Brand X Road Bike
Brand X is a very special road bike that is sold only on Wiggle and Chain Reaction Cycles, two of the largest e-shops in the world. Although some compromises were necessary to keep the price that low, it is actually an amazing entry-level road bike.
It mounts a Shimano Tourney 7-speed groupset, which works well. It is not as smooth as higher-level Shimano shifters, but it can be quite accurate thanks to the fact that you can shift a little bit at a time. The bike comes with 700x25C tyres. The medium size weighs 11.5kg.
Overall, this is a great bike for the price. It’s surely not a climbing machine but good enough to give the sport a try.
Decathlon RC120 Triban Road Bike
When it comes to price, it is hard to beat Decathlon, the French chain that claims to make this sport affordable for everyone. Among hardcore cyclists, the brand is not perceived as being very cool, but if all you need is an entry-level road bike, their RC120 is perfect. Aesthetically, it looks quite nice.
It comes with 28” tyres, which are my favourite choice. It is not a racing bike, because its geometry is more relaxed, making it very good for long rides, touring and even commuting.
I was also surprised to find cartridge brake blocks on a bike of this price category. These are much more efficient and brake very smoothly. It mounts a Microshift 8-speed groupset, which is a good choice for this price range.
This is definitely a very good entry-level bike.
Pinnacle Laterite Road Bike
Evans Cycles is another big online bike shop and Pinnacle is a brand of theirs that you can buy only on their e-shop. It comes with one-piece brake pads, but that’s quite normal for these budget bikes. I am not a big fan of these because I believe brakes are too important for compromising, but it is also a very easy problem to solve, requiring only an inexpensive upgrade.
It mounts 700x25C tyres. The frame is quite good, weighing only a bit more than 10 kg. The shifters are cheap Shimano Claris ones. Overall, this is another great entry-level road bike, very versatile and fun to ride. It can also mount mudguards, for clean commuting.
Carrera Virtuoso Road Bike
Halford is another big British retailer that manufactures its own brand of bikes called Carrera. Their Virtuoso model is very good quality for the price, which makes it a great beginner bike!
It comes with a Shimano Claris 2×8 speed, and mounts mechanical disc brakes. Its 28c tyres are designed with an extra puncture-resistant layer. I also find the design very nice. The declared weight is 11.6 kg.
Voodoo Limba Road Bike
Vodoo is an American bike producer from Sedona, a renowned MTB destination. Their Limba 700c caught my attention because of the paint job, which is less conventional than your average road bike, and because they write on their website that the bike has a “strong sense of purpose – to do anything and everything. A mix of cyclocross and road bikes”. So I thought it could be a great commuter bike too, also considering the fact that has full mounts for mudguards and racks.
A 16-speed Shimano Claris and mechanical Tektro Mira cable-disc brakes are the main technical features of this bike.
Vitus Razor Road Bike
This is an amazing aluminium 10.3kg entry-level road bike that mounts a Shimano Claris 2×8 speed. It has a carbon fork, which is already something you can brag about to your friends. It comes with 28” tyres, which, as you already know, is my favourite size because they are wider and therefore safer and more comfortable. This bike also comes with separate versions for women and men. Last but not least, I would like to add that it looks great.
Trek Domane 2 AL Road Bike
Trek is one of the world’s most famous bike brands, so if you would like a bike with heritage that everybody will recognize, this is the one for you.
The Domane 2 AL is Trek’s entry-level road bike and it is 9.57 kg of fun. It comes with a Shimano Claris 8-speed. It mounts a carbon fork to absorb vibrations and the tyres are 28”. So it is definitely a comfortable and safe bike that could be your perfect tool to start road cycling.
Giant Contend 1 Road Bike
Giant bikes are well known for being one of the best budget bike brands.
Contend 1 is their entry-level road bike. I personally like this bike very much because we had it in our rental fleet and the feedback was always great. It is perceived as a bike that is way more expensive than 980 euros.
The bike mounts 700x25c Giant S-3R tyres, which have excellent all-condition grip. The groupset is a good Shimano Sora 2×9. This is categorised as an “all-rounder” bike, meaning it is designed with comfort in mind, making it a perfect commuting tool.
If you did not find the entry-level road bike you were looking for, you could also consider a second-hand bike. That way, you could get better gear and still keep the budget low. If you go for this solution, I recommend that you look for a bike mounting at least the Shimano 105 group or the even better Shimano Ultegra. Also, please keep in mind that each bike has a maximum total weight limit.