Are you new to cycling? If that’s the case, a road bike works best for you, and here are the best beginner road bikes you can buy. If you’re just entering the wonderful world of biking, it’s sensible to start with a road bike. You’ll need more experience to face those rugged bike trails, and a road bike is easier to handle. They’re also more practical, as you can use them for chores or to commute to the office. They’re even an effective way to work out. Of course, your experience in biking is pretty much dependent on the quality of the bike you buy. Here are some bikes that you should be trying out:
Best Beginner Road Bikes Reviews 2020
Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike (Editor’s Choice)
This is one of the most popular affordable entry-level road bikes in the industry, and most people who get it sing its praises. It offers tremendous value for money, and in fact Tommaso insists that this isn’t your usual “beginner’s bike” that won’t last long or suit your needs. This is the epitome of affordable performance.
Features and Specs:
- It only weighs 23.8 pounds.
- The sizing options is very precise, with 6 sizes (from XXS to XXL) covering a height range of 4’10” to 6’5” each size is good for a height range of just a few inches.
- It uses SLA 6061 aluminum for the frame.
- The TRS Ultralight compact bars allow for shallow drops when using the drops. You also have flat tops for extra comfort.
- It uses the whole 2018 Shimano Claris R2000 set. Basically, shifters, derailleurs, crank, and brakes Shimano constructs made to work specifically with one another. They’re all optimized for each of the other parts.
- You get 24 gears.
- The SST Steel Fork has a quick release system, so you can quickly store it away.
- You get lightweight riding for all types of terrain with the Tommaso Corsa TC20 rims, along with 25mm-wide tires.
- The WTB Volt saddle offers streamlined pedaling with cushioned comfort.
- The Tommaso TRS Performance seat post is lightweight as well.
The Tommaso is famous for being completely owned by its employees, so the workers who made this have been super-conscientious as a bad product will affect their profits. Just the inclusion of the Shimano Claris components is already worth the price tag, but you get so much more.
- You have nice color options to choose from.
- You have lots of size choices so you can find the right size for your height.
- The Shimano Claris parts are fantastic, and they all come with Shimano’s 2-year warranty.
- It’s easy enough to upgrade, probably starting with the seat and pedals.
- There’s very little chance you can test it out first before you buy it, because it’s only available online
- The steel fork is heavy, but then an aluminum fork may cost more
- That saddle may be uncomfortable for some.
Raleigh Bikes Merit 1 Endurance Road Bike
This too, comes in 6 sizes, though the smallest size is meant for riders standing at a height between 5’4” and 5’7”. The largest size is for those whose height is within the 6’3″-6’5″ range. It’s an endurance bike, so it’s not something you race with. But it works as a fitness bike for lots of miles, and it also can function as your daily commute. It’s built for both efficiency and comfort, with a classic road design for smooth pedaling.
Features and Specs:
- Both the frame and the fork are made of aluminum.
- You also have aluminum cranks to go with the Shimano Claris derailleurs.
- Shimano 8-speed cogset (11-32T), with Shimano Claris 2×8 speed shifters
- Tektro dual pivot caliper brakes
- Weinmann GMax double wall wheels
- Kenda Kwick Roller Sport, 700x28c tires
The frame is sturdy enough, and it can even support a 300-pound weight. The wheels though are not as tough, as it’s only rated for 250 pounds. But if you’re within that weight limit, you’ll find that it’s a comfy ride, and that’s what makes it super fun.
- Extremely light at 22.6 pounds
- Some find it easy to assemble
- Comes with aluminum fork
- Comfortable seating
- The wheels aren’t as good as the frame
- You still need to get a pro to assemble this for you.
Schwinn Fastback Carbon Performance Road Bike
Every list of great bikes will probably include a Schwinn, and so we have one on our list. It’s the most expensive bike on this list too. But then you have a carbon fiber frame and that should be explanation enough. But it’s also a Schwinn, and that comes with its historic legacy of excellence. It’s available in 5 sizes, accommodating a height range of 5’0″ – 5’3″ for the extra-small while the XL is for those within 6’1″ – 6’4″.
Features and Specs:
- Both the frame and the fork are made with carbon fiber, and you also have a carbon-tapered steerer.
- Shimano gives you the Shimano 105 22-speed drivetrain, Schwinn 50/34T compact crank and Shimano 105 STI shifters.
- You have lightweight and strong double wall Alex R500 rims, with 25C Kenda Kriterium tires
- The BR-561 alloy caliper road brakes and the brake levers are also from Shimano.
- You get the aluminum Schwinn S1 road stem, bar and road race saddle along with double-gel bar tape
- There are also the standard 2 mounts for water bottles.
You do have to understand that this Carbon Fiber version of the Schwinn Fastback is actually designed for advanced to expert riders. So what’s it doing on this newbie list? It’s here because some beginners want something advanced right away. They want a superb model to learn on so that when they get better they already have a suitable bike that they’re used to.
- It comes with the Schwinn limited LIFETIME warranty against manufacturing defects
- Virtually the entire Shimano 105 kit is on this bike, except for the pedals
- It’s extremely lightweight at 18.5 pounds
- Smooth gear change
- That pedal has to go.
- You’ll need a pro to set it up.
- You can’t install a rack in the rear.
Vilano Forza 4.0 Aluminum Integrated Shifters Road Bike
Now back to the other side of the cost spectrum, as we have here one of our more affordable models. This is for larger users, with size options of only medium or large. It’s Vilano’s entry-level road bike and it’s a good and affordable way to get people interested in the cycling lifestyle.
Features and Specs:
- 24 speeds, with Shimano ClarisDerailleurs
- Shimano Claris STI integrated shifters
- 6061 Double Butted Aluminum frame
- 700c Steel Racing 1⅛” Threadless fork
- Kenda 700c x 23c tires
- It’s extremely affordable, yet the quality is good
- It has the Shimano Claris components, which are excellent
- The aluminum frame is quite durable
- You won’t need to remove your hands from the brake handles to shift gears
- The wheels may not support heavy weights for long
- The bike is somewhat heavy
Tommaso Sterrata Shimano Claris R2000 Gravel Adventure Bike
The price for this is also in the sweet spot middle of our list, though it’s a bit more expensive than the Tommaso Imola. That extra expense is explained by the fork, which is made with carbon fiber. In contrast, the Imola uses a steel fork. It’s a bit heavier than the Imola though. So why isn’t this higher up the list? Aside from the higher cost (which beginners don’t really need), the Sterrata is getting harder to buy in the right size. Some sellers, for example, may only have the small versions available. This is good though if you get it in the right size. It’s a 2019 touring bike for both the street and the trail.
Features and Specs:
- SLA 6061 aluminum frame
- The bike weighs 25.4 pounds
- Ultralight Sport Series handlebars
- Shimano Claris Shifters and Derailleurs for smooth shifting, with Shimano Claris crankset
- Tommaso HCT Carbon fork offers lightweight sturdiness while dampening vibrations
- Tommaso Corsa TC-30D rims
- Avid BB5 disc brakes
- Tommaso TRS Performance seat post
- WTB Volt saddle with cushion
- It looks fantastic
- The weight is light enough
- It can zip around town
- It doesn’t have a problem with dirt and gravel
- The whole drivetrain is from Shimano
- Mounts for fenders and racks
- The disc brake calipers can be hard to adjust
- Just a bit more expensive than the Imola
Pure Cycles Classic 16-Speed Road Bike
This can be available in 3 sizes, ranging from medium to XL. You also have 4 basic color options: black, gray, red, and blue. For those who insist on doing the assembly, it’s already 90% preassembled and you have YouTube videos for the actual assembly.
Features and Specs:
- 4130 chromoly steel frameset
- Shimano Claris 16-speed drivetrain (shifters, cassette, and derailleur)
- Lifetime manufacturer’s warranty on the frame with a 1-year warranty on components
- Hutchinson Nitro II tires with all-weather tread design
- 17mm deep dish alloy rims with stainless steel spoke
- front and rear alloy caliper brakes
- Shimano Claris 16-speed drivetrain
- The price is fantastic for the quality you get
- Mounting and attachment points for racks, fenders, crates, and panniers
- Lifetime warranty for frame
- Steel frame
- The wheels, pedals, and seats are nothing special (and may have to be replaced)
Kestrel Legend Shimano 105 Bicycle
And we’re back to the costlier side of our “acceptable” price for beginners. One look at this and you may understand why it costs a lot. Its looks alone are already impressive and pricey. It also looks darn fast.
Features and Specs:
- The frame is made of carbon and it’s the lightest frame from Kestrel at just 780 grams.
- Fork is also made from carbon, with an EPS foam mold to reduce weight and boost rigidity.
- Aggressive geometry with more aerodynamic riding position
- Asymmetrically shaped seat stays and chainstays are designed to improve power transfers while dampening vibrations
- Shimano 105 kit, except for the pedals
- This is incredibly lightweight at 17.74 pounds
- The superb ride makes you feel good and relaxed on the road
- It’s very steady, even at speeds of 50 mph.
- It’s like a plush ride on a Harley, except it handles like a Ducati
- Lots of Shimano components
- Somewhat pricey, and some beginners may not feel that the superb components are worth the expense
Giordano Libero 1.6 Men’s Road Bike-700c
It’s annoyingly available in just small or large sizes. But the price is certainly low while the quality is quite good (at least for the price). It looks good too, but the Giordano brand did start out in the fashion industry.
Features and Specs:
- 6061 aluminum frame
- Shimano Claris 16 Speed STI shifters and derailleurs
- aluminum road 50-34 compact crank
- 2 water bottle mounts
- Very affordable
- Offers fantastic workout
- It looks great
- Lots of Shimano parts (Shifters, Rear Derailleur, Front Derailleur, Cassette
- Quite heavy at 27 pounds
- It can be hard to climb hills with it
What You Need to Know When Buying a Road Bike for Beginners
So you’ve decided to buy a road bike, and you’re new to the world of cycling. Now what? Before you simply buy a bike, you should take note of the following tips:
What’s Your Budget?
First,figure out what you’re ready to spend. To get your money’s worth, you’ll want to set aside at least $400, but if you can you may want to go all the way to $1000. Spend less than $400 and chances are that you’re getting a cheap bike that won’t be fun to ride and won’t last long. But you shouldn’t spend more than $1400 as you’re still a newbie, and you need to first figure out how you’re going to develop as a cyclist. You may end up just going back to riding in cars all the time, and you’ve wasted a lot of your money.
Read the Customer Reviews
While our reviews give you a nice overview of what to expect, customer reviews offer a more objective point of view. You can then see what most people are thinking and feeling when they use a particular bike model. You’ll know what problems they encountered so you can ask yourself if you’re willing to deal with those same issues.
You need to make sure that your bike can accommodate your size. Most road bikes can carry heavy loads, but they must match your particular height. If your options are only small and medium sizes, then you’re out of luck for that particular model if you’re as tall as an NBA player.
The Look Also Matters
Not very many reviews offer too much focus on the looks of a bike. That’s because there are no real standards for great aesthetics, and only you can determine what looks good to your eyes. But you should look at the color schemes and designs and see if you like the look for yourself. Bikes also work as fashion statements, and you may find yourself riding les frequently if you’re embarrassed by the look of your bike.
Test from a Bike Shop, but Buy Online
Buying online makes perfect sense because it’s generally cheaper. There are no overhead and salespeople salaries for the seller to cover. But you need ample time for the guaranteed return period, because you may find that the bike, while on paper may be a match for you, is really not to your liking.
Better yet, you can find the dealer finder on a manufacturer’s website to find a local shop that carries the bike you’re looking for. You can then ask for a test ride. Do your test ride wearing the clothes you’ll often wear on your bike runs, and simulate the same conditions. A nice bike test should last about 15 minutes or so.
After You Buy the Bike, Get It Adjusted by a Pro
A newbie can’t really adjust a bike properly and as well as a pro can. Better yet, might as well have them assemble the bike for you. This is one reason why “ease of assembly” isn’t really one of the more important factors for buying a bike for beginner.
The best beginner road bikes will fit into your budget and will be fun to ride. It should look good and you should look good too while riding one. You need to be comfy on it, and that will encourage you to ride more frequently. Soon enough, you won’t be a newbie anymore. That doesn’t mean you need a new bike, as super bikes for newbies can still work for advanced cyclists.