Cycling beginners always feel confused when choosing their first road bike. Before we choosing a road bike, we should find out some basic information about road bike.
What Is a Road Bike?
Road bikes, or racers as they are sometimes referred to, are speed machines-bicycles designed to take you as far and as fast as your legs can manage. The road bike gets its name from the terrain which is designed to be used on, namely, tarmac.
The road bike hasn’t changed a great deal over the years. Compared to complicated full suspension mountain bikes, it’s a traditional bicycle with a near identical silhouette to those raced 50 years ago. Of course, there’s nothing traditional about the carbon ﬁbre frames and electronic 22-speed drivetrains.
The Structure of A Road Bike
A road bike includes a handlebar, brakes, cassette, chainset, frame, two wheels, a seat and two pedals.
The frame is the heart of any bike. Frames of a road bike are usually aluminum or carbon, with steel and titanium used in niche models.
Traditional road frames use a ﬂat top tube and a shorter seat post, while compact geometry is now most common, with a sloping top tube to make a lighter, smaller frame and also improve the standover height. It’s vital that you buy the right size and shape frame for your size and riding.
Road bike wheels don’t have to be robust, so they use fewer spokes than mountain bike hoops. Aerodynamics are important, so the rims are sometimes deeper. At present, road rims have been getting wider as research shows this is more aerodynamic, increasing tire volume for a smoother ride and potentially leading to less flats.
Road bike tires are also skinny, typically 23-25mm wide, with older racing tires going down to 18mm. To minimize rolling resistance these tires usually have a slick center stripe and run at high pressures of 6-8 bar (90-120psi). Like rims, a recent trend in road tires is to go slightly wider for a smoother and more confident ride - 25mm width is quickly becoming the replacement standard from 23mm.
Road bikes traditionally feature two chainrings, with tall 53/39T combinations on race bikes. More usable 50/34 compact setups are now popular to aid climbing. There is also a new 'semi-compact' standard of 52/36T, which aims to offer the high-end speed of the race gearing with the easy climbing of a compact.
Triple chainsets are optional on some cheaper bikes, and give the widest range, with a small inner ring - although these are quickly becoming less popular with the lighter and simpler compact taking over.
Road bikes use gears which are more tightly packed together to help you pedal at the ideal speed (cadence). Most road bikes, apart from entry level ones, now have 11 sprockets.
For road bikes especially, your comfort depends more on correct set-up than on having lots of padding.
Road saddles are generally long, narrow, thin and sparsely padded. They look very uncomfortable, and do take some getting used to, but are actually better than overly soft deep saddles for long rides of several hours. Recent research shows that saddles should fit with your sit bone width, so many brands are now offering various saddle widths.
Dropped handlebars mark out a road bike, and offer a number of positions. The tops, with your hands either side of the stem, are used for steep climbs or cruising. The hoods are the brake lever covers, and provide a comfortable stretch and good leverage for climbing out of the saddle. The drops are the lower parts of the bar, used for a lower position at speed.
Bar width and shape varies to tailor your bike’s ﬁt to you. The set in the picture below is an anatomical ﬁt, with a straight section in the drops for a more natural grip.
Road bikes use dual-pivot brakes, although disc brakes are beginning to make an entrance on some models. Dual-pivot brakes are compact, light and powerful, but are only suited to road riding because they have no mud clearance at all.
What Essential Factors Should be Taken into Consideration?
As beginners, there is no point in wasting money to get an expensive road bike, for you just start to cycling and not sure whether you will go on or keep cycling. An entry-level roadster will generally be somewhat more expensive than a mountain bike or hybrid. If your budget is over 1000 dollars, then you may get a good one. If your budget is not enough, you can get a bike that satisfies your budget right now; and after several months if you are still interested in this sports, you can sell the old one then get a better one. That’s a good choice for beginners, in case that their enthusiasm disappears after several months.
There are many features in a bike that will contribute to the comfort that they will be able to deliver. One of the most important would be the design of the seat. It should be well-cushioned, and most importantly, it should come with an adjustable height to allow you to have it positioned based on what you are most comfortable with. The handlebar should be also designed intelligently, as well as the pedals.
Your safety depends on a number of factors, such as how attentive you are when biking. Moreover, there are also features of the bike that will greatly influence your safety. There is perhaps nothing that can prove to be more important than having superior brakes, allowing the bike to be put on an immediate stop when needed. The quality of the wheels should also be excellent, as well as that of the frame.
Take a look at the construction of the frame, and more importantly, the material that is used in it. Steel is one of the most common materials, which is known for being cheap, but its weight is compromised. It is heavy, and hence, will require a lot of effort on the part of the user. Beginners should stay away from this kind of material, and aluminum and carbon alloy frames are better choices.
When evaluating the wheel of a bike, take a look at its size or diameter. Choose one that is perfectly fitted for your height or weight. In addition, you should also take a look at its specific materials, especially the spoke. The tires should be well-made. They should be designed in such a way that they will be able to withstand tough surfaces. In addition, they should have an excellent grip, which can guarantee impressive traction in a variety of surfaces.
Some Suggestion About Choosing A Road Bike For Beginners
- Your budget shouldn’t be too high
There is no point in wasting money on purchasing expensive road bike as beginners. So my suggestion about budget is around 1000 dollars. Purchasing a second-hand road bike is also a good choice.
- Choose a road bike with light frame
All beginners need to take some time to get used to the road bike and its functions. I suggest them to get a road bike with a light frame, like aluminum frame. It is true that steel frame is cheaper than aluminum frame, but a light frame is more suitable for beginners.
- Choose a road bike that fits your figure
It is very important to choose a bike that fits you precisely. If the diameter of the wheel is too big for you, your risk of falling off from the bike increases.
In conclusion, the best road bike for beginners may be this one: 2015 Trek Domane 2.0 Tiagra Road Bike 50cm.
Here is some information about this type of road bike.
|200 Series Alpha Aluminum, IsoSpeed, vanishing fender mounts|
|Fork||Trek IsoSpeed carbon, SpeedTrap compatible|
|Wheels||Bontrager alloy hubs, Bontrager Tubeless Ready rims|
|Front Hub||Bontrager alloy|
|Rear Hub||Bontrager alloy|
|TiresBontrager||Bontrager R1 Hard-Case Lite, 700x25c|
|Shifters||Shimano Tiagra, 10 speed|
|Crank||Shimano Tiagra, 50/34 (compact)|
|Bottom bracket||Press Fit|
|Cassette||Shimano Tiagra, 11-32, 10 speed|
|Saddle||Bontrager Paradigm 1|
|Seatpost||Bontrager alloy, 2-bolt head, 27.2mm, 8mm offset|
|Handlebar||Bontrager Race, VR-C, 31.8mm|
|Stem||Bontrager Elite, 31.8mm, 7 degree, w/Blendr computer & light mounts|
|Headset||1-1/8" integrated, semi-cartridge bearings|
Of course, this is just one recommendation for beginners. If you really want to find the best road bike, a lot of riding test is essential and inevitable. Only by this means can you find a road bike that suits you the best. Hope you enjoy your cycling life!