The best cheap road bikes – for your best cost

The best cheap road bikes - all around $1,000

The best cheap road bikes for you, around $1000 in this article, are cost-effective and can meet your needs for quality frames and models without the high cost of buying top-of-the-line road bikes.

It’s a well-known fact that cycling is a great option for getting in shape or staying healthy.

But you don’t need an expensive, high-end road racing model to do that.

Road bikes are often referred to as “road” riding, catering to almost any type of paved road riding, making your ride more comfortable and fun.

Some will be light and fast bikes for racing or fast group rides, while others will turn to all-road adventure and mixed-terrain exploration.

They are also suitable for daily commuting because their wide tires can navigate the road and gravel well, maintenance procedures are not complicated, and disc brakes and the like can give you better control over your ride and improve safety.

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    The list of the best cheap road bikes for cyclists

    Here are the list of the best cheap road bikes for cyclists:

    • Boardman SLR 8.9
    • Rose Pro SL Disc 105
    • Van Rysel EDR AF
    • Vitus Zenium Tiagra
    • Cube Axial WS Race
    • Giant Contend AR 3
    • Ribble R872 Disc
    • Sonder Santiago Rival 1

    Let’s explore more about how to choose one and the details about them.

    Guide to buying the best cheap road bikes

    Frame

    Whatever you want, you should consider the bike frame materials first. By doing so, you will get a great base platform.

    Aluminum frames were more common in this price range before the advent of carbon fiber materials, and in fact, top aluminum frames offer better performance than some entry-level carbon frames.

    Although top-of-the-line steel frame road bikes can cost over $20,000, you can find the right steel frame road bike in this price range as well.

    Road bike frame

    Pneumatic performance

    Aerodynamic design has become an important part of frame design, and top road bikes are mainly researching to improve the aerodynamic performance of the frame, such as using aerodynamically designed frame tube shapes and handlebar shapes.

    drop bar vs flat bar

    For example, hybrid bikes are often equipped with a flat handlebar, while the signature feature of a road bike is a drop bar.

    This facilitates the rider’s body to lean forward when holding the handlebars, the rider’s center of gravity falls to the hip position, the riding position is forward, and wind resistance is lower, allowing for better stability between rides.

    On the other hand, due to the narrow width of the handlebars, it can effectively reduce the accident of the handlebars hitting each other, avoiding the danger of falling after the collision when the riders are too close to each other.

    Road bike way

    Brake system

    Disc brakes have now largely replaced rim brakes in all price segments. The best disc brake systems are oil pressure systems.

    They provide better braking performance, but most importantly, they are less affected by weather conditions such as wet roads than rim brakes, and they also prevent wear and tear on the wheels.

    Of course, there are many road bikes in this price range with rim brakes, so if you live in a relatively dry place or don’t plan to ride in wet conditions, then a rim brake road bike is not a bad choice.

    Road bike disc

    Tire width and tire pressure

    Another attempt to increase the popularity of disc brakes is the gradual increase in tire widths on road bikes.

    Many of the top road bikes are equipped with 28mm tire widths, and some riders even choose larger tire widths.

    Road bikes in this price range can usually accommodate 28mm or wider tires, and some will have fender mounts to meet your fender needs for all-weather riding.

    The larger tire width allows us to ride with lower air pressure for a better riding experience.

    It also allows you to ride faster because the tires will fit the road better without bouncing you off the road.

    tire width and tire pressure

    The vacuum tire system allows you to ride with lower air pressure and you don’t have to worry about the risk of a blowout, with a filler fluid inside that prevents you from getting a blowout if you hit a smaller puncture.

    The complete bike you get in this price range may not come with a full vacuum tire system, but they usually come with a wheelset that supports vacuum tires, so you can replace them yourself at a later date.

    The best cheap road bikes in 2023

    Boardman SLR 8.9

    Overview: Carbon fiber frame, Shimano 105 kit and other quality components

    Reference price $1,340
    Frame C7 Carbon - Aero-Optimised
    Weight Approx. 8.9kg
    Front brake Tektro R315, long arm

    Boardman SLR 8.9-1

    Pros: ① Pneumatic carbon fiber frame robust

    ② Shimano 105 rim brake kit with Tektro brakes

    ③ Compatible with tire widths up to 28mm (fenders are also available).

    The Boardman SLR 8.9 shares the same aero tubing and dropped rear top fork design as Boardman’s more expensive SLR bikes, and this bike also comes with a carbon frame and fork.

    Impressively, Boardman also uses a nearly complete Shimano 105 kit, only swapping clamps for Tektro clamps.

    Boardman uses shorter crank lengths and narrower handlebars, more in line with current trends.

    Boardman SLR 8.9-2

    This, of course, helps to get better aerodynamics for a faster ride than many traditional enduro road bikes.

    Although wheels are quite common, they support a vacuum tire system.

    You can also swap the stock 25mm wide outer tire for a 28mm width for a better riding experience.

    Rose Pro SL Disc 105

    Overview: Rose Pro SL Disc can do a lot of things without requiring you to make a big investment.

    Reference price $1,850
    Frame material Aluminium
    Weight ca. 8,9 kg
    Brake Shimano 105, ST-R7025 / BR-R7070, 160mm black

    Rose Pro SL Disc 105-2

    Pros: ① Aluminum frame with premium looks and features

    ② Ample tire clearance

    ③ A composed riding experience

    The Rose Pro SL aluminum frame has extremely smooth welds and a new, lighter, more comfortable fork.


    The handlebar section has a nearly perfect internal alignment design to match its elegant appearance.

    The Rose is made large to accommodate 32mm tire widths with a barrel axle construction.

    Rose Pro SL Disc 105-1

    The bike runs smoothly even on fast, bumpy descents. You can’t get optional fenders on this bike, though.

    The bike is also nicely equipped with Shimano 105’s widely used disc kit, DT Swiss wheelset and Marque 28mm wide exterior tires.

    The smaller size of the entire bike comes with a 650b wheelset for a more consistent visual effect across sizes.

    Van Rysel EDR AF

    Overview: Van Rysel EDR AF is cost effective.

    Reference price $1,199
    Frame material 100% Aluminium 6061
    Weight 20.1 lbs in size S
    Brakes Tektro R526

    Van Rysel EDR AF-2

    Pros: ① Full Shimano 105 rim brake kit with RS100 wheelset

    ② A spirited ride and a confident downhill experience

    The Van Rysel EDR AF uses rim brakes instead of disc brakes, but still comes with a full Shimano 105 11-speed kit, which brakes better than many cable-pull disc brakes and helps with climbing.

    The entire bike is paired with a robust RS100 wheelset with new positive outer tires that can accommodate 28mm tire widths.

    Van Rysel EDR AF-1

    The ride felt energetic and exciting, and we were equally impressed with Van Rysel’s downhill prowess.

    Vitus Zenium Tiagra

    Overview: Carbon fiber frame, carbon fiber fork, disc brakes, the whole preparation is good.

    Reference price $1,599
    Frame material Zenium carbon
    Weight Medium: 9.28 kg
    Brakes Tektro Spyre Disc Brake

    Vitus Zenium Tiagra-2

    Pros: ① Carbon fiber frame and fork are cost-effective

    ② 10Speed kit and cable-pull disc brakes

    ③ Race-ready geometry and riding position settings

    The Vitus Zenium is a road bike with a carbon frame, TRP Spyre cable-pull disc brakes, and Shimano Tiagra 10-speed kit.

    Although at this price point, this frame can be considered stiff and light. It also performs well on the flat and climbing sections, with a riding position more suited to racing than most bikes.

    Vitus Zenium Tiagra-1

    While it cannot achieve the same gear ratios as its competitors, it has an equally wide range of gear ratios.

    The Zenium has a more aerodynamic design style throughout, while the wide seat adds comfort to casual rides.

    Cube Axial WS Race

    Overview: Cube’s Axial WS Race performs well with 28mm outer tire.

    Reference price $1,694
    Frame material Aluminium
    Weight 9.7 kg
    Brakes Shimano 105 BR-R7070, Hydr. Disc Brake, Flat Mount (160/160)

    Cube Axial WS Race-2

    Pros: ① Premium aluminum frame and carbon fork provide a comfortable ride

    ② Complete Shimano 105 kit and good wheelset, although no vacuum tires are used

    ③ 9.7kg full bike, minimum 1:1 ratio

    The Axial is comparable to the men’s version of the Cube Attain SL, using an alloy frame with a carbon fork and a shiny paint job.

    The Axial is designed specifically for women and offers a smaller frame option.

    Axial comes with a full Shimano 105 kit with a wide range of gear ratios and includes hydraulic disc brakes for excellent braking performance.

    Cube Axial WS Race-1

    The wheelset is the Cube RA 1.9 Aero Disc, which does not support vacuum tires, but provides a comfortable ride with 28mm wide outer tires, and is also well suited for long, lightweight Gravel rides.

    Giant Contend AR 3

    Overview: This is a road bike for long-distance riding.

    Reference price $1,350
    Frame material ALUXX-Grade Aluminum, disc
    Weight 21.4 lbs
    Brakes Tektro MD-C550, Giant MPH rotors [F]160mm, [R]160mm

    Giant Contend AR 3-2

    Pros: ① Comfortable aluminum frames from the world’s largest bicycle manufacturer

    ② Shimano Sora 9 Speed Kit

    ③ Comes with 32mm wide vacuum tires

    If you have a bigger budget and value braking in all-weather riding, then the Giant Contend may be a better choice thanks to its disc brake design.

    The Giant Contend AR3 is mid-range in class and weight, but its comfortable geometry and great riding experience combined with consistent performance make it perfect for beginners. 1:1 minimum gear will help you climb the steepest hills.

    Giant Contend AR 3-1

    The Giant opts for 32mm wide vacuum tires that require no further modifications.

    The frame can accommodate up to 38mm tire width, which means you can choose a wider outer tire for better grip and comfort on the road.

    Ribble R872 Disc

    Overview: The frame is designed with a complete fender bracket, so the R872 Disc can also be perfect for all-weather riding.

    Reference price $1,606
    Frame material Toray T700/T800 Full Carbon Fibre
    Weight 9.7 kg
    Brakes Mechanical Disc

    Ribble R872 Disc-2

    Pros: ① Full carbon disc brake carrier with fender mounts

    ② Great riding experience and many different configurations

    For the price of a carbon road bike, it’s a fast, fun bike and it can be fitted with fenders.

    The R872 is not the smoothest riding experience on a road bike, you will feel the road under your feet, but it is overall composed and not overwhelming.

    Ribble R872 Disc-1

    Sonder Santiago Rival 1

    Overview: Santiago has countless mounting holes so you will be able to carry water like a camel.

    Reference price $1,699
    Frame material Reynolds 631 steel
    Weight S: 2.34kg; M: 2.4kg; L: 2.5kg; XL: 2.59kg (plus fork 1.35kg)
    Brakes Tektro MD-C550 | Mechanical | Flat mount

    Sonder Santiago Rival 1-2

    Pros: ① Versatile steel tour bike with disc brakes

    ② SRAM Rival kit and mounting holes for multiple extensions

    If you’re more interested in loading camping gear than getting a KOM/QOM, Santiago is a great choice.

    It is a powerful all-round steel frame bike that can accommodate larger tire widths and mount a variety of expansion mounts to hold a variety of accessories and luggage.

    Sonder Santiago Rival 1-1

    The Santiago is also available in a variety of other configurations or, if you wish, as a separate frame.

    Conclusion

    These are the the best cheap road bikes – all near $1,000 for the cost. Check and get one!

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