Best Road Bikes Under $300 In 2020 | Review & Comparison

Picking a bike to purchase can be an intimidating experience. Thousands of options exist, from costly but professional road bikes to the simplest, no-frills vehicles possible. Prices vary in relation to the feature sets, brand names, and quality.

It’s not uncommon for professionals to spend thousands on a bike. It’s just as likely for a novice to buy a cheap bike that provides a horrible ride before falling apart.

Yet, a sweet spot does exist. Bikes exist that are both affordable and high quality, and that even feature some cutting edge tech.

Fortunately, you don’t have to wade through the endless bike listings trying to find these gems. I’ve gathered them together in a list for you here.

The following are the top 10 best road bikes you can buy for less than $300.

Rank
Product Name
Type
Weight
Speed
Frame
Amazon Link
1
Takara Oni Fixie Road Bike
Commuter
35.2 lbs
1
Steel
2
Schwinn Volare Hybrid Road Bike
Road
30 lbs
14
Aluminum
3
Vilano Shadow 3.0 Road Bike
Road
29.8 lbs
14
Aluminum
4
Hiland Celerite Road Bike
Road
33 lbs
14
Aluminum
5
Single Speed Urban Track Bike
Commuter
30 lbs
1
Aluminum
6
Roadmaster Granite Peak
Hilly Road
38 lbs
7
Steel
7
Giordano Aversa Road Bike
Road
33 lbs
14
Aluminum
8
Vilano R2 Commuter Road Bike
Commuter
27 lbs
21
Aluminum
9
Eurobike Road Bike EURXC550
Road
40 lbs
21
Steel
10
Takara Sugiyama Flat Fixie Bike
Commuter
34 lbs
1
Steel

Top 10 Best Road Bike Under $300 Reviews

1. Takara Oni Single Speed Drop Bar Fixie Road Bike

Starting off the list is this single speed fixie from Takara.

One look and you can’t help but appreciate it’s clean aesthetics. Bikes in this price range tend to forego frills and expensive paint jobs, opting instead to spend that money on perfecting build and mechanics.

The Oni exemplifies this trend. Constructed of high tensile steel for rock solid stability, the frame and fork have been TAG welded. This relatively uncommon welding method yields higher quality results that are more pleasing to the eye than the common TIG method.

If that level of craftsmanship doesn’t convince you this bike is something special, just keep reading. The Oni sports drop bar handlebars, and 700c, 32 hole, double-wall rims. With 28 mm wide tires, this bike is ready to tackle terrain on the roughest end of what a road bike is expected to face.

For brakes, the Oni relies on the side pull variety at both front and rear. Side pull brakes are the lowest cost braking variant, yet they are plenty reliable — and the Oni has two, so you can stop on a dime.

Yet, the feature you’ll likely appreciate the most on this bike is the flip-flop rear wheel hub. Single speed bikes are usually fixed gear, and don’t allow you to coast the way freewheel bikes do. The flip-flop wheel hub lets you have the best of both worlds. The Oni is a fixie that can coast.

Takara Oni Single Speed Drop Bar Fixie Road Bike: Check Its Price On Amazon!

2. Schwinn Volare Adult Hybrid Road Bike

It’s rare to have a bike list that doesn’t include a Schwinn. The Volare represents this venerable brand in the sub-$300 category, a price point that seems almost criminally low when you consider it’s features.

Like the Oni, the Volare has 700c, double-wall rims and 28mm tires, so it’s ability to comfortably handle the bumps in the road is just as good. It also has the drop bar style handlebars, and the caliper style side-pull hand brakes, but from here the two bikes diverge.

This is a multi-speed bike, with 14 gears. This grants it some versatility points over the fixies on this list, particularly when pedalling uphill. Changing those gears will be smooth and crisp, due to the Shimano A050 shifters, and rear derailleur from the same trusted brand.

And on the subject of climbing inclines, this bike’s light aluminum frame will also make that easier. It manages to provide stability comparable to that of a heavier steel frame, while shedding a few precious pounds.

It’s also available in a variety of colorful paint finishes. Leave it to Schwinn to add a few creature comforts to the mix.

Schwinn Volare Adult Hybrid Road Bike: Check Price On Amazon!

3. Vilano Shadow 3.0 Road Bike with STI Integrated Shifters

Vilano markets the Shadow as the premier entry level bike, and they have definitely loaded it with enough premium features to make the case.

They share the same 700c double-walled rim setup that is common enough in this list that we can refer to it as the standard. However, it has slightly narrower tires at 25 mm, making for a rougher ride when the terrain is bad.

This bike has more in common with the Schwinn, as it’s another multi-speed with 14 gears, and uses the same 6061 aluminum for its frame. It also relies on Shimano’s technology for the derailleur and shifter.

However, when it comes to the shifter, the Shadow takes things to the next level with the Shimano Total Integration system. This innovative feature combines the gear shift and brake control into a single mechanism. You can switch gears without having to lift your hand from the handlebars, which is not just convenient, it’s far safer.

And if you take a look at the Shadow’s sleek profile, you’ll notice that the cables are out of sight. This supposed entry level bike includes internal cable routing, and an integrated headset as well.

How is this under $300? It seems that the main cost cutting maneuver here is shipping the bike unassembled. But, a bike of this quality is a great deal even with some assembly required.

Vilano Shadow 3.0 Road Bike with STI Integrated Shifters: Check Its Price On Amazon!

Hiland Celerite Best Road Bike

4. Hiland Celerite Road Bike

Another aluminum framed, multi-speed entry on the list, this offering from Hiland seems to offer a compromise between the features of the Volare and the Shadow.

The rim construction follows the pattern of the previous entries, though the tires are the narrower 25 mm. Notably, the tubes on the tires feature Presta valves.

Shimano once again provides the derailleurs, with an A050 on the front hub, and an A070 on the back, which is one more than the Schwinn, but lacking the STI of the Shadow.

Other small details set this bike apart. The aluminum seat post shaves off just a little more weight. The chain wheel is a Prowheel product, while the free wheel is from Shimano.

This is another bike that relies on direct distribution and partial assembly to keep costs low. The bike comes 85% preassembled, though, so it won’t take long for you to have it road ready.

Hiland Celerite 700c Racing Road Bike: Check Price On Amazon!

5. 6KU Aluminum Single Speed Urban Track Bike

Another fixie enters the list, this time from manufacturer 6KU. This single speed has a lot in common with the Takara Oni, but there is only so much functional variation to be had with single speed bikes.

That said, there are some key differences here. First, this bike uses the same aluminum frame as the multi-speeds covered so far, giving it a weight advantage. The fork, however, is a 1 and ⅛” alloy piece, providing greater stiffness in the steering.

Speaking of steering, this is the first entry to feature riser bars instead of drop bars, opting for increased maneuverability over versatility.

The flip-flop rear wheel hub is present here as well, allowing free wheel coasting when desired. The wheels themselves follow the standard pattern, though they are wider at 30 mm, and are in the Deep V style, which offers greater straight-on aerodynamic performance than more shallow sectioned rims.

Additionally, stainless steel dropouts let you conveniently remove the wheels without needing to derail the chain.

6KU makes a point of guaranteeing their craftsmanship. To that end, their bikes come with a 1 year warranty against defects in manufacturing or workmanship. This applies to every component, down to the paint and decals.

6KU Aluminum Single Speed Urban Track Bike: Check Its Price On Amazon!

6. Roadmaster 26 Inch Granite Peak Men’s Mountain Road Bike

This mountain bike makes its way onto this list out of consideration for those of you whose roads count as difficult terrain. Contrasting this bike’s features with the others’ is also illuminating.

For instance, the smaller 26 in alloy wheels cut down on weight and offer proportions more suitable for shorter riders.

Of course, the steel frame and fork offset that by being heavier, but this is required for the bike to endure hard riding. That this is a feature usually reserved for mountain bikes makes the toughness of the Takara Oni even more of a standout feature.

This bike has 18 speeds, and the padded riser bars are equipped with twist shifters. Compare these to the STI integrated gear shift, and you have two very different methods that allow you keep your hands on the wheel when shifting gears.

Front and rear linear pull brakes offer the superior stopping power of the cantilever style, thanks to the increase in leverage achieved by the design.

Quality of life features round out this bike, like a padded seat that can be adjusted tool-free, and 3 piece mountain cranks that are no less suitable for the road, despite their name.

Roadmaster 26 Inch Granite Peak Men’s Mountain Road Bike: Check Price On Amazon!

Giordano Aversa Aluminum Road Bike 700c Women’s Medium

7. Giordano Aversa Aluminum Road Bike 700c Women’s Medium

Here we have the first women’s bike on the list, from Giordano. That detail might seem to suggest some significant differences from the previous entries, but that is not the case.

This bike uses the now familiar 6061 aluminum for a light frame construction, but the fork is high tensile steel. The drivetrain offers up the standard 14 speeds, and is another Shimano offering.

After a couple bikes with riser bars, this one brings us back to the drop bar standard.

The wheel’s will strike you as familiar: 32 hole double-wall alloy rims. The difference between these and those of the Takara Oni is the width.

These rims are a whopping 40 mm wide, though the tires are the slimmer 25 mm size.

As for the Aversa’s braking system, its dual pivot side-pull alloy brakes are unique among the bikes reviewed so far. Dual pivot brakes combine features of side pull and center pull brakes for a greater mechanical advantage due to the longer levers, granting this bike greater stopping power.

Giordano Aversa Aluminum Road Bike 700c Women’s Medium: Check Price On Amazon!

Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed 700c - Best road bikes

8. Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum Road Bike 21 Speed 700c

Vilano’s second entry into this list has the same high quality with different key features.

The frame is still the same 6061 aluminum, but this time it’s double-butted. This reinforces the ends of the tubes that make the frame, allowing greater stress tolerance without adding more weight to the center of tube centers. It’s a high quality feature surprising to find on such an affordable bike.

Shimano once more provides the gearset, the front and rear derailleurs, and A050 thumb shifters. No STI this time, but the 21 speeds make this a tremendously versatile ride.

The 700c double-walled, CNC alloy wheelset is unsurprising at this point, though the quick release skewer is a nice touch. It grants the ability to remove wheels for replacement or repair without the use of tools.

Tires are 700c x 25mm, with Presta valves on the tubes. As a final touch, this Vilano includes mount points for a water bottle cage. Like the other bike from this brand, it is shipped partially assembled.

Vilano R2 Commuter Aluminum 21 Speed Road Bike: Check Its Price On Amazon!

Eurobike Road Bike EURXC550 21 Speed

9. Eurobike Road Bike EURXC550 21 Speed

Nearing the end of the list, we have this unique offering from Eurobike.

Featuring a steel frame and fork, this is one of the heavier, and more durable, entry level bargains. Like every other bike, the gearset is provided by Shimano, with the A050 showing up yet again, along with TX-30 shifters.

As you get down to the wheels, the EURXC550 really starts to show it’s personality. The 700c x 28 mm tires are the kind of beefy tires to expect on a heavier bike like this, and the aluminum rims are also standard.

Take a look at the brakes, however, and you find a unique decidedly high-end feature on this sub-$300 bicycle. This is the only bike on the list to feature dual disc brakes.

Without question, disc brakes provide the greatest stopping power with the least pressure exerted. The aluminum dual disc brakes on this Eurobike not only enhance safety.

They can reduce muscle fatigue in the hands. They are the all-around best choice, and give the EURXC550 an enviable feature.

More controversial are the 3-spoked wheels. While aerodynamic straight on, they don’t perform as well in cross winds as the traditional, many-spoked wheels.

Eurobike Road Bike EURXC550 21 Speed: Check Price On Amazon!

Takara Sugiyama Flat Bar Fixie - Best Road Bikes

10. Takara Sugiyama Flat Bar Fixie Bike

For our final entry, we return to Takara for another straightforward, steel-framed fixie.

Besides the quirky cosmetic element of the bright blue tires, there isn’t much that separates the Sugiyama from the Oni. The 58 cm frame is welded with the more common TIG process this time around, but that won’t make a difference in the quality of bikes performance.

Front and rear caliper style hand brakes make another appearance, along with the 32 hole 700c alloy wheelset.

The tires themselves have a 32 mm width, however, making them the widest on the list, and putting this fixie on par with the Roadmaster when it comes to handling rough roads.

Like all the single speeds on this list, this one has the flip-flop hub.

It’s only other difference from the Oni is the flat bar style handlebar, but this is significant for those who don’t like drop bars but love everything else about these gorgeous Takara bikes.

Takara Sugiyama Flat Bar Fixie Road Bike: Check Price On Amazon!

How To Choose Best Road Bikes Under 300 Dollars

Finding the Best Road Bike Under 300 can be a huge undertaking. Since for most time, they would all look the same by frame design, handlebars, and price ( all in between $200 – $300 ).

When you need to buy the best road bikes that are not just stylish but also modest with extra features. Here are a few major questions one should need to answer.

What would you do with your road bike? Would you use it for recreation, exercise, commute or race? How much would you be using the bike on the weekly basis? Would you use the bike to go long distance on a tour or use it for short to moderate distance commute.

Then there are others things to consider such as construction material, brake types, speed gears, brand, cost, frame size, ease of use, style, fit, traction etc.

It can soon become too much for yourself to figure out, this is where we came in for the help.

We have thus reviewed and listed the above products based on these parameters. I personally research and tested these Road Bikes on each parameter and ranked accordingly.

In addition, I have personally looked at their frame, comfort level, seats, suspension, and assembly before making our final list. Since they are some of the basic necessities of any modern road bike. They were Our first priority while preparing the above list.

Our first priority while preparing the above list was its features then; durability, quality, comfort, sitting position/fit, suspension, tire width, gears, weight, speed, customization, cost, ease of assembly, construction material followed by all other aspects of a modern road bike.

Overall I have come up with a list you’ll probably feel excited to pick your favorite one.

Conclusion

Each bike listed has at least one feature making it different from all the rest, representing the quality and amazing variance within the sub-$300 price range.

If you’re considering purchasing a bike, but have been holding off because of the price tags on the highest-end models, hopefully, this list has shown you that you affordable bikes with pro-level feature sets do exist.

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