Three Reasons to Use a Road Bike
Compared to any other types of bikes, road bikes are considered to be the top dog when it comes to speed. The large diameter wheels with slim tires are the biggest factor to a road bike’s quickness. Wheels and tires are light, sleek and smooth, designed to move you down the road with very little drag as possible. Mountain bikes with their heavy, lugged wheels and mixed-surface design cannot keep up. Same with hybrids or cruiser bikes, whose wheels and tires are constructed with more bump absorption or sturdiness in mind.
Lightweight, but Tough
It may be made with lightweight materials, but a road bike is a heavy duty and durable. Road bikes are developed for cycling on the road, as its name implies, and are best to use for racing, touring, or competing in a triathlon, on any hard smooth surface
A combination of fast wheels and lightweight construction with a purposeful, athletic, forward-leaning posture create a very effective package. The reach riding position for road bikes allows the rider to pedal hard with no need to deal with too much wind resistance and the multiple hand positions allow you to change hand positions that will help you to feel comfortable for long periods of time. Fast, light and efficient are all traits of modern road bikes.
How to Choose A Road Bike
Manufacturers, these days, make bikes from primarily three materials: aluminum, steel, and carbon fiber. Each material has different attributes that provide a different experience to the performance of the bike. Manufacturers select their frame material based on the specific characteristics they’re looking for. Occasionally they’ll use a pairing of materials.
- Aluminum is the common material used by bike producers today. Builders like it due to the fact it’s lightweight and stiff. Being stiff, frames made from aluminum flex less under load, leading more of the rider’s energy into forwarding motion. Therefore, a bike made of aluminum will have a fast, solid and perky feel to it. However, because it is stiff, aluminum can give a rough, less comfortable ride.
- Steel on the other hand, which has been used to make bicycles for a hundred years, can be very rigid, but normally, steel provides a bike a smoother, and a lot more stable, more comfortable ride. This is a more pliant material, and so, absorbs road vibration nicely. Besides being very strong and reliable, steel can also be fixed when aluminum or carbon fiber may not. However, steel bicycles weigh a little more.
- Carbon fiber boasts the best qualities of both steel and aluminum. It’s a very flexible material. It can be “laid up” to be stiff or flexible, based upon on what part of the frame it is used, and depending on what ride features the builder wants the bike to be. It does have a couple of downsides. One is that carbon fiber is very expensive. However, the price has reduced over the past few years, and more and more bikes are being made of it. The other drawback to carbon fiber is its natural weakness to tolerate impact. It is more easily damaged than steel or aluminum, and damage is difficult to assess. Cracks in the material that may provide a bike risky to ride, are not always visible.
As the term suggests, frame geometry pertains to the lengths of the frame tubes and the angles at which they are put together. The frame geometry, like the frame material, results how the bicycle works. More specifically, the frame geometry ascertains the way the bike handles. The frame geometry furthermore affects the fit. Variations in top tube lengths, for instance, change the fit simply by changing how much you lean over.
The fit is extra important on a road bike, due to the more exact geometry of the frame and the longer, tougher pedaling efforts on the bike. You need to be able to modify the saddle height to match your leg length and extension. And when you’re seated on the bike you should feel pressure on your seat and your hands only. You shouldn’t feel any additional tension in your back or shoulders. A comfortable position is important for the long ride.