Vilano Forza 4.0 is a road bike which I wanted to review for more than 6 months. And today this time has come. Finally, I can present you my review of the beloved Vilano Forza 4.0 road bike. If you are a cyclist who wants to enter into the world of the roadies then you are probably looking for a road bike. Most people look for a cheap road bike under $1000 and that’s a good budget for a beginner’s road bike.
But what if your budget is much lower, for example, $300-400? When you filter out you will see that you have very limited options out there for a road bike for around $400. But the good news is that I found one bike which ticks all the boxes when we think about an entry-level road bike which won’t break your piggy bank. We are talking about the aforementioned Vilano Forza 4.0 road bike.
Is Vilano Forza 4.0 really a good road bike?
- Great Shimano STI shifters;
- Lightweight, durable aluminum frame;
- Smooth and fast ride;
- Very cheap and affordable;
- Super reliable road bike;
- Low-quality seat;
- Average pedals;
- Not turning heads design;
- Average quality tires;
OK, you now have shortlisted your choices and the Vilano Forza 4.0 is on top of your list. But there is a big question we need to answer first – is Vilano Forza 4.0 a good road bike.
One thing that I hate on almost all of the cheapest road bikes is the shifters. In most cases, they are not integrated into the brakes and you need to move your hands from the handlebars to change gears.
In this road bike, Vilano decided to use the Shimano STI shifters which are integrated within the brake levers. Actually, this is probably the cheapest bike on the market with Shimano STI shifters. The system was introduced a long time ago and in the beginning, it was too expensive to be featured on some cheap bikes but today luckily we can see it on this particular road bike.
In this video, you can see actually what’s inside a Shimano STI shifters.
Long story short a pair of Shimano STI shifters can convert a pretty average road bike into a really great road bike. And this is because of the way it works. It makes changing gears super easy without moving your hands from the brakes. We praise this a lot in our Vilano Forza 4.0 review because this is quite crucial for the enjoyment of your rides.
What I really love about this bike is the quality of the components used. Everything is well thought and the materials and the components are at least of medium or in some cases high-quality. The frame is made of lightweight 6061 aluminum and you would benefit from the durability and the lightweight of it.
The bike is really lightweight and if you need to carry it a lot you won’t have any issues. The front fork is really sturdy and it would last thousands of miles before the need to repair it. Vilano Forza 4.0 is suited with derailleur with a total of 24 gear speeds which is more than enough for climbing hills or for casual riding. Having so wide gear rations means not only easy hill climbing but good performance on city straights.
Performance and Design
Vilano Forza 4.0 has a really nice and smooth ride. It’s one of those bikes which you love from your first ride even when the bike is not yet completely adjusted for your height. Due to the Shimano STI shifters, everything runs just perfectly and you don’t want to stop riding. Climbing hills is not a problem too because the Forza 4.0 is really lightweight. Well, it’s not a carbon weight but still, the road bike is very lightweight.
The default tires are Kenda 700c x 23c which is average in general but for the first few hundred miles, I think you will be OK. The grip is good enough, despite the fact that the tires are pretty narrow.
Kenda makes good tires as a rule of thumb but there are much much better alternatives and you could invest in a pair of good road tires once you buy the Vilano Forza 4.0.
The wheels are double-walled and made of an alloy as a standard. Nothing to complain here.
The Forza 4.0 handles braking really well and the components used for the braking system are high-quality and you will not have any issues with it long-term. The brakes are the standard caliper brakes which are present practically on every road bike out there.
To be honest the design of the bike is a little bit dull but I personally sometimes prefer simple designs. It is not a road bike which will turn heads but have in mind that this is not a high-class super-expensive road bike.
Vilano Forza 4.0 Downsides
Well, unfortunately, there are some downsides as in any product in the market. I personally don’t like the seat which is quite uncomfortable. You could find a much better seat for $30-40 and the ride would be much smoother and comfortable especially on long rides.
Another thing that I don’t like very much is the pedals. They are a little bit cheap and rubbish but still working. As we already mentioned the tires are not the best in class too but they are good enough for beginners.
But these components are minor ones and not so important and you could upgrade easily without investing a ton of money. In reality, if you upgrade the seat, and the tires you would have a mid-class road bike which normally costs around $1000. So if you want to be smart I really suggest buying the Vilano Forza 4.0, upgrade a few things and enjoy a perfect road bike for less than $500.
Why Should I Buy Vilano Forza 4.0?
Vilano Forza 4.0 is a really good value and probably the best road bike in this class. If you want to buy a reliable, lightweight, good road bike which rides smoothly and has STI integrated shifters then you don’t need to look any further because the Forza 4.0 is your best option.
Also if you need a good bike for your everyday commutes on paved roads then the Forza 4.0 will be your best friend too. If you are a beginner cyclist who wants to enter into the cyclist world you should definitely consider this one.
You can even make your first century-ride with this road bike which is great. Vilano Forza 4.0 is good not only for beginners but even for enthusiast cyclists who want to ride all day long. That’s another reason why this Vilano Forza 4.0 review is so positive. We really recommend the Vilano Forza 4.0 road bike for everyone who wants to feel the sweet pleasure of riding a lot of miles.
Vilano Forza 4.0 is a great entry-level aluminum bike which will serve you very well for many years if you take care of it. It’s perfect for beginners because it’s a perfect combination of good quality and low price.
It’s important to note that the Amazon reviews are really good and many cyclists praise this bike for all the above-mentioned things. In my humble opinion, the Amazon reviews and scores are really a factor because they are written by real people who own the exact same product.
Other cheap road bikes that you should consider:
- Co-op Cycles ARD 1.1 Bike – An Awesome road bike for around $850
- Vilano Shadow – Other super cheap option with STI shifters
- Salsa Journeyman Claris – A little bit expensive alternative
- Tommaso Imola Endurance – Great option from Tommaso
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