10 Best Beginner Road Bike Under $500 In 2021

Last updated 04. January 2021

Road bikes, everyone wants them, but most don’t know where to start. Road bikes allow you to travel vast distances very quickly, perfect for those looking to trim the length of their morning commute rather quickly! Honestly, once you’ve ridden a road bike once, you’ll never want to go back just based on how effective they are at getting one from A to B in a whir!

We understand that a lot of you out there have budgetary requirements when it comes to bikes — especially road bikes since they tend to be a lot more expensive in comparison to some of the other bikes out right now. In this article, we are going to be going over 10 of the best beginner road bikes under $500. We hope that you find something worth checking out!

You may find that you’re still left with some unanswered questions once we’ve gone throughout the list, so be sure to check out our buyer’s guide which you will find after our reviews. The buyer’s guide should provide answers to some lingering questions you might have and more! Owning a road bike is a very rewarding experience, something you will no doubt come to learn once you’ve reached the end of our article here!

Below you’ll find some of the best road bikes under $500. Our list is stacked but in no particular order. Try to review each product on their own merits rather than a point of comparison to some of the other bikes listed here.

This list has been produced in random order, meaning you shouldn’t rush to the final spot to see which is the best bike here; all are great in their own way and each bike should appeal different people depending on their personal needs requirements.

Got more of a budget? Check out these road bikes under $1000.

View The Best Beginner Road Bike Under $500 Below

1. Schwinn Phocus 1500 Flat Bar Road Bike

Schwinn Phocus 1500 Flat Bar Road Bike

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The first bike in our list comes to you from Schwinn, a known name in the world of road bikes and one that will appear multiple times in our list here for a good reason! Their flat bar road bike is made out of sturdy aluminum frames with a Schwinn designed suspension fork which allows for fast, efficient riding the moment you mount-up!

Mechanical disc brakes with Shimano brake levers allow for a very crisp, efficient ride! The high profile double wall alloy rims are a great touch here also, only adding to the durability of this entry-level road bike!

+ Mechanical disc brakes
+ Alloy rims
+ Aluminum frame
+ 24 speeds
+ Durable

Why We Liked It – It’s one of the most durable bikes out right now, one that is very rewarding to ride! Not a beginner anymore? Check out our favorite overall road bikes under $500.

2. EUROBIKE Road Bike EURXC550 21 Speed 49

EUROBIKE Road Bike EURXC550 21 Speed 49

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EUROBIKE takes the second spot in our list, this is a name that quite a few bike enthusiasts will be very familiar with. The EUROBIKE Road Bike EURXC550 21 Speed 49 has a disk brake system which provides more stopping power than the more traditional V Brake Systems. With this bike, there are multiple color choices for you to pick from so you can be as individual as you want. Consistency is key when it comes to owning the best road bike, something this bike has no problem in delivering.

+ Consistent
+ Comfortable
+ Optimal brakes
+ Great traction
+ Easy ride

Why We Liked It – The brakes of this bike are incredibly responsive, amongst some of the best we came across!

3.KENT GZR700 Road Bike

KENT GZR700 Road Bike

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Made from the sturdiest steel known to man, KENT has always had their finger on the pulse when it comes to lasting bikes that will see you through many years of use. It definitely helps that this bike is one of the most visually stimulating bikes to look at (the dimmed orange color is a great touch). With this bike, there are 21-speed shifters, the kind that will tailor your rides to suit you! This is a great starter bike to own for anyone looking at purchasing a decent road bike.

+ Stylish
+ Durable
+ Steel frame
+ 21-speed shifters
+ Alloy caliper brakes

Why We Liked It – As far as road bikes go, this is one of the most consistent bikes out in the market right now!

4. Giordano Libero Acciao Road Bike

Giordano Libero Acciao Road Bike

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A much larger bike on our list here one that is perfect for those over 6’2,” Giordano is yet another name you might have heard of if you’ve ever researched the best road bikes online in the past. The alloy handlebars on this bike are incredibly sturdy and do an excellent job in handing the control over to the rider. This bike is available in three distinct sizes, although we find that it’s much better suited to those taller than the average bear.

+ Larger frame
+ Size options
+ Alloy handlebars
+ 14 speeds
+ Durable

Why We Liked It – The perfect road bike for those slightly above average in the height department!

5. Retrospec Harper Coaster Fixie Style Single-Speed

Looking for a bike that’s sleek as well as a cruiser? You’ll find that and more from this bike specifically. Available in a flurry of different colors, this premium hand-built bike has been built for maximum strength and durability, the sort of mix that will have you traversing countless forms of terrain with no issues at all. When testing this bike out specifically, we found the experience incredibly smooth, more so than usual, hence why it’s featured here.

+ Durable
+ VP freestyle road bike pedals
+ Coaster brake
+ 30mm deep
+ Sleek design

Why We Liked It – The fact that you can ride this road bike just about everywhere without fail only makes the appeal of this bike even greater!

6. Raleigh Bikes Cadent 1 Fitness Hybrid Bike

A hybrid bike for the hybrid rider, not only is this bike built using butted aluminum frames, but it is fully outfitted to handle countless forms of terrain that is set out in front of it. The aloe 31.8 riser bars are complete with comfort grips that make for a stable, upright cycling experience, the kind that will have you on this bike each and every day on account of how rewarding it is. To top it all off, this bike has 21 gears for one to choose from.

+ Aluminum frame
+ Comfort grips
+ V brakes
+ 21 gears
+ Responsive

Why We Liked It – There are too many features on this bike to pass up on, check it out!

7. Giordano Rapido Single Speed Road Bike

Giordano Rapido Single Speed Road Bike

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There’s beauty in simplicity, especially when one is talking about the next bike in our list here. Yet again Giordano has gone above the call of duty with their single speed road bike. With a single speed road bike, you are given the chance to move rather comfortably at a single speed, this is perfect for any beginners out there looking to try out a road bike for themselves! The alloy side pull brakes are a great touch also.

+ Aluminum frame
+ Alloy rims
+ Side pull brakes
+ Single speed
+ Durable

Why We Liked It – This is arguably the easiest road bike to use and get accustomed too, perfect for novices.

8. Schwinn Volare 1200 Men’s Road Bike

A road bike with a lot of personalities — and yet another bike from the folks over at Schwinn! This road bike is made out of a rigid aluminum frame and rigid fork, the kind that is ultimately built to last. This bike has 21 speeds in total, allowing you to move at a pace that you are comfortable with. What the Volare 1200 allows you to do is ride with confidence, which is something every avid rider should be doing!

+ Alloy road bike wheels
+ Pull brakes
+ Aluminum frame
+ 21 speeds
+ Consistent

Why We Liked It – A great starter bike for any avid cycling beginner to own, one that actively builds confidence!

9. Schwinn Women’s Phocus 1600 700C Drop Bar Road Bicycle

Schwinn Women's Phocus 1600 700C Drop Bar Road Bicycle

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Schwinn is back again, this time with their 1600-1700C drop bar road bicycle, the kind that is incredibly rewarding to ride outright! One of the best female-focused road bikes out right now, the kind that puts the control back in your hands! The brakes on this particular bike are incredibly durable too, with brakes on the front and rear for maximum stoppage! The only limits to this bike are your own imagination, go anywhere, see anything with Schwinn’s 1600 700C drop bar road bike!

+ Front/rear brakes
+ Lightweight
+ Carbon fiber fork
+ Sturdy road bike tires
+ Consistent

Why We Liked It – A lightweight bike with a tonne of durability, this is why you should check out this bike for yourself.

10. 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed

6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Single-Speed

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The finest road bike in our list here is one that comes with an incredibly smooth ride, the kind that will make your morning commutes something that you’re actually looking forward too! With double butted alloy smooth wielding, this bike is not only durable but it’s also rather effective at getting you from A to B! We should point out that the brakes here — both front and rear — can be removed and are easily customizable! We can’t get enough of this bike and think you’ll agree!

+ Smooth wielding
+ Responsive
+ Customizable
+ Single speed
+ Fixed gear

Why We Liked It – Yet another single speed bike with a tonne of great features, a perfect starter road bike!

Beginner Road Bike Under $500 Buyers Guide

Welcome to the buyer’s guide, a section where we go over some questions you might have on some of the best road bikes under $500 and more! It’s in this section that we’ll also be covering how we managed to crop this list down to around 10 products when there are tens of thousands of bikes out there for one to choose from.

The goal from the get-go was to help educate those who might want to buy a road bike but don’t have as much money as others, we believe we more than succeeded in our goals.
Why buy a road bike?

Road bikes are incredibly unique in that they allow you to travel long distances with the greatest of ease rather quickly. These road bikes are built for endurance as well as speed, the sorts of bikes that are incredibly lightweight also, which definitely adds to the responsiveness of the bike too. Road bikes are not limited to one set sex either, anyone can mount-up and ride rather easily, although some bikes are more catered to one sex over the other (as seen in some of the bikes above).

Even riding on a road bike feels different, why this comes down to the positioning of the rider’s body. When riding a road bike, you are a lot lower down which allows for much better traction on the roads as a result. We say roads because that’s where they’re suited most (in case the name wasn’t a big enough giveaway). Some road bikes can be taken onto varying forms of terrain, but if you are wanting to get to work on time, we’d suggest sticking to flat land.

If you look online you’ll find many road bikes to choose from, the sorts of bikes that all appeal to different sorts of riders depending on what they’re looking for exactly. Single speed bikes are great in their own right as they allow you to hone in on one specific speed and not deviate from the path. Other road bikes out there come complete with gears, the kind that will allow you to travel at countless different speeds depending on the terrain in front of you.

Ask anyone who owns a road bike of their own, and they’ll all tell you the same thing, these bikes are something special. The longer you own these bikes, the better they are as many professional riders will tell you — there’s a reason why road bikes are used primarily during the Tour De France! We began using a road bike to get us to work every morning, and it completely changed everything. Not only were we getting to work a lot quicker, but we were getting a decent workout in simultaneously!

Finding the best road bike under $500

To find the best road bike under $500, you need to be willing to make a few sacrifices. Yes, some of the more expensive road bikes out there do possess a lot of quality, but that does not then mean that you can’t find satisfaction in some of the cheaper road bikes out right now. If anything, you should always be buying road bikes that are a lot cheaper if you are only going to use them a couple of times a week. It’s pointless buying a road bike that you’re only going to use a couple of times a week.

$500 might be quite a small amount to some people, and to others, it could be a lot. In our experience, we find that the differences between expensive and not-so-expensive road bikes aren’t that distinct. Some of the best names in the world of cycling right now have bikes features above, and we can guarantee that you’ll still find some enjoyment/use from them compared to some of the more expensive options that exist right now.

If you are going to look for a road bike that isn’t featured in the list above, then you should always, always, always be looking for one that fits your own personal specifications. Set your expectations high and you’ll never have to worry about being disappointed. Before you even think about buying a road bike, you should be making a list of personal specifications. For example, one thing that could be noted down is that you’re looking for a bike with a larger frame (for tall people).

Are road bikes customizable?

Yes, road bikes are incredibly customizable in the same way that most bikes are. We would advise that you are keeping your additions light if you are going to personalize your ride. Adding more weight to the bike will cause the performance of the bike to suffer. Some pedals are a lot heavier than others so try to make sure that you aren’t going crazy with the additional features.

We would advise that you avoid replacing the parts as much as possible, why that comes down to the quality of the parts on the original bike. Over time these parts will obviously wear down, although if you’re keeping your bike in check, you’ll find that you can double, even triple the lifespan of your road bike indefinitely!

How we narrowed it down to 10 road bikes

The list you see above was one that was made over a 3 month period, a project that we are incredibly proud of in terms of the end result. This list was made alongside a few of our friends — all of whom have a general interest in the world of cycling. We couldn’t have pulled this list off without the help of our friends who all played a very distinct part in the creation of this article that you’re reading now.

Sourcing some of the best road bikes out there under $500 was the first phase of this process and arguably the lengthiest part of this process simply because of the quality we wanted to maintain throughout. The internet and countless cycling magazines were used to find some of the best bikes around right now. Multiple people helped in this process, which definitely helped us in the long haul as we were able to discover well over 40 bikes!

At this point we knew we had to shorten our list as much as possible, to do that we decided to eliminate any bike that we deemed too similar to the other — yes, we know that we have included multiple bikes in our list from the same company, but that’s because they’re somewhat different from the other.

This was arguably the hardest and easiest part of this process as some bikes weren’t cut out for a list like these, whereas others we had to discuss at length to make sure we weren’t getting rid of a bike that could have made it in the top 10. Some of these bikes were good in their own distinct way, it’s just that we felt like some were better suited for the content of this nature!

At this point in time, we had around a dozen bikes still left to sift through. The next thing we did was to actually try out each of the bikes on our list for ourselves, marking each on their own merits. The goal was to give each bike a score — multiple people tested each bike for themselves so finding an accurate result was relatively easy and rather straightforward. Some road bikes actually surprised us, going above our own set expectations.

It was at this point that we began to discuss which bikes we felt were the best that we could then discuss in the article you’re now reading. If there was something we didn’t like about a certain road bike, we made sure to voice it openly to other members of the team so that we could go through each bike thoroughly. At the end of these discussions, we were able to finalize our list down to the final 10 you see above.

We tried to avoid changing our list in its current form as we were really happy with the end result and didn’t want to play around with it. Swapping out any of the bikes you see would have just ruined the diverse nature of our list in its current standing. We hope that at least one of these bikes is to your liking, if not then we at least hope you have found some of this information helpful in your own search for some of the best beginner road bikes under $500!

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By Jason

Passionate writer, Scooter Dad, Father of two, Super active, Tough Mudder conqueror reviewing the some of the top sports related products me and my sons use and love. If you have any suggestions for improvement of MPS, please ping me a message.

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