When I started out as a ‘roadie’ the first thing I had to do was choose a bike.
At the time I didn’t have much money and the amount of choice was overwhelming.
I bought several cheap bikes in my first few years of cycling.
Some were good, others not so good.Choosing the right bike on a tight budget was a steep learning curve.
I’m going to make it easier for you by sharing my experience and guiding you through the 10 top selling road bikes under $300, available in 2017.
Cycling is a great way to stay fit, save money and protect the environment. When you’re starting out, the most important thing is to know what you need.
Bikes come in all shapes and sizes: Best mountain bikes, racing bikes, BMX’s, sports bikes, hybrid bikes, the list goes on. Choosing the best road bike on a modest budget can be the difference between loving cycling and giving up in the first few months.
10 Best Road Bikes Under 300 Dollars
Road bikes, or ‘roadies’ as they’re affectionately known, are a cross between racing bikes and mountain bikes. The focus is on a smooth ride, light-weight frame, and gears; perfect, for cycling around your local area but limited when it comes to off-road.
Comfort, speed, and durability are the three main factors to consider when choosing a road bike. In this article, we are going to discuss the best cheap road bikes available for under $300 in 2017.
1. Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike
Takara is a Japanese cycling brand that has been in the game for over fifty years. They have manufactured a lot of bicycles in that time, but are still a relatively unknown name in the cycling industry.
One of the benefits of choosing a smaller brand like Takara is that you won’t be paying for the name on the frame.
Features and Benefits
- – The Kabuto Single Speed Road bike is a striking model with its bright neon tires and handlebars. The bright colors are functional as well, improving your visibility on the road; a must have if you are cycling in a larger city with lots of traffic.
- – Simple nature of this road-bike makes it an ideal first bike. Fewer parts mean fewer things can go wrong and, for the construction materials alone, the Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike is great value for money.
- – The stainless steel frame makes it a sturdy piece of equipment that will last a long time. On the road, the Kabuto is a comfortable ride.
- – The Kabuto only has a single gear. The single gear is ideal for traveling in the city and for short commutes.
- – It looks great
- – Sturdy construction
- – Safe
- – Great construction materials
- – Suited to inner-city cycling
- – Single gear makes it less versatile than other bikes.
- – As your expertise increases, you may want to upgrade.
- – Suited to shorter journeys.
The Kabuto single speed takes a deserved spot on our run down of the best bikes under 300. You would expect to see these specifications on a much more expensive bike which makes it excellent value for money.
The lack of gears does make it a bit short-term but, at the same time, it is a great bike for beginners.
Test it out in your local store then head over to Amazon to get a great deal. There are many discounts and giveaways on offer with the Takura so check it out on Amazon.
2. Vilano R2 Aluminum Commuter Road Bike
The next offering on our list of the cheap road bikes under $300 is from Italian bike manufacturers Vilano. The Vilano R2 Aluminum Commuter Road Bike is designed with the casual city cyclist in mind.
Branded as a commuter bicycle, the R2 is perfect for short journeys around the city and, compared with the Takuro, it has a lot more options.
Features and Benefits
- – A light-weight aluminum frame. The light-weight frame means less pedaling and more speed which is ideal if you are new to cycling or out of shape.
- – It looks good. The R2 Commuter, with its jet black frame and bright green highlights, look cool and are sure to stand out in you’re the local area.
- – Thumb shifters are gearing changes that are placed near where your hands are on the handle bars. Thumb shifters are ideal for easy gear changes and the Vilano has an impressive 21-gears making it a very versatile bicycle for under $300.
- – Great specs. Overall the specifications on this bike far outweigh the modest investment it takes to own one. Great value for money.
- – Lots of features
- – Looks really good
- – Designed for speed and agility
- – Perfect for inner city commutes
- – Very versatile
- – Can be uncomfortable until you get used to it
- – The aluminum frame means it is less sturdy and needs to be looked after
- – In the upper half of our $300 budget
In my years of cycling, I have never actually owned a Vilano but I know that they are liked by many beginners for their smooth ride and quality manufacture.
With its cool looks, light-weight frame and features, this is one of the top road bikes on offer for under $300 right now.
The R2 looks like a great deal with discounted offers available on Amazon. A great choice for people just starting out. Still not convinced? Head over to Amazon to find great discounts and giveaways.
3. Commuter Aluminum Road Bike Shimano 21 Speed
The Commuter Aluminum Road Bike Shimano 21 Speed 700c is a minimalist road bike.
The lack of branding gives this bike an effortlessly attractive look and it comes with an aluminum frame as standard.
Features and benefits
- – What separates this road-bike from the pack is the Shimano gears. Shimano is a behemoth in the bicycle industry. Last year they made nearly 50% of all bicycle components in the world. You can expect excellent quality, durability, and workmanship from a brand as big as Shimano.
- -This bike is excellent value for money and perfect for the beginner. The workmanship is good and the aluminum frame makes it easy to ride, even when taking it on longer rides.
- – Aluminum frame. The light-weight metal is designed for speed and agility, making your daily commute quick and easy.
- – High wheel arches mean larger wheels that are further off the ground. It will be a comfortable ride which is capable of handling rougher terrains as well.
- – Excellent minimalist looks
- – Great brand
- – In the lower half of our $300 budget
- – Super fast
- – Good quality gears from a reputable brand
- This is one of the best commuter bikes under 300
- – To maximize performance, you will need to get it professionally set-up.
- – Durability sacrificed for speed and agility.
- – Lack of stand out visibility on the road.
Make sure you take this to a local bike shop to set it up and this bike will be an excellent investment. The best road bike under 200 dollars that won’t disappoint even the more experienced cyclists.
This bike is perfect for navigating hilly terrains with its 21-speed shifters from Shimano, furthermore, it looks great. Check this product out on Amazon for user reviews, discounts, and giveaways.
4. Schwinn Men’s Volare 1200 Bike
The bike boasts some of the best features on our list so far. Aluminum 18″ forks, 21 Speed Shimano Gears, Alloy Wheels, and Brakes.
The Schwinn Men’s Volare 1200 road-bike is a great investment for beginner cyclists.
Features and Benefits
- – Alloy wheel arches. To get an alloy fiber in a beginners bike is rare and make the 1200 excellent value for money.
- – Alloy Brakes are made from a metal fiber that is more responsive and more durable. This is perfect for cycling in busier cities where there is lots of traffic.
- – The bicycle is built for agility, speed, and precision. The fastest bike on our list for the good road bikes under $300.
- – The Schwinn brand is reputable for a reason. Buying a Schwinn means you can rely on great build quality and service.
- – Very fast
- – Lightweight, agile and precise.
- – Alloy wheel arches and brakes
- – Great brand, great value
- – Very Safe
- – Comfort sacrificed for speed.
- – Takes some getting used to
- – In the upper half of our $300 dollar budget
The Schwinn Men’s Volare 1200 stands out from the pack. The bicycle is built for agility, speed, and precision. To get an alloy fibre in a beginners bike is rare, making the 1200 excellent value for money.
Fast, lightweight and easy to carry, the Volare is fantastic value for beginner cyclists.
5. Schwinn Men’s Prelude Bicycle
The Schwinn Prelude features duel-pivot brakes making it perfect for navigating busy roads safely.
Features and Benefits
- – The Schwinn Prelude is a lightweight city bike using Aluminum for the frame and the dual fork. The lighter the bike, the easier and faster it is to get around on.
- – The Shimano A050 shifters are small gear changers located near the handlebars. Ideal for quick, safe and easy gear changes without having to move your hands off the handlebars.
- – Dual Pivot road brakes feature a side and central braking system that is standard on more expensive models. The Dual Pivot is far more effective than a single pivot system and guarantees safety and responsiveness.
- – An often underestimated feature in this road bike is the Schwinn Quality Padded Saddle. Road surfaces are not marble and will be full of potholes, cracks, and bumps; having a soft seat is a must for regular cyclists.
- – Fast, light and agile road bike
- – Comfortable ride even on bumpy surfaces
- – Dual Pivot Road brakes for safety
- – Quality brand
- – Shimano shifters
- – In the upper half of the $300 budget
- – Needs a professional set up before use
- – Limited colors and design
Schwinn is a great investment for beginner road bikes. The features on offer are impressive and, despite being more expensive than other bikes on our list the build, equipment, and brand make it a good investment. It’s a bestselling piece of equipment available in all good bike shops so feel free to try it out for yourself.
Make sure you buy online though, as the difference in price is significant.Want to find out more?
check out the Amazon reviews now.
6. Kent GZR700 Road Bike
Kent is a brand with a rich history in the cycling world. Founded in the 1900’s in New York the Kent brand is one of the longest serving cycling manufacturers in the world.
From a cyclist’s perspective, this means you can trust Kent to provide a well-built modern bicycle for beginners and experts alike.
Features and Benefits
- – The bike is constructed from a tensile steel frame. The materials used in the production give this bike excellent durability without compromising too much on weight.
- – Alloy Calipers and brakes. The use of a metal alloy for your brakes is vital to ensuring shot stopping distances and safety.
- – Speed shifters from Shimano. The speed shifters come as standard and ensure quick gear changes without damaging the drive train.
- – Longevity. The bike is situated in between a beginners cycle and a more experienced cyclists weapon of choice. Investing in a Kent means you won’t have to worry about upgrading anytime soon.
- – Sturdy and strong tensile steel frame for durability.
- – Excellent braking system.
- – Aesthetically pleasing.
- – Easily fits in the price range of best bikes under 300.
- – Good looks.
- – the bike has a maximum weight capacity of 250 pounds.
- – Slightly weighty compared with aluminum frames but has a lasting durability.
- – Takes some getting used to for riding posture.
The GZR700 Road-bike delivers everything you would expect from an international brand like Kent. The high-quality craftsmanship and lasting tensile steel frame make this a great investment for those looking for a cheap bike without compromising on quality.
Furthermore, the padded seating and high wheel arches are ideal for cycling on tougher terrains and bumpy roads.
Don’t believe me? Check out the reviews on Amazon.
7. GMC Denali Flat Bar Road Bike
It features high on our list of the budget road bikes for under $300 because of its quality Vitesse wheel frames, alloy braking system, and feather light aluminum frame.
Features and Benefits
- – Vitesse 32″ racing rims. Wheel frames are an important factor in speed and comfort. Vitesse is one of the better manufacturers normally only seen on more expensive bikes.
- – 700c wheels. The large diameter of the wheels is perfect for navigating inner city streets without losing comfort or stability.
- – Shimano derailleur and Shimano Revo shifts. The Shimano derailleur makes for smooth gear changes while pedaling without damaging the bicycle. Perfect for beginner riders.
- – Super light-weight frame made from aluminum. The lighter the frame the easier it is to cycle because you are carrying less weight.
- – Super light-weight frame.
- – Excellent fast gear shifting system.
- – Reputable brand and best-selling model.
- – Racing rims.
- – Comfortable and stable ride.
- – Price is in the top half of the $300 budget.
- -This is one of the best road bikes under 200 dollars.
- -The hard seat that takes the time to get used to.
- -Water holder not fitted as standard.
Overall the GMC Denali Flat Bar Road bike is an excellent choice for those who want speed and agility. What puts this bicycle above its peers is the addition of the Vitesse racing rims.
Racing rims are usually only found on bikes in a much higher price range making this offering from GMC great value for money.
8. Giordano Rapido Single Speed Road Bike
Giordano is a reputable Italian brand with a lot of professional cycling history behind it.
The Giordano Rapido is the second single speed to feature on our list of the best road bicycle for under $300.
I’m a big fan of single speed road bikes because having a single gear means more of the budget can be spent on other areas like the frame, wheels, and forks.
Features and Benefits
- Single speed means this bicycle only has one set gear
- Having one gear is perfect for inner city cycling. The fewer things you have to worry about means more time concentrating on the road.
- – The fork is where the frame attaches to the front wheels and the Giordano Rapido offers a flat steel front fork. Steel is a strong metal which means you’ll have no problems mounting the sidewalk or riding on rougher terrain.
- – Aluminum light-weight frame. The lighter the bike, the less effort it is to get around on.
- – The alloy rims a have a high wheel arch meaning your wheels are further from the road. Metal alloys are usually expensive because the materials are light-weight and durable. To find them on a bike for under $300 is a bargain.
- – Alloy fiber rims
- – Aluminium frame
- – Strong and durable steel forks
- – Black Kenda tires
- – Performs well on rougher terrain
- – Professional assembly recommended
- – Less versatile than other bikes on our list
- – Brakes only accessible on the drop bars
The Giordano Rapido is a high performer when it comes to difficult terrain and bumpier roads. The steel forks make it a durable piece of equipment that you won’t need to upgrade anytime soon.
The only criticism I have of single speed bikes is that they can be problematic if you live in a hilly area where changing gears is more important. Overall, the specifications on this bike wouldn’t be out of place on a much higher budget. Great value for money.
9. North Gear 901 21 Speed Road / Racing Bike with Shimano Components
Just looking at the bike you can see the racing influence: low tilted racing drop bars, wafer-thin tires, and 20″ alloy frame. For under $300, you get a lot of features, high-quality build, and good materials.
Features and Benefits
- – The North Gear 901 is the only bike on our list with an alloy frame. As I have mentioned before, the alloy is a hybrid metal that has all the durability of steel with the feather light weight of aluminum. Perfect for high-speed cycling with little effort.
- – Extra thin racing tires. The thinner the tires are the less friction you have on the road. Less friction means more speed and agility with less effort.
- – Similar to the Giordano, the North Gear 901 has a steel fork. Steel forks mean you run less risk of damaging your bike when mounting the sidewalk or riding over bumps.
- – Shimano 21 speed gears. The more gears you have, the easier it is to navigate hills and bridges. The 21-speed gears on the North Gear 901 make it a very versatile choice.
- – Super light
- – Steel fork for durability
- – Built for speed
- – Thin racing tires
- – Looks impressive
- – Thin tires need more maintenance
- – Not the most comfortable ride
- – Not suitable for leisure riding.
The North Gear 901 is the bike to go for if you love speed. It’s perfect for commuting to and from work in record time. The other great aspect about this bike is it introduces you to the world of racing bikes.
For some people, myself included, racing bikes are the best choice for getting around quickly with little effort.
The only criticism I can think of for this bike is that it will require some maintenance. Thin tires require a lot of attention, they get flat and can puncture easily. If you’re willing to the make the effort though the North Gear 901 will give you all the speed you need.
10. Vilano C1 Women’s Comfort Road Bike
Vilano’s second entry on our list of the best road bikes under 300 dollars. The Vilano C1 Comfort Road bike is designed specifically for female riders featuring a drop frame, free kickstand, and pedals.
The Vilano C1 is designed with comfort in mind.
It is the only bike on our list to feature suspension forks, ideal for riding over speed bumps or rough terrain.
The combination of the light blue frame with the brown leather seat is a thing of beauty, blending looks with functionality.
Features and Benefits
- – Suspension forks and spring leather saddle. This bike is all about comfort and suspension is perfect for the bumpy roads and pavements in cities.
- – A High ten steel drop frame is when the top bar in the frame is dipped. A dropped frame is easy to mount and dismount providing comfort with the added benefit of being strong and sturdy.
- – The geometry is designed to encourage excellent posture. Riding posture is vital to maintaining comfort with regular use meaning you won’t ache over long distances.
- – Free pedals and kickstand as standard. Free pedals mean less hassle to set-up with no additional fees.
- – Super comfortable ride, even on unforgiving surfaces.
- – Assists with your riding posture
- – Built to last
- – Exceptionally good value
- – Looks great
- – Not designed for speed cycling
- – Gender specific
- – The suspension can make it harder to pedal in exchange for a smoother ride.
The Vilano C1 is a perfect bike for the casual cyclist. Built with comfort in mind, the saddle, suspension and drop frame will be perfect for cruising around the city. The value of this bike is astounding making it the perfect choice for a smaller investment.
Furthermore, this bike is attractive to look at, as you would expect from its Italian designers Vilano.
How to choose the Best Cheap Road Bikes
5 Things to consider
1. What Do You Need
– The first things you need to think about when choosing a road bike for under $300 is what you want from the bike itself. Ask yourself these questions: Are you looking for pure comfort, or are you a speed demon? What are you using the bike for, long distance tours or short commutes to work?
What is the terrain like where you will be cycling, is it hilly or flat, rough or smooth, tarmac or off-road? Different bicycles are designed for different needs so make sure you know what it is you need before investing.
2. Construction Material
– Once you know what you need, look at the materials the bicycle is made from. Aluminum is suited to fast, agile cycling. Ideal for inner cities but lacks the strength and durability for unforgiving surfaces. Aluminum is also a light-weight metal, which means the bicycle will need lots of tender loving care to perform over longer periods.
On the other hand, a steel frame is heavier but also, more durable. If you’re looking primarily for a comfortable ride that will last a long time, go for steel. If you want speed, go for aluminum.
3. The Brand
– Choosing the right brand can be tricky if you’re new to cycling. A well-known brand can seem like a safe bet but you may risk paying extra for a brand name. Some of the smaller lesser known brands have some excellent bikes that make great investments.
Smaller companies need to compete without the benefits of large scale advertising or established brand recognition.
What this means for you, is that some lesser known brands will have top quality equipment for an excellent cost. To find out if a road bike is good value for money takes a look at the customer reviews on Amazon. The reviews are impartial and will give you a good idea of the quality of the product.
4. Always Shop Online
The online market is full of discounts, offers, and freebies. When I purchase a bicycle I make a visit to my local bike shop to try the bike out, find out the size I need and whether it is a good fit.
After I have tried it out, I go online to make the purchase. I’ve found that you will always find the better value online than in-store. Plus, you have access to a wider range of brands, colors, and models.
5. Other Considerations
– how long do you really think you will be cycling for? weeks, months or years? If you are going to cycle for the long term look at the upper level of road bikes for under $300.
If, on the other hand, you just want to try it out, check out the lower level road bikes for under $300. There is no point in parting with lots of money if you’re not sure about cycling long-term. Try it out first, then invest more.
So, that’s the 10 best road bikes under 300 dollars available in 2017. I’ve tried to provide you with a lot of choices to get you started on cycling. We’ve covered, single speed bikes, racing hybrids, leisure cycles and lots more on this list. The only thing you have to do is decide which one is for you.
Think about the area you live in and what your needs are for a bike. I’ve selected these bikes based on real experience with these brands.
On Amazon, many of these bikes will be discounted all year round so head over there, checks the reviews, find a bargain and get riding.