What makes a good beginner road bike?

A man rides down a sunny tree lined road on a blue road bike
(Image credit: Giant)

Are you after a beginner road bike but don’t really know what to look for? Don’t worry, every single person you see out on the road started somewhere, with all the same questions that are probably rattling around in your brain. If you’re brand new to this and want to learn about how to choose the perfect bike for you, then our guide to the best road bikes is a great place to start. If you're a little more aware of what you’re after then we’ve put together a guide to the best budget road bikes. Meanwhile, if you want to know about sizing, componentry, accessories, and some red flags to avoid when buying a beginner's road bike, then read on.

Your first road bike is something of a rite of passage, and while our buyers' guides are geared towards new bikes, there are a huge array of used options available too, so make sure to take a look at our guide to how to buy a used bike, as well as how to build your dream bike on a budget if you’re mechanically savvy. 

You can trust Cyclingnews Our experts spend countless hours testing cycling tech and will always share honest, unbiased advice to help you choose. Find out more about how we test.

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Will Jones
Senior Tech Writer

Will joined the Cyclingnews team as a reviews writer in 2022, having previously written for Cyclist, BikeRadar and Advntr. He’s tried his hand at most cycling disciplines, from the standard mix of road, gravel, and mountain bike, to the more unusual like bike polo and tracklocross. He’s made his own bike frames, covered tech news from the biggest races on the planet, and published countless premium galleries thanks to his excellent photographic eye. Also, given he doesn’t ever ride indoors he’s become a real expert on foul-weather riding gear. His collection of bikes is a real smorgasbord, with everything from vintage-style steel tourers through to superlight flat bar hill climb machines.