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Best Beginner Road Bikes for Under $1000

Are you thinking about taking up riding, or maybe you’re still new to the roads? Either way, there’s a good chance you’re on the lookout for a high quality, reasonably priced road bike.

The range in price, types and brands can be confusing to those new to bike shopping, and it’s not always clear what you should be looking for.

From lightweight frames to wider forks, we’ve put together our favourite beginner road bikes for under $1000 – and features you should look for when choosing an entry level road bike.

Helpful Bike Terms

There are a few bits of bike jargon you’ll stumble across in the search for your first road bike. You may already be familiar with a few of these, but here’s a quick recap of the main ones you’ll read about.

Frame and fork

The Frame simply refers to the ‘spine and heart’, making up the main body of the bike, while the fork is the section that the front wheel is mounted on, and the handlebars are attached to.

Disc brake

Traditional bike brakes have a caliper, which squeezes the brake pads against the wheel. In a disc brake, the brake pads squeeze the rotor instead of the wheel, so the force is transmitted hydraulically instead of through a cable.

Shifters

A bicycle shifter is used to control the gearing mechanisms and choose your gear ratio.

Giant, Contend 3, $899

This bike is described by its manufacturer in three words: smooth, fast and fun. It’s designed to be an all-rounder on the roads, encouraging riders to push faster and for longer.

With a lightweight, ALUXX-grade aluminium frame and an alloy fork, the Content 3 isn’t too heavy, and gives cyclists a balanced riding position. It’s a great entry-level bike for road racers, and won’t cause major upset to your bank balance.

Stand-out features:

A D-Fuse seatpost to help reduce road shocks and vibrations

Enough frame and fork clearance to run wider tires, for newbies seeking an even smoother ride.

Specialized, Allez, $840

Specialized refers to the alloy frame of the Allez as “aggressively thin-walled”, making it more lightweight than previous versions, and therefore perfect for those new to road cycling.

With a shock-absorbing carbon fork, rack and fender mounts as well as fantastic handling, the Allez is a great choice for commuting, too.

Stand-out features:

Specialized FACT carbon, full monocoque fork designed for high-speed handling

Shimano 2000 Claris shifters shift reliably and are ergonomically shaped to fit all hand sizes

State, 4130 Road, $579.99

The 4130 Road’s timeless style will appeal to riders who appreciate a bike’s aesthetic as much as its performance. While classic in its style, the 4130 Road’s impressive technical features help keep it cutting edge.

Its highly-responsive shifting gives a versatile range to any surface, and can take on hilly commutes no problem. In their first geared-road bike, State Bicycle Co gave special attention to the brake levers, hubs, brake pad holders and saddle. The 4130 Road is a first road bike – and a steal at under $600.

Stand-out features:

1 1/8″ threadless stem and light-weight wide rims, which can handle up to 32c tires

Frame accommodates both front and rear racks

Has room for gravel-ready 35c tires

Priority Ace (Clubs/Spades), $499/$799

Available in two versions—Ace of Clubs and Ace of Spades, both bikes are smooth, speedy and suit urban rides.

The Ace of Clubs is the cheaper of the two at $499, and features an aluminum frame and steel fork. The Ace of Spades has a higher price point but comes with a carbon fork, which minimizes vibrations and is generally more shock absorbent.

Both models benefit from a carbon belt. This is not only lighter than a traditional chain, but is more durable, and therefore more cost effective.

You can ride the ACE as a fixed or single-speed bike, and it has WTB ThickSlick 700×28 tires. These are pretty ideal for city streets, as they provide plenty of grip without sacrificing your speed.

Stand-out features:

Unique flip-flop rear hub (allowing you to switch between a fixed and freewheel setup)

Carbon belt

GT Grade Elite, $1000

This bike has larger volume tires and expertly handles new terrain, so you can take it safely and comfortably along riding pathways in your city, on the open road, grinding on the gravel, or on bumpier, more rural tracks.

Made for adventure, the Grade Elite has loads of mounting options, so you can grab your favourite Two Wheel Gear and chase those longer rides.

Stand-out features:

Flatmount brakes

Floating seatstays for a more comfortable ride

Can accommodate up to 42mm wide tires

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