If you’ve ever walked into a bike shop and started to look only at the style and type of road bike you’d wanted. I guarantee you’ll find a bike that you’ll fall in love with. However, as soon as you look at the price tag you’ll easily be in the $2,000-$3,000 price range. Road bikes have been creeping up in price over the years, due to the aerodynamics and technology manufacturers are packing into their bikes. However, if you’re looking to enter the sport there is no need to spend that type of money. Instead, there are plenty of models to pick from that are affordable and top quality. To help learn about the best manufactures and find a proper bike we have put together the best road bikes under 1000.
We have compiled the leading bike manufacturers based on quality and style. However, we made sure to select models that are affordable and will fit into your budget.
Best Road Bikes Under 1000
Raleigh Merit 2 – Best Road Bikes Under 1000 $
When looking for a bicycle manufacturer that is built around history, quality, and construction, there is none better than Raleigh. Which is why we have selected their Merit 2 as one of the best road bikes under 1000 dollars. If you want a bike that is ready to hit the road giving you ideal endurance for an affordable price this is the bike for you. Plus with many bike manufactures they tend to be standardized and homogenous for their low-end bikes. However, with Raleigh, they actually have one frame designed for Men and another for Women. Therefore, you get a more custom fit at the same low entry price point. If you are looking for a Women’s Specific Bike then read the next section as it covers the Revere 2 from Raleigh which is the Women’s specific bike still under $1,000.
Frame Construction –
The Raleigh Merit 2 was specifically designed for comfort and efficiency on medium to long rides. Designed with 6061 aluminum frame and custom tapered allow fork. Now, what is 6061 aluminum? It’s actually a precipitation-hardened aluminum alloy that contains magnesium and silicon. Therefore, allowing it to be easily welded and extruded. It first was created in the mid-1930’s and has become one of the most widely used alloys for bike building. It’s strong, lightweight and easy to work with.
Due to the design and frame materials chosen the Merit 2 offers some of the best stopping power and responsiveness. Hence, why this is one of the best entry level bike selections on the market.
Since the overall change in the last few years has been around comfort and stability. Raliegh decided to not just make some changes in their high-end bikes but also their entry level bikes. To us, this seems like the most logical construction decision a bike manufacturer can make. Since most riders are newer who are looking for an entry level road bike require the benefits of added stability and comfort.
When it comes to comfort the Merit 2 is equipped with a few features that benefit the rider. First and foremost, is the Raleigh 200 series Saddle. The saddle is one of the most comfortable saddles available no matter what terrain you may be encountering. It’s designed for long rides, yet still responsive enough for speed and racing. It’s a great all-around saddle selection. For an entry-level rider, they’re going to appreciate the selection.
Overall the bike comes in at a lightweight 23.5 pounds. It’s really hard to find an aluminum bike construction that is much lighter. Therefore, if you’re using this bike as a commuter, entry road bike, or small race bike it’s going to give you speed and plenty of stability.
Raleigh has a partnership with some of the best bike component manufactures due to their long history. Hence, why they have selected the Shimano Claris system to control this bike. I will have to say that Shimano as a company produces some of the best components, the select for the groupset on this bike is a bit low. The Claris is the lowest tear groupset that Shimano offers. It offers a very low-cost option for this bike, nonetheless, it’s still a solid set up. It’s nice when bike manufacturers choose to use the Sora or Tiagra groupset for their lightweight quality. However, I believe Raleigh makes up for the groupset with adding mechanical disc brakes.
This allows the bike to stop on a dime, no matter the weather conditions. Plus if you’re looking for some versatility the bike has 32c tire fitment and thru axles which can help reduce road fatigue.
Overall if you’re looking for the best road bikes under 1000 dollars. The Merit 2 is going to be a leading choice. Plus the reason Raliegh is number one amongst all bike manufactures is they offer the best deal when buying online. Not only do you get FREE same day delivery on this bike, but also FREE assembly and bike pickup. Raleigh makes it extremely easy to buy online and even more affordable than ever. No longer do you need to pay for the markup of a bike shop. Instead, Raleigh will ship your bike to your local dealer and they will assemble it completely FREE. It’s hard not to pass up a deal like this.
Raleigh Revere 2 – Best Road Bikes Under 1000 $
For most bike manufacturers, they typically make bike sizes in about 3-4 different sizes and assume they will fit the majority. Typically, this is done to keep costs as low as possible and sell only to the majority of customers. However, thanks to standards being changed as more manufacturers are tailoring specific frames to women riders. With custom sizes and frame specific designs, women’s bikes are becoming more popular among companies. However, they typically aren’t cheap as they tend to be the high-end bikes.
Raleigh, however, has seen the need for entry-level bikes specifically for women. Therefore, they have released the Revere 2. Which is one of the best road bikes under 1000 dollars for women. Now if you’re looking for a great fitted endurance style road bike, Raleigh has to be your top choice.
Frame Construction –
You’ll find that the overall construction of the Revere’s frame is built with the same materials as the Merit 2. The frames are made of 6061 aluminum and a custom allow fork giving them an extremely lightweight and fast ride. Therefore, if you’re looking to use this bike as your commuter for a 10-20 mile ride or even a century ride you’ll have the comfort and strength of a durable aluminum frame.
Now I thought given a women’s specific frame they would have limited sizes like most manufacturers. However, this was just not the case. Raleigh actually makes five different sizes. Ranging from a 48cm to a 56cm frame. As a result, if you are roughly anywhere from 5′ to 6′ there is a frame size in the Revere that will fit you.
When you first look at the Revere 2 you’ll notice it has the very classic road bike design. However, the construction is designed to offer plenty of comfort even on long rides. The bike was made for efficiency and anything that didn’t serve to be necessary was stripped to make this bike a fast lightweight entry level bike. The bike was designed very closely to the Raleigh Merit 2, except for the fact that the frame was shaped and welded to fit a women’s body type more comfortably.
Similar to the Merit 2, the Revere 2 is equipped with the same Shimano Claris system. Which for the price point is a more than acceptable build kit to give you plenty of cycling power. Plus with 16 speeds to choose from you’ll have plenty of range whether you’re climbing hills or cruising flats. On top of the Claris groupset is the similar mechanical disc brake system the Merit 2 has which is by far the most responsive and quickest way to stop.
Overall this bike is designed for the road cyclist who is looking to have speed, stopping power, and above all stability and control. The bike is one of the best road bikes under 1000 dollars and should be on your radar if you’re looking to buy a new bike.
Plus the reason Raliegh is number one amongst all bike manufactures is they offer the best deal when buying online. Not only do you get FREE same day delivery on this bike, but also FREE assembly and bike pickup. Raleigh makes it extremely easy to buy online and even more affordable than ever. No longer do you need to pay for the markup of a bike shop. Instead, Raleigh will ship your bike to your local dealer and they will assemble it completely FREE. It’s hard not to pass up a deal like this.
Trek Domane AL 3 – Best Road Bikes Under 1000 $
If you’re a newer rider or looking to upgrade to a versatile road bike then the Trek Domane AL 3 is going to be the best option. Thankfully, Trek created such a bike that is affordable, yet one of the best road bikes under 1000 dollars.
Frame Construction –
Comprised of an Aluminum frame the Domane is a lightweight and durable bike frame. Considering how the frame of a bike harnesses the integrity and control of the rider. Aluminum was selected for its strength and affordability. Of course, all riders believe they should have carbon fiber frames as it’s the lightest and fastest. However, by doing so you easily can spend over $1,000 dollars on a frame alone. Trek designed this bike with a sleek and aerodynamic approach. Therefore, you’ll see the aluminum welds are professionally finished off for ascetic purposes, and the frame is designed to prevent wind drag.
The design of the frame on the Domane AL 3 allows for a lot of easy to service parts and components. The cables are run on the exterior of the bike to help save on cost, but it does make them easy to service and repair if needed. Additionally, the seat post is a 27.2mm 2 -bolt post making it easy to adjust and find the perfect bike fit.
With an increase in ride comfort and tire size becoming more prevalent amongst cyclists the front fork seems to have plenty of wheel clearance. Therefore, if you were to look at getting some tires near the 30mm mark they would fit to help increase the ride comfort even more. Common for many entry-level bikes are for them to have a carbon fork, the Domane carbon fork has equipped IsoSpeed integration. Therefore, enhancing a smoother ride and a dropout placement that help increase the wheelbase.
Trek designed the Domane AL3 to have an endurance style geometry. Therefore, giving the entry-level rider comfort, stability, along with performance. This allows the bike to have extreme control and handling making it the perfect bike to hit the roads on.
Don’t forget that the front stem is Bontrager Blendr compatible. What does this mean? Well since Trek is the parent company of Bontrager, they have created a stem system that allows you to clip on your accessories for a smooth and clean look. No more attaching your accessories to your handlebars, and cluttering your handlebars. I’ve found this feature to be really nice when looking for the best road bikes under 1000, this feature is hard to find.
Trek has decided to equip the Domane AL3 with Shimano Sora components. Therefore, the shifters, derailleurs, crank, chain, and cassette are all Sora components. This is an entry-level system, however, it does give the bike it’s ability to keep the price under $1,000. I will have to say Shimano is known for a very smooth and effortless shifting. As a result, it’s a great choice for this bike.
Raleigh Bicycles – Best Road Bikes Under 1000
Based in Nottingham, England, Raleigh Bicycle Company was founded in 1885 by Woodhead and Angois. It stands to this day as one of the oldest bicycle manufactures to this day. In 1913, it was already the biggest bicycle company in the world. Over the years Raleigh has been traded, sold, and acquired numerous times. However, what hasn’t changed is their demand of high-quality bikes.
Today the company is owned by Accell, a bicycle company out of the Netherlands, which owns Diamondback, Redline, Lapierre, and many more. Raleigh is a bicycle company that creates a wide spectrum of bikes for anyone’s budget. The one thing they never change across any model is their quality and attention to detail.
Trek Bicycles – Best Road Bikes Under 1000
In the early 1970’s Dick Burke & Bevil Hogg decided to open a bike shop in Madison, WI named Stella Bicycle Shop. With a passion for bicycles and the drive to grow their business idea, they quickly opened another store. They had the idea to open a store in every college town across America. TDick & Bevil had one problem though, it didn’t work. They quickly realized that they needed something special and unique to them. Instead of being a retailer, they needed to be the manufacturer.
At the time there were only a couple companies making bikes and they were low-end. Therefore, with a unique brand that offered high-end quality, Trek Bicycles was born. Today Trek manufactures over a 25,000 bikes a year. From Road bikes to Triathlon specific bikes they manufacture them all. They have even still been able to operate a USA based manufacturing plant to build their high-end racing bikes. With allows them to have full control of the quality and craftsmanship.
What To Look For In The Best Road Bikes Under 1000 Dollars –
When it comes to looking for a new set of wheels especially when you’re planning on spending $1,000 dollars, you want to consider a few things. First and foremost $1,000 dollars is a lot of money and you want it to be a solid investment that gives you plenty of return in a bike that will last you for many years. However, you also need to realize that bikes are expensive and setting your expectations is a great idea. Bikes that are made from good manufacturers that are designed to be ridden long distances can range from $750 – $10,000. I know for myself I tend to window shop and find one I really like only to then look at the sticker price and be in shock that it costs $4,000.
Instead, understand what a $1,000 budget will get you and how you can make sure that you’re spending your money on a great quality bike. Hence, this is why we have a few keys tips and things to look for when purchasing a road bike.
First, you need to familiarize yourself with the top 10 brands in the cycling industry. Manufacturers such as Raleigh, Trek, or Specialized are going to produce quality bikes that all carry warranties. As soon as you begin to look at bikes sold at brick and mortar surplus stores you’re going to find yourself buying a low-quality cheap bike. Stick to name brands when you have a $1,000 dollar budget. It’s an investment and with a respected brand, you’ll find you get parts, service, and quality products.
Typically in this price range and budget, you’re going to get an Aluminum frame. If for some reason you’re looking at a bike that says to be made of Carbon Fiber. They are either lying to you or you’re about to buy a poor quality and possibly dangerous frame. So knowing that all bikes in the $1,000 dollar range use aluminum for frame construction. You can rule that out as a comparison factor. Instead, you can look at components and groupsets. If you want a bike that will shift, brake, and be easy to control. The groupset is going to be where you want your money to go as far as possible.
Typically there are two leading bike groupsets available Shimano and Sram. Both are fantastic in what they do, however, they have their differences. If you want a smooth and easy transition between gear than Shimano will be the best choice. However, if you want a more aggressive and feeling of knowing your shifting than Sram is going to be your go-to groupset. Typically, Shimano is most common in this price range. Therefore, they are going to be using models such as Claris, Sora, or Tiagra as the groupset. If you begin to see mix and matches or cranksets that are not Shimano it’s typically a way bike manufacturers are cutting costs.
Construction & Fit –
Look for bike models that offer a range of bike sizes. The last thing you want is to buy a bike and have it not fit you comfortably. Thankfully, most bike frames have a range of riders they fit so be sure to schedule a bike fit if you feel you can’t get your bike sized up comfortably. Also be sure to look for Mens or Womens specific bikes when you are looking to buy. A lot of times they can make a difference when it comes to comfort.
New or Used –
Buying a used bike always seems like it would be the best idea since you typically can save a lot. However, be careful with this mindset. A lot of bikes can have wear and tear that are unforeseen by the naked eye. Also, bike manufacturers typically don’t transfer warranties. Therefore, buying new is going to be your best choice to ensure you are making a wise investment in a bike that will last you a while.
I, for example, wanted to buy used when I left college and wanted my first road bike. Due to not having a ton of money, it seemed like the best idea. However, instead I went and bought a new bike and it’s been almost 10 years and I still use it to this day.