Riding on a road bike is a high activity that is not only a source of exercise but also is an excellent way to meet people and experience with your surroundings. If you are looking for a budget friendly road that can fit your budget without breaking the bank then look no further, Below is a list of top 10 best affordable road alongside their outstanding features.
We have also outlined some of the crucial information on how to get your first road bike on a tight budget.
List of Cheap Road Bikes For Budget Rider
|Bike Name||Bike Type||Frame||Colors||Price?|
|Tommaso Imola||Top Pick||Aluminum||03|
|Vilano Aluminum||Runner Up||Aluminum||03|
|Giordano Libero 1.6||Mens Bike||Aluminum||02|
|Schwinn Phocus 1600||Mens Bike||Aluminum||02|
|Merax Finiss||Stylish Look||Aluminum||03|
|Poseidon TRITON||Lightweight Bike||Aluminum||02|
|Pure Cycles Classic||Lightweight Bike||Chromoly Steel||04|
|Raleigh Merit 1||Endurance Bike||Aluminum||01|
|Diamondback Haanjenn 1||Womens Bike||Aluminum||01|
|Schwinn Vantage F2||Flatbar Bike||Aluminum||02|
When it comes to purchasing a new road bike, there are endless options to choose from the market. This often makes it difficult for many riding enthusiasts to enjoy their hobby.
To help you make an informed decision, we have created an ultimate guide on the best affordable road bikes at lower price.
10 Best Affordable Road Bikes Reviews
There is no need of spending much to get a quality road bike. Well, the Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike is an example of an affordable bicycle model with amazing features and endurance ability.
Just to mention, Tommaso currently trends as one of the popular road bikes presently on the market, requiring little investment but with original Italian design and make. Because of great performance, components, looks & price range we have nominated this bike as OUR TOP PICK in the list of best budget road bikes.
The bike features an SLA aluminum frame that is standard across all road bikes in this price range. The frame is neither heavy nor uncomfortable, making it seamless to ride both uphill and on flat roads. Besides, the frame is available in three colors namely, orange, black and burnt orange. With this, you might not be the fastest cyclist bit you’ll be among the most fashionable.
Wheels and Tires
The Imola Road Bike comes with quality Corsa TC- wheels. Despite not having an aerodynamic shape, they are the best at the bike’s price range. The front wheel comes with 20 spokes while the rear has 24 spokes, assuring that it will support your weight just fine.
The tires are clad with Kenda’s 700x25c that are wide and stable enough. The width comes in handy, especially if you are transitioning from a different type of bike. The tires roll effortlessly on various road terrains.
The Tommaso Imola being a budget road bike, it comes with mid-level Shimano Claris brakes that provide stopping on a dime. These are a good alternative to budget disc brakes, which might be quite bulky.
Various bicycle brands mix and match their bikes components. However, note that combining the components of any bike declines its performance, This isn’t the case with Tommaso Imola. You will enjoy the best ride with all-Shimano groupsets.
Enjoying a comfortable ride is more than just having a good-looking bike. Some small components such as handlebars play a significant role. That said, this bike comes with adjustable handlebars that allow riders to enjoy great levels of comfort.
Pros & Cons Of Tommaso Imola
- Great speed
- Excellent design
- lightweight wheels
- Corrosion free frame
- Greater safety levels
- Budget-friendly option
- Comfortable geometry
- Lack of assembly instructions
- No pedals included in the package
The Tommaso Imola Road Bike is an excellent machine best suited for entry-level riders looking for a decent bike on a budget.
The 2nd bike our list from Vilano, We have considered this bike as RUNNER UP in this list. If you don’t like the first one for your commuting needs, then you can check the Vilano Aluminum road bike which is comes under 300 bucks.
The bike comes with intriguing features, making sure you get value for your money. Initially, aluminum bikes were branded as expensive models. However, this is something of the past as current models are affordable, yet doesn’t compromise on its quality.
Shimano Drive Train
When it comes to drivetrain, rest easy when hearing of Shimano brands. Bearing that in mind, this bike sought for Shimano for its drivetrain components. The bike’s derailleur and shifters are all Shimano. They work together to make shifting gears smooth and flawless, adding some enjoyability to your riding escapades. It also comes with dual brake levers that offer many conveniences to the rider.
Getting a beautiful bike at an affordable price is now possible, thanks to the Vilano Aluminum. The bike comes with a sharp, neat look whose attractiveness is culminated by the 6061 double-butted aluminum frame. It also has a 700c double-walled CNC alloy wheelset.
Easy to Assemble
Bike assembly is perhaps a headache that every enthusiastic rider goes through after having his bike delivered. Manufacturers understand that you aren’t an expert, and advise on getting a professional to handle the assembly part after receiving your bike. However, this can be an additional budget, which can be avoided by getting an easy to assemble the bike.
The Vilano Bike is, however, one of the easiest bikes to assemble. The bike comes with an instruction manual that is easy to understand. The assembly process takes less than 30 minutes by the experts as most of its parts are already assembled when delivered.
Double Walled Rims
When it comes to the wheelset, you ought to be specific with your choices. This is because rims are what determine the wheel performance and how you will enjoy rocking your terrain. As for this bike, you will enjoy its double walled rims that add up to its durability.
Road bikes are better known for their speed, smooth performance, and strength. The derailleur is a basic component when it comes to the speed and efficiency of the bike. Professional bikers understand how important shifting gears quickly is, especially if you want to get an edge over your competitor.
Well, the Vilano Road Bike offers 21 speed Shimano derailleur with complementing Shimano A050 SIS shifters for smooth and quick shifting.
Pros & Cons Of Vilano Aluminum
- Free pedals
- Extra strength
- Beginner bike
- Easy to assemble
- Double walled rims
- Comfortable saddle and seat post
- Average quality brakes
The Vilano Aluminum Road Bike is a good beginner bike that offers great value for money with durable wheels, aerodynamic design and lightweight frame.
Most men often opt to use road bikes as their primary means of transport. Bearing this in mind, there is no better way to do this than using the Giordano Libero 1.6 Road Bike. For men, this would be the best go-for road bicycle currently.
This bike contradicts the popular saying that bike enthusiasts can’t get a decent road bike for under 500. If you think so too, you haven’t met this model yet.
Road bikes for men must demonstrate a lot of endurance to support the anticipated abuse. Well, the Giordano Libero 1.6 features a carefully handcrafted 6061 aluminum frame. This means that despite being lightweight, it offers good strength and durability. It weighs approximately 25 pounds, perhaps a good choice for riding up hills.
Increasing the bike’s strength are the front forks that are made of steel. As you may know, steel has high tensile strength besides aiding in shock absorption. This will work well, especially if you intend to ride on gravel.
If you purchase the Giordano Libero 1.6, it is delivered in a box, like any other bikes and you will have to assemble it. However, assembling this bike is easy, and takes a few minutes. You can easily fix the bike’s parts at home only using an air pump and wrenches.
As for the brakes and other complex parts such as tuning the gears, you might consider getting professional help if you aren’t good at doing it. The bike comes with an instruction manual that eases the entire process.
Rims and Tires
Tires and rims are among the essential parts of a bike. This is why settling for a bike with exceptional quality tires shouldn’t be an option. Thankfully, the Giordano Libero features 700c alloy rims and 700c x 25c tires. The rims are lightweight while the tires are stable and durable, a combination that assists the bike to move faster as well as dampen potholes on your riding terrain.
This is a unisex bike that can be owned by both men and women. Even better, it is available in various sizes, which can accommodate both short and tall people. Small size is suitable for 5” to 5.6” while large sizes suit those who are above 6” tall.
As mentioned, this is a perfect choice for a road bike for those looking for an inexpensive road bike. It is feature packed, yet affordable — certainly, a great deal.
Pros & Cons Of Giordano Libero
- Strong fork
- Great design
- Lightweight frame
- 16-speed drivetrain
- Dual water bottle mounts
- The saddle isn’t so comfortable
The Giordano Libero 1.6 Road Bike is a perfect bike of choice for men or women looking for an pro road bike at cheapest price with extreme specs.
Like the Giordano, here we listed another bike from Schwinn which is specifically made for me.
Bike riding is not meant for a specified group of people but is more associated with men. Whereas you can get on a men’s bike for fun, your peers may do it for fitness. Well, by getting the Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men’s Road Bike you can maintain your body shape and keep your weight in check.
It is among one of the best road bike models specifically tailored for those looking to achieve their fitness goals through road bike riding.
Aluminum Road Frame
If you consult with an expert, they will tell you that the bike frame is the most crucial component. If a bike is designed with a quality frame, you can be sure of comfort and durability. Well, this model features a strong and durable aluminum frame that supports even the heaviest users.
When it comes to riding a bike, it is more fun if you have a bike that is easy to operate, especially if it is lightweight. A lightweight bike means that it will be easy to ride, regardless of the riding terrain. As for this model, the quality of its features doesn’t compromise on its weight.
Good quality and designed frame alone don’t guarantee comfort when riding a bike. There are other components including the bike’s handlebars. Note that this is where your hands will be glued the entire ride, perhaps the reason why comfort is key. As for the Schwinn Phocus 1600, it comes with adjustable handlebars that enable users to adjust the handlebars to their suit. They are also made of steel, a feature that ascertains their durability.
Seats and seat post are other significant contributors to the bike’s comfort. Most bikes don’t have comfortable seats, making it tedious to ride for long distances. As for this model, it comes with padded seats that enhance your comfort when hitting the road.
A bike with quality wheelset translates to more comfort and sturdy rides. The wheelset of this road bike is not only impressive but also fashionable that every rider will enjoy using the bike.
Pros & Cons Of Schwinn Phocus
- Easy assembly
- Smooth Shifting
- Affordable price
- Carbon fiber fork
- Shimano claris groupset
- Great for paths and trails
- Double wall rims with paired spokes
- Average pedal straps
- Only available in one size
For the Schwinn Phocus 1600 Bike with comfort features and quality construction, there is no reason you won’t purchase this bike. It is a good choice to keep your body fitness.
In the 5th spot we have added a great bike from Merax which has appealing look. So the riders who are in search of good looking road bike, they can consider this bike. The Merax Finiss Aluminium road bike is performance packed bicycle at affordable budget
Most of the people choose road bikes for their entry-level riding. Therefore, it is important that you consider the derailleurs that come with the bike. As for the Merax Finiss, the front derailleur is the Shimano TZ-31 with RD-TZ50 rear derailleurs. With these two, you can easily negotiate most terrains. They are also durable, implying that you will need some replacement after some time.
The shifter is a key component when it comes to switching gears. Its a vital part of a bicycle. Like other derailleur components, the shifters of this bike are of Shimano make, a company that offers nothing short of the best. This bike integrates brakes and shifters, a feature that makes them offer the best performance.
Highly Responsive Caliper Brakes
Your best cycling escapade will be incomplete if you hit the road on a bike with a poor braking system. An efficient braking system is a crucial bike component. The brakes should operate efficiently regardless of the terrain or prevailing weather conditions. That said, the Merax Finiss doesn’t disappoint. It features excellently responsive Caliper brakes that bring the bike to an instant stop.
Level of Comfort
Since you are looking for a road bike more than the performance of the bike, it is important that you find a bike designed in a way to offer optimal comfort. Well, the Merax Finiss Bike features drop bars that provide utmost comfort. With this, you will cycle at upright position reducing fatigue experienced with uncomfortable riding positions.
It is disappointing to damage your bike as you try to put it together. Assembly is essential if the bike comes with pre-assembled parts. Assembling this bike requires some little know-how, perhaps something crucial for all biking enthusiasts. If you feel overwhelmed by this though, consider employing the services of a professional.
Pros & Cons Of Merax Finiss
- Looks cool
- Amazing price
- Relatively light
- Shimano shifter
- Free pannier bag
- Great for beginner
- Aluminum frame
- Durable construction
- Bottle holder installed
- Quick-Release Front Wheels
- Aluminium Kickstand Installed
- Proper assembly is required
Unlike heavy weighted mountain bikes, road bikes are comparably lightweight making them easy to maneuver. One that is especially lightweight and easy for riding enthusiast to get around with is The Poseidon “Triton” Lightweight Road Bike. It is a perfect choice of bike for those in pursuit of a bang rather than the buck.
Shimano 8spd Drivetrain
Speed is all road bike enthusiasts yearn for. Imagine riding a road bike with no variety when it comes to speed settings. That would be boring. Well, as for this model, it comes with an 8-speed drivetrain that provides a wide array of gear choices. You can find what is best for you at any terrain.
Dual Pivot Brakes
Whereas speed is something to excite riders, the quality of the bike’s braking system shouldn’t be ignored. Otherwise, your riding escapades won’t be complete. As for this model, it comes with dual pivot brakes that ascertain increased stopping power when you need the most.
Availability of various gears is not a guarantee that you will enjoy your riding sessions. The quality of gear shifters determines how easy or hard it is for you to shift between gears. Like other great road bikes, the Poseidon “Triton” Bike features the Shimano Claris STI shifters that give you a smooth and fast shifting as you get to your desired gear.
More Color Options
Despite not being a feature that determines the quality of a bike, most people would like to ride on a bike with a color they like. The Poseidon Bike looks cool with glossy paint and bright color options. Some of the available and popular Triton color choices include the Le Mans Orange, Gold Dust, and Ghost Grey.
Unlike mountain bikes, comfort is a crucial aspect when it comes to road bikes. This is why most manufacturers stress on the bike’s saddle, seat post, handlebars, and stem. To provide this, this model comes with a comfortable seat and adjustable handlebars for overall smooth riding.
Pros & Cons Of Poseidon
- Smooth gear shifting
- Quality components
- Various color choices
- Durable frame & fork
- Lightweight alloy frame
- Perfect as an entry level road bike
- Professional Assembly is required to retain factory warranty
When it comes to value, the Poseidon “Triton” Road Bike is an excellent choice. It is a lightweight, yet stiff bike made with high-quality components.
Like Poseidon, here we listed another inexpensive lightweight road bike
The Pure Cycles Classic 16-Speed Road Bike is an awesome bike geared up for aggressive blistering descents, climbing and straight off the line speed riding. The bike is easily upgradable and customizable, with a frameset that has all mounting and attachment points for your optional racks, panniers and more.
All Weather Tires
The Pure Cycles comes with Hutchinson Nitro II tires that have an all-weather tread design. They are key to great safety and control when cruising on dangerous and slippery terrains. This makes riding a breeze even in the worst weather conditions. Besides, the tires are supported by 17mm alloy rims and stainless steel spokes for great comfort.
Ready for the Road
The bike combines an elegant road bike look with its modern geometry and engineering. It is powered by Shimano Claris 16-speed drivetrain that assures that the bike is easy to operate and smooth shifting action.
Riding a heavy bike is certainly cumbersome. Most riding enthusiasts prefer lightweight road bikes to enable them to perform all the road associated bike sporting. With a heavy bike, you might lack this much-needed flexibility, especially when it comes to road riding with styling.
Due to this, it is prudent to purchase a relatively lightweight bike. The Pure Cycles Bike is not bad in that case. Its Chromoly steel frame and fork are heavy-duty yet lightweight.
Drop Bar Handlebars
Complementing the classic and comfortable look of the Pure Cycles Bike are the classically curved drop handlebars. Their positioning maintains your upper body in an upright position thus eliminating stress on your neck and shoulders. It also balances the rider’s weight between the back and front wheels for proper handling.
The Pure Cycles Road Bike is shipped 90 percent assembled. The remaining parts to be assembled are simple. Besides, you can follow the provided instruction manual or the manufacturers’ YouTube channel for instructions and tips of assembly. It is also backed by a lifetime manufacturers warranty on parts and frame.
Pros & Cons Of Pure Cycles
- Caliper brakes
- Adjustable drop bar
- Shimano STI shifters
- 90-percent assembled
- Solid bike for the money
- Beautiful vintage looking bike
- Comparatively lightweight bike
- smooth rolling Hutchinson tires
- Seats tend to be loose
The Pure Cycles 16-Speed Road Bike is a great choice of bike for beginners looking to better their riding interests. It is a classic, affordable yet feature-packed model.
Raleigh is a well-known and highly reputable endurance bicycle manufacturing company. Raleigh Merit 1 is a good entry-level bike among their series of road bikes. This model is ideal for hiking, commuting or riding with your cohort around town. Simply put, it is best for any activity that requires endurance. If you travel on tough and rough roads, this is an excellently performing bike for such tough riding sessions.
Double-Butted Aluminum Frame
Like other best Raleigh bike models, aluminum is the mainstay material of choice for its frames. This model is no different. It is built with a 6061 double-butted formed tubing frame that is light and more durable compared to traditional bikes. Note that the lightweight nature of this frame doesn’t compromise on its durability and strength. It is meant to make the bicycle more flexible.
Great Grip Tires
Road bike riding enthusiasts take their bikes to all terrains. It will be disappointing if the bike isn’t made tough enough to handle the abuse brought to it. Much of a bike’s abuse is on the tires followed by shocks and gear shifters.
This is why Raleigh fitted this model with the Arisun 700x28c tires, which are more comprehensive compared to traditional road rubber tires. The tires are not only wide and durable but also have a great grip for all-weather riding.
If you are doubtful about riding on unknown terrains, the bikes Shimano Claris 8-speed shifter should alleviate your worries. Shifters in a bike are a great addition that allows for smooth and easy shifting of gears, that is for bikes with multiple gear systems.
With wide gear options to choose from coupled with efficient shifters, the bike can flatten out any raised terrains with much ease. It is also lightweight thus able to move at high speeds while maintaining stability.
Dual Pivot Caliper Brakes
There is nothing that can boost your riding confidence than having an immediate stopping braking system. Well, the Raleigh Merit 1 Bike features the Tektro dual pivot caliper brakes that provide an instant stop. These brakes not only promote your comfort but also assure your safety, ensuring that you get to your destination safe and happy.
Pros & Cons Of Raleigh Merit
- Easy to control
- Appealing look
- Comfortable Saddle
- Value for the money
- Durable endurance bike
- Dual pivot caliper brakes
- Lightweight aluminum frame
- Pedals included when you buy
- Wide tires that promote stability
- No color options
- Require professional assembly
If you are undecided on which entry-level bike to purchase, go for the Raleigh Merit 1 Road Bike. It is a good choice for a bike if you want to take part in charity rides, commuting or just riding around town.
Like Men, Women also want to ride on road bike. Thats why we have listed this outstanding bike from Diamondback to let them know about this bike.
The Diamondback Haanjenn 1 is a women’s road bike, perfect for cruising around the town as well as long weekend rides. The bike re-defines what a “go-anywhere” bike means, perfecting its ride in gravel, commuter needs, and other terrains. It is budget friendly and performance driven.
Nearly all quality road bikes are fitted with Shimano drivetrain, shifters and more. This is the SI unit of the quality gear system and shifters for all road bikes. This bike isn’t any different as it comes with Shimano Sora 2×9 speed drivetrain coupled with cranks that provide reliable shifting performance.
The choice of handlebars of a bike is purely reliant on the rider. However, from experienced riding enthusiasts, they prefer riding road bikes with a drop or flat handlebars. These bars help in maintaining the riders’ upright position during the riding escapades. As for this model, it features flat handlebars that offer a familiar yet comfortable riding position.
Strong Mechanical Brakes
Braking is an essential component of any bike. Otherwise, riders wouldn’t be able to complete their riding sessions in one piece. There are various brake models available on the model, and manufacturers choose the type depending on the bike specialty.
As for the Haanjenn 1, the TektroLyra mechanical disc brakes are the most suitable pair. They provide a reliable stopping power regardless of whether you are pedaling through mud or down steep grades of smooth roads.
Tough Kenda Wheels
Tires and the entire wheelset are what determine how much abuse any bike can take. As for the Haanjenn 1 Women’s Road Bike, it is fitted with Kenda Flintridge 700×35 tires that provide excellent traction and stability for everyday use. They are more than capable of holding on the mountain trails and other tough terrains. Whatever the terrain, bring it on.
Pros & Cons Of Haanjenn 1
- Great traction tires
- Free pedals installed
- High level of comfort
- Disc brake to stop in a halt
- Easy assembly the rest of bike
- 95% assembled when delivered
- Durable aluminum frame for women
- Flat handlebars for upright riding position
- Not very fast
- Lack of colors as per women’s bike
Schwinn latest addition into its commuter bike series, the Schwinn Vantage F2 Road Bike for men’s features a smooth ride technology that provides utmost comfort when making your endless road riding trips. The Vantage comes with a flatbar to provide a fast and responsive ride, perhaps thanks to its active suspension vibration dampening system.
Smooth Riding Technology
Perhaps among the latest bike technologies, SRT is invented to provide a smooth riding for all road riders. It is mounted between the bikes seat stay and the seat tube providing 15mm of travel. This is designed to help in absorbing bumps along the road, providing a smooth ride without cutting on its efficiency.
SRT additionally ensures that there is an improved lateral stiffness, ensuring that the bike’s rear wheel won’t flex from side to side. With this, riders maintain an efficient pedal stroke.
24-speed Shimano Drivetrain
The Schwinn Vantage F2 features a 24 speed Shimano Altus drivetrain coupled with Shimano EZ-fire trigger shifters that provide precise shifting of its versatile gear range. This enables you to explore the various gear options offered by the bike with much ease.
Double Wall Rims
Coming second after the spokes, a bikes rims provide extreme support to the wheel. It is due to this importance that your bike of choice should come with strong rims. As for the Schwinn Vantage F2 Road Bike, it has light yet strong Alex dc-26 double wall alloy rims supporting the Kenda tires.
This adds to the durability and ease of rising. The strong rims provide a peace of mind when riding in areas with unexpected terrains.
Front and Rear Mechanical Brakes
Road riding is full of events. At one point, you can be on a smooth road cruising at high speeds, and the other minute in a bumpy road full of rocks and gravel. Similarly, some road terrains have unexpected obstacles such as roots of big trees, overfalling branches and other obstacles that require sharp speed reduction or stopping.
It is due to this that you need sharp and effective brakes. To enable this, the Schwinn Vantage F2 Bike has front, and rear Promax allows disc brakes supported by Shimano EZ brake levers for all condition stopping.
Pros & Cons Of Schwinn Vantage
- Tough tires
- Wide range of speeds
- Front and rear brakes
- Available in various sizes
- Smooth riding technology
- Aluminum endurance frame
- Effective mechanical disc brakes
- Smooth shifiting with trigger shifter
- Flatbar handlebar for comfy riding position
- Lack of kickstand
- Don’t have water bottle holder
Where can I buy a cheap road bike? From online or LBS?
You can buy road bikes at low price from the nearest bike shop or from online. I would suggest you do a test ride on your desire bike at local bike market first then check the difference of the bike price in between the shop & online. Most of the time local bike shop sell the bike at a higher price than the online stores.
There is some reasons,
Like the local bike shop has invested a huge amount in shop decoration & setup to show bikes to the customers. Also, they are not the manufacturer, just a distributor or re-seller.
On the other side, most of the online stores are operated by the manufacturers directly. That’s why they can save the marketing cost & keep the bike price lower than local shops. As a result, online stores provide a huge discount, free servicing & sometimes free tools as they don’t have to invest a lot of bucks to show bike details to the audience.
The final advantage you can get if you buy from online that is you can directly contact the manufacturer’s over phone or email for any solution or service needed.
So as per my opinion, I recommend you to make your first bike purchase from online.
When looking for a road bike at budget range, consider the following.
Road bikes are made from different frame materials. The conventional materials include carbon fiber, aluminum, steel, titanium or an alloy of two or more of these materials. Each frame material significantly affects the various aspects of the bike, including its comfort, weight, cost and general feel of the bike. Some of the common frame materials are outlined below.
Carbon is directional and can be easily molded to any shape. This enables manufacturers of these bikes to experiment with various tube profiles and frame shapes creating a bike that is either stiff, light, comfortable or aerodynamic. Compared to other materials, the stiffness to weight ratio of this material is better, perhaps the reason why it is chosen for professional bikes.
It is a standard material used in the manufacture of bicycle frames. It is durable yet lightweight and less labor intensive to work with. This makes it a cheaper option compared to carbon fiber. It is a cost-effective solution for those looking for a performance bike on a budget.
With the prevailing dominance of carbon fiber, finding titanium frames is quite tricky. It is relatively lightweight, corrosion resistant and highly durable. Unlike carbon and aluminum that can be easily molded, titanium is labor intensive, making it an expensive frame material.
Steel and titanium frames are found on bespoke bike creations. Before the invention of carbon fiber and aluminum, steel was the primary material to build road bikes. However, modern premium steels are quite expensive and labor intensive.
When searching for a groupset to purchase, note that its price is affected by two elements. These are the weight and quality, which determines its durability. As the rule of thumb, when the price of an item goes up, weight goes down. Similarly, groupsets that are more durable cost more compared to less durable sets. For road bikes, durability is far much crucial than weight.
In other terms, high-end sets offer optimal performance when in good shape but tend to break down faster. This is where personal taste comes in when making a choice. You should consider how you will interact with the groupset, especially the bike’s shifters. If you like getting out of the comfort zone when riding, consider purchasing the Shimano line of products. SRAM also has a definitive click into each gear and can be a good choice.
Cranksets and Gearing
Cranksets are made of one or more chainrings attached into crank arms. Pedals are attached to the cranks but aren’t considered as part of the crankset. Crank sizes often relate to the size of the frame or can be adapted to terrain needs. Most cranksets for road bikes are in the 50/34 ratio, often called the compact chainset. This refers to the number of teeth on each ring.
The smaller the number, the easier to rotate the pedals and vice versa. As for the gearing, gear ratios for road bikes vary depending on the intended use. Majority of road bikes have two or three front chainrings. A bike with a single chainring may minimize potential mechanical issues and simplifies shifting.
A good wheelset should be durable with dependable hubs that provide confidence and inspiring braking as well as lightweight.
As for the wheel, its rim’s width and depth significantly dictate how it feels when on the road. Modern rims are wider than previous models and provide better aerodynamics and great tire air volume. This results in improved comfort. The depth of the wheel’s rim affects the aerodynamics of the wheel and the overall handling of the bike.
It is a fact that pedals are an essential part of the bicycle. They are the connection between the rider and the bicycle. However, settling for one of the various pedals available can be difficult. There are various types of pedals suited for road riding. Well, when checking on this, consider the following two bike pedal features.
- Pedal float – every time you step on any cleated bike pedal, the cleat locks, and the pedal’s mechanism is held firmly in place. A float refers to the degree of angular rotation that the pedal allows the foot. Few pedals hold on to the foot at a fixed angle while others allow for a slight range.
- Multiple release cleats – most pedal cleats release literally. Multiple release cleats are easy to release and provide increased angles – enabling your heel to move inward and onward or slightly upward.
That said, clipless pedals are favorite among road bikes. They give good control over the bike and a better pedal efficiency leading to a comfortable ride allowing you to go faster.
Brake Levers and Gear Shifters
There are two typical options of brakes to choose from for road bikes. You can either go for rim brakes or disc brakes. The difference between these two is how the braking force is applied. For rim brakes, as the name suggests, they apply the braking force directly to the rim or the sides of the wheel. They are standard for many bicycle models and the most popular option.
On the other hand, disc brakes borrow its technology from cars and motorbikes. They provide finite braking control and consistent power regardless of the prevailing conditions.
How to Get the Right Fit
Nearly all bike models come in various sizes to accommodate different heights of riding enthusiasts. To get the right fit;
Fix your posture
Most people feel the discomfort and fatigue when riding primarily due to their posture. An improper riding structure not only leads to fatigue but also predisposes the rider to various health conditions. The right posture involves having your knees bent slightly, lean forward and kept your back as straight as possible.
Also, you should feel that your lower back is active. You should stick in this position to relieve the stress exerted on your spinal column induced by excessive leaning over and bending the spine for long periods.
Start with the saddle
Try out several saddles before settling on one. Your body varies in a significant way from other people. What is comfortable for your riding partner may not be suitable for you. Since comfort is subjective, try out more saddles before settling for one. As a tip, saddles that have center cutouts are more comfortable when sat on the right position and posture.
Adjust your handlebars
Just like saddles, try out some handlebars if possible. Sit in the correct posture and try if you can reach the handlebars comfortably. If you feel like your arms are overly stretched and using much shoulder muscle, try adjusting the handlebar stem upwards or downwards.
Road bike sizing – choosing the right bike size
Purchasing the right size road bike shouldn’t be an option. Getting the right size of bike provides an assurance of comfortable riding and ultimately enjoyable riding experience. On the contrast, an incorrectly sized bike results in discomfort, negative riding experience, and potential injuries.
That said, bike frames are measured in centimeters that represent the length of the bike’s seat tube. With that, manufacturers describe the frame size, for instance, small, medium or large. This description is then translated to represent the height of riders. Manufacturers often release the bike model with sizing guides that will help you make the right choice.
Here is a standard road bike sizing guideline below;
|Rider Height||Suggested Road Bike Size|
|Feet & Inches||Centimetres||Frame Size (cm)|
|4’10” – 5’0″||148cm – 152cm||XX-Small (47cm – 48cm)|
|5’0″ – 5’3″||152cm – 160cm||X-Small (49cm – 50cm)|
|5’3″ – 5’6″||160cm – 168cm||Small (51cm – 53cm)|
|5’6″ – 5’9″||168cm – 175cm||Medium (54cm – 55cm)|
|5’9″ – 6’0″||175cm – 183cm||Large (56cm – 58cm)|
|6’0″ – 6’3″||183cm – 191cm||X-Large (58cm – 60cm)|
|6’3″ – 6’6″||191cm – 198cm||XX-Large (61cm – 63cm)|
Unpacking and Assembling Your Bike
With the excitement brought along by your newly purchased bike, the last procedure involves unpacking your delivery and assembling the non-assembled parts. As for the unpacking phase, open the cardboard carefully with a box cutter or scissors. Once the box is open, remove the disassembled parts such as the saddle and seat post before removing the assembled parts of the bike.
Some of the common disassembled parts include the front wheel, pedals, seat and seat post, handlebars and front brakes. Manufacturers often provide an installation manual that guides the entire process. Follow the manual installing the parts one by one as per the instruction file.
The last process involves inflating the tires, which should get your bike ready for a road test. However, if you don’t feel confident with this, consider having it done by a professional.
There you go. Above is our lengthy guide of the best affordable road bikes and various features to be keen on when looking to purchase one. With such a budget, there are several things to expect from your bike. They include;
- A lightweight bike, probably not exceeding 10kgs
- Modern aluminum frame
- Shimano drivetrain
- Sturdy wheels
- Dual caliper or Tektro high-quality brakes
- Adjustable bars, stem, and saddle
These are the key features characterizing an efficient road bike.
Related Article: Budget Road Bikes Review & Guide in 2019
Last Updated: 2nd August, 2019