Road Bike Buying Guide

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Road Bikes

What is a Road Bike?

This is a type of bike designed to take cyclists as fast and as far as their legs can manage. As the name suggests, a road bike is specially designed for the road. If you are planning to purchase a road bike, you need to choose one that fits you. That is the most important factor when it comes to choosing a good road bike.

Before you choose or purchase a road bike, you need to consider your size and gender. You also need to decide whether to go for cheap road bikes or a new road bike. Other factors to consider include:

  • Your budget
  • The type of bile your friends ride
  • The type of bike you would like to ride

Choosing the Best Road Bike

When you step into a bike shop to buy a road bike, you might feel somewhat overwhelmed due to the options available. Choosing a good bike can be confusing because of the marketing tactics bike manufacturers use. Nevertheless, you need to consider certain factors when making a purchase, such as:

Fork and Frame Geometry

The heart of any bike is the frame. The frame of a typical road bike is usually carbon or aluminum. With niche or traditional models, titanium and steel frames are common. Their frames use a shorter seatpost and flat top-tube. Nowadays, however, a compact geometry with a sloping top tube is pretty popular. This allows for an improved stand-over height and lighter frame.

You need to choose a road bike with the right shape and size frame, depending on the type of cycling you will be doing. Some of the more expensive road bikes have carbon-made forks. Cheaper ones, however, typically use a combination of aluminum and carbon or steel.

Although most road bike models seem to look alike, there are subtle differences in the frame design. At most bike shops, you are most likely to find road bikes designed with recreational or sports geometry. If you plan to ride long distances, a road bike is an ideal option because of the upright riding position and relaxed steering.

Tires and Wheels

A road bike’s wheels do not have to be as tough as those of a mountain bike. This is why they have lighter rims and fewer spokes. The rims tend to be deeper to improve aerodynamic properties. Traditionally, road bikes had narrow rims. Thanks to research, however, modern road bikes have wider rims designed to increase tire volume. This allows for fewer flats and a smoother ride.

Type of Riding you Plan to Do

This is one of the most important things you need to consider before you buy a road bike. You need to be honest with yourself. Do you want a road bike for cycling to work, competitive racing, or recreational purposes? Do you plan to use it on different types of roads, such as gravel roads?

Road cycling can mean different things to different people. There are also differences in the types of roads people use. Most people would love to ride their bikes on a perfect road in the Swiss mountains. Few people, however, would enjoy tackling Australia’s backcountry roads.

In addition, people have different levels of athletic ability, flexibility, and fitness. The bicycle industry caters to everyone; however, not every road bike is right for you. Different body types, riding styles, and roads require different types of road bikes. A good road bike should balance aerodynamics, comfort, stiffness, and weight to adapt to different types of roads.

Levers and Handlebars

One of the identifying features of a road bike is the drop handlebars, which allow for many riding positions. For cruising and steep climbs, you should use the tops of the handlebars with your hands on either side of the stem.

In addition, the brake lever covers of a road bike allow for good leverage and a comfortable cruising position. The lower parts of the bike’s bar are the drops. They allow for greater control and a lower position at speed when going downhill. You will find different bar shapes and widths to suit your specific needs and tastes.

Road bike levers, on the other hand, combine braking and shifting controls into one unit. While brake levers work on a somewhat similar principle, shifting arrangements tend to differ between different bike manufacturers.

Bike Materials

When it comes to choosing a good road bike, you need to consider the materials used to manufacture it. Bike frames made of aluminum are less expensive than those made of carbon-fiber. They also provide a smooth ride. Those made of carbon-fiber, however, allow for a more vibration-absorbing and comfortable ride.

However, they tend to be more expensive than those made of aluminum. If you are looking for the strongest and lightest bike frame, you should consider one made of carbon-fiber. On the other hand, if you are looking for a road bike to ride for fitness and fun, then one with an aluminum frame will suit you quite well.

Size

Road bikes come in different sizes. You will also find a specific type of road bike women should use. While shopping, you need to choose one with the right frame size for your body’s geometry. This will allow for better handling and comfort while riding.

An experienced salesperson will help you find a road bike with the appropriate proportions for you. Other things you need to discuss with your salesperson include your riding style, flexibility, and experience. This will allow him/her to provide a more educated recommendation.

Finally, before you make a purchase, you should consider having a few test rides with different types of road bikes.

If you are wondering where to look for the perfect road bike for you, have a look at the options available on Velomio.

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