6 Best Road Bikes Under $500 in 2020 – Reviews & Top Picks

Cycling is an amazing sport that can be done either for recreation, health, or for purposes of earning a living if you do it competitively. Regardless of the reasons why you cycle, it’s a highly beneficial sport that also allows you to enjoy nature and take care of it.

Remember, unlike driving, cycling does not emit harmful gases into the atmosphere. The air, therefore, remains clean as you cycle outside to get from one point to another.

That said, in order to unlock the full benefits of cycling, you need to get yourself a great bike, even for normal road biking.

Often, when people picture a road bicycle, they just think of a random one that helps them get around. However, it shouldn’t end there as you need to realize that a cool bicycle is not just for the rich.

Even if your budget is a little limited, you can get yourself a great bicycle at an affordable price, one that works great on the road.

There are a number of them on the market which can be very confusing. You might wonder which one’s the best quality bike to go for.

Should you go for one made of aluminum or one made of steel? Also what makes steel or aluminum, just to mention a few frames they come in, better than the other?

Below is a review of the best road bikes under $500 to help you out. Read on to find out more!

At A Glance: Our Top Picks for Best Road Bikes Under $500

If you’re in a hurry, you can jump straight into our top picks (these are the road bikes under 500 that most people buy).

  • Schwinn Volare 1400 Men’s Road Bicycle Top Pick
  • Vilano Shadow Road Bike Runner-up
  • Giordano Libero Acciao Bike Runner-up

Top 6 Best Road Bikes Under $500 – Our Reviews:

1. Schwinn Volare 1400 Men’s Road Bicycle

If you’re particularly keen on safety then this Schwinn Volare Men’s Road Bicycle would be the best option for a road bike under $500. It comes with a steel suspension that will keep you safe when you’re out riding regardless of how rough the terrain is.

Steel is sturdy, so even if you find yourself in an area with lots of potholes, worry not because the bicycle will not get damaged. As a result of this, you can be assured that your bike will last long, so you don’t have to worry about getting another road bike anytime soon.

The high-quality steel can also absorb different vibrations, so you’ll be cushioned from them and will remain comfortable as you ride. The best part about this road bike under $500 is that it’s suitable for anyone regardless of how young or how old you are.

This is because the bike is a lightweight one, with an aluminum frame of 53cm. This aluminum frame makes it easy for you to lift the bike.

The aluminum frame also helps maintain your stability while you ride in steep terrains.

The bike also features some oversized tires as well as rims that have double walls to ensure your riding speed is enhanced. The tires also play a huge role in ensuring you enjoy a smooth ride.

When you’re out there just comfort riding, there are different low to high speeds to choose from as this road bike comes with a combination of a brake lever and 14-speed drivetrain.

This amazing combination works great with Shimano derailleurs. As such you will have an easy time shifting speeds or applying the brakes as the response is fast.

Moreover, the bike’s handlebars and seat have an ergonomic placement that protects your back from muscle pain after a full day riding the bike. Thanks to this setting, your hamstrings and calves will get sufficient exercise and thus improve your health.

What happens if you’re riding out on a hot day? Well, the road bike has a number of water mounts that you can use to store water so that you remain hydrated throughout the day.

Key Features

  • Aluminum road frame
  • Steel road fork
  • Aluminum handlebar
  • Double-wall rims
  • Rims made of both light and strong alloy
  • Comfortable seat
  • Shimano 14-speed gear

Pros

  • Allows for faster and easier speed shift
  • Braking is easy
  • Lightweight bike
  • Durable bike
  • Offers a smooth ride
  • Facilitates better posture as you ride
  • Versatile so you can ride it anywhere
  • Enhances your speed

Cons

  • The height is not adjustable

2. Vilano Shadow Road Bike

The Vilano Shadow Road Bike also makes it to our list of best road bikes under $500 thanks to its incredible features. The bike comes with a 6061 aluminum frame and has an impressive, stylish look that will turn heads while you’re out on the road.

It has a double-wall wheelset giving it enough durability to ensure you never have to worry about buying another bike for a long time after purchasing this one. Thanks to this wheelset, the bike also functions very well.

When you buy this bike, you will need to allocate some time to assemble it but not to worry, the instructions on how to do it are simple and as a beginner, you will be done in no time.

Regardless of the type of rider you are, this bike will be suitable for you as it’s both versatile and multipurpose. It makes for a great entry-level bike and to others, it’s a great bike to use for training.

The Vilano Shadow Road Bike is also STI enabled and comes with a level shifter. Thanks to this, you can ride your bike with confidence knowing that the brakes respond immediately.

This bike offers superior performance, enabling you to ride hassle-free because of its impressive speed that can barely be compared to other bikes in its range.

The bike is also lightweight which also contributes to the superb cycling experience the bike offers. It’s an easy-to-use bike that you can take anywhere.

Key Features

  • STI brake system
  • Level shifter
  • Double-walled wheelset
  • 6061 aluminum frame

Pros

  • A versatile bike that can be used by different riders for different purposes
  • Available in different sizes
  • The bike is available in different colors
  • The bike is easy to assemble
  • It’s a lightweight bike
  • Faster than most bikes in its range

Cons

  • Although the frame is made of aluminum, it’s not as durable as you may expect it to be

3. Giordano Libero Acciao Bike

The Giordano Libero Acciao Bike is an award-winning road bike which is why it easily makes it to our list of best road bikes under $500. It’s a versatile bike that will work for any rider whether they want to use it to train, to exercise, or to just casually ride around.

The road bike is particularly best if you are a beginner trying to learn the good old basics of bicycle riding. Aside from that, it stands out for its durability that happens to be more superior compared to other road bikes in the same range.

This can be attributed to the fact that the Giordano road bikes are made of high-quality steel material that ensures they don’t get damaged easily. In terms of riding performance, the Giordano road bikes are among the best if not the actual best since they’re very and can get you to your destination much faster.

It has a Shimano STI drivetrain with 14 speeds to choose from.

If you’re particularly into aesthetics, you’ll appreciate that this bike looks great and will let you attract attention as you ride in style. The plus is that it has everything you need for a comfortable ride.

Key Features

  • Made of high-quality steel material
  • Stylish look
  • Shimano Tourney STI shifters
  • Alloy dual-pivot brakes
  • 700c x 25mm tires 
  • Available in three sizes

Pros

  • Available in a small, medium, and large size
  • A fast bike especially great if you like to race
  • Durable
  • Stylish
  • Comfortable
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • While it has great features, the tires are not the best

4. Road Bike XC550 700C Wheels Road Bicycle

If you’re always after a bike with the best designs then the XC550 might just be the best one for you among these bikes under $500. This road bike’s wheel design is responsible for the bike’s super fashionable look.

So, while you enjoy riding the bike, you can be sure others will enjoy seeing you on it thanks to how great it looks. It’s among the best entry-level road bikes that come with a 21-speed Shimano system.

That means it suits the needs of different riders whether they want to use it for exercising or for casual riding every now and then. Entry-level road users will enjoy the different speed options to the fullest.

The XC550 road bikes are able to vary the resistance with both the rear and front gears. That makes it easy for one to significantly improve as a rider while training.

This road bike also comes with dual disc brakes. The disc brakes allow you safely to ride up and down a mountain or through any difficult terrain.

The XC550 road bikes are also light in weight so you can easily lift the bike and ride it anywhere easily. Nevertheless, they’re also made of steel so you can be assured of the bike’s durability.

With these road bikes, there’s also no need to be too worried about the size as they’re available in different sizes, so you can definitely find one of these low-price bikes that best suits you.

Key Features

  • Steel frame
  • 21-speed Shimano shifting system
  • Dual disc brakes
  • Stylish-looking wheels
  • Comfortable seats
  • Free pedals

Pros

  • Easy-to-use entry-level road bike
  • Can be used on different terrains
  • Durable road bike
  • Great braking system
  • Easy to shift speeds
  • Available in different sizes to suit different heights

Cons

  • Assembling it takes some time
  • Heavier compared to the aluminum frame and carbon fiber road bikes

5. Pure Cycles Classic 16-Speed Road Bike

When you choose to go with the Pure Cycles Classic 16-Speed Road Bike, the most outstanding thing you’ll notice about it is the steel frame. This is one of the best road bikes cheapest in price but performs exceptionally well.

It’s great for beginners but it’s also one of the road bikes under 500 dollars that work for different riders.

It boasts Shimano STI shifters with 16 speeds to choose from. This means it’s a fast bicycle that performs better than many others in its under 500 dollars bike range.

The Pure Cycle’s braking system is also effective. It features both a front and rear caliper bike braking system made of alloy.

This brake system combines with stainless steel spokes to make the brakes even more effective and responsive. The bike is easy to handle which is why it’s so comfortable to ride.

Assembling it is also easy considering it comes 90% assembled. It’s also available in different sizes so you can be sure you’ll find one that suits you.

Key Features

  • Shimano STI shifters
  • 16-speed system
  • Comes 90 percent assembled
  • Stainless steel spokes

Pros

  • You can easily customize the bike to make it easier to use
  • Durable construction
  • Lightweight bike
  • Effective braking system

Cons

  • The seat easily gets loose and often requires tightening

6. Bavel Commuter Aluminum Road Bike

Another good one among these bikes under 500 dollars is the Bavel Commuter Aluminum Road Bike. This aluminum road bike is comfortable, especially when riding outdoors, which is why it’s one of the best bikes to buy when you find yourself in a bike shop.

The Bavel Commuter Aluminum bicycle is lightweight owing to its high-quality aluminum construction. Thanks to the aluminum frame, the bicycle moves easily, making it a high-performance bicycle in terms of speed just like a number of other aluminum frame bicycles around.

The tires of the Bavel Commuter Aluminum Bicycle are also highly reliable. That, alongside the aluminum frame feature we’ve already mentioned, makes the bicycle easy to use on most terrains.

The Bavel Commuter Aluminum Bicycle is also easy to assemble. Once it arrives, you will find an instruction manual in the packaging that shows you how to go about the assembling step by step.

This aluminum bicycle is great for leisure riders and should you feel thirsty, you can reach for your water which can easily be placed in the bike water bottle cage.

Key Features

  • Aluminum frame
  • Comes with an instruction manual
  • Has a water holder

Pros

  • Comfortable to ride
  • Easy to assemble
  • Operates at different speeds
  • The aluminum frame makes it lightweight
  • Versatile and great for different riders

Cons

  • The Bavel Commuter Aluminum bicycle tires are too thin

Conclusion

The idea of road bikes under $500 might make some skeptical considering this is a low price for road bikes of the highest quality. 

However, as you can see, you can still get some of the best bikes on the market for this low price. There are even hybrid bikes under $500 too.

In summary, one of the things you should pay attention to when buying road bikes cheap at price such as the bikes in the review is the frame. You can get steel frame bikes, aluminum frame bikes, and bikes made of carbon fiber among other materials.

Carbon fiber is light but so is aluminum. In fact, most people go for aluminum frame bikes since they are more durable compared to carbon ones and lighter than steel frame bikes.

As such, you can carry aluminum frame bikes anywhere. Compared to steel frame bikes, aluminum frame bikes are easier to ride and are faster because of their lightweight aluminum construction.

However, if you’re after durability, then the steel frame bikes on this list are the best option for you when you’re going for the best bike road users can get for under $500.

Despite the price, it’s also important to check the brakes of the bikes since you still want to get value for your money. They should be exceptional, responsive, and not easily damaged.

With this best bikes under $500 review, you should be in a position to get a great road bike cheap in price. If you’re a little short on budget, you can check out this list of top road bikes under $300.

My Pick

Having reviewed the six road bikes under $500 above, you may be wondering which is the best road bicycle to go for. Well, my top pick is the Schwinn Volare Men’s Road Bike.

Aside from being manufactured by Schwinn which is a reputable brand, the road bike comes with a steel suspension that’s sturdy enough to protect it from most shocks. Thanks to its sturdy construction, you can ride this best road bicycle in any terrain.

Aside from the steel material, this bicycle also boasts a 53cm aluminum road frame. This aluminum frame makes the bicycle easy to lift and ensures you remain stable as you ride even across steep terrains.

For a bike in its price, its oversized double-walled tires are a great feature. They enhance your riding speed and ensure you get a smooth riding experience wherever you go.

The fact that this is a bike anyone can ride makes one appreciate its price point even more. It allows you to pick the speed that’s most suitable for you even when you’re just out casually riding around the neighborhood.

Plus, shifting speeds is a fast process and when you hit the brakes, the response is fast.