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How to Choose a Road Bike

Selecting a proper road bike involves careful consideration. Cheap road bikes must be durable enough and fast enough to maneuver the terrain for which it was designed. Road bikes, in general, are designed for flat terrain and paved streets. Road bikes may be designed for leisure, commuting, fitness or for long distance races. The preference will be determined by the rider.
Considerations for Road Bike Selection
Road bikes are generally lighter in weight than mountain bikes or other types of bikes. The bikes come in a variety of sizes to improve pedaling efficiency and comfort. Cheap road bikes can be properly fitted to meet the needs of novices and seasoned bikers.

Novice bikers may choose to ride upright. Racers must concentrate on the aerodynamic capabilities of the bike. If bikers do not select a bike for particular needs, they will be uncomfortable or suffer pain. Prices for road bikes range from $200 to $2000. Read road bike reviews before making a final selection.

1. Determine the Type of Terrain. Determine the type of terrain the bike will travel over most often. Road bikes with several gears will be required for hilly terrain. Road bikes may be purchased in 10-speed, 18-speed and 21-speed. Flat-terrain bikes typically have a fixed gear or single-speed. Single-speed is most often selected for urban travel.

2. Determine How the Bike will Be Used. Will the bike be used for leisure, fitness, commuting or racing? The answer to this question will determine the type of bike to be purchased. A commuter may require comfortable seating, storage space, durability, inclement weather control, responsive brakes and good suspension. A racer or triathlete may require a fast bike with responsive brakes, special tires, aero bars and superior gear shifting. Leisure bikers may require a single-speed bike with very few upgraded features.

3. Get Fitted For the Appropriate Bike. Select a bike frame according to the biker’s height and stature. Test ride the bike to ensure it is comfortable. The saddle should be adjustable, and the pedals and handlebars should be reachable.

4. Select the Handlebar Styles. There are two primary types of handlebars: Drop-bar and flat-bar. Bikers who want to go fast, increase aerodynamics and propel the bike forward should consider drop-bars. These types of bars offer more hand positions than flat-bars. Drop-bars put more strain on a biker’s back than flat-bars.

Flat-bars allow bikers to ride upright and be more relaxed. This is recommended for leisure bikers. An upright position allows bikers to see potential hazards in the road. This position also reduces strain put on hands, shoulders and wrists. Though there is less strain, upright bikes are less aerodynamic and efficient.

5. Select Proper Bike Material. Cheap road bikes may be made of carbon, aluminum, steel or titanium. Steel road bikes are generally the most affordable and absorb shock, but the bikes are heavier and prone to rusting. Aluminum bikes resist corrosion and are affordable but do not absorb shock well. Carbon and titanium bikes are the lightest but are also the most expensive.

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