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5 Best Road Bikes Under $1000

Updated on September 6, 2014
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Best Road Bicycle Brands: Great Bikes Under $1000

Road bicycles are a lot of fun to ride. Sleek and fast, they are built for high speeds with low resistance. They're perfect for the daily commuter, race enthusiast or anyone with a need for speed. Finding a good cheap road bicycle under $1000 isn't impossible, but it's a good idea to understand exactly what you should expect at this price point.

With a slew of new technology, there are a lot of different brands, frames, components and materials on display at this price point, and it can get rather confusing. A $1000 investment is not to be taken lightly, so research is vital. You should understand your personal riding needs and pick a bicycle that best suits your riding style.

This lens is all about the best road bicycles under $1000. We'll take a look at five of my favorite rides from Amazon, and talk about a few of their distinguishing characteristics. We'll touch on what you should expect when buying a bike at this price range, and offer a few cautions to watch out for. Let's get started!

What to Expect on a Road Bicycle Under $1000

Good road bike brands and components

When you buy a road bicycle for under $1000, you're not getting the highest end of the market but more the middle ground. Nonetheless, you should still expect a high quality product and good components. Here are a few things you can expect to find on a road bicycle of this calibre.

Most good road bikes for under a grand should come with a high quality, light and strong frame. Common frame materials at this level are aluminum and chromoly steel, though it's not unheard of to find a carbon fibre frame bicycle below $1000. Brakes are usually pretty high quality. Some will be hydraulic, but most will be mechanical in nature. Expect both mechanical and hydraulic disc brakes, as well as linear pull and side pull caliper brakes.

Road bicycles have wheels of all sizes, but probably the most popular wheel size is 700c; many road frames are set up to accommodate wheels of this size. Wheels in this range should be brand name, very light with sealed bearings for easy spin. There should be high quality alloy or carbon handlebars, usually curved for an aggressive riding stance.

The whole bike should be aerodynamic and extremely light. The more expensive the bike is, the lighter it should be.

Giordano Libero 1.6 Road Bike, 700c, White/Red, Medium
Giordano Libero 1.6 Road Bike, 700c, White/Red, Medium

This sleek aluminum road bicycle under $1000 is also available in a women's model.

 

Giordano Libero 1.6 Road Bike (Alloy) - A light, fast and fun road bicycle brand well under $1000.

The Giordano Libero is a smart bike for many reasons. Features like the dual water bottle mounts are well thought out, and the ergonomic drop handlebars make riding this bicycle a joy. It has a 6061 aluminum frame that's light and sleek, and the components are all brand name and excellent quality for the price. The Shimano 2300 drivetrain, Shimano ST2300 shifters and Vitess deep V alloy rims ensure a smooth and quick ride, and the Prowheel alloy front chainring is geared specifically to give you a wide range of options, uphill or down. You'll find it's pretty easy to upgrade components if required.

It's a very compact frame with a great geometry for all-around riding, and it's even more beautiful in person. It's one of the best road bikes under $1000 because of the extra though the manufacturer put into the riding experience.

Diamondback Bicycles 2014 Century 1 Road Bike (700cm Wheels), 56cm, Grey
Diamondback Bicycles 2014 Century 1 Road Bike (700cm Wheels), 56cm, Grey

Aluminum 7005 frame, Equation 700c wheels, light, fast and strong.

 

Diamondback Century 1 Road Bike

High quality aluminum road bike well below $1000

The Century 1 is a popular offering from Diamondback, and for good reason. A super high strength 7005 aluminum frame is super light and very strong. The front fork is carbon fibre, and the bike also includes an FSA VERO compact crankset and a Shimano Tiagra drivetrain, along with aluminum Equation 700c wheels that are light, strong and fast. This bike is a nice entry road bike that's sleek, fast and perfect for a commuter, recreational rider or someone looking for a little extra fitness.

Looking for a ladies road bike below $1000? Check out the Diamondback Airen, which is the ladies version of the Century and functionally identical in every respect except design.

Serious Valparola black (2013) (Frame size: 56 cm) Road bike
Serious Valparola black (2013) (Frame size: 56 cm) Road bike

Aluminum frame, Alex R500 rims with Schwalbe tires, Shimano Tiagra drivetrain.

 

Serious Valparola Alumnium Road Bicycle

Great but little known road bicycle under $1000

Serious is a great brand name, but it's probably not one you've heard of before. The brand is German, and the name is appropriate, since this is one serious road bike. Besides being remarkably attractive, it boasts a sleek 7005 aluminum frame with oversized tubing, a 'Serious' brand aluminum front fork and gorgeous semi matte black paint.

Shimano Sora shifters and derailleurs have 24 speeds to choose from, and Shimano Sora dual pivot rim brakes (very effective), and double-walled Alex brand 700c wheels ensure that stops and starts are crisp and easy. There is a lot of value packed into this light little bicycle, so I'd definitely recommend giving it a look.

Vilano FORZA 3.0 Aluminum Carbon Road Bike Shimano Sora Silver 54cm
Vilano FORZA 3.0 Aluminum Carbon Road Bike Shimano Sora Silver 54cm

Aluminum 6061 frame, 12k carbon fibre fork, 30 speeds on a Shimano 105 drivetrain.

 

Vliano FORZA Aluminum / Carbon Road Bicycle

A light and sleek road bicycle below $1000

The Vilano FORZA is an aluminum framed bicycle with a 12k carbon fork, so it's extremely light. Despite it's low weight, this bike is extremely strong, right down to the double-walled aluminum rims. The carbon fork helps to dampen vibration.

The Shimano Sora shifters and derailleurs are a step above what you mostly see in this range, and this bicycle features 30 speeds, so you have a lot of versatility in your ride. It is light, fast, snappy and responsive. At well below $1000, this aluminum road bike is a bargain.

Nashbar AL-1 Aluminum / Carbon Road Bike

A light and fast road bike well below $1000

Nashbar is a newer name in the game, but it's still worth checking out. This particular model is an aluminum / carbon bike, which means it's been designed for riders who prefer a lighter ride, and this one is really quite effortless; you'll notice the lightness the minute you start to pedal.

The bike itself is strong yet versatile, and can handle long distance riding with no issues. A 6061 aluminum frame is paired with a carbon fork, Shimano Sora 3400 shifters and drivetrain with 27 speeds, and alloy double-walled wheels round out this nice bike.

Things to Watch Out For: Good quality road bikes under $1000

Here are a few 'warning signs' of things to watch out for when shopping for a road bicycle under $1000. These are just suggestions, not mandates, and they are not 'make or break' things. Use them as general indicators of quality.

  1. Plastic Components: bike parts made out of plastic aren't as good as metal, on the whole. If the bike in question has plastic brakes or brake levers, it really doesn't belong in this category. Avoid plastic bits and look for metal, in particular aluminum or steel. Carbon fibre is good too. A good road bike for under $1000 shouldn't have very much plastic on it at all.
  2. Cheap Disc Brakes: cheaper quality brakes are a downfall, and it's sometimes a way in which less reputable brands lower their costs. Bad quality discs can be ineffective, noisy or even dangerous. Be sure to find a bike with a quality, name brand set of brakes, and remember that discs aren't always better than linear pull brakes.
  3. 'No Name' Components: bikes often utilize components produced by other companies. Wheels, brakes, shifters and derailleurs, even seats can be produced by manufacturers other than the bike brand itself. You should expect high quality, name brand components on a road bike under $1000. If you don't recognize a component brand, do a search for reviews.

More Great Deals on Road Bike Brands

If you didn't like any of the ones listed above, you can check out a few more models here. I didn't have time to write a review for each one, but I can at least list them for you!

If you're not interested in these ones either, continue your search. Remember, don't compromise on components or materials. If a bike looks like it's cutting corners, who knows where else the performance might be sub-par. Good brands to look for are Cannondale, Schwinn, Giant, Specialized and Norco.

Accessories, Helmet, Etc.

Here are some things you may want if you're investing in an inexpensive road bike. A helmet is always a good idea, and it's required by law just about everywhere these days. You'll also want a lock to protect your investment, and a good set of cycling shoes works well with the 'egg beater' style pedals, giving you a lot more leverage and keeping your feet nicely planted. If you save some money on a cheap road bike on sale, put the savings towards good accessories, it's worth it.

Any questions about road bikes under $1000? Post them here.

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    • takkhisa profile image

      Takkhis 5 years ago

      It is great to see nice bikes here under $1000 :)

    • craftycollector profile image

      craftycollector 5 years ago

      Very informative

    • CoolFool83 profile image

      CoolFool83 5 years ago

      So many great road bikes to choose from.

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