Road Bike Buyers Guide

road bike

Road biking is one kind of fun of life, it’s give pleasure in life. When you are   riding a bike with your friends that is the most enjoyable moment. This is also one way of exercise and meditation as well. But this is all possible only when you have the right choice of your bike.

Before going to buy a road bike you should know this thing

What Is a Road Bike

Let’s see quick overview of road bike

  • A very lightweight frame, wheels, and component
  • Smooth, skinny, and narrow wheels and tires
  • Dropdown handlebar, though some have a flat handlebar like mountain bike
  • Forward and downturned posture.
  • No front or rear suspension

Now, let’s see what is the functionality of a road bike

  • Intention for fitness, touring and road racing.
  • Designed for paved surfaces.
  • Allow the rider to go farther and faster than other of bike.

Frame Geometry of Bike

The frame is heart of any bike. All though the road bike model looks like the same to each other meticulous but crucial differences in the frame formation and material being used in the frame.

Road bike with a performance geometry appeal to the aggressive ride. These bikes allow the rider to be more flexible and stretched out for aerodynamics and they are more responsive for piloting. Road bikes feature a tough frame, higher-end component, narrow wheels.

Frame Material

Your first frame choices are aluminum or carbon fiber. By the way, how well designed a frame using material as the material quality itself.

The key feature of aluminum frames are very good at providing smooth riding, and they are generally less expensive than carbon fiber. Most aluminum frame road bike comes with carbon fiber front fork to absorb some road vibration to give good quality of riding.

aluminum bike frame

Carbon fiber is the most coveted frame material for road-bike. By the way, carbon fiber is not equally. There is a huge difference between cheap and expensive frames. The carbon fiber frame is very good at absorbing road vibration and provides more comfortable riding than an aluminum frame. Along with that carbon fiber frame is that it is more flexible which helps to create a complex shape that gives more attractive looks.

road bike buyers guide

Steel was the very popular frame material until the 1980s and is still very good material for a good designer. The main problem with it is its havier than carbon or aluminum, but this is best comfortable.

Steel bike frame

Titanium can be the best choice if you have a good budget. A titanium frame can be lightweight as aluminum and durable as steel. This feature of titanium makes its perfect material for the bike frame.  Corrosion-resistance features make it perfect for the road bikes.

Titanium bike frame

Titanium is an expensive option because it’s difficult to work in it.

But these days it’s less expensive than earlier when it was new material for the bike frame.

Components of Bike

These are referred to all the major components which are attached to the bike frame.

  • Drivetrain(crankset, rear cassette, chain, derailleurs, brake levers, gear levers)
  • Wheels( rims, hubs, axle, spokes)
  • Brakes, handlebar, seat, and Seatpost, pedals

Groupset

A road bike groupset is a set of matching components from the component manufacturer. A bike model with a groupset has a refined, stylish and compatible appearance compared to a bike containing a  diverse classification of components.

The groupset is generally used to shortcut to define the quality of a bike and to compare different bikes. Shimano, SRAM, and  Campagnolo are the most popular component supplier of drivetrains. For the entry-level price, Shimano is the most popular.  These three manufacturers make combine gear and brake lever, so you can’t change gear. Every manufacturer does this in a different way. Shimano uses the whole brake lever to shift one-way lever behind it for the opposite shift.

Cranksets and Gearing

Discussion on the road bike often turns on gearing. Let’s start with the cranksets. This is the componentry that the pedals turn and that rotates the rear wheel using the chain. A road bike will either have a triple, double or compact cranksets.  Chainrings size and number

  • A triple crankset has 3 chainrings. It is often paired with 9-speed, 8-speed, and 7-speed cassette on the rear wheel to give it total 27, 24, and 21 gears. This configuration is most common for an entry-level bike and gives a wide range of gears for the rider. The triple chainring is famous for the climb on the mountain or carrying luggage.
triple crankset for road bike
  • Double and compact cranksets both have 2 chainrings upfront and are paired with a 10-speed cassette in the back for a total of 20-speeds. A compact crankset has smaller chainrings with fewer teeth than double. It gives a lower range of gears. Racing bike rider prefers double chainring.
Double and compact cranksets

A compact crankset is a common dispensation on bikes with a sport geometry, as it gives a similar range of gears(from low to high) as a triple but for less weight. A compact or double cranksets also offer batter heel clearance to the crank arm than a triple crankset, which prevents the potential issue of annoying shoe rub on each turn of the pedals.

The range of teeth on the rear cassette also impacts the gearing range of a bike. The higher gear(smallest cassette) will have eleven or twelve teeth. The lowest gear(large cassette) will have twenty-three to twenty-eight teeth or up to thirty-two teeth in the case of the SRAM Apex model. The SRAM Apex drivetrain is a recent modernity that offers a gearing range greater than that of the triple, but it uses a compact crankset. This is achieved by having more teeth on rear cassette than has before been possible on-road bikes, due to change in rear derailleur design. Changing the rear cassette in a relatively inexpensive way to change your bike’s gearing, but there are potential compatibility issues.

Wheels

Wheels have a major impression on the following

  • Weight of the bike
  • Acceleration and  carries the momentum of the bike
  • Aerodynamics and handling power of the wind

The Anatomy of a Road Bike wheels

  • Hub: The wheel spins around the hubs that sit at its axis. On the rear wheel, the hub features the freehub mechanism unless you are ridding the fixed-wheel bike.  The hub contains the axle,  through axle wheels connect with the bike.
  • Spokes: Pieces of wire that connect the hub to the rim. The number of spokes and material of spoke choice is important.
  • Nipples: The Spokes thread into a special nut called nipples.
  • Rim: The Rim hols the tyre and provide braking surface for rim furnished brake.

What Type of Road Bike Wheels Should I Buy

Bike wheels are now increasingly being designated according to their use like race, endurance, aero, adventure and so on, wheels to fit in similar categories. Knowing what type of rider you are and what you want out of your wheel upgrade will clarify and narrow your choice. 

There are some different types of road bike wheels is available.

Climbing Wheels

Cycling is felt hard when climbing, so a wheel suited to climbing is usually designed with low weight in mind. Such a wheel generally comes with a shallow profile and less number of spokes.

Another benefit of these wheels is seen in ride quality.  Typically, deeper a rim gets in its shape, hard to ride therefore these wheels also get extra benefits.

Where a wheelset is below a 1500g and doesn’t claim as an aerodynamic but it can often keep in the categories of climbing.  If the budget is not an issue, the weight of climb wheels should be between 900g and 1300g.

Mid-Section Aerodynamic wheels

Aerodynamic wheel suddenly become popular choice because of creating that pro look. An aerodynamic wheel generally comes with deeper section rim, with a rim depth of around 30mm being the typical starting point. 

As aero designs have improved in a few years, there has been a big uptake in these mid-depth wheels – Which unlike some deep-section models now provide a sensible balance between low weight, ride quality has improved against the wind. 

Aerodynamic rims are often built with carbon fiber in order to keep the weight low. However, budgets option are likely to be made of aluminum which makes it heavy.

Unless you choose a custom-built bike you will not get a choice of wheels while you buy a bike. You can, yet, choose to upgrade to a batter quality wheels once you get a bike. The higher up a bike is in its model range the lighter and faster wheels you will get. 23mm wide tire used to be standard, but nowadays pro cyclists using more comfortable, faster-rolling 25mm and 26mm tires.

Pedals

Basic models generally come with platform pedals, often with toe cages, while nearly all higher-end models are sold without pedals.   It seems odd, for sure. The assumption by bike makers is that a road cyclist is likely to already have a preferred pedal system for use with his or her existing cycling shoes. This logic lets you make the decision instead of requiring the bike shop to exchange perfectly fine pedals for a different brand or model.

If you want to pedal efficiently and be at one with your bike, you should use cycling shoes and clip-in pedals. Pedals come with numbers of popular brands (including Shimano, Look, Time and Speedplay) and a range of models within each brand. A higher price indicates better bearings, lower rubs, and less weight.

Brake

Brake is the major part of any bike. Brake is differentiated in two type

  • Rim brake
  • Disc brake

The main differences between them are how and where brake forces are going to apply.

Rim Brake

A rim brake force is applied to the rim or side of the wheels.  Rim brake is still lightweight and more aerodynamic. This is traditionally the most popular brake because of simplicity.

rim brake for bike

Disc Brake

The disc brake is borrowed from a car and motorbike. It is proven to provide more finite braking control and consistent power. In the new bike, it is very popular.

Name of disc brake because of putting a steel disc rotor on the hub of the wheel. There are two different types of disc brakes available for road bikes,  hydraulic disc brakes, and mechanical disc brakes.

bike disc brake

Hydraulic Dish brake

Hydraulic disc brakes work similarly to the motorbike or car.

Mechanical disc brakes

Mechanical disc brake work as rim brake. It means that you pull on a lever, which then pulls a braided stainless steel cable which is then used to apply braking force to the rotor. Mechanical disc brake systems are simpler and more refer to the entry-level bikes.