Find out our top picks for road bikes under $1,000 you can get online (in our opinion)
Many readers have asked me to write a review for road bikes under $1,000. It’s finally here, after too many endless nights of analyzing! So enjoy, because I know the feeling of wanting to ride but having a hard time making a decision about what’s worth buying and what isn’t.
So let me show you the very best road bikes under $1,000 – no bullshit, Here is my complete list, that I arrived to after endless comparisons with too many decent bikes. I am glad that there are different reviews, which tells me that there are many great bikes from various manufacturers.
Keep in mind that the price of these bikes can fluctuate.
Below are the 8 best road bikes under $1,000. I hope you enjoy!
#1: Marin Lombard
Best Gravel Road Bike
If you’re following cycling trends, you must have noticed that gravel bikes have started gaining a lot of traction recently. Road cyclists are falling in love with them because they ride equally well on smooth paved tarmac and bumpy gravel.
Marin Lombard 1 is a good example of a capable gravel machine. It’s built around a lightweight aluminum frameset with excellent Shimano components, the combination of which provides reliable off-road performance.
One of the main characteristics of gravel bikes is tires that are wider than those on traditional road bikes. Marin Lombard 1 sports Vee Tire G-Sport, 700 x 40c tires that feel nimble and fast on any kind of terrain. If you ride gravel more often, there’s clearance for even more width.
For less than $1,000, you’ll get a 2×9 Shimano Sora drivetrain, which is a good option for beginners and casual riders. More experienced cyclists would be better off with Tiagra or even 105.
Another common sight on gravel road bikes is disc brakes. Marin Lombard 1 has cable-actuated Tektro disc brakes that slow down the bike decently well.
Lombard 1 is a modern all-road machine, so it has a smooth gray paint job with rack and fender mounts. Therefore, it’s compatible with future upgrades, if you want to use it for commuting or traveling.
The bottom point is that you can get Marin Lombard 1 if you want to keep riding when you run out of paved roads and have more fun with your workouts or travels.
Purchase from Jenson USA
Tommaso says they wanted to create a bicycle that is long on components and short on the price and that’s how they came up with the Imola model. We can’t argue much with the fact that they have managed to do it. With a price of under $1,000 and some decent components, this ride offers good bang for the buck.
Let’s see exactly what you’ll get if you buy it.
First of all, the whole bike is built over a strong aluminum frame and a comfortable and durable steel fork with an easy to use quick release system. The bike is available in three attractive colors (black, orange, and white), which is always a big plus.
It’s a fantastic choice for commutes or fitness rides.
The value is pretty obvious when you look at the components, specifically the derailleurs and the brakes. The derailleurs on this Tommaso road bike are Shimano Claris and the brakes are also Claris caliper brakes. The drivetrain has 24 speeds with Shimano Claris cassette and crank.
Tommaso Imola is a proper road bike with 25 mm Kenda tires. They come with Tommaso TC-20 wheelset which is not particularly aero but it is great for climbing.
Tommaso Imola is a decent choice that will be a good companion for you if you wish to commute, complete many centuries, or have fun in local group rides.
The frame geometry is comfortable, it’s not at all racy, so you will be able to ride without pains and aches for many miles.
Moreover, the WTB Volt saddle is also regarded as very comfortable by people who have used it, so you are up for a lot of plushy rides.
To sum up, Tommaso Imola is a decent entry-level gravel machine for less than $1,000. For those who want to start riding more and upgrade from their entry-level hybrids, it’s the best pick!
Find your size and purchase directly on Giantnerd
#3: Windsor Wellington 2.0
The Most Affordable on the List
Windsor Wellington 2.0 is the most affordable road bike on this list. If you have a limited budget, but you still want speed and drop-bars, then this is your chance to become a roadie without breaking the bank.
The stealthy black frame with a bright white Windsor decal is made of aluminum, which is the most popular material in the cycling industry. It sports a CroMoly fork, which does a great job of dampening road vibrations and improving comfrot. It adds some extra weight, but not too much.
The Windsor Wellington 2.0 is a cheap road bike that doesn’t have any major shortcomings. The front and rear derailleurs are provided by Shimano and offer a total of 21 gears. There are both easy and hard gears, so you can ride on any type of terrain.
The tires are Kenda, 700×25, which is ideal for pure road riding. This width gives you a good aero profile and provides plenty of grip when cornering.
The only disadvantage compared to more expensive models is that this bike has rim brakes instead of disc brakes. So if you plan to ride in wet weather often, you might not get the same amount of braking power.
Windsor Wellington 2.0 does a fantastic job for the money no matter if you are taking it on an easy-going group ride or doing timed intervals.
This bike comes almost fully assembled, you just need to attach the handlebars, the seat, front wheel, and the pedals. The pedals come with the bike, which is a big plus.
Windsor Wellington 2.0 is available in six sizes (47cm–62cm) that fit riders between 5’0″ to 6’4″, which is a really wide range.
All in all, Wellington 2.0 is a cheap road bike with entry-level components, but it will be the perfect first road rig for any beginner cyclist out there. The result is a bike that is reliable, sturdy and elegant – an amazing performer for under $1,000!
#4: Tommaso Monza
Fabulous Italian Design
Slightly over $1,000
The Monza’s frame is constructed of 6061 hydroformed aluminum and fitted with HCT’s carbon road fork.
The bike’s Tiagra components work very well, outperforming the lower-spec Shimano Sora series found on many comparable bikes. It doesn’t have any unnecessary gears and the Tiagra Compact 50/34T crankset gives you all the range you’ll need with 20 speeds. A Sunrace 11-28T cassette rounds out the drive.
This bike comes equipped with linear-pull brakes. If you want greater stopping power, you can upgrade to premium disc brakes, which are ready for any adventure you can dream up. Prudence suggests giving the stock brake set a try before upgrading because they are a decent spec.
Tommaso Monza’s upgraded deep-dish Corsa TC-40 wheels are tough, versatile and aerodynamic. Take them (or let them take you) on all the treks that previously seemed a formidable challenge. Same goes for the Kenda tires; they’ll give you the confidence to take paths you previously considered beyond your capability.
Tommaso Monza is the rightful favorite of many road cycling enthusiasts thanks to its remarkable design, carbon fork, and a uniform Shimano groupset.
The Tommaso Monza comes with the exclusive “UltraCompact” handlebar, which supplies much-needed comfort – and minimal wind resistance – when going down the drops. It comes standard with a premium WTB Volt saddle – a standout among all stock saddles in this review category.
Full Review: Tommaso Monza
The Monza comes in five sizes from XS (for riders 5’2”–) to XL (– 6’5”). This bike requires minor assembly, as all bike in this under $1,000 test. All you need to do is mount the wheels, adjust the derailleurs, tighten a few bolts, and you’re good to go.
Not every entry-level road bike under $1,000 can boast the parts spec of the Monza. With a 53cm frame, the bike weighs 21.6 pounds, which is impressive! Lastly, it’s ready to accept fenders if you want to make longer journeys or take on the elements. All told, this is a great bike with a solid build that will take you where you want to go – for years to come.
Find your size and purchase safely on Giantnerd
#5: Schwinn Fastback
Cheapest We Recommend
If you are looking at cheap road bikes, keep in mind that you should not feel compelled to stick to top-name brands. Schwinn is one brand that you might be familiar with, that used to be very popular, but is less appealing now. Still, it was the top seller in our under $500 test. It also garnered many positive reviews.
Schwinn Fastback is a cheap road bike that features a lightweight 6061 aluminum frame and fork. And that’s just the introduction to a great bike with a great build.
Inexpensive road bikes generally come equipped with Shimano Claris shifters, derailleurs, cranks and cassette – as is the case with Schwinn Fastback. It also includes a 16-speed drivetrain.
Schwinn claims that Fastback weighs 22.9 pounds which is excellent for a bike that costs that little.
The 700c wheelset is Alex X2200 Double Wall Alloy rims, not an extremely light set, but it will work nicely. Rims are often the first component riders choose to upgrade, but you’ll want to keep the great-performing Schwinn 700 x 25c tires.
Schwinn Fastback has several aces up its sleeve, such as the quality build and awesome design, even though it costs next to nothing considering the value.
There are many positive online Fastback user reviews – on Amazon.com for example. Many point out that they expected less than they actually got with the Fastback. Most of them appreciate the Claris groupset; some are excited about the double-wall wheelset, but others are swapping it right away. One lacking element is the saddle, which is problematic on most road bikes at this price. If, after an honest try with the stock saddle, you find it doesn’t work for you, you can source a new one from your LBS or Amazon.
There are six sizes of Schwinn Fastback:
- 44cm/Extra Small Frame for Riders 4’11” – 5’3″
- 47cm/Small Frame for Riders 5’3″ – 5’6″
- 50cm/Small Medium Frame for Riders 5’5″ – 5’8″
- 53cm/Medium Large Frame for Riders 5’8″ – 5’11”
- 55cm/Large Frame for Riders 5’11” – 6’1″
- 59cm/Extra Large Frame for Riders 6’1″ – 6’4″
It comes partially assembled, and you’ll have to attach the front wheel, handlebars and saddle. It’s fairly easy but if you’re not handy with wrenches, you can order the assembly from Amazon.
The bottom line is that you should absolutely consider this bike if you are looking for an entry-level road bike. Our impression is that it’s the only bicycle in its price category which includes such reliable components in such a nice package. In our tests, Fastback stood out as a really decent bike with a great value!
#6: Priority ACE
Best Affordable Do-It-All Bike
We know that Priority ACE is not a road bike in the full sense of that word. It doesn’t have drop bars or super-slick tires. However, this bike is built for paved roads and city streets, which is why we decided to add it to our list.
This Priority model is made with versatility in mind, so it can complete different tasks, such as daily commutes, fitness rides, weekend leisure spins, or trips to the school.
This bike is available in two versions—Ace of Clubs and Ace of Spades. The former is less expensive and features an aluminum frame and steel fork, whereas the latter comes with a carbon fork. What’s common for both models is a carbon belt instead of a traditional chain and a unique flip-flop rear hub. You can ride the ACE as a fixed or single-speed bike.
The frame is painted in a simple black color with white accents and features two water bottle mounts. This bike rolls on WTB ThickSlick 700×28 tires, which is the ideal width for city streets. It will provide you plenty of grip without sacrificing speed.
Priority ACE also features flat bars and alloy dual-pivot rim brakes, which was necessary to keep the price low. However, disc brakes are often an overkill for beginner riders, unless they plan to ride in very wet weather.
To sum, if you want a maintenance-free bike for urban rides that prioritizes smooth looks and speed, one of the two Priority ACE models will meet most of your requirements.
#7: Pure Cycles Gravel Adventure Bike
Best for Long Miles on Mixed Terrain
If you love doing big miles, then you need a bike with the same affinities. For that reason, we present to you Pure Cycles Gravel Adventure. This is a gravel/all-road/adventure bicycle that can continue riding when most road bikes have to stop and turn back.
Built around a durable and compliant steel frame and fork, Pure Cycles Gravel will provide you with a comfortable experience when riding Gran Fondos, randonneurs, or attempting centuries.
The bike comes equipped with drop-bars and wide tires, and the frame has eyelets for front and rear racks and fenders. Therefore, you can use Pure Cycles Gravel Adventure for touring as well.
When it comes to the components, the groupset of choice is entry-level Shimano Claris. In total, you get 16 gears, which is more than enough for beginners, but below ideal for experienced riders.
An adventure bike would not be complete without disc brakes. The Pure Cycles Gravel Adventure bike features Promax mechanical disc brakes. These could be better, but most recreational and hobby riders will find them sufficiently good.
Finally, we can wrap up this overview by mentioning the massive Hutchinson Overide 700c x 38mm tires that will get you wherever you need to be with maximum grip.
In short, Pure Cycles Gravel Adventure is the perfect retro-looking bike for long comfort rides and big challenges.
Buy from REI
#8: Ride1UP Roadster V2 (Electric)
Best Electric Road Bike
Ride1UP describes the Roadster V2 as a simple, fast, and fun electric road bike. This e-bike does not have drop-bars, but its tires are sleek enough to fly up and down paved roads, which is something you can easily achieve with electric pedal-assistance.
The Roadster V2 pretty much has all you need – solid components, maintenance-free design, aluminum frame and fork, and attractive appearance.
This bike is powered with a geared rear hub motor that will support you up to 24 MPH, which makes Roadster V2 a Class 3 e-bike. The 250Wh battery is neatly integrated into the down tube, so you can’t really tell that this is an e-bike.
But there’s more: The standard build includes Kenda Kwest 700c x 28 mm tires – an optimal and reliable choice for a wide range of riding applications.
Ride1UP claims that Roadster V2 has a range of 20–35 miles and charges fully in 2–4 hours, which is pretty decent. You can use it for daily commutes and recharge the battery while at work.
Ride1UP Roadster V2 will help you get fit and cover greater distances than ever before at a more than competitive price point.
Roadster V2’s Frameset includes two water bottle mounts, allowing you to stay hydrated on long rides. This bike also has a carbon belt drive instead of a traditional chain, which is really hard to find on an e-bike in this price range. It requires almost zero maintenance and lasts mu longer than a chain.
Roadster V2 comes in two sizes—Small and Large—that fit riders between 5’3″ and 6’2″ tall.
To summarize, we call this the best electric road bike under $1,000, even though it has flat bars. With its comfortable geometry, Roadster V2 will devour long training rides and trips of any length.
Find your size and purchase safely on Ride1UP
Don’t get me wrong; all the bikes mentioned are winners, and going with any of those would be a good move. However, a few details should be considered…
If you want to separate yourself from the crowd with an exotic-looking steed, then the Priority ACE would be your best choice. It’s not a road bike per se, but it’s built for the road.
If you want electric assistance, the Ride1UP Roadster V2 is the best choice for hard training sessions and long rides.
Gravel bikes are becoming more and more popular among road cyclists because they allow you to ride on paved and unpaved roads — check out Marin Lombard to see what it’s all about.
For longer training days, the Tommaso Monza will work nicely. Its geometry is more “relaxed” than most road machines in this category, and that’s why the Monza often beats others in longer-distance riding.
If you want to do some serious training, commute, or ride in a group, then Tommaso Imola is hard to beat, thanks to a great set of components and comfortable geometry. Yes, the design is quite minimalist and fast. If you are looking for the cheapest road bike, then Windsor Wellington 2.0 will fulfill your needs in a less esoteric package.
For those who want to go cheap and don’t mind losing the advantages of better components, Schwinn Fastback will do fine. Fastback’s customer reviews support this recommendation.
If you need a bike to complete big challenges that require big daily miles, there isn’t a better choice out there than Pure Cycles Gravel Adventure.
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