Riding a road bike is a great way to get some exercise, to get out into the community and also to save money on gas and auto repairs. Owning one of these bikes is also a big step towards reducing your carbon footprint, and embracing a more carbon neutral lifestyle. All a person has to do is find one that fits their lifestyle and has the features they need and want.
In the past, if you wanted to buy a good bike model, then you had to find a bike store in your community and deal with a salesperson. And that could be a real pain. Fortunately, those days have all but passed, and you can now find the bike of your dreams with little to no effort. To help you in choosing a model, we’ve selected ten models that we feel are pretty great.
Best Road Bikes – Top List
10Schwinn Volare 1300 Men’s Drop Bar
This lightweight Schwinn bike has an aluminum frame that is not only durable but gives the rider a responsive feel. This model features 14-speed Shimano A050 shifter, and also a Shimano rear derailleur that allows the rider to engage gear changes quickly and easily. With allow caliper brakes and high-quality 28c road tires, this bike is also able to deliver the stopping power and the performance that many riders need. And since it has double wall alloy rims, it’s as durable as it is reliable. While this might not be one of the best bikes available, because of its low-cost it definitely deserves to be mentioned.
9Takara Kabuto Single Speed
Designed to be as nice looking as it is useful, this bike can be used by just about anyone. Since it’s made with a tig-welded steel frame, it’s very durable and absorbs shocks from the road quite well. And this makes it quite comfortable to ride. However, unlike some steel frame bikes which tend to be heavy, this one only weighs about 30-pounds. This model features alloy rims with an alloy hub and has side-pull brakes that are also made out of a light alloy. Keeping all of this in mind, this bike is good for casual riders or those who are simply biking to get some exercise.
8Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Bike
This bike has a number of features which makes it useful to just about any commuter. It has 21-speeds and has a Shimano A050 thumb rear-indexed shifter. It also has alloy caliper brakes, a Shimano Tourney derailer, and a lightweight aluminum frame. This product also features a double-walled CNC-alloy 700c wheelset and 25c tires. With that being said, this bike is shipped directly from the factory. This means that the consumer is going to have to assemble it and tune it to their specifications. Assembly requires putting together the whole bike from the pedals to the seat. Once the consumer does that, they’ll have a bike that’s sure to serve them well.
7Vilano Forza 4.0 Aluminum Bicycle
Equipped with 24-speeds which allow the rider to meet and overcome just about any situation, this bike is designed to be used by just about everyone. It has a lightweight 6061 aluminum frame that’s as durable as it is light and features a double-walled wheelset with CNC machined sides. This model also comes with a Shimano STI integrated brake lever shifters and comes with free bike pedals. Whether the ride wants to take this bike on their daily commute to work or want to do some light racing, it’s ready and willing to meet the challenge. And it’s designed to look good while it’s delivering performance.
6Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men’s Bike
This bike is produced by a company that’s been manufacturing bicycles since 1895 and their experience shows in this attractive and useful road bike. It features an aluminum road frame that has a durable carbon fiber road fork. It also has a Shimano Claris 16-speed derailleur with micro-shift that’s in an integrated shift/brake combo lever. It also has high-profile double-wall rime with pair strokes and a quick release. This bike has an alloy crank, dual-pivot caliber road brakes, and is designed for a smooth ride. All things taken into consideration, this bike is good for everyone from fitness riders to everyday commuters.
5Giodano Libero 1.6 Bike
The Giordano Libero is not only a reliable bike but is also one that some bicyclists consider a work of art. This hand-crafted bicycle is available in either white & red or red & black and has a 6061 aluminum frame. This bike also has a 32-spoke high-profile alloy rim with a quick-release mechanism and a 16-speed Shimano 16-speed STI drivetrain. Equipped with dual water bottle mounts and a nice looking and comfortable seat, this model is ideal for fitness riders, commuters and anyone else who enjoys riding a high-quality bike with a unique aesthetic style. And these bikes are available at the fraction of the cost of professional high-end bicycles.
4Schwinn Men’s Phocus 1400
Manufactured by a company that knows a thing or two about bicycles, the Schwinn Phocus 1400 has features that will prove useful to many bicyclists. It has an aluminum road frame that has a rigid fork. This makes this bike not only light but also very agile. It also has high-profile alloy rims with paired spokes and has a front quick release. It’s also equipped with alloy caliper road brakes, for added braking power, and an SR Suntour alloy crank for a wide range of gears. All of these features come together in this model to make it a bike that can be appreciated by commuters, racers and fitness bicyclists alike.
3Vilano Shadow 2.0 Bike
The Vilano Shadow 2.0 is an inexpensive bicycle which manages to offer a number of useful and exciting features. It has 14-speeds and has a Shimano STI integrated brake lever/shifters which offer comfortable and precise braking and shifting. It’s manufactured using a 6061 aluminum aero frame that has an integrated headset. It also has a 700c double-walled wheelset with CNC machined side and used CST 700cx25c tires. With a Shimano Tourney rear derailleur and dual pivot alloy caliper brakes, this bike is also exceptionally easy to ride and to brake. It’s a bike that just about anyone can enjoy riding, regardless of whether they’re using it for transportation or for pleasure.
2Kestrel Talon Bike
Although this bike is considerably more expensive than other models on this list, it is equipped with a number of features which make it a pleasure to ride. It features both front and rear Shimano 105 derailleurs and uses an 11-speed Shimano 105 STI shifters with an 11-28t cassette. This product is manufactured using a Kestrel Enhanced Modulus Hybrid carbon that’s actually a combination of 700K and 800K carbon fibers. This makes the frame stiff and light but does offer a little bit of flexibility while riding. This bike is designed for bicycle enthusiasts but can be used by just about anyone looking for a smooth and comfortable riding experience.
1Tommaso Imola Endurance Bike
Using nothing but Shimano gears, this road bike is designed to offer the rider nothing but performance. This bike has a lightweight aluminum frame and wheels, and its cables are routed in such a way that the bike not only shifts well but also has a nice clean look to it. All of the shifters, derailleurs, brakes, and crank are 2018 Claris models, which ensures that this bike gets top performance. And since all of the frames of this model are laser measured, bicyclists can find one that fits their size perfectly. Taking all of its features into consideration, it’s easy to see that this bike was designed to be a high-quality bike.
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How To Buy a Road Bike
It seems like road bikes come with a dizzying array of different features and that can make it difficult for the average person to decide which one is really right for them. To solve that problem, we’ve decided to go over some of the more important features a person should consider before buying one of these bikes. Having said that, let’s start with the basics and then work our way through some of the features you should look for in a good quality road bike.
One of the first things that should be considered before buying one of these bikes is what material is used to make the frame. Bikes nowadays are constructed from one of four different materials. These materials are steel, titanium, aluminum, and carbon. Each of these materials has their own pros and cons that need to be seriously considered. Let’s take a closer look.
Steel – One of the best things about steel is that it’s fairly cheap and yet is very durable. Bike frames made from steel can really take a beating on the street or on the trail. And bikes that are made with steel are usually very comfortable to ride, especially during long distances. However, steel can also be quite a heavy material. And another negative about steel is that it tends to rust at the spots where the paint rubs off of the bike. Which might be further exasperated in areas near the ocean.
Titanium – It’s pretty easy to see why titanium is often the preferred bike frame material of professional bicyclists. That’s because this material offers some great benefits. It’s as lightweight as aluminum, as comfortable as steel and can really take a beating. In fact, they are pretty close to being indestructible, if that were possible. However, what prevents many people from buying bikes with titanium frames is their prohibitive price. They can be quite expensive to make and as a result, are expensive for bicycle enthusiasts to buy.
Aluminum – Aluminum frame bikes are often the first bikes that people own when they’re children, and as a result, many bicyclists are nostalgic about aluminum bike frames. However, this material does more than just conjure up heart-warming childhood feelings. Aluminum frames are stiffer than steel or carbon, so they tend to be used for racing. This material is also lighter than some of the other available bike frames. Unfortunately, aluminum frames also tend to be uncomfortable because they can’t absorb the shocks of the road as well as other types of frames.
Carbon – Bike frames made from carbon fiber are quickly becoming a top choice for many people and there’s a good reason. That’s because carbon fiber offers plenty of benefits. It’s comfortable and it’s light. And they can be crafted in a variety of aerodynamic styles.
When it comes to modern road bikes, there are three different drivetrains currently available. There’s the Shimano, the SRAM, and the Campagnolo, and each of these can be further subdivided into their different subsets. For example, when it comes to Shimano drivetrains there are the Tiagra, 105, Ultegra, and Dura Ace models. SRAM models can be broken down into Apex, Force, Rival and Red models. And finally, Campagnolo can be broken into the following models: Athena, Chorus, Record and Super Record.
Shimano – Shimano has been in production in Japan since 1921. Today, it’s one of the more popular drivetrains currently available. It’s so popular, it accounts for up to half of all drivetrains sold today. Budget subsets in this category include Claris, Sora, and Tiagra models. Performance subsets in this group include the 105 and Ultegra models.
SRAM – This American firm became popular during the 1980s; At the height of mountain bike popularity. Nowadays, they offer a number of cycle cross and road bike components. The four main subgroups they manufacture include Rival, Apex, Force and Red groupsets. Apex is their entry-level components. Force and Rival are their performance components, and Red is the professional level groupset of components.
Campagnolo – This brand was first established by Tullio Campagnolo in the 1930s. It’s a brand that’s usually appreciated by bike collectors all over the world. Centaur is entry level group of components, while Potenza and Chorus are their performance models. This leaves Record and Super Record as their professional offerings.
Road Bike Tires
The last thing to consider is the bike’s tires. While there isn’t enough space in a guide this size to go into extensive detail, there is another space to give a quick primer on what to look for in a good pair of road bike’s tires. Here are some common sizes and what activity they can be used.
- 700c x20mm size: This size is good for light riders and bikers who are just doing trails.
- 700c x23mm size: This is considered a middle ground. It’s a useful tire size for training or for light racing.
- 700c x25mm size: Designed for long bike rides. These tires absorb a lot of shocks and make for a smoother ride.
- 700c x28mm size: High-quality performance and lasts the longest of any tire. Good for heavy riders or for touring.
Consider Personal Riding Style
It’s important to take into consideration your own personal riding style when considering what bike you should buy. If you’re a professional rider, then you’re not going to want to buy an entry-level bike. On the flip side, if you new to road biking, then you are probably not going to want to jump into a professional bike right away. Thinking about your riding style and how the bike is going to be used is a great way to narrow down your bike choices to the ones that make sense for you.
Don’t Forget the Accessories
Now that you have a rough idea of what kind of bike you want, it’s now time to think about accessories. You don’t want to spend all of your budgeted money on the bike and forget about some of the things that you’ll need to be able to ride the bike straight away. Think about some of the accessories you may need, such as a helmet, gloves, riding clothing, etc., and then make sure you budget for them. Of course, if you already have these accessories, then you’re ahead of the game and can simply buy the best road bike available.