Choosing the right road bike can be very confusing when you see how many road bikes for sale there are. So what variables are there when looking at purchasing a road bike? And how do you choose the right one for you?
Lets start with…
Frame and Fork Materials
There are 4 main types of materials used in today’s bicycles. These are:-
Steel: High-quality steel frames integrate great design, superior assembly, and better alloys in the tubing. A popular quality steel for bicycle frames is American SAE 4130 steel, better known as “chrome molybdenum,” and referred to as “chromoly” or “chrome-moly.” Steel is an excellent fork material but is heavier than either aluminium or carbon fibre.
Aluminium: this is the most popular frame material. This magic ride is attributed to aluminum being the lightest frame material – even lighter than carbon and titanium. It makes aluminum frames great choices for racing and time trialing. And, unlike steel, aluminum won’t rust; another advantage.
Titanium:This is one of the longest lasting, strongest, and most expensive frame materials. Many cyclists and experts feel that it combines the best characteristics of all the other frame materials. It rivals aluminum in weight, is as comfortable as steel and it has a sprightly ride and electric handling that many riders swear by. The frames feel “alive,” as if each pedal stroke gets a boost from an inherent springiness in the frame. However they are expensive to produce and will certainly add to the overall road bike sale price.
Carbon Fiber: This is a relatively new material and creates a frame that is light, stiff and durable but is also very expensive due to the manufacturing complexities of carbon fiber. Carbon is a popular material for forks due to its natural ability to absorb shock while offering fine handling. Although, they’re not the best choice for heavy or aggressive riders, there are even all-carbon forks (weighing less than a pound). These are great if you want a superlight road bike and performance is high on your list of priorities.
What is this?? Well a group is comprised of brakes, hubs, chain, cassette, bottom bracket, crank, derailleurs, shifters and headset – basically all of the componentary of brakes and gearing. Shimano and Campagnolo are really the only two companies that sell Road Groups. Each company sells 5 groups ranging from the entry level quality and performance right up to the professional level. So if you see a road bike for sale cheap then ask the question “what quality of road group does it have?”
Tires and Rims
Tires and their rims need to be aerodynamic, durable and lightweight and this all affects the bike’s climbing, acceleration and handling. Box-section rims are lightweight, accelerate quickly, and provide the most comfort whereas aero-shaped rims are stronger, have less wind drag, and are stiffer which means less comfort. The choice of rim will come down to personal preference. So if you are reasonably light and love riding at a leisurely pace on rough pavement then the box -section will be the best choice however if you are heavy set, competitive and ride on smoother pavement then the stiffness of the aero-shaped rims will suit you better.
With tires, essentially the thicker they are the longer they will last,the more they absorb road shock but they will have more friction as there is more tire on the road, so racing styles will always be thinner. So if you are looking at all of the road bikes for sale, then keep all of these variations in mind and decide on what specific features are important to you.