Best Beginner Road Bikes Under $500 In 2021 [Our Reviews and Comparisons]

Are you looking to get into shape while commuting to work? Maybe you live in an urban area and want to ditch your car because you are tired of the high cost of insurance, maintenance, and the daily headache of trying to find a place to park it?

Well, it’s time for a bike. There are many options out there for a sturdy, reliable bike to make your commuting and exercise time enjoyable.
We recommend you start with an affordable bike (see if you like it first before jumping into an exotic model) and preferably a road bike. What’s a road bike, you ask?

Modern road bikes basically look very similar to racing bikes. They used to also be called trainers.
You don’t ride your competition racing bike up and down the hills while training, getting the rims and the frame all beat to heck. You train on a road bike.

Road bikes resemble racing bikes but are built to be much sturdier and endure more road abuse. They are, as a consequence, heavier to maintain their shape while traversing speed bumps, curbs, and the occasional pothole.

Here we break down our list of the favorite picks for well-made and affordable commuter road bikes under $500.

Best Beginner Road Bike Under 500

Giordano Acciao

Product Highlights

The Acciao by Giordano is an all-steel frame road bike. It comes standard with steel forks, a threadless adjustable handlebar and yoke stem, water bottle mounts, and a 14-speed Shimano gear system (derailleurs, Tourney STI shifters).

Despite being made of steel, the Acciao is not unduly heavy, weighing in just under 30 pounds. Wheels are 700c x 25 mm, a nice mix of thickness to absorb bumps but narrow enough to glide well with little resistance.

Rims (30 mm) are double-wall alloys. Brakes are side-pull, dual-pivot, and have front-mounted single handles.


  • High tensile steel frame and forks
  • Alloy rims
  • Shimano Tourney derailleurs and shifters
  • Transmission: 14-speed

What We Like About Giordano Acciao

Users comment that the Acciao has a very effective braking system. The gear system changes are smooth and without chain drop.
Properly fitted, the riding position is comfortable without too much wrist stress.

What We Don’t Like About Giordano Acciao

When you receive the bike, it must be assembled. If you are experienced in this, it will only take you a few hours.
If not, you need a bike shop to properly fit all the components, run the cables, and get the chain and cable tensions right.


  • Durable construction
  • Good quality components
  • Smooth gear changes
  • Very affordable


  • Ships disassembled
  • The seat can be uncomfortable on long rides

Vilano Shadow 3.0

Product Highlights

The Vilano Shadow 3.0 is a lightweight aluminum-framed road bike (6061 aluminum with double-butting near the joints). It sports Shimano STI shifters and brakes, internally-routed cables, and a 14-gear transmission.

The Shadow comes with 700c x 25 mm Kenda tires on double-wall, CNC-machined rims. The Shadow is currently the most popular road bike on the market.


  • Double-butted aluminum frame and forks
  • Alloy rims
  • Shimano STI derailleurs, brakes, and shifters
  • Transmission: 14-speed

What We Like About Vilano Shadow 3.0

Great brake system, the Shimano STI, will stop you on a dime. The shadow weighs about 25 pounds. Users find the bike to be sturdy and reliable but recommend having a bike shop tune in up for you.

What We Don’t Like About Vilano Shadow 3.0

The bike requires assembly, so unless you are good at it, you must seek out a bike shop. Also, the rims do not fare well on rough roads.


  • Made with quality components
  • A strong, lightweight frame
  • Good brakes


  • Requires assembly
  • Rims not intended for rough pavement

Eurobike XC550

Product Highlights

The Eurobike XC550 is a steel-framed road bike with steel forks riding on 26-inch (66 cm) three-spoke rims. The rims are wider than you typically find in a road bike, which will tend to work better on rougher road surfaces.


  • Steel frame and forks
  • Shimano gearing and derailleurs
  • Transmission: 21-speed
  • Rear disc brakes

What We Like About Eurobike XC550

This bike features rear disc brakes, an unusual feature on road bikes and more commonly seen on mountain bikes. All gearing and derailleurs are Shimano parts, and the bike has a 21-speed transmission.

What We Don’t Like About Eurobike XC550

The bike comes 85% assembled and requires further assembly. If you have doubts about your abilities, save yourself the headache and take it to a bike shop and have them help you.


  • Rugged and durable
  • Great speed even on rough terrain
  • Rear disc brakes
  • More gears than most road bikes


  • Requires some assembly

Schwinn Volare 1300

Product Highlights

Schwinn’s Volare 1300 is an aluminum frame bike with Suntour cranks, Shimano shifters, and derailleurs, and alloy caliper brakes. The total weight of the bike is 26 pounds.


  • Aluminum frame
  • Shimano gearing and derailleurs
  • Transmission: 14-speed
  • Suntour crank

What We Like About Schwinn Volare 1300

This is a sturdy road bike with quality parts. The frame has mounting bolts for water bottles and mounting bolts for a rear rack if you desire it.
Rims are 68-inch and come with 700c tires. The brake system (genuine Schwinn brakes) stops promptly when applied.

What We Don’t Like About Product Name

We recommend using rim tape on the inside of the rim since the spokes tend to breach the plastic liner if you ride over rough roads. Also, the bike comes disassembled and requires the help of a bike shop to get it working well.


  • Lightweight aluminum frame
  • Shimano shifters and derailleurs
  • Schwinn brakes


  • Requires assembly
  • Rims need to be amended with rim tape

Trinx Tempo 1.0

Product Highlights

The Trinx Tempo 1.0 is an aluminum alloy frame road bike with a tensile steel fork, 700c tires, and a full Shimano set of shifters, derailleurs, and gears on a 21-speed transmission.

The total weight is 25 pounds. It features dual brake handles (out front and a pair back on the crossbar).


  • Aluminum alloy frame
  • All Shimano guts (cassette and shifters)
  • Dual brake handles
  • Transmission: 21-speed

What We Like About Trinx Tempo 1.0

The CST Czar tires are excellent street tires and wear well. Dual brake levers allow for different riding positions.
Double-wall alloy rims are durable. There are mounts for a rear rack if desired.

What We Don’t Like About Trinx Tempo 1.0

Requires assembly and should be done at a bike shop, since brake aligning and truing-up rims is a pain in the neck. Let the pro’s do it. Some units are received with shipping damage.

Some users have complained that the shipped assembly instructions are for another bike (not even a road bike). Some problems have been reported with the Winzip brakes and Shimano shifting system.

These problems are likely maintenance-related and should work out if serviced at a bike shop.


  • Lightweight aluminum alloy frame
  • High-quality components
  • Dual brake handles


  • Some mismatched items on the receipt
  • Shipping damage is not uncommon


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Last update on 2021-10-27 at 07:13 / Affiliate links / Images from Amazon Product Advertising API

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