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Best Road Bikes Under £500

While it is possible to buy a road bike for under £500.00, if you spend a few pounds more then the choice opens up to more capable performers that offer a lot better value for money. For that reason, we have extended to price ceiling to £600.00 so that we can include the very best value road bikes that come close to the £500.00 mark.

Lightweight is the name of the game in road cycling and the best road bikes close to £500.00 feature high quality aluminium alloy frames that are built with butted and formed tubes and offer an impressive strength to weight ratio. It is great to see carbon fibre composite forks coming in at this price point too. As well as reducing weight and increasing steering precision carbon forks absorb road vibrations for a smoother, more comfortable ride.

At this price point you can expect to find the entry level models of some of the most popular road bikes. Often with the same high-performance frame as their more expensive siblings, all the best road bikes in this review offer proper road bike performance and all are worthy of future performance upgrades.


Giant Contend 2

Giant Contend 2 2018
Giant

From £429.00



Quick look

Frame  ALUXX-Grade aluminium


Fork Carbon fork blades


Drivetrain  Shimano Claris 2x8 speed


Wheels  Giant S-R3 wheelset


Brakes  Tektro dual pivot calliper


Review

The Contend is Giant’s entry level road bike with similar geometry to the incredibly popular Giant Defy Advanced. While maintaining many of comfort features of the Defy, the Contend has a slightly shorter wheel base for nimbler race-oriented handling characteristics. The endurance style riding position is slightly more upright than a race bike, which will help to keep you comfortable in the saddle for longer.

The Giant Contend 2 is built around an ALUXX-Grade aluminium frame that features butted tubes for a lighter ride. The Contend features a Shimano Claris 2x8 speed drivetrain with compact chainset and wide range cassette. This gives you a great spread of gears for climbing as well as flying along the flat. The Giant S-R3 wheels deliver dependable rolling performance.



Comfortable and efficient with nimble handling characteristics the Giant Contend is an ideal first proper road bike.


Liv Avail 2

Liv Avail 2 Women’s 2018
Liv

From £429.00



Quick look

Frame  ALUXX-Grade aluminium


Fork  Carbon fork blades


Drivetrain  Shimano Claris 2x8 speed


Wheels  Giant S-R3 wheelset


Brakes  Tektro dual pivot calliper


Review

Liv are a women’s specific brand and all their bikes are designed from the ground up especially for female cyclists. Built in the same factory as Giant bikes the Liv Avail features a great value ALUXX-Grade aluminium frame with butted tubes for a lighter ride. The women’s specific, endurance geometry is ideal for sportives and long rides. This is because the more upright cycling position helps to reduce fatigue, keeping you feeling fresh in the saddle for longer.

Like the Contend, the Avail features a Shimano Claris 2x8 speed drivetrain with compact chainset and wide range cassette. This gives all the gears you need to take on every climb and ride fast on the flat. Women’s specific contact points enhance comfort while the Giant SR-3 wheels deliver dependable performance that you can trust.



The well-balanced women’s specific frame design offers efficient power transfer as well as a comfortable ride..


Specialized Dolce Women’s

Specialized Dolce Women’s road bike 2018
Specialized

£599.00



Quick look

Frame  A1 Premium Aluminium


Fork FACT carbon composite


Drivetrain  Shimano Claris 2x8 speed


Wheels  Axis Sport


Brakes  Tektro dual pivot calliper


Review

With women’s road cycling continuing to gain traction it is great to see a female specific road bike at such an affordable price point. The Specialized Dolce is an endurance or sportive style road bike clocking up the miles efficiently and in comfort.

Women’s specific endurance road geometry offers a slightly more upright riding position than a traditional road racer which helps to reduce fatigue on long rides so you stay fresher in the saddle for longer. The carbon fibre composite fork features Zertz vibration damping inserts for an even smoother ride.

Like the Avail, the Dolce features a Shimano Claris 2x8 speed drivetrain with a wide range cassette so you can climb even the steepest of hills as well as picking up plenty of speed on the flat.



Built for long distance rides the Dolce will enable you to push your limits further.


Orbea Avant H70

Orbea Avant H70 2018
Orbea

£599.00



Quick look

Frame  Triple butted aluminium alloy


Fork  Carbon fork blades


Drivetrain  Shimano Tourney 3x7 speed


Wheels  Orbea R1800


Brakes  Orbea OC-II


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Review

Orbea bikes strike a great balance between performance and value so it is no surprise that they are becoming increasingly popular in the UK. Orbea are a Spanish brand that have been making high-performance bikes since the 1930’s, so can be sure of their pedigree.

The Avant H70 is sportive road bike that features endurance geometry. This gives you a comfortable, more upright riding position that will help you to stay comfortable on long rides. Slim seat stays and a rounded profile on the carbon fork blades offer a smooth ride on uneven road. This means you will feel less fatigued on long days in the saddle.

With a triple chainset up front and narrower range cassette, the Orbea Avant takes a different approach to gearing compared to the other bikes featured here. You still get a similarly wide gear range but will need to use the front shifter more than on the other bikes.



The comfortable geometry is the same as you will find on Orbea’s high-end carbon endurance road bikes.


Scott Speedster 50

Cube Attain 2017
Scott

£599.00



Quick look

Frame  6061 butted aluminium alloy


Fork  Aluminium alloy


Drivetrain  Shimano Tourney 2x7 speed


Wheels  Syncros Race


Brakes  Tektro calliper


Review

Redesigned for 2018 the Scott Speedster 50 is now lighter than its predecessors. Like the other bikes featured here the Speedster gets an alloy frame with endurance geometry. Ideal for sportives, this more upright riding position will help you to perform at your best on long rides over mixed terrain.

Unlike the other bikes here the Speedster 50 doesn’t get carbon fork blades. Instead, the Scott has better performing Syncros Race wheels which will accelerate quicker and climb better than more budget focused wheelsets. The 2x7 speed Shimano drivetrain has a slightly narrower range than the other bikes mentioned here so will require a bit more leg power to get you up the steepest climbs.



The lightweight Syncros Race 22 wheels are quick to accelerate and make light work of the climbs.