Top 10 Best Entry Level Road Bike 2017 Reviews And Buying Guide

Best Entry Level Road Bike

Every year when the Tour de France kicks off in July, road biking experiences an uptick in its spectators. An encouraging number of people vow to start cycling. However, even before July ends, the enthusiasm fades off just like it never existed in the first place.

If you experienced the annual euphoria regarding road biking last year, you’d know the biggest impediment which forced your interest to fade off: lack of advice in choosing the best entry level road bike.

However, now that you’ve arrived here, your search for the best entry level road bike is complete. Not only will we give you the list of best entry level road bikes – but in case you want to select a bike on your own, we would acclimatize you with the factors which are relevant in choosing the best entry level road bike.

Our Favorite:

Schwinn Men's Volare 1200 Bike, 700c, Grey

Schwinn Men's Volare 1200 Bike, 700c, Grey

If the brand name is the only thing you are looking for in your search for the best entry level bike, Schwinn’s Men’s Volare – which is protected by a lifetime warranty for the original user – is worth your attention.

In terms of performance, the Schwinn Volare 1200 has been provided with 21-gear speeds, a high-quality Shimano derailleur plus a good functioning crankshaft. Put simply, all these components combine to give you a truly seamless experience every time you shift gears while riding.

Also, in stark contrast to ordinary entry level bikes – which shudder when brakes are applied instantly, this one will give away no such shortcomings. As for the extra slim tires – which rules out the possibility of this bike being driven on an off-road, they provide immaculate grip while running on the road without any difficulty.

​​What We Like:

  • Easy gear shifting mechanism
  • Ultra slim tires provide good grip on the road
  • ​Lightweight
  • Brakes operate reliably and the bike won’t shudder even when you apply the brakes instantly

​​What We Didn’t Like:

  • Assembly is difficult

FINAL VERDICT

Although Schwinn bikes are mainly designed for professional riders, the manufacturer – by churning out this bike – has tried to lure newcomers to this side. If you feel like belonging to that category.


Runner Up:

Vilano Shadow 2.0 Road Bike - Shimano STI Integrated Shifters

Vilano Shadow 2.0 Road Bike - Shimano STI Integrated Shifters

Although the price of this bike is more than the preceding two, do not turn your eyes away from it without looking at its features.

First thing first, and it is the Shimano’s finest STI shifters which seem to justify the price tag of this bike. Fairly high quality, this shifter allow you to shift gears swiftly.

Also, the wheelset is quality and when combined with the 700c tires – which are excellent, require minimal effort to get to maximum speed and maintain their velocity with ease, give this bike a sturdy appearance.

Also, if you struggle with your posture while covering long distances, the aerodynamically designed frame will reduce wind resistance to give you a comfortable ride.

​​What We Like:

  • Wheel-set is quality
  • Tires attain maximum speed with ease
  • ​Available in a wide range of colors

​​What We Didn’t Like:

  • Aluminum frame might not hold in windy conditions

FINAL VERDICT

If you can suffice with a medium quality bike which has 14 gear speeds, this bike deserves your attention.


Also great:

Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike

Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike

For those of you looking for a bike for commuting to office or school, the Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike is worth a glance. For, not only is it inexpensive – even for an entry level road bike – but it provides excellent durability and rides quality in addition to a brilliant yellow color scheme.

Turning our attention to its wheels, they support various 700*32 tires – making the bike must-have if your road conditions are less than ideal. As for the brakes, Takara has gone with the pull brakes which are perfect for a first-time rider.

More importantly, since it is single speed, this bike offers both the freewheel and fixed gear options. Hence, whether you want a road bike for commuting or endurance workouts, this bike will work just as fine.

​​What We Like:

  • Supports riders from 5’8’’ to 6’2’’
  • Heavy steel frame imparts this bike stability
  • ​Thanks to the 700*32 tires, it will withstand less than ideal road conditions

​​What We Didn’t Like:

  • Heavy frame plus the handlebars aren’t too comfortable

FINAL VERDICT

If you are looking for a good entry level bike – which is as proficient on casual riding as it is on commuting, the Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road bike deserves your money.


#4. Aluminum Road Bike Commuter Bike Shimano 21 Speed 700c

Aluminum Road Bike Commuter Bike Shimano 21 Speed 700c

Although entry level riders mostly go with single speeds or fixies, the speed-loving among those yearn for more gears. If you fall into that category, this bike might be a godsend for you.

Made up of an aluminum frame and alloy metals, the price of this bike is economic for most riders. Also, if you feel after riding this bike that some of the parts do not meet your preference, you can upgrade any of those components because this bike is fully customizable.

The design of this bike also deserves a thumbs up. Apart from the fact that you can buy it in four different color patterns, the drop frame is very pleasing to the eye. More importantly, this bike will come mostly assembled, requiring minimum effort from your side.

On the flip side, many users have complained of its brake levers being cheap and the brake pads being not angle adjustable. Also, while it has a renowned Shimano rear derailleur, it is maybe because of its low price that it is very difficult to tune.

​​What We Like:

  • Each component is fully customizable to meet your preference
  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • ​Pleasing to the eye
  • Provide 21-speed options at an economical price

​​What We Didn’t Like:

  • Both the brake levers and brake pads are poor quality

FINAL VERDICT

If you are willing to purchase this bike, you might have to take it to the mechanic to sort out some of the above-mentioned issues.


#6. Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike Shimano 21 Speed 700c

Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike Shimano 21 Speed 700c

Depending on which size will fit you the best – Vilano R2 comes in three sizes: Small, Medium and Large, the price of this bike fluctuates from being inexpensive to slightly over the odds for an entry level road bike. However, if you believe in buying once but buying quality, this bike might satiate your newly built appetite for a road bike.

Starting from its handlebars, they are bent forward – a unique choice for an entry level road bike. Maybe, Vilano has done this to provide more clearance between the seat – which isn’t the most comfortable for long rides, and the handlebar itself. Anyway, it would be difficult for a first timer to get used to them.

Apart from that, this bike has all the ingredients which you might expect in any entry level road bike. It has a lightweight aluminum frame, its 21-gear speeds are very easy to shift thanks to Shimano derailleur, and the quick release skewers allow it to attain its maximum speed in no time.

​​What We Like:

  • Comes in various sizes, you’d have no difficulty in finding yours
  • Attains maximum speed in no time thanks to quick release skewers
  • ​Frame is lightweight yet stable
  • Depending on which size you choose, it can be inexpensive

​​What We Didn’t Like:

  • You might want to replace its original tire tube because users have complained that it goes flat very easily

FINAL VERDICT

Though not the best entry level road bike, Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike has all the ingredients to alienate it from the ordinary.


#7. Merax 21 Speed 700C Aluminum Road Bike Racing Bicycle

Merax 21 Speed 700C Aluminum Road Bike Racing Bicycle

Let’s be honest, no one likes to assemble a bike, no matter how “qualified” he is to do the job. If you feel this sentence is expressing your inner wish, the Merax 21Speed 700c Aluminum Road Bike is just right for you.

For, since it comes 85% factory assembled, you’ll have to spend minimum time and effort on it before taking it to the road.

Merax 21 Speed also takes your safety in the account by equipping the pedals with reflectors. Thanks to the reflectors, your bike will be more visible to the vehicle coming from behind, hence less chance of an accident.

Another feature of this bike which I just love – besides its very reasonable price tag, is its saddle. While you don’t expect to get a cut-out saddle when you pay less than $200 for a bike, this bike does have a cut-out saddle to provide comfort to its rider.

​​What We Like:

  • Very pleasing to the eyes
  • Comes 85% factory assembled
  • ​Cut-out saddle for comfortable rides
  • Rear reflectors to make you visible to the driver coming from behind

​​What We Didn’t Like:

  • Brakes might prove to be a tad difficult to operate

FINAL VERDICT

If you are looking for a very inexpensive entry level road bike – but are unwilling to compromise on your comfort, here is a bike that might suit you.


#8. Kent GZR700 Road Bike, 700c

Kent GZR700 Road Bike, 700c

If you have been paying attention, you might have noticed that the lion’s share of the abovementioned bikes was equipped with aluminum frames. However, if you feel that aluminum is too lightweight – which it actually isn’t, here the Kent GZR700 might be worth your best shot.

Coming at an inexpensive price tag, this bike has been equipped with a steel frame, which, apart from imparting this bike stability, allows it to handle windy conditions with aplomb. Hence, whether you live in a windy environment – or just love riding against the wind, here is a bike you just cannot afford to miss.

Another notable feature of this bike is its alloy caliper brakes. Yes, while most road bikes go for the inexpensive pull brakes, Kent GZR700 has upped the game by going for the alloy caliper brakes.

​​What We Like:

  • Steel frame makes it more stable
  • Inexpensive
  • ​Sturdy and well built

​​What We Didn’t Like:

  • Brakes will require minor tuning after assembly

FINAL VERDICT

If you are not put off with the “brake tuning” thing – and want to ride a bike similar to the ones your father or grandfather had done back in their day, this bike is a must buy.


#9. GMC Denali Flat Bar Road Bike

GMC Denali Flat Bar Road Bike

If the brand name isn’t the first thing you look when selecting a new product, the GMC Denali Flat Bar Road Bike is worth a shout.

The biggest plus point of this bike is its maneuverability, which comes from the flat handlebar. Those living in a city and who have to navigate with urban traffic might testify how crucial it is to them to have a bike which can take turns with ease. Thus, thanks to the flat handlebar, this bike is perfect for urban traffic.

Another notable area of this bike – one you might not notice until you ride it, is the clearance between the saddle and the handlebar. For those who want to push extra pressure on the paddle by standing up on it, the clearance is a godsend.

Also, since it is 21-speed – and comes in a lightweight aluminum frame, this bike is best for hilly areas in general and driving uphill in particular.

​​What We Like:

  • Has a bottle holder attached
  • Flat handlebars makes it easier to maneuver
  • ​Clearance between saddle and handlebar allows you to ride while standing
  • It has racing bike rims

​​What We Didn’t Like:

  • Gears can be troublesome if you don’t get the right combination
  • Kickstand isn’t very sturdy and not at all durable

FINAL VERDICT

If all you are looking for in your potential road bike is the ease of maneuverability, the GMC Denali Flat Bar Road bike, despite its well-documented shortcomings, is worth a shout.


How to Choose Best Entry Level Road Bike?

Now that you are aware of the things to keep in mind while riding, below mentioned are few tips to land you the best entry level road bike.

Brakes

The best entry level road bikes contain two types of brakes: disc and caliper. Both of them have their drawbacks and benefits.

If you are looking for a brake which provides reliable braking power in both dry and wet conditions, get yourself a disc brake. Having said that, road bikes with disc brakes are more prone to accumulating dirt and grit onto their wheel rims.

On the contrary, while rim brakes are not recommended in wet conditions, they are easy to maintain, cheaper, and provide more choices for wheel up gradation.

Frame

Everything has its heart and when we talk about a road bike, it is its frame which accumulates the majority of your budget. Generally, frames are made from four materials: steel, titanium, aluminum and carbon fiber. Let’s take a look at the pros and cons of each to know which will suit you the best.

Aluminum: If you are unwilling to spend more than $1000 on a road bike, it is likely you’ll get an aluminum frame. Being inexpensive, it is very lightweight and stiff. However, if you live in windy conditions, the lightweight frame might jolt your cycle during the journey. Hence, you might need to like at the upcoming frames to make your choice.

Steel: Take a look at any retro bike, and it is likely that it would have a steel frame. Since it is heavier than aluminum – or any other frame material for that matter, it is recommended if you are going to ride in windy conditions.

Take a look at any retro bike, and it is likely that it would have a steel frame. Since it is heavier than aluminum – or any other frame material for that matter, it is recommended if you are going to ride in windy conditions.

Also, thanks to its heaviness, a steel frame would sniff out the vibrations coming off road bumps. On the flip side, you might have to compromise on your speed because a steel brake will weigh down your bike, making it less speedy.

Carbon Fibre: Talking about the frame which is in vogue these days, carbon fiber is the undisputed winner. Although it was once astronomically expensive, you can get a carbon fibre frame for around $800 these days.

Having said that, not all carbon fibre frames are made equal, so you might have to look at where it’s manufactured, which type of fiber was used in its construction, and other important factors like weight, comfort, and stiffness which vary from one carbon fiber frame to the next.

Titanium: If you are looking for a frame which is as durable as steel – and as light as aluminum, titanium frames are your best bet. Also, since it is corrosion resistant as well, you can get along with this frame for ages provided you take care of it. 

Having said that, you’d have to have deeper pockets if you want to have a titanium frame for they are the most expensive ones.

Geometry

Road bikes can be divided into two categories in this regard: race and endurance. Since they are designed to give you quick handling, race bikes will put your torso in a lower position – keeping your center of gravity lower and closer to the ground.

Endurance bikes, on the contrary, will make your position more upright, while their frame angles are directed to give you long distance comfort and comfort-inducing stability. In both of these categories, be ready to pay somewhere between $600 and $800 for a best entry level bike.


Road Bike Riding Tips

Since you have just subscribed to the sport, you might do well with some tips which will help you in riding better and safer.

Protect your head

According to reports, more than 60% of all cycling related deaths occur due to head injuries in the US every year. Another report – which is hugely encouraging, states that bicycle helmets reduce the risk of serious head injury by nearly seventy percent. Thus, whether or not your state has bike helmet laws, you should always wear a helmet while going out on a bike.

Get the right saddle

There is a big misconception within riders that the thicker the saddle, the more comfortable it will be. This is NOT true for it is your pelvic bones which will determine whether or not a saddle will fit you. In case you are unsure, go for a longer seat which has a cutout.

Continuously shift while riding

If you are planning on riding for extended periods of time, continuously shift your hands on the handlebar and your rear on the saddle to keep them from going numb.

Say No to Headphones

According to a report, up to 40% of bike-related deaths come from “hit from behind incidents”. Hence, even when it is the fault of the automobile driver coming from behind, it is the bike rider who pays the ultimate price. Consequently, to know what’s coming from behind, say no to headphones, at least during the first few months of your riding.

Always follow the rules

Since you are just starting to ride, it is plausible that you might think it’s not in “vogue” to follow the rules. However, as veteran riders might testify, you can either be an old rider, or a bold rider, not both. Hence, follow the rules.


Conclusion

Take a tour of the market, and you’d come to know that it is inundated with entry level road bikes. To make the task of purchasing a bike more difficult for you, every shopper will claim that it is the bike under his roof which is the best entry level road bike.

However, now that you have taken a detailed look at bikes of various ilks, you know which features differentiate an ordinary bike from the best one. Hence, even if you don’t feel like purchasing one bike from here, you’ve enough information in your arsenal to make a well-informed choice. Good Luck!

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