best road bikes under $500

13 Best road bikes under $500 (Tried & Tested In 2022)

Looking for the best road bikes under $500? Trying to find it under $500 is not easy. 

There are so many options to choose from and you have to decide what specs meet your demands for a bike. And if you’re on a budget, it’s even harder. 

I have picked out the 13 best road bikes under $500 and listed the specs and pros and cons for each bike to make your decision easier. 

best road bikes under $500
Photo Credit: Unsplash, Tomi Vadasz

Also, my run-through of what a road bike is should help you choose a bike with the specs to fit how you plan to use your new bike.

My favorite is the Vilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Road Bike because the specs are better than those on most bikes in this price segment. 

best road bikes under $500

The bike has:

  • an aluminum lightweight frame
  • 24 speeds
  • disc brakes 
  • it is good for touring, commuting, exercising, and simply just getting around – 
  • and the tires are good for paved surfaces as well as gravel and rough terrain.

Disclaimer:

The links on this page may be affiliate links, from which I earn a small commission if you click on them, at no extra cost to you. I hope you find the information useful. Thank you.

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13 Best Road Bikes Under $500

1. Vilano Diverse 3.0 Performance Hybrid Road Bike

best road bikes under $500

A popular bike that comes in 3 sizes to fit your size and preferences. The Vilano Diverse 3.0 bike has flat handlebars giving you a comfortable upright riding position, recommended for commuting through traffic.

Gears: 24

Frame material: Aluminum

Weight: 12 kg.

Handlebars: Flat

Tires: 700c x 35c

Brakes: Disc brakes

Pros:

  • The mechanical disc brakes make the bike easier and safer to brake than rim brakes, even in wet conditions
  • Pedals are included in the package
  • Thumb shifter for an easy and seamless gear shift 
  • The 35mm tires allow riding on varied surfaces

Cons:

  • Tools for the assembly of the bike are not included, and it is recommended to bring it to a local shop for a check before riding it. This gives you extra costs before even riding the bike
  • If you are looking for an affordable road bike under $500 mainly for paved roads, try finding one with narrower tires for less road resistance

2. Hiland Daring Aluminum Road Bike

best road bikes under $500

The Shimano 21-speed shifter/brake lever on this bike gives you smooth and quick gear changes and convenient driving.

Gears: 21

Frame material: Aluminum

Weight: 12,5 kg

Handlebars: Drop

Tires: 700c x 25c

Brakes: Caliper brakes

Pros: 

  • Tools for assembly, pedals, and lock are included in the package
  • There are good videos online to help you assemble the bike
  • The bike has a limited lifetime warranty

Cons:

  • Professional help to adjust gear and brakes is recommended.

This Hiland Daring Road bike with 21 gears, an aluminum frame, and internal wires is a good choice for road trips and commuting on paved surfaces.

3. 6KU Track Fixed Gear

best road bikes under $500

This is a popular bike with a flip-flop hub, meaning you have the option to ride it with a fixed gear or freewheel.

The rear wheel has cogs on both sides so it is up to you how to turn it, depending on whether you want a fixed gear or freewheel.

The stylish 6KU Track bike with a matt look is highly recommended as a commuter bike, preferably in a flat area. 

Gears: 1

Frame material: Aluminum

Weight: 9,5 kg

Handlebars: Flat

Tires: 700c x 25c

Brakes: Caliper brakes

Pros:

  • Lightweight aluminum frame for riding with less weight and for carrying your bike with you when needed
  • Video for assembly is available on youtube.
  • The tools needed for assembling the bike are included 
How to Build – 6KU URBAN TRACK BIKE

Cons:

  • No eyelids for a pannier rack, which would have been convenient on a commuter bike
  • Not everybody finds the included seat comfortable, and I would probably get this comfortable-looking bike seat
best road bikes under $500

This bike is one of the best road bikes under $500 with a single gear. It is very light and easy to maintain.

4. Trinx Tempo1.0

best road bikes under $500

This is a great lightweight road bike with drop handlebars, weighing only 11.3 kg which is in the low end among lightweight road bikes under 500. 

The light weight of the bike makes it a great commuter bike for the city streets, as you can easily carry it up a flight of stairs. 

Gears: 21

Frame material: Aluminum

Weight: 11,3 kg

Handlebars: Drop

Tires: 700c x 25c

Pros: 

  • Finding a $500 road bike with a weight of around 11 kg is not easy, so this is a good option with only 11.3 kg.
  • The cool colors of the frame and the tires stand out and give attention in traffic.
  • The bike has a steel fork which is more elastic than aluminum (but heavier) giving a more comfortable ride.

Cons:

  • The external cabling is not for everyone, as the cables are more exposed and I personally find that internal cabling gives the bike a “cleaner” look

The Trinx Tempo1.0 is a really good beginner road bike under $500 if you want a light road bike with narrow tires for paved surfaces and with drop handlebars.

5. Vilano Shadow 3.0

best road bikes under $500

This road bike is a good entry-level bike under 500 where you get integrated shifters that offer controllable shifting and braking in one unit.

The internal cabling gives the bike a clean look and keeps the cables protected by the frame.

Gears: 14

Frame material: Aluminum

Weight: 13,4 kg

Handlebars: Drop

Tires: 700c x 25c

Pros: 

  • Internal cable routing for a clean look and for protecting the cables
  • Integrated shifters for smooth shifting
  • Pedals and lock are included
  • Two water bottle mount points

Cons:

  • Specialized tools are required for the assembly and they are not included, but this bike tool kit would help you get on the road
  • For some riders, the 14 gears do not give enough range
best road bikes under $500

For a road bike $500 the Vilano Shadow 3.0. with integrated shifters and internal cable routing is a good deal.

best road bikes under $500
Photo credit:picjumbo, Viktor Hanacek

6. Eurobike XC550 

best road bikes under $500

This Eurobike comes with mechanical disc brakes that provide better braking power, especially in wet weather compared to rim brakes.

It is fitted with components from Shimano, which is seen as a leading manufacturer of bike parts.

This is one of the best beginner women’s road bike under $500 as it comes in many sizes starting with a 49 cm frame for people between 152 and 160 cm.

Gears: 21

Frame material: Steel

Weight: 17,5 kg

Handlebars: Drop

Tires: 700c x 28c

Brakes: Disc brakes

Pros: 

  • Mechanical disc brakes that require less power from the rider to brake
  • Pedals and seat are included
  • All tools for the assembly of the bike are included in the package
  • The frame has water bottle mounts

Cons:

  • The frame is made of steel, making the bike heavier than those made of aluminum

If you’re looking for one of the best road bikes under $500 with disc brakes this could be the one.

The XC550 also comes in a modern-looking version with 3-spoke wheels. It is a bit lighter and the tri-spoke is somewhat more aerodynamic due to the design. 

7. Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike

best road bikes under $500

This is a great commuter bike with thumb shifters for convenience and it’s relatively lightweight for a bike in the 500$ price segment.

Gears: 21

Frame material: Aluminum

Weight: 12,2 kg

Handlebars: Drop

Tires: 700c x 25c

Brakes: Caliper brakes

Pros: 

  • Lightweight caliper brakes (rim brakes) for less weight on the bike
  • Pedals are included in the package

Cons:

  • Tools for the assembly of the bike are not included
  • For commuting a kickstand would be handy but it is not included

The Vilano R2 Commuter road bike is a good entry-level bike under 500 as it has 21 gears and a lightweight aluminum frame.

8. Vilano Tuono T20 Road Bike

Road bike with Shimano thumb shifters for easy speed change and mechanical disc brakes for powerful braking.

Gears: 21

Frame material: Aluminum

Weight: 13,4 kg

Handlebars: Drop

Tires: 700c x 25c

Brakes: Disc brakes

Pros: 

  • The package includes a bell and lock
  • Disc brakes require less power from you and work better in wet conditions than rim brakes
  • It is possible to attach a rear-mounted rack if you want to carry stuff with you

Cons:

  • Tools for the assembly of the bike are not included
  • It is recommended by the factory to take the bike to a bike shop for a safety check before riding

Great beginner road bike under $500 with disc brakes and a lightweight aluminum frame. The Vilano Tuono T200 Road Bike is suited for commuting, exercise, and road trips.

9. Hiland Road Bike 14 Speed 

Great lightweight bike for commuting or exercise. It has an aluminum frame in a sporty design, has 14 Shimano speeds, and comes with caliper brakes, that are lighter than disc brakes.

The Hiland Road bike comes in black or white and in three sizes.

Gears: 14

Frame material: Aluminum

Weight: 12 kg

Handlebars: Drop

Tires: 700 x 25c

Brakes: Double Caliper brakes

Pros: 

  • Toolkit and pedals are included in the package
  • Lightweight

Cons:

  • For some people, the 14 speeds are not enough

This is on of the best entry-level road bikes under $500, being a lightweight bike with Shimano thumb shifters that allow you to change gear while keeping both hands on the handlebar. 

10. YH-XC560 Classic 700c Road Bike

This bike has a slim and elegant steel frame and a nice retro look and comes with Caliper brakes and 21 gears with Shimano components.

Gears: 21

Frame material: Steel

Weight: 14,5 kg

Handlebars: Drop

Tires: 700c x 28c

Brakes: Caliper brakes

Pros: 

  • The package includes a kickstand
  • All tools needed are included in the package
  • With 28c tires, you can also ride on gravel and unpaved roads

Cons:

  • The 28c tires have more contact with the surface than narrower tires, give more resistance when riding, and slow you down, especially on paved roads.
  • The weight is relatively high which means you need more power to ride

If you plan to ride on both paved and unpaved surfaces this YH-XC560 Classic could be the bike for you, as the 28c tires and the 21 speeds allow you to leave the paved roads.

best road bikes under $500
Photo credit: Solé bicycles

11. Solé Bicycle Flip-Flop Hub, The Duke II

A cool bike designed in Venice Beach, CA for riding in the city or to the beach. You choose if you want a fixed gear or single speed, and the bike has front and rear hand brakes.

Gears: 1

Frame material: Steel

Weight: 11,8 kg

Handlebars: Flat

Tires: 700c x 28c

Brakes: Caliper brakes

Pros: 

  • The steel frame is very durable and comfortable for riding
  • The tools for assembling the bike are included

Cons:

  • It is not recommended to use the bike on trails and gravel
  • Narrower tires would give you a bit more speed
  • For a single-speed bike, it is relatively heavy because of the steel frame

The Solé bicycle is a stylish bike, lightweight, and good for commuting in flat areas. It comes in 4 sizes and several cool color combinations.

12. Hiland Hybrid Bike 7 Speeds

This hybrid bike is good for the road and also for gravel and rough terrain. The Shimano gear system operates smoothly and the twist switch makes shifting easy.

Gears: 7

Frame material: Aluminum

Weight: 11,6 kg

Handlebars: Flat

Tires: 700c x 40c

Brakes: Double caliper brakes

Pros: 

  • Bell and lock are included in the packages
  • Comfortable seat with padding

Cons:

  • The 7 speeds could be insufficient if you live in a hilly area
  • If you need the bike for racing, go for a bike with narrower tires and drop handlebars to improve the aerodynamics and your speed

This Hiland Hybrid bike is a great all-around bike and one of the best women’s road bikes under $500. It’s good for commuting, touring, exercise, leisure, and more.

13. Hiland Road Bike Hybrid Bike 

This hybrid bike comes with mechanical disc brakes, Shimano gear components 

Gears: 24

Frame material: Aluminum

Weight: 14,5 kg

Handlebars: Flat

Tires: 700c x 40c

Brakes: Disc brakes

Pros:

  • Installation tools and pedals are included
  • 5-year warranty on the frame

Cons:

  • Some experience rubbing issues with the front brake disc
  • Not the lightest bike on the market in this price segment
best road bikes under $500
Photo credit: Unsplash, Murillo de Paula

What Is A Road Bike?

As the name indicates, a road bike is made to ride primarily on paved surfaces. 

It is lighter than for example mountain bikes and has narrow tires for less resistance on the road, which gives you more speed with less power.

1. Frame

The frame of road bikes is usually steel, carbon fiber, aluminum, or titanium. When you are looking at the best $500 road bikes the most commonly used material is aluminum or steel, where aluminum is the lighter option, but somewhat stiffer than steel.

2. Brakes

Brakes on road bikes are rim brakes or disc brakes (mechanical or hydraulic). The cheaper options are the mechanical disc brakes or rim brakes.

  • Rim brakes (V-brakes or caliper brakes) are cheaper, lighter, and easier to maintain.
  • Disc brakes demand less power from the cyclist and also work well in wet weather.

3. Handlebars

Most road bikes have drop handlebars that give the cyclist three positions when riding; brake hoods, top, and drops.

For people commuting longer distances or through traffic, flat handlebars are a good option, as they give an upright riding position and a better view of the traffic. 

The downside is that it will cost the aerodynamics and slow you down.

4. Wheels / Tires

Road bikes usually have thin tires between 23 and 36 mm. The wheels are usually 700c / 29”

5. Gear

The number of gears on a road bike is found by calculating the number of gears in the rear cassette with the number of cranksets (usually 2 or 3)

Road bikes for 500 dollars or less usually have 7 or 8 gears on the rear cassette, whereas more expensive bikes have 11 or 12 gears.

Types Of Road Bikes

There are several types of road bikes, the most commonly known are:

1. Race bikes

These bikes have a low front end to give an aerodynamic position when riding and are low weight to give you more speed.

2. Endurance bikes

With almost the same low weight as a race bike, the endurance bike is built to give more comfort and has a more upright setup.

3. Gravel bikes

If you don’t plan to ride only on paved roads, a gravel bike is a great option. It allows you to comfortably ride on dirt roads or gravel.

4. Touring bikes

Touring bikes are comfortable, durable bikes built for longer rides, and also carrying luggage.

5. Triathlon / Time trial (TT)

These bikes are primarily built for biking as a sport and not for commuting. They are not the lightest road bikes but are built very aerodynamically for more speed.

best road bikes under $500
Photo credit: Unsplash, Wayne Bishop

How To Choose Your New Road Bike

To find the best 500-dollar road bike for you, first, you have to think about your riding preferences and the bike’s primary purpose; 

  • Do you need a bike for commuting?
  • What kind of terrain will you mostly be driving on?
  • Are you mostly going to drive in flat areas? 
  • How important is the weight of the bike to you?
  • Are you an experienced rider?

If you have to carry your bike up a flight of stairs to your home every day, you should consider a lightweight bike.

Are you mainly driving on paved roads, go for narrow tires as they give you more speed due to less resistance.

Do you need a bike for racing or commuting? A race bike should be lightweight and have more speeds, whereas a bike for commuting could do with one single speed.

If you plan to use the bike for touring and riding in all kinds of terrain, you will need a stable bike, gears, and disc brakes for more braking power.

When you have asked yourself these questions, you can easily decide what kind of bike you need and find the best road bike under $500 for you.

FAQ

What Is The Best Value For Money Road Bike?

The best value for money road bike could be found on this list of the best budget road bikes:

What Is The Best Selling Road Bike?

Some say the best-selling road bike of 2021 is the Specialized Tarmac, followed by Specialized Roubaix,and Trek Emonda

What Is A Good Inexpensive Bike?

The best $500 road bikes on the market are:

How Much Is A Beginner Road Bike?

It is possible to find cheap road bikes at entry-level prices of around $200. The price depends on the specs and quality of the components on the road bike.

Conclusion

Buying a new bike is a big decision – it costs money and we all want value for our hard-earned money and we usually don’t buy a new bike every year, so the bike has to be durable and suit our preferences.

My choice for a new bike is the Vilano Diverse 3.0 because I want the flexibility to drive on the surfaces I please. I can depend on the powerful disc brakes and the 24 speeds will help me up the hills and smoothly through traffic.

So for me, this is the best road bike under $500 and I can’t wait to get rolling.

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