Beginners Road Bike Buyers Guide

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Posted August 21, 2013 by admin in Articles

part-of-road-bike
So you’ve finally decided you want to purchases a road bike. Road bikes are great bikes for cruising the pavement and can be very efficient at getting you to work on time not to mention a lot of fun to ride around. Recently road bikes have started to soar in popularity and because of this so have the verity of models and makes available on the market. This road bike buyers guide will hopefully help you decide which road bike is right for you.





One of the biggest factors in deciding on what type of bike you’d like is price range. If you’re a new cyclist you probably don’t want to go all out and spend five thousand on a new bike. But at the same time you don’t want to skimp around and buy a cheap bike at a large department store like Wal-Mart and have your bike break down in the first month of riding. Other things to consider are what will this bike be mainly used for? Will it be only used for commuting and some light training or do you plan on racing with it?

One of the best places I’ve found to buy a road bike let alone a bike in general is Amazon. Local bike shops are known for their price gouging and sporting good stores usually carry sub par bikes. On the other hand Amazon tends to have great deals and free shipping on bikes. Most bikes on Amazon come pre-built for the most with just have you doing some minor adjustments, but if you find your self buying a bike you can’t put together you can simple take it to your local bike shop and they can put the bike together for a nominal fee.

Road Bike Frame & Fork Material

Steel

Like most bikes road bikes frames are traditionally constructed with steel. This is a great material that is very durable compared to the other frame material, but it is also the heaviest. Cheaper road bikes tend to be made with steel frames but there are also more expensive steel frames made with specialized American SAE 4130 steel or chrome molybdenum.

Takara Kabuto Single Speed Road Bike Steel Frame

Carbon Fiber

Carbon Fiber is a very interesting material because though it appears to be metal to many it is actually a fiber made hard through the use of resin. The result is a very light very strong bike frame. Another plus for carbon fiber is that it doesn’t corrode, making it so that bikes with carbon fiber frame last longer. Frames and Forks made from this material fetch top dollar, so be prepared to shell out money when buying a bike made out of carbon fiber.

Kestrel Talon Road Shimano 105 Carbon Fiber frame Bike

Aluminum

In the 1980’s Aluminum frames first came into popularity and have since been a popular material in road bike construction. Early on when aluminum was first used as a building material it got a bad reputation as not absorbing shock and being an unpleasant ride. That is no longer a concern with this material and new frames are made out of aluminum can absorb shock without a problem.

Aluminum has many perks, some being that it is a very light weight frame material and that it also impervious to rust.

GMC Denali Road Bike - Aluminum Frame
Titanium

Titanium frames are known for being expensive. But this comes with good reason, because they are also known as the most durable and lightest material that road bike frames are made out of.

Road Bike Components

When buying a road bike you want to make sure it comes with the good quality components and your not getting cheap parts that will have to be replaced. One way of doing this is by making sure you buy a bike with quality recognized brand name components such as: Campagnolo, SRAM and Shimano. These makes all different levels of quality components from entry level to professional racer and you should easily be able to find ones that meet your cycling needs.




Number of Gears

Figuring out the number of gears for a road bike newbie can be confusing but trust me its not that hard. All you have to do is multiple the number of cassette cogs by the number of chain rings. So if you have a 5-cog cassette with a triple crankset it would be 15 gears (5 x 3).

So how many gears will you be needing? This question depends on your riding terrain. If your looking to mostly bike on flat terrain and don’t have to go any hill the less gears you’ll need. While if your climbing step hill you’ll need more gears.

Final Thought

One thing to remember is that its going to cost less in the long run if you buy the appropriate road bike for your needs rather than buying something so cheap you’ll have to replace all the parts or buying something that just isn’t want you wanted and ends up sitting in the garage rather than out with you cycling.

Road-Bike Buyers Guide

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