The Vilano Shadow road bike with Shimano STI Integrated Shifters is one my favorite options for a good, cheap road bike that is easy on the budget. You get precise and controllable braking with this bike and you do not have to spend tons of money to get it. In fact, I think that this is one of the best cheap road bikes for the money. I think it is great for beginners as well as those who have been cycling for a while but just do not want to spend a lot on a good quality road bike.
If you are shopping for a new road bike and want to find best cheap road bike for the money, then you might have some questions about this particular bike. While I do not work in a bike shop and am by no means an expert, I can help you out with a few of those questions so that you can determine if the Vilano Shadow is a good value road bike for your needs.
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What I Love and Hate About This Bike
Before I get into the good and bad things about this bike, let me start by pointing out that this is mostly an entry level road bike.
Yes, it gives you a good ride. Yes, it is a a quality bike. Yes, you can use it even if you’re not a beginner. However, if you regularly ride a bike for work or anything else, then you’d probably want to consider spending a little more up front for a better bike with more features. But, if you’re frugal, on a budget or new to road bikes, then this is a great choice.
This bike is easy to put together right out of the box, of course you’ll want to swing by your local bike shop with it for a tune up before you take it out for a ride. It’s important that you get those tires pumped up to 110 as suggested by the manufacturer. If you don’t, then you’ll probably end up with a flat on your first ride. And that will suck. So, if you don’t already have a bike pump with a gauge, get one of those now so that you’re prepared.
This is an ultra lightweight road bike, which is one of the best things about it. You really notice that weight (or lack there of) when you’re riding up a hill and when you lift it up onto the rack on your car.
When you are on this bike, it gives you a smooth, confident ride. Being able to trust your bike is important, and I definitely get that this with model. And I feel like I get a decent enough speed on it, with an average of around 17 MPH for my rides.
The components on this bike frame are not top of the line by any means, but they are dependable, which is what really matters. For instance the brake are fine in terms of precision, but it would be better if it came with Shimano brakes. Overall, this model offers a solid performance and that is really all that you can ask, right? After several rides, everything seems very sturdy and durable. I expect to get many hundreds of miles of use out of this bike.
Probably my biggest complaint about this bike has to do with the shifters. They can be on the difficult side to work. I feel like I have an average body size and hand size, but reaching them is a real stretch for me. It’s not really a deal breaker, but not ideal either.
If the roads that you ride on are rough, then you’ll likely have the same problem that I initially had with road vibrations while riding. That happens with the best of bikes though and a good pair of padded cycling gloves fixes that right up.
Another minor complaint that I have is that the pedals that come with the bike could be better. Sure, I know that I can spend more for a bike that has better pedals, so it’s not a huge deal, but I wanted to point it out.
For a good starter road bike though, this is definitely a good choice. It has a low, affordable price, some good features and is built to last.
More About The Vilano Shadow Road Bike
How does the bike ship?
When you bike a road bicycle online, you might wonder how it will arrive at your home. Well, since I ordered mine online, I can tell you how the Vilano Shadow aluminum road bike ships.
It comes in a box that is a bit smaller than the actual bike itself. This is because it does not come assembled. Of course, the actual box size will depend on the frame size of the bike that you ordered.
When you open the box, you will see that the seat, handlebars, pedals, and front wheel will not be connected to the rest of the bike. So, that is why the box is a bit smaller than the full-size bike.
How many speeds is the bike?
While Vilano does makes a great (and cheap) 21 speed bike, this road bike comes in at 14 speed. So, if you need a 21 speed option, this is not it.
How much does the Vilano Shadow road bike weigh?
This bike has a lightweight 6061 aluminum frame, which is great for riding up hills and for lifting into your vehicle, bus or train. The total weight for this bike is about 23 pounds.
Does this Vilano Shadow have quick release front and rear?
If this is a feature that you are shopping for in your road bike, then you can put a check beside those boxes because this bike does have front and read quick release.
Can the Vilano Shadow be fitted with aero bars?
Yes, you can use aero bars with this Vilano road bike model.
What are the sizes for the bike frames?
For the Vilano Shadow, the bike frame sizes are as follows:
- small is 50 cm
- medium is 54 cm
- large is 58 cm
How long does it take to assemble the Vilano Shadow if you’ve never put together a road bike?
When you take all the bike parts out of the box, the basic assembly will actually be pretty easy for you. It will take about 15 to 20 minutes total. However, the bike does not come with any tools in the box, so you will need to already have the necessary items to put it together. (An allen wrench and an air pump will do the job.) That being said, all new road bikes should be tuned by a professional at a local bike shop to get the gears adjusted properly. Normally, the cost of tuning includes basic assembly, so there is really no need for you to assemble it on your own unless you just want to do so. Plus, it will speed up the process a little when you take it to your local bike shop.
I suggest that you contact your local bike shop to inquire on the price of a tune-up for the bike and if it includes basic assembly. Another thing to remember is that after about a month of riding the bike, you will need to get it tuned up once again – so try to work out some type of package deal with your local shop to get a good price on the tune-ups. The price for this varies from one bike shop to another, but averages around $70.
How is the road vibration when riding?
While this can vary a lot depending on the road, you do get some considerable vibration. Of course, that is kind of possible to avoid on any road bike. I’ve found that a good pair of padded cycle gloves makes the road vibration almost completely disappear while riding.
Should you buy the Vilano Shadow?
Overall, I feel like this is a great value road bike for the money. It is super lightweight and handles well. For the price, it is a great deal for any cyclers looking for a good, but cheap, entry level road bike. Check out the unboxing and assembly video below so that you’ll know what to expect when you order yours.