Best Road Bikes Under $1000

best road bikes under 1000

You don’t have to be into bike racing to get pleasure out of cycling with slim-wheeled road bikes. Whether you want to go for a scenic trail ride or a thrilling fast ride, road bikes will be your best choice. They are specifically designed to increase your enjoyment of biking and decrease the amount of effort you have to use. Road bikes are a lot of fun to use no matter your reason for using them, but they can be used for training, exercising, competing, daily commute, and trail riding.

There are some fantastic quality bikes for less than $1000 that are lightweight, fast in speed, and very durable. Their frames are usually aluminum, have great gears, brakes and perfectly sized tires. You won’t have to spend a fortune looking for the perfect bike to fit your cycling needs.

The aluminum that most of these bikes have keeps the frame and fork light and easy to maneuver. It’s the lightest and cheapest choice for choosing a bike, but that doesn’t take away from quality at all. In fact, bikes with an aluminum frame and fork are typically my favorite bikes to ride.

In my opinion, the best quality road bike is the Kestrel Talon Full Carbon Road Bike. This bike is the best quality for a decent price. It’s a beast when it comes to performance and is perfect for somebody who is looking to compete in a Triathlon or train for an upcoming competition. This bike is versatile, durable, lightweight, and one of the most fun bikes to ride.

If you would prefer more of an entry level bike I would suggest the Giordano Libero 1.6. It’s a basic bike that’s a lot less expensive than its competitors. The basic features of this bike allow you to shop around on a strict budget. You can also choose to upgrade parts at a later point in time if they aren’t living up to your standards, or as you grow in experience as a bike rider.

10 Best Road Bikes Under $1000

Best Road Bikes for Triathlons and Training Purposes

Kestrel Talon Road Shimano 105 Bicycle

1. Kestrel Talon Road Shimano 105 Bicycle - The Kestrel Talon is one of the best bikes out there. It’s an excellent bike for training and competing because of its fast speed and above par performance.

Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Haanjo Comp Ready Ride Complete Alternative Road Bike

2. Diamondback Haanjo Alternative Road Bike - This one is only second best compared to the Kestrel Talon. It provides very comparable performance and quality, plus the price difference is quite a lot.

Best Daily Commuter Bikes for Those on a Budget

Vilano Shadow Road Bike

1. Vilano Shadow Road Bike - Shimano STI Integrated Shifters – This bike provides the best bang for your buck. It offers excellent durability, comfort, and performance at a fantastic price tag.

Giordano Libero 1.6 Men's Road Bike-700c

2. Giordano Libero 1.6 Men’s Road Bike 700c – If you are really on a budget the Giordano Libero 1.6 Men’s Road Bike is an excellent option. It’s perfect for people that are looking for a bike to enjoy weekend bike rides or even for training purposes.

How I Chose the Best Road Bikes Under $1000

When deciding which bikes would be considered “the best road bikes under $1000” I really researched which ones offered the best performance, the strongest frames, and the highest quality components.

Of course, the first thing I considered was the price range. The ones that I looked at had to be under $1000. After checking the price range of each bike I researched and tested to make sure that they were lightweight, high speed, and durable.

I also took into account the various features that each bike offered. Comparing and contrasting each bike I was finally able to come up with the best road bikes under $1000. Let the following review help to guide in your purchasing decision.

1. Kestrel Talon Road Shimano 105 Bicycle

Kestrel Talon Road Shimano 105 Bicycle

The Kestrel brand has become known for producing bikes that offer both speed and versatility. The Kestrel 2016 Talon fits that description perfectly. With this bike you will have access to the power that’s behind the carbon fork frame. If you combine that with the smooth-as-butter performance of the built in Shimano 105 group set, this bike is unbeatable. This bike is also very aerodynamic and allows you to breeze through the streets and trails. It makes the perfect training and competing bike because of its amazing performance.

Who is it for?

This bike is perfect for someone looking to purchase a road bike for training or competing. The overall quality of this bike would fit well for someone about to compete in a Triathlon. It’s powerful, has high-performance, and even works great on paved streets as well as high mountain trails.

Components

The Talon offers an Enhanced Modulus Hybrid that helps to improve performance by adding speed and resilience. The frame is lightweight and the bike is able to handle any miles that you want to put on it for training. You won’t feel vibrations with this bike which allows you to train longer and with less effort.

The Shimano 105 front/rear derailleurs offer a lot of power. The only effort that you will need to put into them is when you switch gears. It comes with a basic oval concept 520 crankset that does a fairly decent job. If you would like the bike to offer further performance I suggest upgrading to the Shimano 105 crankset.

Drawbacks

The Vittoria Zaffiro Pro tires aren’t as good of quality as I would have liked. They can’t really handle all of the miles that I like to ride. I experienced a few flat tires and felt like they were a bit too heavy. I ended up choosing an upgrade and suggest that you do the same.

Conclusion

As long as you upgrade the tires on this bike I believe that it would be perfect for training and Triathlons. For the performance and quality the price can’t be beat. This is truly a fantastic bike.

2. DiamondBack Bicycles 2016 Haanjo Alternative Road Bike

Diamondback Bicycles 2016 Haanjo Comp Ready Ride Complete Alternative Road Bike

The Diamondback is not only sturdy it’s also a comfortable bike to ride. The 2015 Haanjo Alternative Bike offers a relaxed aluminum frame. The frame is lightweight and can absorb any vibration brought on by changes in terrain and road conditions.

Who is it for?

This bike is perfect for the person that wants to purchase a recreational bike and needs one that allows for riding it daily with less effort and more gratification. It isn’t the most budget-friendly recreational bike around. However, with the extra cost comes extra quality.

Components

The 6061-T6 aluminum frame is quite the frame! It performs quite nicely and is very durable. Even if you put close to 50 miles on your bike every week, the frame holds up fantastically. The design is also spot on. The ride feels more laid-back than other bikes because of the seat being inclined and the top tube being slightly extended. This bike isn’t meant for higher speeds, but it does provide a riding experience that takes minimal effort.

This bike is also very capable of absorbing vibration so that you don’t tire as easily. This is because the fork tube is much wider than other bikes.

Riding downhill with this bike is a breeze and is very safe. The Shimano 18-speed drivetrain provides you with a smooth transition and the FSA double crank set it a great feature as well.

The group set is lightweight which allows you to enjoy riding your road bike without having to put in much effort.

I also found the disc brakes to be very high-quality and seem to resemble disc brakes used in high mountain bikes. Also, the tires are wide and a bit on the heavier side. If that’s something you’re not looking for, however, you can choose a replacement set of tires that weight a lot less.

Drawbacks

The seat isn’t as comfortable as I would have preferred. I did initially give the basic features that came with the bike a solid try. However, I found that I preferred the bike much more after I replaced the seat and went to a lighter wheelset.

Conclusion

All-in-all the Diamondback Haanjo Alternative is durable like a mountain bike while providing a comfortable riding experience. Once I changed out the seat and wheels I was much happier with this bike, but those two switches were personal preference. I would suggest that you try the bike first before making the decision to make changes to it.

3. Vilano FORZA 2.0 Aluminum Carbon Shimano Tiagra Road Bike

Vilano FORZA 2.0 Aluminum Carbon Shimano Tiagra Road Bike

This bike has a sturdy frame and lightweight carbon fiber fork. It gave me one of the smoothest rides for the price of it. The group set is pretty nice and can handle any casual biker’s needs.

Who is it for?

This bike is excellent for someone that is looking for their first road bike and doesn’t want one that requires a lot of upgrades. Also, because of its sturdy frame, this bike is perfect for someone that commutes on a daily basis.

Components

Before considering anything else on the bike that you’re looking at, you should really focus on the frame and the fork. The FORZA 2.0 has an Aluminum Double Butted Frame as well as a carbon fiber fork. The combination makes this an excellent bike.

The carbon fork is very lightweight and allows you to increase speed, decrease air resistance, and it also handles vibrations quite nicely. It is a very smooth ride.

Gear shifting is a very smooth process with the Shimano Tiagra 9 drivetrain taking care of business. The triple crank set allows you to climb higher because of the range of gears.

Drawbacks

This bike comes with pedals that are pretty standard, and you might want to consider upgrading after a while. The brakes aren’t that great either. You can end up getting a cramp in your hand with how far back and hard you have to pull the brakes to get them to engage.

The seat is mediocre at best. You will definitely want to consider a replacement soon after purchasing the bike.

Conclusion

Overall this is an excellent first road bike. There are a few minor upgrades that I do suggest, however, it’s very durable and can handle daily commutes. In the end, those minor upgrades will be worth it.

4. Giordano Libero 1.6 Men’s Road Bike- 700c

Giordano Libero 1.6 Men's Road Bike-700c

This bike is a decent entry level bike. It doesn’t come with all of the bells and whistles but the frame is sturdy.

Who is it for?

Anybody that is looking to start training or need an entry level bike for weekend excursions will enjoy this bike. It is especially great for anyone that has a strict budget.

Components

The frame is an Aluminum 6061 frame, which is very lightweight. The frame, however, is prone to vibrations however, so it may not be the most comfortable bike when going off road. The bike itself only weight 26 pounds which is excellent for beginners.

This bike comes standard with the Shimano STI ST2300 Shifters. They aren’t the smoothest shifter, but they do get the job done. Also, the Shimano front/rear derailleurs are just fine for beginners.

The seat is pretty standard however it’s comfortable, which is a nice bonus. Also, the wide tires are pretty decent for the price of the bike.

Drawbacks

The brakes are a little disappointing, especially when used heavily. I suggest upgrading to a better quality brake set soon after purchasing.

Conclusion

This bike has a few issues and is pretty basic however for the price of the bike you can’t go wrong. If you are able to spend a little bit more, I do suggest investing in a bike that is able to absorb vibrations and better and provides better components.

5. Giordano Libero Acciao Road Bike

Giordano Libero Acciao Road Bike

This inexpensive road bike is perfect for cardio training. It is similar to other basic bikes that don’t come with anything fancy. The style and design are very nice, however. This bike will definitely turn heads.

Who is it for?

This bike would be fantastic for someone looking for a bike to ride for cardio or training. Because of the effort that you have to put in to reach higher speeds you will feel your leg muscles working overtime and getting an excellent workout.

Components

The Shimano Tourney shifters are pretty basic. Since the price is so excellent, however, these shifters provide a fairly decent gear change. Most of the components are fairly basic, but it still allows you to reach higher speeds with some effort.

Basic pedals come with the bike as well as a basic crank set. It does the job, but upgrades will most certainly be necessary.

Drawbacks

The bike doesn’t hold up very well at all. Unless you are using it for exercising, I wouldn’t suggest it.

Conclusion

Again, I wouldn’t recommend this bike to anybody other than someone needing it for training or cardio purposes. The most of the components are basic and require an upgrade if you want to use it for daily commute, trail rides, or competition.

6. Schwinn Men's Phocus 1400 700C Drop Bar Road Bicycle

Schwinn Men's Phocus 1400 700C Drop Bar Road Bicycle

This is a nice entry level bike that is made b Schwinn, a very well-known brand. The components of this bike are fairly basic, however if you don’t go to extremes with this bike you will be able to cover hundreds of miles with it.

Who is it for?

This bike is perfect for a beginner. If you are looking for an excellent starter bike then this entry level bike is a great choice.

Components

The frame of this bike is aluminum and considering the price of the bike that’s a pretty impressive component. Because of the cost, however, the aluminum isn’t full of high-quality internal designs, but it does keep the bike weight down. That allows you to have more control and the ability to pick up speed.

This bike comes with the A050 shifters, which are more than just basic. They are excellent for paved roads, however they will make you work for your climb if you choose to take this bike uphill. I recommend getting the bike tuned at a local bike store soon after purchasing.

The brakes are pretty average. There’s nothing special about them so do use caution when going downhill.

Drawbacks

The tire tubing is pretty weak so I would definitely suggest a replacement before use if your budget allows for it. I would’ve also liked a more advanced Shimano shifter, as that would allow me to go uphill easier and faster. I wouldn’t feel so exhausted afterward if they were more advanced.

Conclusion

For an entry level bike this bike is actually pretty decent. While I suggest a few upgrades, they aren’t necessary right at first. Overall this is a decent bike for a decent price and I would recommend it to anyone looking for an entry level bike.

7. Vilano Shadow Road Bike

Vilano Shadow Road Bike

This bike is more than just a basic road bike; there are actually some great premium features that come with it. For instance, the double butted Aluminum frame as well as the integrated brake shifters. Each one of these sets the Vilano Shadow apart from most of their competition.

Who is it for?

This bike is perfect for those who are looking for a thrilling riding experience at a fraction of the cost. Daily commuters or people looking for great cardio would also take much pleasure in this bike.

Components

The frame is Double Butted Aluminum 6061 and is an excellent feature for a bike of this price range. The design of it is aerodynamic and helps you to breeze to higher speeds. Also, the lightweight frame allows you for more control and also assists with getting up to those high speeds.

The shifters are Shimano AO70 Shifters and the gear transfer is a smooth experience. The derailleurs do require a bit of tuning so you might want to take it in the closest bike shop before riding it regularly.

The tires are basic but beginners won’t have any trouble with them.

Drawbacks

The seat isn’t the most comfortable, so I do suggest trying it out and possible purchasing a new one. I didn’t care too much for the tires either. However, like I mentioned above, beginners won’t have any trouble with them as they are pretty basic. The brakes could also be upgraded as the brake set isn’t the best for daily commute. I also noticed quite a bit of noise when shifting gears, so don’t expect it to be a silent ride.

Conclusion

The Vilano Shadow is an excellent choice for an entry level bike and the frame is unbeatable.

8. Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano

Vilano Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed Shimano

This bike is a fairly easy to maneuver bike. The 6061 Double Butted Aluminum frame makes for a sturdy bike that absorbs vibrations so that you don’t have to. It was pretty easy to set up, thankfully, and took me less than 10 minutes to put everything together so that I could ride it. The design is pretty sleek for such a decently priced bike.

Who is it for?

This bike will be excellent for anybody that is looking to have absolute control over their bike. The lightweight aluminum frame, 21 speeds, and low vibrations allow you to control the bike instead of the other way around.

Components

This bike comes with a 700c double walled CNC machined sides wheel set. It also has the Shimano transmission as well as brakes. The 21 speeds provide you with variety and control.

Drawbacks

I felt like the seat needs much more padding than they have after you first purchase the bike. The seat was pretty uncomfortable. This bike isn’t excellent for long distance riding if you don’t get that seat changed out.

Conclusion

Overall, I felt like this bike held up nicely. Aside from the seat issue I really enjoyed riding it. It is definitely my top recommendation if you’re looking for a low-budget bike that allows for a lot of control.

9. GMC Denali Road Boys Bike

GMC Denali Road Boys Bike

This bike is pretty much as basic as it can get. It is an entry level bike that isn’t very good for competitions or even daily commute. It is, however, an excellent purchase if you’re looking for an occasional fun bike for weekend riding.

Who is it for?

This bike is designed with the beginner in mind. It’s perfect for someone that needs a beginner bike and doesn’t want it for anything other than the occasional weekend ride.

Components

Everything on this bike is fairly standard and basic. However, it does come with Shimano derailleurs and Revo shifters, which are often described as the best in class. This bike has 21 speeds, which can lead to a very enjoyable riding experience.

The frame on this bike, even though it’s basic, is pretty sturdy and the seat is surprisingly comfortable for shorter rides.

Drawbacks

The brakes aren’t very good, so you will definitely want to get a replacement on those. Also, the bike is built for people with a smaller build, so you might want to upgrade the handlebars if they don’t work with your height.

Conclusion

Overall, this is a fairly decent beginner bike. There are a few upgrades that could really make this bike a lot better, but if you’re a beginner and on a strict budget, this bike is a decent choice.

10. Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike

Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike

This flashy bike will be sure to turn some heads. It’s a single gear bike for an excellent price. People that love single gears will absolutely love this bike!

Who is it for?

This bike is for anybody who wants a durable frame and loves single speed gear bikes. This bike can handle tough riding, so if you’re into BMX style bike riding this is definitely an excellent bike for that.

Components

The single speed gear is excellent for high speeds. The Kabuto Single Speed also comes with a rigid steel frame and fork. The weight is light and the frame is heavily durable. However, the frame is prone to vibrations.

The braking system is pretty decent, especially considering the price. The handlebars are sleek and stylish and add a certain aesthetic appeal to this bike. You can also adjust the handlebars to your height or preference. The seat adjusts as well.

The rigid tubing is excellent at preventing flat tires even though the tires are a bit narrower than other bikes.

Drawbacks

The seat isn’t the most comfortable seat in the world, especially when going for long rides. I ended up having to replace it. Also, the vibrations are strong with this bike. Your hands will feel the variations of each surface you ride on and will start to get tired quickly.

I ended up replacing the pedals of this bike because they were below average in my book. The assembly of the entire bike is what annoyed me the most, though. It ended up taking hours to put it together because of unclear instructions. I would actually suggest taking it to your local bike shop and paying them to put it together for you.

Conclusion

With a few simple upgrades this bike is an excellent bike, especially for the price. I really enjoy single gear bikes and this one was one of the better ones that I’ve ridden.

The Ultimate Buying Guide for the Best Road Bikes

Before purchasing any road bike you have to take into consideration how much you are willing to spend. Then you need to ensure that you are getting the most bang for your buck.

If you are looking for a more powerful competition bike, I do suggest trying to be a bit more flexible with your budget or saving up for one. The higher-performance competition road bikes are quite a bit more expensive, but if that’s what you enjoy then it can definitely be worth the investment.

When looking for high quality material, see what the brand of the actual part is. This will also help you to determine if the bike that you are looking at will live up to your expectations. If you notice that the manufacturer is not a well-liked or recognized name, you will possibly be disappointed with your purchase in the near future.

Whenever I look at road bikes I look at the four major categories that make up that road bike. I look at frame material, fork material, components, and the price.

1. Frame Material

The frame material allows you to take a peek at the type of performance you’re going to receive from the bike that you’re looking at. The four major types of frame material are steel, titanium, aluminum, and carbon fiber.

Aluminum frames are typically lighter than other materials and are built for consistent use. Aluminum also helps to keep the price of the bike down, so you aren’t breaking the bank. Some aluminum frames have double butted frames which help the bike be lightweight and absorb vibrations to save you from tiring easily.

Steel frames add comfort to your riding experience. They are very heavy in comparison to aluminum frames, so they don’t perform as well. However, if you are more concerned with comfort than performance, this is the type of frame to get.

Titanium frames are lightweight, like aluminum, but they add in the comfortability of a steel frame. They are also incredibly durable and more attractive than other frame materials. Titanium is a top-notch material, however, so expect to pay a pretty penny for a bike with this type of frame material.

Carbon fiber frames can be found on the highest performance bikes around. They are incredibly expensive but are also worth the investment. When looking at carbon fiber frames take into consideration that there are high-end and low-end carbon fiber materials. Low-end carbon fiber frames will be very similar to aluminum frames and will still jack the price up.

2. Fork

The fork of a bike determines the shock damping ability, as well as the weight and stiffness of your bike. The fork itself has six different parts: steerer tube, crown, legs, spring, damping, and axle.

The two types of bike forks are the rigid bike fork and the suspension fork. The rigid bike fork utilizes a solid metal blade as the steerer and is therefore not flexible. These forks are excellent for riding on smooth surfaces because they help to conserve energy. They don’t function very well on trails or uneven roads, though.

The suspension fork is different than the rigid bike fork because it uses legs and not blades. The legs use shock absorbers to assist in dissipating jerks and pull that a rider might feel when riding on trails or uneven terrain.

The bike’s fork also comes in four major material options: titanium, carbon fiber, steel, and aluminum.

3. Components

The components of a bike will be the deciding factor behind whether the bike is comfortable, provides high performance, and is durable. There are three types of components that are really important to consider: group sets (brakes and gear parts), tires, and chain set.

The group set is the brakes and gears that the bike uses. Shimano Group Sets are the safest around unless you are more experienced with different group sets. Shimano has a lot of variety for group sets that range from premium to more basic and budget friendly group sets. Whatever group set your bike has will define how easy it is to shift gears, go fast, and apply brakes as needed. They will ultimately determine how much control you will have over your bike as you ride.

The chain set usually comes in three different types: standard, compact, and triple chain rings. The first two have double chain rings. Triple chain sets off the broadest spectrum for shifting gears. Compact chain sets can go low like the triple chains but are lighter in weight. Triple chain sets are excellent for trails that are steeper or if you need to carry luggage.

The wheels of your bike are something that you really need to look at in regards to quality. If they aren’t up to par it can get pretty expensive to replace them. 25-26mm wide tires are the most popular tires there are right now.

4. Price

Of course, the price of the bike is very important. The cheaper you pay out of pocket the more likely you are to have to replace some of the basic parts that come on the bike. If you can afford a higher priced bike then you are likely to start off with top of the line materials from the get-go. These materials, for the most part, will allow you to ride and enjoy your bike from the beginning without having to upgrade.

When considering price, don’t just assume that the cheaper bike is made of only cheap parts that need to be upgraded. Many less expensive bikes provide an equally fun ride as their more expensive counterparts. Also, many of them come with higher-quality features that you would be surprised to see on a bike at that price.

The most expensive bikes don’t necessarily have the best features either. I have come across many expensive bikes that come with only standard and very below par parts that end up requiring an upgrade. Those ones are the most frustrating because upgrades shouldn’t be necessary for an expensive bike since you’re already paying more.

While having a budget is important, I do suggest being a little flexible with it. Maybe save money until you have a healthy amount saved up for a worthy investment. It would be horrible if your budget didn’t cover the bike that you declared as the bike of your dreams.

Determine the Bike Size and Fit That you Prefer

The fit of your bike will be based solely on preference and your personal size. If you’re a larger person you will want to take into consideration how the seat and handlebars fit you. If necessary, you may need to get adjustments done or parts replaced to fit your size.

On the flip side, though, if you’re a smaller person make sure that you can comfortably sit the seat and that the handlebars aren’t too large. If they don’t fit quite right, again, you will want to get a replacement.

Comfortability of the Bike

Another thing to look at when purchasing a bike is how comfortable you feel on it. Some bikes have a different incline on their seats, thick or thin padding on their seats, widespread or narrow handlebars, and the frame may not quite live up to your needs when it comes to absorbing vibrations.

For seats, try to determine the type of riding that you are going to be doing. If you are going to be going on longer bike rides or using the bike for daily commute, I suggest purchasing a bike that has a nicely padded seat. If it doesn’t have one you will want to consider switching out for a more comfortable seat that won’t give you pain after riding it for a while.

The handlebars should feel comfortable on your elbows. If your hands are resting comfortably but your elbows are resting at an odd angle because of the width of the bars, you might consider looking at another bike or possibly switching out the handlebars.

Conclusion

Road bikes are their own type of bike. They aren’t the same as stunt bikes or mountain bikes. They typically have slimmer wheels and tires and they’re normally lighter and faster. When purchasing a road bike for less than $1000 you will find that the many of them are high-quality, durable, lightweight, and fun to use.

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