Find out our top picks for road bikes under $1,000 you can get online (in our opinion)
Many readers have asked us to write a review for road bikes under $1,000. It’s finally here, after too many endless nights of analyzing! So enjoy, because we 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 us show you the very best road bikes under $1,000 – no bullshit. Here is our complete list, that we put together after endless comparisons with too many decent bikes. We’re glad that there are different reviews, which tells me that there are many great bikes from various manufacturers.
Keep in mind that the prices of these bikes can fluctuate.
Below are the 8 best road bikes under $1,000. We hope you enjoy!
#1: Tommaso Imola
Best Fitness Road Bike
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 a 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!
#2: 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.
#3: 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.
#4: Co-op Cycles CTY 1.2
Best All-Road Flat-Bar Bike
If you’re following cycling trends, you must have noticed that all-terrain 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 roads.
CTY 1.2 is a good example of a capable multi-surface machine. It’s built around a lightweight aluminum frameset with dependable Shimano components, the combination of which provides reliable day-to-day performance.
One of the main characteristics of versatile bikes is tires that are wider than those on traditional road bikes. CTY 1.2 sports 700c x 35mm tires that feel nimble and fast on any kind of terrain. If you ride off the beaten track more often, there’s clearance for even more width.
For the money, you’ll get a 3×9 Shimano Alivio drivetrain, which is a solid choice in this price range.
This bike sports hydraulic disc brakes, that will offer lots of breaking power to stop you when needed.
This is a modern all-road machine, so it has a smooth grey 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 Co-op Cycles CTY 1.2 if you want to keep riding when you run out of paved roads and have more fun with your workouts or travels.
#5: Tommaso Forcella
Breathtaking Italian Design
Yes, we know, this bike costs slightly more, but on this bike, it’s worth it.
The Forcella frame is constructed with 6061 hydroformed aluminum and fitted with an HCT carbon road fork.
The bike’s Claris components work very well, offering enough gearing and precision to beginner riders. It doesn’t have any unnecessary gears and the compact 50/39/30T crankset gives you all the range you’ll need with 24 speeds. A Shimano Claris 11-28T cassette rounds out the drive.
This bike comes equipped with Shimano Claris brake calipers. Even though disc brakes are becoming more and more popular on road bikes, you don’t really need them unless you intend to ride in very wet weather or do a lot of climbing and descending.
Tommaso Forcella’s upgraded deep-dish TC-30 wheels are tough, versatile, and aerodynamic. Take them (or let them take you) on all the treks that previously seemed a formidable challenge. The same goes for the Kenda tires; they’ll give you the confidence to take paths you previously considered beyond your capability.
Tommaso Forcella is the rightful favorite of many road cycling enthusiasts thanks to its remarkable design, carbon fork, and a uniform Shimano groupset.
This bike also comes with the exclusive Ultralight Sport Series 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.
Forcella comes in six sizes from XXS (for riders 4’9″ to 5’2”) to XL (6’2″ – 6’5”). This bike requires minor assembly, like all other bikes in this under $1,000 review. 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 around $1,000 can boast the parts spec of the Forcella. With a 53cm frame, the bike weighs 22.7 pounds, which is impressive! Lastly, it’s ready to accept fenders if you want to make longer journeys or take on the elements. All things considered, this is a great bike with a solid build that will take you where you want to go – for years to come.
#6: Cannondale CAAD Optimo 4
Best All Rounder
If you are looking at great value for money road bikes, keep in mind sticking with a top end brand is a good way to go. Cannondale is one brand that you might be familiar with, that is very popular. They have a great reputation for making incredible bikes.
Cannondale CAAD Optimo 4 is a great value for money road bike that features a lightweight 6061 aluminum frame and carbon fiber fork. It’s made for long days out in the saddle where you need the bike to perform but also be comfortable.
Entry level road bikes generally come equipped with Shimano Claris shifters, derailleurs, cranks, and cassettes – as is the case with Optimo 4. It means you get 16 speeds on a 2×8 drivetrain and this is excellent.
The 700c wheelset is 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 700 x 25c tires.
The CAAD Optimo 4 has several aces up its sleeve, such as the quality build and awesome design, even though it costs next to nothing considering everything you get with this bike.
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, the Optimo 4 stood out as a really decent bike with great value!
#7: Hiland Road 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 the Hiland Road Bike. This is an entry-level road bicycle with a relaxed geometry that’s ideal for beginners and century rides.
Built around a durable and compliant aluminum frame and fork, Hiland will provide you with a comfortable experience when riding Gran Fondos or attempting centuries.
The bike comes equipped with drop-bars and 25mm tires, and the frame has eyelets for two water bottles and fenders. Therefore, you can use Hiland for commuting as well.
When it comes to the components, the groupset of choice is entry-level Shimano. In total, you get 21 gears, which is more than enough for beginners, but less than ideal for experienced riders.
An adventure bike would not be complete without good brakes. This bike features Tektro alloy dual-pivot brake calipers. 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 excellent 700c x 25mm tires with Presta valves that will get you wherever you need to be with maximum grip.
In short, the Hiland Road Bike is the perfect entry-level road bike for long comfort rides and big challenges.
#8: Vilano Shadow 3.0
The Most Affordable on the List
Vilano Shadow 3.0 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 white and orange details is made from aluminum, which is the most popular material in the cycling industry. It has eyelets for two water bottles and partially internally routed cables.
Vilano Shadow 3.0 is a cheap road bike that doesn’t have any major shortcomings. The front MicroShift and rear Shimano derailleurs offer a total of 14 gears. There are both easy and hard gears, so you can ride on any type of terrain.
The tires are 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.
Vilano Shadow 3.0 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, the front wheel, and the pedals. The pedals come with the bike, which is a big plus.
Vilano Shadow 3.0 is available in three sizes (49cm, 53cm, 57cm) that fit a wide range of riders.
All in all, Vilano Shadow 3.0 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!
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…
Pick #1. 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 but fast.
Pick #2. If you are looking for electric assistance, the Ride1UP Roadster V2 is the best choice for hard training sessions and long rides.
Pick #3. 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.
Adventure road bikes are becoming more and more popular among road cyclists because they allow you to ride on paved and unpaved roads — check out Co-op Cycles CTY 1.1 to see what it’s all about.
For longer training days, the Tommaso Forcella will work nicely. Its geometry is more “relaxed” than most road machines in this category, and that’s why this bike often beats others in longer-distance riding.
If you are looking for the cheapest road bike, then Vilano Shadow 3.0 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, Cannondale CAAD Optimo 4 is a great choice.
If you need a bike to complete big challenges or commute every day, there are few better choices out there than Hiland Road Bike.