Looking to become a serious biker? Let me show you the best entry-level road bikes in 2021. That’s definitely a praiseworthy endeavor, and there’s no time like the present. Road biking can be a great way to travel on a budget while staying in shape and catching some amazing views.
Of course, if you just get started on the old bike you have lying around in your garage…that might not go so well. If you want to get serious and go on some long bike rides, you need a bike that can handle it.
Of course, you also don’t want to go and spend an insane amount of money on some fancy road bike that you can barely make heads or tails of, if this is a new hobby. That’s why we’ve got for you a list of the best entry-level road bikes. By the time you finish with our list, you’ll have found a good, simple, cheap, and reliable road bike to help you get started on your figurative and literal biking journey.
Carry on reading to see our full list of the best entry-level road bikes, followed by a recap breaking down what makes each product on our list stand out. Or jump straight to our number #1 pick on Amazon here.
- What Should You Look For in an Entry Level Road Bike?
- What Makes a Road Bike Entry-Level?
- Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Entry Level Road Bikes
- #1: Trinx Tempo 1.0 Road Bike (Best Value – All-Purpose)
- #2: Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike (Best Splurge)
- #3: Eurobike EURXC550 21 Speed Road Bike (Most Durable/Least Maintenance)
- #4: Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike (Best Low Cost)
- #5: Tommaso Forcella Endurance Aluminum Road Bike (Best Luxury Purchase)
- Verdict: Your Best Entry Level Road Bikes
What Should You Look For in an Entry Level Road Bike?
If you’ve already decided that you’re looking for a good road bike to get you started on your new hobby, then the next step is to learn what makes a good entry-level road bike. What separates the good beginner road bikes from the bad beginner road bikes? The good news is that, if you have experience with more casual bike riding, this part should be relatively intuitive to you. But it’s still important to have it all written down, so we’re going to do that job for you.
We’ve listed out below our criteria for evaluating the best road bikes for any new rider. Here is our rubric to help you follow along and better understand our list.
Criteria #1: Handling – Ever try to get a shopping cart around a tight corner in a crowded grocery store? That’s exactly what we want riding your road bike to not feel like. A few different factors will come into play to contribute to the handling of a bike, but the most important factors are the size of the tires and the quality of the brakes. Bigger tires will give you more speed, while smaller tires will be easier to steer and help you with those tight turns. It’s up to you to find the balance that suits your riding style. Of course, stronger brakes will let you stop quicker and avoid any sudden obstacles in your path.
Criteria #2: Weight – The weight of your bike will contribute to how it handles, but it’s also simply a matter of convenience. A lighter bike will be easier to pedal, and therefore you’ll be able to go faster while using less energy. There’s also the fact that you will inevitably have to carry your bike around at least a little bit when you’re not riding it, and we don’t want that to be too annoying. The best bikes will use a good frame made out of the right material to stay light without sacrificing a comfortable and accessible height or durability.
Criteria #3: Durability – It’s possible that you’ll quickly fall in love with long-distance road biking and decide it’s time for an upgrade to something more intermediate, but if that doesn’t happen, we want your beginner bike to be able to stick around for the long haul. This means having resilient tires and parts as well as a durable frame. It will really add a lot of value to a bike if it lasts for years on end.
Criteria #4: Price – We’re not here to make you spend a ton of money for no reason. Meeting this criterion is less about being cheap and more about justifying your price. We’d rather buy an expensive product that’s cheaper than it should be than waste money on a cheaper product that isn’t worth the money and that will just break on you or not perform well. That being said, we’ll definitely err more on the cheaper side of things to appeal to beginners. However, even beginner road bikes are going to cost you a pretty penny, but it’s all relative.
What Makes a Road Bike Entry-Level?
First things first – any entry-level road bike should be cheap. As I said earlier, there’s no point in spending a ton of money on a hobby if you’re not sure if it’ll stick. Second of all, any product that’s geared toward beginners should be very low-maintenance and easy to use. A lot of fancier products will assume a certain amount of specialized knowledge, and we don’t want you to have to worry about that just yet.
You know how a lot of passionate photographers prefer film and a dark room, but for anyone who just wants a casual picture for Instagram, their phone camera is more convenient? The same thing applies to bikes. The extra effort for a better outcome can come later. We want you to learn to enjoy the experience first.
Here’s How We’ve Determined the Best Entry Level Road Bikes
We measured the specs of the top products on the market against our listed criteria to see how they held up and if they’re worth buying. We then checked customer reviews, blog posts, and “best entry-level road bikes” articles to see if the products on our list performed as advertised. We also looked out for features that might make a bike particularly well-suited for beginners, such as a simple design that doesn’t require a lot of assembly or maintenance.
And without further ado, here is our list – tailored to your specific needs – of the best entry-level road bikes.
#1: Trinx Tempo 1.0 Road Bike (Best Value – All-Purpose)
Our list gets started off with the amazing Trinx Tempo 1.0 Road Bike, which is any beginner’s dream road bike. There’s no better combination of performance, simplicity, and price. This road bike features a lightweight, 25-pound frame that won’t give you any problems when you have to carry it those last few inches to a bike rack or if you ever have to carry it up a flight of stairs. And, of course, that frame will make pedaling a breeze, and you’ll be able to watch the countryside zoom by as you get introduced to the amazing world of long-distance bike trips.
You’re also getting 27-inch wheels, which is more or less the industry-standard, that will give you an excellent combination of speed and control as you get used to road biking, and you’ll be able to get a great sense of the feel of a typical road bike.
The Trinx Tempo 1.0 Road Bike is equipped with the high-end Shimano gear shifting system that gives you 21 different speeds to choose from, so you’ll be able to adjust to any situation. Plus, you’re getting durable double-wall alloy wheels, a reliable Winzip alloy brake system, and an ergonomic and aerodynamic seat.
Our number one road bike comes in at a great and affordable price, and all of the reviews were glowing. Customers called this bike an amazing deal for its price and praised it for being pretty much ready to go right out of the box. That’s a winning combination for any beginner looking for an entry-level road bike. The Trinx Tempo 1.0 Road Bike is the perfect entry-level road bike for any beginner looking to get started quickly, easily, and cheaply.
#2: Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike (Best Splurge)
I’m going to warn you right away that if you’re looking for something cheap, this is not the road bike for you. Because of its price, I was honestly a little hesitant to include it, but it’s such a crowd favorite that I felt I had to. I guess it just goes to show how expensive road bikes can get that this is considered entry-level. Anyway, there’s a reason this bike is so popular despite its off-putting price tag. If you’re more certain that you’re going to stick to road biking, there are plenty of reasons you might decide that it’s worth it to splurge for the ritzy Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike, and we’re going to highlight some of those reasons below.
Reason #1 to Choose This Product: As Light as They Come
At 25.5 pounds, the Trinx Tempo 1.0 Road Bike is definitely on the lighter end of things, especially for entry-level road bikes. But if you believe that “good enough” just isn’t good enough and you want the lightest road bike out there, then you’ll need to splurge for the Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike. This aluminum-frame road bike will allow you to pedal faster than ever before, and carrying it those last few inches will be a breeze. This is the best bike for anyone who doesn’t want to needlessly tire themselves out. So if you appreciate efficiency, go with the Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike.
Reason #2 to Choose This Product: Different Sizes
The folks over at Tommaso appreciate and understand that everyone has a different body and different preferences, and that’s why the Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike comes in more sizes than you can imagine. As an extra bonus, the sizes clearly label who they’re suited for based on height in inches, so you won’t have to play that guessing game and self-evaluate whether you’re a medium or a large. Tommaso makes sure that everyone is covered, and depending on the size, this entry-level road bike can support anyone between a height of 4’10” and 6’5″. So unless you’re exceptionally tall, you’ll be covered by this Tommaso bike.
In addition to the light frame and the diverse sizes, the Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike offers the standard 27.5-inch wheels, along with a full setup of shifters, derailleurs, crank, and brakes from Shimano as part of the Claris R2000 series. in other words, every single part of your bike will be top-quality.
Tommaso also boasts that “our compact frame geometry offers a more relaxed position for all riding styles, with a shallow handlebar drop so that you can still be comfortable when riding in the lower handlebar position”, so you can be confident that you won’t be too sore after a long ride in this bike. The Shimano parts and premium aluminum frame also guarantee that this bike will be able to stand up to some wear and tear.
You’ll be hard-pressed to find a list of the top entry-level road bikes that doesn’t feature the Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike, and the Amazon reviews speak for themselves. Everyone agrees that this is a top-of-the-line for beginners and pros alike that’s well worth the price. So if you won’t settle for anything other than the best, the Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Bike is the only bike for you.
#3: Eurobike EURXC550 21 Speed Road Bike (Most Durable/Least Maintenance)
If you just cannot deal with the hassle of bringing your bike into the shop for a tuneup, then you’ll want to invest in a durable and low-maintenance bike for your introduction to road biking. And when it comes to durability and independence, the Eurobike EURXC550 21 Speed Road Bike is one of the best road bikes out there.
This affordable bike has three-spoke wheels that are built to last and require almost zero maintenance, so you’ll be able to focus on the part that really matters – cycling. On top of the durable wheels, which are the standard 27.5 inches, you’re getting top-quality disc brakes that will be able to handle a shortstop even while on hilly terrain. On top of that, you’re getting 21 speeds to choose from to keep you flexible and riding exactly how you want to at any given moment. Plus, this bike provides a great value at its price point, making it one of the best beginner road bikes out there.
The three-spoke wheels are the best friend of anyone who doesn’t want to be bothered by anything not directly cycling-related, though there are certain drawbacks to this design. Some riders criticize these wheels for being heavier and bad for hills. So if you plan on spending a lot of time in hilly areas, you could start to feel that weight while you pedal.
The Eurobike EURXC550 21 Speed Road Bike comes 85% pre-assembled, which leaves more work up to you than most other road bikes, but you can think of the cheaper price to get you through that more tedious setup-phase.
Eurobike is a reliable and trusted brand, and it shows in the positive reviews this bike garnered, though one reviewer did mention that the gear shift system is a little subpar. Lastly, if you’re really in love with the design of this bike – other than the 3-spoke wheels, it does have the option to get more typical bike wheels. Of course, then you’re forfeiting the durability, which is where this bike shines. If you buy the Eurobike EURXC550 21 Speed Road Bike, you might never have to visit the shop until you decide it’s time for an upgrade.
#4: Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike (Best Low Cost)
I’ve said it over and over and over again. A beginner shouldn’t be forced to spend a fortune on their first bike. It’s a terrible model of operation for any hobby to be blocked behind a paywall that discourages new people from trying it out. And honestly, if you listen to the way some riders talk about what they consider cheap in road bikes, you’d be forgiven for thinking that the road biking scene is just not one that’s open to new, not-rich members joining. But the Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike, which seems to be the only affordable staple in lists of the best road bikes, proves that wrong.The Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike is an affordable bike that offers 21-speed drivetrain gears to handle any biking situation and A050 thumb shifters to let you shift gears quickly and seamlessly.
As you’ve probably come to expect, this Vilano bike sits on top of 27.5-inch wheels, which will give you a good balance of speed and control and which is probably the best option for beginners. You’re also getting top-tier disc brakes that will be able to bail you out of any near-accidents.
The biggest drawback of this bike is that it’s pretty heavy, weighing over 30 pounds, despite its aluminum frame, so you’ll definitely start to feel the burn if you take it on really long rides. Aside from that, one user complained about the seat, but if you feel that’s an issue, that’s relatively easy to replace with a comfortable seat more to your liking.
There is assembly with tools required if you order this bike online, which could either involve a quick trip to the shop or a more experienced friend helping you set it up. But that price point just can’t be beat. Trust me, I’ve looked. If you find a viable bike that’s cheaper than the Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike please let me know. And if you’re a beginner who doesn’t want to spend a ton of money, then this is one of the best cheap road bikes for you, if not the best cheap bike out there.
#5: Tommaso Forcella Endurance Aluminum Road Bike (Best Luxury Purchase)
Some people just know when they’re ready to jump straight into the deep end with a new hobby. Maybe you’ve already been cycling as a commuter for a long time, and you know you’re ready to bring it to the next level. Or maybe you’re just decisive like that. If you’re absolutely sure that you’re going to be in the road cycling game for a while, and you’re ready to go straight to the fanciest bike you can get your hands on, then the Tommaso Forcella Endurance Aluminum Road Bike is the only bike for you.
If you’ve been paying attention, you’ll remember that Tommaso also makes the other expensive option on our list, so that gives you an idea of what kind of brand they are. Of course, you get what you pay for. The Forcella Endurance is even more expensive than its Imola sibling of the same line, and for that extra money, you’re getting 27.5-inch wheels, a lightweight aluminum compact frame, and an HCT carbon fork that will make all of those bumps and potholes just a little less jarring with its vibration dampening. You’re also getting a lifetime frame and fork warranty, so you’ll definitely be happy you decided to spend that extra money if you end up with any damage that’s covered by the warranty.
You’re also getting the absolute best in gear shifting with the Shimano Claris STI, so you’ll be able to quickly adjust to any change in environment and keep your ride as smooth as possible. Finally, this bike comes with compact frame geometry and premium compact handlebars to offer increased power and comfort in a sleek package. As a nice bonus, this bike comes with an attractive sleek black design that isn’t plastered with logos the way some other road bikes are.
Tommaso is one of the biggest names in the business, and though they’re a bit expensive, pretty much everyone agrees that they’re well worth the money. There’s no clear flaw to be found in this bike as far as the actual specs go, and the only actual discouraging factors are the price and the fact that it requires professional setup. But honestly, if you’re willing to pay for this bike you’re probably willing to take the extra step and pay a professional to get it up and running for you. Of course, if you have a friend who’s a more experienced road biker, you may be able to circumnavigate this final step, but I would urge against it unless you’re very confident in said friend’s ability. You definitely wouldn’t want to mess up any of the parts of this expensive bike before you even get started riding it.
If you want to jump straight to the best of the best, that would be the Tommaso Forcella Endurance Aluminum Road Bike.
Verdict: Your Best Entry Level Road Bikes
We’re reaching the end of our list, and you’re hopefully starting to get a good idea of which of our products is best for you. But if you haven’t made up your mind yet, not to worry. We don’t want to rush, and we know how important it is to make sure you’re getting the bike that’s perfect for you. That’s why we’re going to recap all of our bikes and focus on their standout features. This way, you’ll be able to see the highlights and really know what each bike has to offer for you.
If you want the best value for money, pick the Trinx Tempo 1.0 Road Bike.
The Trinx Tempo 1.0 gives you a lightweight bike that’s easy to pedal and easy to carry along with standard wheels for good handling and decent speed and the high-end Shimano gear shifting system with 21 speeds that will let you stay flexible with how your ride handles. And best of all, it’s one of the more affordable bikes out there. This is really the best value buy out there, and it should be the first choice of any customer looking for a good deal.
If you need the lightest bike, pick the Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike.
If you just cannot be asked to deal with a clunky ride that’s going to burn pointless calories while you ride, then you want the super-lightweight Tomasso Imola Endurance. With its incredible aluminum frame, you’ll be zooming from state to state and barely feel any resistance as you pedal along on your merry way. Tommaso knows that bigger is not always better.
If you want to keep the spending cheap, pick the Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike.
Though it sometimes feels like it, you don’t have to spend an arm and a leg just to get a decent road bike. If you want to keep things reasonable and affordable, Vilano has got you covered. It’s very rare to find a product that’s both as cheap and as affordable as this Vilano bike, so you know you’re really getting a steal with the R2 Commuter Bike. The only real drawback is it’s a bit on the heavy side, but if that doesn’t bother you, then this bike is the steal of the century.
That brings us to the end of this article. If none of the highlighted products above were quite what you’re looking for, you might be more interested in the durable and reliable 3-spoked Eurobike EURXC550 21 Speed Road Bike or the top-of-the-line luxurious Tommaso Forcella Endurance Aluminum Road Bike.
If you’re a bit hesitant to make your decision, it might help to write down the feature that’s most important to you. Once you do that, you’ll realize that most of the bikes out there don’t actually have the feature you’re really looking for.
That’s all for now. We hope you found the bike you’re looking for, and we hope you enjoy the scenery on your first long-distance road biking journey!