Buying a road bike, given the sheer range of types, materials, component options and price tags, can truly be a daunting task. This is especially if you’re a novice, and are still getting trying to get a bearing. Let’s suppose you’re working within a budget, and would like the greatest bang for your buck. The first thing you need to know is that 1,000 dollars is more than enough for a good quality road bike. You can go overzealous, but if you’re just beginning to take interest in road biking, or need something to get you from point A o point B, going over a thousand would just be a waste of money, especially considering that you can find decent road bikes for as little as 250 green ones. However, we did some research and came up with this detailed list of the best road bikes under 1000.
So, what are the most important things, besides price, to look out for when shopping for best road bikes? Well, as with any other type of bikes, you’d want to check out the frame, as it’ll affect the price more than anything else. You’ll mostly get aluminum in this price range, though in the upper reaches you might start seeing carbon fibres making appearance. However, the most important thing to do is try if it fits. If it doesn’t feel right when you ride, you might as well gift it.
Our list of the best road bikes under 1000
Six reviews of the best road bikes under 1000
1. Giordano Libero 1.6 Men’s Road Bike
One of the best road bikes on the market today, the Giordano Libero 1.6 comes with a handcrafted frame and decent components all round. It comes in three distinct flavors – small (should fit riders from 5’1” to 5’8” with 28–30in inseam), medium (5’8” to 6’2” with an inseam 30–32in) and large (6’2” to 6’5” with a standover height 33–35in). If you’re confused by the designation Men’s bike, don’t be. Just add 3 inches to the recommended measures to figure out if it would fit a woman.
As far as specs and components go, the bike comes with a lightweight 6061 aluminum frame, handcrafted, 700c wheels (great for long rides) 16-speed Shimano Claris shifters and rear derailleur, steel fork, as well as front and rear side pull brakes. It’s about 30ish pounds heavy, fully assembled.
Is the Giordano Libero 1.6 the best road bike out there? Probably not, even in the “under 1,000” category. But it is a great bang for the buck, and should be a great pick if you’re just getting interested in road biking.
2. Vilano Shadow Road Bike
Whether you find the name cool or cringey, the Vilano Shadow road bike will still make you proud to own it. It comes in two colors, black and white, and three standard sizes (small, medium and large), but before you decide on the former, consult their sizing chart to choose the latter. The Shadow has sturdy and lightweight 6061 aluminum alloy frame, double butted to make it even more durable. The wheels are up to scratch – 700c, double walled, which makes them somewhat heavier, but also stronger, which definitely more than makes up for the added weight.
In regards to the drivetrain, the Shadow comes with mid-tier Shimano STI shifters (designed for racing bikes), as well as front and rear Shimano Tourney derailleurs. This will give you 14 speeds total.
If you’re looking for a great entry-level road bike, you might want to check out the Vilano Shadow. It’s more than budget-friendly, and won’t even make you waste more money on the tune-up.
3. Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men’s Road Bike
If you’re interested in biking in the slightest, then Schwinn should could as a household name wherever you live, and with good reason. With this in mind, it’s no wonder that the company tries hard to uphold its reputation, and the Schwinn Phocus 1600 definitely seems like they’re going the right way about it. The frame is aluminum, lightweight, fairly sturdy, and more importantly, allows the Phocus to incorporate a carbon fiber road fork without breaking the bank. The rims come double walled, with paired spokes and front quick release for easier maintenance.
The drivetrain is (drumroll) Shimano, the 16-speed Shimano derailleur, to be precise. Granted, it’s a low-end component but more than adequate. More importantly, it helps keep the Phocus inexpensive. For stopping power, the bike sports Promax alloy dual pivot caliper brakes, cold forged from 6061-T6 aluminum alloy.
You can’t really expect to find a gem of a bike under 1,000, let alone 500, but the Schwinn Phocus certainly qualifies as one of the best road bikes under 1000. Although it doesn’t have the highest-grade components, it does have a great selling point – its carbon fibre fork, which nearly eliminates road vibration, giving you a smooth ride.
4. Giordano Libero Acciao Road Bike
The Giordano Libero Acciao Road Bike is somewhat of a stranger on this list, as it’s the only bike with a steel frame and fork. This makes it slightly heavier than its aluminum-frame counterparts, but also less stiff. This could really make your daily commute a treat rather than walking the green mile. It comes in three standard sizes – small (5’1” to 5’8”, 28” to 30” inseam, up to 5’5”/28” inseam for women), medium (5’8” to 6’0”, 30” to 32” inseam, up to 5’8’/30” inseam for women) and large (6’2” to 6’5”, 33” to 35” inseam), and two color variants – Red (Men’s) and Grey/Venus (Women’s).
As far as components go, the bike comes with 700c wheels (and matching Kenda tires), 14-speed Shimano STI integrated drivetrain, as well as front and rear alloy side pull brakes for decent stopping power.
If you’re looking to buy your very first bike, you might want to check out the Giordano Libero Acciao. Granted, you’ll need to have it tuned up by a professional, which may cost you additionally, but it’s so inexpensive it won’t matter.
5. Vilano FORZA 2.0 Road Bike
The Vilano FORZA 2.0 is the only bike on this list that comes even close to the magical 1,000 limit. So, if you’re working with a somewhat less prohibitive budget, but still want to keep it within reason, this might be the thing for you. It comes with a durable, double butted aluminum frame (6061) and 12k carbon fiber racing fork. The fork works wonders in reducing road vibrations, greatly improving the somewhat stiff aluminum frame.
Moreover, the bike comes with a higher-end Shimano drivetrain, the 9-speed Shimano Sora shifters, as well as Sora front derailleur and Tiagra rear derailleur. The brakes are alloy caliper road brakes, which gives more than enough stopping power. Although, its 700c wheels will eat up miles with such ease you’ll rarely want to use the brakes.
The Vilano FORZA is not only suitable for your daily commutes, but should also give you decent enough performance for a race or two, and with a budget-happy price, at that. Whether you win or not is up to you.
6. Vilano Aluminum Road Bike
The Vilano’s Aluminum Road Bike is pretty much what it reads on the tin, nothing more, nothing less. Still, a little more detail wouldn’t hurt anyone – the bike’s frame is 6061 double butted aluminum, which makes it more durable at less weight compared to non-butted bikes. The 700c double walled wheelset is definitely up to par.
The bike comes with 21-speed handlebar-mounted Shimano A050 SIS shifters, which go great with the dropped handlebar. For stopping power, it uses alloy caliper brakes, which will stop you in your tracks, though you need to really crack down on them.
You can get it in three sizes – small, medium and large, and three color variants – black, white and grey.
If you’re looking for something to get you started in road biking, and want to keep it budget-friendly, you should definitely check out the Vilano Aluminum Road Bike. Its practical and easily upgradeable design really doesn’t leave much space for a more pretentious name, and the bike performs accordingly.
All in all, finding the favorite between the six bikes presented on this list is next to impossible, if we want to keep it objective. Still, some recommendations can be made, which should make your decision all the easier. For a start, for the absolute cheapest, budget-friendly solution, you should go for the Giordao Libero Acciao. Keep in mind, though, that you will get what you pay for. For something more, and slightly more money, you can get the Vilano Aluminum Road Bike. It’s not a whole class above the Acciao, but the components are slightly better, and it’s easy to upgrade if you want. The Giordano Libero 1.6 and Vilano Shadow come somewhere in the middle, both in terms of price and quality; and while the joins them in the same price range, it’s still slightly better Schwinn Phocus bang for the buck, all things considered. Finally, for those that aren’t afraid to shell out some more money for more quality, there’s one of the best road bikes under 1,000 bucks – the aptly named Vilano FORZA.