Bargain road bikes for beginners
If you've been feeling a little frustrated at the wheel of your hybrid or urban bike, it might be time for you to level up and consider a road bike. They are lighter, speedier and (most importantly) make you feel like an awesome cyclist. It's much easier to feel at one with your bike when you've got drop handlebars, you're clipped in and you have race-worthy gearing.
But not everyone wants to go and spend thousands on a new bicycle before they're certain that they'll do the miles. And that's why, thankfully, there are some basic and budget road bicycles on the market perfect for your first charity ride or sportive, but perhaps a little too unreliable for the Tour de France!
So take a look through our picks of the cheapest road bikes on the market. We've tried to be honest about the quality you can expect.
Pendleton Initial Road Bike, £399.99 (£249.99 ATOW)
It's a difficult task getting a true 'road' bike at this price point, and the Pendleton is of excellent build quality with decent components. It's perhaps a little heavy at 11.5kg, but unless you're carrying it up multiple flights of stairs each day (or you're an international climber, obviously), the weight of this Initial shouldn't hold you back. If you're looking for something to satisfy your beginners itch, look no further!
Orbea Aqua Dama 50 2014, £599 (£449.99 ATOW)
The Orbea Aqua Dama 50 2014 is exclusive to Cycle Surgery and currently discounted to an impressive £449.99. Aluminium frame, women's specific geometry and decent stylings, this certainly looks a lot more 'racy' than some of the other road bikes on this list.
It also comes with a Selle Italia women's saddle, who's products we most certainly trust not to complete mash your undercarriage.
Pinnacle Dolomite One 2014 Women's Road Bike, £475 (£375 ATOW)
There's something in the water over at Pinnacle. They keep making genuinely beautiful bikes for almost no money, and doing a really good job of keeping their women's range competitive.
We're big fans of this Pinnacle Dolomite One 2014 Women's Road Bike, which is decently specced considering the price. We particularly like the shallow drop bars, Shimano shifters and, of course, that colour.
Mizani Aero 100 Road Bike Ladies, £279.99 (£239.99 ATOW)
This Mizani Aero 100 Road Bike is insanely cheap. Like, stonkingly, ridiculously inexpensive. It's on sale at Argos, so we were suspicious when we found it. But we've looked at the spec and none of the components are toys... in fact it's nearly entirely Shimano.
We're not saying this bike is by any means good – it weighs a ton and it will feel insanely cheap. But if price is your only criteria, then this is the best you'll be able to fulfil it.
British Eagle Athena Road Bike, £369.99 ATOW
Another incredibly reasonably priced bike, the British Eagle Athena Road Bike will undoubtably divide opinion with its pink and black styling.
It's an alloy bike with 16 speeds and a female-friendly short stem. At 16kg it is the weight of an elephant, of course. Like really, really heavy. But it's cheap.
Dawes Giro 300 2013 Women's Road Bike, £379.99 (£341.99 ATOW)
We trust Dawes to create decent bikes at a cheap price, and their Dawes Giro 300 2013 Women's Road Bike does exactly that.
It's nothing special but it has the bare minimum things that are needed to make a bike worthy of a slightly-more-than-your-commute jaunt. We also think the colours and details make this bike look more lean than an urban hybrid without being too ostentatious.
Boardman Road Sport Fi Bike 2014, £499.99
Slightly more expensive than some of the other bikes we've been looking at, the Boardman Road Sport Fi Bike 2014 is worth dropping the extra cash on if you can. It's perfect for those of you looking to level up, perhaps to the level of riding a sportive, but don't want to drop a grand in order to do it.
This Boardman will keep you comfortable over extended miles with it's reliable and good quality components.
Claud Butler Sabina R1 Womens 2014 Road Bike, £309.99 (£278.99 ATOW)
Another super bargain bin bicycle, this Claud Butler Sabina R1 Womens 2014 Road Bike is another option for those of you seeking a racier position without sacrificing your bank balance. We don't even think it's that ugly!
Our only forewarning is that the groupset is Shimano Tourney, which you're more likely to find on a hybrid than on a road bike. That will be perfect for some, but a deal-breaker for others.
Trek Lexa C 2013 Women's Road Bike, £550 (£399 ATOW)
[related_articles] Another top tip for getting yourself a cheap road bike is to try and look a few models back. It can be difficult to track down an outdated machine, but every now and again shops will still have stock. In this case, the Trek Lexa C 2013 Women's Road Bike started life as a bicycle for over £500. But now it's available for a mere £399, making it a total steal.
The stylings may not suit everyone, but this Trek comes with all the basic-but-decent components you'd expect.
Fuji Finest 1.5 650c Compact 2014 Women's Road Bike, £550 (£399 ATOW)
Another more expensive bike currently at a good price, the Fuji Finest 1.5 650c Compact 2014 Women's Road Bike has an alloy frame, double water bottle mounts and women's specific geometry and bars. We also reckon it's quite beautiful, actually!