After a multitude of tests, I came up with the best beginner road bike. If you’re in a hurry, my recommendation is the Schwinn Fastback AL Claris.
I can tell from experience how challenging it is to choose a road bike for a beginner.
In my beginning years as a rider, I spent countless hours testing every road bike I encountered, and my thorough research landed me with the best seven bikes I’ll review below.
If you want to find out:
- The best overall beginner road bike
- The best budget beginner road bike
- The best beginner road bike for women
- What to consider when buying a road bike
Stick around to know everything and more!
The Best Beginner Road Bikes Overview
- Schwinn Fastback AL Claris Adult Performance Road Bike – (best overall)
- HeartsBio Carbon Road Bike – (runner up)
- Eurobike OBK XC550 Road Bike – (best budget bike)
- Giordano Libero 1.6 White/Pink Womens Road Bike – (best for women)
- Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike – (best affordable performance)
- Vilano Shadow 3.0 Road Bike – (best value for money)
- Trinx TEMPO1.0 700C Road Bike – (best for different speeds)
The 7 Best Beginner Road Bikes Reviewed
Choosing the best beginner road bike is as challenging as it gets. You want a durable bike that’ll take all the abuse you throw at it, but you want it to be easy enough to ride. You’ll also want it to be affordable enough because no one wants to pay a fortune when they’re still taking baby steps in their riding journey.
Here are the best seven beginner road bikes on the market.
Schwinn Fastback AL Claris Adult Performance Road Bike – Best Overall
It’d be a shame to make a list of bike top picks and not include Schwinn.
The company rightfully earned its place as the industry leader, and you’ll find its bikes on every list for the best bikes around.
The Schwinn Fastback was designed with beginners in mind. It features a lightweight aluminium frame that you can easily maneuver without tiring your joints. The material is also rust-resistant, so you can ride it in the rain all you want.
The steerer and fork are made of aluminium, too, for durability and lightweight.
The Fastback comes fully equipped with Claris shifters and a Shimano 16-speed drivetrain. Both promise high quality, durability, and reliability, and they deliver. Schwinn made sure to include every component of the highest quality.
There are six sizes of the Fastback, so you can guarantee you’ll find the suitable size for you.
Although the bike is for beginners, you can go at high speeds with it, thanks to the drivetrain and Claris shifters.
The bike isn’t what you’d call affordable, but I wouldn’t put it on the expensive side of the market, either. It offers excellent value for its price.
- Lightweight frame for easy maneuvering
- Reliable aluminium caliper brakes that offer instant stopping power
- Excellent value for money
- Some users complained about the quality of some components.
HeartsBio Carbon Road Bike – Runner Up
The HeartsBio bike isn’t for the faint-hearted!
It costs a fortune, but it’s well worth every dollar you’ll pay for it. The bike is ideal for beginners who’ve had at least one bike before.
Let’s face it; no one will pay that price for their first bike ever.
The HeartsBio features an ergonomic design that’s hard to match. It sports a smartly designed saddle that has an anti-numbing center hole.
If you tend to go on long rides, you’ll stay as comfortable as you’ve been when starting your session.
It ships separately, though. A regular saddle is included with the bike.
There’s also a long seat post that comes with the bike that you can cut to fit your height.
The bike features a Shimano 18-speed drivetrain, so you can ride at high speeds without a hitch. The brakes also provide instantaneous stopping power to ensure the rider’s safety, especially if they’re beginners.
The only downside to this bike is that it comes disassembled. Not all beginners are handy at putting a bike together, so it may be a nuisance for some buyers. However, the company provides a video to make matters easier for you.
- Suitable for users of different heights
- Comfortable anti-numbing seat for long riding sessions
- Sleek design and attractive color
- On the expensive side of the market
Eurobike OBK XC550 Road Bike – Best Budget Bike
If you’re limited by a budget, the Eurobike is one of the best options you can get for an affordable price.
Despite that it costs a lot less than high-end options, it easily earned itself a place on my list because of its convenient features.
The Eurobike sports a pair of dual disc brakes that are highly sensitive. They provide considerable stopping power, making sure beginners are safe even when they ride at high speeds.
The wheels are made of durable, solid aluminium alloy that’s rust-resistant. You can ride in the rain all you want without fear of your wheels wearing out.
The 21-speed shifters help you shift smoothly without a hitch. They’re ideal for a beginner still learning how to get the hang of riding a bike.
The bike is a bit heavier than the competitors, but that’s because of its high weight capacity.
It can hold users up to 330 pounds, which means it’s a good choice for big guys, too.
For the price it comes with, I’d say the Eurobike is quite the bargain.
- High weight capacity to fit all users
- 21-speed shifters for shifting your speed easily
- Sensitive disc brakes for your safety
- Highly affordable
- It may not be the best option for tall riders.
Giordano Libero 1.6 White/Pink Womens Road Bike – Best for Women
If you want a sleek, attractive, durable road bike for beginner women, look no further. You won’t find a better option than the Giordano Libero 1.6.
The bike has a trendy design that’ll turn heads wherever you go, yet it’s comfortable enough to provide a smooth, enjoyable riding experience.
The bike is made of lightweight aluminium, so you can easily haul it and move it around whenever you need to.
Unlike most manufacturers, Giordano didn’t use aluminium on this bike merely to save costs. In fact, the frame is handcrafted to offer the highest quality an aluminium chassis can offer.
The Giordano road bike is fully equipped with 16-speed Shimano Claris shifters that shift easily and hassle-free. They may as well be the best option for a beginner.
When I tried the men’s version of the Libero 1.6, I remember being impressed with how instantaneous the brakes stopped. Smoothly and without a hitch.
All the other components are of high quality, including the cranks and the derailleurs that work perfectly out of the box without the need for a tune-up.
- Sleek design
- Ergonomic seat and handles
- High-quality components
- Users reported the wire winds sometimes.
Tommaso Imola Endurance Aluminum Road Bike – Best Affordable Performance
If you’re new to cycling or returning to it after a long vacation, the Tommaso Imola is undoubtedly the one for you.
Tomaso’s manufacturers are convinced some beginners don’t need entry-level bikes, but instead, they need affordable performance, and the Imola embodies that exact idea.
Equipped with a full Shimano groupset, the bike screams luxury. It’s designed to stay with you on your beginner phase and stay intact while you raise your skill level.
The Claris R2000 shifters are the best you can find on a bike in this price range. On top of that, the cables route under the bar, accounting for a clean look and smooth shifts.
The Imola features a lightweight aluminium frame that’s easy to maneuver and move around.
The design is pretty versatile; you can convert it to a commuter bike if that’s your purpose of buying it.
The handlebar is wide and ergonomic to provide maximum comfort. It’s also anti-slip in case you’re a hand sweater.
- Lightweight aluminium frame for easy handling
- Anti-slip handlebar and ergonomic seat
- Compact frame for easy storage
- On the expensive side of the market
Vilano Shadow 3.0 Road Bike – Best Value for Money
The Vilano Shadow 3.0 bike combines a moderate price and some advanced features in an interesting balance.
The bike falls right in the middle of the price scale—not exactly affordable, but clear of the expensive side by a couple of hundred dollars.
The bike features an integrated system of brake levers and shifters. Such systems allow you to shift your gears without having to remove your hands from the handlebar.
That’s because the gear shifting controls and the brakes are integrated into the same component.
Although the feature is quite simple, it makes riding a whole lot easier for beginners.
The bike sports an aluminium Aero frame that’s both lightweight and solid. It’s highly durable, too, so you don’t have to worry about signs of wear and tear.
The frame comes integrated with an internal cable and a headset.
The double-walled CNC tires account for high stability and a smooth rotational motion. Moreover, they provide excellent traction against the ground, promising enough safety for riding in wet conditions.
The caliper brakes provide more safety as well, thanks to their fast response and high sensitivity.
- Excellent value for money
- Integrated blake lever and shifters for easier speed shifting
- Durable, high-quality components
- Some users complained about the limited speeds.
Trinx TEMPO1.0 700C Road Bike – Best for Different Speeds
If you don’t want to break your bank for a road bike, but you want decent features and high speeds, you may want to take a look at the Trinx Tempo1.0.
The bike features 21-speed shifters. When you get the hang of riding and pass your beginner phase, you can increase your speeds to challenge yourself some more.
The bike sports an aluminium frame that’s both lightweight and durable. It’s available in three sizes to fit users of all heights. Make sure the bike is in your height range before buying it.
The fork and handlebar are made of rust-resistant Hi-ten steel. They’ll take a lot of abuse before showing the least signs of wear and tear.
The drivetrain is a Shimano, promising high performance and top-tier quality. Meanwhile, the wheels are double-walled for better stability and durability.
The bike doesn’t offer much in terms of advanced features, but that’s expected for the affordable price.
Plus, the drivetrain is of high quality, the frame is durable, and the shifters are smooth. What more could we ask for at that price? I’d say it’s a pretty solid choice for beginners.
- Moderate price
- Durable frame and components
- The wheels provide good traction against the ground to prevent slipping
- It needs a lot of assembly steps to use it.
When choosing a bike for beginners, the considerations get a little different. While ease of use may not be a critical factor for advanced riders, it’s essential for beginners. The same goes for high-quality components and quick-acting brakes. Here’s a roundup of the vital features to consider when choosing a beginner road bike.
For beginners, I believe the best frame material is aluminium. Carbon is more durable, but it costs a lot more, and beginners don’t really need it.
Plus, carbon is less resistant to cracks than aluminium. Any hit can result in a scratch, and beginners crash their bikes a lot.
An aluminium frame would be perfect. As a beginner, you wouldn’t notice the difference much, anyway.
A lot of manufacturers make affordable bikes by putting in cheap components. When you see one of those, run the other way around.
Cheap components will start breaking apart after a couple of uses, and you’ll find yourself in an endless cycle of tune-ups and repairs.
Instead of having to do a lot of maintenance tasks, get a bike with high-quality components that’ll manage to stay together for a few months at the least.
As a beginner, you won’t have enough experience to deal with every crack and repair, so it’s best to choose right from the start.
You can go for a bike with Shimano parts without a second thought. Look for the Claris lineup; most options on my list have their shifters.
The Sora series is better, and it costs more, but Claris is still pretty decent for beginners.
Even when you’re adamant about getting a road bike, you still need to consider your riding style.
If you’re getting your bike for racing or extreme riding sessions, you’ll need a rugged, solid frame with durable components to avoid wearing them out.
On the other hand, if you’re getting a bike for relaxed rides along the city streets, you’d be fine with an aluminium frame and components.
For beginners, brakes are an essential part of the bike.
They ensure you can stop quickly enough when you need to, thereby guaranteeing your safety during your ride.
Bikes with slow brakes are susceptible to more accidents, and they may cause serious injuries.
Disc brakes are perfectly safe for riding in all weather conditions, so they’re the preferred option for beginners.
There are hydraulic disc brakes and cable disc brakes. Cable disc brakes are easier to take care of and maintain, and they’re the most common on the market.
Hydraulic disc brakes provide more accuracy and faster stopping, but they’re quite hard to maintain. They may not be the best option for beginners.
In general, disc brakes may be the best for all types of bikes—hybrid, mountain, and road ones. They offer powerful stopping power, and they’re smooth and quick-acting.
Do road bikes have suspension?
No, they don’t because they don’t need it.
City streets and pavements are mostly smooth and flat, not needing suspension like mountains and bumpy grounds do.
What’s the best material for drivetrains?
Most entry-level bikes have groupsets made of aluminium or low-grade steel. You won’t have many options to choose from.
As you move up the skill level, you can land some options made of carbon fiber, titanium, or high-grade alloys.
Aluminum and steel are just fine for a beginner rider, though.
Are cheap bikes good for beginners?
Take it from someone who’s been riding bikes for most of his life; cheap bikes are good for no one.
The best you can do is to land yourself a budget option like the Eurobike OBK. Cheaper than that, you’re paying for a bike only to keep repairing its parts.
Opt for affordable bikes and moderate-priced ones, but cheap ones are a no-no.
You also need to ensure you’re safe while riding, and low-class bikes don’t offer much in terms of safety.
My top pick for the best beginner road bike is definitely the Schwinn Fastback AL Claris. It makes the perfect balance of a moderate price and decent features.
Its frame is durable and lightweight, making it ideal for a beginner.
It also shifts smoothly, and the brakes stop instantly. It’s both safe and enjoyable.