Best Road Bicycles (Review & Buying Guide) in 2021
Take your bike riding up a notch with a road bike built for speed.
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BY Andra DelMonico / LAST UPDATED ON February 26, 2021
You pedal and pedal, trying to keep up with your friends, but they’re always ahead. You’re drenched in sweat, working like crazy, and you can’t seem to get ahead. It isn’t because you’re out of shape. It’s your bicycle. You’re riding the wrong type of bike, and it’s sabotaging your performance.
It’s time to switch out your old bike for a road bike. These lightweight bikes feature aerodynamic frames, thin tires, and high-performance gears. Everything is designed for low resistance rolling, speed, and performance. You’ll be able to keep up or even pass your group and exert less effort doing it. However, there are several types of bicycles within the road bike category, and you’ll need to know what you’re looking for. This guide will help you find the perfect road bike to fulfill your riding desires.
Fly like the wind on this 700C road bike. It has a bright blue aluminum frame, 28-inch wheels, and 16 speeds.
- Shimano Claris drivetrain and shifters
- Promax aluminum caliper brakes
- Meant for riders under 5 feet 3 inches in height
- Thick and heavy tires
Feel and look like the pros on this aluminum frame road racing bike. It has 26-inch wheels, 14 speeds, and disc brakes.
- Ergonomic seat
- Quick-release front wheel
- 85 percent assembled
- Generic parts
This sleek road bike has 700C wheels, a 14-speed grip shifter, and an aluminum frame. For increased durability, it has a steel fork.
- Long tread life tire
- Easy assembly
- Feels heavy
- Uncomfortable seat
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Benefits of Road Bicycles
- Improved performance. Riding a road bike will give you better performance stats, whether you’re looking to go faster or further. The lighter bike frame and lower resistance tires will help you exert less energy per pedal. This lets you perform better for longer.
- Better health. Riding a bicycle improves your physical health. This low-impact cardio activity will get your heart pumping and your blood flowing. It will burn a lot of calories, helping you to stay in better physical shape.
- Faster commute. If you’re currently walking to work, riding a bicycle is a faster alternative. A road bike will be comfortable and make your commute better. The smooth-rolling tires and durable frame make it a smart choice.
Types of Road Bicycles
These lightweight and stripped-down bikes are designed to go fast. They have a lower front end and put the rider into a lower position to make you and the bike more aerodynamic. The gearing is higher to help you reach faster top speeds with reduced effort. You’ll also enjoy more responsive handling and a stiffer frame.
If you aren’t concerned with going top speeds but want to bike long distances, then you’ll want an endurance bike. They have a lot of the lightweight benefits that you’ll find in racing bikes. The difference is the increase in comfort. These bikes have a more upright riding position for all-day comfort and reduced lower back strain. It also has a lower gear profile. It won’t help you go fast but will come in handy on the hills.
These bikes are the tough workhorses of the road bike world. They’re durable and strong so that they can withstand the daily abuse of your commute. These bikes are heavier, and they aren’t the fastest. However, they have a lot more creature comfort features. They also have sturdier wheels and frames to handle uneven terrain better.
Founded in 1895, Schwinn motorcycles are known throughout the world as reliable and high quality. The company produces innovative and reliable bicycles. It produces several types, including a line of road bikes. The Schwinn Fastback Carbon Road Bike combines quality materials with expert craftsmanship.
Founded in 2008, Savadeck focuses on manufacturing mid to high-end bicycles. It recruits the world’s top designers to develop performance-minded bicycles. The bikes use top-quality components to ensure impressive performance. The Savadeck Phantom 2.0 Carbon Fiber Road Bike is a high-end bike that will give you the boost in performance you’re looking for.
Founded in 1992, Trinx Bikes are durable and affordable. The company has headquarters in Taiwan, Russia, Iran, and the Philippines. The bikes are shipped worldwide to over 40 countries. If road riding isn’t your thing, then check out the Trinx MTB Men’s Mountain Bike.
Road Bicycle Pricing
- Under $500: These are affordable, budget-minded bicycles that are perfect for the beginner rider. They use durable and reliable parts, but they may not be brand-name manufacturers.
- $500 to $1,500: You’ll find decent quality road bikes in this price range with a few name-brand parts. They’ll come in a variety of types, sizes, and designs. You can easily upgrade parts as you wish.
- $1,500 and up: Bicycles at this price are considered high-end with top-quality materials and components. You’ll find innovative features, and specialized professional quality builds.
The design, construction, and material of the frame greatly influence the bike’s overall weight. Quality road bikes have either an aluminum or carbon fiber frame. Both materials are lightweight and corrosion-resistant. Aluminum is heavier than carbon fiber. However, it’s also more durable and affordable. Most people only opt for carbon fiber if they are doing some serious riding or racing. Titanium and steel are also used. Steel is the heaviest material and not ideal for speed or endurance.
You’ll have to choose between a flat bar style and drop handlebars. A flat-bar handlebar looks like a traditional bike and is best if you want a more upright riding position. Drop handlebars will have you leaning forward. This is good for speed and aerodynamics but not great for visibility in traffic or for long distances. The style you choose will depend on your comfort and the type of riding you want to do.
The right size bike will be comfortable and allow you to perform at your best. The wrong size bike can make the experience miserable and possibly cause injury. The frames are measured in centimeters, but every manufacturer has its definition of small, medium, and large. The right size will correlate with your inside leg length and overall height. It also helps to sit on a few to get just the right fit.
- Gears. Road bikes have different gear ratio setups. Most road bikes have two sets of gears, front, and back. The front set will have one, two, or three chainrings. You also need to look at the number of teeth that are on the chainrings. The number of teeth will affect your bike’s performance. Look for a bike with smaller chainrings on the front and larger ones on the back to give you the largest spread of gears.
- Accessories. Some road bikes don’t come with pedals, so you’ll need to purchase them separately. You may also want to add a bottle cage for water on the go. You can either budget for buying these separately or negotiate to have them included in the purchase of the bike. If you plan to ride at night, you’ll need to add lights to the bike to make it legal.
- Price. The price of a road bicycle can range from cheap to expensive. Don’t let yourself get sold on a bicycle that’s out of your budget. Determine what you’re willing to spend, and then look for the best quality bike you can afford. If you’re a beginner, you don’t need to pay for a top-of-the-line professional racing bike.
Best Road Bicycles Reviews & Recommendations 2021
- Adjust the bike before you get on the seat and start riding. Check the seat, pedals, and handlebars to ensure your body is in the right position at the right angles.
- Clean and grease the gears to protect them from grinding and wearing down prematurely. The grease will help the chain and gears glide smoothly.
- As you get more experienced and confident, consider upgrading the individual parts on your bike. You can purchase higher quality and better performing components and replace the stock parts on your bike.
Q: What are the best road bikes?
The best road bikes are durable and made with high-quality parts. It’s also designed for the type of riding you want to do. A commuter bike is best for riding to work or the grocery store. A racing bike is best for competing. An endurance bike is best for long-distance riding.
Q: What is a good cheap road bike?
A good cheap road bike will have an aluminum frame, a decent number of gears, and working brakes. It won’t be the most aerodynamic, but it will be comfortable to ride and fit your size.
Q: What is a good road bike for a beginner?
Look for a mid-range bike that’s in the $1,000 to $2,000 range. These are quality-made bikes that have a few features. These bikes have durable parts and are reliable enough to get a feel for riding.
Q: How much does a good road bicycle cost?
A quality road bike can cost as little as $200 and as much as $10,000. The lowest end will be a basic bike that lacks any features but will get you from point A to B. At the top end, you’ll find luxury and professional quality racing bikes.
The Schwinn Fastback Performance Road Bike is a reliable bike with quality parts that will be a pleasure to ride for beginners and intermediate riders.
The affordable alternative, the Max4out Road Bike, has a quick release wheel and ergonomic seat for easy transport and comfortable riding.