Choosing the right road bike can be a long and arduous process for those who don’t know much about the sport. There are so many different materials, component types, styles, and models that it becomes overwhelming. This article will help to relieve some of the stress of shopping for a new road bike, and will make clearer some of the differences between road bikes.
One of the major differences between road bikes is the material from which they are made. There are several different materials that are used in the making of road bikes. Most commonly, manufacturers use aluminum. This is the material that riders will find on most low-to-middle grade bikes. Aluminum is a strong material that is both lightweight and stiff. However, this stiffness can be a disadvantage in some cases, since it makes the ride more bumpy than other materials.
Steel is another material commonly used for bike frames, and it has a long history in the cycling industry. It also strong, but is more absorbent than aluminum. For this reason, steel is more comfortable for riders on bumpy roads, while still offering a good amount of strength in the frame.
Carbon fiber is becoming more and more popular in the cycling industry. This material is known for its durability and strength as well as its lightness. Carbon fiber is more commonly used on high-end bikes, but as it increases in popularity its prices is declining as well. It is possible that it will be cheaper in the future and used for lower-grade bikes.
Another thing to consider when purchasing a road bike is how the frame fits. This is a very important aspect for any road cyclist to consider, since the frame fit determines how comfortable it will be to ride. Most bike shops offer bike fits for a fee, and they will be able to help you decide which size will be right for you. The expense will definitely be worth it, since incorrect bike fits can lead to pain in the back, neck, hands, or knees.
Components are another significant aspect to consider when purchasing a road bike. There are many different kinds of components on the market, and sometimes it can be overwhelming. Cheaper components are not always necessarily worse components. They are usually just made from different materials and sometimes cheaper components are heavier than more expensive ones. Wheels can also be difficult to choose from. Each different kind of wheel has a specific purpose based on what kind of riding you will be doing. Race wheels are lighter and more expensive, while touring wheels can be less expensive and designed to last on longer rides. Be sure to ask your local bike shop about the types of components that come on a bike and what that means in terms of comfort and stability.
As with anything, road bikes can vary greatly in price. Aluminum frames are typically cheaper than steel or carbon fiber frames, and the components on a bike have a lot to do with how high the price is on a bike. Consider how much you are willing to pay for a road bike, and then work with someone at a bike shop to help you find something within your range. Road bikes can be fairly cheap or reach into the thousands for race-quality or professional bikes. Be sure to consider all of your options before making a final decision.
Finally, after visiting with a bike professional, take the time to test ride a couple of bikes you like before deciding on your road bike. This will give you the opportunity to see how the bike feels in terms of weight, stability, maneuverability, and how comfortable it is to ride. This will be your final step before making your purchase.