Are you looking for a new commuter bike? Biking as a way of commuting is among the best ways of including some physical activity into your daily life. It’s especially useful for people who sit in their office a lot.

One of the best commuter bikes under $500 is the Vilano Aluminum Road Bike. It’s a 21-speed bicycle that offers versatility, durability, and ease of use expected from a commuter bike. 

If you’ve been searching for a while, chances are you’ve probably noticed the many models in the market. They range in price, features, and specifications and are suitable for different people. Some are more suitable for more experienced riders while others are cheaper and easier to use. 

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This Vilano model is among the brand’s best-selling products. It’s made of quality components and is quite durable so it can withstand years of use with minimal maintenance. 

Before we get into the specs and features of this bicycle, we have to mention the reliability of the brand. Vilano has been around for ages and is one of the most popular names in the industry. Its bikes are everywhere since it has a long list of quality models suitable for different roads and skillsets. 

Still, we’ll focus on the 21-speed made for everyday commuting through town, to work, school, or for weekend recreation. Continue reading to learn about its specs, features and the most critical pros and cons.

Features and Specifications:

This is an urban commuter with a 6061 double aluminum frame. The construction is durable, resistant and lightweight for easy maneuvering and handling on different in-town road surfaces. It has a weight limit of about 230 pounds, and anything over that might damage some of its parts. 

It comes in several sizes and colors you can choose from depending on your needs and preferences. By far, black and white frames are the most popular though it all depends on your personal style. 

The best thing about the frame is that it’s light enough for you to carry it around. This is especially useful if you prefer to bring the bike inside the building when you’re done riding it. You probably won’t have any issues bringing this one up the stairs or in the elevator.

What makes this bicycle stand out is the fact that it has 21 speeds. This is somewhat unusual for a commuter bike since most are either single- or 3-speed bikes. The Vilano Aluminum Road Bike features Shimano 21-speed gear for easy handling any situation. This allows you to make daily commute more fun than it would ever be if you’d ride on a bus or your car. 

It comes equipped with Shimano A050 thumb shifters allowing you to shift through the 21 speeds with ease. This is among the most convenient ways to change speeds since it doesn’t come in your way when you’re trying to use the brakes. 

Speaking of brakes, we must mention its caliper steel dual brake levers for immediate stopping or turning at full speed. They provide safety and balance but use caution when riding full speed in wet weather conditions. 

Also, it features 700c Double-Walled CNC-Machined sides for more control and durability over the years. It also comes with free pair of pedals and hi-ten steel fork that enhance its already smooth performance.

For style, Vilano included handlebars and seat post that match the overall design of the commuter. They’re replaceable and upgradeable which is especially important for commuters. These are the parts that show signs of tear the quickest, so it’s good to know you can replace them when they start looking weary. 

It’s also essential we mention that it has narrow, high-pressure tires with minimal thread. These are one of the bicycle’s most vital components since they perform well on most pavement types. Still, we advise you to stick to concrete and other smooth surfaces. Occasional rough terrain might not damage them but keep in mind that they’re mainly made for flat roads. 

The bicycle comes partially assembled which often intimidates beginners. This is an entry-level model, so most people that opt for it are usually scared of putting it together. However, most of its critical parts are pre-assembled, so it’s just up to you to attach the pedals, seat and other similar items. 

The entire process shouldn’t take you much time nor does it require any heavy-duty tools. If you’re still not very confident in your skills, have it done by professionals. Either way, we advise you to take the bicycle to a local mechanic shop for a safety check-up. 

Its main setback seems to be the fact that the brakes and shifters are far apart. Though the two should never be too close together, it’s equally inconvenient when they’re far apart. In this case, they’re a bit too far apart and require some getting used to. 

The Good

  • 21-speed drivetrain
  • Requires minimal maintenance
  • Reliable brakes

The Bad

  • Inconvenient placement of brakes and shifters

The Verdict

You’re making the right decision if you’re opting to bike to school or work. It’s a healthier way of getting to places than driving a car or taking a bus. There’s less traffic, and you’ll probably get to your desired destination much quicker anyway.

Choosing this Vilano 21-speed, you’re choosing one among the best commuter bikes under $500. Its affordability sets it apart from other 21-speed road bikes, though it has many other pros and advantages. 

Still, it comes with some setbacks that aren’t as significant, but you should be aware of them. Assembly tends to be a bit tricky to beginners, and there’s a learning curve to using the brakes and shifters. If you’re an entry-level rider, any other bike would probably require equally as much adapting. 

Despite its minor drawbacks, this is an impressive bicycle. It has all that a road bike should have and then some more. In other words, it’s only one of the few that come equipped with 21 speeds and such a lightweight frame. Overall, its quality components enhance the secure handling and controlling on all on-road surfaces. 

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