Road biking is a sport that can boast a great number of admirers, who watch in awe as their racing heroes battle on the roads of the Tour de France, but as a beginner you can be quickly put off by price when you begin to consider buying your first bike. Racing bikes are equipped with the latest and greatest components, which make use of the most advanced technologies and, therefore, end up costing significantly more than what you might be comfortable spending.
There are, however, numerous valid options within reach even if your pockets are not so deep, and that are still capable of delivering a quality performance that will not make you feel like you’re missing out. These affordable road bikes can still leave you impressed, and feel nice and responsive on the road. Our job in this article is to show you which are the best budget road bikes that you can get your hands on today, so read on to find what the market has in store for you.
How To Choose A Budget Road Bike – Buying Guide
Most budget road bikes will be made using either aluminum or steel. This is because these two materials provide the best toughness to weight ratio for the price. The frame of your road bike needs to balance these two features in a way that lets you pedal without tiring yourself excessively but also remaining strong enough to sustain some of the hardships that inevitably come from being on the road. Aluminum and steel achieve this balance without being too expensive. The best possible choice would be carbon fiber, which is the toughest and lightest of them all, but give its price it’s unlikely that even the cheapest carbon road bike will be something a budget-conscious rider may consider.
Size And Fit
Having a road bike that fits you correctly is crucial for you to get the most out of it in terms of performance and also greatly reduce the risk of injury. A good starting point will be your height since many manufacturers have detailed tables that put it in correlation with the top tube length, the number you see written next to the “size” indication in our budget road bike reviews. Once you have that you should determine how high your seat needs to be since this will determine your overall posture on the bike and how much leg extension you can effectively use. This number may differ from person to person so some professional help can be useful. Road bikes use dropped handlebars which allow for several different hand positions, so if you’re not comfortable with one there are several others you can try, or you can switch over time when you feel you’re getting too rigid in one particular position.
Despite costing less than professional models, budget road bikes are no slouch when it comes to speed. Many of them have aerodynamic profiles that will cut through the air just as well as more expensive models, and the difference in the quality of the components is more often than not negligible. Big gearboxes can be mounted even on budget models, allowing strong and powerful riders to squeeze the most possible power out of the wheels even with a steel or aluminum frame. In any case, good technique will always best expensive gear, so even if you can’t afford the latest and greatest model even a simpler, entry-level bike can get you very far down the road if you keep at it.
Wheels on budget road bikes will mostly be made of aluminum, since it is the material that delivers the greatest durability for the least amount of weight. The wheels are often double rimmed precisely to be even more durable while remaining nice and lightweight. They are usually attached to the bike with quick-release systems and may require to be assembled when you receive the package, but instructions are usually included so this shouldn’t scare you off.
Road bikes will use one of two systems to stop you from going into a wall. These are disc brakes or V-brakes. Disc brakes apply pressure with a piston on a rotor that turns together with the wheel, while V-brakes press on the turning rim to slow the motion. Disc brakes are slightly stronger than V-brakes, even if the difference starts to vanish as you get into the higher end of the market, but they are surely less influenced by bad weather since they sit near the center of the wheel and not on the rim. The advantage that V-brakes have over disc brakes, however, is that they are usually lighter and easier to install, and some people prefer the way they look. The choice comes down to your personal preference since there are good options on both sides.
Q: Are Cheap Road Bikes Any Good?
Yes, otherwise we wouldn't have written this article. Despite the name may discourage you, many budget road bikes can rival professional ones if handled with the right technique. They are an excellent way to get into the sport and, the more you learn about how to use them, the more enjoyment you'll be able to get out of them and you won't feel as if you're missing out.
Q: How Can I Make My Cheap Road Bike Better?
A budget road bike can be improved in many ways without adding too much money on the bill. One quick and easy addition could be a new pair of pedals, maybe a clipless model that lets you get much more power out of every stroke. Another good tip is to replace the shifting cables regularly, to ensure they operate smoothly on the road.
Q: What Is A Good Price For A Road Bike?
A road bike is still a fairly expensive item, so you cannot expect to pay next to nothing for it. However, numerous good quality models sit within the 300 dollar price range, and if you can stretch a little and go as far as 5-600 you can purchase some excellent bike that delivers top of the line performance.
Q: What To Expect From A Cheap Bike?
You shouldn't let the word “cheap” discourage you when you're choosing a new bike, since as you have seen there are many good performing options that won't break the bank. Your technique will be the most important feature of any bike, so even if you have to be careful with your budget you know you can get a lot of fun even out of a bike that doesn't flash the latest and greatest technology.
Globo Surf Overview
There are many things to consider than go beyond the price alone when looking for the best budget road bike, and we hope our article has helped you clear up some doubts and pointed you in the right direction, to make an informed choice. In any case, don’t feel too bad if you can’t afford the nicest bike at the moment, the most important thing is that you feel comfortable riding it and have fun, and this will soon make you forget anything that has to do with money.