Innobell.com – Finding the best road bikes under 500 is not an easy job because you need to settle with the entry level models. It means the bike might lack some of the greatest features you can see in higher end road bikes. But you don’t have to worry about this because many entry level road bikes nowadays come with excellent features that match the quality of high end road bikes.
If you want to buy the best bike that will offer you the utmost safety and comfort, there are some important qualities that the bike must have. Firstly, a good road bike must come with durable and sturdy frame. So, make sure you look for road bikes with aluminum frame because this metal is known for its strength.
Furthermore, you also want to pay attention to the weight. Road bike cannot be too heavy to make sure you can easily control the bike. It becomes more important in entry level road bike because it is mostly used by beginners. So, the additional elements of the bike, like the wheels for example, should be made of alloys since it can help reducing the overall weight of the bike.
Don’t forget to look for a road bike with Shimano components. Shimano is a reputable bike components manufacturer. When a bike is equipped with Shimano components, you can rest assured about its quality. Now that you know the important things you need to look for in a bike, let’s find out some of the best road bike under 500 2017.
Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men’s Road Bike
For such an affordable price, this men’s road bike comes with a very strong frame. The frame is made of aluminum and combined with carbon fiber road fork. As a result, the bike becomes lightweight and agile but sturdy and rigid at the same time. The alloy rims and lightweight spokes also help making the ride smoother without adding more significant weight.
It is equipped with Shimano Claris 16 speed derailleur and it comes with Micro integrated shift and brake lever combo. Speaking of the brake, this bike has one of the best and most responsive brakes among other cheap road bikes under 500. Thanks to the addition of Promax alloy dual caliper road brake, making a safe emergency stop will not be a problem.
This bike is also highly commended for its comfort. The upright position of the frame allows you to bike in upright position as well. Furthermore, it comes with highly adjustable saddle so that you can easily decide how high you want the saddle to be. Besides the saddle, the handlebar can also be easily set higher or lower without taking any extra efforts.
A set of pedal is already included in the package. The pedal comes with strap and toe clip which will keep your feet in position while pedaling. However, the pedal doesn’t have the best quality and it is a little bit slippery. But it is not a big problem and this Schwinn bike definitely still deserves its place in the list of the best road bikes under 500.
- The bike is durable so it makes a great long time investment.
- The saddle and handle are highly adjustable.
- It requires minimum assemble.
- The quality of the pedal straps is mediocre.
- The switch doesn’t have gear indicator.
- There is only one size of frame.
Giordano Libero 1.6 Men’s Road Bike
If you cannot find the road bike you want among the best road bikes under 500, maybe you need to widen your range of searches to the under $600 category. And when it comes to the best road bike under 600, this Giordano bike is one of them.
This road bike comes with handcrafted 6061 aluminum frame. Since the aluminum is corrosion resistant, riding under the rain will not mess up the appearance of this bike. Furthermore, just like most road bikes in the market, Libero is a lightweight bike. However, there is one thing that makes this men’s road bike more special compared to others. It is because despite of the fact that this bike is lightweight, it comes with high tensile fork. This type of fork is known to be very strong and sturdy but in the same time heavy.
This bike also becomes people’s favorite because it is available in three different sizes with weight ranging from 26 pounds to 29.7 pounds. Libero also comes with highly reliable riding components. It is equipped with 16 speed Shimano derailleur and also shifter. The shifting system is actually very easy and requires very minimum fingering. However, it might take a lot of getting used to, especially for beginners.
As for the brake, actually it comes with alloy side pull front and rear which is known to be very easy to use. Unfortunately, the brake in this bike doesn’t have fast response, which is a shame for a road bike in this price range.
- There are three different sizes available.
- The bike is lightweight even though the components are on the heavier side.
- It comes with dual water bottle mount.
- It requires professional assembly.
- The shifting system is a little bit hard to figure out.
- The brake is not really responsive.
Vilano Shadow 2.0 Road Bike
Cheap road bikes under 300 mostly have questionable qualities, but it is different with Vilano Shadow 2.0. This product is highly praised as one of the best and the most affordable road bikes for beginner. When it comes to the frame, a beginner road bike must be lightweight so that the user can easily learn controlling the bike. This bike is made of 6061 Double Butted Aluminum aeroframe which is also found in more expensive bikes. This type of frame is very resilient but it is lightweight hence easy for beginners. The weight of the frame starts at 25 lbs. and there are three sizes of frame available—50 inches, 54 inches and 58 inches.
While most entry levels come with standard components, this one is equipped with Shimano components. The front derailleur is Shimano and the rear is Shimano Tourney. While it is true that it is not the best Shimano derailleurs, it still does its job extremely well for a road bike in this class. Moreover, beginner bikers will find this bike very easy to ride because it comes with single shift and braking system. Speaking of shifting gears, this bike has 14-speed which is the standard for the best road bikes under 500 for beginners.
This bike is also highly commended for its comfortable saddle. The saddle is well-padded which will not only make riding bike more comfortable, but also improve shock absorption. As a result, riding in a bumpy road will not be too painful.
- Excellent quality for a very affordable price.
- The frame is lightweight yet durable.
- The saddle is very comfortable.
- Assembling the parts is very easy.
- The shifter is pretty difficult to use.
- The quality of the free pedal is mediocre.
Schwinn Men’s Phocus 1400 Road Bicycle
Another Schwinn product in this best road bikes under 500 list. The features and components are pretty much the same with the first Schwinn bike, but Phocus 1400 is cheaper because the components are in the entry level class.
Just like Phocus 1600, this road also comes with aluminum road frame construction which ensures durability and also agile riding. In terms of speed, this bike has standard 14-speed courtesy of Shimano derailleur and also Shimano AO50 shifter. While other road bikes in this price range usually have trouble with the shifter, Phocus 1400’s shifting capability receives high praise. Shifting the gear is very quick and easy so this bike is very suitable for climbing. Furthermore, the alloy caliper brake also has excellent quality. It might not have the fastest response, but it is very reliable. It is a brake you can trust when you are riding down a hill.
Riding this bike is very comfortable thanks to its high quality alloy rim. Since the rim is very sturdy, the bike will stay stable even when it rolls over obstacles. Moreover, this Schwinn bike is also known for its comfort. The saddle can be released very quickly so adjusting the height will not take plenty of time. In addition, the position of the saddle and handle are designed in the best way possible to ensure the bikers can feel the utmost convenient and have full control over the bike.
Just like the saddle, the front wheel also has quick release ability. As a result, you can easily release the front wheel if you need to store the bike in a cramped space.
- The quick release saddle is very easy to adjust.
- Shifting the gear is very easy.
- The brake is reliable.
- The tubes are very thin.
- The gears need routine maintenance to stay in good shape.
Merax Finiss Aluminum 21 Speed Road Bike
Just like some others bike in this list, Finiss also uses 6061 aluminum body frame so you don’t have to doubt the sturdiness of this bike’s frame. It also will help making the ride smoother and the bike more agile. Furthermore, the high quality of this bike can also be seen from the Shimano components of this bike. It uses Shimano SA050 shifter while the derailleur is Shimano TZ-31 at the front and RD-T250 at the rear.
Shimano component is not exactly a strange thing for a road bike. But what makes this Merax bike more special compared to the other best road bikes under 500 is its speed. While similar road bike in this class only has 14 or 16-speed tops, Finiss has 21. While beginners might not need so many speeds, the fact that it has more gear speed compared to others make this bike a great investment for the future since it can still be used by intermediate bikers who need more challenges. Contrary to the quality derailleur and shifter, the aluminum caliper brake is not the most reliable. It doesn’t have quick response and you need to press the brake pretty hard before the function finally kicks in.
One of the best things about this bike is its easy installation process. The bike is 80% assembled and it doesn’t require professional help. You simply need to install the front wheel, pedal as well as the handlebar and everything is set.
- The aluminum frame is sturdy and lightweight.
- Installation is very easy.
- It has 21 speeds, which is a lot for road bike in this class.
- The brake is unreliable.
- The pedal is made of plastic so it can easily get damaged.
- The handlebar is a little bit loose.
GMC Denali Road Bike
Denali is one of the cheapest among the other best road bikes under 500. But despite of the low price point, this bike is very reliable. First of all, it has aluminum frame and also aluminum fork which makes the bike strong yet agile. Furthermore, it is also equipped with high profile alloy Vilesse racing rims, which is known to be a great companion against bumps on the roads.
High end Shimano components are also found in this GMC bike. The shifter is Shimano Revo and the 21-speed derailleur is from this brand as well. The fact that this bike has 21-speed is also worth to note, especially considering some of the more expensive models only have 14 or 16-speed. So, this bike is a nice choice for those who want to enjoy higher speeds while riding the bike.
This bike is suitable for many people because it comes with three different sizes—Small, Medium and Large. While beginner bikers can go with the smaller size, those who want to invest in more challenging bike with more weight can go with the larger ones. Moreover, it is also equipped with alloy water bottle case, just a trivial feature compared to others, but very important to accompany you during long biking journey.
- One of the cheapest bike in the market.
- It is available in three different sizes.
- It comes with 21-speed.
- Transitioning between gears is very smooth.
- The seat is too stiff to the point it is not comfortable.
- The brake is very stiff and not really responsive.
- It might require professional installation.
Vilano FORZA 4.0 Road Bike
Just like most Vilano road bikes, Forza 4.0 also comes with 6061 Aluminum double butted frame that is known for its strength and lightness. The aluminum frame is then combined with high strength steel racing fork and alloy cranks. Even though the steel makes this bike a little bit heavier than most of the best road bikes under 500, the alloy helps reducing the weight so the weight of this bike is still at the low side.
This Vilano road bike is also equipped with some Shimano components. The rear derailleur is Shimano 2300 while the front is Microshift FDR338-B. But the best thing of all is certainly the Shimano STI Integrated Brake Lever Shifter. With this configuration, the position of the brake is close with the shifter. As a result, braking and changing gear becomes very easy and convenient. Speaking of changing gear, Forza 4.0 is highly praised because it comes with 24-speed. 24-speed is not exactly a common feature in entry level road bike class so it becomes one of the best points of this bike.
Besides the fact that it comes with some features that can only be found in more expensive bikes, there is another reason why Forzaz 4.0 becomes one of the bestselling product from Vilano. It is because the brake works really well. It is very responsive and you can easily use it to make an emergency stop.
- Integrated brake lever shifter makes shifting the gear and braking much easier.
- It has 24-speed, which is not really common in entry level road bikes.
- It is the cheapest bike with integrated brake and shifter.
- The seat position is not the most comfortable.
- It is a little bit heavier compared to others due to the steel body.
- The tire is less durable than expected.
So, after comparing these best road bikes under 500, which one do you think suits you the most? Each and every one of these road bikes has their own good and bad points. However, in our opinions, Vilano Forza 4.0 is the best among the seven bikes in this list. The first reason is because it comes with integrated brake lever shifter, which is very rare in this price range. Furthermore, it also has 24-speed which makes the bike more versatile compared to others.
But if you need something that is very cheap yet reliable, Schwinn Men’s Phocus can be a great choice. With just a little bit over $300, you can get all the standard features that will make riding the bike more convenient and safer. But overall, no matter which one you choose, make sure you consider every aspect of the bike, especially its safety, comfort and sturdiness.