How To Choose Best Road Bike For Beginners (Under $300 - $500)

”Nothing compares to the pleasure of a bike ride”. – John F Kennedy. Tweet This

That`s true, a bike help you save money on transportation cost.

They also help you to stay healthier and happier.

Previously we have published several articles on:
Best Mountain Bike Under $300
Choosing Best Electric Bike For Commuting
How To Choose Best Electric Bike Conversion Kit

However, if speed, agility, and lightweight is your main concern then a road bike is your best bicycle.

So let's get into it deeper.

Pros & Cons

According to Wikipedia road bicycle is built for traveling at speed on paved roads. Some sources use the term to mean racing bicycle.

This bike is designed as light as possible with thin wheels to support faster speeds. The bike also comes with drop handlebars that offer various positions for comfort and aerodynamics making them great for bike to work or long distances trips on open roads.

Enjoy the video bellow to see how agile road bike on city streets (performed by Guinness World Record holder Matti Hemmings):

Unfortunately, most road bikes can`t support a full rack and less suitable for cycling on bricks and rough pavement.


Choosing Best Road Bike For Beginners

1. Know The Frame
The frame of a road bike will greatly affect your cycling style, comfort, and pricing. There are 3 important parts of the frame that you should take into account properly, the frame geometry (design), size, and material.

• Frame design
According to REI experts, road bike with sport (recreational) geometry is very ideal if you plan to ride the bike up to 3 times a week and to travel from 20 to 150 miles a week. Perfect for triathlons or road-bike racing.

While flat bar road bikes provide upright riding position so you can look around or observe traffic easier. These type of road bikes are very popular for commuting.

• Frame Material
- Aluminum frames provide a smooth ride, and less expensive than carbon fiber.
- Carbon fiber offer the best cycling comfort with vibration-absorbing while allowing a faster speed than an aluminum frame.
- Steel offers excellent ride quality, durability, is easily repaired and affordable.
- Titanium is one of the longest lasting, lightest, and most expensive frame materials.

• Frame Size
Getting the right frame size will give you comfort in cycling with better handling. Use the sizing chart compiled by About.com below to find the right sized road bike for you:

Height Inseam Length Bike Frame Size
4'10" - 5'1" 25.5” - 27” 46 - 48 cm
5'0" - 5'3" 26.5" - 28" 48 - 50 cm
5'2" - 5'5" 27.5" - 29" 50 - 52 cm
5'4" - 5'7" 28.5" - 30" 52 - 54 cm
5'6" - 5'9" 29.5" - 31" 54 - 56 cm
5'8" - 5'11" 30.5" - 32" 56 - 58 cm
5'10" - 6'1" 31.5" - 33" 58 - 60 cm
6'0" - 6'3" 32.5" - 34" 60 - 62 cm
6'2" - 6'5" 34.5" - 36" 62 - 64 cm

2. Crankset
• Triple crankset - the most common configuration on entry level road bikes. They provides a wide range of gears and perfect for riding up steep hills or canyons.

• Double or compact crankset provide a lower range of gears which mostly can be found on sport geometry road bikes. They perfect for strong and flat-land cyclists.

3. Wheels & Rims
• The lighter the wheels, the higher the bike's climbing, acceleration, and handling.
• Box-section rims are light, accelerate quickly, and provide the most comfort.
• Aero-shaped rims are stronger, have less wind drag, and are stiffer.
• 650c wheels smaller, lighter, slightly stronger, and accelerate faster than 700c wheels. But, 650c wheels sometimes ride a bit rougher, lose momentum a bit faster and cover less distance per revolution.

4. Tires
• Tires with Kevlar beads offer lightweight wheels and lively handling.
• 700 x 20c tires perfect for time trails and lighter riders.
• 700 x 23c tires perfect for racing and training.
• 700 x 25c tires - thicker, longer wearing, and more shock absorption.
• 700 x 28c tires - thicker, longest lasting, perfect for touring, commuting, and heavy riders.

5. Chainrings & Cogs
For chainrings, the larger the numbers the harder the bike to pedal. While for cogs, the larger the number, the easier the bike to pedal.

6. Features To Consider
• Electronic shifting to enjoy precise and quick shifting (as long as you do not mind extra weight).
• Warranty – the longer the better.

7. What Other Buyers Have Said
There are strong reasons why large online retailer like Amazon.com displaying their customer reviews including the star rating. It will give you a real picture of a product that you plan to buy.

For your information, people who can submit a product review on Amazon.com must make the purchase first. So rest assured, you will get a honest review from them.


Best Road Bikes Under $300 To <$500


1. GMC Denali (under $260)
Features:
• Reviewed by 846 verified buyers - 3.7 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• 21-speed road bike features a lightweight aluminum frame
• Alloy calipers and ally brake levers
• High-profile alloy Vitesse racing rims
• Shimano derailleur and Shimano Revo shifts makes it easy to change gears quickly and smoothly
• High-performance 700c tires are up to the challenge of rigorous street racing
• Weight: 29.0 lbs
• Color options: gold, black/green, yellow, black/silver, black/pink. Yellow/black
More Specs & Features


2. Takara Kabuto (under $200)
Features:
• Reviewed by 443 verified buyers - 4.0 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• Steel frame and fork; 54 centimeter top tube
• Alloy rims with alloy hub
• Tig-welded steel frame with horizontal drop out
• Alloy side pull brakes
• Weighs 29.5 pounds
• Color options: yellow/black, green/blue
More Specs & Features


3. Vilano (under $271)
Features:
• Reviewed by 238 verified buyers - 3.9 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• Frame: 6061 Double Butted Aluminum
• Fork: 700c 1 1/8" Threadless
• Shifters: Shimano A050 SIS Handlebar Mounted
• Wheelset: 700c Doubled Walled CNC Machined Sides
• Free Pedals Included
More Specs & Features


4. Vilano Commuter 700c (under $200)
Features:
• Reviewed by 140 verified buyers - 3.6 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• 6061 Double Butted Aluminum Frame - Lightweight
• Shimano A050 Thumb Shifters
• 700c Doubled Walled CNC Machined Sides
• 21 Speeds to Handle Any Situation
• Free Pedals Included
• Color options: white, black
More Specs & Features


5. Giordano Libero (under $370)
Features:
• Reviewed by 132 verified buyers - 4.2 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• Lightweight hand crafted 6061 aluminum frame
• 32 Spoke High Profile Quick Release Alloy Rims
• 1 1/8" Threadless stem
• 16-speed Shimano STI drive train
• Dual water bottle mounts
• Color options: black/red, white/red
• Size options: 51 cm (small), 56 cm (medium), 63 cm (large)
More Specs & Features


6. Giordano Rapido (under $201)
Features:
• Reviewed by 80 verified buyers - 4.0 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• Single Speed Road Bike
• Aluminum Frame
• Alloy Rims with Alloy Hub
• Rear Flip Flop Hub
• Alloy Side Pull Brakes
• Black Kenda 700 x 32 Tires
• Size options: 56 cm, 61 cm
More Specs & Features


7. Vilano Shadow (under $340)
Features:
• Reviewed by 66 verified buyers - 4.2 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• Shimano STI Integrated Brake Lever/Shifters offer precise and controllable braking and shifting in a convenient single unit designed for the road
• 6061 Double Butted Aluminum Aero frame with integrated headset
• Fork: 700c 1 1/8" threadless, brakes: dual pivot alloy caliper
• Free pedals included
• Wheelset: 700c doubled walled CNC machined side
• Color options: black, white
More Specs & Features


8. Schwinn Men's Phocus 1400 (under $292)
Features:
• Reviewed by 54 verified buyers - 4.0 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• Schwinn aluminum road frame with rigid fork for quick agile riding
• Shimano 14 speed rear derailleur with Shimano A050 shifters
• High profile alloy rims with paired spokes are lightweight and strong, front quick release
• Alloy caliper road brakes for great breaking power
• SR Suntour alloy crank for wide gear range
• 700c Dropbar, 18-inch
• Lifetime warranty
More Specs & Features


9. Vilano Performance 700C Commuter (under $290)
Features:
• Reviewed by 45 verified buyers - 4.0 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• Performance Hybrid road bike with Shimano components and 700c wheels
• 6061 Aluminum Aero Performance Hybrid Frame w/ Integrated Headset
• Alloy linear pull cantilever V-brakes and double wall alloy rims
• Compact frame provides comfortable fit
• Free Pedals Included
• Color options: black, white, grey
• Size options: 50 cm, 54 cm, 58 cm.
More Specs & Features


10. Vilano Hybrid Flat Bar Road Bike (under $180)
Features:
• Reviewed by 31 verified buyers - 3.7 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• 6061 Double Butted Aluminum - Lightweight w/ Rear rack mount points
• Shimano Trigger Shifters
• 700c Doubled Walled CNC Machined Sides
• 21 Speeds to Handle Any Situation
• Free Pedals Included
• Size options: 50 cm (small), 54 cm (medium), 58 cm (large)
More Specs & Features

Choosing Your First Bass Guitar Like A Pro

”Bass players are sexy, your argument is invalid”. – Anonymous. Tweet This.

That's true because as a bass player, you are responsible for linking the harmony of a song (chords) with a distinctive rhythm (groove) to shape the feel or style of the music.

To do that, it will take considerable times for practicing and a proper bass guitar.

And the first step for every beginners who want to enter the bass world is to learn how you should choose the right electric bass guitar.

There are several considerations that you must take into account before buying, as follows:

1. Know The Components
Your favorite music will determine the type of bass guitar you should buy. Also, the components of a bass will greatly affect your comfort in playing the instrument.

• Neck
- Bolt-on neck: the neck is bolted onto the body. A solid & tight connection between the neck and the body will provides greater stability, better string vibration transfer, and enhanced sustain.
- Set necks: the neck is attached to the body with a mortise or dovetail joint to creates better resonance and sustain, but can be more difficult to adjust.
- Thru-body necks – the neck is one continuous piece through the body better response and sustain. Usually can be found on hi-end bass guitars.

• Scale Length
The most common scale length is 34-inch. The rule of thumb is, the longer the scale neck, the more frets you have giving your more tone options to play.

• Body
- Solid body offer greater sustain than hollow body and can be amplified at high volume with few worries with regard to feedback issues. Perfect for hard rock, metal, punk and other classic rock genre.
- Hollow body offer superb bass response, or bottom end. Perfect for jazz, folk, or for quieter music that requires a more acoustic-like tone. However they are the most susceptible to feedback at mid- to high-volume.
- Semi hollow body offer an exceptionally warm tone, as well as pleasing overtones and a woody, resonant sound. Perfect for jazz, rock and roll, vintage country, or pop.

• Woods
- Alder creates a very balanced tone, with great clarity and a very full sound.
- Agathis provides a fairly balanced tone with a slight emphasis on low-mid tones that gives it a rich sound.
- Ash produces a bright, full sound, similar to alder.
- Basswood creates a flat sound and short sustain which is very ideal for fast and complex playing techniques.
- Mahogany produces a soft, warm tone that emphasizes the low-mid and lower-range tones, and creates longer sustain.
- Maple creates a well-sustained sound, a bright and clear tone.

• Bridges
A bridge with more mass and weight will usually anchor the strings better and transfer more vibration from the strings to the body.

• Pickups
- Single coils creates a bright, focused sound. However they can be quite noisy.
- Humbucker have a fatter sound in order to be noise-free. They can get muddy at higher volumes.
- Split coil offer a close to noise free single-coil sound.

• Electronics
- Passive pickups operate without any power source, easy and simple to operate.
- Active pickups operate with battery to gain stronger output and more control over tone shaping.

• Strings
- 4 strings are the most common model which is already fit enough to all musical styles. As a beginner, you should start your career with 4-string electric bass guitar because the neck is relatively smaller (than 5-6 strings model) making it easier to handle.

- 5-6 strings offer you more deeper range and tone options. However, since the neck is wider making it a bit harder to play.

Additional note: be advised that uncoated bass strings will risk you to corrosion and deadened vibrations. Try to always choose coated strings.

• Fret
- Fretted neck allow you to find the correct notes much easier, especially if you are just starting out on the instrument.

- Fretless offer smoother, warmer sound and ability to provide glissando effects like a standup acoustic bass. However, they require a strong and sharp memory as well as a well trained ear. Definitely not for beginners!!!

• Fingerboard
A coated fingerboard helps you to produce a whining, trebly “fretless sound” and longer sustain. While uncoated fingerboards have a warmer, more natural sound.

2. Go For Beginner Starter Pack
Ask yourself, how big your commitment to this instrument???

Beginners usually are unaware that he/she should practice regularly with full discipline and a lot of patience. This time period can be so boring. No band will receive you, no audience will applause you.

In many cases, they just drop the bass and leave.

Imagine if in your first time, you have spend thousands of dollars for the equipment and one day you simply leave because you are drop death bored. In short, you burn thousand of dollars for nothing!!!

Therefore, it is strongly recommended for beginners like you to start your career with a starter pack.

These days some starter packs even come with quite decent quality. They provides everything you need (bass guitar, amps, case, etc) to get started immediately.

Also, none of the best bass player on earth start their career with fancy equipments.

Trust me, when your commitment and skill grow bigger and stronger, trust me those fancy equipment will come to you naturally.

At last, the most recommended budget wise for beginners are between $100 to $300.

3. What Other Buyers Have Said
There are strong reasons why large online retailer like Amazon.com displaying their customer reviews including the star rating. It will give you a real picture of a product that you plan to buy.

For your information, people who can submit a product review on Amazon.com must make the purchase first. So rest assured, you will get a honest review from them.


10 Best Bass Guitar From $100 To Under $300


1. Silvertone LB11 (under $200)
Features:
• Reviewed by 195 verified buyers - 4.0 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• BAXs bass amp, digital tuner, instructional DVD, strings, strap, picks, cable, gig bag
• Sunburst Revolver LB11 offers comfortable balance, warm resonance, and fat tone
• BAXs bass amp with 10-watt RMS power, 6.5-inch speaker, 4-band EQ
• Limited lifetime warranty


2. Steadman Pro (under $105)
Features:
• Reviewed by 141 verified buyers - 4.2 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• 43" Full Size Electric Bass Guitar
• Pickups: Split P-B P/U
• Regulator: Volume - Tone
• Body: Basswood
• 20 Frets
• Carrying strap, etc


3. Davison Beginner Bass Starter Package (under $135)
Features:
• Reviewed by 116 verified buyers - 4.6 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• Full Size 45” Electric Bass Guitar
• High Gloss Finish
• Maple Neck
• Diecast Tuners
• Dual Pickups
• Gig Bag Case
• Practice Amp
• Accessories Bundle


4. PylePro PGEKT50 (under $232)
Features:
• Reviewed by 33 verified buyers - 3.2 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• Double Cutaway Basswood Body - Maple Fretboard - Two Piece Maple Neck - Two Piece Construction w/ Bolt on Neck
• Three Magnetic Pickups - Tone and Volume Control w/ Chrome Knobs - Chrome Plated Tuning Machines
• Pyle Pro 15B Bass Amplifier w/ 4 Channel Equalizer, Headphone Output, and 6.5'' Woofer - Nylon Guitar Strap - Full Set of Replacement Strings
• 3 Pearloid Guitar Picks - 10 Foot 1/4'' patch cord - 44'' Full Size Scale
• Grey Sunburst and Black Finish
• Hex Key for Neck Adjustments
• One Year Warranty
• Dimensions: 7.9 x 17 x 41.3 inches ; 25 pounds


5. Squier by Fender Vintage SS (under $180)
Features:
• Reviewed by 31 verified buyers - 4.6 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• Agathis Body
• Maple C shape neck with a 9.5 in radius and 20 medium jumbo frets
• 30” scale neck
• 1 Single-Coil Jazz Bass® Pickup, 1 Split Single-Coil Precision Bass pickup
• Standard 4-Saddle
• Master Tone and 2 volume controls
• Dimensions: 52.2 x 4 x 15 inches ; 11.4 pounds


6. Epiphone EB-0 (under $200)
Features:
• Reviewed by 21 verified buyers - 4.3 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• Cherry red with classic Epiphone SG shape
• Carved mahogany body with bolted mahogany neck
• Rosewood fretboard with dotted inlay; 30.5-inch scale
• Single SideWinder bass humbucker pickup
• Chrome hardware including a fully-adjustable 3-point bridge
• Dimensions: 51 x 20 x 7 inches ; 12 pounds


7. Squier by Fender Stop Dreaming-Start Playing (under $300)
Features:
• Reviewed by 16 verified buyers - 4.9 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• Agathis body with gloss polyurethane finish
• C-shape maple neck with 9.5 in radius, rosewood fingerboard and 20 medium jumbo frets
• 1 Split Single-Coil Pickup
• Standard 4 saddle bridge w/ 1 volume ant 1 tone control
• Affinity Precision Bass®, Gig Bag, Rumble 15 Bass Amplifier, Tuner, Strap, Cable, Stereo Headphones, Instructional DVD
• Dimensions: 50 x 12 x 27 inches ; 17 pounds


8. Dean Starter Bass Pack (under $190)
Features:
• Reviewed by 11 verified buyers - 3.4 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• Custom neck joint and heel plus asymmetrical four-bolt pattern
• 10 watt bass amp with single 8-inch speaker and headphone jack
• Complete electricbass guitar kit
• Classic Black 1 pickup electric Bass
• Gig bag, tuner, cord, strap, and picks
• Dimensions: 48.1 x 7.7 x 24 inches ; 11 pounds


9. ESP LTD B55 – 5 Strings Bass (under $280)
Features:
• Reviewed by 10 verified buyers - 4.9 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• Basswood Body with a Maple Neck and a Rosewood Fingerboard
• LTD DB-5 Bridge and LTD Tuners
• Bolt-On Neck Construction and a 34" Scale with 24 Extra Jumbo Frets and a Thin-U Neck Contour
• The pickups are passive ESP Designed LDJ(b) & LDP(n) with an Active EQ
• The controls are Vol/Bal/ATB-1 Tone Boost


10. Squier by Fender Vintage Jazz Bass '70s (under $300)
Features:
• Reviewed by 10 verified buyers - 4.6 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• Traditional Jazz Bass Tone delivered by two Fender Designed single coil pickups
• Rich look and presentation via a vintage tinted gloss neck with block inlays
• Super 70's sound and feel for today's bassists, with superior Squier performance and value
• Maple neck and fretboard
• Body – soft maple
• Dimensions: 52 x 4 x 16 inches

How Laptop Desk Stand Can Increase Your Productivity By Up To 9.43%

”My studio is a laptop. Everybody I work with is the same. We make computer music, we're the laptop generation. - David Guetta (French Musician).

Although David quote is true but unfortunately many people (including you maybe) are not fully aware about the danger of prolonged laptop use.

According to Backcare & Seating experts, laptop has a serious ergonomic issue when used on less ergonomic desk.

Prolonged laptop use on less ergonomic workstation will raise a risk of discomfort and pain from a number of musculoskeletal disorders and physical ailments, such as:

• Neck pain
• Upper and lower back pain
• Carpal tunnel syndrome
• Computer vision syndrome
• etc

If the situation above can`t be addressed immediately, you will find your productivity declined significantly as well as the discomfort and pain in your body.

However, functioning a laptop as your permanent workstation is also not a bad idea as long as you use the right laptop stand. Why???

Laptop stand will help you to elevate the laptop display to your eye level with optimal distance to achieve better ergonomic posture. Enjoy the video bellow to see how you should work with your laptop ergonomically:

Based on a study published on NCBI, ergonomic workstations will increase users productivity by up to 9.43%.

In addition, a laptop stand is also much cheaper solution (some are priced under $50) compared to if you have to spend thousands of dollars for ergonomic workstation.


How To Choose Your Best Laptop Stand

1. Height, Distance, & Size
Check the laptop stand maximum height and distance, are they perfectly fit to your ergonomic needs??? Here, adjustable stands are very recommended.

Also check the size of the stand, whether it can accommodate your laptop properly or not.

2. Material
• Metal – if robustness and durability are your concern.
• Aluminum – light, resistant, and easy to clean.
• Plastic – if lightweight is your top priority.

3. Features To Consider
• Cooling fan.
• A holder or pivoting ball that allows you to easily change position and format.
• Adjustable arms so you can adjust the stand to the dimensions of your laptop.

4. What Other Buyers Have Said
In addition to enjoy cheaper price, if you buy online from Amazon.com you have the opportunity to examine other buyers experience with the product (consumer reviews). This way, you can get a clear picture of a product that you must buy.

People who can submit a product review on Amazon.com are people who have bought the products. So rest assured you will get a honest review from them.


Best Adjustable Laptop Stand For Your Desk

1. Furinno (under $55)
Features:
• Reviewed by 1,004 verified buyers - 4.2 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• Material: aluminum
• Highly functional with multiple uses
• Easy storage and portability
• Color options: black, silver, purple, pink
• Dimensions: 11.2 x 19.5 x 22 inches ; 4.5 pounds


2. Sojitek (under $45)
Features:
• Reviewed by 592 verified buyers - 3.8 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• Material: Aluminum
• Highly functional with multiple uses
• Easy storage and portability
• More than 10 color options
• Dimensions: 22 x 11.4 x 1.3 inches ; 3.85 pounds


3. iCraze (under $40)
Features:
• Reviewed by 511 verified buyers - 3.8 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• Made by aluminum alloy - ultra light and strong
• Highly functional with multiple uses
• Silent built-in fans - cool your laptop on USB power
• Patented joint locking design to fit virtually any angles and positions.
• Highly functional with multiple uses.
• Easy storage and portability


4. Pwr+® (under $40)
Features:
• Reviewed by 374 verified buyers - 4.4 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• Robust yet silent two hydro bearing fans powered by USB port.
• Compact, foldable and easy to carry - use it any way you want it.
• Suitable for 7-17" laptops
• Adjustable auto-locking joints with 360 degree rotation.
• 30 Days Money Back Guarantee / 18 Months - Exchange and Spare Parts
• Dimensions: 19.5 x 2.5 x 11.5 inches ; 4 pounds


5. Pwr+® FlexTop (under $42)
Features:
• Reviewed by 323 verified buyers - 4.2 out of 5 stars - READ REVIEWS
• FlexTop Series - multiangle table surface for maximum comfort
• Compact, foldable and easy to carry - use it any way you want it.
• Suitable for 7-15" laptops
• Adjustable auto-locking joints with 360 degree rotation.
• 30 Days Money Back Guarantee / 18 Months - Exchange and Spare Parts
• Dimensions: 26.5 x 2.5 x 11.5 inches