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Author: topstuf
Date: July 10, 2018

Best Road Bikes Under 500 – What To Expect And How To Choose

Road bikes represent the most common type of bikes out there. They're mostly used for everyday rides, as well as commutes to work or school. They don't make such good choices for rough terrains, yet those who want this kind of experience will inevitably look for mountain bikes. All in all, when looking at best road bikes under 500, it's essential to do it with your needs in mind. The more time you spend researching your choices, the more likely you are to make an informed decision. Now, what are the best selling road bikes over the Internet and what do they have in store for you?

Otherwise, keep reading and make a stronger decision.

Comparison Table

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Top 8 Road Bikes Under 500 - Reviews and Buying Guide

Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike Shimano 21 Speed 700c

Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed 700c
444 Reviews
Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed 700c
  • 6061 Double Butted Aluminum Frame - Lightweight
  • A050 Thumb Shifters
  • 700c Doubled Walled CNC Machined Wheelset with Quick Release Skewers
  • 21 Speed Drivetrain to Handle Any Situation

A road bike is supposed to be lightweight and comfortable, as it's likely to take lots of miles on a weekly basis. Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike Shimano 21 Speed 700c can certainly raise to this standard. It has a 6061 double butted aluminum frame, so it weighs around 41 pounds. Although heavier than other models in this segment, it's extremely stable on the road. The 21 speed drivetrain from Shimano can handle anything and will take you anywhere. Whether it's a long ride or a hilly one, chances are you can always find the right speed.

The drivetrain is not the only element from Shimano though. Vilano's road bike comes with A050 thumb shifters too. Other than that, it has a 700c double walled CNC machined wheel set, as well as quick release skewers. Whether you need to store or transport it, taking a wheel out for convenience is a snap. Giving the fact that you'll also ride at high speeds sometimes, you need to count on a good set of brakes – alloy caliper.

The bike is factory direct. You will have to assemble it yourself once you have it. It's a straightforward operation though. Tuning, on the other hand, will require someone with experience.


  • Stable at high speeds
  • 21 speed drivetrain
  • 700c double walled CNC machined wheel set
  • Comfortable handlebars
  • Easy assembling


  • Inner tubes lose air too quickly
  • Doesn't have lights


Merax Finiss Aluminum 21 Speed 700C Road Bike Racing Bicycle

Merax Finiss Aluminum 21 Speed 700C Road Bike Racing Bicycle is designed with speed in mind. Although it's advertised to be a racing bicycle, it's not that speedy. However, it can still take you from one place to another pretty fast. It’s easy to tell why – it has a 6061 aluminum frame, as well as an aluminum kickstand. Altogether, the bike weighs 28 pounds – way lighter than its competition. It doesn't mean the manufacturer has sacrificed its performance though. Despite the lightweight profile of aluminum, the design is sturdy and stable. Brakes, rims and the seat post are also made of aluminum.

Merax has relied on Shimano for the controlling parts of its bike. You have a Shimano derailleur, as well as a Shimano shifter. While some manufacturers choose to use parts from different companies, using the same one ensures a perfect compatibility. Therefore, shifting is smooth and reliable. The front wheel has a quick release feature, so it's easy to install or remove for transportation or storage.

At a first glance, wheels seem to be a bit too large for the actual frame, but they blend in perfectly in terms of performance. All in all, just like most bikes, this one will not come assembled, so you'll have to do that yourself. Tuning is more sophisticated and will require professional help.


  • Extremely lightweight, yet sturdy
  • Can reach high speeds
  • Multiple Shimano parts
  • Good looking
  • Multipurpose – recreational riding or commutes


  • The seat is not too comfortable
  • Requires regreasing before the first use


Vilano Shadow 2.0 Road Bike - Shimano STI Integrated Shifters

Vilano certainly doesn't disappoint in terms of road bikes. If you're looking for quality best road bikes under 500, search no more. Vilano Shadow 2.0 Road Bike - Shimano STI Integrated Shifters has everything you might require from such a model. First, it's extremely lightweight. At times, road bikes will ride at high speeds, so they require a lightweight construction. This one is made of 6061 double butted aluminum and has an integrated headset. It also brings in internal cable routing for a more aerated design. Second, rims are made of CNC alloy though, yet they're not heavy. They're also double walled. Overall, the bike barely weighs 32 pounds.

The shifters and derailleurs carry the Shimano standards. As for the brakes, you can count on a dual pivot alloy caliper. Brakes are strong and guarantee for full control while stopping. Although this isn't a mountain bike, breaking surely makes it feel like one. The bike has 14 speeds – quite enough regardless of how hilly your area is. Chances are you'll only use a few of them anyway, so it's pointless to spend more money on a bike with a million speeds.

Choosing the right size is important for both comfort and security. Vilano sells this model in three different sizes – 49cm, 53cm and 57cm.


  • Lightweight and fast
  • Available in more sizes
  • Good control while braking
  • Easy to assemble
  • Good value for price


  • Gear shifting could be smoother
  • The seat could use more cushioning


Schwinn Men's Phocus 1400 700C Drop Bar Road Bicycle, Black, 18-Inch

Whenever you look for best cheap road bikes, a Schwinn model will inevitably come into play. Schwinn is one of the top manufacturers out there. Abracadabra, you're on a good looking bike and feeling good about it! That's how it works. Schwinn Men's Phocus 1400 700C Drop Bar Road Bicycle, Black, 18-Inch makes no exception either. This bike will take you outside and make you enjoy having the wind in the face, whether you use it to commute to work or just hang around the countryside on weekends. It's loaded with just the right features and no bells and whistles.

The aluminum road frame allows fast speeds and keeps the weight of this bike under 40 pounds. The alloy rims are paired with spokes and quite strong for a road bike. The front wheel has a quick release feature for easy storage and transportation. The breaking power is critical in a road bike, especially at high speeds. This unit has alloy caliper road brakes that keep you in control regardless of the situation. Brakes work perfectly under all weather conditions.

The A050 shifters and rear derailleur come from Shimano. The bike has 14 speeds, so it can tackle most roads, including hills. It doesn't come assembled, so you'll have to spend about an hour doing it. As for tuning, go to a mechanic.


  • Good appearance
  • Can reach high speeds
  • Sturdy brakes
  • Stable at high speeds
  • 14 speeds


  • Fitting a light implies retaping the bars or buying a new mount
  • Pedal cups are hard to remove if needed


HASA R4 Road Bike Shimano 2400 24 Speed

HASA may not be among the most popular road bike manufacturers in the world, but its products keep gaining notoriety. HASA R4 Road Bike Shimano 2400 24 Speed is currently one of the best option. It's simple and doesn't come with any fancy features. Instead, it takes basic features and boosts them to a new level. For instance, while most road bikes come with less than 15 speeds, this one boosts 24 speeds. Customizing your riding experience has never been easier. Whether you go up or down a hill, you'll find the perfect speed for optimal performance.

The weight is yet another major consideration. This unit weighs just above 21 pounds. It comes with an ultralight aluminum alloy frame – 6061. The same goes for its fork. Believe it or not, the frame has a lifetime warranty. The bike has Shimano ST-2400 shifters, so changing gears is a breeze. Brake levers come from the same manufacturer.

In terms of appearance, the R4 model from HASA doesn't stand up in the crowd. It's basic and entirely focused on the riding experience. Extra features might have to be purchased separately if needed. The bike is 95% assembled. You'll have to put in the front wheel, stem, pedals and seat post. To tune it, you'll have to see someone with experience.


  • Extremely lightweight and comfortable
  • 24 speeds for convenience
  • Available in six different sizes
  • Convenient brake levers
  • Tight construction, no play


  • Changing gears feels clumsy until you get used to them
  • The seat must be changed if you ride more than 10 miles at a time


Windsor Wellington 2.0 Bike Aluminum 21 Speed Shimano

Windsor Wellington 2.0 Aluminum 21 Speed Shimano Equipped Road Bike (Black, 56cm)
23 Reviews
Windsor Wellington 2.0 Aluminum 21 Speed Shimano Equipped Road Bike (Black, 56cm)
  • Aluminum Frame
  • Comfort Saddle
  • Bar Top Shifters
  • Lightweight and Durable Wheels

When it comes to choosing the best road bikes for beginners then 'Windsor Wellington 2.0' will be a smart choice for you. Road bikes are comfortable to ride if they are light in weight, and Windsor Wellington 2.0 road bikes weigh just 24lbs, which certainly is the lightest in its price range. Even though the bike is lightweight; no compromise is made in its sturdiness as it is equipped with a 6061 double butted aluminum frame.

It is available in various size options ranging from 47cm to 62cm, which makes it an ideal bike for users with different heights comprising of 5 feet to 6.4 feet. It also features a well-fitting padded saddle that takes care of the rider’s comfort while its durable wheels are meant for heavy duty biking. It has a dual pivot aluminum brakes and triple aluminum crank set, which will make your rides hassle free. The bike is ideal for daily usage as well as for trekking. The 21 speed system makes it one of the best entry level road bikes that are available in the markets.


  • Extremely cheap and affordable
  • Lightweight and sturdy
  • Performance and balance at the same time
  • Equipped with dual SHIMANO derailleur


  • Requires partial assembly and professional tuning


Mercier Galaxy SC1 Bike with Shimano Shifting

Aluminum Road Bike Galaxy SC1 Commuter Bike/Racer by Cycles Mercier
20 Reviews
Aluminum Road Bike Galaxy SC1 Commuter Bike/Racer by Cycles Mercier
  • Lightweight, Durable, Aluminum Frames with Comfy Upright Riding Position
  • Comfort Padded Saddles, Strong Side Caliper Brakes
  • Smooth Shifting Shimano Shifters, Easy Reach Stem Mounted
  • Lightweight, Durable Aluminum Rim Wheels

Another road bike that falls under the beginners bike category is the Galaxy SC1 bike by Mercier. The bike is available in various frame sizes, which can be selected on the basis of the height of the rider. The options are ranging from 42cm to 58cm, which are suitable for riders of 4 feet 11 inch to 6 feet 3 inches. It is equipped with tons of amazing features, which makes it one of the best road bikes under 500.

The bike comprises of a durable and strong aluminum frame and ergonomic saddle that are designed to provide the rider with comfortable upright riding position. It is extremely easy to maintain this bike, as it has stem-mounted Shimano shifters and multiple ranges of gears, which are connected to double crank set.

It is also equipped with side caliper brake and strong aluminum rim wheels, which provides maximum control while riding. The bike comprises of Kenda K 152 tires, which are strong, lightweight, and designed to provide a swift ride on all kinds of roads. The bike will be great choice for any beginner rider due to its ergonomic features while the professionals will also find it useful due to its durability and multi-gear system.


  • It consists of 14 speed with Shimano stem shifters
  • Adjustable seat post option for optimum rider comfort
  • Ergonomic seats and handlebars
  • Shimano derailleur and crank sets
  • CRMO Fork with easy release system


  • Requires professional tuning


Bavel Commuter Road Bike Shimano 21 Speed 700c

Another recommendation for the road bikes under 500 is the Bavel Commuter bike as it consists of a varied range of features. It weighs 27.5 lbs only and is equipped with a sturdy aluminum frame; thereby providing the rider with a combination of speed and strength at the same time. It also features quick release front and rear wheels along with a crank set, which is designed by Prowheel.

The bike is available in sizes ranging from 48cm to 58cm for riders of height comprising of 5 feet to 6 feet 3 inches. All Bavel Commuter bikes are presented to the riders after a 500 meter ride test, which will provide you an assurance of their quality. The frame is welded with down-hand welding procedure for creating a perfect joint between the fork and aluminum frame.

Shimano front and rear derailleur, Shimano shifters, and disk brakes provides optimum comfort and greater handling while riding. It arrives with a simple installation tool kit for all DIY riders who want to assemble their bike on their own. The wheel rims are made of 6061 aluminum, which are designed to provide optimum comfort and long-term performance to the riders. The best feature of this bike is that it is comparatively cheaper compared to other bikes with similar features, which also makes it the best entry level road bike.


  • Has 21 speed settings
  • Light steel spokes and wheel rims
  • Shimano Shifters for easy shifting of gears
  • High Carbon steel seat post


  • None



As a short final conclusion, there are quite a few solid choices when browsing best road bikes under 500. Top players dominate the market, so it's no surprise to see that Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike Shimano 21 Speed 700c is among the best rated units out there. However, newbies might choose to start with less reputable brands that can implement the same kind of experience, but without the bells and whistles. That's when HASA R4-R5 Road Bike Shimano 2400 24 Speed becomes a top choice.

Still can't decide? Read our best road bikes under 1000 article, maybe you'll find some extra budget.


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