Choose your first road bike
Have you decided to take up road cycling? Have your loved ones convinced you to follow them on a ride? Do you want to resume sport? Very good idea, but as you can see, the choice is vast. Maybe a little too much. So, you can’t make your choice …
- For what type of cyclist?
- For what purpose?
- For what budget?
- How do I know my size?
- For what type of cyclist?
You have decided to resume a sporting activity, you are looking for a complement to your main sport or you want to move faster (and without taking public transport). Your use falls into the leisure category, with low weekly mileage and occasional Sunday walks.
Personally, I don’t think it is necessary to invest in a high-end war machine. Already because competition bikes are very stiff and uncomfortable for this kind of use (the feeling of having a piece of wood under your buttocks …) and therefore that this is likely to disgust you more than anything else.
For cyclists looking for an inexpensive and solid bike, the Triban RC100 or RC120 with Decathlon discs, for example, will be perfect for biking (going to work by bike) or discovering road cycling.
Then, if you do not have a closed box or garage, these kind of beautiful mechanics unfortunately quickly catch the eye in town …
An entry-level or mid-range bike, at a reasonable and comfortable price will be perfectly suited. Admittedly, it will be a bit heavy and may lack responsiveness but it can accompany you over many kilometers without taking the head.
However, be careful not to succumb to cheap bikes without having properly checked the transmission group, this is the important element that also determines the price of the bike, and a poor quality model could make your trips difficult with speeds that “Go wrong” or that is imprecise.
The lover of long walks
The touring cyclist is looking for a specific frame, cut for endurance, on which one can spend long hours without writhing in pain.
Comfort and flexibility are the key words here. For those who prefer to stroll over several days or who wish to be able to ride in all weathers without finishing with the plastered back, the possibility of adding equipment (luggage rack, mudguards, etc.) is also a criterion of important choice.
A hiker equipped to tour the country and the Roubaix of Specialized, two visions of endurance.
Hikers, bikes with a steel or flexible aluminum frame with a studied geometry are suitable for this practice. And of course, you can very well use your cyclo to go to work every day 😉
On the other hand, if you are a beginner but you plan to try your hand at racing or cycle sports in the near future, I advise you to look at the bikes in this range so as not to find yourself quickly restrained in your practice.
Your legs will slow you down before riding your bike, but you’ll have more fun on a quick, responsive bike than on an entry-level anvil.
Here we are looking for bikes with aggressive geometry, a rigid frame and a low handlebar for a more aerodynamic position.
Weight hunting is also an important criterion and all equipment is optimized for this.
In this category, you will find the top of the range brands, with magnificent competition machines but the budget explodes as the weight of the bike becomes lighter!
Read also: also discover electrically assisted road bikes
If you already have a cycling history, that you bike very regularly with trips of 100 km or more every weekend, you should already have a clear idea of what you are looking for in your bike.
For singlespeed, it’s the same concept except that the rear wheel is free: when you stop pedaling, you don’t lock the wheel.
This principle of the single pinion, coming from the track, has the advantage of not requiring any mechanical adjustment (no derailleurs) so little maintenance. You can customize your neo-retro bike endlessly with a host of accessories or easily recycle an old vintage frame.
A phenomenon reserved for couriers originally, the big brands now offer their own lines of fixies and singlespeed, there is now something for all budgets.
Read also: discover the fixie bike
You go to work while driving but you also like to take the white paths or the paths in the undergrowth (without crossing like mountain biking, all the same) during your walks?
The Gravel bikes are made for you!
Crossroads of road and cyclocross bikes, their wider tires take you everywhere without you losing comfort or grip and their disc brakes to ensure powerful braking in all circumstances.
Their endurance geometry allow you to ride for a long time without any inconvenience.
Read also: discover the Gravel bike
For what purpose?
In addition to your practice, you should try to anticipate in which environment you will ride as this will influence your equipment.
Whether you’re riding on a plain, mountain, road or trail, you won’t need the same devices on your bike. Indeed, it is recommended to choose a frame with a triple plate for beginners, mountaineers or cycle tourists.
Adapt your bike to your playground.
On the gear and cassette side, the competitors are happy to equip themselves in 53/39 with an 11 x 23 or even 11 x 28 cassette for mountain dwellers who attack the passes.
Cyclosportives will turn to 50/34 and 11 x 28 (or even 11 x 32 but in this case, it will be necessary to provide a long yoke with the derailleur). Finally, the triple tour cyclists will be in 11 x 32.
Read also: understanding the transmission groups
For what budget?
You now know what type of bike suits you for your use, now remains to define the crucial point: the budget.
It would be extremely frustrating to have a crush on a BMC TeamMachine SLR01 above € 7,000 if your budget does not exceed € 1,000.
Define the amount allocated to the purchase of your bike before you start looking, it will direct you to a choice of more limited models and this will clarify the possibilities offered (in addition to avoiding nervous crises with your banker!).
Depending on your budget, you can buy a pair of wheels or an entire bike… the choice is yours!
To situate yourself, new, we can find bikes perfectly suited to a recreational practice, beginner or vélotaf from 650 €.
At this same blue and white sign, for less than € 1,500, you can start to contemplate competition with an ultra-equipped frame with a contained weight of 8 kg. They have the best quality / price ratio!
Be aware that in cycling, prices rise according to the level of range of peripherals (transmission, brakes, wheels), the material of the frame (aluminum or carbon) and … that there is no limit!
So, before you start flipping through the catalogs or visiting your dealer, set a price limit, and remember that you will also have to keep a budget for the rest of your equipment.
Of course, the higher your ceiling, the greater your choice! And even a beginner can have fun with an à la carte frame made by his store.
That said, if you’re hesitant to invest in a new mount, you can definitely buy a used road bike a few years old. The only imperative is to take it at your size! Because a bicycle can be repaired inexpensively and you can do it yourself for a hundred euros: change the handlebar tape with a new one, replace the chain, change the cables and the brake pads for braking and optimal transmission.
But the best road bike is the one for you; adapted to your size, your needs and on which you enjoy riding 😉
How do I know my size?
Now that you have selected a bike in your budget, it is very important to take a frame to your size, otherwise, you risk quickly accumulating back pain, neck, shoulders, knee pain … and not take any pleasure rolling…
Take out the meter, I explain how to take your measurements to find a frame at the right height!