Cycling on the road is a great way of boosting your fitness, losing weight and getting to see more of the world. If you are serious about cycling, then choosing the right road bike is something you need to take time doing.
Choosing to ride a road bike will mark you out as someone who is a little more serious about cycling than most people. While mountain bikes are often the machine of choice for cyclists who enjoy riding to the shops as well as along the woodland and mountain trails and hybrid bikes are ridden by commuters and shoppers, road bikes are all about speed.
A road bike is designed to go quickly on the road for long periods. It is a lightweight machine with thin wheels and thin tires, which can generate a lot of speed in the hands of an experienced cyclist. Road bikes are entirely unsuited for any other kind of riding apart from road riding. Their frames, wheels and chains cannot cope with off-road terrain at all, while loading them up with shopping or taking them three miles to work is like driving a sports car to the corner shop.
Cycling for Speed
So before choosing a road bike, make sure that you are certain that this is the type of cycling that you want to do. Remember that a road bike is entirely unsuited for any kind of trail riding or carrying any kind of load. If you are still certain that this is the type of bike that you want, then it is time to proceed, but with care.
One of the first things to consider when buying this kind of bike is the materials from which it is constructed. Frames are made usually from either aluminium or carbon fibre, with the latter offering much greater shock absorption and comfort during longer rides. Aluminium is cheaper though and is rugged enough for many new and intermediate riders. If you have the money though, opt for carbon fibre.
When it comes to choosing gears and brake set-ups it is wise to ask for advice. Terms like ‘drive-train’ and ‘group-set’ when referring to different kinds of components on a bike can be very confusing indeed. Choosing features like this on a bike all depends on the level of your experience. Components for experienced riders may actually baffle and confuse newcomers, so seek advice from experienced cyclists where possible.
The traditional cycling store remains the best place to find good advice and good machines. Cyclists are by and large a friendly bunch who are happy to help people of any ability level. Never buy a machine without having checked it yourself or having it checked by someone you trust. Buying a bike without making sure it suits your body dimensions and requirements is a recipe for trouble later on down the line.
Andy Johnson born in Glasgow in the late 1970s and has been cycling almost ever since. As a teenager, the exploits of Graeme Obree were a massive inspiration to him. He now competes in amateur cycling events as well as spending as much time amongst cyclists as he can. He also shares his passion and expertise for the sport with a range of blogs and websites.