Dream Big, Ride Easy: Get Started with the Perfect Entry Level Road Bike

We love to see people take up cycling.It doesn’t matter if you are doing it for recreational purposes, to improve your riding skills, or to compete in a triathlon or bike race.We believe that more cyclists means more demand for bike trails, bike lanes and other bike amenities, which all of us can benefit from.It creates a productive circle?It can also make people healthier, which is good news for everyone.

It can be difficult to buy a bike at an entry level price.There are dozens of brands available, and each model seems to offer an infinite number of components.You will find that you either fall in love with the first bike you see or you will be overwhelmed by the number of choices and decisions available to you when you start searching for a bike.

Many manufacturers now consider?entry level? to be a requirement.It can be anything from $2,500 to $2,500.This is more than most people consider entry-level, but it is still a good price if you plan on riding a lot.There are still many options available in the $1,000-$2,000 range.

A Note about Road Bike Buying

Before we get into the top-of-the-line road bikes we love, we wanted to share some thoughts about the buying process.Although we are a blog about triathlons, you will still see many road bikes at any tri club or race morning of a Triathlon.We are all familiar with buying them as they are an integral part of our sport.

First, Independent Bike Dealers are a key part of the cycling community.They can help you find the right bike for you if you don’t know what you want.While we may make a few bucks if you purchase through one of our partners (linked above), the larger goal is to help people ride the right bike.We are open to the idea of a trip to your local bicycle shop.Our website was never intended to compete with local bike shops.The opposite is true.We want to encourage more people to become bike dealers so that they can serve a wider range of customers.

Fred Clements, National Bike Dealers Association , says itbest: A good bike mechanic is an artist, not a laborer, or engineer.A local mechanic will help you find the right bike for your needs.

The decision you really need to make when buying a roadbike is second.What bike frame/make do your prefer (and this should largely depend on fit), and which?moving part?You can do what you want, then decide which bells and whistles you need.You might see a bike model that has 20 variations.There are many combinations of components that can be used to outfit a bike.

Third, we have listed bikes that exceed the $2,000 mark.This might seem high-end.This is why we do it.First, for the right cyclist, $2,000 can be a great deal on a quality road bike.You will want a bike with quality and features if you plan on getting hooked and riding your bike for over 5,000 miles per year.Many retailers offer discounts on bikes.A $2,000 bike can be found for a lot less if you catch it at the right moment.

5 Great Entry Level Road Bikes

Let’s get to the point.Here are five?entry level? bikes.These are 5?entry-level? road bikes we love right now. (If you were looking for triathlon bikes, we also researched that.

(Cutting to the Chase: ?..) is our Favorite)

We will get straight to the point if you don’t mind reading.These bikes were inspected, tested, and ridden.Two stand out.

Let’s now look at the top 5.

BikeWhy We Love ItBest forPrice Check
Cannondale TopstoneBike that is gravel-ready with quality partsRiders who may encounter all surfacesCheck latest price
Orbea Avant 40Orbea brand quality; tires up to 35mmLonger rides, touringCheck latest price
Felt VR40Felt brand; Comfortable on long routesLonger rides, touringCheck latest price
Felt FR30Excellent frame and components for the priceThose who need speed; Racers and sprinters.Check latest price
Trek EmondaUnlimited design and groupset optionsFor those who want to upgrade their bike, but still need a good bike.Check latest price

Cannondale Topstone Road Bike

Since 1971, the Cannondale bike company has been making bikes.Cannondale, which is based in Connecticut, is an East Coast bike company. Many bike companies are located in the Northwoods of Wisconsin, Minnesota, and Western USA.Although Cannondale has a wide range of bikes, it can be difficult to understand the whole thing.

The Topstone is a huge lineup of bikes.It is located just below the Synapse lineup, which has become a bit too expensive to be considered?entry level?Our book.Topstone models are available at an entry-level price, which can vary depending on the componentry. They typically cost between $1,000 and $2,000.This is a great price for a high-quality bike.Other models may cost twice as much or more.The alloy frame is the model we are focusing on for this article.We recommend the Topstone 1, an alloy bike that can handle both hardpack and fast pavement. It is also a good commuter bike.The Synapse 105 is a slightly more expensive model that comes with, as you can guess, Shimano 105 components.Although there are many great Synapse models that are well over the $2,000 mark, we cannot say that they
are entry-level bikes.The Synapse105 can sometimes fit the entry-level criteria, depending on where it is found.

The Topstone’s gearing is a bit lower and slower than the standard, which is great for riding places with many twists, turns and climbs.If you want to go fast on long straightaways, the top-end of your speed range might be a bit lacking.The big and small chains have 46 and 30 teeth, respectively, as opposed to 50/34 for many or 53/39, which is a classic combination for old-school roadbikes.

We like that all Topstone models have disc brakes, no matter if you choose the high-end or low-end model.All models have a carbon fork, which is better than alloy and a bit more flexible overall.

Due to the many variations of the Topstone, riders should be able to easily modify or upgrade certain components without leaving the Cannondale brand or working with a Cannondale dealer.

The Topstone is what we love:

  • Cannondale’s sleek alloy frameset.This bike is an amazing combination of components and frame.If you can find an aluminum frame, the Synapse is also available in this style.Both are worth looking at.
  • Built-in micro-suspension to the rear staysThis frame allows for shock absorption.
  • Carbondale puts disc brakes on everything, no matter how expensive.
  • Cornering will be easier with carbon fork
  • A comfortable saddle for all skill levels, the fabric scoop radius saddle.Scoops are one of the most loved road bike saddles.
  • This frame geometry is slightly more upright, which is a better choice for those who don’t have the time to do it all.This frame is balanced and allows you to ride fast on the road without feeling uncomfortable.This is something that may not be second nature to beginners.
  • Cannondale seems to be more focused than other brands on creating a bike that is affordable and accessible for novice cyclists.This is evident in the Topstone lineup.
  • Cannondale is one the REI?s most popular brands. This makes brand-customized service possible if you live in a major metropolitan area.

Orbea Avant H40 Road Bike and 40-series Road Bike

Orbea is a trusted brand that we love and trust.Orbea is a trusted brand that you will see with many high-end triathletes and cycling groups.The European bike brand is made in Spain and has been around since the 1930s. It is well-known for producing great bikes, from entry-level to high-end $8,000 (or more) bikes.

We like the Avant Orbea roadbike this year.We like both the Avant and Orca lineups. Both have the?M??We love both the Avant and Orca lineups (both have the?M?? und?H? model numbers).model numbers) from all our training, and the Orca’s Ordu lineup?Built for trisWe also like the M30.We were inspired to take a serious look into the Avant H-series.

This bike is unique in that it allows for longer rides.Avant might be the bike for you if you prefer a Saturday morning ride lasting 3 to 4 hours rather than 1 to 2.The Orbea is the best choice for those who plan to use the roadbike for longer distances than 50 miles.100-mile rides.A few subtle adjustments to frame geo can make a big difference in long-ride comfort.

The Avant was the most expensive bike of all the bikes we looked at.It also allows you to join the Orbea line, which is a high-quality road bike that you can ride as your skills and interests improve.It is also a beautiful bike.

We love the Orbea H40.

  • We found that the bike was well-built and capable of handling a wide range of terrains and roads.
  • High quality aluminum frameset.Orbea can save money on aluminum frames that are really good and allow them to invest more in components.
  • Shimano Tiagra drivetrain with 105 options
  • You can mount up to 35mm tires, which is great if you’re interested in gravel riding.You can find some high-quality all-surface bike tires starting at 35mm.
  • Expansive gearing ? Great on flats and hills
  • The internal cable routing through the carbon frameThis is a feature that is usually found on higher-end bikes.
  • Overall, responsive and quick feel.This bike is great for climbing, and has some giddyup.
  • You will also get disc brakes and carbon forks, just like the Topstone.

Felt VR 40 Road Bike

Since decades, we have been riding Felt bikes.They have managed to find a way to combine quality frames with step-up components at a reasonable price.If someone were to hold a gun to our heads and tell us to choose a brand of bike, site-unseen for a long ride, would we likely choose a Felt?“That’s how much we love them.

The VR40 is a great ride and delivers the same quality experience as Felt.The VR 40’s less-expensive sibling the VR 60 is also available. It actually has the same frame and price as the 40.

The VR 40 is $450 less.Tiagra is the key word.The VR 40’s Shimano Tiagra components offer a nice upgrade to the VR 60’s Claris components.While we have nothing to do with the Claris line of components, the Tiagra is a significant step above that if you are serious about road cycling.The Claris is a better option for commuter bikes.

The aluminum frame of the Felt?s is light and smooth.Although you might be tempted by carbon fiber, a VR frame made of carbon fiber will cost you about $1,500 more.The carbon frame will cost you almost two thousand more. However, the VR40 will give you better components for your money.You could save around 2 pounds or get smoother shifters and gearing that will allow you to get up-and-go.

Our test-drive was a success.The bike felt lighter than it was, accelerated well, and was energetic when climbing hills.We don’t think you can beat it when it comes to value for money.

What we like about the VR 40

  • Great aluminum frame. It can be used on roads and gravel.Aluminum frames are light.
  • If you need to run slightly larger tires, dual-piston disc brakes provide plenty of clearance.Maximum tire clearance is 34mm. While this is not enough to run gravel tires, it allows you to have a fairly all-purpose tire with that width (it comes standard with 30s).
  • The Devox bars are comfortable in both the bullhorn and drop positions.These bars are the same as the Felt models, but much more expensive.
  • We love the smooth ride and believe this bike is a great investment.

Overall, a great bike for the price and one that you can customize to your riding style.You can save some money by purchasing the VR 60, but we recommend that you start with the VR 40.

Felt FR 30

We just finished talking about how much Felts mean to us, so we won’t go into detail.

While we have already discussed the VR lineup and the VR 40, there’s another intriguing Felt available if your budget is a bit smaller: The high-performance FR30.

The difference between VR and FR lineups is based on whether you are looking for speed or comfort.The FR geometry will make you more aerodynamic and stretched out.You might feel less comfortable on long rides.The VR lineup features slightly more relaxed geometry which makes it easier for those who don’t want to win Strava segments.

We love the FR 30, and we are not judging based on price.It is one of the most lightweight aluminum frames we’ve ever seen.Felt can still provide 105 groupsets by using aluminum instead of carbon.Tiagra is a slight improvement.The most noticeable difference between the 105s and Tiagra is the slightly larger gear ratio. This can be useful for those long climbs.

The FR 30 will come with a carbon fiber fork. This is a great feature because it telegraphs road feel to your hands while you are holding your handlebars.The Devox Dbar, which is standard on many Felts these day, will be included on the FR 30. It is actually the same bars that you’d see on bikes more than twice its price.

The aluminum frame rides like a dream. We also tested it and were amazed at how light it was without using carbon.We loved the acceleration, especially when standing still and on hills, as well as the handling when going downhill and around curves.The FR30 is a great choice if you have the right tires.

We love the Felt FR 30 Road Bike.

  • Amazing combination of lightweight frame with 105 components at this price point
  • This bike is great for those who plan on using it for group rides, races, or just to enjoy the Strava leaderboard.
  • For shorter, faster rides, a more aggressive posture is better.If you do long rides often, ensure your neck and arms are in line with the setup.
  • The 105 groupset provides a quality drivetrain with more gearing options, which is especially useful for mountain riding.

Overall, we love both Felts and would base our decision on if speed or comfort is what you are looking for.

Trek Emonda Road Bike

It is difficult to make a?Best Of? list without including something from Trek.Trek is a great company to include in your?Best of? list.Trek was one of the first companies to bring entry-level road bikes to the masses in the early 2000s.Trek is well-known for its wide range of bikes.Mountain, triathlon, comfort - Trek is well-known for its wide range of bikes.They have a solid lineup of road bikes, and the Emonda is their most popular model.

Although you might think that we are crazy for recommending Emonda, it is a very extensive product line and some Emondas can reach the $10,000 mark.Trek offers 13 versions of the Emonda, which is quite a wide selection.Trek’s entry-level Emonda option is the one we recommend, given its price.

Trek, a Wisconsin-based manufacturer of bicycles and other cycling gear?In the 70s, it was founded.Cannondale was also in existence at the time, as the American bicycle scene was growing.Trek has managed to keep the entry-level bikes’ prices very low.Trek recommends spending a little more than the base Trek level.As you progress in the sport, you will reap the rewards of joining an Emonda.

We are focusing here on the Emonda ALR5 bike.It is comparable in price to the Felt FR just above it, and is an aluminum frame.Based on our tests, the frame is of excellent quality. The drivetrain has 105 components which puts it on par to many of the bikes in this article.Trek has thousands of riders who trust the brand and a wide network of bike shops that are familiar with the bike.

We love the Trek Emonda.

  • Excellent handling and balance overall.A very responsive aluminum bike is possible if you have the right fit.
  • It uses the same frame geometry that Trek’s faster, higher-end bikes?.This bike is a great choice for anyone who wants speed.
  • We always prefer disc brakes, if they are available.
  • You can get into the Shimano 105 Componentry while remaining under $2,000 overall

What to Look For in a Road Bike

As you can see from our reviews, there are some things to consider when purchasing a roadbike.While it comes down to personal preference and your preferences, you will need to make decisions about several key factors.We believe the following are the most important:

  • Carbon vs.Carbon vs.See the next section
  • Components. Although cyclists can argue until their eyes are blue about the importance and cost of components, the truth is that there is a hierarchy to pay for them.Photo credit: Bikeroar.comMost products at the entry price range include components from Shimano.You might also find parts from Campagnolo and Bontrager in products at the entry price point.Spend your money if you are unsure. You can always replace components later.We also think that “contact points” are very useful.It is important to remember that bike components are constantly evolving and upgrading to benefit entry-level bike buyers.
  • Brakes.Speaking of components, you will see entry-level road bikes with both disc and caliper brakes. Disc brakes are considered better, and the trend is toward more bikes moving to disc brakes. 5 years ago, disc brakes were something only found on higher-end bikes. Today, lots of entry-level bikes have them. They offer more clearance from the wheel, work better when wet or on hills, stop faster, and don’t heat up or wear on your rim. With that said, we rode caliper brakes for years and they did their job just fine…. and they are easier for the DIYer to adjust, fine-tune, fix and maintain. Just know that a bike with disc brakes will always cost more than the same bike with caliper brakes. 5 years ago, we would estimate that 75% of entry-level road bikes had caliper brakes as standard
    equipment. Today, we would say that has nearly flipped, 75% have disc.
  • Frame Angle.Inside the frame material, consider how the frame angle will affect your frame.Are you looking for something that is aggressive and puts you in a low, aeroposition?Or you might prefer something a little more relaxed (ie.This allows you to be more upright, comfortable and confident?
  • Brand.We don’t believe in brand snobbery, but it is a good idea to choose a brand with a strong track record and a warranty.A crack in your carbon frame is the last thing you want, and there’s no one you can call.This is especially true when you shop online at major retailers that carry startup brands.You will be taken care of by the tried-and-true brands, such as those listed above.
  • Fit. Don?t ever skimp on fit for your bike. It is easy to find the right size bike for you.It can be more difficult for others to find the right size, which makes it even more challenging.For many years, I was a 58-year-old.Usually, when I walk into a bike shop the owner looks at me for three seconds and then says, “You probably a 58?“It’s that simple.The worst thing I could do is to buy a 56 simply because it was on sale.Make sure you get the right size!
  • Add-Ons. You will most likely buy a bike that’s very basic.It will be a brand new, high-functioning bike, but you can install the add-ons.You can ask a bike shop for help or install the add-ons yourself.

A word about Carbon vs. Aluminium Bikes

Our 5 great bikes include 3 carbon frames and 2 aluminium frames.Aluminum frames (alloy) have seen a resurgence recently, as manufacturers like Trek and Felt have lowered the overall weight and created beautiful, almost seamless frames.If you’re looking at the $2,000 price tag, remember that you could be purchasing a top-ofthe-line aluminum frame or an entry-level carbon frame.Despite this, carbon is carbon, which is what we love. The bikes listed above were made by manufacturers who don’t skimp on quality.They simply can’t invest the same amount of time and effort into a $2,000 bike as they would in a $5,000 bike.The Salsa Journeyman is a great example of the things you can do with aluminum at a fraction of the cost with carbon.

This is our long way to say don’t be afraid of aluminum.While carbon is great, there are many great aluminum bikes.

Buy a Used Road Bike

Perhaps a brand new bike is not within your budget or your speed.Do you prefer to buy a used bike?It’s possible.

There are many places you can find solid road bike deals, including Ebay, Craigslist, and the Facebook marketplace.Each has its own considerations.

Both Craigslist and Facebook Marketplace allow buyers to search for bikes in their area.This is a great way to find a bike for sale in your area, even if it’s only 5 miles away.This allows you to test drive the bike and see it before buying. You can also talk to the owner to get a feel for the bike and if they are the right person to buy it.The downside?The downside?Expect to see lots of bikes that are the wrong size.Expect to see a lot of people thinking their bike is worth twice what it is.

Another thing you should know about bikes is the fact that manufacturers improve the quality of each price point’s components and parts.The drivetrain that was an upgrade five years ago may now be standard on the entry-level model.This is something to keep in mind when comparing your options.

Ebay has more options, but you can’t see the bike in person before you buy it.This presents two problems: 1) It is difficult to spot issues like hairline cracks in carbon fiber on a photo; and 2) it is not easy to return the bike if something is wrong.

The Pro’s Closet is a group of passionate cyclists who sell quality second-hand bikes.To ensure that you don’t get something with obvious problems, the Pro?s Closet mechanics inspect every bike they receive.Their bikes are easy to pass through, so make sure to check it often.It can be a great way to find a bike you like at a discount price if you do not see it.

Ebay or Craigslist, you can find the right size bike for you. Also, make sure the frame and wheels are in good condition.All other items can be repaired or replaced.

How Much Does a Road Bike Cost You?

A road bike is expensive, as you can see by the bikes we have featured above.A road bike that costs less than $800 is likely to disappoint in terms of performance.It is difficult to make a roadbike for that much money and still make a profit.You want the bike manufacturer to be able to continue making money.

We believe that a good roadbike can be found for as low as $900 to $2,000 and will last you a lifetime.This is the most important aspect of all this.You want your bike to last a long time.There might be a few additional components at the entry level, such as drivetrain parts. However, they can always be upgraded.

You will get a better frame material and quality components for around $2,100 to $3,000.You can expect to find most of the components on the bike at the top or near the top of the line for this price.

A high-quality bike priced above $3,500 will offer you a light, reliable bike with excellent components and a ride that is effortless.You shouldn’t be tempted to replace any components at this price.

Although you can spend more on a bike, most people will be spending between $800 and $3,500.

Our Conclusion and Recommendation on an Entry-Level Road Bike

You want us to choose between these bikes?We had to narrow down a list with about 30 options to come up with this list of 5. So, consider all of our choices!We would love to have you ride on any of these, so we made the cut.

If we had to choose one, it would be the

We love the value of the bikes that are more affordable.

Get out there and ride safely and enjoy the sport!

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