Best Entry Level Road Bikes [Review] in 2021
written by Cycle expert Alex Bristol
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Are you a budding cyclist looking for an entry road bike to build your confidence on the road looking for that first bike that’ll start it all? Well, you’re at the right place.
I’ve ridden many bikes over the years while cycling and I remember the excitement on my face when I got my very first bike. It was cheap but it didn’t stop me from riding it on many adventures across new terrains.
You never forget your first bike.
As a cycling beginner, you have to get a suitable bike to begin your journey with. In doing that, you would be faced with a wide array of bikes to pick from.
I found that picking that perfect first bike is a challenge like no other.
But no need to worry, you’re on the right page. I have researched 23 different entry level road bikes considering the material, geometry, groupsets, height, and weight so we will get you started on your biking journey together in no time.
But I’m going on too much already, lets talk about this later and jump into my top picks.
We’ve spent the time so you don’t have to:
Our Pick Of The Best Entry Level Road Bikes
TREK Domane AL 2
Now making it the top of my list is TREK’s Domain AL 2, they have been manufacturing bikes since the 1970s and are well known for the quality of their bikes.
This bike is a perfect gateway to build confidence and feel comfortable while riding. It is stable and lightweight making it super fun to ride. This is such a great choice if you’re new to the road and want a quality road bike that you won’t outgrow quickly.
This could be the first bike of many to start it all.
The Shimano drivetrain has 16 speeds, while the shifters being integrated into the brake levers so your hands never need to leave the handlebars. Also, the wide range of gears will make it easier especially over the hilly roads.
AL 2 is a real confidence booster.
The lightweight aluminum frame has mounts for fenders and a carbon fork which makes this entry level road bike a really good catch for the price point. The AL 2 is an excellent choice for a first introduction to road riding, a great fit that’s fast but not too aggressive.
The reviews for this bike are glowing, I wish I had bought a TREK bike for my first bike- go check it out.
It has a lightweight design
Easy access for gear changes
It is affordable
Doesn't come with disc brakes
Latest deal: Fixie Urban Track Bike
Schwinn Fastback AL 105 Performance Road Bike
I personally love Schwinn for how reliable they are, especially for their entry level road bikes. The frame is created from listened plating and aluminum that is rugged and can take blows from falls that would definitely come from a beginner.
The seats of the bike are well adjusted with an alloy seat post and compact drop bars make sitting and riding as comfortable as ever. This is a perfect beginner that’ll kickstart your journey as a rider.
It is made of 105 STI shifters for gears and a Shimano speed drivetrain that cranks together with the shifter’s functions in the gear system. It also comes in a range of different sizes so this is the best entry level road bike that fits everyone.
Set the pace, go faster and further with this beautiful, smooth, and lightweight bike.
But that not all, the tape bar indicates performance links with the S1 race saddle together complement each other and provide high-level performance so you can sure to boost your confidence on the road and track your performance.
This is such a popular product for new riders so go check it out.
It has a very efficient gear system
The brakes are very good
The aluminum plating is reinforced
The spare parts are readily available
It might be too high for shorter riders
Latest deal: Domane AL 2
Salsa Journeyman Claris 700 Bike
Now number three on my list has to be Salsa’s Journeyman Claris due to the reliability of this bike. It has caught my eye in the past couple of years and sure fits the profile for being a brilliant entry-level road bike with a quality aluminum frame and SRAM components.
This all-road bike was designed with the versatility to fulfill a wide variety of missions, making it an excellent beginner bike. The frame accepts racks and fenders, or keep it stripped to the basics.
With both an aluminum and carbon fork, this bike is super durable and can handle the bumps and scratches we all face as a beginner.
This is a great confidence booster bike to begin your journey, go check it out.
Aluminum fork and Carbon forks
It is lightweight
3 water bottle mounts
May be slightly noisy
Latest deal: Salsa Journeyman Claris 700 Bike
I can’t wait to tell you about this bike, designed with one goal in mind, making the best value entry-level road bike on the market that doesn’t sacrifice performance- Tommaso Fascino is one of the best.
They didn’t cut corners by using an aftermarket crankset, nonseries derailleurs or any tricks manufacturers use to save a few bucks. This makes this bike not only a great beginner cycle but also in the long run, giving you consistent performance in your ride.
Tommaso Fascino offers a huge gearing with 21 powerful speeds making it super versatile. With a full Shimano drivetrain, you’ll be smooth shifting with no troubles.
With all the speed you’ll be gaining, you’ll wanna ride and stop with confidence, luckily the premium Tommaso Freno dual-pivot brake calipers are up for the job.
The Tommaso TC20 wheelset was designed to be durable while remaining lightweight so not only does this bike look great, it is built to tackle the punishment of many miles, perfect for a beginner.
The sleek design makes this bike a sexy first bike and will have all the heads turning.
But here’s the kicker: With such confidence with the quality and value of this bike, they offer a Risk-Free 7 day Test Ride so if you don’t love it you can take it back!
This is one of my favorite go have a look at the glowing 5-star reviews if you don’t believe me.
Such high quality for a great price point
21 powerful speeds
7 day test ride on this bike
None so far
Latest deal: Tommaso Fascino
TREK Émonda ALR 5
Now I know what you’re thinking, why have you included a second TREK bike already, are they really all that? Well yes.
I couldn’t recommend TREK enough for a quality entry road bike. The Emonda is one of the top at the moment but is often around the $10,000 price range. So to find an Emonda entry-level road bike for the price point of under $2000 this bike sure is a catch.
With big upgrades on parts, like a reliable Shimano 105 drivetrain and powerful hydraulic disc brakes that stop in any weather, this bike is built to a confidence boost while riding.
Whether you feel like a confident rider or not, this bike will show off to others that you belong on the roads and you’re here to stay with the sleek looks of this bike.
Heres the best bit
The lightweight 300 Series Alpha Aluminum with an Émonda SL carbon fork will absorb all the shocks and vibrations on the road so you’ll be sure to have a smooth riding experience.
TREK is definitely the most high-end beginner bike and you don’t need to spend a fortune on. Go check it out.
Lightweight 300 series alpha Aluminum
It has proper disc brakes for easy control of the bike
High-end but affordable
Latest deal: Émonda ALR 5
VERZA SPEED 50W PEARL | 2019
Now we can’t have a list without including a quality entry-road bike for the women. Luckily the Verza Speed 50v is a quality bike for the price point.
It is on the list for not only the best entry-level women’s road bike but it is also on my list for the best entry level road bike under 500 which means this is a real catch.
This bike is ready for anything the road throws its way, with dependable shifting and high-quality components this will sure to kick start your confidence while riding.
The Verza Speed 50 is rugged, versatile, and just pure fun.
Built with a flat road handlebar for easy handling and the aluminum frame and fork make this bike both durable and lightweight. This means that this bike is perfect for taking blows from falls that would definitely come when you first start.
It’s the perfect bike for any occasion and could be the one that starts it all.
Super cheap but high quality
Lightweight and durable
It is versatile
May be cheaply made
Latest deal: Verza Speed 50W
Giant Escape 1 Disc Fitness Bike 2021
When looking for my first bike I looked for fitness bikes so I could boost my endurance while riding. This is why I’ve added Giant Escape 1 Disc to my list.
Its lightweight ALUXX aluminum frame, high-quality parts, and an upright position give this bike a smooth and comfortable making it completely versatile and extra fun to ride. You’ll sure to be safe with this baby as your first bike.
Not to panic when you come across a pot-hole-filled road with this bike as it features a high-quality composite fork meaning that it is great for a smoother ride along rough roads. It absorbs shocks and vibrations, giving you a smoother and comfortable ride.
This bike super low maintenance with disc brakes that deliver powerful braking performance in dry or wet conditions and the 700c wheels with tubeless tires meaning you’re less likely to get flats.
Best of all.
It comes with integrated mounts, so you can customize your first ride with all your accessories, or the bike fender takes your fancy- go check it out.
Lightweight and durable
High quality components
Absorbs shocks and vibrations
None so far
Latest deal: Verza Speed 50W
Brand-X Road Bike
Now if you’re looking for a quality entry road bike without breaking your bank then this is the perfect option for you. With its strong and light aluminum frame and Shimano Tourney gearing, Brand-X is built for reliability.
With consistently reliable 7-speed drivetrain and little maintenance required makes this bike super reliable, shifting through the gears to match the terrain you’re tackling.
The compact chainset with double cranks gives this bike its strength and durability while still remaining super lightweight.
If you’re a city dweller looking to do your part for the environment while learning a new hobby in the process then a bike is perfect for you.
The Brand-X is capable of withstanding rough city roads with Kenda 700x25C tires that will provide a touch of comfort.
This is such a high-quality entry road bike for the price point.
May not be suitable for super hilly areas
Latest deal: Brand-X Road Bike
Looking for the best budget road bikes instead?
We’ve put an in-depth guide together for that.
We have looked at 36 budget road bikes to make sure you’re getting the best for your money. We focused on materials, size, speed, and brakes to make sure we’ve found the greatest products available to buy.
You can see the full guide here which could be more relevant than the one you’re reading now.
Best Entry Level Road Bikes Buyers Guide
Entry road bikes are for beginners. To choose a bike as a beginner there are some things you have to put into consideration.
The frame of your bicycle must be firm and steady. Carbon frames are sometimes more expensive than aluminum or steel frame.
Size is also something that should not go unnoticed. Go for what suits your height and weight appropriately because this would determine how fast you would learn to ride. Learning is a difficult task, do not add inconvenience to it.
As a beginner you may be wondering what even is a road bike? Trust me you’re not alone here.
You have to pay attention to the brake and gear systems. What sort of brakes do you like? Are they efficient enough for you? The gear system also determines how well and how fast the bike would go. Pay attention to it.
Choosing the correct handlebar set up is a vital decision to make when seeking out the perfect road bike to start cycling. Having a set up that doesn’t suit your ride style can cause an uncomfortable ride style, causing pain in your wrists, back, and even neck.
The total assemblage of a bike also matters. You have to be sure that the bike you want to purchase is something that would not require an expert to assemble or fix.
Giving the tires a thought too wouldn’t hurt, there are tires for beginners and that is what you should opt for. This would help you learn fast and as you progress, you then stick to what you prefer.
Maintenance Tips for New Road Bike Users
Buying the best road bike is not enough to start jumping on the road and racking up the pedal pushes. No matter the quality of the road bike your purchase, if you fail to take care of it, the bike may not last or perform as expected.
Maintenance – If you want your bike to serve you for many years, you need to take care of it. For instance, you should wash and lubricate moving parts frequently. If it is too dirty, you should start by rinsing it to remove surplus debris. After this, wash it using warm water and soap. Allow it to dry and then spray it using a degreaser.
Handlebars – Always ensure that the handlebar is well secured by the bolts. A loose handlebar can be very dangerous because it will not give you the required level of control. This will also affect the stability of the bike.
Tires – You also need to ensure that the tires are properly inflated before you use the bike. You should also examine them carefully to ensure that there are no signs of wear and tear. In case they are not in good condition, you should replace them immediately to avoid problems.
Brakes – It is also important to determine the thickness of the brake disc pads. They should never be less than 2.5 mm thin.
How to choose the best road bike for beginners
If you are planning to start road bike cycling, you can never go wrong with any of the above road bikes. For easier comparison, you should consider the following tips if you are still not sure which one to pick;
Frame – This is one of the most important parts of a road bike because it determines the strength, performance, and durability of the road bike. There are different materials used to make bike frames which include steel, aluminum, carbon fiber, and titanium. In terms of durability, steel frames are the best. However, steel is a bit heavy and it is not rustproof. For starters, aluminum bikes are the best because they are affordable, lightweight, and long-lasting.
Size – Before you spend your money on any bike, you need to ensure that it suits your height. Entry-level road bikes are available in different sizes and if you are not careful, you can easily end up with the wrong size.
Seat – You also need to ensure that the seat is very comfortable especially if you will be using the bike for long rides. Note that some saddles may put pressure on certain parts of the body which may lead to discomfort.
Handlebars – Road bikes come with different types of handlebars. If you prefer to ride in an upright position, you should consider high-rise handlebars. On the other hand, drop-down handlebars are the best for those who prefer to ride in a lower or bent position. The choice on which one to buy will depend on your preferred riding style or your height.
Brakes – To enhance your safety, you need to ensure that the brakes are able to provide instant stopping power. This will allow you to avoid any obstacles you may come across especially when riding at a high speed.
Frequently Asked Questions
Are road bikes the best for starters?
If you are a starter, road bikes are a great starting point to get on the saddle. They are very easy to use and affordable when looking at non-advanced specifications.
Which is the best bike frame material?
Aluminum frames are the most common due to their affordable price. These frames are also lightweight and sturdy.
How do you ride road bikes?
So now you’ve found the right road bike for you, brilliant but if you haven’t had much experience over the years or are a little bit wobbly you may have lost your confidence of how to ride a road bike— but don’t worry I’m here to help.
Check out my full guide as to how to ride a road bike with some quick and easy steps for both beginners, and more intermediate cyclists. I have even added some tips as to how to ride faster on a road bike so be sure to check that out!
Content Manager at Pedallers
Alex is a cycling expert at and focuses on reviewing bikes, accessories, and general cycling. He searches for the most up to date products that match the needs of cyclists across the world. Whether it's recent news or the best bike set-ups, Alex is a trusted source for anything around cycling.