While buying a bike is not on the same level of commitment as, say, getting married, it is still a decision that warrants some thought. And, especially if you are considering buying a bike for the first time, it can seem as if your options are nearly endless.
Road Bikes are designed for riding on paved streets and going fast. Featuring skinny tires, a lightweight frame and a riding position that puts you bent over the handlebars, you might choose this type of bike if traveling longer distances at higher speeds is important to you.The frames of most road bikes are not particularly beefy in construction and generally won’t stand up well for extended periods under heavy loads or on really rough surfaces. They are about as well-suited for a path in the woods as you would be when wearing high heels.When thinking about the type of bicycle riding you are most likely to do, if you are going tridingexclusivelyroads/tarmac/concrete and want to go pretty fast and/or ride long distances, a road bike is a good bet.Designed for racing, road bikes typically have a lightweight frame which is designed to allow the upright rider to maintain the most aerodynamic position possible.
A road bike typically has narrow, smooth high pressure tires that reduce contact with the road to provide low rolling resistance possible. As these types of tyres allow you to feel each bump and pebble in the road, it is not the most comfortable ride, but that is not the intent.
The material used in road bike frames, like most other bicycles will vary depending on the cost. In basic terms, the more expensive a frame is, the lighter it will/should be. Having a lighter bike is most important in climbing, though it also has link to downhills and riding in the flats. A heavier bicycle usually means somewhat slower rides for competitive riders, though that may not be important to you? Most entry level bikes have either steel or the popular aluminumframes, the majority of manufacturers will favour aluminium. There is certainly nothing wrong with either choice, but there are advantages and dis-advantages with both. For example, for aluminum to be strong enough to be durable over the long haul, the frame must be pretty rigid, which gives a slightly rougher ride feel. Steel might be heavier, but can be more forgiving, which can
cushion the bumps a bit. The best way to find out which is right for you is to test ride as many as you can and see if you can tell any difference.As the price of the road bike goes up, you will start to see components (such as the front fork) upgrading from aluminum to carbon. Finally the whole frame on high end bicycles will be made of carbon fiber, which is very strong and yet light weight. The frames on the mossophisticated and high performance road bikes are made from space age materials lititanium, which is both amazingly strong and light. Due to the expense of the materials, these bicycles fall beyond the range of all but the most serious or competitive cyclists.
The handlebars go out straight from the stem and then curl under(see/click on the above picture), allowing riders who want to go really fast to hunch over when riding at that point, in order to reduce wind resistance. This is known as going into the drops. Riders can also sit in a more upright position, with their hands on the flat, top part of the handlebars. Typically, you will find both brake levers and the gear shift levers on the handlebars of a road bike for easy control.
The way that a road bike is designed allows riders to bend far forward, reducing the riders profile/position and helping to improve on wind resistance, along with putting them in a position to drive maximum power from their legs and hips through the pedals. While aerodynamic, being in this position for any length of time may not be the most comfortable for some riders as it requires you to support a substantial portion of your body weight with the upper body. This can cause strain and sore hands along with aches in the wrists, shoulders and neck especially if the rider is not used to it, or is riding a bicycle for which they might not be properly fitted or the wrong size.
Road bicycles have a wide range of gearing, with low gears that allow a rider to more easily get up steep hills through rather high gear choices that a rider uses to go really fast. Typically a road bicycle will have either 2 or 3 chain rings (front chainset) as part of the crank assembly in the front along with 8 or 9 gears in the cassette (on the rear wheel). This allows for anywhere from 16 to 27 possible gear combinations, a broader range than yesterday’s typical 10 speed afforded.
Basic road bikes may come equipped with pedals and toe straps. However, clipless pedals are frequently/usually used on road bikes, which allow the rider to clip cleated shoes to the pedals, this giving the ability to turn the pedals through the full rotation of the circle, pulling up on the pedals during the upstroke as well as pushing them down(this being more power efficient than standard pedals, along with less likely to cause numbness to the feet especially if using a trainer which is designed for running and therefore very flexible).Typical road bike accessories: cyclocomputer, frame pump, tool bag, water bottle and cage There are also a few other alternatives to the traditional road race bicycle that are well worth looking at, each holding their own advantage and disadvantage, just to name a few
Other Road Bike Styles
Cyclocross bikes, a rugged bicycles built for riding on gravel, cobbles, off road areas. A real mix bewtween a mountain bike and road bike.
Touring and Audax bicycles
It is also worth considering touing/audax bicycles as a means to commute or for the really adventerous, a round the world trip but using your own bicycle Usually made from steel( although not built to be ultra light the framsets are very good quality, strong and a fair weight), although at a cost as most will set you back around £800 and above but well worth buying epecially if you are a fan of steel frames.
Single Gear(Single Speed/Track)
A great option if you are looking for a quick, low maintenance bicycle that will offer you a physical work-out. Will come in various frame materials, colours and parts/finishing kits, prices start from £250 and upwards although the more you spend the more relaible the parts and lighter the frame and likely to be more durable.