Best Road Bikes For the Money 2019

Whether you want a road bike for weekend use, a new hobby or you want to switch to a healthier daily commute we’ve reviewed the best options available. There are countless models to choose from so to help kick off your cycling journey, we’ve found an reviewed the best options out there. Our extensive list and detailed reviews highlight not only the key features but also the pros and cons of each model.

In addition, we’ve also provided a buyers guide to make sure you are equipped with all the key considerations when choosing a road bike. Key information includes the size & fit of a bike, the drive train, brakes and frame materials to name a few.

Just to clear things up a road bike is designed with a light frame and thin tires for speed and a smooth ride. Generally, you stick to paved surfaces such as roads otherwise you may want to check out our best mountain bikes reviews.

What Defines a Road Bike?

Road bikes are easily identified by a few features that are unique to them. These include:

  • Athletic positioning – Road bikes position the rider in a more athletic and lower position compared to a recreational bicycle. The point of this is to reduce your frontal profile from wind allowing the rider to be more aerodynamic.
  • Drop Handle Bars – The majority of road bikes have curled shaped drop handlebars, this is for rider comfortable allowing the rider to adjust their frontal profile with the terrain. There are also flat handlebars available if that is what you prefer.
  • Thinner Tires – Road bikes have much thinner tires than standard bikes, generally either 23mm, 25mm or 28mm wide. The less tire means the less surface area in contact with the road. Less contact directly translates to less friction and more speed.
  • Suspension – Road bikes have no suspension, it isn’t really necessary for road cycling as the majority of road surfaces are flat and smooth.
  • Gears – Road bikes can have up to 24 gears, two cogs on the front crank and up to 12 on the rear cassette. More gears offer the rider consistent and efficient pedaling when descending, on flats and climbing.

Depending on the price of the road bike, it will change these features and the quality of them. These features, unique to road bikes make covering large distances much easier than on a standard bike.

Best Road Bikes for the Money

1. Kestrel Talon X Road Shimano 105

The Kestrel Talon Road Shimano 105 Bicycle is top of the list. This bike is packed full of features at a very affordable cost.

Key Features

  • Hybrid frame set – 800K and 700K carbon fibers.
  • Lightweight yet stiff
  • Aerodynamically contoured seat tube
  • Internal cable routing for clean airflow
  • Seatpost can be adjusted for road use or triathlons
  • Shimano front and rear 105 derailleur
  • 11 speed Shimano 105 STI Shifters
  • Vitoria zaffiro Pro 700 x 32C folding tires
  • Tektro R540 dual pivot brake set

Kestrel was founded in 1987 by two aerospace engineers who were pioneers in carbon fiber bicycles. As you can imagine, pairing aerospace engineering with bicycles has lead to the development of a very high-quality bike.

Over the years, Kestrel continues to work at their designs and each prototype is rigorously tested. The Kestrel Talon Road Shimano 105 Bicycle was designed in the A2 Wind Tunnel for fine-tuning the aerodynamics of the road bike. This machine can handle all conditions (especially wind) very well!

In addition, the seat post allows for the saddle to be mounted and moved in a variety of positions. This adaptability means you can use it for a triathlon or just for general road biking – it’s nice to have this option.

The seat and chainstays have been designed to improve the overall stiffness laterally along with the bike and the power transfer, as a result, is incredibly efficient. At the same time, the vibration is also dampened giving you a smooth ride.

Pros

  • Lightweight carbon alloy frame
  • Adjustable seat
  • A2 wind tunnel tested
  • Aerodynamically designed

Cons

  • Price

The Kestrel Talon Road Shimano 105 Bicycle was launched in 2007 and has grown in popularity ever since. For the price, the bike presents great value for money and is versatile for road or triathlon use.

2. SAVADECK 700C Road Bike Carbon Fiber

The Savadeck 700C has a carbon fiber frame & fork along with a lightweight yet stiff seat which is excellent for power transfer and efficiency. Savadeck has a reputable name within the cycling industry and this is another quality bicycle by them.

Key Features

  • Carbon fiber makes it lightweight
  • 18 speeds
  • 700CC wheels
  • Available in 4 different sizes
  • Four colors to choose from
  • Shimano gears and derailleur
  • Aluminum handlebars
  • Leather saddle
  • Pedals included

This bike is very lightweight at only 21.6 pounds (9.8kgs) and the design is comfortable as a result of the carbon frame absorbing vibrations.

An 18-speed derailleur gearing system along with an internal cable routing makes it streamlined and stylish.

The bike comes partly assembled and is easy to connect the final pieces together with basic tools.

Available frame sizes are 44cm, 48cm, 50cm and 52cm and the color choices are Grey Red, Black Blue, Red Yellow, Black Grey. This bike does come with the pedals which is something to consider and look for with other bikes.

The seat of this bike is an Italian racing saddle that is designed for long distances. Like the first bike on our list, this too was designed in a wind tunnel – every part of this bike is aerodynamically contoured.

Pros

  • Arrives partly assembled
  • Five sizes to choose from
  • Lightweight frame
  • Leather saddle
  • 18 speed

Cons

  • Price – although for carbon fiber this is excellent value

In terms of a carbon fiber bike the Savadeck 700C is excellent value for money and also includes a 3-year warranty on the frame.

3. BEIOU 2016 Carbon Comfortable Bicycles 700C Road Bike

The BEIOU Carbon Comfortable Bicycles 700C Road Bike is another carbon fiber bike that’s well worth considering.

Key Features

  • Carbon fiber unibody
  • Glossy finish
  • 3 frame sizes to choose from
  • Lightweight bike
  • Prowheel crankset
  • 20 Speed
  • Kenda 700*23C 60TPI tires
  • Partly assembled

The BEIOU 2016 Carbon Comfortable Bicycles 700C Road Bike presents excellent value for money for those looking for a carbon fiber road bike without the high price tag.

This bike is ultra-light at 18.8 pounds yet incredibly sturdy given the carbon fiber framework – handlebars, fork, frame and seat post.

Available in 3 different sizes: 48cm, 50cm and 52cm and in four different colors: white blue, white red, white gold, and white orange.

Pros

  • Looks good, rides well
  • Carbon fiber and very lightweight
  • 20 speeds
  • Kenda tires
  • Different colors to choose from
  • Easy to assemble

Cons

  • Only 3 frame sizes to choose from

In terms of value for a carbon fiber bike the BEIOU 2016 Carbon Comfortable Bicycles 700C Road Bike is great! This bike has good customer reviews and makes for a great commuter and racing bike.

4. Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike

The Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike is a well priced, high-quality road bike.

Key Features

  • Aluminum, lightweight frame
  • Shimano shifters, derailleurs, crank and brakes
  • Shallow handlebar drop
  • Six sizes to choose from
  • Three color options
  • Platform pedals included
  • 24 speeds

The lightweight frame is made from 6061 aluminum designed for speed and efficiency. Lightweight Corsa TC20 rims offer excellent performance as they are easy rolling and designed for all road conditions.

This model uses the Shimano Claris range. All exceptionally high quality, the components of this bike are designed to perform and to last.

24 speeds to choose from means you’ll be riding in comfort and can easily adjust to the riding terrain. The bike itself has three gear rings and the cassette has eight gear rings.

Comfortable, this bike was designed with shallow drop handlebars and a compact geometry allowing the rider to be relaxed in just about every riding position.

700c wheels and 25mm tires are great for control as well as any shock absorption from different terrains. The saddle is also designed for shock absorption and a more comfortable ride.

Pros

  • Lightweight, aluminum construction
  • Comfortable to ride
  • Large variety of sizes available
  • Different colors to choose from
  • Complete Shimano R2000

Cons

  • Pedals will need to be upgraded
  • Assembly required

At a quality price, the Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike is an excellent aluminum bike that has many great customer reviews. A fantastic entry-level bike, the full Shimano components further add to the quality.

5. Vilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Road Bike

For those who may prefer upright handlebars consider this model from Vilano.

Key Features

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Size: 53 cm, 57 cm
  • 700c wheels

This Vilano Diverse bike is the perfect choice for your daily work commute or a weekend ride with friends. The disc brakes work efficiently to give the right control and stopping power. This bike is ideal for any weather, thanks to its high-quality construction – the frame and fork are made of premium aluminum.

Since the bike has mechanical disc brakes, you can be sure of effective braking even in wet and rainy conditions. One of the elements you should consider when selecting the bike is the size variation. Ideally, there should be a minimum distance of about 1″ to 2″ between you and the top bar of the bike. This will ensure you are comfortable and have less strain to keep pedaling.

One of the advantages of getting this bike is that it comes preassembled. The complete installation is easy to do, and all the required tools are included. This bike comes with free pedals in the package which is one less thing to worry about.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to assemble
  • Works well in all seasons and terrains
  • Comfortable handlebars

Cons

  • The handlebars cannot be raised

This road bike is ideal for daily commuters or occasional riders. It works well on different terrains, and the brake system makes it suitable to use during rainy conditions. It is recommended for its great value for money.

6. 6KU Track Fixed Gear Bicycle

If you are looking for a good quality bike without breaking the bank, then consider the 6KU bike.

Key Features

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Size: 47cm, 49cm, 52cm, 55cm, 58cm, 61cm
  • 700c wheels

Made using 6061 aluminum this offers a relatively lightweight bike with smooth welds which makes it easy to transport. The flip-flop hub makes the bike useful whether you are riding on the fixed gear or freewheel. Each component of this bike is made with the riders needs in mind to ensure you get the comfort and the smooth riding experience.

The bike has a solid and sturdy frame but one thing to note is that this bike has riser handlebars instead of drop bars. This feature makes it more of a bike for recreational purposes but given the price is justified. Also, with the lightweight construction, you can easily transport it away from home for adventures.

It is easy to assemble and comes with an instruction manual with steps to follow to ensure the right installation of the parts. More to this, the bike comes in a range of colors to match your preferred style. Also, there are a few different size options to choose from.

Pros

  • Excellent quality for the price
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to install
  • Sturdy and stable frame

Cons

  • Slight noise with a tight chain

This is a great budget bike for daily use. It has a significant performance, and the brake system works pretty well.

7. Raleigh Bikes Willard 1 Gravel Adventure Road Bike

Raleigh Bikes Willard 1 All Road Bike is another popular road bike designed and manufactured by a reputable company. This bike is classified as an All Road bike meaning it can handle all types of terrain.

Key Features

  • Versatile bike for rough and smooth terrain
  • Different sizing options
  • Aluminum all road-specific frame
  • Carbon fork
  • Shimano Sora 18 speed drivetrain 
  • TRP mechanical dual actuated disc brakes 
  • Offers 3D forged anti-shock stem and anti-shock seat post to reduce road vibrations
  • Arrives partly assembled

The Raleigh Bikes Willard 1 All Road Bike has been designed to handle both semi-rough terrains such as gravel roads as well as paved surfaces. While we don’t recommend using it as a mountain bike if your cycle trail has some uneven terrain this bike won’t let you down.

It is available in the following sizing: 52cm=5’4-5’7, 54cm=5’7-5’9, 56cm=5’9-5’11, 58cm=5’11-6’1, 60cm=6’1-6’3.

The bike arrives partly assembled and takes anywhere between 30mins to 120mins depending on your capabilities.

The bike is very durable and comfortable to ride, the frame, stem, seat post and tires work well together to absorb bumps making it smooth to ride.

Pros

  • All road bike handles a variety of terrains
  • Easy to assemble
  • Very responsive TRP brakes

Cons

  • Could be more gears

The Raleigh Bikes Willard 1 All Road Bike is an aluminum bike that has been designed for a wide range of applications. It’s a fantastic choice for commuters out there looking for comfort without compromising on quality. If you don’t mind a little extra weight then it’s a great, smooth ride.

8. Vilano FORZA 2.0 Aluminum Carbon Shimano Tiagra Road Bike

The Vilano FORZA 2.0 Aluminum Carbon Shimano Tiagra Road Bike is a mid-range bike that offers a number of attractive features.

Key Features

  • Double Butted Aluminum Frame 
  • 12k Carbon fiber fork
  • 9 Speed
  • Four different sizing options
  • Matte gray color

The Vilano FORZA 2.0 Aluminum Carbon Shimano Tiagra Road Bike is a good entry-level road bike and is available in four different sizes: 49cm, 53cm, 57cm and 61cm.

Given the price, you can imagine the parts aren’t the best quality but you can get some serious distance on them before they will become a problem. The parts are quite easy to upgrade as you go so if you just want to test out if cycling is for you or not – this is a good options.

Pros

  • Lightweight
  • Solid, sturdy frame and forks
  • Different sizing options

Cons

  • Seat is quite uncomfortable
  • Pedals don’t clip in
  • Only 9 speeds

For many people moving from a mountain bike to a road bike the Vilano FORZA 2.0 Aluminum Carbon Shimano Tiagra Road Bike is a popular choice. It is relatively lightweight and a great bike for starting your road biking journey.

9. Schwinn Phocus 1500 Flat Bar Road Men’s Road Bike

This bike from Schwinn has highly-effective brakes for tight stops and better control of the speed- if you are commuting through a city then this should be a top consideration.

Key Features

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Size: 17”, 19” frames
  • Mechanical disc brakes

This bike has an aluminum construction which makes it super light to transport. The material is durable and sturdy so you can expect to last sometime. Well balanced, this bike has been designed for stability even at high speeds. This is attributed to the quality of the wheels and rims.

The frame has a Schwinn sport suspension fork which adds on to the performance and ensures efficient riding. The bike is equipped with Shimano 24-speed shifters together with front and rear derailleurs for smooth gear changes. This feature makes the bike suitable for riding on different terrains with the simple gear change system it has. Also, the mechanic disc brakes allow for easy stops regardless of the speed.

When it comes to the quality of the components, this bike makes it to the list of the top options. It has double-wall rims which are light yet super strong for added stability. The alloy cranks and the 8-speed cassette offers a high gearing performance. This bike is easy to assemble but given the lower price point, it has a flat handlebar design. While the handlebars offer an excellent grip if you want the classic road bike handlebars, consider a different option from our list.

Pros

  • High-quality components
  • Easy to assemble
  • Comfortable grip on the handlebars
  • Quality brake system

Cons

  • Adjustability of the handlebars

The Schwinn bike is ideal for someone looking to start their cycling journey. It’s recommended for a budget, no-frills road bike.

10. Mercier Road Bike

This bike from Mercier offers a quality bike at a very affordable price.

Key Features

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Size: 42 cm, 46cm, 50cm
  • 700c wheels

Designed in a simple, lightweight way, this bike is suitable for everyday use. Made from aluminum this bike is sturdy and lightweight although not as lightweight as a carbon fiber option. The design of this bike considers comfort as a critical element and provides a comfy upright riding position.

The seat on this bike is comfortable to use. Also, it has strong side caliper brakes which work efficiently when you need to stop. The bike has lightweight wheels that have aluminum rims for durability.

One of the outstanding features of this model of bike is the size variation. The extra-small one can suit people in the height range of 4’11” to 5’2″ while the extra-large suits individuals as tall as 6’3″. This bike comes preassembled, so you only need to attach the movable parts for a complete installation. It is easy to do, and within minutes you will have the bike ready.

Pros

  • Suitable for beginners
  • Quality construction
  • Value for money
  • High-quality brakes
  • Ideal for regular use

Cons

  • Slight noise on high speeds

The Mercier bike is ideal for daily use and has a lightweight construction. It has high-quality brakes, and that makes the bike ideal for different terrains. It is recommended as a budget option.

11. Poseidon “TRITON” Road Bike

The Poseidon Triton is an aluminum 6061 bike with a smooth weld frame and carbon fiber fork. This makes it lightweight and smooth riding.

Key Features

  • Lightweight, aluminum frame
  • Shimano claris shifters & derailleurs
  • Dual pivot brake calipers
  • Available in two colors
  • Two sizes to choose from
  • Lifetime warranty on frame

The stiff aluminum frame and carbon fork are lightweight and offer great power transfer. Building on from the Sport 4.0 model, this bike has an upright seating position which allows for comfort on extended journeys.

This bike has a  Shimano Claris 2 x 8-speed drivetrain which is high quality. This along with the dual-pivot brakes allow for greater stopping power.

The saddle, seat post, stem and handlebars are all high quality and contribute to the overall smooth riding of this bike.

To retain the factory warranty this bike needs to be assembled by a professional. For a newcomer or someone looking to upgrade this bike is well priced and performs exceptionally well.

Pros

  • Well priced
  • Two colors to choose from
  • Quality components
  • Lightweight and stiff

Cons

  • Professional assembly required

In terms of value for money, the Poseidon Triton is an excellent choice. This bike is lightweight yet stiff, made with high-quality components and is designed to perform time and time again.

12. Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike

The right bike should retain it’s performance irrespective of the speed and the terrain. This Vilano Commuter road bike is suitable for just about any situation and keeps the comfort promise.

Key Features

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Size: 50cm, 54cm, 58cm
  • 700c wheels

Perfect for regular use -think of a daily ride to work, the grocery store or a weekend ride with friends. The design and construction make it strong enough to resist the repeated pressure and tension on rough roads.

This bike has a double-butted aluminum frame which provides the strength needed to maintain the quality. Also, the aluminum frame makes the bike lightweight for easy use when maneuvering around. It is durable, and that guarantees that the bike will serve you for a long time.

It has Shimano derailleurs for both the front and rear for improved performance. The alloy caliper brake system ensures you can stop fast when riding without exerting too much pressure for an emergency stop. The bike comes preassembled, and the complete installation can be done in minutes. The required tools are included, and an instruction manual helps to assemble following the steps.

Pros

  • Great deal for the money
  • Assembly is fast and easy
  • Lightweight
  • High-quality construction
  • Effective brakes

Cons

  • Slow speed

The Vilano Commuter road bike is a suitable choice for occasional riding. It has the right quality of materials and parts. Although it is not super fast, it has the performance needed for a smooth ride.

13. Vilano Diverse 2.0 Performance Hybrid Bike

If you have a hard time finding the right balance while riding, then flat handlebars could help you remain stable even at high speeds. This bike from Vilano has the flat design of handlebars for a more comfortable riding position.

Key Features

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Size: 53 cm,57 cm
  • 700c wheels

The quality of the bike components translates to the performance. This bike has high-quality elements from Shimano that are known for its superiority in ensuring durability and dominant performance. The 700 c wheels are durable and can withstand rough roads and different terrains.

The aluminum construction of this bike makes it super light. The lightweight feature makes it easy to use in a range of applications. It has alloy linear pull cantilever V-brakes which work effectively when you need to stop. Also, the brakes provide the right control when slowing down making the bike suitable for use in uneven terrains.

One of the things to love about this bike is how easy it is to assemble it. It comes partially assembled, and you only need to attach a few components for full functionality. The bike comes with free pedals and everything you need in the instruction manual. The manual has a simple outline and provides a step-by-step description of how to install and attach each part. With an inspection after assembly, you can use the bike without reservations.

Pros

  • High quality for a reasonable price
  • Strong and sturdy frame
  • Effective brake system
  • Easy to install

Cons

  • Handlebars are slightly low

The Vilano bike is perfect for someone that is looking for a high-quality bike on a budget. It provides value for money and keeps the performance promise. It is recommended for excellent quality at affordable rates.

14. EUROBIKE Road Bike

The Eurobike is yet another budget bicycle to make our list. Although budget it still has plenty of features worth mentioning.

Key Features

  • Material: aluminum
  • Size: 49 cm, 54 cm
  • 700 c spoke wheels
  • Max user weight: 220lbs

One of the essential elements of a fully functional bike is the brake system. You want a bike you can ride and stop without much effort. This bike comes with a disc brake system which offers strong stopping power.

The bike is made using quality products. This includes Shimano derailleurs and shifters for increased performance and long-lasting effectiveness while cycling. The aluminum rims are strong and have a unique style for your bike to stand out from the rest.

This bike comes preassembled, but you will need to install the wheels, pedals, and seat. This will take you about 20 minutes following the included instruction manual. The tools required for full assembly are included in the package. With an inspection at a local bike store, you can have your bike ready to take on an adventure.

Pros

  • Easy to assemble
  • Sturdy and stable
  • Works well on different terrains
  • Efficient brake system

Cons

  • Not suitable for short people below 5’3”

The Eurobike is the ideal choice for someone looking for a bike for regular use. It has a super-effective brake system which makes it top of the budget recommendations.

15. Schwinn Men’s Volare 1200 Bike

For the budget-restricted, the Schwinn Men’s Volare 1200 Bike is another great option. Schwinn is a very reputable brand and this bike still has many great attributes.

Key Features

  • Aluminum rigid frame
  • 21 Speed Shimano EZ Fire shifters
  • Shimano rear derailleur
  • Linear pull brakes
  • Alloy wheels
  • Alloy crank
  • Lifetime limited warranty

The Schwinn Men’s Volare 1200 Bike has a total of 21 gear speeds with Shimano derailleurs and a crankshaft. Changing gears on this bike is easy and smooth. The braking system of this bicycle is also good which is a feature many cheaper road bikes seem to lack.

The handlebars are flat yet are comfortable to use and are ergonomically styled. If you prefer the more typical road bike handlebars then opt for a different model from our list.

For those on a budget what we liked is that Schwinn bikes come with a limited lifetime warranty – this is ideal for someone unsure and wanting to test the bike and cycling out.

Pros

  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • 21 quick-shift gears
  • Low budget-friendly

Cons

  • Hard to assemble
  • Cheap parts

If you are just looking for a basic, no fuss road bike then the Schwinn Men’s Volare 1200 Bike will do the job. If you don’t mind accessories that aren’t the highest quality then this will keep you happy. It is a good entry-level road bike for the budget restricted.

16. Merax Finiss Road Bike

This bike from Merax is lightweight and caters to your comfort while riding even for long hours.

Key Features

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Size: 52 cm, 56 cm
  • 700c wheels

The bike is made of a high-quality aluminum frame which is robust to withstand regular use. The aluminum construction also ensures the lightweight nature of the bike. Also, it makes it easy to lift and transport the bike for outdoor adventures away from home.

The saddle is easy-to-adjust which is designed for efficiency for long hours of pedaling. This makes the bike suitable for weekend adventures or daily work commutes. It has comfortable hand grips so you can ride for long hours without feeling the strain on your palms and wrists.

The bike has 21 speeds and has smooth gear changes for an effortless ride. This feature makes it ideal for long-distance cycling in different terrains. It has an upgraded performance and style which makes it suitable for regular use. The bike is easy to assemble, and tuning is required to ensure it operates well. It has a water bottle holder which comes in handy to carry refreshments for long-distance cycling.

Pros

  • Great value for money
  • Lightweight
  • Easy to assemble
  • High performance and variety of speeds

Cons

  • Chains require regular change

The Merax road bike is suitable for different uses including long-distance cycling. It has a sturdy construction and is lightweight for easy transportation. The bike is recommended for the great value and the high performance.

17. Goplus Commuter Bike Road Bike

The performance of a bike is measured by how comfortable it feels to ride and the effectiveness of the brake system. This bike from Goplus delivers to these promises for a seamless riding experience.

Key Features

  • Material: Aluminum
  • Size: 52 cm
  • 700c wheels
  • Max user weight: 440lbs

The bike is made using aluminum which makes it lightweight for easy use. With a sturdy frame it can withstand rough roads while still maintaining balance as you ride. It has a comfortable handlebar, and the seat is equally comfy for long hours of cycling.

Also, it provides a faster pace for you to meet your fitness needs. The 700c tires work well to solve the different issues you could face with rigorous street racing. The bike is stylish and comes in colorful designs including black, blue, green, orange and red.

Easy to set up, the wheels are quick-release which makes it easy to put together and travel with. You can disassemble it in a matter of minutes for maintenance. This feature makes the bike easy to store and the fact that you can put it back together in minutes makes it suitable for regular use.

Pros

  • Rides easily
  • Comes well packaged
  • Easy to install and disassemble
  • Strong handles and wheels
  • Great value

Cons

  • Not suitable for super short people

The Goplus bike is an ideal choice for daily use; thanks to its lightweight nature and its quality construction. It is recommended for the ease of installation and the seamless riding experience.

18. Roadmaster Granite Peak Men’s Bike

This particular one from Roadmaster is a budget choice but it can handle unpaved roads as well as smooth pavements.

Key Features

  • Material: Steel
  • Size: 26”

This bike is one of the simplest you can find and that is reflected in the price. Although cheap it does have a stable base which makes it suitable for long-distance riding. It is designed for men and comes in one size.

This bike rides smoothly around the streets and has a powerful brake system. The knobby tire treads offer the needed security while riding on pavements and dirt roads.

This bike offers stability which contributes to the high performance for long hours of cycling. The bike has 18-speed twist shifters and a rear derailleur from Shimano which are known for their quality. You can assemble the bike in minutes.

Pros

  • Stable and reliable performance
  • Easy to assemble
  • Has comfortable handlebars
  • Great value for money
  • Quality construction

Cons

  • Plastic brake handles

The Roadmaster bike is a good deal for someone looking for a simple commuter bike. This is a barebones bike that offers limited adjustability but is worth considering.

Key Considerations for Road Bikes

Size & Fit

In terms of getting fitted to your road bike, this is a pretty critical step. Regardless of the style or type of bike you choose as long as it fits well then you will enjoy the ride.

It’s a good idea to get your measurements taken or take note of them in the case of shopping online. Frames are commonly measured in centimeters representing the length of the seat tube.

You need to ensure your frame is the right size, the saddle and handlebars are at the right height too.

Sizing remains much the same across all bikes, be sure to pay attention to the measurement as opposed to the class (small, medium etc) take the riders height and leg length you can then determine the correct frame size. The following table shows the ranges.

Rider Height Inner Leg  Recommended Frame Size
5’1″ – 5’3″ 27″ – 29″ 48cm
5’3″ – 5’5″ 28″ – 30″ 50cm
5’5″ – 5’7″ 29″ – 31″ 52cm
5’7″ – 5’9″ 30″ – 32″ 54cm
5’9″ – 5’11” 31″- 33″ 56cm
5’11” – 6’2″ 32″ – 34″ 58cm
6’1″ – 6’3″ 33″ – 35″ 60cm
6’3″ – 6’5″ 34″ – 36″ 62cm

Frame Material

Road bike frames are generally made from steel, aluminum, titanium, carbon fiber or a combination of them. Each material being very different that will affect four key things – the price, the comfort, the weight and the overall feel of the bike.

Carbon Fiber

Carbon fiber is easily molded into shape which allows manufacturers to tweak and experiment with tube profiles, frame shapes and more. It is an expensive material, however the stiffness to weight ratio is the best material for any bike. This is why it is the material of choice for professionals.

Aluminum

Strong, aluminum is another common material used in road bikes to make it light and stiff. Less labor-intensive, this is a much cheaper option than carbon fiber yet still performs well. Aluminum provides a great cost-effective solution to those who need a high-quality bike on a budget and are quite a popular choice for many.

Titanium

Titanium is still considered a lightweight material although the difference between titanium and carbon fiber is that it is very labor-intensive to mold into the right shape. This translates to a high price. These frames are very durable and will not corrode so if you do want something that is designed to last a lifetime then this could be a good choice.

Steel

The heaviest of the bikes materials, this was the material of choice before aluminum and carbon fiber made their debuts. Steel bikes do make for very sturdy, long-lasting bikes and although they don’t offer as good a stiffness to weight ratio as the other mentioned materials, steel bikes have made a come back in the recent years.

Brakes

For many years caliper brakes were commonly used for road bikes and all bikes actually. These are the brakes that have rubber which squeezes against the rim.

Nowadays many road bikes will come with disc brakes. They are much better for handling wet weather but as a result are a bit more heavy.

For endurance bikes, you’ll generally see disc brakes and on race bikes caliper brakes. Each are good so let’s take a look at the two options in more detail.

Rim Brakes

Braking force is applied directly to the rim or to the sides of the wheel. These have been the standard brakes for years if not decades. Simplistic these brakes are popular and offer a reduced weight.

Pulling of the brake lever in the handlebars then pulls a braided stainless less cable which is generally also housed. This is connected to the brake caliper and applies the braking force to the surface.

A simple design, that can be easily adjusted if a problem presents itself.

Disc Brakes

Much newer technology than rim brakes, disc brakes are used in cars, motorbikes and mountain bikes. Disc brakes offer more finite braking control as well as consistent performance, regardless of the weather conditions.

So how do they work? Disc brakes have a steel disc rotor at the hub of the wheel and a brake caliper that is mounted to the frame or fork – always on the left-hand side that clamps onto the rotor and stops the wheels when needed.

Disc brakes can be further broken down into hydraulic and mechanical disc brakes.

Hydraulic disc brakes use hydraulic brake fluid. A plunger is activated at the master cylinder which is located within the lever. The fluid pushes through a hose and onto the caliper at the wheel. The pressure of the fluid operates the piston within the caliper that clamps the brake pads onto the rotor.

Mechanical disc brakes function in much the same way as rim brakes. The brake lever pulls a braided stainless steel cable which then applies the force to the rotor. Mechanical disc brakes are generally found on entry-level bikes.

Groupset/DriveTrain

Considered the bikes engine room so to speak, the groupset consists of the brakes and drivetrain. A drivetrain is comprised of the cranks, chainrings, chain, cassette, derailleurs and the shifters. A closed-circuit is the powerhouse that propels the bike forward. When purchasing a high-end bicycle, you are paying for a more efficient and durable groupset that offers increased shifting while the weight is decreased.

Materials used to make the groupset begin with low-grade aluminum and steel moving up in price and quality you will see higher-grade alloys as well as carbon fiber and titanium alloys.

Gears

Gear ratios and ranges are a combination of the number of chainrings and the number of teeth on the chainrings as well as the number of cogs on the rear cassette and the number of teeth on these cogs.

Road bikes tend to have either two or three front chainrings. There are some bikes that use three front chainrings although these would be more recreational bikes or entry-level touring bikes.

Two chainrings is pretty standard and they can be further split into regular, compact, semi-compact and even mid-compact.

The front chainrings are complimented with the rear cassette. A bike with smaller chainrings on the front and a large ratio cassette on the back provides a greater spread of gears as well as easier pedal ratios.

Larger front chainrings and smaller ratio rear cassettes are designed for speed with less range of gears. This would be suited to racers so most people opt for the previous design.

Wheels and Tires

Wheels

A good set of wheels are designed to be durable, have dependable hubs and offer reliable braking when activated. Wheels need to be stiff yet lightweight in order to transfer power effectively.

Rim widths and depths are attributed to how the bike rides, modern rims are typically wider which allows for improved aerodynamics and high air tire volumes. This leads to a more comfortable ride.

Tires

Tires for road bikes are classified as clincher, tubular or tubeless and the type you use is determined by the wheel you have and what it is compatible with.

Clincher – This is the most commonly used tire that requires an inner tube to hold air. The tire is positioned between the wheel rim and the tire and the inner tube is then inflated. If a puncture occurs, the inner tube either needs to be patched or replaced. This design has a Kevlar fiber bead on the sides which hooks underneath the ridges of the rim and holds it in place.

Tubular – Generally used by sponsored professionals, these tires have an inner tube but it is sewn into the tire as opposed to being separate. A little more difficult and not as practical, tubular need to be stuck to the wheel with glue or tape. In this sense they are a bit lighter than clincher tires and offer better-rolling resistance. The difficulty lies with changing the tire in the event of a puncture or flat. They are also the most expensive option which is why they are mostly used by professionals.

Tubeless – A new innovation to road bikes, tubeless tires have been around for mountain biking and there is no tube at all, simply a tire that hooks onto the wheel in the same way a clincher does. A sealant is then used to plug in small holes and splits which reduces the chance of flats. To use this type of tire one must have compatible wheels.

Bottom Line

Finding the right bike takes more than choosing the style you prefer. There are many other factors to keep in mind to ensure you have quality, durability, and efficiency. One crucial element that should be the leading pointer is the material quality for the frame. As far as comfort is concerned, the bike should provide an excellent grip on the handlebars.

Comfort goes as far as testing the height of the seat if the handlebars are adjustable and the height between you and the top bar of the bike. Therefore, the size of the bike is another critical factor to keep in mind. Most importantly, you should ensure the brake system is capable since it is the primary feature for the functionality of the bike.

9.5 Total Score

Finding the best road bike can be a daunting task. I recommend setting a realistic budget and then finding the best bikes within that range. This post reviewed the best road bikes over a range of prices so be sure to read through them all!

Kestrel Talon Road Shimano 105 Bicycle
9.9
SAVADECK 700C Road Bike Carbon Fiber
9.9
Raleigh Bikes Willard 1 All Road Bike
9.8
BEIOU 2016 Carbon Comfortable Bicycles 700C Road Bike
9.8
Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike
9.8
Vilano FORZA 2.0 Aluminum Carbon Shimano Tiagra Road Bike
9.8
Poseidon "TRITON" Road Bike
9.8
Schwinn S5460D Men's Volare 1200 Bike
9.6
Vilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Road Bike
9.4
Mercier Aluminum Road Bike
9.4
EUROBIKE Road Bike
9.3
Goplus Commuter Bike Road Bike
9.3
Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike
9.2
Vilano Diverse 2.0 Performance Hybrid Bike
9.30
Roadmaster 26" Men's Granite Peak Men's Bike
8.9
Merax Finiss Road Bike Racing
9.3
6KU Track Fixed Gear Bicycle
9.3
Schwinn Phocus Men’s Road Bike
9.5
User Rating: 5 (5 votes)
1 Comment
  1. Thank you for this fantastic guide. I don’t know why you have the Schwinn Phocus Men’s Road Bike as the last choice but after buying it I think it is the best value for money!

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