How to Choose the Best Road BikeFebruary 19, 2019
While for many people, this might seem like a simple task, there is a huge number of things to consider when buying a road bike and this article might help you choose the best road bike for you.
Endurance vs. race bike geometry
– Generally, road bikes fall into two general categories – race and endurance. Race bikes put the rider’s torso in a lower more aerodynamical position and have more geometry for quick handling. On the other hand, endurance bikes put the rider in a more upright position and the frame angles are more relaxed for stability and long-distance comfort. These are also known as sportive bikes.
– The best way to learn the difference between the two types of bikes is to actually ride them both. You can do this by taking test rides at an event or at a shop, or you could simply borrow one from your friend, if possible. As with any product available today, bikes also come in good/better/best levels. The main differences are the frame materials, the parts, and the wheels.
Explaining the road bike groupsets
– Road bikes used to be called „10-speeds“, referring to the two chainrings up front, multiplied by the five cogs in the back. These days, most bikes have two chain rings and 9/10/11, or now even 13 in the rear. Shimano and SRAM are the most common brands, even though you will also find Campagnolo, Mictoshift and FSA components in the market.
– Generally, endurance bikes have smaller gears, which means it is easier to get up hills, while race bikes have larger gears for higher top-end speed. Bigger chainrings mean more speed and effort, and smaller chainrings mean less effort.
How to choose the right bike size?
– The bike fit is perhaps the most important and critical things. A budget machine that fits you like a glass slipper will feel and handle much better than a bike that does not fit you well. While most brands have bike fitting charts on their websites, it is important to just go and sit on the bike if you are new to cycling. Keep in mind that many people say that you should always try a bike like you would try shoes. Once you selected the right frame size (which any good shop can help you with), you then need to get your saddle and handlebars height correct. Again, a professional can help you with all of that in any good store. Most shops will work with you to tune other elements of your fit as well. Elements, such as the distance to the handlebars, the angle of the handlebars, and even the feel of the saddle. Keep in mind that your preference for a saddle is quite personal, there is no answer here. You will probably need to try several of them before you find one that you feel comfortable in.
What tires will my road bike come with?
– Almost all road bikes come with slick or lightly treaded tires. In recent years, it has become common to opt for wider tires on road bikes. Race bikes usually come with 23-25 millimeter wide tires, while endurance bikes come with 25-28 millimeters wide tires. Regardless of the width of the tires, all of these types will roll fast and the wider tires give you more cushioning and speed in exchange for a little bit more weight. Tires are perhaps, one of the easiest things to change on a bike, so you will not have to worry a lot about what the bike comes with.
Should you buy a road bike with a rim or disc brakes?
– For quite some time, road bikers have used caliper brakes, where blocks of rubber squeeze against the rim. Now, many bikes have disc brakes, which have been used on mountain bikes for many years. Discs offer better braking in wet weather, but they are heavier.
– Getting into road biking is not something that would cost you the world, Even with just $500, you can get yourself a bike that would be perfect and equivalent to a model that would cost you double. If you are interested in buying a new bike, you can check out this list of Road Bikes 2019 for more information.