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Road Bikes buying guide

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Road Bikes - An introduction

So you have decided, or are deciding, that you want a road bike. Well, did you know that the road bike family consists of five different bikes, each designed for specific applications? A road bike is considered any bike designed that is to be ridden on a paved surface, which includes road racing bikes, touring bikes, utility bikes, hybrid bikes, and recumbent bikes.

Unlike BMX bikes that are designed for extreme cycling such as jumps, intricate dirt racetracks, and verts, road bikes are an entirely different species of bicycles. They have larger wheels, multiple gears, curved handles bars, thinner tyres, and are not constructed to withstand impact after impact like BMX bikes. Road bikes have a multitude of purposes such as street racing, transporting items, recreational use, and/or general exercise. Depending on your personal needs for a road bike, doing some preliminary research can make your purchase even more worthwhile. With so many varieties of road bikes, you want to make sure you get the one that best meets your needs.

Choosing your next road bike may seem overwhelming at first with such a grand array of options. Road bike manufacturers produce red, blue, green, purple, black, white, orange, pink, yellow, along with various other designs, patterns, and accents. Although there are many appearance options to choose from when deciding on your next road bike, be sure that the quality and features are there too.

At the beginning of your search it is a good idea to become familiar with some of the brands that have a reputation for high quality bicycle equipment. Schwinn, Trek, Specialized, Cannondale, Bianchi, Fuji, Scott, Shimano, GT, Carrera, Dawes, Boardman, Apollo, Kona and Marin are just a few products that are associated with high standards and craftsmanship. These bikes are not the only quality road bikes on the market, but offer a great starting place to become familiar with bikes of high standards.

Road bike is a broad term comprised of several different types of bicycles. Road racing bikes can be characterised by having an ultra-slim frame, curved handles bars, and thin wheels. They are made for speed and are designed to contort your body to be aerodynamic. If you are someone who is looking at bicycling as just a leisure activity, a racing bike would not meet your needs; the aerodynamic design demands the rider to be bent over while riding the bike. The other bikes in the “road bike” line-up incorporate various designs to improve the comfort and ease for the rider.

Whatever road bike you are searching for, there is definitely one out there on the market. Whether you are looking for speed, leisure, or comfort, road bikes are designed to take on the paved roads with confidence and control. This guide is designed to help you begin your search for your next road bike, however, whenever your search comes to an end, be sure to check back with us here at PriceInspector to find the best price!

Types of Road Bikes

Racing Road Bikes
Racing Road Bikes are the staple of road bikes. With slim design, racing bikes are made for speed and quickness. The curvature of the handlebars requires the rider to utilize the bike in the most aerodynamic formation possible. At only 23 mm wide, thin tyers cut through wind and reduce the resistance of the surface area that meets the ground that naturally slows the bike down. Some racing bikes may even be seen with disc wheels that are designed to allow airflow to evenly pass over the wheels. Equipped with either disc brakes or linear brakes, both are designed to stop a fast moving bicycle. A quality racing bike will usually start at around £450, however, these bikes are not designed to enter a true competition. Expect prices to fall around £1,000 for a bike that is safely designed to enter competition.

Touring Road Bikes
Touring bikes are a small step away from racing bikes, as they are designed with recreational and leisure riding in mind. Usually comprised of similar components of a racing bike, touring bikes differ by utilizing modified handlebars that do not require the rider to bend over throughout the duration of the ride. Although touring models may be more comfortable for recreational riders, they are still designed for speed and quickness. They incorporate thin tyres, caliper braking systems, and thin frames.

Hybrid Road Bikes
Hybrid bikes are another step away from the road racing bike. Hybrids are perfect for the daily commuter, city bicycling, or for just overall comfort. Hybrid bikes have thicker frames than touring bikes and racing bikes, and are able to take more abuse from inexperienced riders. They are usually equipped with a fixed gear or multiple gear transmission, wider tyres, optional shock absorbers, disc brakes, and flat handlebars. Hybrid bikes are becoming very popular due to their lower price tags and ease of use.

Utility/Roadster Road Bikes
Utility road bikes are truly designed for comfort and transportation. By no means will you see a utility bike used by triathletes at the next triathlon. Generally designed with a single gear transmission, thick wheels and tyres, raised handlebars that contour to a seated position, padded saddle, drum brakes, and even mud guards to keep the rider’s clothing clean, utility bikes have a variety or purposes; but racing is not one. Utility bikes are used to get from point “A” to point “B”, while also being able to transport goods such mail, pizza, or even groceries. They are equipped with a heavy frame to maximize stability and balance, which both contribute to easy riding. Some utility bikes are even furnished with a light! The utility road bike is for the individual seeking a stroll around the neighborhood, or that makes a short commute to work or school.

Recumbent Road Bikes
Recumbent road bikes are so vastly different from the previously mentioned bikes, that the only reason they fall under the “road bike” category is that they are used on a paved surface. These bikes require the rider to sit down with their legs straight in front of them to propel the bike. Generally, these bikes have a smaller wheel on the front end with extended handlebars. Recumbent bikes can reduce back and neck pain that is associated with their upright counterparts, as well as, reduce the chance of falling due to their lower center of mass design.

Accessories for Road Bikes

  • Bike Helmet
    Helmets are a necessity for any road bike purchase, whether you are racing or leisurely riding.
  • Bike Clothing
    Investing in a bike jacket, some bike shoes, or even a pair of bike shorts may enhance your new purchase. Bicycling apparel is specifically designed for the movements associate with biking, and can improve your riding experience, as well as, overall safety.

Buying tips to consider when buying a Road bike

  • Decide on your main reason for riding your road bike. Are you planning on eventually racing or are you just going to be joyriding? Do you have pains in your neck, back, knees, or have any other pre-existing condition that may alter your decision? Do you want a bike that is able transport other various items besides yourself? Do you want a road bike that is completely designed around comfort and ease of use? All of these questions are excellent starting grounds to begin your search and narrow your options.
  • Avoid some of the mainstream department stores, or at least at first head over to your local bicycle shop. Talk to some the educated employees and staff to get a sound understanding of what makes up a quality road bike. Afterwards, if you are still interested in seeing what is at the retail stores, go ahead and cure your curiosity; however, bike shops almost always carry bicycles of high standards and quality.
  • Check to make sure the size of the bike is right! Sit on the road bike and see how it feels. Hopefully, the store you are in will allow you to even test-drive it. An uncomfortable bike can be like wearing a shoe of the incorrect size; it will just get annoying.
  • Don’t judge a bike by its color. Some companies put more money into making a road bike)look good than they do into the actual mechanics of the bicycle. Although that pretty pink road bike looks good, make sure it is as functional as it looks.

Summary of Road Bikes

Although the vast assortment of choices can be overwhelming when choosing your next road bike, taking some small steps to research your options can prove worthy and cost-effective. Don’t allow yourself to waste pounds on features you will never use, nor a bike that does not mold to your personal needs.
As we hope this guide helps you begin your search, we also hope to see you soon to make sure you find the best price. We have searched the UK to find the best price for that new road bike purchase.

Buying Guide to Road Bikes
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