20 Best Road Bikes Under $1000 (2019): Buyer’s Guide and Unbiased Reviews

Are you on a quest to find the best road bikes under $1000?

Then you’re in the right place. Because I have done the hard work for you and have reviewed dozens of products to bring you the best road bikes under $1000.

In addition, I will introduce the following related topics.

  • Product Details (Including advantages and disadvantages) 
  • Buyer’s Guide
  • Size Chart
  • Brake Type
  • Unpacking and Assembling Your Bike
  • Tips for Fitting Your New Bike

I will also answer some common questions.

  • How to Maintain Your Bike?

Without further ado, let’s begin!

Chief Editor

Brian

Hi! I’m Brian, graduated with a Bachelor’s degree in Exercise and Sport Science at University of Houston. I used to be an editor of a sports magazine. Currently, I work as a part-time editor at OutsideHow.com. I like to read sports and recreation magazines, such as Outdoor Life, Sports Illustrated, ESPN and Runner’s World. I hope that this article can be helpful to you.
Brian

28
Hours Researching

60+
Products Evaluated

1200+
Reviews Considered

14
Researched Sources

Top 3 Picks ( In a Hurry? Here are the winners )

Product
Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
Schwinn Phocus 1600 Drop Bar Road Bicycle for Men, Featuring 56cm/Large Aluminum Step-Over Frame and Carbon...
Professional's Choice
Tommaso Monza Endurance Aluminum Road Bike, Carbon Fork, Shimano Tiagra, 20 Speeds, Aero Wheels - Blue - Small
Best Value
Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano, Black, 58cm Large
Image
Schwinn Phocus 1600 Drop Bar Road Bicycle for Men, Featuring 56cm/Large Aluminum Step-Over Frame and Carbon...
Tommaso Monza Endurance Aluminum Road Bike, Carbon Fork, Shimano Tiagra, 20 Speeds, Aero Wheels - Blue - Small
Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano, Black, 58cm Large
Price
from $345.98
from $949.99
from $249.00
Prime
-
-
Our Rating
Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
Product
Schwinn Phocus 1600 Drop Bar Road Bicycle for Men, Featuring 56cm/Large Aluminum Step-Over Frame and Carbon...
Image
Schwinn Phocus 1600 Drop Bar Road Bicycle for Men, Featuring 56cm/Large Aluminum Step-Over Frame and Carbon...
Price
from $345.98
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon
Professional's Choice
Product
Tommaso Monza Endurance Aluminum Road Bike, Carbon Fork, Shimano Tiagra, 20 Speeds, Aero Wheels - Blue - Small
Image
Tommaso Monza Endurance Aluminum Road Bike, Carbon Fork, Shimano Tiagra, 20 Speeds, Aero Wheels - Blue - Small
Price
from $949.99
Prime
-
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon
Best Value
Product
Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano, Black, 58cm Large
Image
Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano, Black, 58cm Large
Price
from $249.00
Prime
-
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon

Best Road Bikes Under $1000

You may be wondering why you should consider buying one of the best road bikes online? Well, that is a very good question.

Most of the big brands for bikes sell through physical stores and dealerships. This is due to various reasons that include getting the correct size, color, and fit. You will want to ensure that you are getting the very best type of road bike for under $1,000, by seeing the bike in person, making sure everything is right and maybe to even develop a good relationship with the local shop that sells bikes in your area, which will be useful when it comes to servicing the bike or when you need new parts. If this happens to be the first time you are buying a bike, buying from brands such as Cannondale, Giant, Specialized, Trek, etc, from one of the physical stores probably makes more sense.

However, keep in mind that you might miss out on a few fantastic options by limiting yourself to the physical stores. It takes a large number of resources in order to manage a dealership and run a big supply chain. There are costs involved in manpower and marketing. When it comes to the smaller brands, it is not viable to operate like this, and this is the reason why these businesses sell direct-to-customers, by using outstanding logistics from the large companies like Amazon.com. If you decide to buy your bike online you may save at between 10 to 25% when compared to any of the physical offline stores.

What this ultimately means is that when you decide to purchase from one of the underdogs, the money that you are spending goes more into the product opposed to the brand-name and marketing of the bike. A few of the lesser-known brands and products provide performance and value which is often stiff competition for the larger brands. Here is our list of the top picks for the best types of road bikes currently available online.

1. Schwinn Phocus 1600 Drop Bar Road Bicycle – Editor’s Choice & Best Seller

Sale
Schwinn Phocus 1600 Drop Bar Road Bicycle for Men, Featuring 56cm/Large Aluminum Step-Over Frame and Carbon...
  • Schwinn aluminum road frame with Carbon fiber road fork
  • Shimano Claris 16 speed derailleur with Micro shift integrated...
  • High profile alloy double wall rims with paired spokes are lightweight...
  • Promax alloy dual pivot caliper road brakes for great breaking power
  • Alloy crank for wide gear range

The Schwinn Phocus 1600 truly deserves one of the top positions on this list. It offers outstanding value for the money that you spend with high-quality components such as a full Shimano 16 speed drivetrain and the SR Suntour alloy crank.

The frame of the bike comes in both women’s and men’s frames, which means you can buy one for each family member.

This is the ideal bike for consumers in search of a good deal, and a good-quality road bike. This product is ideal for fitness training, novice cyclists, and even commuters.

It comes with stylish high-profile rims and a lightweight frame. These bikes only weigh 23 pounds along with a sturdy carbon fiber front fork which is amazing in this price range.

The drivetrain is suitable for all types of riders and it provides a way to comfortably and easily change the gears. The brakes are also reliable and made of high-quality components which are also impressive for the overall price of the bike.

We can confidently say the at the Schwinn Phocus 1600 is an outstanding road bike for under $1,00. It rides smoothly, looks great and is very easy to set up should you decide to purchase this bike online.

Pros
  • Great looking bike
  • High-quality components
  • Women’s and men’s frame
  • At 23 pounds this bike is lightweight enough to pick up and carry around
Cons
  • There are no gear indicators present

2. Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano – Best Value | Best Budget Road Bike | Best Cheap Road Bike

Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano, Black, 58cm Large
  • Frame: 6061 Double Butted Aluminum Aero
  • Fork: 700c 1 1/8" Threadless
  • Shifters: Shimano A050 SIS Handlebar Mounted
  • Wheelset: 700c Doubled Walled CNC Machined Side
  • Free Pedals

These road bikes feature a 6061 aluminum double-butted frame along with a double-walled 700c CNC machined sides. This bike also comes with a comfortable urban handlebar which makes the ride a lot more comfortable.

This is a great option for the beginner riders and for those who prefer a cruising speed. This beauty comes with 21 speeds and is also the most lightweight in this category. It even features free pedals. It really feels like one of the more expensive bikes, yet at a much more affordable price-tag. We definitely think this is a very affordable and high-quality road bike.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Ideal starter bike
  • Comes with 21 speeds
Cons
  • Not a good option for vertically challenged riders as the bike is big
  • The assembly instructions are poor

3. Giordano 42742 Libero 1.6 Road Bike

Giordano 42742 Libero 1.6 Road Bike, Black/Red, 56cm/Medium
  • Lightweight hand crafted 6061 aluminum frame
  • 32 Spoke High Profile Quick Release Alloy Rims
  • 1 1/8" Threadless stem
  • 16-speed Shimano STI drive train
  • Dual water bottle mounts

The Libero 1.6 Road Bike for Men, is a very comfortable ride for outdoor biking adventures, triathlons, and even for events like the Tour de France.

The hand-crafted, beautifully made lightweight aluminum frame is still the foundation of these well-designed road bikes. The Libero comes with Shimano Claris 16 Speed STI shifters along with derailleurs which match perfectly to the 50-34 aluminum road compact-crank which helps to make steep climbs a bit less grueling.

The strong yet light aluminum 700c wheels complete this outstanding package. These bikes range from 26 to 27 pounds which include the reflectors and kickstand, this is the perfect bike for the weekend riders or the mountain bikers in search of road fitness. These bikes come in small, medium and large sizes for men.

Pros
  • 16-speed Shimano Claris STI Shifters and Rear Derailleur
  • Lightweight hand-crafted aluminum frame
  • 1 1/8” threadless stem
  • Dual water-bottle mounts
Cons
  • Complicated to assemble
  • Some customers have complained about the safety of the brakes

4. Vilano Shadow Road Bike – Shimano STI Integrated Shifters

Vilano Shadow Road Bike, Large, Black
  • Wheelset: 700c doubled walled CNC machined side
  • Shimano STI Integrated Brake Lever/Shifters offer precise and...
  • 6061 Double Butted Aluminum Aero frame with integrated headset
  • Fork: 700c 1 1/8" threadless, brakes: dual pivot alloy caliper
  • Free pedals included

This is a fantastic entry-level road bike that is well-made, reliable and cheap. It is the ideal choice for fitness exercise, commuting, or for your 1st club rides.

The Vilano Shadow comes with Shimano STI brake-lever integrated-shifters that are versatile and precise. This model is lightweight thanks to the double-butted 6061 aluminum frame. The Vilano Shadow comes in at an impressive 23 pounds, which makes it easy to carry onto a bus or up a flight of stairs.

Another recommended entry-level road bike that you could easily ride 30 to 40 miles a day on. Overall, this is a great bike for beginners and if your budget is limited, this may be the ideal choice for your needs. It is balanced and light enough to even get through a 1st-century ride (100 miles).

Pros
  • Comfortable and light
  • Great value for money
  • Good-quality Shimano STI brake-lever integrated-shifters
Cons
  • Not as stylish when compared to the other bikes on this list

5. Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike, Shimano Claris R2000, 24 Speeds

Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike, Shimano Claris R2000, 24 Speeds - Black - Medium
  • YOU DON'T NEED TO SPEND MORE THAN $600: Because Tommaso is a direct to...
  • STEP UP TO THE BRAND NEW SHIMANO CLARIS R2000: The Shifters,...
  • YOU DESERVE A COMFORTABLE RIDE: Our compact frame geometry offers a...
  • THE IMOLA IS AFFORDABLE PERFORMANCE, NOT ENTRY LEVEL: If you are just...
  • BUILT TO LAST: All too often things are made cheaply and break before...

The brand name Tommaso is well-known and associated with very well-made and designed bikes. Imola Endurance happens to be a highly popular choice at the moment. It is available in 3 colors and 6 sizes, which means it matches up well to riders of all heights.

This bike comes with a lightweight, yet incredibly sturdy frame, and weighs around 23.8 lbs depending on which size. A highly impressive feature about the Tommaso bikes includes their Shimano groupset. The Imola comes equipped with the Shimano R2000 Claris groupset, which provides 24 speeds.

The brakes on this bike are the Shimano Claris dual-pivot brake calipers, with 25 mm wide tires, and vibration-absorbing steel. This is a popular bike among beginner and advanced riders and it is easy to see this in many of the positive reviews. Perhaps the largest drawback about this bike would have to be the wheels. Many people have reported having issues with them. This may mean you would need to replace them with good-quality tires to match the quality of this bike.

Overall, we can suggest that this is an outstanding road bike for under $1,000, in fact, it’s actually well-below this price point. The sturdy construction and high-quality groupset, along with the respected U.S based customer-service from Tommaso earn these bikes a place on our list.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • The high-quality Shimano groupset minimizes the need for repairs when compared to the other bikes that feature cheaper components.
  • The fork on these bikes helps to absorb vibrations from the road without adding excessive weight
  • Tommaso provides an impressive lifetime warranty on the frame and a 1-year warranty for the components
  • The double-lever shifters are very easy to operate without the need to change your hand position
Cons
  • The wheels are a low-quality and may need upgrading
  • Some users state that the seat feels uncomfortable and it will need to be replaced over time

6. GMC Denali Road Bike

GMC Denali Road Bike, Black/Green, 20-Inch/Small
  • 21-speed road bike features a lightweight aluminum frame
  • Alloy calipers and alloy brake levers
  • High-profile alloy Vitesse racing rims
  • Shimano derailleur and Shimano Revo shifts makes it easy to change...
  • High-performance 700c tires are up to the challenge of rigorous street...

If you are after good looks and great value for money then the Denali might be just what you are looking for. The alloy ‘side pull’ braking system, levers – as well as the attractive high profile racing rims manufactured by Vitesse provide the bike with a striking profile. This is a bike that allows easy handling on a variety of road types – and the aluminum frame if both lightweight and tough – contributing to the easy handling characteristics.

This a great buy for those who a starting out on their road biking journey. It is not an enormously complex piece of machinery – however, it provides a perfect balance between functionality, durability and cost.

Pros
  • 21 Speeds make the riding experience fun – and more comfortable.
  • Low weight.
  • Able to cope easily with varied road conditions
Cons
  • May provide an assembly challenge for novice riders.
  • May not suit riders of shorter stature.

7. Giordano Rapido Single Speed Road Bike

Giordano Rapido Single Speed Road Bike (56cm)
  • Steel frame and fork- 54cm seat tube (center to center), 54cm top tube
  • Alloy Rims with Alloy Hub
  • Rear Flip Flop Hub
  • Alloy Side Pull Brakes
  • Black Kenda 700 x 32 Tires

This is a wonderful solution for urban use. It is perfect for negotiating inner city areas and daily commutes. Easy to ride and a great investment.

Another bike which features a simple design – but it balances the entry-level model with the ability to upgrade parts on a regular basis. The low entry price provides a framework that can be gradually improved with all the bells and whistles that the rider might require – at a great price. Those who do want to improve their cycling experience will need to do a bit of upgrading.

Lightweight design and the ability to change to a ‘free wheel’ mode have lots to offer the urban user. The customizable nature (get rid of the decals to personalize your experience) and low cost again come to the fore, making it a great buy.

The price point is worth repeating. this bike provides great functionality at a low cost of entry. But that low entry point does come with challenges. Riders have reported teething problems with the quality of the bolts, seat post, pedals and brakes. With recliner may also be a bit cumbersome and weighty. The manufacturer claims two models – but in reality, there appears to be only one that is widely available.

Pros
  • Easy to assemble.
  • The framework of tubular steel provides exceptional stability and toughness.
  • Tires provide great traction and allow the rider to really eat up the miles.
  • Exceptional suspension setup.
  • A perfect balance between functionality and price.
Cons
  • Brake setup may not suit every rider.

8. Pure Cycles Classic 16-Speed Road Bike

Pure Cycles Classic 16-Speed Road Bike, 51cm/Small, Dornbush Grey
  • Lightweight road bike with Super strong 4130 chromoly steel frameset;...
  • 16-Speed Shimano Claris STI shifters, cassette, and derailleur deliver...
  • Front and rear alloy caliper brakes and 3-piece crank set; 17mm-deep...
  • Adjustable drop bar with a variety of hand positions and gel-padded...
  • Bike ships 90% assembled; available in six different sizes to fit...

This is a great compromise between a bike that is perfect for beginners – but will also provide the more experienced rider with a rewarding ride. It manages to be equally at home with race conditions, touring and much more. Modern design, quality components and contemporary styling make it not only functional – but also attractive.

The frame is manufactured from durable 4130 Chromoly steel. The well known Shimano brand ‘Claris’ shifters provide a smooth and relaxed experience, while the equally high-quality Hutchinson NitroII tires provide a smooth-riding experience and above average handling characteristics. The alloy rims compliment the tires with a 17mm deep dish appearance enhanced by the allow spokes. The drop bar allows for comfort and convenience with a variety of settings suitable for diverse body types.

Great variety – with a number of sizes available – and also a good selection of colors. The braking system is highly effective and based on front and back caliper brakes. Value for money and peace of mind come courtesy of the lifetime warranty on the frame.

Pros
  • Great build quality.
  • World class components.
  • Easy assembly.
Cons
  • There is very little to detract from the quality of this road bike.

9. SAVADECK Carbon Road Bike, Warwinds3.0 700C Carbon Fiber Racing Bicycle with Shimano SORA 18 Speed Derailleur System and Double V Brake

Sale
SAVADECK Carbon Road Bike, Warwinds3.0 700C Carbon Fiber Racing Bicycle with Shimano SORA 18 Speed Derailleur...
  • TORAY T800 Carbon Fiber Frame, Fork and Seat post - It's a lightweight...
  • SHIMANO Speed Control - SHIMANO SORA 2*9 Speeds with Shifter lever,...
  • Designed in the Wind Tunnel, the stays, seat post, and seat tube are...
  • Oval concepts 6061 Alloy 40MM Bearing Wheelset and MICHELIN Pro...
  • Mostly assembled complete road bike, which is ideal for cycling...

The first in this lineup featuring a carbon fiber construction the ‘Warwinds 3.0 700c’ from SAVADECK is available in four sizes and different (and tremendously striking) color combos. The carbon fiber construction allows it to hit the road weighing just 21.16 pounds – making it an exceptionally lightweight road bike. That carbon fiber means that the bike does not sacrifice strength and durability- and has the added benefit of reducing vibration on the road.

When comparing this bike to others in the lineup it becomes apparent that the brakes are a little different. They supply ‘double V braking force’. Gearing is provided by the Shimano Derailleur setup offering 22 speeds. The slimline wheels (at only 23mm) add to the lightweight nature and great handling characteristics. This is a bike that receives consistently good reviews due to simple attention to details – and the fact that it is easy to put together.

This is a bike that is aimed at the more expert rider who wants a combination of strength, lightness and stunning good looks. The superior build quality and gadling characteristics mean that it offers a riding experience which can usually only be supplied by much more expensive options. It is an investment which will continue to offer an exceptional experience for decades.

Pros
  • Carbon fiber, light, durable and high strength.
  • Shock absorbing frame.
  • Shimano components. Low maintenance.
  • Manufacturer proives exceptional customer service.
  • Attractive looks.
  • Easy to assemble.
Cons
  • Maybe a pricey option.

10. Tommaso Monza Endurance Aluminum Road Bike – Professional’s Choice

Tommaso Monza Endurance Aluminum Road Bike, Carbon Fork, Shimano Tiagra, 20 Speeds, Aero Wheels - Blue - Small
  • TOMMASO MONZA IS OUR TOP OF THE LINE ALUMINUM SERIES ROAD BIKE: A...
  • POWERFUL PEFORMANCE & SPEED: 2x10 Shimano Tiagra Groupset, featuring a...
  • PRECISION SHIFTING: Shimano Tiagra STI shifters work seamlessly with...
  • OPTIMIZED FIT FOR ADDED COMFORT: Compact frame geometry and premium...
  • PROFESSIONAL ASSEMBLY REQUIRED: To ensure optimal performance and to...

This is a bike that has received accolades as one of the best road bikes on the market. Especially given the price point of under $1,000. It is the manufacturer top f the range offering and boasts a number of features that explain its exclusive nature. Weighing in at around 35 pounds it can supply an impressive turn of speed. The compact aluminum frame contributes much of the weight saving features. The fork, manufactured from HCT carbon is both light and tough, as well as providing vibration damping characteristics. Frame and fork carry a lifetime warranty. Another appealing feature are the holes that are part of the frame construction – allowing for a variety of additional components (such as racks and fenders) to be easily attached.

Handlebars are compact and ergonomically designed. A multitude of Shimano components add to the allure of the bike, including the 11×32 Tigra Cassette and the Tiagra crankset. The Shimano shifters exude exceptional quality as well.

Self-assembly is possible – but this is a bike that will reward getting a professional to assist with both assembly and tuning.

Pros
  • Shimano components.
  • Carbon fork construction.
  • Enables high-speed riding.
  • Very light.
  • Will not break the bank.
Cons
  • Assembly may provide a challenge.
  • The seat could be more comfortable.

More Products (Our Rating: 4 Stars)

11. Vilano Forza 3.0 Aluminum Carbon Shimano Sora Road Bike
Vilano FORZA 3.0 Aluminum Carbon Shimano Sora Road Bike, Matte Silver, 57cm/Large
  • A Strong Lightweight 6061 Aluminum Frame w/ 12k Carbon Fiber Fork
  • Shimano STI Shifters
  • Shimano Sora
  • 24 Speeds to Handle any Situation
  • Free Pedals Included
12. Vilano Forza 2.0 Aluminum Carbon Shimano Tiagra Road Bike
Vilano FORZA 2.0 Aluminum Carbon Shimano Tiagra Road Bike, Matte Grey, 57cm/Large
  • Frame: 6061 Double Butted Aluminum
  • Fork: 12k Carbon Fiber
  • Shimano Tiagra 9 Speed
  • 700C Double Walled Wheelset
  • Free Pedals Included
13. Giordano Libero 2.0 Road Bike
Giordano Libero 2.0 Road Bike, Medium, White
  • Medium fits riders 5'8"-6'0" with an inseam of 30"-32
  • Weight- 24.3lbs
  • 18-speed Complete Shimano Sora Drive Train
  • Lightweight hand crafted 6061 aluminum frame
  • Carbon Fork
14. Windsor Wellington 2.0 Aluminum 21 Speed Shimano Equipped Road Bike
Windsor Wellington 2.0 Aluminum 21 Speed Shimano Equipped Road Bike
  • Aluminum Frame
  • Comfort Saddle
  • Bar Top Shifters
  • Lightweight and Durable Wheels
  • Professional Assembly and Tuning Suggested
15. Raleigh Bikes Merit 2 Endurance Road Bike
Raleigh Bikes Merit 2 Endurance Road Bike, Silver, 56cm/Large
  • Lightweight aluminum frame has built in rack and fender mounts
  • Shimano Claris 8 speed shifters offer 16 gear combinations
  • TRP Spyre C dual actuated mechanical disc brakes for great stopping...
  • Clement Strada LGG 700x28c tires add stability and cushion your ride
  • Pedals included; limited lifetime warranty on the frame for as long as...
16. Tommaso Illimitate Shimano Tiagra Gravel Adventure Bike with Disc Brakes, Extra Wide Tires, and Carbon Fork, Perfect for Road Or Dirt Trail Touring
Tommaso Illimitate Shimano Tiagra Gravel Adventure Bike with Disc Brakes, Extra Wide Tires, and Carbon Fork,...
  • DURABLE AND RELIABLE: Durable Aluminum Compact Frame combined with a...
  • POWERFUL PEFORMANCE & SPEED: 2x10 Shimano Tiagra Groupset, featuring a...
  • RUGGED, ALL-TERRAIN CAPABILITIES: Tommaso TC-40D rims offer the rugged...
  • OPTIMIZED FIT FOR ADDED COMFORT: Compact frame geometry and premium...
  • PROFESSIONAL ASSEMBLY REQUIRED: To ensure optimal performance and to...
17. BEIOU Carbon Comfortable Bicycles 700C Road Bike Shimano TIAGR 4700 210S or LTWOO 210 Speed SRAM Brake Complete 18.8 lb Hybrid Bike Toray T800 Fiber CB0012B
Sale
BEIOU 2016 Carbon Comfortable Bicycles 700C Road Bike LTWOO 210 Speed SRAM Brake Complete 18.3 lb Hybrid Bike...
  • Carbon Parts (Frame&Fork&handle Bar&Seatpost); Material: Toray...
  • Speed Control: LTWOO Rear Switch 20 Speeds or Shimano TIAGRA 4700 20...
  • Size Map: 480mm/500mm/520mm; Finish: 3K Glossy Red/Orange/Blue/Silver
  • Rt Aluminum 700C*23mm Bearing Wheelset 2*10S; Tire 60TPI;SRAM FR-5...
  • Ultra-light 18.8lbs, Wind Breaking Design, 7-10 business days to US...
18. Raleigh Bikes Women's Super Course Endurance Road Bike
Sale
RALEIGH Bikes Women's Super Course Endurance Road Bike, Sky, 50cm/X-Small
  • Designed for women who want to ride fast and far on the road in...
  • Sizing: 48cm=5'-5'3", 50cm=5'3"-5'5", 52cm=5'5"-5'7", 54cm=5'7"-5'9",...
  • Made with Women's specific geometry and a Classic steel frame and fork...
  • Features a Shimano Claris drivetrain and 16 gears to choose from while...
  • Boasts a Brooks cambium Women's saddle and matching bar tape for the...
19. Raleigh Bikes Grand Sport Road Bike
RALEIGH Bikes Grand Sport Road Bike, 56 cm/Medium, Orange
  • Designed for city riding and tackling hills, in style
  • Sizing: 52cm=5'4-5'7, 54cm=5'7-5'9, 56cm=5'9-5'11, 58cm=5'11-6'1,...
  • Made with 4130 chromoly road frame and custom alloy SPF road fork to...
  • Features Shimano Claris 16 speed STI shifters to tackle even the...
  • Offers Promax custom long-reach dual pivot brakes with sure stop pads...
20. RapidCycle GRAND-20sp Shimano Tiagra Aluminum Road Bike 700CC
RapidCycle GRAND-20sp Shimano Tiagra Aluminum Road Bike (700CC, 53CM Frame)
  • 7005 Aircraft-grade Lightweight Aluminum Alloy
  • Strongly double-butted
  • Super lighweight ~22-24lb
  • Lifetime Warranty on Frame and Fork

Buyer’s Guide: Tips For Choosing The Right Road Bike Under $1,000

If you are interested in getting into a sport such as road cycling, you might look at the local and pro hobby riders and be under the impression that you have to spend a ton of cash to get a bike. It might then come as a surprise that you can easily obtain a good quality roadworthy road bike for under $1000.

Keep in mind that you may not be able to obtain one of the top of the range carbon race machines, which weighs next to nothing. But then again you probably at this stage not ready to enter races or competitions. For the consumers that are interested in cycling on a functional, visually appealing, and stylish road bike that is not going to cost an arm and a leg, here is our review on the best bikes under $1,000.

Within this price range, the bikes are not particularly light and they also won’t feature the very best components. However, this also doesn’t mean that you will be getting a poor bike either.

To manufacture components and frames that are light, the materials become a lot more expensive. At the same time, when considering performance, components which feature on the professional bikes happen to be the most important part about the technology of the bike.

The price is an indication of the design and engineering that has gone into developing these machines, along with the price tag associated with durable and lightweight materials.

For beginners or people who are interested in using these road bikes to get some exercise, the high-performing components are not that important or needed. The road bikes that cost less than $1,000 still comes with components that are functional and they will perform well for all the needs you might have out of a road bike.

The Fit And Size

The road bikes form a part of important bicycle technology which means they are designed for performance. To make sure you are getting what you need out of one of these bikes, the bike should fit you very well. For this reason, it is imperative that you get the sizing right. The primary measurements which ensure the frame matches up to you include your height along with the length measurement of the inseam. Here is a chart you can use to help you choose the correct one:

Height Inside Leg 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” – 6’1″ 32″ – 34″ 58cm
6’1″ – 6’3″ 33″ – 35″ 60cm
6’3″ – 6’5″ 34″ – 36″ 62cm

Keep in mind that the figures might slightly vary from one manufacturer to the next. Yet this should give you an accurate idea of what sizes you should be looking for.

The Frame Material

The more common materials used for constructing bike frames include carbon fiber, aluminum, and steel.

Steel is heavier than the other two materials, yet the weight makes these bikes more compliant. It provides an adequate level of comfort in the way of absorbing a few bumps while you ride. Steel is still a viable material when the weight of the bike is not that important to you. However, most of the bikes that are mass-manufactured today hardly use the steel frames.

The aluminum alloys and aluminum is much lighter when compared to steel and offer superior weight-to-strength stiffness and ratio. It is the stiffness that equates into power transfer that is efficient. However, the stiffness may result in a ride that is harsher. The frames made from aluminum are not as comfortable to ride with like the steel frames, yet this can often change according to the alloy that was used and the design overall of the bike’s frame. However, it is relatively lightweight and inexpensive material, and at this stage one of the more popular materials used for frames.

Carbon fiber is a highly versatile material. Depending on what it is used for it can either be made hard or soft by making changes to the bonding materials and the weave. It offers the very best weight-to-strength ratio and is well-suited to the bikes which are designed for racing or competitive aspirations. The high-quality frames are incredibly strong and very light and they are able to be flexible in certain places while very rigid when it comes to other places. With this material, it becomes possible to achieve the ideal balance of comfort and stiffness. The high-tech and complex nature linked to these materials mean that it comes with a much higher price tag.

The Tires And Wheels

The wheels have a significant effect on the overall performance of the road bikes. In fact, they are a very important component, which is why it becomes important to look for the bikes that have a great wheelset.

A great wheelset might be a costly upgrade, yet it is far better to invest in this upgrade and then compromise on a few of the other types of drivetrain components instead of the opposite way around.

A wheelset that is stiff will transfer more power yet absorb less vibration that comes from the road’s surface. The lighter wheels make acceleration easier and help keep the bike’s weight down.

The carbon wheels happen to be the stiffest and lightest but usually, do not feature on the road bikes that cost less than $1,000. In most cases, you will find the aluminum wheels in this price range.

Depending on how much the bike costs, these come from generics or well-known brands. Generally, the more you are willing to spend, the better these wheelset’s get. It is not important to be too concerned about what type of wheels comes with a bike.

In most cases, the tires will be from one of the well-known brands. If not, you can always consider an upgrade which won’t be too expensive. In fact, you will first need to test the tires out anyway, and you may find that you need to swap them out to match up to your riding style.

The Number Of Gears

If you would like to find out how many gears your two-wheeler has, multiply the cassette cogs number by the chainrings number.

The Drivetrain

There are various components that make up a bike and these all work in unison in order to transfer the power that you are using when you pedal, which then transfers to the wheels of the bike. This combination is known as the “drivetrain”. Your feet will be pushing on the pedals, which connect to the cranks.

These cranks join through the axle through a frame known as the bottom bracket. The crank on the right-hand side connects to the chainrings that drive the sprockets and the chain of a cassette forwards. This cassette is found close to the rear hub.

As this cassette starts to turn, it will force the wheel and hub to turn, which will drive the bike in a forward motion. In most cases, there are a number of sprockets and chainrings on these cassettes. When you start using different combinations it will allow you to reduce or add resistance to match up to your riding conditions.

To move this chain between the sprockets and the chainrings, the derailleur found at the back and the front is controlled with a cable-actuated shifter which is mounted onto the handlebars.

There are a couple of big brand names for the drivetrain components. However, when it comes to the road bikes that cost less than $1,000 the more common components include the Shimano parts and a few of the generics.

Shimano is perhaps the largest producer when it comes to bike components globally. Yet there are also cheaper components that are able to perform just as well.

Over time the majority of the drivetrain components will wear out, especially the derailleurs, the cassette, the chainrings, and the chain. You are able to upgrade to the lighter components when you can.

The Fork Material

The road bikes do not feature suspensions but rather rigid forks. The fork is a component on these bikes which keep the wheel in front in place. The better road bike forks assist with accurate and precise steering while they absorb some impact from the road which is transmitted upwards.

Similar to the frame materials, steel, and carbon fiber provide more compliance while aluminum offers the least. In regards to weight, the lightest materials are once again carbon fiber, followed up by aluminum and steel would be the heaviest.

It is important to know that the design of the fork component can have an effect on the ride characteristics of the bike. For instance, an aluminum fork that is curved is more absorbent and forgiving in comparison to a straight one. In many cases, the good quality bikes feature a frame material that is different from the fork. A common example of combining materials would include a carbon fiber fork with a frame made from aluminum. In the majority of cases, spending a bit more money on a carbon fork is well worth your while as this is something that you will probably not need to replace for the life-span of your bike.

Brake Type

Caliper brakes are the standard braking system on most road bike models. This type of brake is centrally mounted on the wheel. Like all brake types in the rim brake family, caliper brakes are easy to adjust, lightweight, and affordable.

This type of brake is durable and capable of dependable performance, provided that you maintain it. This has been the standard braking system for cyclists over the past 100 years. Nonetheless, it’s also true that this system performs best in a dry environment. When used in wet weather conditions, rim brakes may become unpredictable at times. Here are a few advantages of choosing rim brakes for your road bike:

  • Lightweight
  • Easy to use
  • Easy to maintain
  • Durable
  • Reliable
  • Powerful
  • Fairly easy to change yourself

If you need top braking performance in all types of weather and road conditions, you should choose disc brakes instead. Bikes featuring disc brakes enjoy increased braking power, and better predictability on muddy or wet roads. They also behave better in off-road situations. However, if you don’t want to use your bike on off-road terrain or on muddy roads, there’s no reason why you’d choose disc brakes.

In addition, disc brakes are more difficult to maintain, they are more expensive and heavier than rim brakes. As they add weight to the bike, those who enjoy racing tend to avoid them. The biggest issue of disc brakes is that they have to be accurately torqued each and every time you remove the wheel. Since this is a frequent thing to do when it comes to road biking, it’s easy to understand why rim brakes are a better choice than disc brakes on road bikes.

However, the excellent stability in wet road conditions has contributed a lot to the rise in popularity of disc brakes. Apparently, within a few years they may become standard equipment on road bikes. If this is your favorite type of brake, you need to be very careful when purchasing your bike, as some manufacturers took advantage of this sudden demand increase and flooded the market with poor quality disc brakes.

Steering And Other Elements

Steering is the umbrella term for all elements that allow you to steer your bike. This means that the stem, the handlebars and all parts that connect them to the fork are part of the steering system.

The role of the stem is to hold the handlebars at the center. Keep in mind that you may get a longer or a shorter stem to make your bike fit you. Many bikes have an angled stem. An upwards slant is the equivalent of a shorter stem, while a downwards slant equals a longer stem. You can flip the stem to suit your needs and your personal preferences. This is the easiest way to adjust the reach (the reach is the distance from the handlebar to the seat of the bike). A reach that’s either too long or too short may affect your ability to handle the bike.

The handlebar is the element that offers your body two of the three contact points with the vehicle. If you want a perfect fit, you should measure your shoulder width and choose bars of the same length. It’s worth mentioning here, though, that most bikes come with default bars that suit most people. Road bikes feature ‘drop bars’. Most people think that these curved handlebars aren’t comfortable, as they believe they need to hold them by the ‘drops’ almost all the time. In fact, this is only a misconception, as there are three possible hand positions you can use.

The ‘hoods‘ will offer your hands a pretty high level of comfort. You’ll spend most of your biking time holding the handlebar in this position. You can angle the bars up or down to find the most comfortable position. The ‘tops’ is the most comfortable position, perfect for biking off-road or on bumpy terrain, or while climbing. You’ll only use the ‘drops’ when descending or sprinting.

The saddle is perhaps the most important contact point between your body and the bike. As you have to sit on it, the saddle will have a major influence on your bike riding experience. You may think that soft, plush-looking saddles are more comfortable, but you’d be wrong about it. This type of saddle is comfortable only for short rides. Ideally, your sit bones should be the ones to support your body-weight. In fact, the saddle preference may vary from one person to another. Generally speaking, narrow and flat saddles tend to the most comfortable for the wide majority of bike riders. We have a strong preference for the Fizik Arione. You can adjust the height of the saddle as needed. You can also alter its position backward or forward to suit your personal preference and your body.

Pedals are the elements that enable you to transfer your energy to keep the bike moving. Different road bikers have different preferences when it comes to choosing their pedals. There are many types of pedals available on the market. The most common ones are platform bike pedals. Most road bikes come from the factory with this type of pedal. This is also the preferred choice of beginner bikes manufacturers, due to the fact that they feature traction grips. Toe clips, also known as toe cages, were once in high demand. However, today their popularity has dropped, as bikers prefer other options such as clipless bike pedals and special shoes that allow them to clip into the pedal without the need for a toe clip.

Prices (Your Available Budget)

Your available budget is the first and foremost factor that will influence your final decision in regard to which bike to buy. As hard as you may wish for a carbon fiber bike with disc brakes and better wheels, you’ll have to settle for an aluminum one with caliper brakes, if that’s what your budget allows for.

When seeking for the best road bike under $1000, make sure you choose a high quality frame. If you get a good quality bike, you’ll be able to go for an upgrade later on, as you save more money. Always read reviews before purchasing a road bike. Furthermore, avoid going for deals that look too good to be true, as they are usually nothing but scams.

Unpacking And Assembling Your Bike

When you purchase your bike online, you’ll get it delivered in a big box. Most often than not, you’ll have to put all pieces together to assemble your bike. In most cases, this should be an easy and straightforward process. Moat bikes come with detailed instructions on how to assemble them. Just follow these instructions and you can have your bike ready to use in as little as half an hour, if not less. Nonetheless, if you prefer visual learning, you could use the video below to get that new bike assembled by yourself with no additional help.

The are many bike assembly tutorials on YouTube. However, if you don’t think you can handle it yourself, you can go to one of the local bike shops in your neighborhood and have the job done for about $40-$50. If you intend to buy your bike online, keep in mind that you should also budget for assembling it.

Even if you manage to assemble it on your own, you should still take your new bike to a local shop to have it tuned-up by a professional. This is one of the most effective methods to ensure that your bike will perform at its best and will last for a very long time. Going to a local bike shop is also an excellent way to ensure that you haven’t made any assembly mistakes. You can expect to pay around $30 for the tune-up service.

Tips For Fitting Your New Bike

The first thing to do is to check reach. In order to do it, you’ll have to mount your bike and make sure it is level. You may also want to wear your cycling outfit.

  1. Put your bike shoes and stand against a wall.
  2. Grab a book and straddle it spine up, as if you were sitting on the saddle.
  3. Use a pencil to mark the point where the spine of the book touches the wall.
  4. The distance from the mark to the floor is your inseam.
  5. Repeat the process, in order to make sure that you’ve got the right sizing.
  6. Get on your bike and pedal until you feel comfortable with your abdominal area relaxed. Look forward as though you were cycling on the road. If your bike has dropped handlebars, put your hands on top of the brake levers.

How To Maintain Your Bike

Maintaining your bike is important and there are some basic maintenance points to consider. This will make your cycling trip easier and better.

Have The Right Equipment

It is important that you have a small tool kit with you while you are riding. A more comprehensive kit should be kept at home or where you park your bike. This will ensure that you can complete more thorough maintenance. There are certain items that you need to have in your maintenance kit including lubrication such as oil, chain tools, cleaning agents, a spoke wrench, cable cutters, an air pump, Torx wrench, a hex wrench set, and screwdrivers.

Do A Monthly Check

Each month, you should complete a check of your bike and look for any loose bolts or other components. This check can also be done after a long ride over rough terrain. During the check, you should also complete an overall rust check and take the time to oil any squeaking parts of your bike.

Check The Chain

Take the time to look at the chain slack and measure this. You should only lubricate the chain under the center roller and between the side plates. If you overlubricate your chain, you will increase the dirt it attracts and this can cause your chain to clog casing damage and malfunctions.

Check Your Brakes

It is also important to check your brake pads and any squeaking brakes. The wheel rims will need to be cleaned to ensure that the brake pads are able to grip them correctly. The brake pads will need to be checked for wear and any chips. If you have disk brakes, you need to check on their thickness. If they are less than 2.5 mm you will have to replace them for safety reasons. Loose brakes will also need to be tightened.

Keep Your Tires Inflated

Your tires will need to be inflated to the correct tire pressure. Sealant and thread will also need to be checked. If you have tubeless tires, the sealant will dry out occasionally and you need to reapply this every other month. The tread of the tires should be checked for any uneven spots and wear. If you have treadles tires, you will need to check if they have begun to flatten as this is a sign that they need to be replaced.

Keep The Bike Clean

Take the time to properly clean your road bike. You might not realize that your bike is picking up dirt oil and other chemicals from the road and passing motor vehicles. Your bike should be cleaned after a long journey to increase its lifespan and ensure that you can use it for years to come.

After cleaning your bike, you will need to ensure that it is properly lubricated. You will have to lubricate the chain after cleaning as well as any other place on the bike where metal touches metal.

Check Your Wheels

You need to check if your wheels are wobbling by turning the bike upside down and manually spinning them. If there is any wiggling or slight variations, you will need to have your bike looked at by a specialist. This is something that needs to be fixed as soon as possible.

Make Your Seat Comfortable

There is nothing more annoying than painful riding. This will also cause a distraction that will make riding less safe. You should take the time to adjust your seat for maximum comfort and maintain the saddle by buffing the leather and polishing it. The seat post will also need to be greased to improve the overall comfort.

Conclusion

There are a lot of benefits to road bikes that you need to know about and there are other factors that you need to know about to ensure their durability, efficiency, and quality. You will find that a road bike is a worthwhile investment and those under $1000 are great for starters and experienced cyclists.

References

Best Road Bikes Under $1000 ( Top 3 Picks )

Product
Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
Schwinn Phocus 1600 Drop Bar Road Bicycle for Men, Featuring 56cm/Large Aluminum Step-Over Frame and Carbon...
Professional's Choice
Tommaso Monza Endurance Aluminum Road Bike, Carbon Fork, Shimano Tiagra, 20 Speeds, Aero Wheels - Blue - Small
Best Value
Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano, Black, 58cm Large
Image
Schwinn Phocus 1600 Drop Bar Road Bicycle for Men, Featuring 56cm/Large Aluminum Step-Over Frame and Carbon...
Tommaso Monza Endurance Aluminum Road Bike, Carbon Fork, Shimano Tiagra, 20 Speeds, Aero Wheels - Blue - Small
Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano, Black, 58cm Large
Price
from $345.98
from $949.99
from $249.00
Prime
-
-
Our Rating
Editor’s Choice & Best Seller
Product
Schwinn Phocus 1600 Drop Bar Road Bicycle for Men, Featuring 56cm/Large Aluminum Step-Over Frame and Carbon...
Image
Schwinn Phocus 1600 Drop Bar Road Bicycle for Men, Featuring 56cm/Large Aluminum Step-Over Frame and Carbon...
Price
from $345.98
Prime
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon
Professional's Choice
Product
Tommaso Monza Endurance Aluminum Road Bike, Carbon Fork, Shimano Tiagra, 20 Speeds, Aero Wheels - Blue - Small
Image
Tommaso Monza Endurance Aluminum Road Bike, Carbon Fork, Shimano Tiagra, 20 Speeds, Aero Wheels - Blue - Small
Price
from $949.99
Prime
-
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon
Best Value
Product
Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano, Black, 58cm Large
Image
Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano, Black, 58cm Large
Price
from $249.00
Prime
-
Our Rating
Read Full Review
View on Amazon

Last update on 2019-08-15 / Rating by Author / Affiliate links, Images, Descriptions & Price from Amazon Product Advertising API

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