Buyers Guide for the Best Road Bikes

So you have decided to buy a bike and in need of buying a road bike. For many the following questions, “What road bike is right for me” keeps popping up in your mind and can be challenging. Our buyer guide for the best road bikes designed to guide you during the process of buying a suitable road bike to make cycling a pleasurable one.

When you are buying a road bike, the assortment of bike brands, components, and material options can be confusing. We are here to guide you with your choices to help you find the right road bike. Many different road bikes can cost you up to $6,000; however, there is no need for you to spend that much.

Over the last, couples of year’s entry-level bikes have improved with advanced technology making them more affordable for you to buy.

The first thing that you need to decide is how much you are willing to spend as a decent bike can start from about $150 – the more you spend the better specified and lighter the road bike will be.

With your budget in mind, it is time to do your research as your bicycle is an investment and you need some time to do your research.

When it comes to choosing the best road bikes, it comes down to style, efficiency, and speed. They have constricted tires and larger 700c wheels with drop handlebars. Here you will find a wide range of many different road bikes that are faster and lighter than other bike designs, making them the perfect choice for a variety of cycling activities.

​WHAT MATERIALS USED TO MAKE THE BEST ROAD BIKES

The frame of your road bike is the heart of the bike and this is where the most money is spent. Frames are constructed from a wide range of different materials and the most common ones are steel, carbon fiber, titanium, and aluminum. Many frames are made up from certain materials and have common features, although, the designs just as important as the material used in the frame.​

Carbon Fiber

This is a very stiff and lightweight material and a non-metal. This provides you with huge design advantages. They are normally designed into aerodynamic shapes while fine-tuned to increase strength and stiffness. Carbon fiber constructed frames are not all equal and you do find differences in the cheap to more costly frames. This all depends on the manufacturer uses the material and other important factors that make a difference to the quality of the frame. Designers create a particular balance of properties in the frame from being lightweight, comfortable and stiffness easily manipulating this material.

Steel

This material has been the dominant material for years until the 1980s and still an excellent material used in some of the best road bikes when in the hands of an excellent designer. This material is found in most custom bikes, especially those designed for touring, as the weight is less important. Steel is heavier than aluminum, however, still comfortable when used. This material provides durability, comfort, and strength and easy to fix.

Aluminum

Aluminum is one of the most common materials used in frames. It is more affordable as the material is extremely stiff and lightweight, providing a strong frame. When aluminums used, it provides superb stiffness to the frame with a great power transfer. Moreover, the latest designs offer some great advanced features. Quality aluminum frames are made of butted tubes as the wall thickness varies along the length and makes them lighter and more comfortable.

Titanium

This exotic material can be as light as a steel and aluminum frame. This is a very light material-offering cyclist with a smooth ride. It is a durable material and corrosion resistant, however, difficult to work with and very expensive. However, has become more affordable lately.

If you have a choice between buying a carbon fiber frame, and another with aluminum frame, do not dismiss the aluminum option. Some road bikes designed with aluminum frames consist of higher-grade wheels and components that you may not find on a carbon bike for a similar price while contributing to a lower weight. This may provide you with a more comfortable ride.

​How to Choose the Right Size Bike

Choosing the right size of your road bikes critical and prevent choosing a bike that is too small making you feel cramped up or too large as you cannot reach the handlebars just because you can get a bargain. The height and dimensions need to be right if you want to use your road bike every day.

Road bike sizes are normally in centimeters and can vary between manufacturers. Some may offer three sizes while others offer 10 different sizes with smaller increments between them. The best thing for you to do is to have a look at the available size chart, or preferably swing your legs over one at your local bike shop.

You need to be able to stand comfortably over the frame leaving you with some room between you and the top tube.

Making Your Road Bike Comfortable to Suite Your Needs

Bike services have become more popular these days and most bike shops provide you with some expert advice making your road bike the best road bike accustomed to your needs. You can change several parts from the fore-after position of the saddle to adjust easily to height. The handlebars can be lowered or raised with spaces and stems are changed for you to reach your handlebars easily.

Components for your Road Bike

Components are assembled into various groups from collection gear parts to brakes matched to design, quality, and functionality. You will find three major manufacturers and they are SRAM, Shimano, and Campagnolo – where Shimano is more popular in the entry-lever bikes.

Choosing compact, triple, or standard Chain Rings

The chain set makes up part of the pedals consist of the chain rings in various sizes. In most entry-level bikes, you normally find a compact double chain set with a 50 and 34-tooth chain ring, providing low ratios made for getting up hills a little easier.

While racing cyclists prefer using the standard double chain set that is larger and usually 39/53 and best suited for high speeds.

You can find triple chain sets in road bikes, however, they are replaced components offering you with the same spread of gears but lighter and easier to use. These chain sets are great for steep hills.

Wheels Do Make a Difference

A very important factor is the wheels of a road bike. Lighter wheels provide you with faster riding, have less rotating mass, and are more responsive. The wheels on the bike should be decent and a high priority on your list when buying the best road bikes. Some components on the wheels can be replaced like the rear derailleur that does wear out with time.

​WHAT TYPE OF RIDING CAN YOU DO ON A ROAD BIKE

Road Race Bikes: The road race bike has a geometric design that is efficient for the road and feels unusual compared to the mountain or commuter bike. These bikes tend to be aerodynamic and light with a combination of the two put together.

Time Trial Bikes or the Triathlon Bike: These popular best road bikes are built with speed and weighs slightly more than your normal road bike as the cyclist’s positions optimized to be able to slice through the air.

Touring Bikes: These bikes are similar to your normal road bike with a more relaxed geometry design and made for long distance cycling with a comfortable seat. They are designed to add panniers and mudguards.

Advantages of Using a Road Bike

The road bikes designed for riders who need to log fast and serious mileage and prefers commuting to work as it is lightweight, has skinny tires, drop handlebars and a narrow seat. Road bikes offer you with some great advantages when used and include some of the following:

Commuting To Work Will Get You There Faster

Traveling to work and back on your road bike will get you there faster as more people are using their cars to get to work. Moreover, while you are commuting with your road bike will make you healthier and provide you with a great night’s sleep.

Stay Young

Recent studies done at Stanford University have found that cycling helps to increase circulation in your skin as it provides oxygen and nutrients to your skin cells more effectively as it flushes out harmful toxins. Another important advantage of cycling with a road bike helps to improve brainpower as it helps to build new brain cells.

Road Bikes Are Environmental Friendly

One thing of the best road bikes you can park up to 20 bicycles in one car parking space and produces zero pollution. They are efficient and you can travel three times faster than walking or traveling by car, saving you fuel costs while being active and healthy.

Provides Great Weight Loss

Are you feeling a bit overweight? Well, cycling with your road bike will help you to lose some kilos in the right place and helps to burn fat while you strike your foot on that peddle. Instead of running start cycling and lose weight while you are in the saddle.

​ROAD BIKE REVIEWS

​Listed here you can find our selected road bike reviews that are some of the best available road bikes at affordable priced directly from Amazon:

1. ALUMINUM ROAD BIKE COMMUTER BIKE 21 SPEED SHIMANO 700C (Under 300)

If you have a tight budget and looking for an affordable road bike the Aluminum Road Bike Commuter is great for riding to work and enjoying weekend afternoon rides. If you want to upgrade the racing, machine with time these are the best road bikes to customize and may be ideal for you.

​Designed economically built with lightweight 6061 aluminum frame and the best characteristic of this bike is the Shimano A050 thumb shifter & dual brake levers. These shifters are a benefit to you permitting you to change gears with your hands on the provided handlebars. While the upgraded brakes provide stopping power and the additional third chainring on the front makes hill climbing easier.

​For your convenience, it has mounting positions on the framework to add a rack and you receive free pedals included.

​Superb Features

​Only weighs 26 pounds and constructed with a 6061 double-butted lightweight aluminum frame

  • It has 700c double walled CNC machined side wheels
  • Consists of a Shimano A050 thumb rear indexed 7-speed shifter and front friction 3 speed shifter
  • 21 speed transmission
  • Dual brake levers
  • Alloy caliper brakes
  • Includes free pedals
  • Available in black, blue or white
  • Different sizes: 50cm, 54cm, and 58cm

Customer Feedback

Amazon has some road bike reviews when it comes to this commuting bike and average between good and some not as pleased with the road bike. Most users knew that the bike is on the cheaper side and did not expect excellent components in this price range. Where other customers were not that pleased with the quality of the parts, however, did find some of the features great and as follows:

PROS

  • The bike has a sturdy frame and worth the price
  • Perfect for people who are entering the cycle world and a great entry-level bike
  • Great choice of colors
  • Great for beginners to learn about bike upgrades as this road bike provides them with the opportunity of adding their own upgraded parts to suit their needs

CONS

  • Parts are on the cheap side, but one cannot expect high quality parts in this price range

This affordable high-end road bike provides you with upgrade opportunities over time. However, if you are looking for an enhanced bike and do not want to spend extra on your budget in doing upgrades, please feel free to read on for some of the best road bikes available here.

2. GMC DENALI ROAD BIKE (Under 300)

For every day commuting the GMC Denali road bike serves the purpose and available in different models to choose. These best road bikes provides you with not only speed, but designed for long distance riding as well. Achieve wind resistance with the drop bars making it aerodynamic and choose from the variety of gears for ease of cycling.

Made with durable aluminum material the frame is lightweight while the gear shifting mechanism operates easily providing you with a smooth ride. The bike needs assembling by the buyer and you receive an easy to read manual to help you with this. If you are a city commuter and enjoy leisure, rides or an avid cyclist this road bike is for you.

Quality Features

  • Consist of alloy calipers and brake levers
  • Made with 21 speed Shimano derailleur and lightweight aluminum frame
  • Vitesse racing high-profile alloy rims
  • Stainless steel spoke and 700c hi-performance tires
  • Shimano shifters
  • Includes an alloy crank and water bottle cage
  • Dual pivot brake system and Revo Drivetrain 19 speed Microshift integrated shift/brake levers
  • Different sizes: 50cm, 54cm, and 58cm
  • Available in five different color designs; black/green, red, black/pink, black/silver and gold

Customer Comments

For some great road bike reviews, several customers have provided some great remarks on Amazon. Many are pleased with the bike and great for beginners who are starting out with cycling or in need of commuting to work and back. While others had not been so pleased with this speed machine and not pleased with the saddle as it is uncomfortable while the handles felt very awkward. Many suggest that the most of the people, who had complained, never went to their local bike shop to test drive it and to make sure that they are completely comfortable with it while used.

PROS

  • Great for the beginner
  • Excellent bike for commuting to work
  • Assembling the bike is straightforward
  • Provides you with an opportunity to upgrade at a later stage
  • Affordable

CONS

  • Saddle feels uncomfortable
  • Handlebars are very awkward

The GMC is a great entry-level bike for day-to-day commuting and enjoying fun rides over weekends to keep you healthy and fit. It is a great bike to buy if you have a tight budget and can upgrade the parts at a later stage when you can afford it.

3. VILANO ALUMINUM ROAD BIKE 21 SPEED SHIMANO (Under 500)

For the beginner the Vilano Aluminum road bike 21 speed Shimano is perfect. It is affordable and presently one of the top sellers online. The road bikes designed with a lightweight frame, making it easier to maneuver and a great advantage for you. It has comfortable seating when in need of making long trips.

Not only are these best road bikes light it provides you with a Threadless 700C 1 ⅛ inch fork with a 21 speed thumb shifter. Therefore, whether you are planning to commute to work and back or in need of getting back to exercising this road bike is high on the list providing you with some great features.

Excellent Features

  • Made with double-butted aluminum alloy frame and a 700C 1 ⅛ inch Threadless fork for easy assembling
  • Shimano front and rear derailleur support the 21-speed Shimano A050 shifters
  • 700c CNC alloy machined side wheels and 700c x 25c tires
  • Comfortable padded seat and alloy handlebars
  • Gearshifts are located at the center of the handlebar horizontal column, making access easy and a significant plus for safety as there is no need of taking your eyes off the road
  • Free pedals included
  • Three colors to choose; black, white, and gray
  • Three different sizes 50cm, 54cm and 58cm

Customer Feedback

When it comes to road bike reviews the Vilano Speed Shimano has received remarkable ratings. Customers are pleased when they receive the bike out of the box and place it together, although; do suggest taking it to a local bike shop to have some slight adjustments done. The bike is affordable and goes for miles without any hiccups. While other customers have minor complaints about the seat, that is a bit uncomfortable and the brakes that are on the hard side to use.

PROS

  • The road bikes easy to assemble
  • The bikes lightweight
  • The speed picks up fast when in the right gear shift
  • The bike’s great when riding on steep inclines
  • Changing the tire is easy as it has a quick release mechanism

CONS

  • Brakes are a little hard to use compared to other road bikes
  • The seat is on the narrow side

The Speed Shimano is affordable and great for both amateurs and professional cyclists in need of commuting, exercise, and training. Moreover, it has a lifetime warranty that is great for free tune-ups and provides you with a quality ride.

4. MERAX 21 SPEED 700C ALUMINUM ROAD BIKE RACING BICYCLE (Under 300)

For a perfect combination in the best road bikes available, the Merax 21 Speed 700c aluminum road/racing bike provides you comfort of two worlds in one. It is lightweight and stylish at the same time with its aluminum frame, Shimano parts, and 21-speed at a low price. Included you receive 700c wheels with a quick-release front wheel and has some superb features.

For ease of use, the Shimano thumb shifter makes for a smooth and quick gear change while the alloy brakes provide superb stopping power. For commuting this road bike is great and when you are in need of racing the 21-speed works great for hill climbing and flat riding.

Outstanding Features

  • Available in three different sizes; 50cm, 54cm, and 58cm
  • Choose from two different colors; black/red and black/green
  • Full aluminum frame
  • Thread less 700c steel forks
  • 700c high-performance road bike wheels, a front quick-release wheel, aluminum A5 700c rims, and Kenda 7 x 28c tires
  • Shimano front and rear derailleur with Shimano shifters
  • Alloy caliper, and handlebars
  • Included aluminum bottle cage
  • Comfortable padded seat

Customer Feedback

When it comes to Merax, road bike reviews customers are pleased with the bike and it has received some excellent bike ratings on Amazon. Most customers are pleased with the price and that it provides you with an opportunity of upgrading parts. Another, great remark is that it is easy to assemble and great for long distance riding. Some minor complaints from customers are the brakes and they replaced it with brakes that are more expensive. While others complained that the wrench for installing the seat was not included, however, they had some bike wrenches available to solve the problem.

PROS

  • Great road bike for beginners
  • Easy to assemble
  • Bike rides smooth and very light and comfortable
  • Great when riding uphill with no problems
  • The seat is comfortable to sit on
  • Great for long distance travelling

CONS

  • Original brakes are a waste, most customers installed more expensive brakes
  • No wrench for installing the seat
  • No kickstand as one customer expected that this a standard feature

The Merax is an affordable road bike if you have a tight budget and presents you with upgrade opportunities at a later stage. It is a great entry-level bike for commuting to work, racing up hills, to use for keeping healthy and fit, and great for weekend afternoon rides.

5. SCHWINN MEN’S PHOCUS 1400 700C DROP BAR ROAD BICYCLE (Under 500)

If you are looking for comfort, speed, and affordability the Schwinn Men’s Phocus road bike is perfect for commuting to work and enjoying some weekend afternoon rides. The saddle comes with a quick release, making height adjustments easier. You can use this multi-purpose bike for racing as well as it provides you with speed.

It has a 14-speed transmission and some of the features include a front and rear Shimano derailleur. While the A050 shifters provide for a smooth and quick, gear shifting abilities and great for climbing hills. While the alloy caliper brakes provide superb stopping power. It has high-profile rims and paired spokes providing you with an easy wheel set-up.

Great Features

  • Aluminum frame with a rigid fork for quick, supple riding
  • 14-speed, rear derailleur, Shimano A050 shifters
  • SR Suntour alloy crank set offering you with a wide gear range
  • High-profile alloy rims and alloy caliper brakes for superb braking power
  • Only weighs 39.8 lbs
  • Saddle with quick release for easy height adjustment

Customer Feedback

When it comes to road bike reviews, customers are pleased with the Schwinn Phocus road bike as being comfortable and provide no problems riding up to 300 miles with ease. Many customers are pleased with the affordable price, style, good handling, and an amazing bike. While others complained that the 14 speeds downsized and the brakes is not that great and they upgraded it with brakes that are more expensive.

PROS

  • Comfortable bike to ride to work, for exercising, and relaxed riding
  • Lightweight making for faster riding and easier to transport
  • Affordable price
  • The design styles, superb
  • Provides great handling
  • Ready to use

CONS

  • Alteration to the gears are a bit on the difficult side and best to take the road bike to a bike shop for fine tuning
  • Some advised that the bike is still a bit on the heavy side

For the beginner the Schwinn Phocus is a great affordable entry-level road bike. Enjoy rides to work, up hills, exercising or just for a weekend afternoon ride. It provides you with great handling and a great starter bike when learning how to use gears while controlling speed.

HOW TO BUY THE BEST ROAD BIKES

​When you pay a bike shop a visit or start looking around online, you may feel overwhelmed by the selection. There are some of the best road bikes available and you do not know where to start. We want to help you in finding the perfect road bike advising you, which bike to look for and how to get the best deal when you shop for your bike.

First Step: You have decided that you want a road bike and can look at the following:

  • You need the best road bikes for riding smoothly and have light frames with slimmer tires. These bikes are designed for commuting to work and riding for fun, as they do not have suspension systems that are able to handle the shock from harsh roads. This bike you normally cycle in a bent position as the handlebars are dropped.
  • Alternatively, you can pick a hybrid bike that will provide you with flexibility of riding your bike around the neighborhood and in need of riding in an upright position. Some of these bikes have double walled rims and some offer you with road riding.
  • Decide on your skill level, are you a beginner or advanced cyclist and choose according to your current skill.
  • Work according to your budget and try to find a bike that is within your budget range – we recommend you buy a bike during the winter month as most retailers lower their price during the winter season.
  • When choosing a bike compare components and frames and need to look for a good frame as components can be upgraded at a later stage.

Second Step: Testing the road bike:

Before, deciding to buy the best road bikes from an online retailer we suggest that you pay a bike shop a visit and test the bikes that you have seen available online before making your purchase.

  • Sit on the road bike and check your body form. Are you comfortable or too stretched out – are the controls easy to use and in reach and what is your overall impression.
  • Take note of the distance between the seat & handles and the distance from the seat to the bottom of the pedal.
  • Is the frame size fixed and try different options to find the best for you.
  • Check the road bikes tires, as a slimmer tire is best for quick riding, while a slicker thread is great for city riding that has smoother surfaces. Look for built in flat protection in tires, as this is more convenient and safer.
  • Test drive the bike as the road bike may look great, but it does not mean that you are going to have a comfortable ride and if it does not feel good or respond well with your body in a proper way rather look for a different one.
  • Your body should feel comfortable while riding and your knee should bend slightly at the bottom of the pedal – you need to be able to reach the brakes with ease and should not feel cramped on a flat surface.
  • Make sure the handles turn smoothly and that you can sit or stand while on a hill.

Third Step: Buying your new bike in person:

  • Pay your local bike shop a visit and have a look at the different types of road bikes they sell and the ones that you have researched.
  • Pay attention to salespeople that steer you to a bike that is way out of your budget line, however, listen to suggestions. If they steer you to a different frame style that you have researched ask them why that one is better.
  • Ask them about service plans as some bike shops offer a free year tune-up along with your purchase.
  • Negotiate the price with the salesperson if you found that the price is cheaper from an online retailer and show them the price to find out if they will be able to match the price. If they offer you a lower price or a service plan, you have a first-class deal.

Step Four: Buying the best road bikes online:

  • Decide which bicycle you want to buy as you can shop online 24/7 and will most likely find some great competitive prices.
  • Look for online retailers in your area or if the bike you are buying has a store in your area before making your purchase. This helps if you want to test-drive the bike.
  • If you want to buy your road bike online, you can have a look at the following online stores, Amazon, Craigslist, and eBay all depending if you are in need of buying a new or secondhand bike.
  • Now it is time to order your buy or pick it up – if you have ordered it online and your bikes delivered in pieces, take it to your local bike shop, and pay someone to help you assemble it for safety purposes.
  • Test drives the bike and if you find that you do not like it disassemble it and ship it back to them.

F.A.Q

For what purpose is, the best road bikes suited.

Why is road bikes constructed with drop bars?

Why are they designed with narrow seats?

Why do road bikes come out with narrow tires?

How do I decide what size of road bikes is suitable for me?

PRO TIPS

  • To avoid fatigue and muscle soreness when you start riding your bike never hunch your shoulders and rather tilt your head every couple of minutes to prevent tight neck muscles – stop and enjoy the scenery.
  • Always keep your shoulders behind the front of your road bike’s wheel axle, as this prevents the rear wheel from lifting up in the air.
  • Change your hand position periodically, grasp the drops for high-speed riding, and for relaxed cruising, use the brake lever hoods.
  • Always make sure that your handlebar width equals your shoulder width.
  • When commuting to work stay far enough in traffic lanes, avoiding doors being opened in parked cars striking you off your bike.
  • Always remember that on descents your road bike is more stable when you are pedaling than when you are coasting.

CONCLUSION

Now that you have, an idea on what makes the best road bikes, the type of road machine best for you the fun part begins, and that are buying your bike. Always remember to buy once, as this will be less expensive than buying wheels, components, and the frame than upgrading later. Make sure that your bike is a proper fit and be wary of deals that sound too good to be true. Remember to pick out the features mentioned in our Buyers Guide for the Best Road Bikes and choose those that best meet your needs and be prepared to spend a little extra on important accessories like your bike helmet, water bottle etc. Happy biking and do not forget to take a look at our product reviews on some the best road bikes available here!

THANKS FOR READING OUR BUYERS GUIDE. WE LOOK FORWARD TO HELP YOU PICK THE BEST ROAD BIKE!


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