A road bike can be a brilliant tool for getting around town. It is a greener option than using the car for our commute to work. Also, in this current climate, it is a safe, socially-distanced way to get around while avoiding public transport.
There are lots of top women’s road bikes out there that can provide a great specification and reliable ride. But, some are more complex and expensive than others. A budget women’s road bike under $1000 could be the ideal solution. But, how can you be sure of getting the best bike?
Why are budget road bikes for women such a good idea?
You don’t have to spend a fortune to get a great bike. This is important if you are new to cycling. There is no point in getting a high-end bike worth thousands when there are so many affordable, entry-level models that are just as practical. Also, a cheaper model can be a great starting point for customization and modification. The money saved can go on different tires, gel seats, baskets, luggage racks, or anything else you might want.
In this guide, you will learn more about some of the best women’s road bikes under $1000. The following models are all great examples of budget road bikes for women. From there, you will also find some suggestions for alternative styles of road bike if you are unsure about these sportier, traditional model. Finally, there is a buying guide with tips on what to look out for.
The top 5 women’s road bikes under $1000:
Cannondale Quick 3 Women’s Road Bike
This first option comes highly recommended by a lot of websites and bloggers because of its design for women. With that said, it is important to note that the geometry is flatter than normal for a women’s bike but still works well. The Cannondale Quick 3 has a SmartForm C3 alloy frame and a stiff carbon fork. However, there is a lighter aluminum frame in the 2020 model. hydraulic disc brakes. The bike also comes with 700c
x35mm Schwalbe Spicer tires which seem to offer enough grip on the road. But, there is the opportunity to switch them for something else because of the double-walled rims.
One of the most interesting features of this bike is the sensor on the wheel, which you can link up to the Cannondale app for activity tracking. Also, this bike comes with a lot of extras to increase its appeal. This includes the pressure-relieving saddle, comfortable grips, micro-suspension, 360 degree reflective accents, and the mounts for a rack and fenders as required. The comfort offered is always going to be subjective.
This model is seen as an endurance bike for longer journeys, which is ideal for those with a longer commute in mind, or those that get the cycling bug and want to travel a little further on the weekend. It comes in three sizes, XS, S, and medium, so it shouldn’t be difficult to find the right size.
- Plenty of comfort features for women
- A nice sensor for the compatible app
- Great tires for endurance riding
- The geometry is a little more unisex
Schwinn Volare 1400 Women’s Road Bike
This next option comes from Schwinn. Schwinn has made bikes for riders for decades and knows how to create something attractive and practical. This one with stand out immediately thanks to the bright purple finish. It isn’t going to be everyone’s cup of tea, but it does give this bike more impact. One thing to be aware of here is that this is one of the cheaper models at under $500. This means that you could get a good- enough specification with room left over to add on some extra features as needed.
A lot of the components here are better than you would expect for the price paid. This is a lightweight option with a lot of aluminum rather than alloy features. This continues through the posts and handlebars to take off
a little more weight. This could be helpful for smaller users that might otherwise struggle. There are also 14 speeds to the Shimano shifter, which should be more than enough for new riders heading out on the roads for the first time. Also, you get 700cc wheels with oversized road tires and that same double rimmed wall. There isn’t a lot here that will stand out in terms of components. You will need to pay a lot more for that.
The low price may also mean a few issues with the construction down the line. However, you are still assured a decent-quality bike with an entry-level specification. Therefore, this could still prove to be a great choice for those dipping their toe in the waters of road cycling. If you get hooked, but feel that this isn’t high- end enough, you can always upgrade at a later date.
- The low cost for first-timers
- More speeds than you might expect
- Lightweight aluminum throughout
- You may want to upgrade at a later date.
Raleigh Amelia 2 Women’s Road Bike
One thing that you will notice with a lot of the bikes available for women is that they aren’t that different from unisex bikes. But, now and then you find an affordable model that does pay attention to the needs of women. The Raleigh Amelia 2 has the women’s series saddle for comfort. Otherwise, the specification is that different and you get a lot of high-end components for a better ride. This includes all of the Shimano Sora elements and the mechanical disc brakes.
Again, you get a lightweight frame made from aluminum and wide tires that should be able to handle the road well. The design is pretty gender-neutral too with the geometry and the bright red color. This could be perfect for women that want a bike that meets their needs but isn’t necessarily designed as a “girls” bike. There are other options for that. Instead, this is about getting the right performance so you can commute and carry out tasks in town with eases.
One aspect to be aware of here is that there are only 9 speeds to the gear system. This won’t make too much of a difference to those that are only interested in gentle rides in urban settings. But, there are other models around the same price point with a lot more. It all depends on where you want to go and how easy you want the ride to be.
- A nice gender-neutral approach for women that don’t want a “girls” bike
- A lightweight frame for ease of use
- High-end components throughout
- There aren’t as many speeds to the gear system
Felt VR 60W 2019 Women’s Road Bike
This next option is different because there is much more of a feminine design. You get a white frame and saddle, black tires and handlebars, and a nice bit of branding on the side in cyan and magenta. There is also the padding on the gel seat and female-focused geometry that give the game away.
The frame is aluminum with a carbon fork so it shouldn’t be too heavy for most riders. There are also front and rear disc brakes, 700 x 28c Vittoria Zaffiro tires, and some nice details across the specification. This includes the clips on the pedals for extra comfort. Just remember that this is the 2019 version. There might be small variations on the 2020 model – potentially for the better. Either way, experts still recommend this option to new riders. Unlike some cheaper models, it doesn’t look like you will need to make too many alterations while customizing this bike.
Felt states that this is going to be a great way for women to get a sense of adventure and push themselves. However, the extent of this will depend on your previous experience. Those that are new to riding should have few complaints because of the specification and the design. But, be aware that this model only has 8 speeds.
- The fun feminine design
- The quality of the specification across the bike
- Some of the little details in the design for comfort and enjoyment
- There are only 8 speeds
Specialized Dolce Women’s Road Bike
One of the selling points of this next model is the alterations in the geometry for women riders. There are slightly narrower handlebars for better posture while riding – which some other brands don’t consider. Then there is a women’s-specific saddle to try and add a little more comfort to the ride. From there, you can also choose a range of different frame sizes between 44 and 57cm. This is perfect for shorter women that might struggle with other options.
As with most bikes at this price point, you get an aluminum frame with that nice low bat. This is nice and light so you can easily carry it around and store it as needed. But, unlike the feminine option above. This one has a sleek, sporty look with a nice metallic finish on the paintwork. It doesn’t shout at you with the branding either.
This is also another bike that makes good use of Shimano elements in the specification. These high-end features should allow for smooth and reliable gear changes and a more enjoyable ride. This is another 8- speed bike so, once again, this is less of a hybrid and better designed for commutes and slower speeds through town. But, those Claris 2000 levers make it easy to switch between them. You can also enjoy the Espoir sport tires, Tektro caliper brakes, and the addition of reflectors on the pedals.
- The attention to detail in the female-friendly design
- The sporty look with the geometry and paintwork
- The high-end components
- More of a single-purpose bike than some other options
There are other options out there than traditional road bikes for women:
Before we take a closer look at the key features and considerations for choosing a budget road bike for women, there are some other options out there. The bikes above are all sporty road bikes with great specifications for commuting or a little bit of road racing. But, there are other approaches that could prove to be more appealing and helpful depending on your needs.
One alternative option to consider here is the beach cruiser bike.
Most of the bikes above put functionality and performance over style. The beach cruiser bike is different and could be a fun alternative bike for women. Beach cruisers don’t rely so much on high-end specifications or the same features as the bikes above. Often, they are single-speed models with heavier frames and not too many clever features. Instead, they are simple bikes for getting from point A to point B with no fuss.
Therefore, these bikes can be a great choice for women that aren’t comfortable cycling but like the idea of getting around casually by bike. You can ride them to the store, the library, the local beach, or any other part of town as long as the terrain isn’t too difficult. Many of these bikes have a classic, vintage look with the step-over frame, cute colors, and a basket for storage. You might even get a classic bell. If this sounds more accessible and fun, shop around for some great deals under $1000.
What about a women’s road e-bike instead?
One issue that might put some women off from getting a road bike like this is their physical ability. Cycling can be tough if you haven’t done it before or aren’t that physically active. You might have great intentions to ride long distances or head out to work each day, but perhaps feel that you don’t have the strength or stamina for it. That is where e-bikes can help.
An e-bike, or electronic assist bike for women, can help to take some of the pressure off. The effectiveness of the bike can depend on the specification and cost. However, most will have responsive sensors that notice when riders stop pedaling. The battery and motor will kick in to provide some power, which is great for hills or those last miles where you get a bit tired. Some of the best women’s commuter e-bikes are compact and foldable for convenience. Just make sure that the battery life is adequate and it doesn’t take too long to recharge.
Important considerations for finding the best women’s road bike under $1000:
There are lots of factors to consider here to find a bike that is affordable but still reliable. There is no need to pay out thousands for features that aren’t necessary for your commute. But, you don’t want to get something too cheap and lose out on features or in the performance. The best budget road bikes for women tend to have some of the same features in common.
So, consider the following when choosing the right bike for your needs:
- The weight and material of the frame
- The geometry of the frame
- The number of gears on offer
- The style of the brakes and their responsiveness
- The comfort offered in the finish of the bike
- Additional features to make things easier or more convenient
The weight and material of the frame
This is a good place to start because it indicates quality and ease of use. A lot of bikes between $500 and $1000 will have aluminum frames and other lightweight features. Below this, you will save money but you might have to handle a heavier alloy frame. The best carbon-fiber frames are found in the most expensive models.
The geometry of the frame
The geometry and shape of the bars on the frame tell a lot about the brand’s consideration for women riders. Some models have low bars and narrow handlebars that are ideal for female riders. Other women’s bikes look a lot more like unisex bikes.
A unisex frame isn’t a problem, but it isn’t quite the same. Some brands insist that there is no need to make any drastic changes because it doesn’t make a difference to the ride. But, a little change in posture could make all the difference in your comfort or your time.
While looking at the shape of the frame, check to see what size options are available. You might see this in inches or as S, M, or L. Double check any size charts, especially if you are on the shorter side and worried that you might be too high off the ground.
The number of gears on offer
The speeds offered by the bike can make a difference depending on your motivation for riding and your local terrain. Would it make things easier to have lots of options?
This is worth considering if you want to start training for competitive road racing in the future.
Or, are 6 to 8 speeds enough?
You could find that this is more than enough for basic commuting.
The style of the brakes and their responsiveness
There are two main types of brakes on these road bikes. Caliper brakes were common and you still see them on cheaper models. However, many modern road bikes for women have disc brakes instead. Some riders feel that this increases the stopping power and response, which will make them better in wet weather. Also, you can change the tires more easily with this system.
The comfort offered in the finish of the bike
The finishing touch of a bike also says a lot about the quality of the model and the experience you will get. This means more than just the paintwork – which can vary from gender-stereotypical tones to gender-neutral ones. The comfort offered in the seat and the grips on the handlebars are essential for longer commutes.
Also, look out for bikes with women-specific saddles. While this might sound like a gimmick to get women to buy the bike, it does actually make a difference. Women tend to sit differently to men in terms of weight distribution. So, traditional saddles aren’t great for long-distance rides. The only other alternative is to get a gel cover.
Additional features to make things easier or more convenient
From there, you can look at the additional features that the company decided to add in or leave out. The more you spend, the more likely it is that you will find a more feature-rich option. For example, while some budget bikes have mounts for racks and other features, more expensive models may actually supply the racks too. It pays to read the fine print to see if there are any other helpful elements, such as reflectors on the pedals. At the same time, you may note some glaring omission on cheaper models, such as a lack of any pedals at all.
Don’t rely on specifications alone when making your final choice
Remember to read user reviews when buying a new women’s road bike. The specification on the listings and product descriptions only tells half the story. The features listed may sound great on paper but don’t translate on the road. User testimonials will highlight any flaws with the components or with the assembly of the bike. The latter is important if you opt for a pre-assembled model. Some companies might not fit everything correctly, which could lead to rattles or loose parts. It is a good idea to take a test ride around the block.
Compare your options to find the perfect women’s road bike for you
It shouldn’t be too hard to find options in women’s road bikes under $1000. But, you need to sure that the bike offers value and reliable parts in a style that works for you. Look at the frame, the components, and the finish of the bike to find a good fit. Or, consider cruisers or electronic assist bikes if you are new to cycling. There is something out there for everyone.