When it comes to Road bikes, there are a lot of different options to choose from and it can be really confusing which one to pick, especially if you are starting out. To help you out, we have reviewed one of the best bikes in its segment so that you can have an idea of what to look for and what to expect. In this review, we will be talking about Vilano Shadow, an entry level road bike. It has an all aluminium construction, making it light yet strong. A bike made for beginners, it is a good product for its price range and we do recommend it.
Being an entry level bike, you can not expect too much from the bike. However, since this is targeted at beginners, we will keep that in mind when reviewing its features. The frame is made up of aluminium, which makes the bike light and easy to control and handle.Beginners often find heavy bikes difficult to control, which is not a problem with Vilano.
The bike comes with 14 speed levels. Equipped with 6061 Double Betted Aluminium Aero frame, the bike cuts through the wind nicely and does not face much resistance. Sure, the speed could have been a bit higher but it is good enough for a beginner and the bike’s price. Plus, speeds too high could be difficult to control at first, so the lower speeds are actually a good thing. The Vilano Shadow uses a Shimano STI Brake Lever/Shifter. The gear switch mechanism is comfortable a use, though a bit stretched out which could be a challenge if you have small hands. But it hardly a deal breaker. The braking performance is average.
Since the Shadow’s speed does not reach very high, it remains stable for most parts. However, if you are riding on an uneven road or terrain, you might experience more than usual vibrations. A good idea for your training would be to get biking gloves. They provide a firmer grip on the handle and absorb a lot of the vibrations coming in from the front wheel.
The seat is moderately comfortable, but not for long distances. The padding is bad and soon you might have to switch out the seats for something better. Same goes for the pedals. You might have to upgrade them a few months from now.
If this is the first bike you are assembling, do not do this on your own. Take it to a professional in a bike store. If you try to do it on your own, you might end up breaking something which could lead to injuries or bike breakdown. For the first time, pump your tyres to 110 rating to avoid flat tires for your first ride.
What could have been better?
Firstly, the brakes. Due to the integrated system of brakes and gears, at high speeds the brakes have a tendency to under-perform, which is not a good feature for a road bike. Some customers have reported wearing out of gears too over time. We have not experienced this personally but we have also just tested the bike for a week, which is not a time duration long enough for issues like these to surface.
Lastly, the handle bar wrapping is bad and the manufacturers could have done a better job. Replace it altogether, it is not that expensive to do.
For beginners, and strictly for beginners, this is a pretty good option for its price. Good performance, good comfort, high stability and over all above average experience make it a very good option. In a year or two, if you want to upgrade, you can easily do so. However, if you are an intermediate or experienced ride, or you already have a road bike, do not get this. Spend a little bit more and get teh Schwinn Prelude. However, for a first time bike, the Vilano Shadow is an awesome product.