If you ask any proper cycling journalist what the best road bike is for under £500 they will usually sneer at you and tell you that all road bikes under £500 are pretty much the same with different stickers.
That’s not because they are snobby it’s just because they get given £2000+ road bikes every day to test so anything less than that feels…..well not as good. It’s like driving a Ferrari every day and then being asked to review a Vauxhall Corsa against a Renault Clio, you are no longer wired to notice the difference (the Corsa is better btw – but only because McC’s bike fits in the boot).
Most road bikes sold in the UK are priced under £500 and to be honest we don’t think that you need to spend much more than that to get a good road bike and really enjoy your cycling so with special thanks to Alex (no) Fear for the words and research here is our guide to some great road bikes under £500. If you are a beginner cyclist or like us don’t have more than £500 to spend on a hobby then this is without a doubt the guide for you.
B’Twin – Triban 520 Road Bike – RRP £450
A versatile road bike perfect for commuting, outings or sportives, the Triban 520 comes with a carbon blade fork, Shimano SORA 3×9 drive train and Shimano brakes. The Triban has front and rear pannier mounts and accepts full mud guards and tyres up to 32mm wide. The new sloping 6061-T6 aluminium B’TWIN SPORT frame and carbon fork keeps the weight down to 9.9kg.
Calibre – Rivelin Road Bike – RRP £399.99
A well equipped entry level road bike at a great price. The Calibre Rivelin sports a lightweight 6061 alloy frame with a carbon blade fork, typical of this price range. The frame geometry has been tweaked for a more upright riding position aiming this bike more at the commuter than the racer. The Shimano Claris 2×8 drive train offers quick smooth derailleurs with easy to use ergonomic STI shifters. Braking is provided by Tektro dual pivot brakes through fast rolling Schwalbe Lugano 23mm tyres.
Boardman – Road Sport Bike – RRP £499
The Road Sport is a quality bike with a smooth welded triple butted X7 alloy frame mated with a lightweight carbon fibre fork which provides comfort, stiffness and control. The triple butted tubing is lighter than the double butted tubing on most bikes around this price bracket but is slightly weightier than the other bikes in this test at 10.6kg.The groupset includes a16 speed Shimano Claris drive train, Tektro Dual Pivot Calliper Brakes and FSA Tempo cranks. Perhaps more importantly, Mavic CXP-22N rims offer a wheel set above that expected at this price range making this a bike for novice and experienced riders alike.
Mango – Point R Sora – RRP £579
A confidence inspiring bike that provides stability at high speed on descents while being a capable climber. Usually priced above £500, the Mango is currently available at £434.25. Using a 6061 aerospace grade alloy for the frame with a carbon bladed fork the Point R offers a comfortable all day ride. The frame is also provided with internal cable routing keeping the cable clear and free from corrosion (and adds to the sleek looks!). A Shimano SORA 2×9 drive train offers smooth shifting while the Tektro R315 dual pivot brakes take care of stopping.
Best Buy – £434.25 (you need to keep your eye on the site for spot sales)
Raleigh Criterium 2017 – RRP £ 500.00
The Raleigh Criterium 2017 offers a double butted 6061 alloy frame with internal cabling and a carbon fork with tapered steerer for comfort and stiffness. The slightly more upright geometry reduces arm fatigue and increases comfort on long rides. The Criterium is provided with Shimano Claris 2×8 drivetrain and a wide 11 to 32 tooth cassette giving a greater gear range than its competitors and helping on those steeper climbs. Tektro R312 brakes provide good stopping power.
Vitus – Razor Road Bike – RRP £449.99
A lightweight durable entry-level road bike, the Razor has been designed with all year riding and commuting in mind, with clearance for mud guards and pannier mounts. The frame is formed from double butted 6061 alloy with a carbon fork for reduced weight and increased rider comfort. The drive train is Shimano Claris 2400 providing 16 speeds. The Razor weighs in at 9.6kg which is on the light side of this price bracket, which allows for a bigger breakfast before your ride!
Boardman – Road Sport Women’s Bike -RRP £499
A women’s specific version of the Boardman Road Sport, this bike has a triple butted X7 alloy frame with a carbon fork. The female version of the Road Sport comes with a Women’s specific geometry, saddle and componentry to complement the frame and carbon fork providing a comfortable ride. The Road Sport is provided with a Shimano Claris groupset, Tektro brakes and Mavic wheels showing that the quality of the Road Sport does not reduce when it is made Women specific!
This is Alex (no) Fear’s first post for us so please let us know what you think and if you agree with the bikes that he picked. Also let us know if you think we should comission him to do some more work (we like what he has done) but ultimately it’s what you guys think that matters.
If you are interested in any more guides to buying bike stuff then why not read one of these;
- Best Budget MTB socks
- Best commuter bikes undert £500
- 6 of the best cheap full suspension mountain bikes