How to Choose Your Perfect Road Bike
A Simple Guide to Finding the Right Bike at the Right Price
Finding your perfect road bike can be a long process, particularly since there is so much choice and many different factors to consider. What’s more, good road bikes do not come cheap, and most people don’t want to invest in a bike that is no less than perfect.
Use this guide to discover the most important factors you should consider before purchasing a road bike, and how to find the one that is perfect for you.
1) Determine Your Price Range
It is not rare for road bikes to cost in the region of £600 upwards, so before you invest your hard-earned money it is important to consider how much you are willing to spend.
You should also think about what you’re going to use the bike for and how often you’re going to use it. If you’re going to use it a lot, it may be worth spending a bit more on a more durable bike that will last a long time.
It is highly advised to try the bike you want in a shop before you buy it, but that does not mean you can’t shop for a better deal elsewhere.
Make sure you also consider a range of different brands that may offer similar products for different prices. Raleigh, Trek, Jamis and Bianchi are top road bike brands and also offer good entry-level road bikes for beginners.
2) Choose the Right Frame and Components
Once you’ve decided how much you’re willing to spend, consider the different materials available for your frame. Frame material doesn’t really influence comfort, but it can influence the aerodynamics and durability of your bike. Bike frames are widely available in steel, aluminium, titanium and carbon so consider the benefits of each material before you buy. Titanium is excellent for durability, while carbon frames are used by many professional cyclists because they are very aerodynamic.
After this, components like wheels, brakes, shifters, cranksets, and cassettes have the greatest influence on price, so consider which bike accessories you are prepared to spend more on before you buy.
3) Get the Right Fit
Frame size is the main factor that will influence your safety and comfort while riding, so getting one that fits you perfectly is an absolute must. The right size bike frame allows you to achieve maximum efficiency while riding, so that most of your forward pedalling is converted to motion without discomfort. Compromising on the fit to save money may not seem like a big deal on a test-ride, but it may haunt you in the long-run.
A custom fitting is likely to be out of most beginners’ budges so trying many different bikes is important. However, a fitter can modify the bike’s seat position, handlebar stem height and handlebar width to achieve a custom fit. Your height and inseam measurements determine what size frame you need, so knowing these measurements and referring to a road bike sizing chart can help speed up the process of finding the right fit.
James Murray grew up in Dallas (Scotland not Texas) and hasn’t really stopped running cross-country since he was 13. He took to cycling during his time studying at UHI, Inverness…even cycling home during reading week!
James currently works at his local community centre and is saving up to conquer Tour d’Afrique in 2017. He admits to never staying awake for a whole movie.
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