If you’re looking for commuter bikes under $500, chances are you’ve come across many great models. The market is packed with different bicycles that vary in price, features, and specifications. They also suit different people depending on the riding style and skills of the person.

However, if you’re looking for a way to commute around town that doesn’t include crowded buses and hours in traffic, you’re doing right by considering biking. Plus, there are plenty of great, affordable models and one of them is the Vilano R2 Commuter Road Bike.

Its a combination of style and efficiency which is mainly why it’s considered as one of the best commuter bicycles currently on the market. It has an impressive set of features that provide a smooth and hassle-free experience on most in-town road surfaces. 

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Vilano is by far one of the most popular brands in the industry. It’s been around for ages and has a long list of bicycles suitable for different people, roads and styles.

The R2 stands out for a reason, one of which is definitely its convenience and ease of use. It’s simple and as such is ideal for both beginners and those who already have some experience riding a bike. 

If you want to make your daily commute more fun, you should consider the Vilano R2. Continue reading to find out all the information about it as well as its most significant pros and cons

Features and Specifications:

One of the best-selling points of the bicycle is the fact it’s made by Vilano. It’s a well-known brand that you’ve maybe even seen around where you live. Many of its models are widely popular, though the R2 is the one most suitable for commuting and lightweight cruising.

Right of the bat, you can notice the quality and style easily recognizable in all Vilano bikes. The R2 comes in several sizes, so the frame goes from 50cm to 58cm. 

There’s only the black and lime green color combination. The lack of other options is a bit of a setback, but the bicycle definitely has advantages that are far more important. 

The frame is made of 6061 double-butted aluminum that’s relatively durable and resistant. It’s not the most lightweight option, but it’s still light enough not to disrupt maneuverability. The bike is easy to control at all times though it might be a bit too heavy to carry up and down the stairs very often.

It comes with Shimano A050 Thumb Shifters and Shimano 21-speed drivetrain. Though thumb-shifting isn’t the most favorite method, on the R2, the shifters are more conveniently placed. They won’t get in your way which is crucial.

On top of that, you get the variety of the 21-speed drivetrain that’s rarely seen on other commuter bikes. This makes the R2 ideal for all kinds of city situations, roads and weather conditions.  bikes. This makes the R2 ideal for all kinds of city situations, roads and weather conditions. 

The R2 can go pretty fast thankfully, it has reliable brakes. It features alloy caliper brakes for supreme stopping power you can rely on at any time. Still, being a bit more cautious when it’s raining is always recommended.

Another thing worth mentioning is its impressive 700c double-walled, CNC-machined sides. It comes along with quick-release skewers for enhanced smoothness of rides. The tires are 700c x 25c and are suitable for most city road surfaces. For longevity, try to stick to smooth roads and pavements, avoiding holes and rougher tracks. 

It’s also crucial to mention that this one comes partially assembled. Before taking it out to the street, you’ll have to install the saddle, pedals, handlebars and front wheel. Things like brakes, derailleur, and wheels need tuning. 

Though you get some instructions on how to do this, you might want to have professionals do it. Even if you put the parts together by yourself, take it to a local bike shop for a safety check.

When it comes to choosing the right size, there are also a few things to pay attention to for comfort and safety. Generally, there should be at least 1’’-2’’ between you and the top bar of the bicycle. For the best fit, measure your inseam and compare it to the manufacturer’s sizing chart. 

The Good

  • 21 speeds
  • Durable and sturdy frame
  • Easy-to-use shifters
  • Reliable brakes

The Bad

  • The saddle might need replacement

The Verdict

At this point, it’s probably clear to you why the R2 is as popular. Seemingly, it’s such a simple bike that’s ideal for daily commuting and running errands. However, the first time you ride it, you’ll notice it’s more than just that. This one is more fun since it has 21 speeds allowing you to make commuting go from dull to super-fun.

The R2 is fast, and you’ll find yourself getting places much faster than you would with any form of public transportation. The 21 speeds will get you anywhere you want and in style. 

The only thing you should pay attention to is selecting the right size. If the frame is too big or too small for you, you won’t be able to enjoy the bike as much. Plus, riding such a bicycle wouldn’t be safe either. 

Assembly isn’t as complicated though there are quite a few things you have to set up and tune. However, the entire process shouldn’t take too much of your time if you have some skill and experience. If not, we suggest you take the bicycle to a local shop where professionals will handle it within minutes. 

As we mentioned, all its parts and components are high-quality and durable. They work together to provide a safe, comfortable and hassle-free ride at all times. 

Still, some of its parts, such as saddle and handlebars, might not suit you as well. Also, you’ll have to purchase some additional lights because the R2 isn’t very visible in the dark.

Other than those small details, the bike is convenient, reliable and ideal for everyday use. Choose the right size and get ready to enjoy your daily commute more than ever.

Related Models:

700c Admiral Schwinn

Vilano Aluminum Shimano 21 Speed

Retrospec Harper Fixie

Diverse 3.0 performance hybrid road bike

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