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For an economical but high-performing ride.
The best road bikes get the job done for you when you need a machine that is reliable and lasting. Getting your first bike on a budget and not paying for extras is a wise approach – you get what you pay for, and you learn all about the fixings from the keel up.
When choosing road bikes for regular use, it helps to have some knowledge of bike assembly and what goes into the tuning of a bike. Even if you aren’t necessarily handsy with tools, the Road Bikes Under 200 can give you a refresher of the basics and you pick up the rest as you pedal on.
You’re in the market for a road bike – this shows you already know what you’re looking for – you aim for speed. Whether it is to get to a point quickly or to experience the thrill of road racing, a road bike answers on specific features such as slim tires, less corrugation on the tire surface, and lighter weight than other bikes.
Speed is the name of the game. In these listings, you see what makes road bikes desirable. Look through this list of the best road bikes to understand which features are a must-have and which are good-to-have.
5 Best Road Bikes Under $200 & Reviews
The first thing to be noticed is the stunning look of this machine. Even at first glance, it looks balanced. Monochrome lovers will opt for the all-black variant. But there are color schemes of red, blue and white to go with the black tires that give a jazzy look. This is a highly-adaptable bike that works well for speed racing as well as in-city riding where lots of traffic necessitates frequent stops.
700c x 25 tires are both thick and slim at the same time. The tires sit deep inside the wheel rims and stay in faithful contact with the riding surface. The airy tubing aside, everything else about this bicycle from the tig-welded steel frame to the fork is known for its solidity and stability. So much so, that a few niggles in the instructions for assembly ought to be overlooked.
You just have to follow the instructions with care or consult with customer care for any questions you have. They answer everything with the utmost clarity, so ironing out glitches and getting used to the componentry shouldn’t be an issue. This training of using an allen wrench and Phillips screwdriver will be a good one to have and keep up because it will also help you do your own tune-ups. As you do this, you realize that the tools included in the bike’s box are not that great, but the bike’s quality more than compensates.
An ode to the road bike from Outroad cannot be missed on a list of pedaling-efficient road bikes. The 21-speed road bike at this price point is quite a bargain.
- Good-looking bike with a welded, durable body
- Responsive customer service
- Gears need tuning
- Pedals and seat don’t suit everyone
Verdict: An ode to the road bike from Outroad cannot be missed on a list of pedaling-efficient road bikes. The 21-speed road bike at this price point is quite a bargain.
This is the one 18-speeder on the list. Being a women’s bike that is suited for both mountain terrains and paved roads, it is best ridden by riders in the height range of 5’2’’ to 5’10’. Linear pull brakes with plenty of gripping power are another distinguishing feature of this bike. Since the bike is quite light in weight, the brakes are quite sharp in their action.
If you assemble this bike yourself, note that the threading on the pedals and the brakes might feel slightly different from what you would have seen in other models. However, the boxset comes with a complete set of instructions and the set is pretty straightforward. The height of the seat can be adjusted without any tools. The saddle is pretty comfortable too.
This is really a road bike with an extra crankset. It lends a balanced amount of power to the back wheel while making the job easier on your legs. It is perfect for use on paved roads. The frame is made of steel and the front fork has the suspension of a mountain bike. This factor only adds to the comfort factor of the bike even as you ride on pebbled roads. The tires have deep corrugations and the thick texture gives them grip even on dirt roads. Count this as an advantage because it increases the friction and helps you stay level on the bike even when you encounter messy paths or moisture on the road.
- Ease of assembly, instructions included
- Arrives almost pre-assembled
- Tuning needs some patience
- Professional tuning is necessary if the front wheel is wobbly
Verdict: This is one for the biking enthusiasts, especially since it crosses over to a mountain ride quite comfortably. There is plenty to recommend this bike and economical pricing is one of them.
Sharp turns, speed biking, and pedaling that converts into speed that endures – that’s exactly what Kent Gzr offers with this economical road bike.
The double-walled alloy rims with 36 holes offers plenty of weight distribution while the 25mm width of the tire pays an ode to the slim tires needed by a traditional road bike. This set up is ideal for zipping around at top speed.
All the power of the structure stems from the high-tensile steel fork and steel frame. This makes the structure tough and durable while keeping the entire bike light. Predictably, this lighter bike also has high-fidelity single-pivot brakes – which are also lighter. The brake calipers are made of an alloy that is light in weight but grips well, so you are ensured of a faithful stopping.
Budget biking does not mean non-standard parts. Kent’s GZR road bike comes with 21-speed Shimano shifters. Shifting in the rear derailleur is smooth and you can notice the transfer of power as you keep pedaling.
The Kent GZR’s design is slightly off in the matter of the shifter placement. Shifter levers are placed at the center of the stem, which means the rider has to move the hands to reach them. This is extra work that one would wish to avoid.
Unbox the set and assemble in less than 30 minutes as instructions are included. Or opt for expert assembly and get a quick lesson on basic tuning if you are just starting out in biking.
- Tig welded high-tensile steel fork is light but powerful
- Light weight suits long inclined rides
- Ease of storage
- Awkward placement of shifters
Verdict: Kent GZR delivers on value for the money spent. The lightness is an advantage while negotiating hilly paths. Overall, it’s a great bike for beginners who look for only light handling.
This is a fun bike for both women and girls to ride. The dropped crossbar and step-through frame allow short users to mount, dismount, and ride without strain. The pocket-friendly pricing is only one of the many advantages of the Dynacraft Speed Alpine Eagle road bike. The bike is available in a color scheme of white, purple and green. The smoothness of the ride is noteworthy, given that this is a speed bike designed for both the road and the mountain trail. Shock absorption is facilitated by the front fork. And guess what, it comes with a lifetime warranty on the frame and fork!
It is a regular 21-speed road bike that also suits mountain and hilly terrains. The shifters made by Shimano offer excellent gripping and the derailleur from Shimano works as smoothly as any standard product from the bike component maker.
The clear distinguishing mark is the V-brakes at the front and rear wheels. Resin levers give you an ease of movement and great control over the ride.
The box set comes with a kickstand and alloy rims included. However, it does not come pre-assembled. You can opt for an expert assembly at the time of purchase. After assembly, the bike comes to about 35 pounds and supports a rider weight of 275 pounds.
- V-brakes and resin levers are a nice touch
- Adjustable seat mount
- Good shock absorption
- Gear design issues need professional tuning
- Brakes need adjustment
Verdict: It’s an economical design which is likely to show up in teething issues. Users find shifting from the first gear challenging. With professional tuning, it gets smoother. It pays to check for alignment between the forks upon delivery.
This is a bike listed for its great looks. The smashing pink and black color combo is a unique one. But it’s also the only color available. The brand promotes this bike as a fitness bike for the road. It also goes on to say that for each bike sold, SGK donates $10 to breast cancer awareness and research.
But beyond these extras, there are some great specifications that make this bike a great choice for female riders looking for speed. SGK promotes the bike as suitable for anyone over the age of 15. However, users have reported that women and girls in the height range of 5’5’’ to 5’10’’ would find this bike a good fit. A good idea would be to check for stand-over height and inseam measurements to get an idea of the height.
SGK looks to promote comfort more than speed. That said, it has a Shimano rear derailleur and 21-speed drivetrain fixed into the steel frame. This makes the overall ride experience smooth with easy transitions. Expect the linear-pull brakes to work well on plane roads as well as hills.
Users need to note that this bike does not come assembled. However, handy users can put it together. The assembled version comes up to about 35 pounds.
- Stunning pink and black color combination
- Smooth running and speed transition
- Competitive price for a beginner’s bike
- No quick-release wheels
- No bottle clip and pannier for accessories
Verdict: Going by looks alone, it’s a cool bike. It’s also light – you can handle or place it on a bike rack with ease. Gear shifters are placed at the center of the neck – this takes some getting used to. Watch out for assistance with assembly.
Guide to Picking up a Budget Bike
Choosing a road bike is easy – any bicycle made for a paved road can be called a road bike. Unless you are out looking for specific features. What kind of features can a potential user of road bike learn that will inform their purchase?
Here’s a collection of features – non-negotiables and good-to-have ones to keep in mind:
Common features that a road-bike offers
A light body – a lithe frame, slim wheels, and nimble stem and fork assembly make a bike glide through with little effort. You naturally look for these factors. However, such a light bike is not the most stable.
Aluminum or steel frames are common. Carbon frames are lighter, but also costlier.
A bike’s stability comes from its design. The stability makes it suited for long-distance rides. You need forks that are tuned to perfection and aligned well at the front and back.
Stability is also determined by the toughness of the seat pole and material of the saddle. Most leather or faux-leather seats are sturdy but hard. Layers of cushioning add to comfort. Some models of road bikes offer seat poles that are adjustable with or without tools.
It’s got drop handlebars
This could make some bike riders halt. Not everyone likes to stoop forward and lean at the handlebars. But that is most likely before they’ve tried out the test ride. Once you’ve ridden a bike this way, you notice that you can channel more power. In this position, you don’t oppose the wind current, rather it propels you forward. True bikers value the stooping rider orientation the most as it offers the aerodynamic advantage. This is why racers are always on bikes with drop handlebars.
As you go for more expensive bikes, you have adjustable handlebars that give several angle options.
It’s not high on comfort
At least, not as a rule. A road bike doesn’t have the most comfortable seat and saddle. Comfort is a factor a road bike maker may or may not prioritize in their design. Road bikes, instead, prioritize speed
It’s high on gears
Bigger gears give more speed. Road bikes have options for bigger gears which is great for speeding up, negotiating inclines, and conveying more power. Shifting between gears takes some getting used to.
It’s low on accessories
You don’t normally notice a cargo rack or pannier on a road bike. At most, your bike maker would provide a bottle clip for your water bottle. Since this is a variety that emphasizes lightness, these additions are not on the list for road bikes, especially in the budget segment. However, some adjustments and additions can be made. You can consult a mechanic for these additions or do them yourself with a handy set of tools.
As you can see, sometimes, one factor is a trade-off with another. Your business as the buyer is to know which factor is your priority.
To do this, you have to decide what you need to get the most out of your bike – performance, low-maintenance, comfort, or pedaling efficiency. Figuring this out will help you pick a bike that you’re happiest with.
Road bikes have an increasing number of features as the price point goes higher. At the budget segment, the highest value for your dollars comes from the Outroad road bike with its stunning looks and super-light body.
The Roadmaster comes a close second with its many advantages and added comfort.