Best Beginner Road Bikes of 2021 – Complete Buyer’s Guide

| Last Updated: January 23, 2022

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Road bikes mean different things for different people. Some people consider them to be a commuting method only; for others, this is a way to go out and explore one's natural or urban surroundings, while some people tend to think of road bikes as something to race on.

If you are looking to invest in a road bike, you can get overwhelmed easily with the number of choices present on the market. There are numerous different features to keep track of, and each feature has its own advantage. What you will generally be searching for is a bike that is made for speed and one that is suitable for beginners as well.

In this article, we've collected the top bikes available, along with their most notable features, and answered some frequently asked questions as well. Make use of this guide to find the best beginner road bike for yourself.

Comparison Chart of the Best Beginner Road Bikes

  • Incredibly lightweight and strong at the price point it is available in
  • Best overall for a beginner since it comes with a Shimano 21 speed gear system
  • Fitted with 700c size wheels, the most common size with replacement tube and tubes
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  • All the components are backed up with a two-year warranty
  • Runner-up as it provides users with maximum comfort and efficiency
  • 700c bike tires are 25mm wide and ensure that you have a bump-free ride and enjoy the most of it
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  • Has a limited lifetime warranty, making it perfect for beginners
  • Since it is a lightweight bike, it can reach higher speeds efficiently
  • Best for the money as it comes with built-in racks and fender mounts, as well
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  • Best women’s road bike as it comes with an upright geometry
  • Aluminum frame allows you to compete at the speed level ideal for you
  • Available in two models, and both of them ensure a good seating position, which is upright and comfortable
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  • Dual disc brake system integrated inside ensures good control
  • Best beginner road bike under $500 because it comes with a 21-speed shifting system
  • Comes almost assembled, and with just a quick fitting of some parts, you can take it down on the road right away
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What Size of Road Bike Do I Need?

Choosing the right bike frame size makes the most difference when shopping, because if the fit of your bike is good, it’ll be incredibly comfortable during your cycling journey; if not, you could be in for some serious discomfort. It'll also make it easier to handle and ride efficiently. If you want to know the bike size needed, all you need to do is find and match your height and the inside of the leg. Get this measurement and then use a bike size chart to find the right size of road bike you need.

What to Look For When Buying Your First Road Bike

If you are thinking of buying the best road bike for yourself, there are certain things you need to look for. These include:


The material used in the construction of your bike affects the performance greatly. When it comes to road bikes, you will want to get one that has the lightest weight. That said, you’d still want to get one that has a strong material so that it is a durable product. There are a few materials you can choose from, such as steel, aluminum, and carbon fiber.

Steel is a very common material, and bikes made from high tensile steel are usually the cheapest ones. They are strong and durable, but not lightweight. However, with Chromoly steel, you can have the benefits of steel in a more lightweight bike.

Aluminum is another common material and is lightweight and very strong. Unfortunately, this material is more expensive than high tensile steel. Carbon fiber is another material that is very lightweight and incredibly robust, but it is also incredibly expensive and is found only in high-end bikes.


Gears are incredibly useful as they allow you to track climbs easily. Any gearing ensures that you have a better potential for climbing. An eight-speed gear provides you enough capacity to tackle the toughest climb, and any gear more than eight is an excellent choice as well.

Tires And Wheels

When it comes to road bikes, you need to get one that has very narrow tires. This is because these tires help in reducing air resistance. However, if you are not a bike racer, then adapting your tires is a good way to provide more versatility to it. A bike with wider tires is more stable and allows you to ride confidently over potholed roads.


Usually, racing geometry allows the rider to remain in a horizontal position as it reduces the air resistance at high speed. This geometry is achieved by drop handlebars that allow you to grip it from the front of the bike at a low point. If speed is what you are concerned about, then this is the geometry to get.

However, a more upright geometry is what you should get if you want more comfort.

Review of the Best Beginner Road Bikes

In order to find the best beginner road bikes, there are several things you need to consider. You need to find what customers say about it, why it stands out, and what shortcomings it comes with. To make this decision easier for you, we have compiled the top five best road bikes for beginners in order to help you find what you are looking for. 

Best Overall:
 Vilano Shadow Road Bike

Vilano Shadow Road Bike, Large, Black


  • Drop bars reduce air resistance
  • Affordable, a great gift for a beginner
  • Durable frame ensures it doesn’t break if it falls down
  • 700c double-walled wheels make it good for riding fast
  • Seamless gear change makes it easy for a beginner to control


  • Small parts of this bike can break easily
  • Wheels on this bike do not stay true for a long time

What Recent Buyers Report

According to recent buyers, this bike is a very decent investment as it contains entry-level integrated STI brifters. "Brifters" refers to a system in which the brakes and shifters are combined, and this feature is not common for bikes in this price range. A bike like this is inexpensive and is a great tool for learning and training so that you can become a much better cyclist.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This bike has aluminum frames on it, which means that you have a very lightweight unit that could allow you to reach that top speed you've been hoping for. Also, the drop bars present on it will help in reducing air resistance. The 700c wheels are double-walled and provide you with excellent rolling capacity, granting you stability and a more comfortable ride.

Who Will Use This Most

This bike is easy to handle, has a fast response to shifter/brake lever, and is made from lightweight aluminum. This is a complete bike with a high definition configuration; it is hard to stay away from and is ideal for children and beginners.

Bottom Line

This is a quality bike that is incredibly durable if taken proper care of. It is fun to ride and is a good option for beginners if they are looking for quality and reasonable price range both. It is easy to customize this product, and you can add in more advanced elements as you grow better at riding it.

 Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike

Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike, Shimano Claris R2000, 24 Speeds - White - Extra Large


  • Very smooth and responsive bike
  • Comes with WBT volt saddle for a safer ride
  • Durable and compact, making it last for a long time
  • Comfortable seat ideal for long bicycling adventures
  • Brakes ensure that you remain in control and upright


  • No pedals or kickstand
  • Noisy freewheel can be annoying sometimes

What Recent Buyers Report

Consumers of this product claim that this is a very gorgeous and elegant-looking bike with good precision and is worth the money. It is extremely enjoyable to ride it as it has a comfortable seat for tall and small people. It cruises quietly and is accurate in shifting. The brakes present on it are noiseless and good too.

Why it Stands Out to Us

Comfort and optimum performance are what this bike is all about. It has a durable and compact frame that provides you with great geometry and is designed to provide the rider with ultimate comfort, especially for beginners. It is incredibly smooth and responsive, and the tires on it aim to provide you with the best grip possible.

Who Will Use This Most

This bike is ideal for beginners, and its comfortable seat makes it perfect for both short and tall people. It is lightweight and easy to control. The disc brakes present on it do a great job of keeping you in control , and the bike offers good gripping ability on rugged terrains.

Bottom Line

When buying a bike, even if it is an entry-level bike, you need to make sure that it will  last. Buying a cheap bike means that things can break easily, but this is not the case with this one. It is a reasonable unit that provides you with groundbreaking performance and a good warranty as well.

Best for the Money:
 Raleigh Bicycles Redux 2

Raleigh Bicycles Redux 2 City Bike


  • Affordable price point
  • Built-in rack mount and fender
  • Comes with a limited warranty for the security
  • Comes with disc brakes in the front and backside
  • Sturdy aluminum frame and fork


  • Lower-end wheels
  • Lacks a kickstand and has no suspension

What Recent Buyers Report

Recent consumers who invested in this claim that they wanted something reliable and simple; this excellent budget bicycle from Raleigh provided them with exactly that. It can last for a long time and is very durable. The hydraulic disc brakes on it make controlling the bike easier for beginners and can also alleviate maintenance.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This endurance road bike is built to combine speed and comfort. It has an aluminum frame and fork that ensure a responsive and nippy ride. Its lightweight nature provides it with a good level of acceleration, and since the crank is made from aluminum too, it makes good for air resistance as well.

Who Will Use This Most

This bike comes with a comfortable seat and easy to use and control abilities. It provides smooth gear shifting and comes with built-in rack and fender mounts that can convert this beginner’s bike into a speedy commuting one. It is a solid investment for professionals and beginners both.

Bottom Line

Endurance is what this road bike is famous for. From shooting the valleys and hills to group riding with your friends, it performs perfectly in every way. Its frame is very lightweight and is also responsive due to the aluminum fork, allowing you to move through traffic quickly and avoid any obstacles. The value to price ratio here is out of sight.

Best Women’s Road Bike for Beginners:
 Schwinn Phocus 1400

Schwinn Phocus 1600 Drop Bar Adult Road Bicycle, 58cm/Large Alluminum Step-Over Frame, Carbon Fiber Fork,16-Speed Drivetrain, 700c Wheels, Black


  • High profile alloy rim wheels
  • Upright geometry ideal for women
  • Aluminum fitness frame allows you to speed up
  • Mechanical disc brakes provide good stopping abilities
  • 24-speed gear system provides you with good control


  • Very stiff frame
  • Riders can feel cable friction when shifting the gear

What Recent Buyers Report

This product is loved by women cyclists as it weighs around 26 pounds and has a comfortable saddle. It works incredibly smoothly and does not make any noise when pedaling. Once you have tuned this bike up, it doesn’t make any noise when shifting the gear.

Why it Stands Out to Us 

This is an incredibly versatile bike that suits women looking to get back into bicycling. It is a responsive item that is great to ride and control and does not compromise on your comfort. The mechanical disc brakes allow you with good stopping capacity and ensure that it is a good, speedy, and study ride without compromising on its stability.

Who Will Use This Most

This bike is ideal for women and men both as it comes in two different models. It is a beginner-level bike and has easy-to-use functions and strong, stable breaks. The geometric position of the seats ensures that your riding position is comfortable, and it allows you to reduce back aches and leg aches during your cycling adventures.

Bottom Line

Overall, this is an ideal bike that comes with decent equipment and great performance at this price. It comes with a warranty that gives you the peace of mind you need, and the seat is elevated and comfortable for men and women both. Once you tune it out, it becomes incredibly smooth for all your adventures.

Best Beginner Road Bike Under $500:
 Eurobike Bikes EURXC550

Bikes EURXC550 21 Speed Road Bike 700C Wheels Road Bicycle Dual Disc Brake Bicycles


  • Contains dual disc brakes for better stability
  • Well designed and engineered to meet your needs
  • Iron racing handlebars ensure good control
  • Comes with 13 different styles that you can choose from
  • Has a steel and rugged frame which is good for beginners


  • Comes with a very narrow seat
  • Incredibly heavy compared to other comparable bikes

What Recent Buyers Report

According to buyers, this bike is a great ride and is worth every penny spent. Assembling it was exceptionally easy and had a robust exterior, making it safe for rugged terrains and smooth ones as well. Since it is cheap and has so many good qualities, it is worth investing in.

Why it Stands Out to Us

This product stands out because of the multiple color and style options you get. It easily meets a diverse range of needs and riding styles. It also has 21 gears to choose from, and the components function exceptionally well, making it is smooth for beginners.

Who Will Use This Most

This product provides you with an entry-level riding lesson and is designed for both men and women. It attracts many riders due to the multiple designs and features it comes with at such a low price. This is a very cheap bicycle made to meet the need of riders; professional and beginners both.

Bottom Line

This is an overall traditional road bike that has an eye-catching design and great features. It has a steel alloy frame that makes it slightly heavier than the regular aluminum frames, but this also provides it with more sturdiness. The aerodynamic tubing helps in minimizing air resistance and achieves good speed.

Advantages of Investing in Quality Gear

Investing in good quality gear is very important because it provides you with many benefits. Some include:


Durability is the most important factor to keep in mind when shopping for your bike. This allows it to last for years without getting damaged. This makes it simpler to invest in something since it won’t get bad within a year of use. Another thing to consider for a longer life is a warranty. Many bikes provide a two-year warranty on their parts, which provides you with the peace of mind you need as a beginner.


Comfort is of utmost importance in bikes. When you invest in this vehicle, you must know that you will be spending a good amount of time on it, so it is a good idea to get a bike which is comfortable. This way, you can exercise without any problem.

Good Angle

Having a good angle while bicycling is essential for your health, and without this angle, you can cause spinal and neck problems over time. All the bikes mentioned above ensure that you have the perfect angle.


When it comes down to road bikes for beginners, there is a lot to consider. Nowadays, there are plenty of options available for you to choose from, and there are some very good, feature-rich models that are affordable. This means that you do not have to empty your pockets in order to get a decent ride. Make use of this guide and choose your beginner road bike wisely.

People Also Ask

Even with so much information, there are some things left unanswered. In order to clear up any confusion, we have answered the most asked questions for you.

Are Road Bikes Hard to Ride?

Road bikes are not difficult to ride. They are fast and easy to control and pedal when on the pavement. These bikes, however, are not ideal for operating off road.

How Many Gears Do You Really Need on a Road Bike?

Gears can be thought of like speeds. A bike that comes with 21 gears will be a 21-speed bike. Bikes usually come with 1, 3, 18, 21, 24, and 27 gears. You no longer get 10 and 15 gear bikes; keep in mind that the lower the number will be, the lower the gear will be, meaning that lower gears are more ideal for climbing up hills.


"I'm Linda's husband. We got married in 2018 and are loving life together. We met in one of my many competitive races and hit it off right away. Our best dates are when we're riding down a trail enjoying each other’s company in the beautiful Colorado weather. I enjoy writing about everything pertaining to bikes. "