Although road bikes can sound straightforward, there are a lot of things to consider when purchasing a drop-bar bicycle, and this guide can help you pick the right road bike for you.
Endurance vs. Road Bikes
Road bikes fell into two different categories: race and endurance.
Race bikes place the rider’s body in a lower, more aerodynamic position and usually have a more rigid layout for faster handling.
Endurance bikes place the rider in a more stable posture, and the frame angles are a little more comfortable for confidence-inducing reliability and long-distance comfort. This is often referred to as sports bikes.
In any type, you can plan to spend between £ 500 and £700 for a high-quality, entry-level computer that can have years of trouble-free operation.
The easiest way to understand the difference between the two is to ride them, either by an experience or a store test or by borrowing a friend’s bike.
As with every commodity, the bikes come at a good / better / best cost.
The key points of distinction are frame materials (aluminum bikes tend to be cheaper, while carbon fiber frames are thinner but more costly. Steel and titanium frames tend to be more niche), components (strong, light, inexpensive – pick two), and wheels.
Describe Road bike groupsets
Road bikes used to be called 10-speeds, due to the two chainrings on the front, compounded by five cogs on the back.
Nowadays, most of the road bikes have two chainrings and between 9 and 12 – or even 13 cogs – in the back.
Shimano and SRAM are by far the most popular drivetrain models, but you’ll also find Campagnolo, Microshift, and ESA components out there as well.
Generally speaking, road bikes have smaller gears, which means it’s easier to drive up slopes, whereas racing bikes have bigger gears for faster top speed.
Bigger chainrings mean more speed (and effort), and smaller chainrings – called lightweight – mean less effort.
How to get the correct size of the road bike
The cycle function is rather important. A budget road bike that suits you like a glove can sound and function a lot better than an unfit superbike.
Although most manufacturers have bike-fit charts on their pages, it’s important only to go and sit down if you’re new to cycling.
If you learn what style best for you, you should shop off the charts; in the meantime, try the bikes you’d like to wear in your shoes.
When you’ve picked the right size frame – which any decent bike store will support you with – you’ll need to get the saddle and handlebar height correct. Again, a professional position in a decent shop is invaluable here.
Many good shops will consult with you to fine-tune other aspects of the suit, such as the distance to the handlebars, the tilt of the handlebars, and also the feel of the saddle.
Note that the choice of the saddle is highly personal; there is no standardized best response here. Only try a couple of them before you find something nice. Many saddle suppliers will also be providing prototype services.
Whose tires are my road bike coming with?
Many of the road bikes come with slick or very soft tires.
In recent years, it has become more common to require wider tires on road bikes, with racebikes frequently fitted with 23 mm or 25 mm tires, and endurance bikes with 28 mm or even 32 mm tires.
Irrespective of the distance, all these tires roll easily, and the wider tires give you a little more cushioning (and agility over rougher road surfaces) in return for a little more weight.
Tires are one of the simplest things to alter, so you don’t have to think about the bike. That said, if you’re keen to optimize the safety of your bike, make sure the frame has a broader tire clearance.
Again, road bikes that prefer aerodynamics will usually lean towards thin tires, while performance bikes that offer comfort will typically have plump rubber.
If you’re not sure how to pump your tires, check out our detailed post below.
Should I buy a rim or disk brake for a road bike?
Road bikes have been using caliper braking for decades, with rubber blocks stretching over the belt.
However, many road bikes are now fitted with disc brakes used for several years on a mountain bike. Disc braking is better in rainy conditions, but slower.
In general, disc brakes and caliper (rim) brakes are used on many modern adventure bikes on most road bikes – though the condition varies very rapidly.
Remember that most bikes with the rim brake can’t be converted and vice versa, but you’re stuck to it after you have made your decision.
What must I go for a trip on the road?
You will almost finish your road bikes, but still have some pieces to buy, including water bottle cages, water filters, and flat fixings (inside the hose, pneumatic lever, and either a CO2 and/or pump).
When you buy from a supermarket, you are able to do these items for yourself.
Most bikes are fitted with a variety of inexpensive plastic pedals that won’t stop you from loving your road bike, but betting in a variety of clip-ins is going to vastly boost durability and stability.