April 27th, 2012
Road Bikes Advice: What are they like to ride?
For the purest cycling experience, a fast and furious road bike takes some beating. Purpose built for speed and responsiveness on tarmac, road bikes (also called racing bikes) are light and compact, with frames and components pared down as much as possible to save weight and improve aerodynamics. With a quality machine you’ll feel every twist and turn and experience the high-speed thrill of the open road. Its slim but strong frame and skinny wheels will help you tackle the steepest hills and glide effortlessly along the straights.
Your riding position on a road bike is leant forwards to help lessen wind resistance, and the drop handlebars give a choice of riding positions depending on conditions.
Road bikes have thin, high-pressure tyres and a frame designed to transfer as much of your pedalling power into speed as possible. Racing bikes have quite a lot of gears, but they are very close together so you can choose a gear which perfectly matches the conditions. Frame options include:
- Sportive frames that look the part, but put the emphasis on comfort and durability for long-distance riding
- Pure racing frames, with more aggressive geometry and an emphasis on performance and the finish line
- Time-trial frames, with air slicing aerodynamics – the ultimate combination of rider and machine
- Women’s frames may have a lower crossbar and have a shorter distance between seat and handlebars
Anyone from complete beginner to seasoned cyclist.
- Riding fast on tarmac and paved roads
- Riding long distances, with minimal luggage
- Riding in hilly terrain on the road
- Commuting on roads
- You want to ride off-road, or do a mixture of road and off-road riding (see hybrid bikes)
- You need to carry lots of luggage (see hybrid bikes or touring bikes)
- You want an upright position on the bike (see hybrid bikes or comfort bikes)
Still want more advice?
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