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Beginner’s Guide to Buying a Road Bike

Updated: Dec 14, 2022

Whether you’re looking into getting your first ever road bike or simply upgrading your existing bike, there are a few things you need to consider. The benefits of cycling are somewhat endless; it increases your cardiovascular fitness, can be beneficial for your mental health and is a great way to socialise with other people. Nevertheless, it’s important to research different bikes to ensure you are getting the best piece of equipment to match all your needs and requirements.

In this handy guide, we’re going to discuss several factors that you should take into account before purchasing a road bike.


What type of riding are you doing now?

Whether you’re a novice or intermediate rider, your ability plays a factor in what road bike you should be looking at. Every cyclist is unique when it comes to fitness and flexibility, so you need to match up your current riding ability with the bike you are looking into. For instance, if you are a beginner then it might be best to opt for a bike that is comfortable and not too physically demanding. If you invest in a bike that was challenging to ride instead, it might discourage you from getting on the roads!

Road cycling demands you to be fixed into a certain position for a long period of time, so the last thing you want is to be uncomfortable or have an injury. It is therefore imperative that the actual fit of the bike is perfect for you and your build. If you are unsure of what fit would be best for you, then it would be advisable to visit a bike shop as they can suggest a correct size bike to suit your needs.

It might even be that you’re switching from other bikes and trying your hand at road bikes. We know that each kind of cycling has its own benefits, but there are some changes you might notice. For instance, if you are into mountain biking then you might not be used to drop handlebars. People need time to adjust to this new position, as this can cause weak or tired neck muscles. A potential suggestion could be opting for a hybrid bike with flat handlebars, as this is closer to the riding position you are used to.

What type of riding do you intend to do in the future?

Something you might want to ask yourself is why do you want a road bike? Do you want to do competitive racing, or are you just looking for a healthier way to commute to work? Whatever the reason, you need to get a road bike that suits your needs. For instance, there’s probably not much use in getting a high-end sports bike just to go for a light stroll when the weather is nice. Road bikes could best be characterised by their background in racing - light, quick and perfect for efficiently riding on the road. However, the narrow wheels, skinny tyres and curved handlebars of a road bike means that it would struggle on any other type of terrain. That’s why it is important to take into account the type of riding you want to be doing. For instance, hybrid bikes share the same flat handlebar and tyres as mountain bikes, meaning it has the ability to ride on the road and other types of terrain. Therefore if you intend to ride on all types of terrain, then it may be best to consider a hybrid bike instead.

What frame should I go for?

On the face of it, it might seem that all road bikes look fairly similar. However, looking a bit closer you’ll notice that there are small differences when it comes to the bike’s components and frame. The frame of the bike should also be taken into consideration when choosing the right road bike for you, as the stiffness and comfort can vary. Both aluminium and carbon have their pros and cons. Whereas aluminium framed bikes are known best for their reliability and robustness, carbon-framed road bikes are lighter and more comfortable. For instance, aluminium road bikes are low maintenance whilst allowing riders to achieve speed on the road. If you are into speed, aluminium frames have the ability to offer efficiency and stability on the road. However, carbon road bikes are best for beginners who enjoy longer rides, as this frame is more comfortable than its aluminium counterpart.

What is your budget?

If you are a beginner, It’s important to find the balance between getting a reliable bicycle that is cost-effective. It goes without saying that spending more on a bike corresponds with higher quality, however, you can get budget road bikes that still pack a punch when it comes to performance. Despite this, cheaper bikes can often be susceptible to damage due to their lower quality, meaning that you might have to spend more on repairs in the future. Therefore if you are planning on getting into cycling for the long term, then it might be worth bearing in mind any future repairs that will need to be completed.

You should also think about your budget for any extras if you’re a new cyclist too. Most bikes don’t include pedals, therefore this will need to be accounted for. In addition to this, you might also want to invest in a helmet, cycling clothing, a pump and other accessories to enhance your performance. If you are unsure of what bike would best be suited to you and your budget, then take a look at Velorunner’s range of different road bikes. We have a wealth of experience and knowledge to give you the best advice when it comes to purchasing a road bike. As well as helping you to find a new bike, we can also offer bicycle servicing to help bring your bike back onto the road.

Why is cycling gear important?

Whilst the actual bike itself is the fundamental piece of equipment to go cycling, gear makes cycling easier, safer and more enjoyable. Although you can wear casual wear when cycling, this won’t provide you with the same comfort as lycra and other types of material. It is inevitable that you will sweat when cycling, so the role of lycra is to pull any moisture off of your skin and evaporate it into the air. As well as cycling clothing, helmets are an absolute necessity when it comes to cycling safety. Whilst protecting your head, some helmets improve the aerodynamics which can make you cycle much quicker.

As technology has advanced, different cycling gear has the ability to provide information on your performance. Cycling computers attach to the front of your bike, offering you insight into your speed, maximum speed, average speed and total distance. Whilst this cycling gear does not contribute to comfort and safety, this piece of information is useful when it comes to building up your ability on the roads.

Explore our Bikes for Sale at Velorunner

At Velorunner, we are dedicated to providing our customers with professional and personalised services to help you with any of your cycling needs. Not only do we have the capabilities to provide you with the best road bike to set you on your way, but we can also provide bicycle servicing to restore your bike back to tip-top condition. Based in Stone, we pride ourselves on being able to help beginners to find the perfect bike for them. Our professional staff are equipped with the knowledge to help you enhance your cycling performance. If you are convinced that Velorunner are the right company to help you get into cycling, then get in touch with our team today!

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