[Expert Review] The Best Road Bikes Under $1000 in 2016

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For the modern day commuter, road bikes are a great deal. Not only do you get to make your way past traffic with much ease, but also, enjoy the thrill that comes with riding one, especially on highways – with your safety gear on, of course. That said, any biker will let you know that biking is only as fun as the bike you own, meaning regardless of your main reason for purchasing the bike, it is of paramount importance to find one that perfectly fits the bill as an all-rounded piece of equipment. Indeed, road bikes don’t come cheap, but this isn’t to say that you can’t find an affordable brand worth investing in as we will see later on.

Road Bikes

If you are buying one, chances are that you are probably looking to shed off some weight and in the process get rid of the “muffin-top” look. If not so, you probably are after a cheap but effective means of transport to get you to the office in good time. Regardless of what the case may be, investing in a road bike is one of the best ideas for those interested in leading a healthy lifestyle.

However, it is not as easy as it sounds as choosing a good road bike can provide a challenge, due to the sea of products on the market currently. Unlike most fitness equipment, most road bikes are actually pretty good and thus, even harder to settle for one. To solve this puzzle, let’s begin by looking at the main features that combine to make up for a quality road bike.

The Ultimate Road Bike Buyer’s Guide:

  • Just like no two people are exactly alike, the same applies to road bikes. As similar as they may initially look, they are quite different, built to serve different purposes and match varying tastes too. However, there are the basics that you can identify, to tell how good a specific bike is.
  • Unless you make a regular appearance on the Forbes List, you are probably working on a budget. Owning a good road bike, need not be an expensive affair after all. For just under $1000, you can pride yourself in owning a beast, designed to technically devour any road you wish to ride along. As a rule of thumb, basically divide the price of a prospective bike with the number of years you plan on using it. If the result, of the cost per year works for you, why not?
  • Of course, there is a solid reason behind your sudden liking of road bikes. You either want to make a cycling debut, or a pro seeking to upgrade to a better and more effective piece of equipment. Both variants will require different bikes and the main reason why identifying your direct needs, should play a paramount role in your final decision.
  • Finally, the durability of any equipment regardless of its use should be a basic factor to consider while shopping and road bikes are no exception. As earlier stated, these bikes don’t come cheap and hence, in your best interest not to experiment, but check out our recommendations below. Telling how durable a bike is isn’t easy, but thanks to our vigorous testing processes, you can be guaranteed of a worthwhile investment at the end of it all. Without any further due, let’s dive right in and have a look at the best road bikes you can score for less than $1000.

The Best Road Bikes Under $1000:

Our Pick – The Diamondback 2015 Haanjo Alternative Road Bike:

If you are an ardent biker that has been at it for a good number of years now, you probably have come across a Diamondback product, being that it is one of the most popular mid-range manufacturer. Indeed, the company is known for crafting quality road bikes with ubiquitous appeal and the 2015 Haanjo is no exception. Generally speaking, how many road bikes do you know of that can hit the dirt trails as effectively as it does on the roads? Guessed so, few right? The 2015 Haanjo is among the few that can achieve this thanks to a relaxed aluminum frame designed to absorb vibrations. To put this into better perspective, let’s have an in-depth look at the crafting and engineering entailed in the Haanjo Alternative.

The Features:

Frame and Fork – if you are looking for a comfortable road bike to get you to work with ease, this is the bike you should consider checking out. The overall design is quite innovative, and besides summing up for eye-candy, it sports a slightly extended top tube alongside an inclined seat post for optimal comfort. Sure, this has a downside to it mainly the fact that it won’t attain the highest speeds out there, but unless you are going pro, the bike’s speed should be more than enough to get you where you are going in good time.

The Components – of course you want to hear about the specs and with the Haanjo, you get a Shimano 18-speed Drivetrain that transitions smoothly without any hitches. Moreover, the popular road bike sports an FSA double crankset that makes it safe while riding downhill. Overall, the components and frame are really light and thus, reducing the effort required to pedal.

Other- Still on the components, the disc brakes are also quite outstanding and in fact, the manufacturer decided to adapt the same design as those used in their mountain bikes – specifically the Diamondback Mission Pro Series. This not only means that they are highly durable, but also very safe compared to the standard versions. Besides this, the Kenda tires are also very impressive and their width is just great for occasional dirt trail biking.

Pros:

  • Topping the list of advantages is the superior comfort levels that are a rarity in road bikes. As mentioned, the seat post has been slightly inclined and hence, giving the rider a more “laid back” position. This combined with the bike’s light frame and extra padded seat, sum up for a great riding experience that requires less pedaling effort.
  • The Haanjo’s fork tube is also much wider compared to the ordinary road bike and with this, it is capable of absorbing the vibrations endured on dirt trails. True, it is not as effective as a mountain bike when it comes to off-road abilities, but overall, it is just fine for occasional trail riding.

Cons:

The only drawback you can lay on the Haanjo is the fact that its comfortable design, makes it slightly slower compared to pure road bikes. However, since you aren’t in a competition, what’s all the fuss and rush about?

Conclusion:

To sum it up, the 2015 Haanjo is arguably the most effective and comfortable road bike you can get for under $1000. It strikes the perfect balance of comfort and durability – the ideal combination for a daily commuter and occasional dirt trail biker.

The Runner Up – The Kestrel Talon Tri-Shimano 105 Carbon Fiber Road Bike:

You can almost be guaranteed of a great riding experience with any Kestrel bike. Indeed, the manufacturer has been at it for years now and during this period, has managed to create a name as one of the best bike producers. The 105 is basically designed for triathlon athletes and those seeking to get in shape through vigorous training. That said, let’s have a look at how the Kestrel 105 made our cut, to clinch the runner-up spot on our review.

The Features:

The Frame and Fork – being a bike designed for the main purpose of triathlon maneuvering, durability is a factor that the manufacturer obviously focused on. The frame is crafted using carbon fiber material – as its name implies – to not only last years, but also, give you a weight advantage while riding. The carbon fiber material is impressively light, but more importantly, requires less maintenance. Still on the frame, the 105 road bike is quite a looker with fancy curves and edges to complement the comprehensive aesthetic appeal.

Components – in regards to the specs, the bike adopts a Shimano 11 speed Drivetrain that is designed to offer seamless transitions, as smooth as butter. Moreover, it is super fast and great for dirt trails to some extent.

If you are seeking a bike that you can ride for hours without worrying about back aches or stiff muscles, the 105 is a certainly a great investment. This can be attributed to the fact that it offers convenient clip-on aero bars designed to facilitate a calm, relaxing position for those that cycle for long hours.

Pros:

  • There is much you can say about the Kestrel, however, the carbon fiber frame has to top the list of benefits here. The carbon frame is built to withstand the wear pegged to riding on dirt trails, only without the extra weight known to weigh down riders. In a nutshell, it doesn’t require great pedaling efforts meaning your energy can be saved for the winning moments.
  • Purchasing from an authorized dealer can see you getting a lifetime warranty on purchase. Yes, the bike is that durable to say the least. With the carbon fiber frame comes the sturdiness of a mountain bike, but the weight of a road bike. On top of this, the bike comes in a wide array of sizes designed categorically to match the needs of heavier and taller individuals. Quite thoughtful indeed.

Cons:

The only downside with the Kestrel has to be the fact that it doesn’t come with a manual and to assemble it, you will basically have to make a short trip to the local bike shop. Also, the pedals are purchased separately as it technically doesn’t come with any.

Conclusion:

In a nutshell, the Kestrel Talon road bike is a bike built for both novices and pro athletes. It is really comfortable and if you are looking to lose weight, stay fit or simply enjoy the thrill that comes with riding, you certainly won’t be disappointed investing in one of these.

On a Budget Option – Schwinn Men’s Phocus 1600 Drop Bar Road Bike:

If you are on a tight budget and don’t have much to spend on a road bike for fitness or transport purposes, you are better off opting for the Schwinn Phocus. Schwinn, is basically one of the pioneers of modern sports bike manufacturing and that in itself, should be enough to convince you of the quality, without having to say much. However, we will have an in-depth look at why it is the best road bike you can own – for just less than $500!

The Features:

The Frame and Fork – similar to most high-end bikes, the Phocus 1600 entails a sturdy carbon fiber fork that makes it extremely light to sum up for a great riding experience. Indeed, most high-end road bikes are defined by their carbon fiber material and light-weight nature – this offers just that, only without the extra zeros on the price tag.

Components – if speed ranks high on your list of priorities, it is worth noting that the Phocus 1600 adopts a 14-speed derailleur, that offers a myriad of great cycling options. It is super fast for starters, and if you are worried about your overall safety, fret not, as it packs effective alloy caliper brakes for good measure.

Pros:

  • Besides the great price of course, the Schwinn Phocus 1600 has a lot going for it. Unlike most road bikes in its price range, it is exceptionally comfortable with a relaxed seating position that makes you want to grab all your stuff and ride away as a free spirit to nowhere in particular. The feel-good vibe is certainly one of the best benefits of owning this amazing product.
  • As if the extremely light carbon fiber fork wasn’t enough for a bike that costs under $500, the manufacturer paid close attention to detail in regards to the aesthetic features. The result is a tremendously beautiful road bike that not only feels like a million bucks, but looks the part as well. You also get a lifetime warranty on purchase and thus, can be guaranteed of a bike that serves you for years, especially if you hit 30 – 50 miles on a weekly basis.

Cons:

You may have a slight problem with the grinding noise emanating from the cranks, if not assembled as per the instruction guidelines. However, this can be fixed by simply letting the guys at the local bike store, assemble the beast for you.

Conclusion:

Generally speaking, there is no bike that currently reflects greater value for your money, than the Schwinn Phocus 1600. It is defined by the perfect package of durability, speed and agility. What else could you ask from a quality road bike costing less than $500, surely?

The Upgrade Pick – The Merida Reacto 400 2016 Road Bike:

Now, if you have your sights focused on going pro, this is one of the best bikes under $1000 on the market and for good reason. Basically, it makes our cut for being one of the coolest looking road bikes ever, besides its ability to serve as an athlete’s best companion. Overall, the Merida 400 was designed to catch your attention from the get go and it certainly achieved that with us. Without any further due, let’s dive right in and look at what you’ve been waiting to learn – the specs and features.

The Specs and Features:

The Frame and Fork – most bikes in its price range ($999) often use carbon fiber material to create the frame, but with the Merida, expect a highly durable triple butted 6066 aluminum frame complete with aero tube profiles meant to reduce drag while riding. The fork, however, is crafted from pure carbon and hence, making it one of the lightest road bikes around.

Components – of course, the bikes entails An 11 speed Shimano 105 Drivetrain, that is effective enough to keep you ahead of the pack in any competition. To enhance the speed and performance, Merida decided to throw in deep aero wheels which significantly improve its aerodynamics.

Pros:

  • Topping the list of benefits here is the aesthetic appeal of this road bike. It is quite obvious from the start, that the company left nothing to chance, when it comes to sheer engineering and design. It is indeed quite a looker and if you are out for a fashion accessory to complement your trend-setting characteristics, this is the bike to go for by all means.
  • Also, it is worth noting that the Merida 400 is one of the lightest bikes around and by a good margin. Indeed, the manufacturer went out of its way to craft a sturdy road bike using lightweight materials such as triple butted 6066 aluminum and carbon. This, combined with the great aerodynamics, make up for a super fast bike.

Cons:

The Merida Reacto 400 can simply be termed as a flawless product, with nothing to complain about other than its somewhat hefty price tag. Don’t get it wrong, it offers great value for the buck, however, it could be cheaper that’s all.

Conclusion:

In conclusion, this is one of your safest bets when it comes to road bikes under $1000. Not only is it unique in its own right, but very well crafted to score you, some crucial points, amongst other biking enthusiasts.

Also Great – The Focus Cayo Al Sora:

Similar to the Merida above, the German-designed Focus Cayo Al sora offers a myriad of great premium features common in bikes worth more than $1500. In fact, it is one of the rare road bikes valued in the $700 range, with exquisite features such as internal cable routing and a full carbon fork. In a nutshell, don’t expect to come across another bike worth $700, bearing some of the features below.

The Specs and Features:

The Frame and Fork – the bike adopts a “European” approach in regards to its engineering, where the speed and aerodynamics play a lead role to factors such as comfort. Its full-carbon tapered fork is really great and in combination with the triple-butted frame, the comprehensive result is an agile, lightweight road bike featuring the best aerodynamics.

Other Components – it boasts of an 11 speed Shimano Drivetrain and alloy brakes commonly found in premium models. Overall, the bike is crafted using sturdy materials that don’t compromise the drag in any way.

Pros:

  • The speed and aerodynamics of the Al Sora have to be the most outstanding features. It is generally a bike designed for road bike competitions, only with the price tag of an entry-level equipment.
  • It is an all-rounded beast that is capable of handling dirt trails as well as it does the road. This can be attributed to the specialized Drivetrain and complementary wheels designed for all-weather purposes.

Cons:

Unfortunately, the bike’s brakes aren’t anything to write home about, but this can sufficiently be solved by visiting your local bike store for proper installation.

Conclusion:

When it’s all said, the Focus Cayo is a quality road bike worth investing in, either as a pro athlete, or a novice trying to make a debut in cycling. At slightly under $700, it offers much more for its price.

Wrapping it up:

Now that you have a clue of where to look when out shopping for a road bike under $1000, it is advisable to remember checking out the features and factors that combine to make a good road bike. However, you simply can’t go wrong with the options above.  click here if you are planning to buy a Mountain Bike or Off-Road Bike

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