Road bikes have a reputation for being some of the priciest bikes available, mainly due to their lightweight, carbon, or aluminum frames. While you might have to take a small loan out to pay for top brands such as S-Works, the good news is that as the market for road bikes expands, so does the choice and range in price.
There are some great road bikes available by lesser-known brands that are under $1500, something that was unheard of just a few years ago. These bikes offer features such as lightweight frames made of carbon or aluminum, smooth Shimano gearing, and a carbon fork for flexibility and comfort, so you can achieve high speeds and endurance without breaking the bank.
There are many reasons why you may want to spend less on a road bike. Perhaps you’re new to cycling, in which case there’s no need to get something state-of-the-art right now, particularly if you need to buy cycling gear, a helmet, and lights, too. $1500 can buy you a good quality bike that will give you a feel for road cycling. Lower-end road bikes can also be great for commuting to work and you won’t be too worried about locking it up outside if you need to.
With a huge range of brands available, shopping online can be overwhelming. The good news is that you’re more likely to be able to find a bike within your budget, thanks to the more aggressive online pricing.
We’ve done the hard work for you though, and have put together a list of our top five road bikes under $1500. We’ve also included a handy Buyer’s Guide which identifies the key elements to look for when shopping for a new road bike, so you can make an informed decision that is tailored to your personal needs, budget and preferences.
Short on time? Find our top pick below.
Top 5 Best Road Bikes Under 1500
OUR TOP PICK
OUR TOP PICK
If you’re after a fast road bike that will turn heads, this eye-catching design by Savadeck comes in a range of color combinations, including a striking orange, red, and blue. At just over $1,000, it’s great value for money.
This road bike offers a lightweight carbon fiber frame, fork, and seat post, and at 20.6 lbs, it's super light. Carbon is fast becoming a favorite among road cyclists thanks to its stealthy durability combined with its lightness and flexibility, which makes for a more comfortable ride than aluminum, which is more rigid. This is a great bike for those who want to take their road cycling to the next level, or are after a model that’s durable and ergonomic for long rides.
The bike has Shimano gears so you can start and operate your ride effectively, with smooth shifting when changing between gears and tackling steeper roads. Designed in a wind tunnel, the stays, seat post, and seat tube are aerodynamically contoured for speed, and the fully internal cable routing ensures clean airflow over the entire bike. The tapered head tube strengthens the torsion rigidity and gives riders better handling of the bike so that you can feel in control when traveling at top speeds.
We also liked the fact that this bike comes mostly assembled, with pedals included, making it ideal for new cyclists and beginners. Buyers praised this bike for its price, particularly because you get a top-quality, carbon road bike that feels like it’s worth double the price.
- Made of carbon fiber for lightness and durability
- Shimano gears
- Aerodynamically contoured for speed
- Wind-tunnel tested
- Range of colors
- Feels more expensive than it is
- The seat is non-adjustable so ensure that you order the right sized frame
This striking red Hybrid road bike from iconic manufacturers Schwinn is ideal for beginners who want to push themselves and increase their speed on the road but are reluctant to invest in something high-end. This model has a rigid, aluminum frame for fast, lightweight riding, and features the classic drop-style handlebars to encourage an efficient, but comfortable, riding posture.
Smoothly shift through 14 speeds with the reliable Shimano rear derailleur and shifter brake lever combo which will give you precise shifting and allow you to tackle hills effortlessly. The alloy linear-pull brakes on the front and rear give quick, crisp stopping power and an adjustable seat post means you can reach a more tailored, ergonomic riding position for maximum comfort.
This bike is easy to assemble, with the crank, chain, and breaks already fixed to the frame. It won’t be suitable for racing though, as the frame - though lightweight when compared to bikes more generally - is far too heavy at 28 lbs. That said, this bike is perfect for commuting and casual road riding.
- The lightweight aluminum frame is rigid for speed
- 14-speed Shimano gears and shifter lever
- Alloy breaks, wheels, and crank
- Adjustable seat
- Aluminum is less durable in the long-run
- Too heavy for racing
The Imola combines quality and affordability in the shape of this striking, aluminum-framed road bike. Complete with a carbon fork, this bike easily absorbs any bumps along the road, making it great for long distances. All brake and gear cabling is routed internally, meaning this bike will feel smooth, swift, and streamlined to ride. It's also great for touring or long journeys, thanks to its pre-drilled frame which will fit a variety of rear racks.
The 2x10 Shimano Tiagra Groupset, featuring a 50/34T Tiagra compact crankset and 11x32T Tiagra cassette, provides a huge range of speeds, and, the Shimano STI shifters provide lightning-fast shifting for a powerful ride. The Tiagra groupset is also known for being lighter and quicker than the Sora, which is used on many low-end road bikes.
Tommaso Bikes promise factory-direct bicycles and accessories, combining value for money with quality craftsmanship and excellent customer service. They believe that no matter what your budget looks like, you should be able to ride high quality, performance bike that feels great to ride. They also promise a full Shimano groupset on their bikes, so you won’t find a mixture of parts like some low-end brands. Though bear in mind that unless you have experience as a bike mechanic, it's best you take this bike to be assembled professionally so that you get the most out of the design.
- Quality manufacturer - value for money
- Light, compact aluminum frame
- Full Shimano groupset
- STI shifters for smooth, fast riding and gear-changes
- Pre-drilled so you can fit a rear rack for long rides and tours
- Needs to be assembled by a professional
The second Tommaso option on our list, this bike is perfect for cyclists looking to combine quality and affordability, with many buyers commenting that the bike looks and feels a lot more expensive than it is.
Tommaso insists that while this bike is perfect for new road cyclists, it is by no means a beginner's bike that you will outgrow in a year. This bike will allow you to easily climb any hill and gather speed on flat surfaces thanks to the 3x7 Shimano drivetrain which offers 21 speeds. While some brands may use off-brand parts to save money and cut corners, Tommaso uses a 100% Shimano drivetrain for fail-proof shifting that is smooth and reliable.
The VTD steel fork offers durable performance with an easy to use quick-release system, and the sleek, aluminum frame, compact handlebars, and anatomically designed seat offers increased comfort for maximized efficiency. Weighing in at 23.6 lbs, it’s not the lightest option on the market, however, it’s perfect for new cyclists who want something that can endure long rides or daily commutes.
- 100% Shimano drivetrain and 21-speed gears
- Perfect for new riders and commuters
- Aluminum frame for lightness and speed
- Quality, factory-built brand with great, US-based customer service
- Not the lightest option available
This road bike from SAVADECK is an attractive black gray color, and, with a lightweight carbon fiber frame it weighs in at an impressive 18lb. Effortlessly change between 11 speeds with the smooth Shimano Sora front and rear derailleurs which will easily tackle steeper roads or tricky descents.
There are a few extra features that this bike offers which sets it apart from others on the market: a padded, ergonomic saddle with an anti-numbing center hole minimizes pressure on long bike rides so that you can cycle in comfort. Plus, if personalization is your thing, you can add a custom logo design, free of charge, in premium engineering reflective film for better safety visibility.
SAVADECK also offers an app for tracking your miles and fitness, and, thanks to the handy how-to video, you should have this bike assembled in no time. Buyers praise this lesser-known company for excellent customer service and super fast shipment - so they’re definitely one to watch.
- A lightweight carbon frame, with in-frame wiring for streamlined, fast riding
- Ergonomic saddle
- SHIMANO 105 Group Set
- Personalization option
- Excellent customer service and fast shipment
- Self-assembled with a how-to video
- You may need to replace the pedals for something lighter - though this is usually expected on lower-end road bikes.
- Design looks for men only
Best Road Bikes Under 1500 Buying Guide
Weight is key to the speed at which you’ll be able to ride your road bike, as well as the ease at which it can be handled. Road bikes are the lightest types of bikes out there, however, they still vary in weight depending on price and quality. On average a fast, carbon fiber road bike will weigh-in at around 17-18lbs, but usually, the cheaper the road bike, the heavier it will be.
Anything over 25 lbs is probably worth avoiding, while mid-range road bikes (so under 1500) should roughly be 21 lbs or less. The weight of your bike is dependent on the size of the frame, gears, and wheels, so even if it's made of a lightweight carbon or aluminum frame, it doesn’t necessarily mean the whole bike will be super lightweight.
Road bikes are usually made of aluminum, steel, or carbon fiber, and sometimes Titanium, and each has different benefits. While aluminum is most commonly used and is known for being lighter and cheaper, it’s generally less durable than steel - which is the most traditional and durable material - and is now competing with performance-focused carbon fiber bikes.
Aluminum is often used in racing bikes though, as it tends to be more rigid than other materials, meaning it's good for speed. However, it is less shock-absorbent so can make for a less comfortable ride. Carbon came onto the scene in the 90s and was criticized at first due to its failure rate compared to aluminum and steel. That said, it’s been improved dramatically over time, and many carbon designs have been wind-tested and offer the latest aerodynamic contouring for speed and lightness, though these do tend to come with a higher price tag attached.
Material quality differs among manufacturers, so it’s worth considering all of the other elements of the bike, rather than making a decision based on material alone.
Most road bikes come with slick or very lightly treaded tires. They’re thinner than mountain bike tires, because the less contact the tire has with the road, the less friction that is created, meaning more speed.
In recent years, it’s become more common to spec wider tires on road bikes, with race bikes often coming fitted with 23mm or 25mm-wide tires, and endurance bikes with 28mm or even 32mm tires.
Regardless of the width, all of these tires will roll fast but wider tires are a little more forgiving, as they provide more cushioning and can take on rougher surfaces in exchange for a little more weight, of course.
Tires aren’t worth fretting about too much as they’re one of the easiest things to change or upgrade.
As the bike’s powerhouse, a quality drivetrain is essential for smooth shifting. The key components are the pedals, cranks, chainrings, chain, cogs (cassette), and derailleur. Shimano and SRAM are the most common drivetrain brands, although you will find Campagnolo, Microshift, and FSA versions on the market, too.
In general, endurance bikes have smaller gears, meaning it’s easier to get up hills, while race bikes have larger gears for higher top-end speed. Bigger chainrings mean more outright speed (and effort), and smaller chainrings mean less effort.
Choosing the right size bike for your height is extremely important, as an ill-fitting bike, like shoes, will be uncomfortable to ride and you may find yourself leaving it parked in the garage more than you’d like.
It’s essential to pay attention to manufacturer guidelines and to select the right frame size when selecting a bike.
We’ve included a general size guide below, but check the manufacturer’s specific guide before you order your bike:
160cm - 168cm
Small (51cm - 53cm)
168cm - 175cm
Medium (54cm - 55cm)
175cm - 183 cm
Large (56cm - 58cm)
183cm - 191cm
X-large (58cm - 60cm)
Best Road Bikes Under 1500 FAQs
Which is the best road bike for under 1500?
We wish there was a straightforward answer to this, but sadly, there isn’t! The best road bike is subjective and dependent on the material, speed, and comfort level you’re looking for in a bike. Generally speaking, the cheaper the bike the lower the quality, though there are some exceptions. As we’ve said above, Tommaso makes some great quality bikes that give you quality and efficiency for an affordable price.
What are road bikes good for?
It’s in the name: they’re good for cycling on roads! However, due to the thinner wheels and rigid frames, they’re not going to be great for cycling on rougher surfaces. So if you want a bike for cycling off-track, then you might be better off with a gravel, hybrid, or mountain bike. That said, road bikes are perfect for speed and lightness, so these are great not only for racing enthusiasts but also for general fitness and daily commuting.
Does an expensive bike make a difference?
Simply put: yes. Expensive road bikes usually have higher quality components, lighter and stiffer frames for speed, and better wheels. However, you don’t need to spend a fortune if you’re only going to be riding a road bike for pleasure, exercise, or commuting. $1500 can get you a good quality bike with many of the features a more expensive one may have, particularly if you’re a beginner and not quite ready to invest in something high-end. The main difference will be you may need to upgrade some elements of your bike to suit your needs, for example, the frame may be good quality but you may wish to add a comfier seat, thinner tires, or lighter pedals. Another thing to remember is that an expensive bike does not automatically make you a better cyclist - practice, experience, and a love of riding will!