Formerly reserved for professionals, road cycling is now within everyone’s reach. It is a tool for fitness, leisure but also for training, development and competition. If you want to buy one, before asking yourself how to buy a road bike with better value for money, think about the use you want to make of it, your future goals but also the setting where you plan use it. To help you make your choices, here are some tips on the main features you should pay attention to.
The first thing to consider and not the least is the size of the frame of your road bike. Keep in mind that you’re going to be spending a lot of time on your bike, and if size affects optimal comfort as well as handling and efficiency, you need to have the right measurement data. Usually a buying guide for the best road bikes or an official bike brand website will give you a detailed table of frame size and leg length matches.
In order to refer to the table, you must then measure your crotch. To put it simply, get help from a friend and measure the height between the ground and your crotch (making sure your feet are without shoes, spaced 15 cm apart and especially without pants). Multiply the number obtained by 0.665 and you will have the ideal frame size.
Still at the level of the frame, stop choosing the material that constitutes it, while knowing that aluminum is the most affordable if we refer to a price comparison, carbon is the lightest in terms of weight and titanium the more resistant due to its rigidity.
If you already know where to buy a new road bike, check it out to really try out the bike as you will be able to make the necessary adjustments while having good advice from a professional.
The road bike is, as its name suggests, intended for use on asphalt road or special track. It is therefore equipped with very fine wheels but also with an ultra-light frame, which take precedence over speed at the expense of comfort. It is the same for its variants like the cyclocross, a clever mix between mountain bike and road bike, the Gravel, more versatile with a clearly comfortable riding position and the triathlon bike, a more aerodynamic derivative for timed races.
But sometimes we are faced with a paved track, hence the design of the first road bikes with a suspension kit. But unlike the damping systems of mountain bikes or hybrid bikes, the suspension for the road bike has been designed for gains in speed and energy saving and not in riding comfort. However, there is a marked improvement in the latter.
The choices are numerous, because the technology is quite recent, but the most common are the rear suspension triangles and the suspensions housed in the head tube.
Three major brands are renowned in the design of road bike transmission systems, namely Campagnolo which is the oldest brand, Shimano the best known brand and Sram the newcomer. Several gear change systems are also to be distinguished: the electronic system which offers faster gear changes than the mechanical version, the entry-level system which has reliable mechanics but with very affordable prices, the system mid-range which offers a very interesting quality / durability / price ratio, finally the high-end system which is the most efficient but also the most expensive.
The electronic system is currently only available in an 11-speed version with two chainrings, in contrast to the entry-level system which offers 8-speed models with 10 speeds coupled to a double or even a triple chainring. The mid-range and high-end offer 10 or 11 speeds for a double chainring.
So prefer a crankset with three entry-level chainrings if you are less experienced and want a wide choice of speed. The compact crankset is more widespread today, it is equipped with large chainrings including one with 50-53 teeth and another with 32-34 teeth. If you are a seasoned runner, choose a regular crankset or an oval crankset that will put your legs to the test.
If you choose a conventional road bike, it will be fitted with rim brakes. They have the distinction of being easy to use, light and inexpensive. However, their effectiveness tends to decline in the event of rain and they considerably wear down the rim when braking.
On the other hand, cyclocross and Gravel, which play more on roads, bitumen or gravel, are equipped with disc brakes, more efficient in terms of braking capacity but also effective in bad weather conditions.
Note that hydraulic disc brakes are more and more trendy in the world of competition bikes. Renowned for their superior braking, they also perform well even in the worst possible conditions. Only downside, they need compatible wheels and frames, which further limits the number of choices because this is not always the case.
So choose your brakes according to the type of surface and the type of use of your bike. You can opt for disc brakes if your components are compatible. However, a conventional rim brake may be more than enough (to the detriment of the rim of course). In any case, you should not neglect the maintenance of your brakes to have optimal braking during the race.
Road bikes, as their name suggests, are intended for asphalt racing. Often used by users with sporting profiles, they can be complex to handle for novices in the field. In this sense, we provide you with some practical advice if you find yourself in such a situation.
Position yourself comfortably
Some road bike models are geared to speed. In addition, they often offer two types of driving modes due to the shape of their head tube. You will have at your disposal two aspects of handle to use according to your activity. The standard position is compatible with this category of bike, but if you want to benefit from an optimal aerodynamic effect and a significant gain in speed during your race, adopt a plunge posture.
Maintain your road bike
Regular maintenance of your equipment will allow you to benefit from equipment that will serve you for years. Constantly check the mechanics, cogs, braking system and other components of your two-wheeler. If you do not have the concept or if you are new to the field, have your bike inspected by a professional, a garage or a dealer.
Equip your bike
In case you practice cycle tourism and have a bicycle suitable for this type of activity, adding practical accessories to your two-wheeler can be useful. This exercise is often focused on the distance you can perform on your equipment. Therefore, installing a luggage rack can then be a good alternative for transporting your panniers. To have water close at hand, the bottle holder at the frame level is the most recommended. Mudguards are also a practical solution for riding in the rain.
Avoid splashing water on certain components
Get the right tools like the screwdriver or flat pliers. If possible, remove the removable parts from your bike when you are about to wash it. You can then easily wash it. Whether you use a high pressure washing system or traditional cleaning, make sure that things like the chain and the brakes do not come into contact with water. This could cause malfunctions, reduce their performance or even damage them.
Understand how the shift lever works
Your road bike will generally have two gear levers if it incorporates two front and rear derailleurs to its credit. The levers are usually placed on the handlebars, one to the left and one to the right. Respectively, the first will be used to control the position of the chain on the rear derailleur from sprocket to sprocket. The second will allow the chain to change trays.
Vary the report according to the type of terrain
Changing gear on a bike is mostly a question of feeling. During an uphill climb, when you feel that it is taking too much effort, you can use a low speed to reduce your fatigue. On flat ground, on the other hand, switch to a higher gear if you feel that you are pedaling in a vacuum while your speed remains constant.
The most popular brands
If during the holidays or a relaxing weekend you discovered the joys of road cycling and you wanted to get started, this article will help you find good addresses. Most of the following brands have the best value for money on the market.
The ski world owes conical aluminum poles to the brand, or rather to its founder, Ed Scott. This invention propelled the company to the ski market, and much later in all extreme and mountain sports: motocross, cycling and others.
The brand markets all kinds of materials and equipment for outdoor sports, such as ski wear, mountain and road bikes and, speaking of road bikes, there is no shortage of choices. For men, women, children, of all sizes, there is something for everyone.
The Giant company lives up to its name. It is indeed one of the world giants and the largest supplier of amateurs and professionals in sports equipment, especially with regard to the bicycle: shoes, locks, protections, tools.
When you visit its site, you are faced with a more than complete range of quality products: road bikes, city bikes, mountain bikes, hybrids, you will find them for all existing activities. Just for its road bikes, there are more than a dozen models adapted to everyone’s needs.
Whether you’re looking for mountain bikes or crossing peaceful trails, you might find what you need on the Specialized side. His shop is full of a multitude of items for the whole family and all needs: mountain bikes, road bikes, downhill, cross country, BMX and many others.
Just for their road bikes, everyone can choose according to the performance sought and the route to be traveled. Faced with this wide choice, we can say that the brand is carrying out its mission of offering a wide choice to professional cyclists and the most demanding amateurs.
At B’Twin, children can ride a bike from the age of 6. In addition, the company supplies men and women in jackets, shorts and shoes, not to mention mountain bikes and touring bikes for cross country. If you are looking for accessories for bikes like meters, GPS, or even pumps, you are sure to find them at the store.
In any case, what is certain is that you benefit from attractive offers by putting your trust in B’Twin: competitive prices, guaranteed products.
Trek is the king of bikes and everything that revolves around them: equipment, clothing, accessories. It is also one of the only brands to market electric bikes for those who are reluctant to make efforts to get around.
Trek has many stories to tell in her studio and at all the events in which she has actively participated, to name but the Quest for the Golden Speedo.