Come closer, we’ll tell you a secret: Road bikes with impeccable quality, maximum comfort, and excellent performance do exist for under $500. Whether you need a fast commuter bike, a bike to improve fitness or just don’t want to pay a hefty price, these top 9 affordable road bikes will be what you need. Whenever you’re ready, put your helmet on and let’s hit the road!
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Top 9 Affordable Road Bikes Under $500 Reviews 2020
Roadmaster 26″ Men’s Granite Peak Men’s Bike
For a price of around $100, this Roadmaster granite bike has some of the best value to offer on the market right now. It features a strong steel frame. Yet, the bike feels incredibly light and sturdy. What we also love about this bike is its color. You’ll get a granite colorway-basically, that’s a black finish all the way around-which resists dust and dirt really well.
Built right on this bike is an 18-speed Shimano twist shifter and derailleur. To change gear, all you have to do is twist the grip. Thanks to this speed adjustment, you can ride the bike over all kinds of terrains-unpaved paths, dirt roads, or mountain tops. The bike does excellent every single time.
We don’t find the seat very comfortable, though. The cushion does get softer over time. However, the packaging was really nice. The bike can support up to 250 lbs. Also, the hand brakes are super easy and intuitive to use. For us, this baby was a breeze to assemble. For some, they may need a little extra help.
- Strong steel frame
- Wide Tires
- Easy to use hand brakes
- 18 speeds
- Nice color
- Secure packaging
- The seat is slightly uncomfortable at first
Overall, this is a great bike with reliable performance. You seriously can’t find anything cheaper with such quality.
6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed Fixie Urban Track Bike
Do you like a simple bike with minimal maintenance? If that’s your thing, this 6KU fixie right here may be your best buddy for years. We absolutely love the 6061 double-butted aluminum that makes up the overall frame of the bike. It’s incredibly light. You can quickly and easily pick the bike up during bus transits or put it on your bike rack.
There are 6 sizes to choose, ranging from 47 cm to 61 cm. However, the last time we checked, size 58 was out of stock. There will be more coming on the way, so don’t worry! If you’re over 6’ tall, choose the 58 or 61 cm sizes. If you’re around 5’, stick with 49 to 55 cm. If you’re petite, the 47 cm size would be perfect for you.
Another unique feature that we definitely love on this bike is its Flip Flop hub. Simply, it’s a 2-in-1 bike. You can choose to ride a fixed gear, in which case you can easily remove the front and rear hand brakes. Or you can choose to ride freewheel, which will allow you to ride up hills and down hills easily.
What we think could be improved, however, is that the manufacturer could tighten the packaging process so no customers will receive missing parts. Other than that, this is a solid bike with high specs and durability.
- Long-lasting materials
- Cool colors
- 2-in-1 Flip flop hub
- Super light
- 6 bike sizes
- Removable front & rear brakes
- Helpful customer service
- Some missing parts upon arrival
We’re completely sold by the 2-in-1 Flip flop hub. It’s a strong, light, and super convenient bike that won’t lighten your wallet.
EUROBIKE Road Bike EURXC550 21 Speed 49 cm Frame 700C Wheels Road Bicycle Dual Disc Brake Bicycle
Our first impression looking at this baby was “OMG”. Wouldn’t you agree, it just looks so darn cool. We love it! For a minute, we were thinking, “Are you sure they’re selling this bike for under $500?”. Because this would be a bargain, folks. Together, let’s check out the specs with us.
Featuring on this beast are Shimano A050 shifters, a rear Shimano TZ50 derailleur, and a front Shimano TZ30 derailleur. All of them together gives you 21 speeds in total. You’ll find the shifters right on the stem. This design also features two bullhorn drop bars that are very professional-looking.
They claim that assembling the bike may take around 10-20 minutes. But, we don’t really think so. What you need to do is install the pedals, the wheels, handlebar, seat, seatpost, and pump the tires. If this sounds like a lot of work, take the bike to your local bike shop. Indeed, you can only activate the warranty if you get the bike professionally assembled.
In a nutshell, money well spent on this one! We highly recommend it if you want both style and performance.
- Strong frame
- Powerful drivetrain
- Stylish design
- 21 speeds
- Sleek-looking seat
- Great performance
- Smooth shifters
- Warranty is only activated when the bike is professionally assembled
Just take our money already! We couldn’t be happier recommending this bike to you. If you want a fashionable, high-performing, and durable bike, buy this one right here.
Murtisol GTM 700C Road Bike with Aluminum Frame and Steel Fork, Light Green
We’ve got another beautiful and affordable bike right here. It’s a gem, trust us! Although it’s not as popular as the other current models, for now, we think once people see its value the sales will be skyrocketing.
With that said, you can actually abuse this bike however you want. It’s built with super durable aluminum and steel that can withstand the abuse, hopping, and jumps.
You can easily do tricks with this one. Its handlebar can be spun 360 degrees. The bike has no problem carrying riders from 70 to 220 lbs. In case you’re wondering, this bike can go fast. In fact, as fast as you want thanks to the 21-speed Shimano Tourney hub. We also love the little tail light that makes it safer to ride in low-light conditions.
What’s not to love about this bike? Honestly, we can’t think of any. Besides all those specs you’ve seen above, you’ll also get two 700 x 54c wheels. These are big fat wheels. You’ll ride super smooth like on butter. Lastly, this GTM looks just as good as any expensive bikes out there. You won’t regret choosing it.
- Beautiful bike
- High-performing gear
- 21 speeds
- Spinning handlebar
- Durable frame
- High-quality welds
- Big fat tires
- Great price
- The kickstand may not be entirely necessary
This is a budget choice that’s not cheap-looking at all. You’ll get very high specs and quality. We definitely recommend this model for you, your sons, or your nephews.
Goplus Road Bike Commuter Bike Shimano 700C Aluminum 21 Speed Quick Release Racing Bicycle
If you want a road bike to improve fitness and meet new people, this Goplus is the way to go. It can go very fast. You can hit over 20 MPH on the flat open road, and over 40 MPH when riding down hills. It’s also a great-looking bike that has a racing appearance.
What’s special about this Goplus bike is the extra brake levers on the handlebars. Typically, you’ll find two brake levers (like 2 fingers pointing downward) on the hoods. With this model, you get two horizontal levers on the flat grip. This makes it much less tiring to ride for longer periods of time. You won’t get stuck in the aero tuck position for too long. Really appreciate this!
They use Shimano gears on this bike, specifically Shimano TZ31 front derailleur, Shimano TZ50 rear derailleur, and Shimano A050 Thumb shifter. The shifting is pretty smooth and easy. Both of the wheels also feature Quick Release mechanism. So, you can easily change or upgrade the wheels if you want. Overall, this is a very solid bike that’s going to last for years.
- Premium performance
- High-quality materials
- Easy shifting
- Extra brake levers
- Some riders find the bike a bit short
This is a bike built for speed, practicability, and style. You can’t go wrong with this choice.
Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike Shimano 21 Speed 700c
This Vilano R2 looks super duper cool! We love the combination of a black background and green strokes here and there. You can immediately feel vibrant energy just by looking at it. The build is very impressive for the price. You’ll get aircraft-grade 6061 double-butted aluminum that’s both strong and lightweight.
They use the Shimano drivetrain on this bike, too! There are 3 chainrings at the crankset and 7 cogs at the rear, giving you a total of 21 speeds. To change to easier or harder gear, you can keep pedaling and using either your right or left thumb to click the Shimano A050 Thumb shifters. Remember Left Front – Right Rear. It’s super quick and easy. Some riders, however, don’t find this mechanism the optimal one. It can be quite hard to keep your balance while changing the gear. However, you’ll get used to it over time.
This bike also sports 700c wheels with Quick Release Skewers. You can upgrade to Continental wheels if you like. Also, you can replace the seat with a wider padded seat for maximum comfort. Other than that, this is a very well-constructed bike. You’ll have a ton of exercise and fun riding this bike.
- Very nice design
- Super light frame
- Smooth Thumb shifters
- Big wheels
- 21 speeds
- Great value
- Quick Release skewers
- Well-done welds
- Assembling the bike may be slightly difficult
The Vilano R2 is exactly as advertised. It’s made for you folks out there who love a great exercise and a fast commuter bike.
6KU Fixed Gear Single Speed Urban Fixie Road Bike
Price: $ – $$
After a long tour around all the other brands’ models, we’re back looking at another simple and functional 6KU fixie. If all of those twist and thumb shifters sound way over your head, trust us, you’re going to love this bike.
It only has one gear. Yes, finally! You can’t believe how much easier it is on your part to maintain a one-gear bike. Probably 5-10 minutes a week is what you need if you’re super careful.
Riding the bike is super easy. If you choose the single speed (aka freewheel) mode, you can use the front and rear hand brakes or pedal backward to stop the bike. However, if you use the fixed gear mode, you have to use all your body weight by leaning forward to stop it. With that said, you’ll get a Flip Flop hub with the bike. Super convenient!
The frame is made from Hi-Ten steel, which may make the bike a bit heavier compared to its competitors. However, there are many colors to fit your own styles. They only had M, L, and XL sizes for fuschia color when we checked. Other folks are grabbing this baby fast.
Don’t hesitate for too long when such a great bike is already in front of you.
- Many colors
- Strong build
- Flip Flop hub
- Low maintenance
- 5 sizes
- Easy to ride
- Some folks find the assembly quite a headache
This 6KU urban fixie may just be the favorite bike you own. It’s fast, fashionable, and fun to ride. We couldn’t be happier with this quality and value.
Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano
We have another Vilano in the house, folks! What’s special about this road bike is that it’s super light. It measures an impressive 24 lbs! Probably one of the lightest bikes on our list.
This is also a 21-speed bike featuring Shimano drivetrain. You’ll also get Thumb shifters right on the stem. You can multi-shift your gears if you want. But, it’s not recommended for beginners. Get used to the bike first, then try harder skills.
They make the seat super slim and sleek. It has the urban comfort style. Some folks who like a bit more cushion may want to replace the original seat. For us, the brakes are within reach. For people with smaller hands, however, the brakes may be a tiny bit hard to reach. We recommend getting a smaller size for these cases.
Overall, this is a fantastic bike for the price. You’ll be glad you purchase it today!
- Great quality
- 21 speeds
- Powerful drivetrain
- Easy-to-use Thumb shifters
- Slim seat
- Some missing parts upon unboxing
If you want the lightest road bike, get this Vilano right here!
Schwinn Volare 1300 Men’s Drop Bar Road Bike, 700C Wheels Medium Frame Size
Whenever we hear Schwinn, we equate that with quality. If your budget is a bit more generous, you may consider this Volare right here. At first glance, it looks a bit like the Vilano R2 we saw earlier. But, a closer look will tell you that it’s definitely not. Although Volare is not the lightest road bike on our list, it sure is one darn light bike. The weight is 29.8 lbs. Pretty acceptable!
If 21 speeds seem too much for you, this 14-speed drivetrain will do the trick. That’s 2 front chainrings and 7 rear cogs. All are made by Shimano, by the way. They’re also using the Shimano A050 Thumb shifters on this one. Seems like a very popular choice in this category.
You’ll also get wider wheels with this Volare. They measure 700 x 28c. You can also mount your water bottle cage on the bike because they have pre-drilled holes right on it. To assemble the bike, you need Allen wrench, screwdrivers, and combination wrench. It’s pretty easy, honestly.
Overall, this is a wonderful bike that gets the job done sweet and simple.
- Great build quality
- 14 speeds
- Wide Tires
- Crisp Thumb shifters
- Easy to assemble
- Has pre-drilled holes for water bottle
- Secure packaging
- Tires arrived flat
If 1 speed is too limiting and 21 speeds are too overwhelming for you, this 14-speed bike may just be the one you’re looking for.
The Ultimate Guide To Choosing Affordable Road Bikes Under $500
Choosing the right bike size is just like choosing the right outfit size. It’s super important for you riders. Usually, you’ll find bike sizes measured in cm or inches. For example, an 18” bike is equivalent to an approximately 45 cm bike. The way they measure the bike height is usually from the bottom bracket up to the top tube.
If you’re looking at 6KU bikes, for example, a 47 cm (around 18 inches) bike would fit folks from 4’10 to 5’1 perfectly. For taller folks, you can shoot for 58 cm (around 23 inches or larger). These would be perfect for your body type.
Also, remember to check the weight capacity. Most bikes nowadays can hold riders up to over 200 lbs.
You can also consider this aspect: Do you want one gear or multiple gears? There are pros and cons to both. A one gear bike (like 6KU single speed or fixie) is super easy to maintain and ride. You don’t have to change gear during your trip. However, you may not be able to conquer a variety of terrains with such power. For example, riding up hills or down hills.
Multiple gear bikes can give you more power and flexibility. On the market now, you’ll typically find 14 to 21-speed bikes. There are usually 2-3 chainrings and 7 rear cogs. Maintaining these gears take a bit more work. But, if you want some more flexibility (e.g. riding up hills, down hills, over grass, etc.), then this is the way to go.
If you’ve decided to get a multiple speed road bike, the shifters should be your next concern. It’s super important to get smooth, crisp, and safe shifting while the wheels are rolling. And on the market right now, you’ll usually find two types of shifters in this category:
- Twist shifters: you change gear by twisting the grip
- Thumb shifters: you change gear by using your thumb to click the levers
Beginners may find it hard to use these types of shifters at first. The hardest part is keeping balance while changing gear. These are by no means difficult to use. With practice, trust us, you’ll get used to them very quickly. Some riders even miss their good old Thumb shifters when they become more skillful and move on to more expensive bike models.
With very basic models like the Roadmaster you’ve seen, the brakes are placed horizontally on the flat handlebars. With more race-appearing models, you’ll get vertical brake levers placed on the hood of the bullhorn or drop bars. Both are super easy to use.
A point you should put into consideration is the ease of reaching the brake. We’d say, the horizontal brakes are a bit easier to reach for smaller hands. The vertical ones may need longer fingers and bigger hands.
Other than the hand brakes, you also have foot brakes. These work on 6KU single speed and fixie road bikes. You can remove the hand brakes if you want. To stop the bike, you simply pedal backward. Or you can lean forward with all of your body weight to stop. This brake system is recommended for more skilled riders. However, beginners can also get used to it pretty quickly with practice.
1. What is the best road bike for a beginner?
Our best choices are Roadmaster, Vilano R2, Murtisol GTM, 6KU, and Goplus. They are great starter bikes at decent price points.
2. What is the best road bike for the money?
For around $100, you can check out Roadmaster, Murtisol GTM, and 6KU fixies. If your budget is around $200 to over $300, you can consider Vilano R2, Schwinn Volare, or Eurobike. These are all reliable bike makers with trusted quality and satisfied customers.
3. How much does a decent bike cost?
A decent bike may cost you somewhere from over $100 to over $300 depending on the model, sizes, and features. This price range is super cheap compared to other expensive models that can cost from $700 to over $10,000.
4. Are Amazon bikes good?
If you mean bikes sold on Amazon, then yes. The bikes are pretty well-made with all the necessary features and functionalities. You are fully covered with various warranty policies, return policies, and money-back guarantee.