Finding a bike with top-notch features is not a difficult task if you’ve more money in your pocket but the challenging part is to get the best road bike within your budget, let say under $500 or 400 dollars.
Road bikes get their name from the terrain they are destined to be ridden over; the road. Unlike other types, it’s not changed massively over the years. Their design and features remain the same pretty much with a necessary integration of technology over the decades.
Road bikes are meant to take you to places at high speeds and are not meant for going over rough terrains so are not generally fitted with high suspension forks. Therefore, comes up with a streamlined design that wards off the effects of air resistance so that you can cover distances in less time.
Characteristics Of Good Road Bike
We researched a lot and brought forwards the best road bikes with the price range between $300 to $500 for the readers but before we go on to discuss the models; here are some of the characteristics that a good road bike must contain.
1. The tires of good road bikes are usually thin ranging from 18-25mm. They have less number of spokes than mountain bikes because they need not be very vigorous.
2. The frame should be lighter and compact because it needs to be aerodynamically feasible. Usually, materials of constructions are aluminum, carbon, and steel. Recent models feature a sloping top tube with a short seat post.
3. Drop handlebars are characteristic of road bikes. Not only do they shape you in a streamlined posture during the ride but offer various holding positions according to your size. You can grip the handlebars from top, hoods, and drops.
4. The seats are usually longer than gravel or mountain bikes and thinner in width. They don’t need a lot of padding because it is the design and position of the saddle that accounts for a comfortable ride rather than excessive padding. Your pelvic bone must be properly positioned on the saddle for you to be comfortable during the cruise.
5. There are different options in brakes, pivot brakes are common but disk brakes are trending excessively nowadays because of their enhanced performance.
Best Selling Road Bikes On Amazon
Let’s get on with the models now which are reviewed in this article and all come under the banner of cheap best road bikes under 500 and 400 dollars.
Top 8 Road Bikes Under $500, $400
If you’re looking for low budget road bikes then you can check the cheap road bikes here.
Best Road Bikes Under $400, $500 Reviews
We have selected the best models of road bikes under 500 dollars available on Amazon and narrate the unbiased review so it may help you while making a decision during purchase.
1. Schwinn Phocus 1600 (The Best Road Bike Under 500 2019)
1600 model is an elegantly crafted piece with attractive aesthetics and feature-laden body. The 6061 aluminum frame along with a carbon fork calls for an expensive rate but it’s not the case here. While the aluminum reduces the weight of the bike, carbon fiber fork isolates vibrations and give a smooth ride.
The bike is 16-speed with Shimano shifters integrated with brakes so you are in complete control all the time. The freedom to keep the hand intact with the brakes while shifting gears is very soothing. And of course, one cannot challenge the quality of Shimano products so that field is covered.
As for the wheels, it features 700 c tires with grouped spoke sets which mean there is a gap after a group of 4 spoke set. This practice has allowed this bike to eradicate air resistance and go on high speeds of 20 MPH. They, however, weaken the wheels and you should be careful of big bumps with this bike. This slight weakness is covered with double walled wheels.
The saddle is thin and contains a lever that can be used to easily adjust it with drop handlebars that give nothing away. They are soft to touch, cause no hand fatigue and can also be adjusted. Dual-pivot brakes cover the brakes field and there are decent in performance. It is an appreciable bike for beginners and is being rated highly on Amazon by the customers.
- Schwinn aluminum road frame with Carbon fiber road fork
- Shimano Claris 16 speed derailleur with Micro shift integrated shift/brake lever combo
- High profile alloy double wall rims with paired spokes are lightweight and strong with front Quick release
- Promax alloy dual pivot caliper road brakes for great breaking power
- Alloy crank for wide gear range
2. Vilano Forza 4.0 (Best Beginner Bike Under $500)
Vilano has shaped up this bike with tapered tubes, strong fork and aluminum shifters that are bigger than standard shifters which contribute to their uniqueness. Not only does it accommodates for a good beginner bike but shines effectively in the range of higher-level road bikes meant for commuting, training, and cruising.
With a 6061 aluminum frame that is characterized with tapered tubes to reduce effects of air resistance, is lightweight and strong at the same time along with being visually appealing. The fork terminates to a quick release wheel mechanism that permits easy removal and installment of the front wheel.
Long STI shifters are made out of aluminum and are different because of their elongated nature which makes it better accessible for a rider of every size. A usual issue associated with STI shifters is the difficulty to reach them but not with this bike. The drivetrain is fabricated with Shimano components with 8-cogged rear and 3-cogged front derailleur allowing the rider with the freedom to travel with 24 speeds.
The wheelset is made of double-walled and CNC machined wheels and 700x25c tires. Its build is of supreme precision and high durability. Front and rear caliper brakes deal with the braking department of the bike and do ever so greatly. Forza’s saddle is the only thing of concern; it is long and narrow like other road bikes but not very comfy as it only contains thin padding that loses its effect after 2-3 months of usage.
- Shimano STI Integrated Brake Lever Shifters
- A Strong Lightweight 6061 Aluminum Frame
- 24 Speeds to Handle any Situation
- Wheelset: Double Walled w/ CNC Machined Sides
- Free Pedals Included
3. Giordano Libero 1.6 (Best 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 have 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 which 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.
- Lightweight hand crafted 6061 aluminum frame
- 32 Spoke High Profile Quick Release Alloy Rims
- 1 1/8" Threadless stem
- 16-speed Shimano STI drive train
- Dual water bottle mounts
4. Giordano Libero Acciao (Best Low Budget Road Bike 2019 Under 400)
Not as well known of a company as Schwinn but has come forward with this low-budget road bike that is available in two colors and have managed a good share of 5 star rating on Amazon.
The frame is high-grade steel which is the English translation of the Italian word “Acciao” and a steel-made fork. It is durable in nature but slightly heavier than aluminum frames but still a weight of 36 pounds is very acceptable. The frame is painted over with a striking red color with white tapes that have the company’s name written over them in between.
With a drivetrain and shifters coming from Shimano Tourney, it gives a supreme performance in the department of speed transition. It permits a total of 14 speeds and can aid you in cruising over smooth highways or tarmac roads. Shimano front and rear derailleurs never disappoint the rider in terms of smoothness and ease and the integration in this road bike is no different.
Similar to the first model, it contains dual pivot brakes that don’t offer anything unique. The tires are 700c and are furnished with 32 spokes in each so there is an ample amount of support, unlike the Shimano model. If we talk about the weakest feature of the bike, it is its saddle. Not largely comfortable and not particularly smooth in construction. If you are a sensitive rider, this could create problems for you.
The handlebars are genuine and comfortably padded with foam for eradicating the risk of hand fatigue as road bikes are meant to be ridden for a long period of time. There are bolts for mounting water bottle holder and it comes to your doorway 70% assembled.
- Medium fits riders 5'8"-6'0" with an inseam of 30"-32"
- Steel frame and Fork
- 1 1/8" Alloy Threadless Stem and Alloy Handlebar
- 14-speed Shimano Tourney STI drive train
- Down Tube water bottle mounts
5. Vilano Shadow (Best Budget Road Bike Under $400)
This model marks the second appearance of Vilano bikes in this list. Likewise the first model, it gives good value for the spent money.
The bike may not be one of the quickest but is certainly a solid option for commuting or exercising needs. The frame is constructed from 6061 aluminum and features a slightly shorter top tube that keeps the rider in an upright position rather than a racing-like, slouched posture. Otherwise, it is a traditional frame with color options of white and black. The weight is only 32 pounds so it can easily be moved around in house or parking areas.
Responsiveness and smooth speed transition is ensured due to the presence of Shimano components in the drivetrain. With a 7×2 cassette, it permits a total of 14 speeds which is sufficient for a low-budget road bike. The derailleurs and the crankset is constructed with precision and characterized with a smooth finish. STI shifters give the rider full control over the brakes while changing the speed. It features dual pivot brakes that are traditional to bikes in such price range. Some customers argued that the brake pads were not rigid the right amount and they are true in their remark. It can easily be changed within $15-20.
Kenda tires with reflectors on each and double walled construction make them a durable wheelset. They are machined on CNC so their finish is substantial and it contains a total of 32 spokes in each tire which is less than the Vilano R2 but an amount not to be concerned of. The tread of the tires grips well to the surface and is designed to minimize the probability of loose gravel being stuck in between the gaps.
The saddle and plastic pedals are the components that have been compromised. Pedals are cheap plastic in nature while the saddle is not the most comfortable. The handlebars are exactly the same as the Vilano R2 with cables tucked tightly with the frame and allows no loose connections.
- Wheelset: 700c doubled walled CNC machined side
- Shimano STI Integrated Brake Lever/Shifters offer precise and controllable braking and shifting in a convenient single unit designed for the road
- 6061 Double Butted Aluminum Aero frame with integrated headset
- Fork: 700c 1 1/8" threadless, brakes: dual pivot alloy caliper
- Free pedals included
- Wheelset: 700c doubled walled CNC machined side
6. Pure Cycles 16-Speed (The Best Road Bike)
Furnished with think frame design and bolts for attachment of add-ons like bottle holders, this road bike is a heavyweight option for people who like it that way.
The frame is traditionally designed with 4130 Chromoly steel but is differentiated slightly due to thin pipes being used in its construction. The joints are firmly welded and the reason of thin pipes is the consideration to not let weight reach a very high toll. It comes in 4 different color options.
The drivetrain is all Shimano with derailleurs, cassettes and STI shifters coming straight from the world’s best company in this regard. The crankset and shifters are able to provide a total of 16 different speeds with unobstructed transitions and long-lasting performance. The gear ratios can be set according to the condition you are driving in. Conveniently, it is available in three sizes and riders of all sizes can benefit from this bike and take it to length road commutes.
The saddle is very comfortable and adjustable in height so you can alter it to attain variable postures according to the need at hand. For example, if you are looking for high speed, you need to raise the saddle so that it provides you with a slouched posture.
Dual pivot brakes along with gel-padded handlebars give stability in terms of braking and maneuverability. The Hutchinson Nitro II tires are supported with aluminum rims but have a tread that is not very good in traction. It struggles in wet conditions and slips slightly when brakes are applied. Other than that, it is a classic low-budget road bike which can take you to all places with reliability and effectiveness.
- Lightweight road bike with Super strong 4130 chromoly steel frameset; ideal for beginners to experienced riders for race, Tour, commutes, and more
- 16-Speed Shimano Claris STI shifters, cassette, and derailleur deliver competition-ready speeds; smooth rolling Hutchinson nitro II tires
- Front and rear alloy caliper brakes and 3-piece crank set; 17mm-deep dish alloy rims with stainless steel spokes. BB : Square Taper Sealed Cartridge
- Adjustable drop bar with a variety of hand positions and gel-padded tape; performance-designed road saddle stays comfortable on extended rides
- Bike ships 90% assembled; available in six different sizes to fit 4'-11" to 6'-4"; backed by manufacturer's warranty
7. Windsor Wellington 2.0 (Best Affordable Road Bike Under $400 2019)
Referring to the sufficient features that need to be on a road bike, this model is equipped with all of them. Available to the customers at under $400, it gives a good running performance with smooth speed variations. Although it features nothing unique but the subtle simplicity and usability are its desirable traits.
The frame is constructed from 6061 aluminum, is double butted and lightweight. The Shimano A050 shifters give 21 speed options and have aluminum dual pivot brakes to bring it to a halt in traffic or when encountered by a sudden obstruction. The transition of speeds is not very smooth and one of the customers claimed that the gear ratios were not very accurate but there was only one complaint.
The fork absorbs vibrations effectually and each tire contains 36 spokes for good support. It weighs only 26 pounds and is a decent entry-level road bike.
- Aluminum Frame
- Comfort Saddle
- Bar Top Shifters
- Lightweight and Durable Wheels
- Professional Assembly and Tuning Suggested
8. Pure Fix Fixie Bike
Pure Fix delivers this fixie bike in a large range of chic colors and at a price which is just above Vilano Rampage. Whether it is urban commuting or coasting downhill from your relative’s house, this bike will provide you with the comfort and the smoothness one desires in the ride. With the freewheeling capability only a simple process away, you can race down an inclined track and be thrilled.
The tig welded tensile steel frame enhances the durability of this simple construction bike with tubes having a cross-sectional area a little larger than what we had in Vilano Rampage. Top tube which is parallel to the ground with a 30mm riser handlebar offers a nice, comfy posture setting along with bottle holder mounts for the added utility.
The wheelset is certainly one to talk about. 32 spoke wheels are resistant to rust and corrosion and feature Kendra 700x28c tires which are 40mm deep unlike other standard fixie and road bikes that range from 30-32mm depth. This increased thickness contributes to more strength and traction.
There is only a front caliper brake with the uplifted level of braking power primarily because it is the sole feature which will stop a bike. Brake pad connectors are fixed in a much efficient way than normal caliper connectors are.
Other features include a Z-410 chain with 44:16 gear ratio which is perfect for urban riding, a snug saddle that keeps the posterior free of aches and good rubber grips to avoid hand fatigue upon lengthy commutes. There were some complaints regarding the tires getting punctured and it has to be written that this bike is not made for off road terrains and will give problems if you take it so; we assume that to be the answer of those complaints. As a whole, this is a simple, single gear bike that is reliable for city commuting and coasting.
- Stylish, lightweight and fast single-speed road bike great for both leisurely rides around the neighborhood and attacking city streets
- Flexible flip-flop rear hub lets you quickly change from fixed gear for a connected feel for the road to freewheel for coasting and cruising
- Durable, fully Tig-welded high tensile steel frame and fork is built to last; front alloy dual pivot brakes for quick stopping
- 40mm deep-dish wheels with Thickslick 700 x 28C tires for excellent control and contact with the road; drome saddle for a mix of comfort and style
- Bike ships 90% assembled; available in seven sizes; backed by manufacturer's warranty on frame and components
Conclusion (Editor’s Verdict On Best Budget Road Bike Under 500 Dollars)
The nature of the bike you require would decide the model that should be purchased.
If you are okay with a small but slightly heavy bike, we recommend EUROBIKE XC550 because it is the only bike in the list which is integrated with disk brakes. Other than that, it is highly satisfactory in terms of performance and looks.
Talking about the fixed gear bikes, Pure Fix managed to soar with the highest amount of 5-star reviews on Amazon.
If you need a lightweight bike, you may choose between Vilano R2 commuter or Schwinn Phocus 1600 or Giordano Libero Acciao Road bike. Each of them has its own benefits and disadvantages but Vilano R2 leads the list with the least amount of noticeable issues.[/su_note]
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Last update on 2019-11-11 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API