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A Beginners Guide to Road Bikes

Entering the world of road cycling is easy, all you need to get going is a road bike and some basic cycling kit equipment. It can be an expensive investment, but how much you part with is very much your decision. Below are a few hints and tips on what to look for when buying a road bike along with some of the best road bikes for beginners. 

Hints & Tips 

Frame Materials - The two most popular materials used to construct road bike frames with are aluminium and carbon fibre. Although many people rave about how light carbon fibre is, road bikes with aluminium frames are still preferred by many, they’re also the frame material of choice for many beginner road cyclists. 

Sizing - More often than not, road bike frames are measured in centimetres and are available in a number of sizes. The best way of checking if a bike fits you is to give it a try, however this isn’t convenient for everyone. Most bike sizing guides are easy to find on manufacture websites, a few key measurements including inside leg length and height will help identify which bike size is best for you.

Gearing - The more gears your bike has the easier you’ll find pedalling. Some road bikes can have up to 30 gears, these use a triple chainset (3 front chainrings), a double chainset (2 front chainrings) is used by many and provides the rider with up to 22 gears. A compact chainset has smaller chainrings, providing a leg-friendly gear ratio suited to beginners and those riding hilly terrain. 

Best Beginner Road Bikes 

Specialized Allez - The stiff, light, race-inspired Allez consistently receives excellent reviews and is regarded as one of the best beginner road bikes around. It’s available in three colours, catering for a number of tastes and is decorated in subtle graphics. It has 16 Shimano gears and a compact chainset, making for easy pedalling on even the steepest of hills.

Giant Defy 5 - The Giant Defy 5 has the appearance of a road bike costing much more, with its sleek black and silver design. With Giant being the world’s leading aluminium frame engineers, you can ride the Defy 5 in confidence, knowing the frame is strong, lightweight and responsive; it also has endurance focused geometry allowing it to remain comfortable over long distances. Similar to the Allez, the Defy 5 has 16 Shimano gears and a compact chainset, providing a gear for every eventuality. Thanks to the endurance focused geometry the Defy 5 remains comfortable after hours in the saddle.

Kona Rove AL - Kona produce highly sought after road and mountain bikes, with their elegantly styled Rove AL being one of the most popular. The aluminium frame and fork have a warm grey colour scheme and are decorated in off-white & silver graphics, maintaining a classic appearance. The Rove also has 16 Shimano gears with a compact chainset, but stands apart from the rest as a result of having disc brakes. Road bikes with disc brakes are becoming increasingly popular as they provide reliable stopping power in all weather conditions, helping you ride with confidence. The tyres are also wider than the Allez & Defy 5, increasing your stability and control while riding.

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