Is a Road Bike the right bike for you?
Road bikes are good for serious riders who like to go fast and far.
Agile, durable, stiff, comfortable, stable, lightweight: these are all the characteristics of a road bike.
These bicycles are designed to work great at whatever you choose; the evening criterium, the weekend stage race, the century rides, or weekly group rides. They are designed for speed, efficiency, and long distance.
Road bikes epitomize lightweight and efficiency for pavement riding.
The road bike features . . .
Road bikes are geared higher than mountain bikes with fewer climbing gears. They have 2 -3 front chain rings and 8 -11 speed cassettes in the rear - depending on level of components.
Check out Road Bicycles at The Bike Shack from Giant and Raleigh USA.
Within this category of bikes are racing, touring, and sport bikes.
What you want is speed in your ride. Racing bikes are the lightest, with areo riding position bars, skinny tires and gear ratios. Narrow tires run at very high pressures, of 100 lbs or more, and a bike that weighs under 20 lbs. With a sleek seat and up to 30 speeds, and with each year, the components get better, and the bikes get lighter.
Giant and Raleigh bikes have very quick handling characteristics, their expressed use is to go from point to point as fast as possible.
The frame is designed with a long wheel base to provide a stable and predictable ride under heavy loads. This bike is not built for speed, rather, it’s designed to provide comfort for the long haul. The drop handlebars provide comfort, good control and allow for multiple hand positions. Twenty one speeds will take you over any type of incline you’ll encounter and cantilever brakes can stop you even when you’re heavily loaded down.
This bike falls between the touring and racing bike. Not as light as a racing bike but, more responsive than the touring bike. The sport bike’s drop handlebars provide comfort and control and the aerodynamic design allows for faster speeds. If you’re into taking rides of 10 or more miles while turning up the intensity by adding some speed, this bike can take you there.
Frame materials have different riding "feel". Frames on the fast, racing style bike, are made of Titanium or Carbon Fiber. Materials determine the balance between responsiveness, lateral stiffness, silky smoothness, durability and light weight. In general, the lighter and the stronger the frame and the better the components the more expensive.
Titanium: Titanium came to bikes from the aerospace industry. With unsurpassed strenght, weight, durability and ride quality. Very light, tremendously strong, and is more resilient than steel. It needs no paint because it resists corrosion. Titanium is fairly expensive and is limited to high-end road and cross-country mountain bikes where performance is the primary concern.
Carbon Fiber: Very tough and light. Will never rust or corrode, but it's also brittle. Metal lasts because it can bend and regain its shape. Carbon Fiber can't, which is why these have to be built stronger than actually needed. Carbon Fiber however is designed to absorb bumps and "road shock" causing this material to provide a very smooth ride. Carbon Fiber is moderately expensive and is best suited for riders who want a fast, light and comfortable bike.
Cromoly Steel: Extremely durable, but not as light as Carbon Fiber or Titanium. Chromoly flexes to absorb bumps providing a smooth ride. Chromoly frames come in all price ranges depending mainly on components.
Aluminum: The most common frame material is Aluminum. Generally inexpensive, but provides the stiffest ride of all the materials available. Aluminum is very durable and will resist corrosion. Again components used will generally determin the price point.
Racing Style Handlebars
Tiny change - Major Comfort Benefit
If your handlebars are set like this, consider a simple tweak.Top of bar angles downward, bottom is comfortably flat for holding.
Higher riding position is often more comfortable. Rotating your handlebars is an easy way to be more upright.
Top of bar is flat for less acute wrist angle and more even hand pressure. Ideally, brake lever is further forward for a mostly level transition from the bar.
If you aren't racing you don't need the lower, more aero position provided by holding the "drops".
Proper cleat position. Front-to-back location usually positions the ball of your foot directly over the pedal axle. The angular adjustments is generally close to the normal angle of your foot, however there are common exceptions. Come to The Bike shack for a precise cleat fitting.
Benefits of road pedals:
Wide pedal platform for improved foot-pedal stability.
Wide bearing placement for enhanced load distribution.
Quick binding entry.
Low profile design brings the foot closer to the spindle for improved stability.
Do you need a separate pair of shoes for road biking? Here are a few things to consider
Sole Stiffness: Road shoes have stiffer soles for better power transfer. They provide maximum power to the pedals.
Comfort: As well, sole stiffness helps eliminate hot spots. Softer soles "wrap" around small clip less pedal bodies. Your feet and legs work to compensate for a less stable pedaling platform, you get hot spots - irritated nerves - in your feet.
Weight: Road shoes are lighter than mountain bike shoes. For longer road rides with less time off the bike, you will benefit from road specific shoes.
Today's Wheels are Amazing . . . Look at racers and you'll see a new generation of bicycle wheels.
Wheel Weight - rotating weight is the most important weight on your bike. Every pedal stroke must turn your wheels around. Weight saved on wheels is more than 3 times more valuable than weight saved elsewhere. Today's wheels are lighter and stronger.
Air resistance - Fewer spokes allow them to spin rapidly through the air. Aerodynamic rims also slice through the air more easily.
Ride quality - Also a factor. New technologies in spokes and rims give you a smoother, more responsive riding experience and better transfer of power on the road.
Maintenance - Generally less maintenance is needed due to stronger materials and advanced construction.
Indulge yourself in a second set of wheels and enhance your road riding experience.
Increase your power and control
Don't "sag" - Loosen your neck to lessen fatigue and improve balance.
Extend your spine - to relieve neck compression. Try rolling your hips a bit forward to flatten your back.
Elbows low and in - relieve neck pressure and you're more flexible to better absorb bumps.
Shoulders wide - releases your neck for more upward extension and freedom of rotation for looking sideways.
The upward extension exercises your abdominal muscles and will take a few rides to get used to, but you'll like the benefits of being more limber.
Come in, look around, and
Ride with.....THE BIKE SHACK!
The only place for all your cycling and fitness needs!