As cycling becomes more and more popular, many people are turning in their casual bikes to upgrade to sturdier road bikes. From sunset rides to cycles to work, a proper good road bike can take you from one place to another seamlessly.
On average, $1000 is the rough benchmark price to spend to get a decent bike that will last a few years. Keep in mind, bikes can go up to $5000 and more, so $1000 is great value to spend on a road bike for those starting to get a little more serious about their cycling and/or want to upgrade from their push bikes.
With these bikes, if they’re given the right amount of care and attention, they will last for years to come.
Things To Consider When You Buy A Road Bike
As with most investments, there are a few things to consider when purchasing a road bike. Keep in mind that these road bikes are typically not for racing.
Firstly, choosing the right fit for your body size is incredibly important. When you’re riding, your body relies entirely on the bike beneath you to transport you, and so if it’s too long or too short for your body, discomfort will quickly follow.
There is a wide range of sizes available, with approximately 2cm jumps in between. The best thing to do would be to head into the store (especially if it’s your first time) to get fitted.
Similar to shoes, certain manufacturers measure things slightly different from others, so this is something to look out for.
When trying out different bikes, notice the saddle height and reach. A rule of thumb is that when your foot is at the lowest point on the pedals, your knees should be bent 30 degrees. It’s almost always the case that if your saddle is around the correct height, you won’t be able to remain seated with both feet flat on the floor.
Another thing to consider is the pedals that will go with the bike. If it’s your first time, you’ll be making the decision between flat pedals or clipless pedals.
Flat pedals are more versatile but they’re not as efficient as clipless. For example, if you’re wearing trainers which have flex rubber soles, you’ll lose a lot of power pedalling on flat pedals.
Clipless pedals work by binding them together with a cleat that’s attached to the sole of the shoe you’re wearing. The shoes that go with clipless pedals have a much stiffer sole which generates more power when pedalling.
The aftermarket purchase of essential extras is also important. These are basically small tools that you carry with you whilst riding your bike in case something was to go awry.
For example, if you end up getting a puncture, items in your kit will be able to save you. Purchasing them at the same time as your bike might get you a discount.
Aside from the bike itself, you should ask yourself what the purpose of the bike is for. Is the bike going to be used for commuting or purely for leisure?
After reading this, you should have a fairly good idea about what to look after when you head out to get your bike!
Familiarise yourself with the following terms before we get to the bikes:
- Drivetrain: All the parts that you use to push the bike along (e.g., pedals, chains, cogs, etc.)
- Groupset: Any parts involved in braking, changing gear, or running the drive train.
- Mudguard: They prevent mud, sand, water, rocks and grime from being flicked upwards when riding
- Non-cartridge pads: the most basic form of v-brake pads, made of a simple rubber block.
- Cartridge pads: feature a metal shoe with replaceable rubber inserts
- Top-tube: the length of the ‘imaginary’ tube measured from the centre of the top of the head tube to the centre of the seat tube.
Now that you know what you need to look out, here’s our list of the best road bikes under $1000.
1. Kent GZR700
This impressively built sturdy road bike is an entry level type but for serious riders.
The bike boasts quality steel framing and Shimano stem shifters to ensure smooth and reliable shifting. It also comes with alloy calipers and brake levers.
It will take some getting used to, as the overall positioning of the bike is different to the average road bike build. Without adapting to the bike, you may find yourself coming away with some back discomfort.
- Wide range of gears
- Intricate brakes give you total control over bike
- Sturdy frame
- Max weight of 250 pounds
- Bike itself is 31.2 pounds (around 14kg) – definitely on the heavier side
Buy It Now: Kent GZR7000
2. Schwinn Volare Hybrid Road Bike
Schwinn Volare have been busting out bikes since the 60s and 70s, and this current model is one of its most popular ones yet.
The Schwinn Volare is a great all-rounder that can easily be taken touring and on long distance rides just as easily as it can be ridden on paved, grass, rugged dirt tracks and more.
It boasts a lightweight aluminium frame, steel fork, Shimano drivetrain and shifters, and alloy rims, just to name a few quality fittings.
- Simple assembly
- Decent number of speeds
- Brakes are average
- Slightly on the heavier side
Buy It Now: Schwinn Volare
3. Takari Oni 700c
The Takari Oni 700c is a decent-enough beginners bike that has unusually large drop bars. Whilst this may be a novelty for some people, it may be difficult to get used to, especially if it’s your first ever road bike.
Apart from that, the bike itself is made of a sturdy steel frame, giving it a reliable feel. It features side pull brakes, alloy rims, and a rear flip flop hub which gives riders the choice of fixed-gear or single-speed riding.
- Funky urban colourway
- Value for money
- Simple assembly
- Large size may be more suited for taller riders
Buy It Now: Takari Oni 700c
4. Schwinn GTX Comfort Hybrid Bike
Schwinn are no strangers to the road bike scene, and their GTX Comfort bike absolutely delivers.
It boasts an aluminium dual sport frame with a suspension fork designed for more versatile riding. Its wide-ranging speed shifters offer a premium controlled gear changing experience. Alloy v-brakes deliver precise braking power, whereas the allow double wall rims offer lightweight durability.
- Multi-purpose built
- 21-24 Shimano speed
- Durable front rims and all-rounder tyres
- Pedals are known to start making funny noises
- Check all parts when you receive it, as some consumers have mentioned some parts being missing
Buy It Now: Schwinn GTX Comfort Hybrid Bike
5. Schwinn Fastback Tourney AL Road Bike
If you’re looking for something that is affordable yet a notch above the entry-level bikes, the Schwinn Fastback Tourney AL bike is just the one.
Its lightweight yet sturdy build provides the rider with a smoother, longer, and lighter ride. It boasts the Shimano drivetrain with Schwinn crank, delivering an above average gearing and shifting experience.
As per its name, it’s a beast on the road, suitable for all road surfaces. With its premium gears inclusion, it can even take on hilly rides.
- Stunning bright red colour
- Fairly lightweight
- Simple assembly
- Not that smooth going up hills
- Thicker than average tires
- Need to change gear constantly on bumpy roads
Buy It Now: Schwinn Fastback Tourney AL Road Bike
6. Eurobike Road Bike XC550
For a decently priced, decent performance, value-for-money bike, the Eurobike XC550 road bike is an ideal option for both adults and kids alike.
The bike is fitted with Shimano components including the shifters, front and rear derailleurs, and crankset. Its sturdy steel frame makes for a comfortable and reliable ride, and for additional safety, it’s fitted with front and rear disc brakes, meaning you have even more control in wet weather.
And as a bonus, it’s really just a great looking bike.
- Best value at its price point
- Heavy-duty steel frame
- Smooth and efficient Shimano components
- Disc brakes are a top-tier additional
- It’s heavier than the average road bike
- Tires are not the greatest
Buy It Now: Eurobike Road Bike XC550
7. Giordano Acciao Road Bike
The Giordano Acciao Road bike is one of the most affordable bikes on the list, but it doesn’t skimp on quality.
The framework of this great entry-level bike is made of high tensile steel – that just means it’s super lightweight and durable. It boasts the Shimano Tourney STI gears, known for superior shifting and speed.
Its 30mm alloy rims and 700c x 25mm tires alongside the dual-pivot brakes makes it a great option for beginner-intermediate cyclists and even for those who are just starting out.
- Lightweight and durable
- Shimano Tourney STI shifters
- Basic assembly
- Brakes are average (or below, depending on who you talk to)
- Slightly unusual positioning of the seat may cause discomfort for some riders
Buy It Now: Giordano Acciao Road Bike
8. Giant Contend 2
The Giant Contend is a great value for money entry-level bike that really packs a punch.
Its incredibly light aluminium framework is enhanced by a Shimano Claris groupset and a full complement of mudguard and rack mounts, making it ideal for those looking to use it for commuting and day-to-day riding on top of leisure rides.
It’s an all-rounder type of bike for those who are looking to cycle across different terrains.
- Sporty look and feel
- Comfortable with a good kit and wide range of gears
- Average non-cartridge brake pads
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9. Scott Speedster 40
The Scott Speeders 40 is a practical all-rounder bike, with standard 28mm tyres, mudguard mounts, and decent low gears for assistance when climbing the steep hills.
The changes made to the recent Speedster 40 in terms of tyre size, mudguard fittings, and sprocket makes it a sharp and speedy ride for those looking for an efficient commute, but relaxed enough to take out for a leisurely weekend ride.
- Generous wide-gear range
- Wide tyres
- Average brakes
10. Pinnacle Laterite 3
The Pinnacle Laterite 3 is described as a generous and comfortable all-rounder bike that’s priced perfectly for beginners.
It boasts Shimano Sora gears which, whilst isn’t the top-tier range of the Shimano range, still performs decently compared to its siblings. It also has mounts for mudguards and a rack as well.
- Easy and comfortable ride for most people
- Simple to service
- Great value for money
- Brakes may wear out earlier than expected and need to be changed
- Narrow tyres that can be sized up
- Non-cartridge brake blocks
Did you enjoy this list of the 10 best road bikes under $1000? We hope we’ve been able to shed some light on how you can approach purchasing your first or next road bike.
From considering the level of gears and shifts to looking at how wide the tires are, the process can be a little daunting, but hopefully you’ve come away with a bit more knowledge than when you started.
Happy shopping and we hope you find your next bike sooner rather than later!