More than ever people are taking up biking, to improve their cardiovascular fitness, to lose weight, and as a way of meeting and socializing with friends. Bikes though are varied and made for different types of riding people want to do and the terrain they are riding them on. Road bikes for beginners are a great choice as they are designed for many uses, including casual riding, touring, commuting and racing.
But choosing the right bicycles is not as easy as you might think.
If you don’t currently own a road bike I suggest you borrow one to make sure it’s the right style bike for you. Road bikes are easily identified by their slim tires and handlebars curved down toward the back of the bike.
There are a lot of options to choose from when buying a road bike, and even more accessories you can buy. As well when buying your first road bike you typically don’t know what your needs are or what you don’t need.
Let’s look at the frame first. You need to know enough about materials, symmetry, and size in order to make sure it fits you, your riding style and purpose. The frame is more than beauty it’s the basis of its strength and comfort. You need to pay close attention to the frame.
Bikes these days are made from three main materials: steel, aluminum and carbon fiber. Each of these materials gives you a different feel as well as dictates the weight of the bike. Sometimes these materials are used in combination with each other in order to achieve what a particular rider is looking for in a bike.
Aluminum though is by far the material that is used most today. Aluminum is both lightweight and stiff. Because aluminum is stiff it puts more of your energy in the direction you want to go but can result in a less comfortable ride.
The other big factor is buying a bike that fits you well. It is one the best thing you can do for yourself. Bike frames are available in many different sizes. You just need to determine which one suits you the best.
Try this little exercise. Squat as low as you can get to the ground and then stand. Next, squat half way to the ground and stand. Finally just do a slight squat and stand up again. I’m sure you discovered the easiest squat was the shortest and the hardest one was the closest to the ground. This helps you understand why you should have good leg extension at the bottom of your pedal stroke. It is the easiest on your body and will give you a stronger stroke.
Therefore your seat should be high enough that your knee will only be bent slightly at the bottom of your pedal stroke without you having to drop your hip when pedaling. Having it too high will result in you having to over extend or drop your hip in order to complete a pedal stroke. Road bikes are usually sized in cm. which is the measurement from the pedal axle to the top of the seat post. To give you an example I am 5’ 9” and ride a 56 cm. bike.
If you are a road bike beginner, buying the right bike is one of the most important things you can do.
Whatever your goals may be there are bicycle options to get you there. So have fun and stay in shape and be kind to the environment. Start biking today.