Biking is now an important subculture of daily urban life. Once restricted to enthusiasts, more and more people are getting attracted to biking owing both to its environmentally friendly nature and the various health benefits associated with it.
Road bikes, due to their low cost and simple design, have become extremely popular. Working perfectly as a mode of urban transport and a leisurely ride on the weekends, road bikes are becoming the go-to mode of transport for city dwellers.
What follows is a list of the top 6 road bikes under 200 dollars. There are numerous affordable bikes that fall in this price range but the six below are the best in terms of both performance and value for money.
At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Road Bikes Under $200
If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the road bikes under $200 that most people buy).
- Kent GZR700 Road Bike Top Pick
- Merax 21 Speed 700c Road Bike Runner-up
- Vilano Diverse 1.0 Runner-up
Top 6 Best Road Bikes Under $200 – Our Reviews:
1. Kent GZR700 Road Bike
For a road bike under $200, the Kent GZR700 is built for quality and speed. Its high-quality steel frame and fork may add a little weight but this strong alloy ensures that the bike remains durable against all threats.
The Shimano 21-speed stem shifters provide unparalleled speed and control over all surfaces while the Shimano rear derailleur ensures smooth movement of the chain at a variety of speeds.
Kent’s own caliper brakes provide good stopping power and the bike´s designer seat post doesn’t cause discomfort even over long journeys.
There’s a reason the GZR700 is the most popular road bike today and is number one on this list; it has everything a beginner or a casual rider may need. Coupled with its extremely affordable price tag, this bike is the perfect entry-level machine.
- Insane value for money
- Durable and comfortable
- None whatsoever
2. Merax 21 Speed 700c Road Bike
Sleek and stylish in equal measure, the Merax 21 Speeds features an aluminum frame for both aerodynamics and durability.
In regards to features, the driveset is Shimano 21-speed whose shifting system provides both power and speed over a variety of flat and elevated surfaces. Brakes are alloy calipers that offer good stopping power.
While the quality of the frame is above average, the tires are sadly not up to the standard. When driven anywhere else except paved roads, the Kenda tires will need to be replaced fairly quickly.
In addition, the 700c is shipped disassembled, leaving it to the end-user to make it work.
However, with a retail price of just under $200, the 700c is the perfect bike for beginners who want to get their feet wet.
- Lightweight due to its aluminum frame
- Great speed and stopping power
- Good value for money
- Riding on a cheap road will destroy the tires fairly quickly
- Needs to be assembled by the rider
3. Vilano Diverse 1.0
More of a hybrid bike than a road bicycle, the Vilano Diverse 1.0 is built to last. With the bike frame made from aluminum alloy, the Diverse 1.0 is a great lightweight solution for urban needs and nature retreats.
Features include the Shimano speed shifters, front and rear Shimano derailleurs, and rim brakes. A comfortable ride is ensured through both a specially designed seat post and straight handlebars that encourage an upright riding position.
Thumb shifters are included as well which may come in handy during street racing.
The Vilano Diverse 1.0 is perfect for both city life and for nature retreats out in the woods. With its sturdy tires and a durable frame, the Diverse 1.0 model is one of the better hybrid bikes under $200.
- A great quality budget bike
- Great performance on both paved and unpaved tracks
- Professional riders may be disappointed
4. Critical Cycles Harper Coaster
Primarily for commuting among busy urban traffic, the Harper Coaster is designed for comfort and ease.
With a steel frame and carbon fibre forks, this model is easy to maneuver through traffic. Disc brakes provide much needed stopping power in hectic city environments while the sleek and simple design appeals to all.
The build is surprisingly sturdy, partly due to the high-tensile steel of the frame and partly due to superior-quality welds employed to put the frame together.
The Harper Coaster is a great machine that will appeal primarily to those looking to beat the hectic traffic.
- Cheapest road bike on this list
- Unmatched comfort
- Simplistic design
5. Takara Yuugen Road Bike
The Takara Yuugen is simple yet practical, a perfect combination that will appeal to urban dwellers who want to explore the city.
Built from steel, this bike has a flip-flop hub available in single-speed mode. Front and rear side pull brakes are included as well and supports are provided for water bottles and luggage.
As far as road bikes under $200 are concerned, the Yuugen might just be the simplest bike on this list.
- A no-nonsense road bike that prioritizes substance over style
- Great maneuverability in urban environments
- Bike for young and old
- Short people may have difficulty on this bike due to its high frame
6. GMC Denali Road Bike
For a road bike under 200 dollars, the GMC Denali is surprisingly full of features.
The bike’s frame and fork are made of aluminum, with 21-speed Shimano shifters for power and speed. Internal wiring connects the brake levers to the disc brakes which provide great stopping power.
There are, however, a few areas where this road bike clearly needs to improve.
The seat post is uncomfortable and will cause irritation and unease for those on long journeys. Also, the bike stand needs to be made of more durable material.
As far as cheap road bikes are concerned, the GMC Denali provides good value for money. Even though the rider experience could be streamlined more by replacing the shortfalls highlighted above, the value for money is good enough to earn a place on this list.
- Good value for money
- Lightweight model with durable components
- Riders may find the seat post underwhelming
Sensing a market for cheap road bikes, each of the renowned brands was quick to introduce their own road bikes under 200 USD.
Healthy competition in this niche has resulted in high-performance parts making their way onto these cheap road bikes. Bikers have thus tremendously benefited and are now able to afford a capable road bike for less than a couple of hundred bucks.
Overall, if I were to select the best road bike under 200 dollars, I would go with the Kent GZR700. The GZR leaves every competitor behind with its unparalleled control and sensitivity over both paved and unpaved trails.
As far as budget road bikes go, the six best bikes above provide the most value in the designated price range. They aren’t only perfect for individuals looking to take up biking as a pastime, but they also provide a means of dependable transport for the salaried class who wants nothing more than to get to work on time.