Tips for Buying a New Road Bike
When it is time to buy a new bike there are a few factors to take into account. The wrong choice of bike will impede your performance and increase your risk of injury. If the bike is really unsuitable you may give up the sport altogether. The idea behind this blog is to ensure you buy the right bike for you.
This will not only help you achieve your cycling potential but make all the difference to your enjoyment of the sport.
Put Bike Size Above all else
Always buy a bike that fits your body and never be tempted to go for one that is a little too big or too small just because it is on sale or a bargain. You will get far more enjoyment from cycling, and be a far better rider if you have the right size bike. Always ask for a bike fit if you are unsure of which size to opt for.
Decide on Components
The three main players in the components field are Shimano, SRAM, and Campagnola, and all shift the gears slightly differently. It is not so much which manufacturer is best but which is best for you. If you are buying your first bike you may wish to ask if you can try a few in the bike shop to see which feels the most natural.
All frame materials have strengths and weaknesses with many road cyclists opting for carbon fibre material due to the fact it is incredibly light. It also tends to be a little delicate and expensive. Generally, good bike frames can be built out of any material and depending on your disposable income and how often you are going to replace your bike, you may want to bear in mind the following:
Steel frames – Steel frames tend to be heavy unless you invest in a high quality, hand cut and welded frames. Although they are prone to rusting, if they are looked after the frame will last year after year. Steel frames are not prone to fatigue like aluminium frames.
Aluminium or alloy frames – Alloy frames tend to be lightweight and relatively cheaper. They are often used in bike manufacture as they are easy to produce. Unlike steel they are immune to rusting. Although prone to fatigue, alloy frames if looked after correctly will last year after year.
Carbon fibre frames – Carbon fibre are a mixture of carbon threads and epoxy resin. Frames made from this material are extremely lightweight, often weighing less than 1kg. The trade off here is that they tend to be expensive and more fragile.
Titanium – Titanium offers the best of all worlds. Lighter than carbon fibre and stronger than steel, titanium is not prone to rust or fatigue. As you have guessed this is the most expensive option.
When you decide how much you want to spend on your bike, you may want to consider how long you expect the bike to last. If you feel ten years is a realistic amount of time, you may want to invest in the best of everything that you can afford, at least pickup one that has a good lightweight, non-alloy frame.
If you feel five years or so is more realistic, then arguably your options are a little more open as good alloy frame bikes are now a realistic purchase.
Remember it is always a good idea to budget a bit extra for the extras and accessories we like to treat ourselves to when buying a new bike.
Of course, the bike is only half of it and having professional bike coaching is the other half. This is key to riding faster and further and fulfilling your potential. Our cycling training camp will help you do that and you may get a chance to ride with the Legend, Sean Kelly. Click here to fulfill your cycling potential.