If you’re a beginner and want to buy your first road bike, it is a good thing to have some kind of guide that will help you find the best one for you, the one that will suit you. In this road bike buying guide, you’ll learn how to buy road bikes that will give you the chance to enjoy every second you spend on it and to enjoy every bike trip you’ve planned to the max.
Questions To Answer
Before you visit the shop, ask yourself these questions:
- What is the type of riding you’ll be doing, and what will you do in the future?
- What is your budget?
- What’s your cycling ability?
Some bikes are made for climbing, others have better aerodynamics, so it is important to have all of these answers ready before you knock on the door or order your preferred road bike.
Main Road Bike Features
First of all, the road bike will help in reducing the front profile from the wind, so the driver is placed in a lower, more athletic position. This is achieved by drop, curled-shaped handlebars. The third road bike feature is skinny tires, mostly from 23 to 28 mm in width. However, in some cases, it is possible to find road bike tires wider than 30 mm.
Road bikes also don’t have suspension, and most offer up to 24 gears, which makes it easy and comfortable to slowly climb or to descend with ease. All of these will help if you plan to take a longer trip, and it will also speed the things up.
Road Bike Types
Road bikes come in many different types:
- Aero bikes are great if you plan to go high-speed everywhere., but don’t offer too much comfort.
- Endurance bikes are, as the name suggests, endurable and made for longer rides, different terrains… without affecting speed, comfort, or any other part of an enjoyable ride. These are great if you plan to use it for a longer period, like for camping trips, etc.
- Lightweight bikes are made mostly for racing, climbing, or other sport-related activities.
- Gravel, also known as all-road bikes are made for riding on all kinds of different terrains where the bike has to be as durable as possible. These are great for any type of adventure, and will most often be similar to endurance bikes, with a bit more accent on performance.
- Touring bikes are made to provide comfort, they last longer and are extremely durable.
- Recreational bikes are practical, comfortable, but not as endurable as the rest of the types.
There are a few options when it comes to frame materials:
- Carbon fiber is the easiest one to be molded and it can be shaped in any wanted tube profile or frame shape.
- Aluminum road bikes are mostly stiff but light bikes and are cheaper than the carbon fiber bikes.
- Titanium is also lightweight, but it is hard to mold. However, getting a titanium bike means you’ll buy something more expensive, but also top-quality that won’t corrode over time.
- Steel was used for old-time bikes, but in recent years it gave the advantage to other materials.
Size Of The Bike
This is among the most important things for your comfort, as the bike that is too big or too small will be pretty hard to control, not to mention the possibility of getting injured. The way to measure the bicycle rightly is to measure the length of the seat tube, but be careful, because it can differ from brand to brand, so it is recommended to check with someone experienced if you don’t know what to do.
Q: What’s The Best Road Bike For Beginners?
A: The best road bike for beginners is the one that will be light enough for you to carry if needed, but also stable enough so you can focus on your riding technique instead of stability. Also, some of the main features to look for as a beginner is a bike comfort and the quality of the bike brakes.
It all comes down to the amount of money you have available for your purchase. Of course, it can vary, but these prices should serve you as an example of what to expect for a specific amount of money.
Prices can go from 100 dollars for recreational to more than 7000 dollars for elite and professional bikes.
If you want to get a recreational bike that will be versatile and endurable and that will serve the purpose of getting you from point A to point B, or you’ve just learned how to ride a bike, this will do just fine. Steel or aluminum frame, 8 or 9-speed cassette on the back, and from 16 do 27 gears on the front will give you enough options for an easy ride.
Between $650 and $1300
This is where carbon fiber comes into play, so you’ll get the chance to choose between it and the aluminum one, so it will be more lightweight without the loss of durability. These bikes are great for the next step and if you decide it is time to take your game to another level. Also, this price range should allow you to get a bike that fits your needs better.
Between $1300 and $2700
Now we’re talking about serious stuff, and these bikes are intended for people that no longer look for simple recreation but also the performance. This means the weight will decrease, the speed will increase and more aerodynamic tube profiles will be available. Wheelset should be lighter, while the frame will most often be made out of the highest quality aluminum, or carbon fiber.
Between $2700 and $4600
This price range is made for professionals and it guarantees all the high-performance features you’re looking for that will last for a long time. Also, this is when you’ll be able to choose between aerodynamic, lightweight, endurance bikes solely without having to worry about anything missing.
By now, you’ll most likely have your preferences and desires, and this type of budget will allow you to do whatever you want, choose whatever you want, and get all the best features imaginable.
This is an area where you’ll probably be able to design your bike and make it custom from start to finish, so it fits every need and fulfills your every task with ease.
Q: What Should I Know Before Buying A Road Bike?
A: The starting point should be the bike size. Once you learn that, it is time to switch to your riding style and to find the bike that has all the features that fit your plans. Eventually, research to find all the needed information about the bike you like and to be sure it is the best choice for you.
Other Important Stuff
Once you learn how to buy a road bike, the job of the road bike buying guide isn’t over. Here are some additional, but also really important stuff that will make your buying experience way easier and keep you from forgetting something important.
Purchasing the bike itself is just a half-way done. Now it is time to get all the equipment, like wheels and pedals. If you do it all at once, you may get a discount, so it is good to know what accessories you’ll be needing once you head to the shop. If you don’t know what accessories you’ll need, research to find all the available options:
Do Your Homework
Besides finding out about accessories, research can help you with finding the best bike in general for you. Go through Youtube, social media, biking forums, and seek for other people’s experience, anything relevant that will help you learn more about every bike type and brand. Then, once you have all the information about preferences you seek, put it all on paper and check the manufacturer websites to compare different bikes. This will make the elimination process way easier and it will help you create the list of top 10 bikes you want.
Q: What Are The Best Road Bike Brands?
A: Although it is possible you’ll find the one you adore at some of the less popular brands, here are those with the highest amounts of positive reviews:
- Bianchi Bicycles
- Cannondale Bicycle Corporation
- Trek Bicycle Corporation
No matter how amazing the bike sounds, looks, or reads on paper, only when you take it out for a test ride you’ll be certain it is the real deal. Once you take it out, do your best to simulate your preferred riding type. Look for climbs if you plan to take it up the hills most of the time. If you plan to go for speed, then find a flat, fast track that will allow you to develop speed.
Sometimes this won’t be an option, so you’ll have to rely solely on the information you’ve gathered over time, which is why you should also check other user’s experience with a specific brand and seller. If there are no evident red flags, don’t be afraid to take a risk.
Also, if you see anything that can be regarded as merely a suggestion of a red flag in development when it comes to bike characteristics or features, or something simply feels off, it may be a good idea to pass the purchase and switch the other options, no matter how shiny or beautiful the one you’re currently looking is.
How And When You’ll Get A Bargain
No matter how big your budget is, it is always useful to know how to get something good for a lower price. However, this is especially useful for those with limited budgets because this way it is possible to get something better for the same amount of money.
- Check out our list of the best budget road bikes.
- BikeExchange is among the best places to find a great bike for less money, as it is always possible to find great discounts, but it is not the only way you can do the purchase and be happy you’ve spent less money than originally planned.
- The end of the financial year is the time when all the retailers are trying to sell old models to make room for the new ones. This means you’ll get the chance to buy almost a new bike at a discount price. Also, check the age of production of a specific bike type, as road bikes are most often updated every three years.
- Christmas, New Year’s, Black Friday sales are among the busiest times of the year in every category, so there is a great chance you’ll be able to find a great deal, and sometimes it may even come with additional stuff, like accessories, or something similar, bike-related.
- Demo bikes or floor stock; This may not be the case with all the bike shops, but almost all larger and popular ones have demo bikes or those that were used for testing. After some time, these will also be available for purchase, but with a big price drop due to their usage, while well maintained and as good as new.
- Online purchase is always an option from various locations, but it has a few things to consider – you won’t be able to inspect the bike, test it, or check how well it fits. However, if you do know all the information about the specific bike and you’ve found it online way cheaper, and you’re certain it’s not a fraud, then do it.
- Local bike shops may not always be the place to search for a bargain, but from time to time you’ll be able to run into a great deal, with servicing and additional helping stuff included. This will also give you the chance to simply stop by and ask if you have any questions, even after you purchase your own.
Globo Surf Overview
This road bike buying guide will help you find a starting point in learning how to buy a road bike, so you can do it with ease and without much of a hassle when the time comes.