieved of pressure has already been discussed above.

Owing to the lightweight aluminum frame construction, it weighs 22 pounds. There is nothing out-of-the-ordinary about the frame; it has a simple, thin-tube geometry with a strong fork which gives no clue of instability.

The crankset is manufactured with alloy, has 46 teeth and can be replaced which makes it one exciting feature. The process of replacement is convenient and simple with no requirement of professional assistance.

Wheels and hubs are anodized to protect against the effects of rust. Anodizing is an electrolytic process which is performed to build a protective oxide layer on the metal which minimizes risks of corrosion and offers better sticking capability with the paint. The 700x25c tires are racing tires with unique valves that are hard to find in the market if something goes wrong. Also, it requires a non-standard pump to fill the tires which is the biggest downside.

In addition to it, the bike is accessorized with a flat handle with rubber grips and a saddle that account for a comfortable ride.  Caliper brakes work fine and this area hasn’t received any complaints from the customers.

To conclude, this is a good bike for riding in the city but will give you problems in off-road conditions.

Pros
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Can be used as fixed gear and freewheel bike
  • Anodized wheels and hubs for better resistance to corrosion
Cons
  • The tires are small, unique and require non-standard tools

 

Conclusion (Editor’s Verdict On Cheap Road Bikes)

We included road bike models that are single speed so as to accommodate all classes of potential customers.

Takara Kabuto is not visually appealing while Vilano Rampage requires a special pump for air filling in the tires.

MERAX Fitness is a great pick as well with stunning looks and good overall running capabilities but carries the disadvantage of a weird handlebar.

On the other hand, if we compare the 4 models that offer multiple speed options, EUROBIKE XC550 took our heart. With a drag-resistant geometry and disk brakes, this is one option that will do wonders for your riding needs.

Of course, we are taking nothing away from Schwinn models but they stayed behind the competition because of the absence of disk brakes majorly.

We hope after reading the in-depth reviews & detailed guide on the best cheap road bikes, you’ll make a good decision and choose a reliable bike that goes a long way.

Related Posts

Last update on 2021-11-18 at 18:49 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API