Many people have adopted cycling as a way to keep themselves in shape or as a source of entertainment. No matter which goal you have in mind, for those starting out, a quality bicycle is a must-have.
In today’s article, we will introduce to you the best beginner road bikes to help you embark on your cycling journey, as well as present some key factors that should be taken into consideration when you go shopping for one. Hopefully, by the end of our post, you can find what you need. Without further ado, let’s jump right in with the best beginner road bikes.
For tires, we think beginners should try to avoid narrow tires. Go for bikes with wider tires, which have become pretty common in recent years.
So why not choose narrow tires? For newbies, you don’t know where you usually ride yet, as well as your pedaling habit. Narrow tires usually fit those who have already known what they do, so it might not be the best choice for you.
On the other hand, the added width of wider tires, typically the 28mm ones, allows you to have lower tire pressure, thus reducing the chances of flat tires. In addition, wide tires have a better grip on gravel and dirt, so you can have more options as to where to ride before finally settling down for what you like.
Keep in mind that, however, wider means heavier, so if weight is a problem that concerns you and you want to have something compatible with faster traveling on smooth surfaces, search for bikes with tires in the range of 25mm.
With most entry-level road bikes nowadays, you can find a system of disc brakes, be it hydraulic or mechanical. Disc brakes give you much more braking power in comparison with their rim counterparts, which is even more useful when it’s raining and the ground gets all wet and mushy.
Disc brakes require less maintenance, which is a bonus. They also allow you to control your bike with less stress placed on your hands, therefore you’ll experience less hand fatigue.
Many people when looking for an entry-level road bike tend to settle for bikes that are lower in price. It’s not bad to save up some money but we advise you to do your research carefully, because the cheaper price may come at the expense of quality details and components. Many manufacturers implement lower-grade components for lower prices, and this can vastly affect the final performance. When it comes to the components, there’s a balance between performance and price that customers should aim to reach.
For most brands, including Shimano, we recommend you find Claris or higher-grade Sora sets of components. Claris is good enough, and although Sora is better, the gap is not huge.
With these component lineups, you can attain decent performances while figuring out your way around road cycling. They’re easy to maintain as well, making them even more suitable for starters.
4. Frame: Carbon vs. Aluminum?
You may have noticed that all bikes we suggest in our post are made of aluminum. So what is the reason for that?
Most sources state that carbon frame bikes provide superior performances, but we believe this statement is not really comprehensive. Its true carbon frame is phenomenal and all, but we’re talking about entry-level road bikes were, which we think do better with aluminum.
Bikes with frames of carbon often come with higher price tags, and for those who just start pedaling, we don’t think it’s necessary to splurge on your bike that early. You can choose an aluminum bike instead, which is more budget-friendly because even a top-notch aluminum bike in most cases still costs less than a relatively average carbon one.
Additionally, since you’re a newbie, chances are that you’ll be involved in some kind of accident. Under such circumstances, aluminum will prove to be more efficient, since carbon is more prone to tearing and cracks. In conclusion, you’re a starter and you’re still testing the water, so why pay more when you can pay less?
Last update on 2022-11-28 / Affiliate links / Images, Product Titles, and Product Highlights from Amazon Product Advertising API
When it comes to the most wonderful road bikes for beginners, it would be a huge mistake if we forgot to mention the Tommaso Imola Shimano Claris R2000. This impressive model is the best-selling of Tommaso, and it boasts this position for obvious reasons.
First and foremost, this product impresses you with its lightweight frame made of aluminum and lightweight wheels, giving it substantial versatility with which it can easily be converted into a commuter or touring bike. You may start to wonder whether the bike could last with such materials, and the answer is 100% yes.
Shimano believes bikes are built to last, and with that in mind, they’ve chosen only premium aluminum to achieve optimal durability. The bike is supported with a 2-year warranty from Shimano themselves, so now you can ride your bike with confidence knowing that your bike won’t break down at any given moment.
The next contender for the position of the best entry-level road bike is a representative from Vilano, the Shadow 3.0. The Shadow 3.0 is among the greatest products of Vilano, packed with multiple cool features to give you the best riding experience ever.
What sets the Shadow 3.0 apart is the STI brake lever/shifters which is integrated into the bike to provide users with complete control over the function process. With a single unit, you’re offered near seamless braking and shifting, so no matter what happens on the road, as long as you know what you’re doing, there’s nothing that could go wrong.
Furthermore, the bike comes with a 6061 double-butted aluminum aero frame, which makes the overall product light-weighted and easy to maneuver; as well as a built-in headset and internal cable routing. The package also features free pedals, thus it is safe to say that the Vilano Shadow 3.0 can easily satisfy every customer, even the ones with the most particular taste.
The next product in the category of the best beginner road bikes is actually one that’s designed specifically for women. The Giordano Libero 1.6 is an amazing choice for newbie women cyclists out there who are searching high and low for a product that best suits their needs.
The reason this is the most suitable product for women is that it’s specifically designed to fit women’s body structure. The narrower handlebars along with shorter stem and shorter top tube make pedaling way more comfortable for female cyclists, especially when a long distance is set to be covered.
Looking at the material, the frame of the Giordano Libero 1.6 is manually constructed with lightweight 6061 aluminum. For components, this bike is equipped with strong caliper brakes and dual water bottle mounts, so it’s safe to say this model is a smart choice regarding convenience.
In summary, for women who are navigating through cycling and want to find a decent entry-level road bike, or to upgrade from their leisure biking, the Giordan Libero 1.6 is worth the attention.
Although it’s not a standard road bike, the Diverse 3.0 with all its glory is another product from Vilano that makes its way onto the list of the best beginner road bikes.
The bike is in fact a hybrid flat-bar bike, but before you can say it’s not appropriate for traveling on paved roads, take a look at its wheels. The 700c wheels included make it more than capable of covering long distances, so maybe it’s not the traditional one you encounter frequently, the Vilano Diverse 3.0 can still carry out what a road bike does perfectly.
The hydroformed alloy performance hybrid frame and fork make sure that the bike is reactive to the road yet still maintains maximum comfort for users, thus you can be guaranteed that you have the best of both worlds. The disc brakes in lieu of rim brakes give you great braking power, while the upright handlebar takes ease of use and control to a brand new level.
All in all, the Vilano Diverse 3.0 has everything you could ask for from an entry-level road bike and even more. No matter whether you’re finding a bike to help you with your fitness goals or just for recreational purposes, the Vilano Diverse 3.0 will never let you down.
1. Is it necessary to buy an expensive beginner road bike?
The answer to this question totally depends on your usage pattern and your personal preference. Normally the more you pay, the more you get, so if you have higher demands and are willing to spend, you can settle for a model that belongs to the higher end of the price spectrum.
Nonetheless, never forget that you’re shopping for an entry-level bike, one that gives you a taste of road biking and lets you do your initial experiment instead of one that you will continue to use for the rest of your pedaling journey.
It’s alright if you want to pay more, but it’s not compulsory to go overboard. Besides, always keep an eye out for tricks and traps from suppliers. Like any other commodity, bike manufacturers can overcharge you, so be careful and consider everything carefully before arriving at a final decision.
2. Does the brand matter?
The road bike industry has become more open than ever, with various companies deciding to participate. Although we do not focus entirely on brand names, we think you should choose those with great customer service, such as a good warranty policy. This will give you more peace of mind as you’re assured that someone will have your back.
3. Do I need to pay attention to pedals?
Many bikes don’t feature pedals, so the next choice you have to make after getting your bike is which pedals to get. Generally speaking, there are 2 types of pedals which are flat clipless pedals, each has its own pros and cons.
- Flat pedals: Better versatility (more shoes options) but less efficiency (takes more energy).
- Clipless pedals: Fewer shoe choices as they have to have stiffer soles, but less power is required for pedaling.
Which one you choose is your decision to make. You can do some more research in advance to further see what suits you, and decide accordingly.
4. Besides a bike, what do I need to start road pedaling?
Assume that you’ve decided on which bike model to purchase, there are still some more items you need to buy. Water bottles and bottle cages, fixing tools in case there is a flat tire, and so forth.
We recommend you ask for information from experienced cyclists (by joining cycling groups or going on different websites) to know exactly what you need to watch out for.
5. Can I buy a used bike instead of a new one?
If for any reason you prefer a used road bike over a new one, know that you can always find one that satisfies you. eBay, Craigslist, Facebook marketplace,... honestly there are so many platforms that will provide you with great deals. No matter whether you choose a new or a used bike, always pay attention to the factors we’ve presented.
To conclude our article on the best beginner road bikes, we would like to show you the aspect in which each of the products discussed excels through a small list. By looking at this list, you’ll have a better idea of the one that would be your perfect match.
- Best of the best beginner road bikes overall: Tommaso Imola Shimano Claris R2000
- Runner-Up: Vilano Shadow 3.0 Road Bike
- Best Value: Vilano Diverse 3.0
- Best for Women: Giordano Libero 1.6 Women’s Road Bike
Thank you for your attention! We hope our article on the best entry-level road bikes will make it easier for you to decide on which product to spend your money on. Keep us updated in our comment section, and please look forward to our future updates. If you have any questions on the best beginner road bikes topic, don't forget to let us know via the comments below. We hope you have the best beginner road bike that is right for you!