Best Beginner Road Bike Under 500

Best Beginner Road Bike Under 500

by Dustin Pennington - Last Updated: November 23, 2020

If you don’t have time to read the entire article, this is the best beginner road bike under 500 dollars; The Diamondback Insight 2. What makes it rise above the competition? Simply put, it offers riders great control of their movement and comes with high-quality parts.

Beginning a new hobby is never easy. This statement is especially true when it deals with hobbies that are physically strenuous. You know… things like cycling.

But cycling can be even more difficult to get into than other activities. The cost of entry can be (and often is) too burdensome for people. And even if you don’t have an issue with the cost you’ve still got a lot of research to do before making your initial purchase. That’s why today we’re going over the top five road bikes for beginners under 500 dollars.

Best for your Budget: GMC Denali

The Denali name tends to conjure feelings of luxury and excellence, so it’s no wonder it would make our list of best beginner road bike under 500 dollars. But the bike has more to offer than the Denali name.

With this purchase, you’ll be getting a budget bike that is shipped with some top-tier parts, like its Shimano derailleur. This may not mean much to you if you are just being introduced to the cycling world, but I can assure you; Shimano derailleurs are notably better than the competition.

You’ll also enjoy 21 different gear options and Revo shifts that make it easier to switch gears while riding.

If you are a taller rider than you’ll need a frame that comfortably fits your height, that makes the GMC Denali Road Bike a perfect match for you. Plus the frame is about as lightweight as you’ll find in a road bike that is as affordable as this one.

The biggest gripe we have about the GMC Denali road bike is the tire quality. Far too many people have complained that they need to be replaced way too early, and of course, that isn’t something anyone expects with brand new bikes.

Best For Versatility: Schwinn Volare 1400

Schwinn is a fairly reputable company in the cycling world (especially when looking for entry level bikes). Each Schwinn bike comes with a limited lifetime warranty giving you peace of mind when riding.

The frame of the Schwinn Volare 1400 has a rigid aluminum allow material that stands up well to punishment when riding on roads that aren’t as well kept as we might like them to be. And the handlebars with drop bars give you more space for hand placement. This helps you stay more comfortable on longer rides.

Since we’re talking about comfort, the frame of the 1400 Volare  is made to keep the pressure on your hamstrings and calves. This means that rather than pummeling your knees trying to get from point a to point b, you are using the very same muscles that allow you to walk with ease. Meaning you’re arriving at your destination without being exhausted from your travels.

The biggest downfall with this bike is the weight of it. Coming in at 23 pounds, this bike is on the heavier end of road bikes, and you shouldn’t expect to be very fast on this one. Not such a big deal if you’re using it for the daily commutes. But if you want a bike for competition, this definitely doesn’t fit the bill.

There really is only one other issue I have with the bike, and that is shifting gears. In order to downshift, you have to click the handbrakes. Not very convenient if you ask me, and I’m not sure it is something I would ever get used to.

If you are okay with the way downshifting works with this bike, and being on the heavier side of road bikes; this bike is a great fit for you.

Best Flat Bar Road Bike: Diamondback Insight 2 Flat Bar Road Bike

Typically, flat bar road bikes aren’t something that I would recommend. The entire purpose of a road bike is to ride for longer distances, and flat bars don’t offer much room for hand placement. But the Diamondback Insight 2 offers something that very few bikes in the 500 dollar price range give you. That being superb stopping power.

The Insight 2 comes with highly effective disc brakes that give you ultimate control of what your bike does, and when it doesn’t. There is little scarier than having to stop abruptly on a bike that isn’t capable. This bike is, which is why the Diamondback Insight 2 is my favorite entry level recommendation.

You’ll also get the added benefit of a derailleur that, once tuned properly, makes all the difference in the world. The same goes for the Shimano shifters. Shifting gears on this bike is easier than some of the top-of-the-line bikes that cost you more than a grand.

No entry-level bikes are without flaws, and this one is no different. Don’t be surprised to be rushing to the nearest bike shop to find a saddle that fits more comfortably on your rump. As this one is one of the most uncomfortable I’ve seen. Of course, that’s all about user preference, so your experience may be different.

Most Stylish: Bavel Commuter Aluminum Road Bike

If riding in style is your thing, you’ll undoubtedly enjoy the Bavel Commuter road bike. The bike is both for men and women and has two different color options that are sure to suit your style. The white, blue, and purple combo seem to be geared towards women, while the black and blue model looks to be made more for men.

Of course, style isn’t really the reason we purchase a bike. It is more important that they are sturdy and easy to ride; the Bavel Commuter definitely fits that bill as well.

There is one issue that many beginning riders may take with this bike, and that is how heavy the frame is. With a weight just under 28 pounds, you can expect to be exerting quite a bit of energy while pedaling.

Best Road Bike for Women: Pure Fix Original Fixie Bike

Fixie bikes aren’t for everybody, especially when it comes to road bikes. But what fixies lack in gear options, they make up for in price efficiency. The Pure Fix Original Fixie Bike is a dynamic bike with a price tag anybody would be happy with. By far this is the Best Beginner Road Bike Under 500 for Women.

This bike offers superior parts much less money than most other road bikes. And the color options are too numerous to list. This bike is easily one of my favorite on this list.

Road Bike Buying Guide

Purchasing your first road bike isn’t going to be easy. At first, you’ll feel like there are far too many options to choose from. To make it easier for you we’ll give you some guidelines on what to look for.

Fit

A pretty obvious thing to keep in mind is getting the right size. But what does that actually mean?

The fit of your bike is more than just how many centimeters of the frame. You also need to make sure the bike fits your body. That includes the handlebar height. And ensure the seat should fit your body properly.

Parts

Getting a bike with quality parts is a no-brainer, otherwise, you’ll be spending all the money you saved on your new bike just to have to replace the parts merely months down the line.

The major components you want to consider are; the drivetrain, the gear shifter, pedals, tires, and the daddle.

Gears

Gears are one of the most important components when looking for a good road bike. The more gear options you have, the more control you have over the amount of force each push of the pedal exerts. Most road bikes will come with anywhere between 9 and 21 different speeds, with anywhere from 1, 2, or 3 chainsets.

There is one type of bike that only offers a single-speed; these are called fixies. While ‘fixies’ don’t offer much control over how hard your pedals are working for you, they do have some other benefits. The most notable benefit of these types of bikes is that they are less likely to break down on you because there are fewer moving parts.

But if you expect to be riding hills, then triple chainsets are the way to go

Wheels/ Tires

Wheels are the only point of contact your bike has with the road, and getting a quality set of tires is imperative for your safety. Road bikes should have tires that are slick and have very little thread.

When purchasing your new bike, you should make sure that the bike comes with quality wheels and tires. Most other parts are relatively easy and inexpensive to replace, wheels and tires tend to cost quite a bit.

Handlebars

If you are in the market for a road bike, then the chances are you are expecting to be spending a lot of time on the bike, so you’ll want to get a back with drop bars. Drop bars are handlebars that have more space on them allowing more options for hand placement. This is important because it keeps your arms from fatiguing as quickly; an obvious benefit.

Wrap Up – Best Beginner Road Bike Under 500

If you’ve been putting off getting into cycling because it seemed too difficult to find the right equipment; you aren’t alone. The hope is we’ve given you enough knowledge to start the process, and enough bikes to start narrowing down your choices.

If you aren’t happy with any of the options listed here, then you can check out our other articles. ‘Best Women’s Road Bike for Beginners’ and ‘Best Beginner Road Bike: Entry-Level’ These articles should give you some additional info, as well as help you find some other great road bikes.

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