5 Best Entry Level Road Bikes for Beginners

Road bikes are extremely versatile and serve countless purposes. If you’re getting tired of spin class, road bikes are an ideal way to graduate. If you’re a runner who wants to amplify their fitness regimen, riding a road bike adds up even more benefits. The list of this two-wheel beast’s uses goes on and on.

The trick however, is to find the right road bike that will suit both your wants and needs.

Today, you’re going to learn more about road bikes — from what their distinct characteristics are, what benefits they offer and which road bikes are great for beginners. Consider this as your guide if you’re just starting to get into the sport.

Before anything, let’s define what a road bike is.

What is a Road Bike?

A road bike, otherwise known as a racer, is specifically designed to satiate your need for speed. It can go as fast as your legs can take and is made to tackle even pavements, not so much rougher terrains. Although they may look like they haven’t changed much in recent years, much of its technology has been upgraded — a plethora of which are now available in the market.

What are Road Bikes for?

Road bikes are ridden on paved surfaces such as bike paths. This bike allows its riders to go faster and further compared to other kinds of bikes. Furthermore, they are ideal road bikes for fitness and racing enthusiasts. They are also great for vehicle-supported multiday touring and do not usually come with rack attachments.

Defining Features of a Road Bike

The first few things you notice about a road bike are its drop (curled) or flat handlebar, its skinny tires and its lightweight frame. They are essential in ensuring that you are able to pick up speed as quickly and as seamlessly as you can.

Other defining characteristics of a road bike are its two chain rings, a composite carbon fiber fork, the lack of front or rear suspension as well as a sparsely-padded saddle seat. Again, road bikes are meant to pick up the pace and glide smoothly. Such components are essential for the riders to traverse roads as efficiently as possible.

Factors to Consider When Buying a Road Bike

There are tons of road bikes out in the market today. It’s critical to have an idea of what you’re looking for, and what other factors you must consider. Here’s a simple buying guide.

Size

Size to us is everything when riding road bikes. Not only do you have to think about landing your feet firmly on the ground. It’s also critical to consider how your posture is affected by the size of your bike. The best you can do is to go to a bike shop and test out what you’re looking to buy. Your road bike is going to be the extension of your body. From the correct crank length, stem length and even the width of the handlebars, you must end up with one that syncs with your movements flawlessly.

Material

Bike Materials - You can always replace and upgrade all the other parts, save for your frame. That’s why it’s important to choose the right one. Each has their its drawbacks and benefits. Steel is durable and solid but can be a lot heavier and harder to maintain. Titanium and carbon are more niche materials, which can burn a deeper hole in the pocket. Aluminum is ideal since it weighs a lot less than steel and is a lot cheaper than carbon and titanium.

Groupset

Ensuring your road bike is equipped with the right components can make all the difference in your journey. Most beginner riders find it exceptionally hard to master the hills, the reason being riding a bike with the wrong groupset. For example, a compact chainset, with a lower gear ratio of 50/34 compared to a standard 53/39 ratio should do the trick. The good news here is you can always upgrade and replace the parts as you go.

Wheels

Wheels are what will pick up the pace on the road. Most road bikes being sold today come with standard wheels, often a partner of the manufacturer. Sadly, this doesn’t always equate to optimum quality. That’s why it’s best to have your wheels replaced especially if you’re going to ride it beyond daily commutes.


Top 5 Best Entry Level Road Bikes for Beginners

If you’re just getting into road bikes, then you’re in luck. Below are the five best entry level road bikes for beginners.

5. Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano


Features

Quality

Price

First on our list is the Vilano 21 Speed Shimano — the hassle-free everyday road bike you can rely on. It’s decked out with a double-butted 6061 aluminum frame, 700c threadless fork, 700c double walled CNC alloy machined sides as well as 700c by 25c tires. It’s also one of the lightest road bikes around, with its frame weighing in at just 24 pounds. Whether you’re carrying it up the stairs or lifting it on top of your car, it’s easy to work with. Plus, it’s a good-looking bike that appeals to a wide range of riders. It comes in four different colors so you’ll be sure to find one that you’d want to ride in.

One of the standout features of this road bike is it’s equipped with 21 gear settings as well as a Shimano A050 thumb rear indexed 7-speed and front friction 3-speed shifters. This means whatever path you’re traversing, the Vilano 21 Speed Road Bike can handle. Whether you’re making your way to work or leisurely riding along sandy shores, trust this bike will keep you comfortable and safe.

What We Love About It:

The Vilano Aluminum Road Bike is meant for everyday rides and offers a fuss-free way to enjoy a two-wheel rod. It’s lightweight and extremely comfortable to ride in. It’s armed with a saddle seat and padded handlebars to ensure you don’t have to suffer the consequences of long-distance riding. Furthermore, it’s a lot easier to set up compared to other road bikes. In fact, a bit of know-how and the right tools will cut you back a mere half hour to assemble this beauty. Oh it even comes with free pedals.

What We Hate About It:

Not all road bikes are created equal. Just like others, the Vilano 21 Speed Bike comes with its setbacks. First, the brake pads aren’t adjustable. Second, some parts do feel cheap like the tires that seem like they wear out easily. The good news is this road bike can be personalized. So you’re free to replace and upgrade the parts as you please.

4. Merax 21 Speed 700C Aluminum Road Bike


Features

Quality

Price

Merax has been a mainstay in the biking industry for years. Much of their success can be attributed to the top-of-the-line road race bikes they’ve been producing. Here, we focus on their take on an entry level bike: The Merax 21 Speed 700C Aluminum Road Bike.

This road bike isn’t just your basic two-wheel ride that’s perfect for inner city or out-of-town trips. Merax incorporates their need for speed and durability on this one, without breaking the bank. It’s clad with a stiff aluminum frame and a quick release wheel system for fuss-free installation and transport. Moreover, it comes with a Shimano derailleur and Shimano shifts for reliable shifting. Wherever you find yourself riding, you can shift through 21 varying speeds to always ensure comfort and safety. Plus, it comes in two different colors and can be easily customized.

What We Love About It:

What makes the Merax 21 Speed stand out for us it’s a lot faster than other entry-level road bikes. It allows you to traverse streets, narrow pathways and other trails with confidence. Furthermore, it’s decked out with Shimano parts and Kenda tires, the ideal combination for a solid, durable and functional bike that can make any ride a lot more enjoyable. Let’s not forget about that quick-release wheel system that’s 100% anti-thief.

What We Hate About It:

If you plan on using this bike for basic commuting, then you don’t have to worry about the brakes and tires. However, taking it to the next level will require you to upgrade these components. Moreover, the brakes tend to rub the front rim at first. It’s best to take it to the bikeshop for tune up right away.

3. Schwinn Men's Prelude Bicycle


Features

Quality

Price

Just about every bike-loving kid had a Schwinn once. Now that we’re all grown up, there’s still a Schwinn road bike we can rely on if we’re only starting to get into the sport: The Schwinn Men’s Prelude Bicycle. Right off the bat, you can see its distinct drop handlebars and 29-inch massive wheels — both of which add to the comfort and pleasure of the experience.

Getting into it, the road bike is clad in highly responsive shifters, the signature Schwinn road fork, alloy cranks, 14-speed shifter and 700cc alloy wheels to boot. All these and more make it a jack-of-all-trades among entry level road bikes. From commuting and long-distace riding to exercise, the Prelude Bicycle is an excellent choice.

What We Love About It:

It’s not everyday that you encounter a road bike that’s packed with features beyond your basic cycle. The Prelude boasts of a solid, lightweight and incredibly durable framing system as well as highly functional components. With big wheels like that, you can be sure to keep yourself clean while traversing muddy trails. Furthermore, it accommodates a wide variety of heights.

What We Hate About It:

The fact that the model is being sold only in the 55cm size can be limiting to some who want to make the most of their experience. Furthermore, the handlebar stem is fixed and it would be impossible for you to make the frame larger. Plus, the tires can be quite a challenge to replace if they blow out.

2. SE Bikes Royal 16-Speed Road Bicycle


Features

Quality

Price

Snagging the silver spot is the SE Bikes Royal 16-Speed Road Bicycle. True to its name, this is a road bike that exudes royalty, clad in aluminum-carbon frame-fork combination as well as a 16-speed Shimano drivetrain, Shimano derailleurs and highly powerful alloy caliper brakes, to name a few. It’s the ideal all-around road bike whether you’re going out of town or need a reliable ride to get you around the city.

The Royal 16-Speed Bike boasts of a 24-pound frame system, which makes it a breeze to use, tranport and carry through the stairs. Plus, its 30tpi tires absorbs shock pefectly, allowing you to enjoy a smooth and comfortable ride all the way. Oh and did we mention it’s a ridiculously good looking beast?

What We Love About It:

The addition of carbon 1-1/8" bladed fork is what makes this bike pretty special. It enhances the durability of the road bike and ensures that you’re smoothly riding through all kinds of pavements and trails. Moreover, it’s light and easy to pick up speed. You don’t have to worry about becoming the one who’s trying to catch up. With the quality of components you have on a beginner’s road bike, it’s definitely great value for money.

What We Hate About It:

Our only complain about this road bike is the seat. It’s as uncomfortable as sitting on a wooden plank. You’re better off replacing it right away.

1. Giordano Libero Acciao Road Bike


Features

Quality

Price

On the top of our list is the mighty stylish and highly functional Giordano Libero Acciao Road Bike. It takes inspiration from Italy’s rich cycling history boasting of handcrafted high tensile steel frame, precision 14-speed Shimano Tourney STI equipped drive train as well as light yet powerful 700c wheels. The components are top of the line, and you wouldn’t even believe how affordable it is.

When it comes to gear-shifting, this road bike makes it incredibly easy. You don’t have to fuss around when you’re dealing with various roads and tracks. What’s more is the handlebar is right where it should be. You’re not slumped over to find your position. Plus, it comes in three sizes: Men’s small, medium and large.

What We Love About It:

There are a lot of things to love about the Libero Acciao. First, it comes with the anti-theft quick-release wheel system. Furthermore, the components are positioned and fixed flawlessly. This way, your posture remains comfortable and upright and you don’t have to worry about back pains the next day. You’ll quickly notice that you are always in control when riding this road bike. Plus, it’s welcoming to riders of varying heights.

What We Hate About It:

The only ache we have against this bike is that it’s tricky to assemble. The good news is you can always bring it to the bikeshop and let them do all the work for you.

Make it a conscious decision when choosing a road bike. After all, you’d want something that you can rely on for years and one that will always motivate you to ride.

Final Thoughs

Thanks to a plethora of options in the market, you’re sure to find an entry level bike you can count on everyday. We highly recommend looking into our five personal recommendations. In the end, you’d want a two-wheel beast that will inspire you to ride more and better.