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Best Good, Cheap Road Bikes For Budget Cyclists (2022)

Riding a bike seems like a great way to get outside and get active, right? But have you seen the prices for some of those bicycles?

I don’t know about you, but I don’t want to spend more than my rent payment on a bike. Luckily, there are some quality bike options that won’t bust your budget (if you know where to look).

Let me share my favorite affordable road bikes with you – they’ll keep your wallet and your body happy.

Our Top 10 Featured Cheap Road Bikes That Are Designed To Last

Please note that supply chain issues are still a problem and some of the bikes below may be out of stock when you try to buy.

We’re doing our best to keep this list updated with affordable in-stock road bikes.

If you need to stick to a budget, the affordable bicycles below get top ratings from our editors [updated June 2022]

Editor’s Pick
Marin Nicasio 1 Complete Bike 2022

Editor’s Pick
Marin Nicasio 1 Complete Bike 2022
  •   Our #1 Cheap Road Bike Pick for 2022!
  •   Our #1 best value road bike for beginners under $1,000
  •   This all terrain bike is ideal for fitness, cruising the city or tackling a gravel trail.
Best Price at evo
Best Starter Touring Bike
Tommaso Siena Shimano Tourney Bike

Best Starter Touring Bike
Tommaso Siena Shimano Tourney Bike
  •   Good bike for light touring
  •   Rides well on gravel
Buy at Amazon
Best Cheap Women’s Road Bike
Cannondale Quick 4 Women's Bike - 2020

Best Cheap Women’s Road Bike
Cannondale Quick 4 Women’s Bike – 2020
  •   Comfortable saddle, good for bumpy rides
  •   Good for a workout, cruising the city or just getting out
  •   As of 2020, all Quicks feature an updated frame that’s lighter weight
Best Price at REI
Also Recommended
Marin Nicasio​+ Complete Bike 2022

Also Recommended
Marin Nicasio​+ Complete Bike 2022
  •   Good handling for commuting, recreational cycling, & grinding out gravel miles
Best Price at evo
Also Recommended
Tommaso Fascino - Sport Performance Aluminum Road Bike

Also Recommended
Tommaso Fascino – Sport Performance Aluminum Road Bike
  •   Best cheap road bike at Amazon (editor’s choice)
Buy at Amazon
Also Recommended
Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike

Also Recommended
Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike
  •   Fast, reliable ride at a good price
Buy at Amazon
Good Women’s Bike
Cannondale Topstone 2 Alloy Women's Bike - 2021

Good Women’s Bike
Cannondale Topstone 2 Alloy Women’s Bike – 2021
  •   Nice, smooth ride on pavement, gravel and packed forest roads
Best Price at REI
Also Recommended
Co-op Cycles ADV 2.1 Bike

Also Recommended
Co-op Cycles ADV 2.1 Bike
  •   Fast and comfortable spinning down the highway, but also performs well when you leave the pavement behind — it just digs in and grinds gravel.
Best Price at REI
Also Recommended
Co-op Cycles ADV 2.2 Bike

Also Recommended
Co-op Cycles ADV 2.2 Bike
  •   Good for the pavement and performs amazingly well on rougher terrain. Great for backpacking!
Best Price at REI

Where To Buy Top Road Bikes Online (Under $1000)

Whether you are just getting into road cycling as a beginner, or if you have been riding a road bike for a while, there are some good cheap options out there so that you do not have to spend a fortune on a quality road bike.

Especially when online stores like REI offer high quality bicycles at cheap prices.

It can be easy to walk into one of the local shops that sell bikes and get overwhelmed by the sheer beauty of some of those bicycles with price tags that are well over $1,000.

Don’t get me wrong – I don’t mind spending money on gear that gets me outside and active, but I also like to do many different things outside.

That means that I would rather get a low cost road bike that is good quality so that I can spend more on other activities.

Luckily there are some brands making affordable road bikes that are designed to last you for many years of comfortable riding.

That’s why I prefer more budget-friendly bikes in the under $1000 price range since I’m not a serious cyclist. I also think this is the perfect price point for a good entry level bike.

Regardless of what your reason is for shopping for budget road bikes, you can rest assured that there are plenty of great cheap road bikes out there for you to choose from.

Just do yourself a favor and don’t fall in love with one of those higher priced ones at a local bicycle shop!

Good places to shop online include:

road bike club

What Are Some Of The Best Road Bike Brands?

Want to make sure you that you’re getting yourself a high quality bicycle at an affordable cost?

Well, when it comes to quality, there are few brands that stand out from the rest.

Here are some of the top cheap road bike brands known for high quality:

  • Cannondale
  • REI Co-Op
  • Marin Nicasio
  • Salsa
  • Tommaso
  • Diamondback (some models)

What To Consider When Shopping For Budget Road Bikes

Looking for a good bicycles to ride on the way to work, for exercise, or just for fun on weekends and after work?

If so, a good road bike is likely exactly what you need to get started. In fact, one of these will serve you well on most bicycle paths and for road riding.

The best thing about turning into a roadie rider is that these bikes can be found for cheap. In fact, there are lots of great options when it comes to road bikes under $500 – $1000.

So, if you’re not sure, we suggest starting with a cheap model and upgrading later on if you really need to.

Below we share some of our favorite models and give you some tips on what to look for when shopping.

When selecting a road bicycle for yourself, you have to consider many details. However, it all starts with the frame.

Although there are numerous materials and styles, you decision should be based on budget constraints and anything that can add to the speed or comfort of the ride.

The frame material of your new road bicycle is you want to concentrate most of the money.

It is the skeleton that will bear your weight and determine how quickly you will be able to move on the street.

Casings are produced using a scope of materials, the most widely recognized being steel, aluminum, titanium and carbon fiber.

merax cheap road bike against house


Your main frame choices include aluminum or carbon fiber.

There are other materials but these are the lightest, an essential quality in selecting a bicycle.

Most aluminum frames are great at providing a smooth riding experience.

Plus, they are generally more affordable than carbon fiber.

Most aluminum-frame road bikes are accompanied by a carbon fiber front fork which absorbs some of the vibration to smooth out your ride.

Overall, a carbon-fiber bike frame will provide a more comfortable ride as it absorbs more vibrations from the ride.

Unfortunately, this makes them more costly when compared to aluminum bikes.

Although, the ride quality can fluctuate depending on the design.

So, you can’t assume that all carbon-fiber bikes are superior.

Titanium is the most sought-after frame material.

A titanium has the lightness of aluminum and as longevity and durability of steel, making it a brilliant material for bikes.

Its resistance to rust and corrosion is what tops off an already good thing.  

However, even though it is slowly becoming more affordable, it is still the priciest option on the market and few people have the budget for it.

Steel dominated road bike frames until the 1980s.

It is still used to produce beautiful bikes.

These are custom bikes for slow touring, when the impact of their much heavier weight doesn’t impede the ride as well.

Tip: If you have to have the lightest and stronger material, then a carbon-fiber is going to be your ideal frame.

On the other hand, if you mostly ride for fitness and fun, aluminum is a cost-effective middle ground that you should explore.

Now, for the rest of the bicycle. Component parts include:

  • Drivetrain (crankset, brake levers, chain, derailleurs, equip levers).
  • Wheels (rims, spokes, axles, hubs).
  • Brakes, handlebars, seats and pedals.


Companies pre-assemble their parts into groupsets — this includes the brakes and gear assembly to ensure everything is matched up properly and that the buyer gets a bike that is properly put together.

You may here and there hear the groupset called gruppo, from the Italian original name.

A bicycle made with a groupset has a refined, fashionable and reliable feel containing a random assortment of parts.

People judge a bike’s quality based on what is in the groupset.


What is the drivetrain and what does it do?

The “drivetrain” of the bicycle has a large number of complex parts and is used to propel (or force) the bicycle ahead.

The key parts are:

  • Pedals
  • Cogs (cassette) and Cranks
  • Chain and “Chainrings” (chainwheel)
  • Derailleur

Cranksets and Gearing 

If you meet up with an avid biker, then talk will eventually turn to gearing.

How about we begin with the crankset.

This is the component set that the pedals turn and that propel the back wheel by means of the chain.  

A road bike has a triple, double or compact crankset.

This alludes to the number and size of chainrings (situated by the pedals).

A triple crankset has 3 chainrings. It is regularly coupled with a 9-speed cassette that sits on the rear wheel, for a maximum of 27 gear selections.

This setup is most common on configuration on beginner’s road bikes and gives you an extensive range of gears to choose from.

Meanwhile, double and compact cranksets have 2 chainrings in the front which combine with a 10-speed cassette in the back for an aggregate of 20 riggings.

A compact crankset has small chainrings with less teeth than a twofold, giving it fewer gears.

Compact cranksets typically occupy bicycles with a sport geometry, as it number of gears (from low to high) as a triple but weighs less.

Both compact and double cranksets additionally offers better heel clearance to the crank arm when compared to the triple crankset choice that avoids shoe rub on each turn of the pedals.

Purchasing tip: If you are new to road cycling, you will need a triple or compact crankset. Experienced cyclists or those riding on level ground may lean toward a twofold.


Wheels majorly affect:

  • The weight of the bicycle.
  • How well a bicycle speeds up and conveys momentum.
  • Streamlined and aerodynamic agility in wind.

Unless you pick a custom-made bike, you don’t get a selection of wheels when you purchase a bicycle.

You can move upgrade to a superior quality wheelset once you buy the bicycle, which helps with budgeting over time.

Similarly, the higher up a bicycle falls in its model range, the lighter and faster the wheels get.

Recreational riders are less concerned over wheel choice than experienced, avid riders.


A typical question from those looking for a street bike is “Where are the pedals?”

Pedals may be available on basic models, but experience riders will likely already have their preferred pedals and components.

Manufacturers know this and don’t include pedals with higher models.

Your pedal choice often comes down to what works best with your cycling shoe preference.

If you want to be efficient and be more connected to your bicycle, you ought to eventually invest in cycling shoes and clip-in pedals.

Ignoring this is like driving a Ferrari and filling it with cheap gas.

It will still go, but you won’t get anywhere near the optima speed until you upgrade your equipment.

A higher cost brings with certain goodies, such as low friction, lower weight and better ball bearings.

Brake Levers and Gear Shifters

Previously, these were separate components situated on various parts of the bike. Presently, components are integrated for efficiency.

Although the actual configuration varies by model and brand.

By test riding diverse bicycles, you may build up an individual preference for one style over another.

In some models, the brake level doubles as a gear shifter.

In others, the gear shifter is a tiny lever behind the brake lever, for example.

Purchasing tip: Make sure the bike you choose allows you to keep a good grip on the handlbars.

Make sure you can shift and brake with your hands on top of the bars or in the drop position.

For those with small hands, see if the bike can be adjusted for reach.

This will ensure safety while riding.

Getting A Good Fit From Your New Bicycle

To check reach (preferably with your cycling clothes on), mount your bicycle and make sure it is level.

You can do this on a trainer or test ride.

  1. Stand against a wall with bike shoes on.
  2. Straddle a book, spine up, as though you were perched on the seat.
  3. Utilize the pencil to mark where the spine of the book meets the wall.
  4. Measure from the mark to the floor. This is your inseam.
  5. Repeat it a couple of times to be sure of the sizing.

Get on and pedal until you’re alright with your abdominal area loose.

Look forward as though you were looking down a stretch of road.

For dropped handlebars, lay your hands on the top of the brake levers.

bike assembly parts spread out on floor

Unpacking and Assembling Your New Bike

When you buy a bicycle online, it arrives at your home in a large box.

It is not put together, but instead is usually in a couple of pieces.

For the most part, putting together a bike that you bought online is a pretty simple process.

Almost all of the bikes come with a good set of assembly instructions that you should follow.

But if you are more of a visual learner, then the video below can give you some guidance on getting that new bicycle assembled by yourself at home.

And if you prefer just images instead of a video, then you will definitely want to take a look at the Diamondback website as they have a great guide on how to assemble a Diamondback mountain bike.

Find that guide on this page. Keep in mind that the guide is specific to mountain bikes, but still a great resource.

Once you get your new ride assembled on your own, it is a good idea to take it down to your local bikes shop and let one of the pros there give it a tune-up.

This is the best way to ensure that your bicycle gives you the best performance and helps it last longer for you.

Of course, it also is a good idea because they can catch any assembly mistakes that you might have accidentally missed.

Prices for this service vary, but are usually somewhere around $60 for the tune-up.

2 thoughts on “Best Good, Cheap Road Bikes For Budget Cyclists (2022)”

  1. Hey there, great tips and thank you for sharing them! I will definitely take all of your tips into careful consideration.

  2. Finding a good bike in a cheap budget is really difficult for a newbie. This review made it easy for them. Thanks for your good work. Cheers!!


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