According to Consumer Search, even entry-level road bikes of decent quality will cost upwards of $500. Lesser purchases are likely to be of lesser quality, leaving you disappointed.
The size of your road bicycle frame may be the most critical element of its construction. If it's too large you may not be able to reach shifters, brake or the ground; too small a frame may cause knee injuries.
Many entry level road bicycles come with triple chain rings, which make it easier for beginners to power up hills. Some serious cyclists believe that double chain rings, found on more expensive road bicycles, make for cleaner and more precise shifting.
The highest-end road bikes used for competitive racing are know as tri-bikes (triathlon bikes) or time trial bikes.
Road bikes are subject to federal safety standards. As such, they may be recalled by the manufacturers if they fail to meet said standards.
Aluminum is a common material used to create light weight, low-cost entry-level road bicycle frames. Carbon, which is more expensive, is lighter and dampens road vibrations better. Typically, as bikes get more expensive they will incorporate more carbon into their construction, up to full carbon frame models.