FAQs on Road Bikes—a Beginner’s Guide

Posted May 6, 2022 by in Health + Fitness

Do you plan to buy your first road bike? Or do you want to purchase a brand new one? Maybe this article can help you reach a decision. This guide contains the basic FAQs and things to consider on purchasing your road bike.

First, establish why you will purchase a road bike. Are you going to race? Do you want to go biking for fitness? Are you going to use the road bike as transportation to your whereabouts? Do you want to experience adventure? Or are you just interested in buying for recreational purposes?

You must get these facts straight because there are different road bikes for diverse functions. The road bike you choose also depends on the terrain of the area you are going to ride on. There are concrete roads and rocky roads. There are steep and smooth terrains.

Moreover, every person has different capacities, aptness, health, and physique. There are recommended bikes for beginners and pros. There is no one-size-fits-all bike.

Road bikes nowadays address the needs of diversity and there are already several road bikes to choose from depending on an individual’s need like road bike size. Examples are all-around race bikes that can overcome different types of terrains. They are the general kind of road bikes and they are efficient to stabilize convenience, lightweight, and aerodynamics. All-around race bikes are suitable for professional riders. They have 25 or 28-millimeter tires and higher gears. Well-known examples are Trek Emonda, Giant TCR, Canyon Ultimate, and many more. 

The next type is aero road race bikes. They are almost the same as all-around road bikes in terms of fit and handling. But the aero road race bike is super low weight and the aerodynamics are higher. Experienced, well-rounded riders can benefit much from this type of road bike. But of course, expect that it is also a bit pricier. Aero road bikes include Giant Propel and Scott Foil. Last, we have modern endurance road bikes. It is adaptable, convenient, and accessible. It has a relaxed fit and lower gear so there is more ease in climbing. Always bear in mind that road bikes differ from inbuilt ones. 

The question now is, how can you tell if the road bike is an all-around, endurance, or aero road bike?

It is challenging to tell bikes apart, especially since manufacturers have combined their features. Modern bikes now have features of aero race bikes and vice versa. Modern endurance road bikes can endure rough terrains when even though they are engineered for flat roads.

A bike called Cervelo Caledonia is one of those we call a merge of endurance and race bikes. Many other brands offer all-rounder road bikes.

Second, consider your financial capacity. How much can you afford? If you choose road bikes with high caliber, you will need to spend more. If you want a sturdier, more versatile, more aerodynamic one, you will need to go for an expensive one. But then, there are probably high-caliber road bikes yet more affordable.

Woman riding road bike down empty street

Here are the things to bear in mind when choosing your road bike according to your budget.

1. Material used for the bike built. Most people on a tight budget prefer to buy road bikes with aluminum frames or steel because those pricey ones have titanium or carbon fiber frames. However, you must not judge the material just because it is cheaper or more expensive. There are excellently-built aluminum bike frames which are convenient and carbon frames with a weaker body.

It is undeniable that those with carbon fiber bodies are remarkable in terms of building. It can be bent to various forms or shapes and can be durable and comfy. But it doesn’t necessarily follow that it is the best material there is.

2. Rim Brakes or Disc Brakes. Both have their advantages and disadvantages. The disc brakes help in easier maneuvering to stop the road bike when in slippery situations. Rim brakes offer a lighter bike.

3. Wheels/Tires. It is best to look at the wideness of the rim. It must be 19 millimeters at the least if you want a good biking experience. Make sure it has balanced spoke tensions. It must be well-known for its sturdiness. Check its heaviness; if it is more than 1.6 kilograms, then it is heavy.

4. The gears. The gears of the bicycle determine the speed, smoothness, and lightness of the ride. It also determines the convenience of shifting. One of the remarkable gears is Shimano Tigra.

The material used to build the frame and the wheels are worth investing in and prioritizing. The other components like the gears and brakes can follow.

5. Where to Buy Your Bike Online? Bikeoutnow is a very popular place where you can get the best bikes for your needs. I would recommend buying online if you are a beginner or first-timer because you require as much assistance to scrutinize the bike so you can get one that is right for you. And if you are already a pro and familiar with bicycle parts and especially if you have first-hand feedback on an online store and that it are proven to be reputable, then go ahead.

As a beginner you can also go to a local store where you can have hands-on assistance.

6. Must you purchase a new one or a used one will suffice? Second-hand road bikes are more affordable and you can get one for an affordable price. But there are cons to buying second-hand bikes, not unless they have just been used for a few weeks or months. Buying second-hand bikes are guaranteed to require more maintenance. But as a beginner, I think there is nothing wrong with used bikes as long as you know basic maintenance or if you are planning to use them simply for recreational purposes.

7. Consider your other biking needs. Of course, you will need biking protective equipment like a helmet, a biking outfit, and extra tires.

Do you have a road bike?