Cycling is very necessary, people use it for recreational and healthy purposes but that too is a costly endeavor. Nowadays, if you want to go for an amazing bike then you have to pay at least thousands of bucks. People, however, are not willing to pay that much amount of money if they are just starting out or just want a decent enough bike.
With that being said, even the top companies are also focusing on producing great budget bikes that aren’t just cool but also affordable so that everyone can enjoy them. That is some great news, right? Now even if you don’t have that much budget you would still be able to enjoy those amazing road bikes!
Although going to the shops, roaming here and there can be a bit of a grind, eh? That is why we have made this amazing guide for you where you will find some of the best budget road bikes under $500.
10 Budget Road Bikes Ranked:
These are some of the best budget road bikes available under $500 (At the time of publishing). The bikes have been categorized differently so you will find a lot of variety. Let’s get started!
- Editor’s Choice: Schwinn Volare 1400 Road Bike – The Schwinn Volare offers the best safety and performance in one amazing budget-friendly package. The Volare can easily be used by both men and women!
- Best Racing Bike: Merax Finiss 700C Road Racing Bike – The Merax Finiss offers the best performance for racing and exercise, the features alone make this bike worthwhile.
- Best Sizing/Flexibility: Giordano Libero Acciao Road Bike – When it comes to accommodating the rider and being in different sizes, the Giordano Libero Acciao performs amazingly well!
- Best Features: HASA R4 Road Bike Shimano 2400 – As the name goes, the HASA R4 has some of the best features that I have ever seen in a road bike!
- Best For Women: Giordano Libero Women’s 1.6 – The Libero 1.6 is a breath-taking and confidence-boosting road bike that every woman should enjoy and have fun with.
- Best Value: Vilano R2 Commuter – The Vilano R2 Commuter perhaps gives the best value of them all, on top of amazing performance.
- Best Performance: Gravity AVE A Road Bike – Even though it has an aluminum frame, you will be able to conquer all sorts of terrain with its amazing performance.
- Best Bargain Pick: CHALLENGE DYNAMIC CLR 0.2 – This is a great bike from Argos, it has decent performance, amazing features and remains durable for quite some time!
- Best All-Rounder: Vilano Shadow 3.0 Road Bike – Do not be fooled by its low price tag, this is an amazing all-rounder bike that oozes quality from every angle.
- Best Design: Vitus Razor – Although it is not that cheap, you can get amazing deals on it, the design and performance are exceptional!
1. Schwinn Volare 1400 Road Bike
Price: MSRP $370
The Schwinn Volare is the top one on our list and there are plenty of good reasons to support that. I would say that this bike perfectly combines performance and safety, the credit goes to construction as well. Even if you are riding on the most uneven of terrains, the steel suspension of the bike is going to keep you safe!
The team and I were amazed by the level of strength this bike has, if you come into a collision with something, the bike is going to keep you safe without even sacrificing the performance. Some of the best features of the bike are:
- Strong Aluminum Frame
- Shimano 14-Speed Shifter
- Adjustable and Comfortable Seat
- Double-Walled Rims
Schwinn is the master of producing amazing bikes that aren’t just strong but also perform amazingly well. You would be amazed to see how well the Volare is able to absorb collisions and vibrations.
The oversized road tires of the bike make sure that you get amazing speed while ensuring the perfect handling. Shimano 14-speed drivetrain lets you change speeds on the go without any kind of interval, and with the shifters, you get amazing stopping power as well.
While riding the Volare you would always have an upright position because of the ergonomically placed handlebars and seat.
2. Merax Finiss 700C Road Racing Bike
Price: MSRP $389.99
Ah, the time for racing bikes has come and we would be discussing the Merax Finiss 700C for that very reason. If you are looking to participate in professional races or just have a great exercise session then the Merax Finiss 700C is the bike for you, it just excels in every platform.
Do not be mistaken by the price tag, the Merax Finiss is still a great quality bike that performs exceedingly well. It is extremely lightweight and handles like a charm thanks to the aluminum frame. Some of the best features of the bike are:
- It Is Available In Different Sizes
- Amazing 6061 Double Butted Aluminum Frame
- Shimano 14-Speed Shifters
The frame just doesn’t let the bike handle well or offer great speed, it makes sure that the bike remains the same in all kinds of terrain, even if it is harsh terrain. Did I mention that you can also adjust your seat on the fly?
The high-quality Shimano shifters and derailleurs are there to offer a smooth transition of speed and gears. If you want to focus on speed then you can easily do that by adjusting the speed levels. The Alloy-caliper breaks make sure that have absolute stopping power.
3. Giordano Libero Acciao Road Bike
Price: MSRP $349.99
You find a really good bike but it doesn’t fit you, it’s a bummer right? That is why we have the Giordano Libero Acciao for you, this IS a great bike, and guess what? It comes in a variety of sizes and colors so that everyone gets to enjoy this bike!
It does not matter if you are a small-sized rider or a large one, this bike is made for you! The frame of this bike is made from steel and let me tell you, it is quite resilient. Some of the best features of the bike are:
- Available In Different Shapes and Colors
- Shimano 14-Speed Drivetrain
- The Amazing High-Tensile Steel Frame
You won’t be needing another bike for a while, thanks to the frame and fork of this one! Performance and safety are equally measured, consider yourself extremely safe from collisions and vibrations. No matter what kind of terrain you are riding the bike on, you can be carefree and maintain any level of speed.
May it be gravel or smooth road, with the Road Clincher Tires, you would be enjoying that same level of amazing performance. Plus, the Shimano 14-Speed Drivetrain makes things quite easy for the rider when it comes to changing speeds and gears.
4. HASA R4 Road Bike Shimano 2400
Price: MSRP $300
The HASA R4 is one of the best entry-level road bikes out there, you can get it for an affordable price. This amazing budget bike may be entry-level but it is still packed with amazing features and requires little to no maintenance. It does not matter if you want to use the HASA R4 for workouts or just casual use, it will perform just as amazing.
Equipped with the Shimano 24-speed shifters, you can mount any hill and ride easily on any kind of terrain. Shifting also becomes very easy, you won’t have to face any kind of problem at all. Some of the best features of the bike are:
- Lightweight Aluminum Frame
- Shimano ST-2400 Shifters
- Shimano ST-2400 Brakes
- Available in Different Frame Sizes/Colors
If you are planning to exercise on the go then you can easily put the bike on resistance mode, this will ensure that you have a great workout. The Shimano Brakes make sure that you are always in control of the bike and absolute stopping power is provided.
Although it is constructed with a lightweight frame, this is a strong bike and can withstand a lot of abuse and collisions. Lightweight equals speed and this bike can be used by a lot of people!
5. Giordano Libero Women’s 1.6
Price: MSRP $350
The Giordano Libero Women’s 1.6 might be cheap and you may think that the quality isn’t that good but the value that it gives is unmatched. There are not many dedicated women’s bikes, may it be mountain bikes or road bikes, but with the Libero, things get better.
The bike isn’t just fitted with amazing features but also vibrant colors, all packed in for one amazing price. The more you will use it, the more you will get attached to it and that there is a promise. Some of the best features of the bike are:
- Available In Different Sizes/Colors
- Kenda K196 700x26c Tires
- Shimano Claris STI Drivetrain and Shifters
- Lightweight 6061 Aluminum Frame (Specially Designed For Women)
The frame size of this bike is light and is fully adjusted to women, they can ride it for hours and not get tired from it. The Bike’s geometry is also very impressive, because of the slacker tube and top short tube, the rider will always maintain an upright position while riding the bike.
It does not matter if you are a beginner or a veteran, the Giordano Libero bike is going to exceed your expectations. The Braking system of the bike is exceptional, may it be slippery roads or descending a terrain, you’ll always have the top stopping power. After all, the mechanical disc brakes are known for their amazing performance.
6. Vilano R2 Commuter Road Bike
Price: MSRP $350
Sometimes you don’t get enough value for the cost you pay, that happens a lot when it comes to bikes. With the Vilano R2 Commuter Road Bike, you will never have to worry about that because it just gives you the best possible value!
The Vilano R2 is your perfect choice if you want an amazing bike for work, school/college, or just leisure. It may look simple and have a traditional design but that doesn’t mean that it isn’t amazing. Some of the best features of the bike are:
- Shimano 21-Speed Groupset
- Unisex Bike
- Strong Aluminum Frame
- Comes In Different Color Schemes
The basic design of the bike is quite unique, it is in black while giving a traditional look but loaded with the most amazing features. The frame size is available in different sizes so that it accommodates people of different sizes plus both men and women.
The bike is extremely lightweight so it actually is flexible and can be handled very easily, plus, there are many customization options as well. Gear selection with the Vilano R2 is amazing, even if you want to climb any kind of hill, you would be able to do so without a sweat.
7. Gravity Ave A Road Bike
The Gravity Ave A Road Bike manages to give you amazing performance even on a very tight budget, it is built around a lightweight aluminum frame that maximizes handling. The AVE A features a very aerodynamic design and because of the semi-compact frame geometry, the rider is always going to have an upright position.
The overall design of the bike is made to ensure that riders of all shapes and sizes are able to enjoy the best out of their bikes. Some of the best features of the bike are:
- Shimano 14-Speed Drivetrain
- Strong and Lightweight Aluminum Frame
- Powerful All-Weather Disc Brakes
You would be able to enjoy wide-gearing with this bike, and with the Shimano 14-Speed drivetrain conquering all sorts of terrains without any kind of problems. The gears of the bike are very uniquely placed and are stem-mounted so you would also be able to enjoy amazing comfort.
With the powerful all-weather brakes, the AVE A becomes a force to be reckoned with, it just doesn’t get any better with this.
8. Challenge Dynamic CLR 0.2
Price: MSRP $480/£350
You might have heard of Argos if you came looking for amazing bikes, thanks to their technicians, they have upped their game more than ever and have introduced the Challenge Dynamic CLR 0.2. Argos consulted some of the best journalists and technicians and have launched their new line, based on the feedback and let me tell you this- IT IS AMAZING!
The moment you lay your eyes on this masterpiece from Argos, it is going to fill you up with euphoria. Some of the best features of the bike are:
- Lightweight Aluminum Frame
- Strong Carbon Fork
- Shimano Claris Groupset
Be ready for the strong caliper brakes putting a stop to those double-wall aluminum wheels and look stylish while doing it. The Shimano Claris Groupset also works wonders with the bike, you can easily mount any kind of hill without problems.
Durability is the main priority here and that is a good thing, with budget bikes, all you want from them is to perform well and for a very long time. This is going to be a very good addition to your collection of amazing road bikes!
9. Vilano Shadow 3.0 Road Bike
Price: MSRP $430
The Vilano Shadow 3.0 isn’t your ordinary bike and you are going to be blown away with its performance and features. With the price tag, many of you would be thinking that this is just one of those budget bikes but its quality is actually on par with the premium bikes.
The Shadow 3.0 might be one of the best all-rounder bikes out there. Some of the best features of the bike are:
- Strong Aluminum Butted Frame
- STI Shimano Shifters
- Shimano 14-Speed Gear Set
- Available in Different Colors
The Aluminum frame of the bike isn’t just for show-off, it actually protects the bike against all sorts of collisions and vibrations, so even if you are riding on a bumpy road, there won’t be any need to stress out!
The Shimano 14-Speed gear set offers good performance as it is but it can be upgraded even more if you want that. The bike comes 90% assembled so there is no need to stress over that, plus you get free pedals in the package.
10. Vitus Razor
Price: MSRP $440
The Vitus Razor is one of the best road bikes to have ever graced us, ever! Yes, it is not that cheap but there are deals on it from time to time, and I advise that you should get it as soon as you can. This is an affordable bike but with amazing features, you will certainly not be disappointed.
Built upon a lightweight but durable aluminum frame, the bike can perform wonders if handled well and accordingly. Some of the best features of the bike are:
- Lightweight 6061 Aluminum Frame
- Strong Carbon Fork
- Shimano Claris 8-Speed Groupset
- Tektro Brakes
- Jalco Wheels
This is a bike that isn’t just amazing with the performance but also the durability. If you are planning to use the razor for higher climbs you can certainly do that without any kind of problems.
Razor’s geometry is all about that mixture between performance and comfort so I think that you are going to love it.
How To Choose The Perfect Road Bike?
The world of biking starts with road bikes, they are the means to enjoyment, exercise, and adventures. Road Bikes allow you to move here and there without any kind of worries, you meet new people along the way and life gets slower than a raging automobile, it is all for the good though!
Now reading that would have you excited, even that much that you would want to go ahead and shop for a road bike but we encourage you to wait and plan out everything ahead. Getting a road bike is easy but getting the best one, especially for you is going to be really tricky.
Research is going to be a game-changer here, you need to know what makes or breaks a bike, and in order to get a really good road bike, what things are there that you need to focus on. So let us get started!
Frame Geometry Are Different And They Matter
You may be thinking that all bikes look the same and that is true to some extent but many of them differ. One road bike is very different from the other one. Each one of them has a different frame geometry that makes them unique, and if you figure that out then you would be able to understand almost 90% of their structure.
Most of the road bikes that you are going to come across will have sports geometry, this is best suited for those bikes that will be used within 3-4 times a week, stretching up to almost 150 miles/week. These are recommended for casual users.
After that, there comes road bikes with a race/performance geometry. These are for the professional/competitive riders, they enhance the skills while asking the riders to be more flexible with themselves. These professional bikes are going to be lighter, have a strong frame, premium components, and an expensive price tag.
Look Out For The Materials
Now that frame construction is over and done with, you need to pay attention to the various frame materials. Bike frames usually come in two different forms and they are:
Carbon Fiber Frames are adept at providing comfortable and vibration-free rides. Comparatively, they are expensive because a lot of labor-intensive work is needed to construct them. They are the preferred choice of professional riders.
Aluminum frames also provide a good and comfortable experience but are way less expensive. They can be customized even more so to enhance the experience.
If you want to enjoy the best out of your bike and for professional purposes then it would be suggested that you go for carbon fiber frames. Although if you want the bike for casual and fun purposes then an aluminum frame would be more than good enough!
Other Key Components To Look Out For!
Apart from the frame and the geometry, there are other key components to look out for, choosing the right components for your bike greatly affects the performance.
Groupsets and Drivetrains
Let’s start with Groupsets, they are a set of matching components provided by different component manufacturers for bikes. If a bike comes packed with a groupset, then they are going to have a stylish, and consistent look/design as compared to the bikes that don’t come with these types of groupsets. This shows the utmost quality of a bike and the top-renowned suppliers of Drivetrains/Groupsets are SRAM and Shimano.
Wheels are one of the most important components to consider because they directly affect the performance of the bike, they are the ones between the road and their quality will certainly go a long way. Wheels affect the following:
- The overall weight of the bike
- Acceleration and how well it handles
- Resistance against the wind
The thing with wheels is that they are pre-built with the bike and you don’t get to choose them except that your bike is custom-built. Although you can always customize your bike when you have already gotten it, upgrading goes a very long way.
Gears and Cranksets Are Crucial
Gears are an important part of road bikes, they go hand-in-hand. The component that makes the pedal rotate the rear wheel is called a crankset and that is where we will start. Many of the road bikes are coming with different types of cranksets, things start with double and then go to compact.
Double/Compact Cranksets have two chainrings and 20 gears in total. They also come with a 10-speed cassette, having few gears gives them various benefits.
Triple Cranksets have 3 chainrings and 27 gears in total. They also come with a 9-speed cassette, providing this many gears to the rider comes with its own set of benefits.
You can always upgrade or customize whichever crankset you get with your bike, everyone has their own preference after all. Other than that, if you are a beginner and are just starting out with the bikes then a triple or compact crankset would be the best one for you, if you are a professional then you should go with a double crankset.
Choose Your Pedals!
You may be thinking that what are the pedals going to do and they come built with your bikes, well things have changed a bit! The basic bikes come with normal pedals that have toe cages but then there are the higher-end/premium models that come without pedals. This is because the company thinks that for a better and more personalized experience, you would choose the pedals yourself!
You can actually choose the pedals that go perfectly with your cycling shoes, after that just see that your performance gets better!
Brakes and Shifters
One would think that the brakes and shifters of a bike are different components, that was true at some point but with the newer models, these two components have become integrated.
Different bikes and different brands offer unique experiences and you must try them out before finalizing a choice. Both SRAM and Shimano have amazing shifters and brake sets, choose the one that suits you the most! The most important thing that you need to consider is that you have a good grip on the bike.
Choose The Right Size!
Now, this can’t be emphasized enough, you need to choose the perfect bike size/frame for yourself. There are typically 6 sizes to choose from that go from extra small to extra large but some customizations can also be made. You need to choose the right bike in accordance with your body’s geometry. Don’t go for sizes that are too small or too large for you as that will only come between handling.
- Why You Need to Worry About Road Bike Sizing and Fitting
- Top 50 Best Road Bike Brands
- The 12 Best Road Bike Wheels
- The Complete Guide To Buying Road Bike Wheels
- How Much Faster Are Carbon Road Bike Wheels Really?
Road bikes are amazing and getting one at an amazing price is even more awesome! These bikes provide the best kind of adventure. Although the price of these bikes has hit skyrocket in the past couple of years, that is why companies have shifted their focus on making great budget bikes that are available for everyone.
The best one from the list is Schwinn Volare 1400 Road Bike, from the construction to the features, there is nothing like it. For the ultimate road warrior fun, you have to try out this bike!