Best Road Bikes Under $1000: 5 Affordable Picks

Last updated: August 25, 2020
BEST OVERALL
Lightweight, Micro-Suspension and 9-Speed
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BEST BUDGET
Affordable, ALUXX-Grade Aluminum and Lightweight
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BEST WITH DISK BRAKES
Disc Brakes, Rack and Fender Space
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BEST FOR KIDS
Auxiliary Brake Levers and Lightweight
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BEST 20-SPEED
Rack and Fender Space, Carbon Fork and 20-Speed
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Your guide

Buying a bike for under $1000 might seem like a difficult thing to do, due to the potential quality issues, but there are some decent road bikes out there for this price. You do have to work your way through a good portion of bad road bikes, so just make sure you do your research on each one so that you can weigh up the pros and cons.

This price range is also suited more for newer riders who are trying to get into road cycling, so if you are on the more advanced side, we would recommend you add a little extra to your budget.

Road Bikes Under $1000: Top 5 Picks

You’ve probably given mountain biking a try (since it’s the kind of bike a lot of people start on). Maybe it wasn’t quite for you, with all the rocks, drops, and the generally bumpy nature of it, or maybe you just really liked the speed aspect of riding a bicycle.

Felt FR5W Disc Women's Road Bike

If either of these is true, you’ve probably come to the point where you want to look into a road bike. With their lightweight, comfortable positioning, and general build for speed, this could be the perfect bike for you.

Before you just go out and spend a ton on a new type of bicycle, however, you should probably get an entry-level one or set a budget for yourself so that you can test the waters. On that note, we come to the topic of this article – “Best Road Bikes Under $1000”. We have found a few to help you get started.

1. Best Overall - Cannondale

Specifications:

  • Frame – Aluminum Alloy
  • Gearing – Shimano Sora 2X9 Shifters
  • Weight – 22 lbs
  • Brakes – Promax Decor R Cable Actuated Disc Brakes

Key Features:

  • SAVE micro-suspension
  • Lightweight frame
  • 9-speed

Cannondale Synapse Al Disc Sora Review

Good quality is something you should be looking for in any bike, and possibly a road bike in particular. With potential high speeds and long-distance rides, you want your bike to last. This is why our Best Overall pick is the Cannondale Synapse Al Disc Sora.

It has high-quality parts, is lightweight, and has a few additional features which make the bike particularly special, considering you could get it for under $1000.

Quality and Durability

The frame of the Cannondale Synapse Al Disc Sora is made from strong aluminum. This keeps the weight of the bike down whilst keeping it sturdy and durable. The bike is built for endurance and long-distance riding, with less of an aggressive build than what you would often find on race bikes.

It can also handle some light gravel paths and holds together nicely without rattling or causing too much vibration.

Comfort and Handling

One of the benefits of getting this bike is that it is comfortable, which can sometimes be a difficult thing to find on a road bike. As we mentioned above, vibrations from the road and paths are kept to a minimum, meaning your ride feels much smoother.

In terms of handling, the Cannondale Synapse Al Disc Sora manages quite well. It is suitable for individuals who are more experienced and want to take bends more aggressively but still works nicely for beginners who want to take bends slowly and smoothly.

Parts and Features

Overall, most of the parts are really good quality, but some have found that the brakes don’t stop the bike as quickly as they would like. This may take a little getting used to. As for the other parts, the bike features a 9-speed drivetrain, Shimano shifters, and SAVE micro-suspension in the rear triangle and fork to help with control.

All the parts of the bike come together to be fairly lightweight for its category, at 22lbs. The Cannondale Synapse Al Disc Sora is a comfortable bike, with durable, high-quality parts, and will undoubtedly be a good choice overall.

Although some may find the brakes to not stop the bike as quickly as they would like, if you get used to it, you may not have a problem. For a decent price, the bike really gives you more than you could ask for, which is why we have chosen it as our Best Overall option.

Pros
  • Comfortable
  • Micro-Suspension
  • Lightweight
  • Durable
Cons
  • Brakes stopping power might not be what you hoped for

2. Best Budget - Giant Contend 3

Specifications:

  • Frame – ALUXX-Grade Aluminum
  • Gearing – 8×2 Speed
  • Tires – Giant P-R3 AC
  • Brakes – Tektro TK-B177

Key Features:

  • Lightweight Aluminum Frame
  • D-Fuse Seatpost
  • Frame and Fork Clearance for Bigger Tires

Giant Contend 3 Review

If you are on a low budget and want to find something which is still of good quality, the Giant Contend 3 is a bike you should take a look at. It’s a lightweight, durable bike which is great for both amateur racing and your daily commute.

For a road bike that is quite affordable, you get a lot of good qualities which you would usually find in more expensive bikes, making the Giant Contend 3 a clear choice for our “Best Budget” category.

Build and Material

The Giant Contend 3’s build is well-rounded with a lightweight ALUXX-grade aluminum frame, an alloy fork, and a shape that promotes confidence and allows your positioning to be agile, balanced, and comfortable.

The bike also features Shimano parts, which are known to be of good quality. These parts do form part of the CLARIS groupset, however, which is at the lower end of the Shimano groupsets.

Riding and Comfort

The bike handles nicely and puts you in a comfortable position for those longer rides. The innovative D-Fuse Seatpost absorbs shock and vibration, giving you a much smoother feel to the bike as you ride as well as minimizes fatigue.

The overall weight, accompanied by the shape, the handlebar quality, and the general response from the bike give it fast road handling. It also has an 8×2 speed drivetrain which, although smaller than higher-end road bikes, will get the job done nicely for beginners.

Additional Notes

If you are looking at using a wider tire, the Giant Contend 3 offers enough frame and fork clearance to run tires of up to 32c which can smooth out your ride even more than what the bike already does.

You may find that the tires that come equipped with the bike are not as durable as you may like, and may want to use a bit of what you saved from the lower price to get yourself a different set. If you don’t want to do that, however, the tires should be good for a while.

The Giant Contend 3 is a good bike that offers a lot of great features that you would get from a higher-end bike. For something so affordable, you get more than what you pay for.

However, there are a few things which you may prefer to be different; such as the tires and the Shimano groupset. When it comes down to blending affordability and quality, the Giant Contend 3 is our best pick.

Pros
  • Affordable
  • Comfortable
  • Handles Well
  • Lightweight
Cons
  • CLARIS Groupset is a lower quality groupset
  • Tires might not be very durable

3. Best With Disc Brakes - Raleigh

Specifications:

  • Frame – AL-6061 Alloy
  • Wheels – Chao Yang Rapide
  • Gearing – 18-Speed
  • Brakes – Tektro Lyra Flat Mount Mechanical Disc Brakes

Key Features:

  • Space for rack and fenders
  • Double-walled rims
  • Disc brakes

Raleigh Revere 2 Review

The Raleigh Revere 2 is a women’s mid-level endurance bike that is built specifically for long rides. This mindset of building the bike means that Raleigh put in the effort to make the bike more comfortable both on the road and for some rough paths here and there.

The bike has pretty much everything you need on a road bike. Good components, a reliable and durable frame, and efficient disc brakes.

Quality and Comfort

An AL-6061 alloy frame, accompanied by Shimano Sora components gives this bike the quality and durability it needs for those long rides, so you can trust it to take you the distance. The geometry of the bike is specifically tailored to put you in a comfortable position on these rides so that you can ride more efficiently and avoid injury.

Understandably, some of the components of this bike could be of better quality. But for a bike that costs under $1000, it is worth the price. If you would like to change some aspects, you can always do that at a later stage.

Handling

Overall, the Raleigh Revere 2 handles well on both smooth and rough roads. The thru-axles (front and rear) are the components that add stiffness to the bike, allowing the rough road handling to be more precise. The Chao Yang Rapide tires also help with handling, providing the necessary cushioning and stability for a wide range of riding conditions.

The 18-speed drivetrain will be able to get you to your destination quickly, giving you a good range of gearing options to suit each situation that you might find yourself in. The brakes of the bike also handle well and, being disc brakes, will give you all the stopping power you need, when you need it.

Additional Features

One of the additional features of the bike is that it includes double-walled rims, which enable you to equip tires of various widths onto it. It also has rack and fender mounts, allowing you to use this bike more efficiently for commuting and riding in different types of environments.

Although a rack and fenders don’t come with the bike, you may want to get these if you are wanting extra storage space or know that you will be riding over ground which might spray dirt onto your clothes if you don’t have fenders equipped.

With a race-inspired design that is built for endurance and comfort, the Raleigh Revere 2 has everything you want and more in a road bike for under $1000. Although you may be looking for some slightly better quality parts, out of the box, it does what you need it to.

Built to last and get you through multiple situations easily, along with providing enough stopping power to avoid bad situations, we feel this bike is well suited for this category.

Pros
  • Disc Brakes
  • Lightweight
  • 18-Speed
  • Space for rack and fenders
Cons
  • Some parts could be a little better quality

4. Best For Kids - Frog Road 67

Specifications:

  • Frame – 6061 T6 Heat Treated Aluminum Alloy
  • Tires (Set 1) – Kenda K-191 Road
  • Tires (Set 2) – Kenda K1153 Cyclocross
  • Gearing – 9-Speed
  • Brakes – Tektro Oryx with Auxiliary Levers

Key Features:

  • Two Wheel Sets
  • Auxiliary Brake Levers
  • Bell and Bike Reflectors Included
  • Lightweight

Frog Road 67 Review

Cycling by yourself can sometimes get a little lonely. And while your significant other might not be so excited to come along with you, chances are your child will want to. Getting them a road bike is, therefore, a pretty good idea. There are some pretty good road bikes for kids out there, and our best pick is Frog Road 67.

Built for Kids

While sticking to one type of cycling might be fun for an adult, kids tend to be a lot more adventurous as they try out new things. The Frog Road 67 has been built with this in mind and can fit both slick and cyclocross tires, allowing your children to ride on dirt trails as well as paved roads.

What’s even better, is that the bike comes with two sets of tires which you can fit as needed. The handlebars are short-drop child-specific, to provide the best grip positioning for your child, and the bike is equipped with Microshift short-reach brake levers to make braking easier and more comfortable for small hands.

Components and Quality

The Frog Road 67 comes equipped with a 9-speed drivetrain, to help your child keep up with you both on hills and flat routes. The lightweight aluminum alloy frame also helps with this, as it makes the bike much easier to handle on and off-road, keeping your child safe from accidents.

The auxiliary brake levers work with the drop bar levers to provide more braking control and positioning which will help your child feel more confident on the bike. The cranks are patented by Frog and provide easier, more powerful pedaling.

Quality-wise the bike is great, and the possible only downfall would be that you may think it is a little expensive for something which will just end up being outgrown one day. For a child’s road bike, Frog Road 67 is really good, offering many components which you would find on an adult bike.

Two sets of tires for different styles of riding, a durable, lightweight frame, and a good drivetrain to keep up speed in all conditions make this our top pick for “Best for Kids”. Even though your child will outgrow it one day, they will benefit a lot from having this bike.

Pros
  • Lightweight
  • Two sets of wheels
  • 9-Speed
  • Auxiliary brake levers
Cons
  • You may find it expensive for a bike that will be outgrown

5. Best 20-Speed - Tommaso

Specifications:

  • Frame – Aluminum
  • Gearing – 20-Speed
  • Brakes – Cabled
  • Fork – HTC Carbon

Key Features:

  • Aluminum Frame
  • HTC Carbon Fork
  • Place for Rack and Fenders
  • Two Bottle Cage Areas

Tommaso Monza Endurance Review

Gearing plays a big part in where you can go on a bike and how efficiently you ride, so a wider range of gears might be what you want. With that being said, more gears also mean a little more weight to the bike, since the components are also increased.

But if you are looking for something with a little more versatility, then you should check out our pick for this category – the Tommaso Monza Endurance.

Quality and Comfort

The aluminum frame of the Tommaso Monza Endurance and the HTC carbon fork give it the lightweight you need in a road bike whilst dampening vibrations from the road, to make your ride more comfortable.

The fit of the bike has been optimized for added comfort with the compact frame geometry for the right body positioning and premium compact handlebars for grip comfort.

You have the option to assemble the bike yourself, however, it is best to have a professional assemble the bike to ensure the quality remains at a good standard and you do not lose out on the warranties.

Performance

The Tommaso Monza Endurance is equipped with Shimano Tiagra STI shifters which work with the other components of the Tiagra groupset to provide easy, responsive gear shifting. Offering 20 speeds in the form of a 2×10 drivetrain, you can get where you want with speed and efficiency.

The lightweight frame makes the bike easier to handle whilst giving you the ability to gain a lot of speed when you want or need to.

Additional Notes

Unlike most road bikes, this bike’s frame is drilled for a variety of racks and fenders to allow you to use the bike as you wish, whether you want it for your daily commute or long endurance rides. It also has space and holes drilled for two bottle cages. All the additional features would have to be bought separately, but this gives you a nice option of whether you want those or not.

The Tommaso Monza Endurance is a great 20-speed bike, giving you the ability to easily shift gears when you need to. It is lightweight and comes with a build that is ready for added features should you wish to include a rack or fenders.

You may have to have a professional assemble the bike for you to ensure it is not damaged, but this is the best option anyway. We would highly recommend this bike if you want something which is of good quality and has a good variety of gears.

Pros
  • 20-Speed
  • Lightweight
  • Rack and Fender Ready
  • Comfortable
Cons
  • May need a professional to assemble it

Road Bikes Under $1000: Frequently Asked Questions

How Fast Can a Road Bike Go?

How fast you can go on a road bike depends on your strength and fitness levels. In general a relatively fit person could go, on average, 16 miles per hour on a flat stretch of land, and about 30 to 40 miles per hour when going downhill. Professionals, such as those in Tour de France, can reach downhill speeds of 65 miles per hour, but this is obviously a lot more dangerous.

What Makes a Road Bike Faster?

There are many aspects which come into play with making a road bike faster. The main ones being the weight of the bike, the tires, the aerodynamics, and the gears.

What Is a Good Distance for a Beginner Cyclist to Ride?

If you look at the average speed of a beginner cyclist (12mph) you will usually find that you will start off by riding 2 miles due to your fitness levels. This will change quite quickly, however, and soon you will probably be riding more than 10 miles feeling the same sort of difficulty towards it.

Why Is My Road Bike so Slow?

If your road bike seems to be slower than usual or slower than you expected, this may be due to your tire pressure. If your tire pressure is too low, your bike will not be able to go as fast as it should, meaning you will be working twice as hard. Try pumping the tire up some more and checking for minor punctures if the tires keep deflating.

Can a Road Bike Go on Gravel?

Road bikes can easily go on gravel and some off-road paths, however your ride quality will be compromised and, if you are using the wrong tires, you may end up getting a lot of punctures. They obviously can’t be put through the same strain that a mountain bike can, since there is little to no suspension, but light off-road paths should be fine.

Best Road Bikes Under $1000: 5 Affordable Picks in 2020 — Bike Hacks