Road Bike Buyer's Guide
What type of road bike should I buy? It's a question we hear often. Whether you're looking for the best beginner road bike or a top-end racing bike, we are here to help. Today, the best bike brands offer more models than ever in a wider variety of price points, and there is a dazzling array of options to choose from. Drivetrains run from standard, entry-level fare all the way to ultralight, 22-speed electric-shifting systems; brakes come in an astounding variety including lightweight dual-pivot calipers, aerodynamic hidden-mount rim brakes, and powerful hydraulic discs; and wheelsets run the gamut from sturdy to aerodynamic to ethereally light.
We'll explain the decisions you need to make and offer advice on everything from frame materials and wheels to gearing and component choices.
Types of Road Bikes
Road bikes are offered to suit a wide assortment of riding styles and disciplines. Some are incredibly lightweight and super responsive but may not feel great when you take them out on imperfect road surfaces. Aerodynamic bikes are designed for maximum speed and efficiency but might not be the most comfortable ride for long days in the saddle. Endurance road bikes may ride beautifully on rough chip-sealed roads, but can have a little more heft to them when it comes time for a climb. Here are the four most common varieties.
Road Bike Frame Materials
Road bikes are generally made from steel, aluminum, titanium, or carbon fiber. There is no "right" or "wrong" material. Remember, two frames can be constructed of the same thing yet have entirely different ride qualities due to variations in geometry, assembly, and material manipulation. This is one of the reasons it's so important to test ride the bikes you're considering.
Tips to Make Your Purchase Perfect
Now that you have an idea on what road bike to get, it's time to come into our store and do some test riding to see how the models compare in person. This will complete the picture and give you a chance to see what you get at the various price points.
- Proper fit is much more important than price. No matter how nice the bike, it will be uncomfortable if it doesn't fit you properly. Come in to see us so we can size you and ensure that you get the right bicycle.
- Buy once. It's almost always less expensive to get the frame, wheels and components you want initially than to upgrade later.
- Remember, you'll need a few accessories before you head out on a ride. A water bottle and cage, bike computer, new helmet, and pedals will complete the package so you can get out on the road!