10 Best Entry Level Road Bikes Under $500

best road bike reviews
Normally when you think of a road bike you picture a typical bike, a bike for getting around, shopping, or just a ride on a nice sunny day.

However, it doesn’t ends here — in spite of all thrills — Road Biking is also one of the best exercises to remove excess fat accumulated on your body. This not just only improves your physical strength, but also helps you to get a healthy and well-maintained body.

Are you a road biking maniac and looking to get an affordable Road Bike?

A lot of people emailed me asking about the best road bike brands, wondering which one they should buy. Frankly speaking, this is not an easy question to answer as everyone has their own preference and bike prices may vary person to person.

Having said that, A tour de france bike could cost as much as the average auto loan (Over $10,000) – Well that’s for professionals. Fortunately, there are plenty of entry-level road bikes for casual riding that can fit the bill without breaking your bank.

Here we are going to review 10 different brands of road bikes under 500 dollars, so that you can make up your own mind depending on the features that are important to you.

Without further adieu, Let’s have a look!

Top Picks: Top 10 Road Bikes Under $500 of 2023

In line with our vision to provide you the reliable bikes, we’ve compiled the 10 best road bikes under $500. This list is a outcome of more than 20 hours of intense work to make sure that you only get the top-notch bicycles.

Product NameFrame TypeRating
Schwinn Phocus 1600
(Best for Beginners)
Vilano Diverse 3.0
(Best Overall)
6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear
(Best Budget)
Vilano Shadow 3.0
(Value for Money)
Tommaso Imola Compact
(Our Top Pick)
Vilano R2 CommuterAluminum4.3
Eurobike Bikes EURXC550Aluminum4.2
Raleigh Bicycles Cadent 2Aluminum4.1
Tommaso FascinoAluminum4.4
Giordano Libero AcciaoSteel4.0

1. Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men’s Road Bike – (Best Entry Level)

schwinn phocus 1600 Road Bike

Schwinn is one of those brands that have a timeless reputation. Once you start browsing their bikes, you will find a multitude of different options that all include excellent features.

However, we have selected to look at the Schwinn Phocus 1600 Drop Bar Road Bike for Men.

The brand has placed a lot of emphasis on the construction of the bike. It features 6061 aluminum frame for weight and durability, while the fork is constructed from carbon fiber. As we all know, carbon fiber has a great reputation for being durable and keeping the weight on the lower side of the spectrum, especially with replacement forks being expensive.

In addition, The Schwinn Phocus 1600 comes with a spring saddle and seat post that are comfortable and soft. For maximum comfort, the saddle has additional foam filling, this helps especially when biking on uneven terrains.

Since the tires are some of the first areas that will generally need to be replaced on a road bike, Schwinn has included double-rimmed tires for optimal protection. The 700c x 28″ wheels have become a common trend among road bikes, but we have already mentioned the fact that they are extremely versatile for use in almost any situation.

Lastly, Schwinn has always managed to keep the price affordable and we have never encountered a Schwinn bike that has an extremely high price tag. You should keep in mind that the SR Suntour alloy crank that is included will also go a very long way in helping you shift gears, especially when you only have limited experience doing so.

So, if you’re just starting out your road-biking journey and looking for a decent entry level road bike under $500 – this can be your companion.

Key features:

  • Good entry-level road bike
  • 16-speed gear system
  • Lightweight 6061 aluminum frame
  • Durable carbon-fiber fork
  • 700c x 28″ wheels
  • Best suited for riders with height: 5’5 ft. to 6’3 ft.

2. Vilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Road Bike – (Best Overall)

vilano diverse 3.0 hybrid road bike

Which person does not like a versatile bike for a Sunday morning outing or to even take on some friends. If you like this, you might want to have a look at the Vilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Bike.

This hybrid bike has been created from hydroformed alloy aluminum, allowing it to keep the frame a little lighter, but it can sacrifice some durability.

The downsides are definitely made up for when you start looking at the drivetrain. Vilano has provided a 24-speed Shimano drivetrain that puts all the control in your hands when riding. Kenda 700c tires ensure that it can ride on multiple surfaces, even withstanding the frustration of riding on tough cobblestones.

The bike has mechanical disc brakes, which are extremely affordable and offer decent stopping power. These brakes will definitely be ideal for beginners that don’t attain high speeds yet. However, the downside is the assembly and one will need to have some of the right tools to assemble the bike once it arrives. Fortunately, the instructions are clear and precise.

Vilano isn’t one of the brands you will link with some of the Grand Tours, but they do have some great components that are often used. The Vilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Bike is perfect for all different levels and types of riders. It is one of our favorite bikes for taking a break or getting out on the road.

Key features:

  • Affordable Hybrid road bike
  • 24 speed drivetrain
  • Long-lasting hydroformed alloy aluminum frame
  • Pretty lightweight, weighs around 26lbs
  • Upright handlebar position for extra comfort

3. 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Urban Track Bike – (Best Budget)


6KU is not one of the most common brands on the market today. However, they try to cater to some of the beginners out there.

Featuring a 6061 aluminum frame, the 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixie Urban Track Bike is actually light. Additionally, it holds up extremely well initiations that force it to take a lot of impacts.

One of the main reasons that we believe beginners will enjoy this bike is the fixed gear design. The design removes a lot of the thinking from the process, which means that you don’t need to worry too much either. It might not have the best brakes on the market today, but it can also be removed and replaced with some of your favorites.

For a bike that has been mostly constructed from aluminum, the price is affordable. You also have the option of a variety of different colors that can match your style when riding.

A wide variety of sizes also mean that the bike doesn’t limit the larger riders from finding one they need—perfect for riders between 5’5 ft. to 6’2 ft.

If you’re looking for a bike just for commuting purpose with minimal maintenance, then this is the one.

Key features:

  • Aesthetic design
  • Budget friendly
  • 6061 double-butted aluminum frame
  • Perfect bike for commuters
  • Best suited for 5’4 ft. to 6’4 ft.

4. Vilano Shadow 3.0 Road Bike – (Best Value)

vilano shadow 2.0 road bike

Vilano has once again made it onto our list and you need to own or test one of their bikes to see why we are so drawn to them. The Vilano Shadow 3.0 Road Bike is basically called the shadow and feels like an upgraded version of the diverse hybrid bike we have reviewed earlier. However, the features are still similar in certain areas.

Aside from having the same 6061 aluminum frame, the bike also looks a little more impressive. The stylish design is definitely something that will make people give your bike a second look as you are riding. The double-walled wheelset is perfect for establishing a lot of durability while making the bike function well.

As for the drivetrain, everything is made up from Shimano – from derailleurs, crank, cassette to shifters, so you can be sure of receiving a reliable set of components. In total, 14 speeds are available with a double crank and 7-speed cassette, which is plenty for a beginner road bike.

With a price range this low, it makes sense that the brakes are traditional dual-pivot types. The stock brake pads tend to be a bit soft, but they can easily be replaced at a very low cost.

Vilano doesn’t even graze the surface when we talk expensive bikes, which means that this bike is priced to move and help you move on the road. It might require a little bit of assembly once you receive it, but you won’t need to worry too much. The instructions are clear and simple to understand for beginners.

If you’re looking for a good commuter or recreational bike to get into road biking, then Vilano Shadow should be at the top of your list.

Key features:

  • 6061 aluminum aero frame
  • Value for money bike
  • Kenda 700c x 25c
  • Water bottle mount

5. Tommaso Imola Compact Road Bike – (Our Top Pick)

tommaso imola road bike

Tomasso bikes tend to be a little more expensive, but the brand does have a decent reputation preceding them. The Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike is a little different from the first bike with a little less weight.

It has been constructed from durable aircraft-grade aluminum to absorb impact and keep the weight down. The R2000 Shimano Claris Shifter that has been incorporated is part of the newer Shimano shifters. They have a smoother feel to them while giving you a 24-speed drivetrain for more versatility on the road.

Much like the other top road bikes, you will enjoy having the 700c wheels that have been proven to take on almost any terrain.

Since the frame is extremely compact, the bike appeals to those looking for something that can take on almost any situation. The only downside is the standard rim brakes that have been incorporated. However, you don’t need to spend a fortune to have them replaced with disc brakes for better braking performance.

Looking at the price, the bike might not be at the same price level that beginner might expect. If you are looking for a state of the art bike, this can be an affordable way to make it into the big leagues. The manufacturer also recommends it to cyclists with a little experience, and the bike is backed up by a limited lifetime warranty.

Key features:

  • High end-road bike
  • Durable Tommaso 6061 SLA Aluminium Frame
  • Comes at mid-range price point
  • Shimano Claris 3 x 8 drivetrain
  • Kenda’s 700 x 25c tires for better stability
  • Best suited for riders: 4’10” to 6’5″ tall

6. Eurobike Bikes EURXC550 21 Speed Road Bike

Eurobike Bikes EURXC550 21 Speed Road Bike

One of the biggest concerns when buying a road bike as a beginner is having something that will fit you. The Eurobike Bikes EURXC550 21 Speed Road Bike 700C is one of the larger models on the market today and it comes with a decent steel frame. It includes 700cc wheels that are considered durable for most terrains in urban areas.

A 21-speed drivetrain is one of the best features that one can use. With so many shifting options, it allows you to reduce the cadence and have more comfort when pedaling.

Additionally, I have found the mechanical disc brakes to have incredible stopping power, which should definitely improve the level of safety.

When looking at most high-end road bikes, we do find that they are extremely expensive. However, this bike does not have the aluminum or carbon fiber frame that spikes the price. The only downside is the steel frame. It might be durable, but it can also be extremely heavy for those who like to be really competitive on the road.

Key features:

  • 21 speed drivetrain
  • Dual disc brake provides immediate stopping power
  • Front and Rear derailleurs made of Shimano
  • Overall weight capacity: 330lbs

7. Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike

vilano R2 commuter road bike

Commuter bikes are some of the most underrated on the market today. Many people neglect the commuter bike for not attaining the same speeds as the competitive bikes. However, the Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike breaks this barrier. IT does this by integrating commuting features with speed features.

One of the ways it does this is by giving you a pretty functional 24-speed drivetrain to work with. Cadence is one of the most important terms, you can learn in cycling, and this helps you to control your cadence for longer races. Double-butter aircraft grade aluminum has been used for the frame, which offers a combination of weight and durability.

A couple of the same downsides of the other Vilano bikes have crept in with the Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike. Aside from assembling it, you will still need to tune the bike, especially the gear system.

However, it is not that expensive to take it to your local bike shop and have them do it for you to ensure all is perfect.

Much like the other bikes from this brand, you don’t have to stress the price at all. It has been designed to make sure that anyone can afford one of these bikes when they are in a tough financial situation.

All of the accessories that you will need for casual bike riding has been included to ensure that you don’t have to spend additional cash.

Key features:

  • 21-Speed Drivetrain
  • Lightweight 6061 Double Butted Aluminum frame
  • 700c Doubled Walled Wheelset
  • 700c x 25c tires

8. Raleigh Bicycles Cadent 2 Fitness Hybrid Bike

raleigh cadent 2 road bike

A list of the best road bikes, especially those that are affordable, will never be complete if we do not include at least one from the Raleigh brand.

For this list, we have gone with one of the most underrated bikes on the market today. Now, you can see why the Raleigh Bicycles Cadent 2 Fitness Hybrid Bike might be a great option.

An aluminum frame has been integrated as part of the design, which makes it lightweight. However, the bike will not really take many shots if you should get into an accident. With it feeling a little heavier than some of the others, I was a little skeptic at first. However, the added weight does make it more stable when you hit tough terrains.

One of the best selling points is by far the 24-speed drivetrain. One would not expect this from a bike that does not really perform in top tier tours. However, it makes cadence control a little easier for beginners. Additionally, the mechanical disc brakes will add decent stopping power, while making sure that you have more control.

One of the downsides to having so many great features is that the bike is a little expensive. It does not have an excessive price like a Diamondback bike with a carbon fiber frame would have, but can still hurt your pocket.

Being said that, the good thing is that everything is already included and you don’t need to make any upgrades or changes.

Key features:

  • 6061 custom Aluminum frame
  • Mechanical disc brakes by Tektro Novela
  • Kenda kwick tendril 700x35mm
  • Shimano Tourney TX800 derailleur

9. Tommaso Fascino Sports Performance Road Bike

tommaso fascino sports road bike

We have left one of the best bikes for last and one of my all-time favorites for you to enjoy. The Tommaso Fascino Sports Performance Aluminum Road Bike is one that simply looks and feels to be completely professional and without any issues.

It features an 6061 aircraft aluminum frame with an exceptionally low weight for the durability it has.

As you would expect by now from a great bike, you have a 21-speed drivetrain that is also powered by Shimano for better performance.

Exceptional disc brakes will give you stopping power in the wet weather, while the 700c tires are the difference-maker. Not even the dreaded cobblestones will stand a chance with dimming your performance.

Unfortunately, it is also one of the most expensive bikes that we have on this list. However, this is not a beginner bike. Many beginners could end up feeling a little lost with all these quality features. We need to mention that fact that it comes with an ergonomic design and a whole host of sizes for specific heights.

Key features:

  • 21-Speed Shimano tourney drivetrain
  • Tommaso 6061 SLA Aluminum frame
  • Better stability, thanks to Kenda K152 700x25c tires
  • Tommaso Feno Caliper Brakes
  • Lifetime Warranty

10. Giordano Libero Acciao Road Bike

Giordano Libero Acciao Road Bike

If you have a little bit of cycling experience and you want to give it a shot at taking on some of the top riders, you will need a bike that will make it possible. The Giordano Libero 1.6 Men’s Road Bike is probably one of the options you can consider, especially considering the 6061 aluminum frame that is integrated.

Safety is paramount, which also features heavily on this bike. Aside from giving you the benefit of 700c wheels, each wheel also includes 32 spokes.

All of them combine to keep the wheel alignment near perfect and ensure that you never go off the road when you did not plan for it. The 16-speed Shimano-powered drivetrain still remains one of my favorites.

The price of the bike does not graze the price of some of the others. Compared to elite brands, you can definitely walk yourself into a real bargain with the Giordano Libero 1.6 Men’s Road Bike, I should also mention that it has a double water bottle holder which allows you to enjoy longer rides, especially on a hot day in the mountains.

Things to Consider When Buying a Road Bike

Set Your Budget

Well, the demand for road bikes has increased considerably. Lots of manufacturers have come up in the market that is offering best models at very competitive rates in order to in the road biking industry.

The very first thing that a seller would ask you, would be your budget so that he or she can show the selective models only. You need to do your homework first and work out on your wallet size before entering the shop. This helps a seller narrow-down his display-area to the specified price-limit only. If you are buying online then you can rely on product reviews.

Choose Your Desired Frame

When you go out for buying your new bike, you would be shown four options in frame.

  1. Aluminum
  2. Carbon
  3. Steel
  4. Titanium

Let us discuss each one of them in detail:

  • Aluminum

Aluminum frame material is basically advised for people who want to race. This is one of the lightest frames available in the market. Many professional cyclists prefer Aluminum frame than a bike with carbon frame.

This frame is rust-resistant and crack-resistant to some extent.

  • Carbon

Carbon frame doesn’t need any introduction as it comes loaded with many good qualities. These frames are quite durable, light-weight, and offer a comfortable journey to the rider.  The biggest advantage that these frames have is for the producers who can mold this frame to fit any shape and size.

  • Steel

Steel is another good frame material that is durable, comfortable and affordable. If you go for high-end models of steel frame, you can really find light-weight designs. The best part of using this frame is the comfort level.

If you are an ultra-racer and looking for models that can go on a longer distance as well, then buy bikes with steel frame only.

  • Titanium

Titanium frames offers mixture of benefits of all other three frames. But the only concern while buying bikes with Titanium frame is the price.  If price is not an issue for you then consider bikes with Titanium frame only.

Else, go for other options that are a very good choice too.

Tires and Rims

Tires and their rims need to be aerodynamic, durable and lightweight and this all affects the bike’s climbing, acceleration and handling.

Box-section rims are lightweight, accelerate quickly, and provide the most comfort whereas aero-shaped rims are stronger, have less wind drag, and are stiffer which means less comfort.

The choice of rim will come down to personal preference. So if you are reasonably light and love riding at a leisurely pace on rough pavement then the box -section will be the best choice. However if you are heavy and likes to ride on smoother pavement then the stiffness of the aero-shaped rims will suit you better.

With Tires, essentially the thicker they are the longer they will last, the more they absorb road shock but they will have more friction as there is more tire on the road, so racing styles will always be thinner.

So whenever you look to get one , keep all of these variations in mind and decide on what specific features are important to you.

Wrapping Up

Above are the 10 best models of Road bikes. All of these models have one or the other feature unique and quite different from another. You can prioritize your needs and select the model that best suits your daily needs & requirements.

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