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Road Bike 101: The Ultimate Guide for Everyone

Road bike is one of the most popular types of bikes in the world, it’s generally faster, lighter, and varies in a lot of different forms.

In this ultimate road bike guide, we will explain everything you should know about road bikes, all questions answered.

Keep reading, let’s dive right in.

Table of Contents

What is a road bike?

Road bicycles are referred to as “road bikes”. Road bicycles, mountain bicycles and recreational bicycles make up the three main categories of bicycles. A road bike is a bicycle that is used on road surfaces (or artificially hardened roads, or gravel roads) and can be used for road bicycle racing. In order to ride at high speeds, the body weight is lighter and the wind resistance is lower. When used as a sporting event, it refers to road cycling races.

  1. The tires are narrower than normal bicycle tires, and the tire pressure can reach 100-200psi (pounds per square inch) or more, so the rolling resistance during the driving process is quite small compared to mountain bikes.
  2. The gear ratio (i.e. tooth ratio) of the tooth plate and cassette is very large, and the gear ratio of a typical road bike can reach 53:11 or even higher.
  3. New materials are widely used in road bikes today, such as titanium, carbon fiber, advanced aluminum alloy, etc. Therefore, the weight of road bikes is very light, up to 5kg or less, but the UCI regulations stipulate that the competition bikes should not be less than 6.8kg.
  4. Tires are generally made of very hard material, which makes it easy for athletes to make power. This is very different from mountain bikes. Because road bikes are ridden on top of roads with better road conditions, there is no need to think too much about absorbing vibrations like the latter.

Due to the above characteristics, riding a road bike is much faster than riding a regular bike.

Road bike vs Mountain Bike

Now the market share of road bikes is much worse than mountain bikes, because mountain bikes are much easier to start.

Next, we list the advantages and disadvantages of both bikes.

Road bikes Advantages

  1. Speed, the same price of the mountain bike, can not catch up with the road bike. It feels like a motor, as long as you have the strength.
  2. Handsome modeling, whether you buy USD 1000 or USD 4000, others see are unknown.
  3. Stimulating, to meet the wind chasing teenagers that want to rely on the legs to go north and south of the heart.
  4. The trip is far, can cross the city, or even across the province to see the scenery. Hundreds of kilometers for the expert is not a problem, the novice 100 kilometers will not be particularly difficult.
  5. A higher degree of stimulation of the thighs and better exercise. Professional athletes have a very exaggerated thigh to calf ratio.

Road bike Disadvantages

  1. Expensive, USD 400-500 for beginners is the basic price, USD 2000 bike can only say “pretty good”, so no money can not afford to play this sport.
  2. The road surface requirements are relatively high, if you encounter potholes, dirt roads, potholes or more roads, we must be careful to ride, and even to get off and push over.
  3. The safety factor is lower, the speed is faster, and the bend tap is more difficult to manipulate compared to the plane direction.
  4. The modeling is cool, so the chances of being stolen are much greater than mountain bikes.
  5. No shock absorption, so on a very fast road, riding experience is proportional to the road.

Mountain bike Advantages

  1. Easy to get started, and can be found everywhere on the street.
  2. The price is affordable, but high-end bikes are also expensive, the price of entry will be much lower.
  3. There is no road you can not ride, the rider is with the bike and jumping, the more complex the terrain, the more happy the rider. The more complex the terrain, the happier the rider is. The pro is used to play specifically with obstacles.
  4. Compared to road bikes, the speed is low and the safety factor should be relatively high.

Mountain bike Disadvantages

  1. Slow speed, compared to the road bike, no wind speed feeling.
  2. Resistance, the wheels are thick, and the resistance of the ground, the resistance of the weight of the bike, the resistance of the air, etc..
  3. Can not meet the sense of speed of a young man chasing the wind.
  4. So when you choose a bike, it depends on what your purpose is?

I am commuting at the same time (is the wind chasing teenager, even if it is a dirt road I have to buy), you readers must be sure to see what their riding surface is, how much budget, weigh the disadvantages and advantages before buying.

    • If you are a weekend fun with only road conditions, direct choose road bike.
    • If you want to go to the forest, the fields, proper mountain bike, not tangled.
    • If you just commute, in fact, it is also recommended to be a mountain bike, more suitable for complex road conditions.
    • But if you like road bikes, good road conditions, a little money, or chasing the wind boy, then don’t hesitate for road bike.

Women’s Road bike

Choosing a road bike is a tangled and confusing process, especially when it comes to helping women pick a road bike. Nowadays, more and more girls are joining the cycling team, and many manufacturers are introducing female road bikes suitable for female riders, so apart from the differences in color scheme, what is the difference between female road bikes?

Women’s body shapes and muscle composition are very different from men’s. Although not everyone meets these criteria, generally speaking, women are more flexible, lighter, have lower elevation, wider sit bones, narrower shoulder widths, shorter arm lengths, and larger leg to torso length ratios and so on.

All of these affect the setting of a road bike, even for a man and a woman of the same height, due to differences in body proportions, flexibility, and Therefore, many strong bike brands have started to separate women’s models from traditional frame designs. Even for bike brands that have not launched women’s models, they will agree that female riders do need smaller frames, targeted women’s saddles and narrower handlebars.

Geometry

Generally speaking, women’s road frames start at a smaller size and are not usually expanded to larger sizes than unisex frames.

In terms of geometry, women’s frames have a relatively shorter reach and larger stack, which can adapt to women’s long legs and short torso, allowing riders to ride in a more upright position, reducing the muscle load on the arms and torso, and improving comfort.

The above are some of the more significant geometry differences, in addition to the five-way height, wheelbase, head tube height, head tube angle, front wheel drag distance, etc. are also different

Contact Point

Women’s cushions are generally wider and have a wider range of seating contact points due to the wider sciatic ridge and increased Q angle (the angle between the anterior superior iliac spine and the patellar center and the center of the patella and the center of the tibial tuberosity). Many women’s cushions are also designed to relieve soft tissue pressure, improve blood flow and prevent numbness, although this is not a unique feature of women’s cushions.

Handlebar

Looking at the handlebars, women’s road bikes are usually paired with narrower handlebars, reducing the reach/drop ratio to accommodate women’s narrower shoulders and shorter upper torsos.

Some thoughtful manufacturers also adjust the shape of the lower handlebar to allow girls with smaller hands to control the brakes at the lower handlebar.

So do female riders really need a female road bike?

Back to the essence of the question, we are actually discussing what kind of road bikes are more suitable for female riders. There is no denying that women’s models are unique in terms of geometry design and parts selection, not simply making the size smaller and spraying it with pink paint. 

At the same time, we should also note the individual differences, just as the so-called male frame will not fit every male rider, similarly, the female model is only a combination of women’s common physiological characteristics based on adjustments, in the choice of frame, there is no need to get too hung up on the so-called “gender”, you need only a suitable To achieve the effect of unity, it is recommended to do Bike Sizing and Bike Fitting before buying a bike, and listen to the advice of professionals in order to take the road less traveled.

Electric Road Bike

E-bikes on the race course have always been frowned upon and called mechanical doping. The first case of mechanical doping came just and only just last year, yet in 2018 e-bikes have been crowned into regular competition, and although everyone is an e-bike, it is still a rather unacceptable fact from my personal emotions. The human-centered roots that have been preached all along seem to have begun to be shaken on this day. Is cycling still a sport? Or is it a tool for manufacturers or businessmen to make money?

Road Bike Frameset (frame and fork)

For road bikes, it is especially important to choose a suitable frame, as the first of the three major components (and wheelsets and kits) road bikes have so many pits – frame, handlebars size, paint, material, weight, price are all things we should consider when choosing a bike. And size is the most important, even if you pick a particularly cool paint, without your size is also in vain.

Road Bike Frame

The frame is the soul of a bike, especially a road bike, and the right frame size determines whether you ride happily and enjoyably. If it is too big or too small, it will affect your riding posture and cause you to ride harder than others, and it may also lead to sports injuries for a long time.

Road bike frames can probably be divided into three kinds: aero, climbing, and endurance. Generally speaking, the aerodynamic position is more aggressive (tired) and heavier, while the climbing is more comfortable and light. As for the endurance frame that is as the name implies. 

Choose which depends on personal preference, the benevolent see the wisdom of the wise, nothing which is good which is not good, or what with the climbing frame climbing up the slope can throw the aerodynamic frame a few streets, there is no such thing.

Road Bike Fork

The front fork is a part for mounting the front wheel, which is connected to the handlebar at the top. By turning the handlebar, it can make the front wheel change direction and play the role of bicycle guidance and balance. 

A fork usually has two fork legs at the lower end for mounting the front wheel. The two ends of the fork legs are connected together through the fork shoulders, and the upper end of the fork shoulders is the fork top tube, which is installed into the frame head tube through the headset bearing.

Road Bike Wheels

Upgrading your bike with a wheelset that is more in line with the above characteristics than it currently is is like breathing new life into your bike. Improvements include ride quality, faster average speed, greater braking ability or lighter weight, all of which are things that help ride faster.

The reason why riders want to change the wheelset, some people want to experience a different riding experience, some people want to make their own bike upgrade, or to improve their performance, etc., in the case of not changing the frame, change the wheelset can be said to be the biggest change to the performance of the whole road bike!

But there are so many different wheelsets for road bikes that people are dazzled by them. So with so many wheelsets, how do you choose? I’ll give you some tips!

At present, the road wheelsets on the market are mainly divided into three categories: aerodynamic wheelsets (for flat roads), climbing wheelsets and general purpose wheelsets.

Aerodynamic wheelsets

The most intuitive feature is the “high frame + fat ring”, or even “fully closed”, looks dominant, and in terms of performance is characterized by small wind resistance, good cruising performance, good stability, but because of its own weight, acceleration and climbing performance is relatively weak.

Theoretically, under the same conditions, the higher the frame height of the wheelset, the shorter the length of the spokes, the higher the rigidity, the smaller the area of the spokes cutting the wind during travel, the better the aerodynamic performance. At the same time, due to the high frame and fat ring design, the airflow travels farther through the displacement of the frame height, making the airflow faster on the surface of the wheel frame, lower pressure, and less wind resistance. However, because of the higher frame height increases the material used, heavier weight, greater inertia, easier to maintain speed and stability when traveling; and in climbing and acceleration also means that it is more difficult to change the speed of the frame, giving the intuitive feeling that the response is blunt.

Generally, the frame height of aerodynamic wheelsets are above 50mm, which requires a certain amount of leg strength and is usually not suitable for climbing long and steep slopes. Large groups of road wheels usually use a frame height in the range of 50mm-65mm, if you will occasionally climb a slope, it is recommended to choose a wheelset with a frame height of about 50mm; iron triple and time trial bikes usually use more than 60mm, or even a fully enclosed plate wheel. In addition, there is an exception to the rule, for the relatively large weight of the riders, it is also recommended to choose the overall rigidity of the aerodynamic wheelset, if the weight is close to 100kg, more than 60mm frame height of the relatively high rigidity of the wheelset, may be a better choice, climbing wheelset do not consider.

Climbing wheelset

The most obvious feature is the “low rim + light weight”, which is characterized by light acceleration response, but poor cruising performance, relatively high wind resistance, relatively low high-speed stability, and looks more low-profile. Due to the lower wheel frame, the climbing wheelset can have more advantageous wheel frame drive position and lower weight, which makes the acceleration feeling attractive.

Generally, the frame height of climbing wheelsets is below 35mm, pursuing the ultimate lightweight and required rigidity, a pair of ultra-light climbing wheelsets can even weigh less than 1kg. It is more suitable for the purpose of climbing long and steep slopes, and of course, it can also make it easier for riders who do not have enough leg strength to reach the top when climbing. Due to the lack of cruising and stability of the climbing wheelset, it is generally recommended that the second pair of wheelsets be considered, unless the purpose of your ride is to climb.

General purpose wheelset (Endurance wheels)

The most obvious feature is that it can only be described as “harmonious”. The frame height is usually between 38mm and 50mm, and the aluminum wheelset is a different story.

Due to the design and positioning of the wheelset, it is between the aerodynamic wheelset and the climbing wheelset, and its performance is also between the two, which is perfect for undulating roads with little gradient, and at the same time, it is not too bad in terms of aerodynamicity, stability and climbing, so it can be said that it is a wheelset suitable for almost everyone. For riders who are only going to buy one pair of wheels, a general purpose wheelset is the way to go, after all, the routes you may ride are very diverse.

What type of road bike rim do I use on my wheelset?

There are three types of road outside tires: open, vacuum, and tube, and each type requires a specific rim.

Clincher Road Bike Rim

Clincher tires are tires that use a separate inner tube to store air, which is the most common type of tire on bicycles. Generally speaking, where no tire type is mentioned, it can be safely assumed to be an open-ended tire.

Tubular Road Bike Rim

Tubular are not new, although they do have an inner tube construction where the inner tube is sewn together with a sleeve and then glued to the rim. With this in mind, it’s easy to see why tube tires are best suited for racing, both the tire and rim have extremely low dead weight, and in the event of an overly perforated flat, few average riders can simply (or reliably) fix them on the road.

Tubeless Road Bike Rim

Tubeless/Vacuum tires are a well-proven tire in cars and mountain bikes, and more and more brands are promoting their advantages to road bikes – tubeless construction, which can reduce the weight of the tire itself as well as reduce the internal and external tire resistance when rolling, thus having better rolling resistance performance. At the same time, vacuum tire wheelsets are also backward compatible with open tires, so that after the vacuum tire suffers a puncture that cannot be filled with self-replacing fluid, an inner tube can be added to continue riding.

Road Bike Tyres

road bike tyres

Generally speaking, each manufacturer will divide their tires into high, medium and low-end grades according to the configuration, usually in their publicity will also be called “entry level”, “training level”, “competition level “. The general level of high performance the better, but the durability wear resistance will be relatively lower.

In addition, manufacturers will be divided into different uses of their products into daily use, long-distance use, all-weather use and good pavement race use. The properties and design of the tires for different purposes are also different. Understanding these can better help newcomers to buy the products that meet their needs.

How to choose the most suitable tires for your use according to the different performance characteristics of tires?

1. Rolling resistance and TPI and puncture resistance

Generally speaking, the higher the tire pressure, the lower the rolling resistance, the more energy the cyclist will save when cycling (tire pressure has to be the most suitable for your weight situation under the premise of oh). Tires with high TPI (i.e., higher density of plies per square inch) tend to be lighter, and high TPI also makes the outer wall of the tire softer, which makes high TPI tires feel better when riding compared to tires with lower TPI.

However, high TPI tires tend to be less puncture resistant (because the walls are thinner and lighter than low TPI tires). This in turn leads to the fact that low TPI tires are usually more durable than high TPI tires (although it is said that TPI has nothing to do with tire durability, TPI is only related to tire puncture resistance).

So for the race direction or the pursuit of speed and light weight, riding road better riders, rolling resistance is lower, lighter and thinner high TPI tires is definitely the second choice. And for the road conditions are slightly worse, or like to challenge the mixed road and just begin the bike enthusiasts, thick thorn-resistant + lower purchase cost of low TPI tires is a good choice.

2. The choice of 23C and 25C

we choose between the two different tire sizes, 23C and 25C?

25C size tires are the mainstream now (there is even a trend towards 28C size). Under the same tire pressure, the wider 25C tires have a shorter and more rounded contact with the ground than the 23C tires (23C tires are narrower and more oval), which results in the same model of 25C tires often have lower rolling resistance than the 23C tires, better ride and better grip than the 23C tires. The disadvantage of 25C is simply the heavier weight.

Overall, for those who are looking for low rolling resistance, handling and ride, the 25C can definitely meet your needs. The pursuit of lightweight riders can choose a more lightweight and less expensive 23C size tires.

3. Tire pattern

Tread pattern, also known as tread, was initially designed to enhance the grip of the tire to prevent loss of grip leading to loss of control of the situation. However, tread tends to increase rolling resistance, which is why flat track race and time trial tires have less tread, or even no tread, compared to all-weather long distance tires.

The tread pattern that appears on all-weather tires often enhances grip while also having a drainage function, and the drainage pattern on the tire is designed to give you more confidence when riding in the rain.

So if you don’t usually ride in the rain, or ride a road with fewer curves, better road conditions and mostly short distances, you can choose tires with less tread pattern and lower rolling resistance.

For those who need to ride long distances, or ride more complicated routes, all-weather long-distance tires with enhanced grip are the best choice.

(At the same time, the tread pattern can also play a role in distinguishing different brands and attracting consumers to buy the effect. Continental, Victoria, Pirelli, Shiwen, these different tire manufacturers designed the characteristics of the tread to achieve product differentiation at the same time to capture the eyes of many consumers.)

Road Bike crankset and chainset

road bike crankset

Crankset

The problem of cranks is well understood, that is, people of different heights have different leg lengths, and they should not use the same length of road bicycle cranks when riding a bike.

If the circle is big (long crank), it is not suitable for small people with short legs; if the crank is short, big people can’t make force.

Normally the crank and height correspondence is as follows: 

  • the most common crank length is 170mm (crank will be marked out), suitable for people over 170cm height; 
  • Height over 175 should use the length of 175MM crank; 
  • Height 165 should use 165MM crank; 
  • Height below 165cm should use 152-165MM length of crank.

Of course the adaptability of people is very strong, not according to this correspondence can also be, the result is to look less harmonious, will be, riding time can not be very long

Chainset

Chainset are also known as cranksets in some areas, and they are both the sum name of the disc and the crank that turns them. Different sizes of discs make a big difference to the bike’s usage characteristics and feel when riding.

Most road bikes are equipped with dual disc cranksets, or double discs for short. The larger disc is harder to pedal, but moves farther per revolution compared to the smaller disc, making it suitable for use at higher riding speeds, while the smaller disc is easier to pedal, but moves a shorter distance per revolution, making it suitable for low-speed riding, including hill climbing.

However there are also some bikes with discs that currently come with three discs, as well as single disc discs that match the large rear fly. So how to choose the right disc for you, see below the differences of each type of disc.

Standard Chainset

Standard discs come with a 53T (or 52T) large disc and a 39T small disc, which used to be the default option for road bike discs and is the choice of most riders in most cases. Sometimes, however, pro riders will switch to larger discs for time trials or flat track races, such as the Roubaix.

Kit majors Shimano, Campagnolo and SRAM all offer standard disc options in their higher-end kits, but there are generally no standard discs available in their entry-level kits.

Compression Chainset

Compression discs are discs with a 50T large disc and a 34T small disc, which means that if you use the same size cassette, they will be easier to pedal than a standard disc, but will be pedaled more frequently each time.

Compression discs are becoming very popular today because they are capable of riding steep hills, albeit sometimes slowly, and many riders prefer to pedal smaller teeth discs at a high pedaling frequency because it reduces the effort required to pedal. The downside is that such ratios are often found to be inadequate on fast descents. In other words, it is impossible to increase speed on high pedaling frequencies on descents without pedaling the discs, and thus unable to increase speed when needed.

To cater to the popularity of compression discs, the three major kit manufacturers offer a compression disc option in all their road kits.

General Chainset

Semi-compressed discs are sometimes referred to as general chainset, which have a large 52T disc and a small 36T disc. This means that the largest discs are not as large as the standard discs, but are not far apart and are larger than the compression discs, which has the advantage of being easier to pedal than the standard discs and also coming faster than the compression discs.

General discs have also become popular in the last few years because they fit most types of terrain. All three major manufacturers also offer an integrated disc option on their entry-level road bike kits.

Differences between sizes of chainset

Suppose one is equipped with 700 x 25c tires on one’s bike and is using a common cassette from 11-28T.

If one switches to a standard disc and rides with a 39T small disc and 28T max cassette, the effective shift length is 36.7 inches, in other words, if one pedals at 80rpm pedaling speed, one will ride at 14km/h.

If you switch to a compression disc and ride with a 34T small disc and 28T max cassette, the effective shift length is 32 inches, which is much smaller than a standard disc. This means less pedaling effort, and if you pedal at 80rpm, you will be riding at 12km/h, which is much slower than with a standard disc at the same pedaling frequency.

If you use the integrated disc and ride with a 36T small disc and 28T max cassette, the effective shift length is 33.9 inches. If you pedal at 80rpm, you will be riding at 13mph.

In short, the compression disc is more suitable for most riders on steep hills, while the standard disc can maintain speed control at high speed downhill, and the integrated disc is somewhere in between.

Cassette

Road bikes, in order to pursue speed, have more teeth on the cassette than the mountain teeth, and less teeth on the cassette than the mountain bike cassette in each row, so that you can get a larger drive ratio and ride faster.

If the cassette has fewer teeth per row, the circumference of the cassette is shorter, so the rear derailleur leg does not need to be designed so long, so the length of the rear derailleur leg is different for the same gear, and the rear derailleur leg is a little shorter for road racing bikes.

In order to pursue light weight, and because road racing bikes are not as strong as mountain bikes, their cassette teeth are narrower and shorter than mountain bike cassette teeth, so road racing bike chains are relatively narrower and thinner than mountain bike chains, and because road racing bikes have large discs, the chains are longer than mountain bikes.

Derailleurs

road bike rear derailleurs

Front Derailleurs

The front derailleur is an important part of the bicycle shifting system, responsible for the accurate and fast lifting of the teeth gears. It allows bike riders to adapt to different road conditions.

Rear Derailleurs

The rear derailleur is an important part of the shifting system on top of shifting bikes such as mountain bikes and road bikes. It is responsible for shifting the chain on different cassette pieces to cope with different road conditions, allowing riders to use their bodies more rationally to drive the bike forward.

Handlebar

Integrated aero handlebar hbr10

The most common and most commonly used road bike handlebar is the small bend handle and engineering handle, today they talk in detail, the bend handle from the structure of the Drop, Reach and width of the three data

gravel integrated handlebar geometry

Drop

Refers to the drop distance between the upper handle and the lower handle end of the handle, calculated by the center point. Basically, the drop volume of the curved handlebar, you can have a low flat back more in line with the aerodynamic riding posture, of course, this has to be based on flexibility to choose, otherwise the lower handlebar position is very hard!

Reach

Reach is the distance from the center of the upper handle to the center of the most front end of the handle. Base these two amounts are complementary, a larger amount of forward reach or a larger amount of sink, will make the posture more aggressive, if you are chasing the wind boy, then let their own bike more fighting it!

Width is the distance from the middle to the middle of the handlebar, several common sizes.

380mm / 400mm / 420mm / 440mm

So how do we measure the size of our practical?

In the standing measurement, to measure the distance between the two bony bumps at the end of the clavicle (i.e. shoulder peak), so as to arrive at a more appropriate handlebar width, grip position too wide hands open too wide, will cause fatigue and palm numbness, will also affect the maneuverability, making the turn more slowly, grip position too narrow and will cause triceps fatigue, bear a greater load, while the bike becomes too sensitive and difficult to handle

Road Bike Levers

The road bike shifting system is largely the same as that of mountain bikes, which is nothing but hand shifting head, cassette, crank, front derailleur, center shaft, chain, rear derailleur, cassette and clamp, etc. However, the road bike kit focuses more on light weight and aerodynamics than mountain bikes, and the dual control hand shifting head integrated with the brake and finger paddle is perhaps the biggest difference in the eyes of white people. 

Common road bike kit brands are SRAM, Shimano and Campagnolo, of which Shimano has the highest market share and is also the most accessible to white users.

Shimano Levers

Shimano‘s products cover from commuter sports to professional competition, from low to high are Claris, Sora, Tiagra, 105, Ultegra and Dura Ace, Tourney A070 for commuter bikes and Dura Ace Track for field bikes are not discussed here.

Claris Series (R2000)

Designed for easy sports, long-distance riding, town cruising in casual clothing, shopping, and daily commuting, it offers two versions of curved handlebar variations and flat handlebar pointer. Simply put, they are for grocery bikes and can only meet the most basic needs of “having gears”.

Sora Series (R3000)

Commonly used in entry-level road bikes, using the technology devolved from high-level kits, very suitable for those who are new to road bikes or shy white users, can be considered a quasi-sport level kit.

Tiagra series (4700)

This can be said to be a godsend in the hearts of many student parties, using the technology of many high-level kits, close to the 105 level in the feeling of use, and the price is also very wonderful. In my student days, a Tiagra set is considered a “success”.

105 series (R7000)

It is the entry product in the professional kit, and also the “most cost-effective” kit in the hearts of many riders, which can cope with both daily training and competition, and for most riders a set of 105 is enough.

Ultegra series (R8000)

Second only to the top product Dura Ace series, it is commonly used in high-end complete bikes and is also the preferred kit for many high-end enthusiasts and teams. In addition, the Ultegra series has Di2 electronic shifting version and RX rear derailleur for complex roads.

Dura Ace Series (R9100)

The top kit, representing Shimano’s highest level in road bike products, is basically topped in all aspects of indicators. There is also a Di2 electronic shifting version, the price …… is of course also top of the line.

Sram Levers

SRAM‘s kits are Apex, Rival, Force, Red and Red eTap in descending order, and are generally more expensive than their Shimano counterparts. Shimano’s products are a little more expensive than their counterparts. Except for the Red series, all other series have single-disc kits, while the hydraulic disc brakes are covered in the whole series.

Apex Series

As SRAM’s entry-level road kit, the Apex series is also equipped with WiFli technology, which can support a very large range of gear ratios.

Rival Series

Quasi-competition-level kits, close to high-end kits in terms of use experience, only in the material and some details of the compromise, in some brands of mid-range complete bike will be assembled.

Force Series

Professional grade kit with all the top performance of RED, weighing less than 2000 grams. SRAM Force is the best choice for riders who are looking for light weight, ergonomics, and high performance, functionality and performance.

Red Series

Competition-grade kit that brings together all of SRAM’s cutting-edge technologies in one, extremely lightweight package.

Red eTap

The wireless eTap shifting kit is arguably the most advanced road bike shifting system on the market today, with no wires between the front and rear paddles and the hand shifter head, and very easy to install and debug.

Campagnolo Levers

Finally, let’s take a look at Campagnolo, which has a noble Italian pedigree, and there is no entry product …… white rarely have access to, I will not expand. Level from low to high Centaur, Potenza, Chorus, Record and Super Record, where Chorus, Record and Super Record series have EPS electronic transmission version.

Where the price difference is reflected?

Shimano, SRAM and Campagnolo all have gearing kits at different price points, and brand preferences and loyalties can lead us into endless debates about “which gearing kit is better”, but in reality, all three offer products that meet requirements, are reliable and high performance. The biggest differences may lie in materials, ergonomics, and the fit of each part due to precision.

In fact, the shifting system only accounts for a small part of the road bike, the impact on the riding experience is not as big as we think. The handlebars, saddle and pedals, which are in direct contact with our bodies, are the most inconspicuous parts that affect the riding experience. My advice is to start with the small parts, then the wheelset, and then consider the kit.

Seatpost

road bike seatpost

The larger the diameter of the tube, the higher the rigidity, but the relative impact from the road will be more. With the progress of production technology and the popularity of comfortable riding style, the diameter of the seat tube is getting smaller and smaller, the vibration from the road is relatively reduced, and the buttocks will not be painful after riding more than 100Km, so in addition to the common specifications, they also made a special tube diameter such as 25.4mm.

In terms of length, with personal height, the common seat tube lengths are 350mm and 400mm, which are different sizes taking into account the rider’s straddle height. Generally speaking, the rider is taller, the span height is naturally higher (the distance from the crotch part to the ground), then you should choose a longer 400mm seat tube, so as not to exceed the important maximum limit safety line when adjusting the seat tube. Across the height of the low people to choose 350mm seat tube, so as to avoid the seat tube length is too long and the top to the riser kettle screw.

There are safety warning lines on the seat tube on the market, even if the riders want to adjust the height themselves, just be careful not to exceed the warning range.

When it comes to the mainstream and good seatpost, he thinks it is important to look good, and more importantly, it is easy to adjust, because people who start to contact road bikes at the beginning will adjust the details of the seatpost during each ride, and when they gradually understand their own position, then go after a lightweight seatpost.

Saddle

Rinasclta 117g carbon saddle mega

The seat cushion, as the largest point of contact between human and bike, must be carefully chosen. We will sit on it for hours at an event, and hip pain is very common among all levels of riders. 

We should choose a bike seat that fits our body anatomy, everyone is different. 

For example, a person with wider hips will want to choose a saddle with a wider support surface. Comfort can be affected by many factors, for example, the length of riding time will affect a rider’s ability to accept the shape, stiffness and angle of the seat. 

Our body tissues will become stronger for a short period of time to adapt to a certain amount of time riding in a seated position, but as the time front lengthens, excessive discomfort can even cause inflammation and tingling symptoms. 

You must have a friend around you who gave up the project because of the pain in the butt of the bike, quickly share this with him, it’s not so easy to get out of the pit! Road bikes have so many potholes – handlebars, saddle.

Saddle seat bow from the material points generally use ordinary steel, chromium molybdenum steel, titanium alloy, magnesium alloy, carbon fiber, the difference in material directly affects the weight, the impact on comfort is not great, do not make the mistake of thinking that the more expensive the seat the better, now many seat price is expensive because of the light weight!

Brakes

road bike brake

Road bike Rim Brake System

Rim brake system on road bike is the most popular way for so many years since the original bike. In the market now you will find two types of rim brake

  • V brake: One hole on the fork down headtube. It’s the most common way to install rim brake sets, easy to adjust, easy to change brake pad.
  • U brake: Two holes on each side of fork down headtube. It’s usually designed for less wind resistance, for aero bike and TT bike.

Advantages and disadvantages of Rim Brake

Let’s talk about the advantages and disadvantages of rim brakes.

Pros of rim brake

No overpowering of the brakes, light weight, easy maintenance, generally enough to replace the lining pads. 

Cons of rim brake

Heat dissipation is not timely, and pinching the brakes can lead to rear wheel drift.

Road bike disc brake system

Disc brakes on road bikes can improve the braking effect in wet road conditions, less braking effort and better braking performance, which can provide more safety for riders, especially in cornering and downhill. In particular, for the traditional rim brakes in the case of long downhill continuous use, may lead to highly dangerous burning frame and flat tire problem, switch to disc brakes can be completely solved.

Pros of disc brakes

Strong braking capacity, long distance and large brakes can accelerate heat dissipation, making the braking effect better, rain and mud resistance

Cons of disc brakes

Heavy weight, maintenance trouble, good disc brake pads expensive

Is it better to have disc brakes or V brakes on a road bike?

In my opinion, it’s better to choose V brakes for road bikes. Why? First of all, road bikes themselves are competitive racing bikes that exist to be lightweight, and some road bike enthusiasts spend thousands of RMB to reduce the weight by a few grams at a later stage, while disc brakes will weigh at least 500 grams more than V brakes, and road bikes basically don’t have long braking time, even downhill, they are mostly point brakes.

If you encounter an emergency at a fast speed, even disc brakes can’t guarantee your safety. So some of the barristers should not take the high speed downhill safety, and some people may say that the Tour de France is a high quality road race, and many of the bikes in the Tour de France use disc brakes, but that is a minority after all. And if the disc brakes and V-brakes roll over at the same time, the disc brakes will cause more damage to people. At the same time, road bikes don’t have much mud and rain (no one rides fast when it rains), so for now, road bikes are better with V brakes.

Is it better to choose disc brakes or V brakes for a general shifting bike?

This depends on your own ideas and your usual cycling environment. For mountain bikes, disc brakes and oil brakes are basic. For road bikes, if you are an appearance party, you can choose disc brakes, or if you ride downhill for a long time, you can choose disc brakes. In general, disc brakes always have the same braking strength, while V brakes require more accurate judgement of road conditions and advance point braking.

FAQ about Road bike

What is a good average speed on a road bike?

The average speed of a road bike is 20 km/h to 40 km/h. In road racing, air resistance is a factor that cannot be ignored, especially when the speed exceeds 40km/h. More than half of the 200-350 watts of energy generated by the human “motor” is consumed in the resistance to air. When running in the lead in a group race, or when practicing alone, the most can feel the tilt neck and head down will greatly reduce the air resistance.

How long do road bike tires last?

As an important medium of contact between the bike and the ground, the condition of the outer tire is closely related to our riding experience. So how often should the outer tire be changed? Under normal conditions (no flat tires, etc.) the life of a race-grade tire is about 1600km at most, while the life of a commuter-grade tire can reach 5000km or more, but if the following conditions appear on your bike’s tires, the outer tire is likely to need to be replaced early.

1.When the wear detection hole is worn flat/when the side wear is large.

Many tires on the market are designed with wear detection holes, for example, the wear detection holes on a brand-name tire are usually two and are designed in the middle of the tire. When you notice that the wear detection holes have almost worn flat, it means that the life of the tire has almost reached, then you need to replace the tire; and if you find that the side of the tire is seriously worn (a more intuitive way to observe whether the side tire font has been very blurred), it means that the side protection performance of the tire has been greatly weakened, rather than risking the tire on the road, it is better to replace it early.

2.Tire “scar” too much or can be from the tire outside “peep” inner tire.

“The risk of puncturing the tire again will also increase when the tire has been punctured once. So when your outer tire is already scarred, it is better to change it (this will also reduce the possibility of changing the inner tube frequently in the future due to constant punctures); and when you can see the inner tube through the outer tire (or when the mouth is larger), the outer tire must be replaced. Because this indicates that the puncture-proof layer of this outer tire has been completely punctured, the inner tube will be completely unprotected in this area, and the risk of blowout will be very high.

3.When there are more surface cracks.

As shown in the picture above, even the outer tire with few kilometers (the tire hair on the picture is still there) will have many cracks on the surface due to rubber aging caused by time/improper storage (exposure to the sun, etc.). At this point, the puncture resistance and grip of the tire is not as good as it used to be, and although it can still be used with low intensity, it should be replaced as soon as possible.

How to adjust road bike brakes?

Transmission adjustment can avoid chain drop, noise, and smooth shifting, which is important for riding, and its operation is actually not difficult

How to pump up road bike tires?

When riding, only with the appropriate tire pressure, you will be able to fully play out their skills, speed. Because, tire pressure is too low, easy to lead to tire shape damage, but also to ride hard; tire pressure is too high it, and easy to cause the bike was bounced up, or explode the accident. Therefore, we must set the right tire pressure before going out for a ride.

The tire pressure of the same size tires produced by each manufacturer will vary, and the specified tire pressure of each tire will be clearly marked on the outside of the tire. Generally speaking, the tire pressure for mountain bikes is between 30-90psi and for road bikes between 80-130psi.

Of course, this value is not absolute! To find the right tire pressure for you, in addition to bike performance, standard tire pressure, your own weight, but also combined with the riding road conditions before making a decision. Want to know the details, please see below it.

How to build a road bike?

How to clean a road bike

How to change a road bike tire?

How to shift gears on a road bike

How to ride a road bike

What size road bike do i need

Here is our road bike size chart, you can also find more details in our complete bike size guide.

women road bike size chart
men's road bike size chart

Now our to you

Are you a totally beginner to start riding on a road bike?

Or you are looking for some carbon road bike parts to build your own?

Or you want to upgrade your road bike to next level?

Either way, you can leave a comment and share your experience with us.

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