Best Road Bike Under 500: Affordable Models Reviewed

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Whether you’re a beginner or an experienced bike rider on the search for the best road bike under 500, reading this means that you really care about the type of bicycle you ride and will only settle for the best.

Even at this price range, it’s possible to find a decent bike that you can use for training, commuting, and leisurely riding alike.

Not only that, but we’ve made sure to only feature bikes that are made to last. Just because something is affordable doesn’t mean that you have to sacrifice quality and function.

Best Entry Level Road Bikes Under $500

We did a lot of research to bring you the following reviews of the best road bike under 500.

Our goal is to provide you with as much relevant information about the bicycle as possible, not just specs and features so that you can make an informed decision.

To that end, we’ve tested many of these bicycles and put them through their paces to ensure that they deserve to be on this list.

1. Sixthreezero Hybrid-Bicycles Explore Your Range

With its step-through design and unique frame, this bike is easy to mount and dismount. But, what makes this the best beginner road bike under 500 is the following.

The Sixthreezero bicycle is the perfect style statement. It comes in three chic colors, namely Teal Blue, Cream and Navy, which will go well with any outfit. This bicycle has a lightweight maverick construction. This means that zipping through city streets will be as easy as navigating forest trails.

The rigid aluminum frame guarantees stability on the road while ensuring that your torso maintains an upright riding position for optimal comfort. This also helps to prevent things like back pain.

It certainly works wonders to relieve arm and shoulder pain as well, and we love the fact that you can customize the handlebar according to your preferred height.

Pros
  • Stylishly designed women’s bike
  • Made with a lightweight frame
  • Easy to mount and dismount
  • Allows you to maintain an upright riding position which puts less stress on the body
  • 7-speed rear derailleur gives it a racing bike speed maintenance
  • You can customize the height of the handlebar in order to ride comfortably
Cons
  • The setup instructions could use some improvement

2. BAVEL Commuter Aluminum Road Bike

For good road bikes under 500, you need to look no further than the Bavel brand. This lightweight bike is perfect for beginners as it weighs just 27.3 pounds and handles like a dream. Aluminum material is to thank for both frame and fork, making for a durable yet lightweight bicycle that won’t let you down.

Other components worth mentioning on this bike include its Shimano derailleur, freewheel, and shifter, making it one sturdy machine. In addition to being made to last, this bicycle offers a smooth ride with 7 gears and 21 different speeds to choose from.

You have a handy quick-release mechanism that comes with both front and back wheels for effortless installation and cleanup, while the disc brake system gives it optimal stopping power.

You can rest assured that this bicycle will carry you through different weather conditions with ease, thanks to the built-in aluminum rims on the 700c tires.

Pros
  • Comes with pro wheel crankset and quick-release front and back wheels
  • Disc brakes
  • Durable aluminum fork and frame
  • EF-500 shifter and TY-300 derailleur
Cons
  • Many say that it’s not worth it

3. Eurobike Road Bike EURXC550

One of the best road bikes under 500 dollars, the EURXC550 is yet another impressive specimen from the Eurobike brand. This well-designed and well-priced model features a unique three-spoke wheel design that gives it a chic and stylish vibe.

This bike features 21-speed Shimano gear shifters that allow for a wide range of movement across different types of terrain. This means you’ll be able to navigate pavements to light trails with equal ease. In addition to giving you different riding options, this bike sports front and back gears that allow for variable resistance. This means you’ll enjoy optimal results when using the bicycle for training purposes. It’s challenging yet fun.

Thanks to its dual brake discs, this bike will take you uphill and back, through mountain trails and all types of rough terrain with no issues. The best part is that it’s fairly easy to lift and carry this bike if needed, thanks to its lightweight construction.

However, because it’s made from steel, you can rest assured that it can take the heat. The best part is that it comes in different sizes to suit different users.

Pros
  • Comes with free pedals and a comfy seat
  • The wheels come in a great design
  • The dual disc brake offers superb stopping power
  • 21-speed Shimano shifting system
  • The frame is constructed from steel
Cons
  • It exhibits defects straight out of the box

4. Windsor Wellington 2.0 21 Speed Bike

Arguably the best road bicycle under 500, the Windsor Wellington 2.0 sports a simple and streamlined design. Weighing just 24 pounds, it’s a lightweight machine that comes with an aerodynamic shape that’s perfect for those rides around town. But, don’t let its light frame fool you because this is a strong and durable bike.

The frame is expertly constructed for ease of handling. You have 21 gears to choose from for effortless pedaling. We’re talking steep hills, long flats and all! You’ll definitely thank yourself for choosing it when using the full Shimano gear changers.

These components alone tell you all you need to know about this bike; it’s a durable machine that’s easy to use and made to last.

Lastly, we’ve got the handlebar-mounted shifters that are easy to reach and use, and there are interchangeable chainring and gear sprockets that you can replace to customize your bicycle if you like.

Pros
  • Features durable yet lightweight wheels
  • Bar top shifters
  • Comfortable saddle
  • The frame is constructed from aluminum
Cons
  • It’s on the pricey side

5. Schwinn Volare 1400 700c Bike

Another bike deserving of the title of best men’s road bike under 500 is the Schwinn Volare 1400. This is an incredible road bike that’s durable yet lightweight, with a rigid fork in the frame to ensure a smooth ride regardless of the terrain.

It’s the perfect combination of speed and agility, with a supportive frame that can handle up to 250 pounds of weight. You have 14-speed options to choose from depending on your experience and the built-in Shimano shifters aren’t only easy to use but easy to replace as well.

This is in addition to the well-built lever brakes which work in tandem with the shifters. All told, the Schwinn Volare is all that and more, with 700c tires that guarantee a fast yet smooth ride.

These are the types of tires that will take you through the seasons, no problem. The bike’s lightweight frame makes it an ideal buy for beginners.

Pros
  • Comes with a built-in Shimano 14-speed shifter
  • The seat is nice and comfy
  • Both the stem and the handlebar are made from durable and lightweight aluminum
  • Double-wall rims are made from lightweight but strong alloy
  • It has huge road tires
  • Aluminum road frame
Cons
  • The quality isn’t that great

6. Giordano Libero 1.6 Bike

Next in our list of the best road bike under 500, is the Giordano Libero 1.6 Men Version, which is now available in the Libero 1.6 Women’s version as well. The difference between these two bikes is mainly in their structure and color combinations.

Both bikes are geometrically handcrafted according to a very specific design. That’s meant to ensure that you won’t hurt your back while riding the bicycle. The frame is made from reinforced 6061 aluminum which is surprisingly light and easy to ride.

The bike ensures that it aligns with your unique anatomy while protecting you from bumps on the road.

This means you don’t have to worry about your joints screaming after a riding session. The padded saddle is wide enough to ensure a comfortable ride. Overall, this is one of the best road bikes under $500.

Pros
  • Comes with built-in Shimano Claris STI Shifters
  • Has two bottle mounting systems to keep you hydrated
  • The frame is made from reinforced aluminum
  • Its weight level is perfect for female riders
  • It has a stylish white and pink color
Cons
  • It’s uncomfortable to ride for some

7. 6KU Aluminum Fixed Gear Urban Track Bike

While you may not have heard of the 6KU brand before, this is a fantastic bicycle for beginners.

It’s made from a 6061 aluminum frame and it can take a lot of abuse thanks to its durable construction. But, what makes it perfect for novel riders is the fact that it has a fixed gear design.

You don’t have to overthink the controls as maneuvering this bicycle is a breeze no matter where the road takes you. Another one of its great features is the fact that its brakes are replaceable as part of the customizable design.

This bicycle is almost completely made from aluminum and it offers great value for money. It also comes in a variety of different colors to suit different preferences.

Pros
  • It comes with front and back brakes
  • Easy to maintain
  • The flip-flop hub allows you to ride freewheel or fixed gear
  • Comes with 30mm Depp V Double walled alloy wheels
  • Both the fork and frame are made from durable and lightweight aluminum
Cons
  • The components aren’t of the best quality

8. Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Bike

One of the best entry level road bikes under 500, the Vilano R2 is a marvel to look at, with its glossy black frame and unassuming traditional shape with neat welds. It’s perfect for zipping around town, running errands, going around campus, or simply commuting to work.

But, there are many other qualities that have earned this bicycle a spot on this list. One is the variable tube sizes of the frame, which gives the back of the bike a lot of desirable flex. This is a lightweight bike which means that it offers all the agility you need for the road, and you’ll easily stay hydrated thanks to the bike’s multiple water bottle mount points.

Also included in this bike is a 21-speed Shimano gear selection and thumb shifters that’ll make your life that much easier when it comes to maintenance and servicing. It also sports a traditional saddle that’s perfect for shorter rides.

Our favorite feature of this bike is its versatility. It comes in three sizes and two color options. You can easily customize it to your preferences.

Pros
  • This stylish bike will make you look sharp and professional
  • Comes with free pedals
  • 700c double walled CNC machined wheelset
  • Quick-release skewers
  • A050 thumb shifters
  • 6061 double-butted aluminum frame is lightweight and durable
Cons
  • Some assembly is required
  • The parts aren’t as durable as we’d like

How to Get the Best Road Bike Under 500

Whether you’re looking for the best used road bike under 500 or new models, you’ll surely find something that meets your criteria. But, you need a criteria to start with. This is what we realized when beginning to write this review article.

It doesn’t matter if you prefer mechanical disc brakes or rim brakes, fixed gear or multiple gears, a flat bar or drop-bar bike, these and other features are available on lower-priced bikes.

These are the features and considerations that we had to make in order to produce this guide on how to find the best road bike under 500. Trust us, they’ll make the selection process that much easier when it comes to making a choice.

Frame

A good quality road bike often comes with a frame that’s both lightweight and durable.

At the price level we’re looking at, you’ll come across bikes that weigh anything from 20 to 30 pounds (or 10 to 13kg).

Higher priced bikes often weigh about 20 pounds or less. This allows the bicycle to have more strength, thus explaining the price range.

Otherwise, road bikes come in four different types of frames, with each one contributing to its value and cost in various ways.

Aluminum

You can’t go wrong with a bike with an aluminum frame. Aluminum is commonly used in professional and high-end models.

That’s because it’s resistant to cracks and corrosion while being conveniently lightweight and easy to carry.

But, there are different types of aluminum alloys that affect a bike’s price, with the least expensive ones being made from 7005 aluminum.

On the other end of the spectrum, you have the ultra-lightweight 6061 aluminum which is super light and agile.

Steel

Steel is another popular material when it comes to bike construction and it’s not hard to see why.

This is a durable and strong material that can easily handle different types of terrains.

The problem with bikes that come with high carbon steel frames is that they can be a bit too heavy. That’s why most people prefer steel alloy frames instead, which are pricey but much lighter.

Carbon Fiber

Super durable and lightweight bikes are often made from carbon fiber. This is a common material in high-end bikes specifically.

These types of bikes are constructed according to a very specific process which includes layering the carbon fiber one atop another, to create an affordable yet durable frame.

Titanium

Titanium is another pricey but durable bike material that’s well worth the price. Many consider it to be the most ideal material to use in making bike frames because it’s light and durable.

It’s not uncommon to come across a bike made from 6061 aluminum at the $500 mark, with many manufacturers using different configurations to optimize it for you.

Saddle

The most important thing when it comes to the bicycle saddle is that it should be comfortable. Plain and simple.

A lot of the road bikes on the market are designed for men and if you’re a woman then you have to replace your bike saddle with one that’s designed for the female form or else you won’t enjoy your bike rides at all.

How do you know you have the right saddle? Sit on it. If it doesn’t feel right, simply replace it with one of many options online.

Handlebar

Handlebars are one of the components that you interface with in order to control your bike while guaranteeing efficiency and comfort.

They definitely determine how your bike handles while keeping it stable.

You should be able to adjust the positioning of your handlebars to avoid handlebar palsy which is a numb feeling that happens to the smallest fingers on your hands. This condition is often caused by improper handlebars that affect the positioning of your wrists.

The best way to prevent this issue is to improve your bike’s stability by opting for broad handlebars instead. This leads to a wider platform for your hands to enjoy.

Brakes

Although V brakes, rim brakes, and alloy caliper brakes are often referred to as different specimens they are very similar. Disc brakes operate on calipers while V brake calipers attack on the wheel rim.

You can opt for either a mechanical or hydraulic brake system, with hydraulic brakes being the more popular option. Most bikes under $500 feature mechanically operated V brakes.

Gears

The bike’s gearing system is another important feature that most people don’t really understand.

Most road bikes feature 21 to 24-speed gearing systems that come with a three-sprocket crankset. This is in addition to 7 or 8 cassette sprockets.

Keep in mind the shifters, back, and front derailleurs, that are responsible for getting the drive chain between the sprockets.

One of the best ways to get the most out of these components is to make sure that they’re all made by the same manufacturer in order to ensure a smooth functioning system.

Wheels

When manufacturing a bicycle, many manufacturers consider the wheels to be one of the most important components or specs and a vital aspect of its design.

If you feel like changing your wheels, we suggest consulting with your bike shop before you make any modifications to the wheelset.

The most important thing is to ensure that you have the same PSI and tubes that the bike was designed for. The last thing you need is for your tires to have too much air as this could lead to a blowout.

Tires

One of the main features of a road bike are its tires and rims. Unlike gravel, mountain bikes, BMX, and cross-country bikes, the rims and tires on road bikes are much thinner.

This is to reduce the amount of friction they create while improving their aerodynamics. This makes for a bicycle that’s easy to handle while accelerating at faster speeds.

Although thin, these rims should be durable if you want a functional bike. A lot of $500 and below bike models come with double-wall steel alloy rims.

Shifters

The bike’s shifters are there to allow you to change gears while on the move, and the most important thing to ensure with this feature is that it provides you with precision.

If you choose the wrong shifter then you’ll have misalignment and gear slippage issues.

While most people have gotten used to friction shifters, they’ve long been replaced by more modern versions. Or you could continue using older shifters that work with the down tube shifter.

Forks

Unlike a mountain bike, a road bike features steeper fork mounts without any of the suspected suspension. In fact, most road bikes don’t have a suspension fork at all.

You’ll find that most bikes improve the durability of this particular part by making it from hard alloy or tinsel steel.

Carbon forks are another option for those who prioritize a smooth ride. Steel alloy and aluminum forks are what you should expect from a road bike in the $500 price range.

Advantages of Affordable Road Bikes

Road bikes can navigate hard, smooth, and paved surface roads. That’s their job.

When ridden on these surfaces, they offer a smooth experience and they’re able to maintain decent speed levels.

The great thing about a bicycle is the fact that it’s so easy and quick to navigate through different intersections. This is what makes it ideal for weekend getaways and neighborhood jaunts.

However, one of the main reasons why road bikes are so popular is because they’re a cost-efficient mode of transport. You don’t have to worry about fuel costs when traveling to work and you can even skip the morning traffic.

Fixed-Gear Bikes vs. Road Bikes

A fixed bike typically sports a simple design and features a single cassette sprocket and a crankset sprocket. This is unlike the geared bike whose crankset has several sprockets.

So, what’s the catch? Why should you choose either option?

Well, most fixie bikes feature different moving parts. This translates to a fair amount of maintenance. But it’s a small price to pay for the pedaling power and speed that they offer. However, they tend to malfunction frequently as well and can easily get maladjusted.

On the other hand, you don’t have to worry about any of these problems with fixed bikes. All you have to do is enjoy the ride.

Conclusion

So, what’s the verdict? What’s the best road bike under 500? It has to be the Sixthreezero Hybrid-Bicycles Explore Your Range.

Out of all the bikes that we reviewed, it’s the only one that’s easy to mount and dismount. It’s made from a lightweight and durable frame, with different colors to choose from.

You can also customize its handlebar to suit your height preferences, and it offers optimal stability while keeping your torso straight. It’s really incredible to ride and we’ve never seen anything quite as amazing.

We enjoyed switching it up with the different colors and you can really coordinate it with your outfits, and we’re not mad at the price of course. But what really impressed us with this bicycle is its quality components and how easy it is to ride.

James is a passionate bicyclist who has done about every kind of biking there is. He loves the wind in his hair, the sun over his shoulder and maybe even the bugs in his teeth. No, just kidding about that last item. He isn’t crazy about road burns, either, but acknowledges that to have the good there is the occasional tumble. James feels that his bike is the place where he can unwind, leave troubles alongside the road, meet new people, go new places, and live the life of adventure that he loves. He is ready to share the ride with you.

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