BIKING

Best Beginner Road Bike: Starting Your Daily Commute on the Right Foot

Cyclist riding bike
Jerry Mueller
Written by Jerry Mueller

Cycling is not only fun, it is also a healthy activity. If you are thinking of getting yourself a road bike, you have definitely come to the right place. Here, we will not only guide you about what to look for when buying a road bike, we will provide you with the means to find the best beginner road bike for you.

Bicycle store

Buying a road bike can be intimidating, particularly if it is your first one and you have no clue what to look for. This is why you should read on, and find out exactly what type of bike will suit your needs.

Things to Consider when Buying your First Road Bike

Before you go out and buy the first bike that you find, it’s important that you look at all of the features they have. There’s more to it than just picking one you think looks great. Here are some of the more important features to consider.

Frame

Road bikes have frames made of different materials. Steel and aluminium are the most common materials used as frames, although there are many other materials used as well.

  • Aluminium framed bikes: are affordable as well as lightweight. Some of these bikes are made of butted tubes, which are thicker at the ends to provide greater support.
  • Steel frame bikes: are another option, although they are not as common today as they used to be. These bikes tend to be heavier than aluminium or carbon framed ones. This material is used mostly on custom bikes. This frame is very durable, though, and will not get damaged easily.
  • Carbon frame bikes: are even lighter than steel ones and can be faster and more comfortable. Carbon frame bikes are definitely a great option for beginners.
  • Titanium frame bikes: are more expensive. They have the advantage, though, that they are light while also being very durable and corrosion resistant.

Bicycle frame

Size

Considering the size without sitting on the bike can be a bit difficult. This is because the exact size depends on the manufacturer. While some companies make three basic sizes, others make several. Most good bike shops offer a size chart online, so be sure to check that out before you order your bike.

If you visit a shop, you should definitely sit on a bike before you buy it. Make sure that you are comfortable. Most shopkeepers will help you in this case and guide you about the bike that will suit you.

The bike standing on road

Groupsets

Groupsets are the combinations of a bike’s brakes and transmission. With better groupsets, you have more choices of gear changes, and hence the ride will be a smoother one. However, as a beginner, you do not necessarily need the very best groupset.

Bike’s brakes and transmission

Brakes

Do you need disc brakes or caliper ones? Calipers, or rim brakes, are lighter and cheaper. However, they are less durable. Disc brakes are not so affected by the external conditions, and have greater power. Entry level bikes mostly come with caliper brakes.

Disc brake

Tires

Wheels are very important, particularly as they make up much of the cost of a bike. Initially, tires used to be 23mm wide but now many bikes have 25 or 26mm wide tires. This provides greater comfort and a better riding experience.

Bicycle tires

Best Beginner Bikes to Consider

Next up, we will tell you a list of the best road bikes that you can buy. These bikes all have great features and are perfect for beginners. You should definitely go through this list if you are planning to purchase a road bike.

Kent GZR700 Road Bike

Kent GZR700 road bike

Dimensions: 54 cm frame.

Best Used for: Road biking

Special Features: Steel frame; 700×32 c tyres; Medium size; Alloy seat post; 36 Spoke Alloy rims; Alloy caliper brakes; Groupset Shimano; Shimano front and rear derailleur, 700c wheels

Kent GZR700 is made of a strong steel frame, which makes it very durable. This means that you can ride this bike in all kinds of conditions and it will not get damaged or harmed. The fork is also made of steel. The alloy caliper brakes are very efficient and allow for quick braking. Speed range is Shimano 21, and the gear box will let you shift smoothly between gears.

The seat is very comfortable, with a weight capacity of 250 pounds. If you are very tall, you should try this bike before riding it as it is of medium size and may prove to be a little small for you.

Related: GMC Denali 700cc Men’s Bike is an aluminium frame, 21 speed Shimano bike made by Kent. This road bike is lightweight, with a comfortable seat, and allows easy shifting between gears.

Kent Avondale Men’s Hybrid Bicycle is another aluminium frame bike made by Kent. The brakes of this bike are excellent and provide one-lever braking.

Check the price on Amazon

Ridley Fenix Alloy 105 Bike

Ridley Fenix Alloy 105 Bike

Weight: 21.6 lbs.

Dimensions: 50 cm

Best Used for: Road biking

Special Features: Aluminium frame; Lightweight; Shimano 105 groupset; 22 speed drivetrain; Belgium tough 4Za wheels; Safety reflectors present; Black color; 25 mm tires.

Ridley Fenix Alloy 105 is very comfortable and is quite easy to ride. The seat can be adjusted, and so can the handlebars. There are reflectors included with this bike, so you do not have to purchase them separately. The bike has generous amount of spacers.

The bike is lightweight, which means it is easy to ride. The gears shift easily and smoothly, and will not get stuck. Assembling the bike is rather simple, and you will be set to go in no time. You can assemble it yourself and will not necessarily need a professional for this task.

Related: Ridley Fenix Alloy 105 Mix Color FE701Am Bicycle is very durable, with Shimano 105 groupset. It is strong, reliable and also very comfortable.

Ridley Fenix SL 30 Road Bike is one of their latest models. This bike is lightweight and very easy to steer.

Check the price on Amazon

Giordano Libero Acciao Road Bike

Giordano Libero Acciao Road Bike

Weight: Small: 28.9 lbs.; Medium: 29 lbs.; Large: 29.7 lbs

Dimensions: Seat tube ranges from 49 to 60.5 cm; effective top tube ranges from 55 to 57 cm

Best Used for: Road biking in all kinds of weather conditions

Special Features: Steel frame and fork; Alloy side pull front and rear brakes; Comfortable seat; Shimano tourney STI shifters; 14 Shimano speed; Handlebar- Alloy 42cm c/c; Shimano tourney front and rear derailleur; Tires- 700×25 black road clincher; Lightweight; Quick release wheels

Giordano Libero Acciao is a very strong and smooth bike, which can be ridden on all sorts of terrains. The availability of three different sizes means that people of all heights can ride this bike with ease and comfort. Another perk is the presence of water bottle mounts on this bike. The gears shift smoothly and the brakes are very efficient.

Assembling this bike may require a bit of effort. It will be best if the assembly is done by two people, rather than one alone. Once assembled, however, the bike does not offer any problems.

Related: Giordano offers other bikes as well, such as the Giordano Libero 2.0 Road bike, which is made of aluminium. Giordano RS 700 Hybrid Bike is another example which has an aluminium frame and a steel fork. Both these bikes are lightweight, easy to ride and offer great control as well as braking.

Check the price on Amazon

Vilano Shadow 2.0 Road Bike

Vilano Shadow 2.0 Road Bike

Dimensions: N/A

Best Used for: Road biking, for fitness, sprint triathlons

Special Features: Aluminium double butted frame; 700c Doubled walled CNC machined sides wheel set; tires 700c x 25c; 14 speeds; Shimano STI shifters; Dual power alloy caliper brakes; Front derailleur is Shimano while rear one is Shimano tourney; Frame has an integrated headset; Free platform pedals included.

Vilano Shadow 2.0 is highly durable, which means that you can ride it pretty much anywhere. The bike is very lightweight so you will not have to exert too much effort in riding it anywhere, even on a hilly terrain. The integrated brake lever/ shifters make it easier for you to control the bike and offer a better riding experience.

The negative point about this road bike is that the tires are not excellent. If you are thinking of riding for long durations and using the bike very frequently, it will be best if you replace the tires with better ones.

Related: Other road bikes by Vilano include Aluminum Road Bike Commuter Bike Shimano 21 Speed 700c which is a lightweight bike that has 21 different speed levels. Vilano Edge Fixed Gear Single Speed Bike is a fixed gear steel frame bike which is also a great option for beginners.

Check the price on Amazon

Giordano Libero 1.6 Men’s Road Bike

Giordano Libero 1.6 Men's Road Bike

Weight: 26 lbs (small); 26.05 lbs. (medium); 29.7 lbs. (large)

Dimensions: Small: seat tube is 49 cm measured from center of BB to top of top tube; Medium: same measurement is 56.5 cm; Large: same measurement is 61cm

Best Used for: Road biking

Special Features: Comes in three sizes;small size fits rider 5’1” to 5’8”; Medium is for riders who are 5’8” to 6 feet tall; Large size is for riders 6 feet to 6’5” tall; Handcrafted aluminum frame; Lightweight; 700c wheels; 16 speeds levels; Shimano STI shifters; 32 spoke alloy rims; Dual water bottle mounts included.

Giordano Libero 1.6  bike is perfect as an entry level bike as it is a really smooth ride and has an easy control. The bike also looks quite good, which is an added advantage. The cranks and drailleurs are both of very high quality. This bike also has tires of good quality, with amazing rims which can withstand all kinds of wear and tear. The gears are easy to shift and very smooth.

The only downside is that the brakes are not perfect. Although they work quite good, you still need about two to five feet of clearance space if you want to stop suddenly while riding the bike at full speed. If you are riding in a hilly terrain, it may be a good idea to upgrade the brakes.

Related: Giordano Rapido Single Speed Road Bike and Giordano Libero 2.0 Road Bike are two other amazing road bikes sold by this manufacturer. Both of them are comfortable and easy to ride, with the first one having a single speed and the second having 18 Shimano speed levels.

Check the price on Amazon

Tommaso Imola Compact Aluminum Road Bike

Tommaso Imola Compact Aluminum Road Bike

Dimensions: Seat tube: ranges from 44 to 57 cm; Effective top tube: ranges from 51.5 to 59 cm; stand over height: ranges from 71 to 82 cm

Best Used for: Road biking

Special Features: Aluminium frame and fork; Comes in five sizes – XS, Small, Medium, Large and XL; Shimano Claris shifters; Shimano Claris front and rear derailleurs; 24 speeds; Caliper brakes with Shimano Claris levers; WTB Volt saddle; Composite flat pedals.

If you are looking for a high quality entry level road bike, you should definitely consider Tommaso Imola Compact Aluminum Road Bike. It has a strong, yet lightweight aluminium frame. The shifters are smooth and shift with ease. The handlebars, cassette and brakes have been upgraded in this bike, making it the best bike by this manufacturer.

There are 24 speed levels. The Shimano Claris groupset is powerful enough that you can easily ride the bike uphill, without too much effort on your part. Five different sizes mean that you will definitely find a bike that suits your height. It is best if you get this bike assembled by a professional so that the wheels and gears are aligned properly.

Related: If you want to purchase a road bike with better brakes, consider the Tommaso Monza Aluminum Tiagra Road Bike with Carbon Fork. It has a Shimano Tiagra groupset, and highly durable and tough tires. This bike is perfect if you plan on riding on rough terrain.

Check the price on Amazon

Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men’s Road Bike

Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men's Road Bike

Weight: 34.1 lbs.

Dimensions: Frame size: 22 inches

Best Used for: Road biking, Cruising

Special Features: Aluminium frame with carbon fork; ProMax alloy caliper brakes; 700c wheels; Schwinn road saddles; MicroShift integrated levers; Shimano 2300 front and rear derailleurs; 32 h alloy rims; QR alloy front hub; 14 speed levels

Schwinn Phocus 1600 Men’s Road Bike is comfortable to ride, mainly because of the shifters, which shift very smoothly and with ease. The tires are also very well aligned and have lightweight spokes. The saddle is soft and comfortable, and you can ride for a long time without feeling tired. Assembling this bike is simple and easy and does not take much time. The bike is tough and durable, with a strong and efficient braking system. You can ride on all sorts of terrains on this bike. The speed levels let you decide how fast or slow you want to go.

The negative point is that there is only one size, so it might be a problem for people who are very short or too tall. Also, the wheels may wobble sometimes on very high speeds.

Related: Schwinn produces many other road bikes including Schwinn Men’s Volare 1200 Bike. This bike is tough, durable and comfortable, with high quality wheels and brakes.

Check the price on Amazon

Nashbar AL1 Road Bike

Nashbar AL1 Road Bike

Best Used for: Road biking

Special Features: Aluminium frame; Carbon fork; Shimano Sora groupset; 11-25T cassette; Shimano Sora front and rear derailleurs; 9 speed levels;

Nashbar AL1 road bike is a very lightweight road bike which offers a high level of control. The tires are of good quality and will not be damaged easily. The gears shift very smoothly and you will not feel any strain while shifting them. The brakes are also very responsive.

The negative point of this bike is that the seat is not extremely comfortable. This means that while the bike is perfect for short rides, it is not quite so good if you will be traveling a long distance. Also, there are only 9 levels of speed.

Related: Nashbar 105 Road Bike is another bike by this manufacturer which has 11 different speed levels. They also make road bikes particularly for women like the Nashbar Flat Bar Women’s Road Bike. All of their bikes are known for their excellent control and strength.

Check the price on Amazon

Schwinn Men’s Phocus Road Bicycle

Schwinn Men's Phocus Road Bicycle

Dimensions: 67 x 18 x 37 inches

Weight: 39.8  pounds

Best Used for: Road biking, fitness

Special Features: Aluminium frame with a rigid fork; Paired spokes; Mechanical rim; 700c wheels; 14 speed levels; Shimano shifters; Saddle is adjustable; Alloy caliper brakes; Quick release front wheel; SR Suntour alloy crank; Shimano front and rear derailleurs

Schwinn Men’s Phocus Road Bicycle is an excellent choice because it is very comfortable to ride. The quick release saddle can be easily adjusted. There are A050 shifters, which mean that you can easily shift between the gears. This comes in very handy when you are riding uphill or on a mountain terrain. The brakes are highly efficient and responsive. The wheels and rims are also of very high quality.

Tuning the gears might prove to be a little difficult and is best done by a professional.

Related: Other bikes by Schwinn include Schwinn Men’s Sanctuary 7-Speed Cruiser Bicycle and Schwinn Capital 700c Men’s Hybrid Bike. The first one is made of steel while the second has an aluminium frame. Both bikes have Shimano gears, and are comfortable to ride.

Check the price on Amazon

Poseidon Bike Sport 4.0-49cm Road Bike

Poseidon Bike Sport 4.0-49cm Road Bike

Weight: 24 pounds

Dimensions: 7.5 x 27.2 x 27.2 inches

Best Used for: Road biking, racing, fitness

Special Features: Five sizes available – XS, S, M, L, XL; Aluminium frame; Carbon fork, Shimano Claris front and rear derailleurs; Shimano Claris levers; Poseidon alloy seat post and handlebars; 700 x 23c wheels; Platform pedals; Radial brake calipers; Sizes will fit both men and women; 16 speed levels

Poseidon Bike Sport Road Bike is a solid bike which you can ride around for a long time. The frame is lightweight while being strong and durable. There is an integrated brake/ shift levers system. The shifters are very smooth and quick, and there will be no grinding at any gear.

The handlebar tape is thin, and can wear off. The matte paint looks great but it also smudges very easily. Presence of five sizes ensures that people of all heights can ride this bike with ease and comfort.

The brakes are very efficient and solid and always function perfectly. The seat is very comfortable, which always makes it a good experience to ride this bike.

Related: Poseidon Triton Road Bike is made of aluminium, with a carbon fork. This is one of the most updated bikes by this brand. It offers a more upright position with Shimano Claris groupset. There are dual pivot brakes which are highly efficient.

Check the price on Amazon

Conclusion

This was a comprehensive list of the best road bikes you can buy for beginners. The bikes are all high quality, and quite affordable. The best thing about these bikes is that they all have a great level of control and shift easily between gears, which is very important for an entry level bike. Comfort, speed and durability were all taken into account hen creating this list.

Bike standing on road

Whether you want a bike for racing, cruising or commuting, you are sure to come across a bike in this list which will suit your needs.

Do you have anything you want to add to this list? Let us know in the comments!

ABOUT THE AUTHOR
Jerry Mueller
Jerry Mueller

Jerry ‘Boy Scout’ Mueller spends 99% of his time camping or teaching others how to live in the wild. He became an Eagle Scout which is the highest rank attainable in the Boy Scouting division when he was 17 and after that he still lives the scout life. Jerry always plans neatly every trip, takes leadership very seriously and if you listen to his tips and stories, you can learn tons of useful things.

  • Tommy Alexander

    Your article made me want to start biking right away. Thanks for this Jerry. I have been looking for a nice outdoor activity that is fun and I think I found it! My problem now is that I cannot choose between Kent GZR700 and Giordano Libero Acciao. They both look awesome.

  • Mark Williams

    Giordano Libero is probably one of the most inexpensive bikes in the market today that will not disappoint you. I bought this as a novice rider and it is really good. You are right that it is a strong and smooth bike. I have used it already in various terrains. It is very efficient.

  • Jerry Mueller

    Those are two good road bikes! You will have to just pick the one you like best, but we agree it is a hard choice. We hope your new activity keeps you outdoors.

  • Jerry Mueller

    Thank you for attesting to the quality of the Libero. This is definitely a novice bike but it can bring lots of fun and entertainment. For the price you really can’t beat it.

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