Most of us would sooner invest our hard earned dollars towards a car, but a road bike may be a more affordable, environmentally responsible and healthier option to consider. While it may not be realistic for us to replace the car as the primary mode of transportation, having a road bike as an alternative is. With that said, what is the best entry-level road bike?
There are some key factors to consider even for an entry-level road bike. Even though we have chosen the type of bike to be the road bike, there are sub-types within this criterion. To be precise, you should determine how you would be using your road bike. Is it for racing? Alternatively, will you be taking your bike out for cruising mostly short distances and the occasional long trek?
Racing bikes typically places the rider at a more aerodynamically position to decrease wind resistance. This also means that the rider is hunched further down, placing more of a burden on joints and back. Unless the rider for the entry-level road bike is in top shape and is used to being in the racing position, the more casual rider may be better off opting for a more relaxed posture. The result is a happier and more comfortable ride.
While on the topic of the rider, another important factor to keep in mind is that of size and fit in order to find the best entry-level road bike. Today, bicycles come in all shapes and sizes. Sizing charts for different bike types are easily available online and in bike shops. Getting the right fit of road bike for the specific rider is akin to shoe sizes. No matter how nice the product looks, the wrong fit will bring discomfort and eventually less mileage. Since it takes less time than a haircut, make sure confirming your fit for the right bike is on your checklist.
Now that we have dealt with the rider side of getting the best entry-level road bike, we will need to focus on the road bike itself. What is the frame of the bike made of? Many bikes in the market are made of alloy. The price tag may look pleasing for the budget conscious shopper when the bike’s frame is made of alloy. However, there is a basic view when it comes to the bike’s frame and fork material. Your bike is better when it has more carbon material.
Carbon is a high tech aerospace material. It is light and strong. It will make the difference in the type of ride. A carbon frame and, or carbon fork can reduce the vibration of the ride. Vibration dampening makes for a more comfortable ride. Whatever your budget, avoid plastic components! They are not even in the same league as steel and aluminum alloy.
One more essential checkpoint is that of the group set model. The group set model includes the bike’s transmission and brakes. As you can imagine, there are many options related to price, quality, weight, or performance. Each manufacturer has its own levels of group sets. Your budget will play a role in determining what level you can acquire.
Finally, the rule of thumb that is most crucial in choosing the best entry-level road bike is to get the brand that is well known, time-tested, and has a proven record of accomplishment. Where possible, choose from a large company that can offer excellent warranties. Your initial investment may burn a hole in your pocket. However, over the long haul, the returns on your investment will more than make up for any heartache you may suffer at point of sale. Diamondbacks, Giant, Raleigh, Schwinn, and Trek are just some reliable choices of countless brand options in the market today.
Happy trails to you!