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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.


Specialized Allez E5

Specialized Allez E5 700c 2017
Specialized

£525.00



Quick look

Frame  E5 Premium Aluminium


Fork  FACT carbon composite


Drivetrain  Shimano Claris 2x8 speed


Wheels  Alex Sport 700c


Brakes  Tektro dual pivot calliper


Review

Well known for its racy geometry, the Specialized Allez E5 offers similar performance characteristics to the multi-Grand-Tour-winning Tarmac. Hydroformed E5 Premium aluminium keeps the weight down while increasing strength and stiffness. This is the same frame that you get on the higher end Allez E5 models. A carbon fibre composite fork improves the ride and is great to see on a road bike at this price point.

While the Shimano Claris drivetrain features an 8-speed drivetrain, the wide range of gears offered is the same as you’ll find on the 9 and 10 speed Allez models, just with a slightly bigger jump in between each ratio. Wider 25mm tyres add a little bit of extra cushioning and grip on rough roads and puncture protection gives you added security.



Allez, Allez, Allez. The Specialized Allez is the go to road race bike for new and experienced riders who are looking for performance at an affordable price point..


Giant Contend 2

Giant Contend 2 2017
Giant

£525.00



Quick look

Frame  ALUXX-Grade aluminium


Fork Hybrid composite


Drivetrain  Shimano Claris 2x8 speed


Wheels  Giant Tracker Sport


Brakes  Tektro dual pivot calliper


Review

The Contend is Giant’s brand new entry level road bike that supersedes the incredibly popular Giant Defy. While maintaining many of comfort features of the Defy, the Contend has a slightly shorter wheel base for nimbler race oriented handling characteristics.

The Giant Contend 2 is built around an ALUXX-Grade aluminium frame that features butted tubes for a lighter ride. Like the Allez 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. Giant SR2 wheels give you dependable rolling performance.



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


Specialized Dolce Women’s

Specialized Dolce Women’s 700c 2017
Specialized

£525.00



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 Allez and Contend 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.


Charge Plug 1 Disc

Charge Plug 1 Disc 2017
Charge

£549.00



Quick look

Frame  6061 aluminium alloy


Fork  Straight blade alloy


Drivetrain  Charge track single speed


Wheels  Alex DRAW


Brakes  Promax mechanical disc


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Review

Simple, stylish and dependable, the Charge Plug 1 Disc offers a different take to road-biking-on-a-budget. The lightweight 6061 aluminium frame features all-road geometry for a stable riding position that is ideal for cycling in traffic as well as rough road riding.

The Alex Draw wheels are shod with high volume WTB Nano tyres that offer extra cushioning on rough roads and tracks. The rims are tubeless ready so you can easily convert them to tubeless and by adding sealant you get the ultimate in puncture protection.

The brakes are a V-brake design - similar to those found on a mountain bike - as well as offering a stealthier profile they are actually more powerful than conventional calliper brakes. The front brake has also been hidden away behind the fork to further reduce drag.

Being a single speed steed you are limited to one gear but are free from any gear shifting worries making the Plug ideal for city cycling. Promax disc brakes offer all-weather stopping power while rack and mudguard mounts add versatility.



Rugged single speed simplicity, with high volume tyres and disc brakes, for city cycling and rough road adventuring.


Cube Attain

Cube Attain 2017
Cube

£599.00



Quick look

Frame  Superlight 6061 alloy


Fork  Cube CSL carbon


Drivetrain  Shimano Claris 2x8 speed


Wheels  CUBE RA Aero


Brakes  Shimano Claris calliper


Review

With its high-quality aluminium frame the Cube Attain offers an incredibly smooth ride for a road bike at this price point. Cube’s ergonomic endurance geometry gives you a comfortable riding position so you can ride everything from short training hacks to long distance sportives and everything in between.

The frame is built with double butted 6061 alloy tubes to keep the weight down while cross ovalized seat stays give you rear wheel compliance for a smoother ride over rough roads. Internal cable routing is great to see on a bike at this price point and offers very clean lines as well as keeping brake and gear cables out of harms way.

The Carbon fork up front is combined with a tapered steerer tube for added steering precision as well as vibration damping. As with the Contend and Allez the Attain features a Shimano Claris 2x8 speed drivetrain with compact chainset and wide range cassette to give you a wide gear range for taking on all the varied gradients on your route.



Double butted with internal cable routing and compliant rear stays the frame on the Cube Attain is a real stand out performer.