Buyer’s Guide: All You Need to Know About the Best Road Bike
What is a Road Bike?
Road bikes, also known as racers, are machines that have one single goal to attain. And that is achieving maximum possible velocity. They are built in a way that the only variable that can slow them down will be the speed at which your legs can move. However, the improvements in speed have been a recent development and the name simply comes from the surface the trek road bike is to be used on – tarmac.
How to Get the Correct Road Bike Size
The good news is that there are measurements available that will enable you to choose the correct size that will be a perfect match for you. The bad news is that you need to spend some time in order to extract the correct size required. Below you can find the complete chart, just link your height to the bike size in inches and you are good to go.
- 4’11” – 5’3″ = 13 – 15 inches
- 5’3″ – 5’7″ = 15 – 16 inches
- 5’7″ – 5’11” = 16 – 17 inches
- 6’0″ – 6’2″ = 17 – 19 inches
- 6’2″ – 6’4″ = 19 – 21 inches
- 6’4″ and taller = 21+ inches
How to Ride a Road Bike
If you are a beginner when it comes to road bikes we urge extreme caution. The riding itself is done just like on any normal bike that you probably used in your childhood. However, the speed at which you travel will be drastically different. And that is precisely why we advise you to start slow and build your way up to the best commuter bike.
We recommend that you take a ride on your road bike at least several times a week. In the beginning it would be wise to scan the possible routes and choose the ones with the least known dangers. Make sure that you let your body recover and do not push if you feel that you are not fully recovered. Keep building and make sure you keep the fork as sharp as possible. At the start of your road bike career you can couple the road bike with the best electric bike to maintain in shape.
How to Choose the Best Road Bike
There is quite a large range of materials that are used in order to build road bike frames in past years. Even through all this material evolution aluminum has remained king. As you all probably expected the weight is what sets it apart from other materials. Another major advantage held over steel for example is the fact that it does not rust and last far longer than most other metals that could be used to as frame material. Stiffness is not the strongest feature of aluminum as it greatly lacks elasticity. However, since we are talking about road bikes stiffness is not that important. It would be highly detrimental on a mountain bike for example but does not affect a road bike in a considerable manner. Another very important aspect that comes with aluminum is the fact that it is almost inexpensive.
Notice how we haven’t compared aluminum to carbon fiber in our previous paragraph? That’s because it would have been a waste of time because carbon fiber is simply better at everything when compared to aluminum. It comes as no surprise that the price tag is considerably larger given the performance it outputs. If you went for the carbon fiber frame then we will urge you to perform maintenance as required and to apply frame protection on any vulnerable spots you might identify. Never touch carbon fiber with anything but a torque wrench. Keep reading our road bike review in order to find answers to the most common questions regarding road bikes.
Disc brakes will be the most common type of brake that can be found on road bikes. It works by using calipers that squeeze a pair of pads against a disc in order to create friction. This action will slow the rotation of the wheel and reduce it to a halt. Road bikes with disc brakes are the most common variant on the market right now.
The rim brakes used to be the industry standard when it comes to bikes. However, due to the higher performance of disc brakes the rim brakes are slowly fading away. Rim brakes apply the friction to the rotating wheel at the rim. The brake pads are usually made out of leather, cork or rubber and they are placed within a metal “shoe”. The best road bike rim brakes can be activated by the level that is mounted onto the handlebar on a performance road bike.
Road Bike Sizes
The smallest adventure road bikes in size designed for adults start off at 47cm. The 47cm frame size is designed to be used by someone with a height between 4’10” and 5’0”. There are different sizes available every centimeter and rider size raises by 3” every centimeter of the frame. A 6’6” person would be riding a bike with a frame size of 63 cm.
You might be surprised to find out that the bike you used to ride as a kid had clincher tires. The clincher tires are made out of a “carcass” that tends to be manufactured out of the material required for a specific bike model. The origin of the name comes from the fact that the tires “clinch” onto the rim of the tire with the help of a bead made out of hard rubber. Just like a car tire you can find an open bottom on the clincher and it can stay attached to the wheel only if it clinches. A road bike with suspension will output lower performance if it utilizes a clincher tire.
Tubular tries just so happen to look exactly the same as a clincher tier on the outside. However, on the inside it’s a totally different story. Tubular tires do not have an open part that needs to attach to the tire by clinching. Instead the tube itself is pretty much sewn onto the tire and becomes a part of the tire. Tubular tires are usually glued onto the rim to make sure that there is no wiggle. You can find tubular tires on the best BMX bike as well which attests to their increased performance.
Tubeless tires are highly similar to clinchers as in they have the same cross-section but they do not have an inner tube. What they do use instead is a layer of liquid sealant that has the role of making the tire air-impermeable.
Aerodynamics has been tackled by the aero road bike manufacturers since the dawn of time. The aerodynamic drag is composed of two forces: air pressure and direct friction. A blunt object that is irregular in shape will cause a greater disturbance in the air that flows towards it thus forcing the air to detach from the surface of the object. Friction is reduced by the design of the bike and by the “skin suits” used by professional cyclists. Road bikes for triathlons are one of the main fields where aerodynamics is currently being tested and they can be considered the best hybrid road bike.
Integration refers to the general direction that the bike manufacturers are taking at the moment with manufacturing all the components. It used to be that bike manufacturers only made the frame and all the other parts were mixed and matched from the best available source. It is a tedious process because the bike manufacturers are going against industry giants like Shimano and Michelin.
The drivetrain when talking about an automobile is a very complex mechanism. However, that is not the case for a bike. The drivetrain on a bike consists of all the components that can be sued in order to push/pull the bike. The main culprits are the pedals, cranks, chainrings, chains, cogs and the derailleur.
It used to be that 10-speed chains were the industry standard and nothing would go over 10. Nowadays, one speed chains are in high demand and the chain can reach up to 24-speed.
An entry level bike of the highest quality would cost you between 200$ and 300$. Anything above that capable of offering medium performance would be in the 500$ price range. Keep in mind that you will need to shell out another 70$ in order to have the bikes assembled. And it just so happens that the Damien Hirst Trek Madone costs a whooping 470.000Euro. This is clearly not a bike you will leave in a bike rack anytime soon.
Best Road Bike Types
The purpose of a lightweight road bike is to achieve the highest speed on the road. The lightest bike that has ever been made would clock at 2.8kg. However, when it comes to commercial production the lightest bike is at 4.56kg. If your road bike weighs between 17 and 17.5 pound then it is the ideal weight for a small road bike.
Aero bikes are a variant of road bikes that adopt the aerodynamics principle to increase velocity. The bike’s geometrical design enables the rider to change hand and body position as required by the changing terrain, preference or the current race standing. A bike with an optimized aerodynamic can be considered the best long distance road bike.
When it comes to climbing the bikes used are the standard road bikes. On a climb the skill of the rider will have the largest impact. They are known as climbing specialists or grimpeurs and they are specialized in having high performance on inclined roads.
Endurance bikes are to be used on uneven terrain. Using a road bike on such terrain would result in the rider’s injury. Endurance bikes are equipped with a more comfortable saddle and have a frame made out of carbon fiber that is capable of better absorbing shock and mitigating the vibration that would otherwise affect the rider.
Flat-bar Road Bikes
A flat-bar road bicycle is also known as a fitness bike and is a hybrid bike that has been optimized for road usage. It can also be a road bike equipped with a flat handlebar that replaces the regular drop bar. Frame construction and general geometry are inspired from the general road design.
H2 Verdict and Recommendation for 2020
Compiling this review list was not an easy task. We wanted to feature the best entry level road bikes on the market and one of the best endurance road bike on the market. Figuring out the order to place them in proved quite difficult. However, there was not debate that the first spot should go to Tommaso Sentiero Adventure Bike With Disc Brakes. It is quite the achievement for the Tomasso Sentiero to top a list that also features a SAVEDECK model. But we do consider that the road bike from Tomasso Sentiero has achieved everything it set out to achieve and a little extra. The large array of high quality Shimano parts placed on a high performance frame while maintaining an entry level price point is a rarity in the road bike industry.
From the entire team at gym-expert.com we thank you for taking the time to read this article and we hope that you are now well informed and ready to make an educated decision regarding your next purchase of the best road bike 2020.