Best road bike for $500

I know this doesn’t leave a lot of options but had a friend ask me what the best $500 road bike out there is. He’s just starting to get into triathlon and isn’t able to budget much more for his first bike.

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A used one. Probably a fairly old one.

If he’s ok as a mechanic, trying to collect cast-off parts and building it up himself might also be worth a go.


For 500 definitely find a good used bike. A Specialized Allez for example. Usually not hard to find one for sale.

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whatever you can find $500 isnt much in todays market

Old tech that people no longer want- rim brakes, narrow rims, frames that only fit 23mm tires. The good thing is that there is some beauty that mostly sat in someone’s garage for the last 12 years.


Ditto on used. Craig’s List and FB marketplace are great places to look. You can find some great buys there on just what was described above. Older high level tech, or newer low level stuff that may have barely been touched.

Probably find something older than 2010 (maybe 2005) with good components.

I raced a 2002 TT bike in triathlon that I got for $300 about 10 years ago. Not the coolest looking bike, but it raced perfectly fine.

I dont think you guy have Decathlon in the states but I used to commute and done over 6,000 miles on the predecessor to this bike (under $500 a 4years ago, the new one is just over $550). My new job has more secure bike parking so I’m using a slightly better bike (a Kinesis T2) but the Triban isn’t far behind.
Road bike Triban RC 120 - Grey TRIBAN - Decathlon

I’d look for a used alloy bike. If you can get one with a 105 groupset for that price that’d be great, if not a sora or tiagra would be fine for a first bike too.

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