Can’t justify dropping $8,000 on the latest two-wheeled hotness? Don’t fret. Good bikes for about a grand can be had, no matter what kind of riding you do. Check out these bonafide budget bikes that are easy on the wallet, but smooth in the saddle.
ROAD BIKE Bianchi Via Nirone 7; $900 The Via Nirone offers a snappy ride via classic Italian geometry in an aluminum frame. Our tester liked the carbon fork with Kevlar inserts, which dampens the road buzz while providing precise cornering on mountain roads. The compact gearing shifts more efficiently than the standard beginner-friendly triple chainring and still offers enough gear for long, steep climbs.
THE 29ER Fisher Mamba; $930 The biggest drawback to a 29-inch wheel is the loss of maneuverability when traveling slowly: bigger wheels are harder to put into tiny places. The Fisher Mamba’s G2 design helps alleviate this issue. The G2 geometry improves handling at low speeds by tinkering with the steering axis to reduce the contact point between the tire and ground.
MOUNTAIN BIKE Kona Caldera; $1059 Kona frames are legendary for their durability, and the Caldera is one of the only bikes on the market at the $1,000 price point that comes standard with a Rock Shox Tora fork. The fork is air adjustable so you can fine-tune it to your weight and style of riding. The Shimano Diore components are solid and the 7005 series aluminum frame is about as light as you’ll find for this price.
TOURING BIKE Jamis Aurora; $1,000 The Aurora is a super-comfy touring bike with a steel frame. It’s a little heavier than aluminum frames, but it offers a smoother ride because the steel absorbs much of the road vibrations. The frame is also strong enough to support bags for overnight trips. You’re not going to race this bike, but the Aurora is a comfy workhorse ideal for commuting or bikepacking.