Best Road Bikes Under $600

It’s your first real foray into road cycling.  You haven’t come to grips with wearing spandex, but you have come to grips that the current ride, be it that ridiculous looking hybrid or that supple microsuede couch your ass has been riding, is in need of an upgrade.  You’re not quite sure if you’ll love it or hate it and you’re not willing to break the bank in this little experiment.  Lucky for you, today’s technology advancements and loose international child labor laws allow you to get a ton of bike for under $600.

To help us rate three bike options in the sub $600 range, we unbolted the door to our broom closet and let our indentured servants, errr…interns, ride and rate these bikes.  After a short debate and a tie-breaking thumb war, we settled on the following 3 bikes for our review:

Tommaso Imola with Carbon Fork – $555

2011 Motobecane Grand Record – $599


Schwinn Carbon Fiber-1000 – $549

Admittedly, we stretched to find 3 bikes worth comparing head-to-head.  On paper, the Schwinn appeared to be comparable; in reality, the Motobecane and Tommaso were lightyears ahead of the Schwinn in terms of technology, build quality and value.

For beginning cyclists looking for an entry bike that performs on-par with most major manufacturer’s intermediate level bikes, the Tommaso Imola and Motobecane Grand Record have what you’re looking for.  For riders looking for a compact frame geometry, good components and a graphics package that turns heads, holla at the Tommaso Imola .  Riders that appreciate the upgraded componentry and have dreams of becoming, or at least looking like a racer, will fall in love with the Motobecane Grand Record .  For riders that hate supporting small companies and can’t stand quality in products, pick up the Schwinn next time you run to Wal-Mart to buy that styrofoam cooler and buckshot.  Better yet, grab that short stack of benjamins and see what a joke $600 buys you from Trek or Specialized.

 

Bikes have specs…

specs are easily compared…

value is easily discerned.

 

Conclusion: 

Road Bike Mike Likes the Tommaso Imola with Carbon Fork for $555

This bike has the frame and components of brand-name bikes that retail for $1,000+, has a compact geometry that lowers the center of gravity and increases the responsiveness and handling, and gets compliments wherever you go.  Once again, of all bikes we tested, this bike garnered more attention than all other bikes combined.

Be like Mike: Buy the Imola.  If it sucks, send it back and tell us how much we suck for telling you to buy something that sucked so much.  If it doesn’t suck, and it won’t suck, you can tell us how much we don’t suck for telling you to buy something that definitely doesn’t suck.

Don’t forget to follow our 10 Steps to Buying Your First Road Bikemake sure you know What Size Road Bike to Buy, and don’t forget the Pedals!