Feature: Beginners Guide to Choosing a Racing Bike

Michela Johnson (Online PR Consultant) writes … If you are looking to purchase a bike, then firstly you must establish what sort of bike you need and how it’s going to be used.

Choosing the right bike needs to be thought through carefully depending on your needs. Are you looking to purchase a folding bike for commuting to get that little bit of extra training in? Or, maybe  get a mountain bike so that during the winter no amount of snow is going to stop you from getting in some time on the bike.

Or, as the title of this article suggests, you may be looking to get a road racing bike. First you must think about a number of things. For instance, you must ascertain whether you want to race the bike competitively or whether you just want the bicycle to ride fast?

Your answer on this will reflect within the price of the bike and also the spec.

If you are looking to race the bike, expect to pay more. You may find it beneficial to do a bit of research into different bikes and maybe set yourself a budget before committing to a purchase. Bear in mind that you will need to buy extras/accessories, so don’t blow your budget! Depending on what you are looking for and your needs, you can expect to pay anything from £200-£8k for a road racing bike.

So, what level do you want to ride at? If you are merely looking to join a local club and to ride the odd weekend, then an ideal racing bike for this purpose would cost you around £300 to £500. This is the lower end of the price range. Something to bear in mind, is that joining a club will help you learn more should you wish to progress further. People within the club will provide you with the knowledge to make informed choices.

You may have already joined a club and are now looking to progress to road racing? The need for a lighter and more responsive frame is going to be amongst your priorities now. The moving parts on the bike will need to be lighter and more efficient. Sadly, this does mean more expensive. The weight of a good quality racing bike will be approximately 15 to 20 pounds and the price will be in excess of £500.

Next, you must think about what material you want the bicycle to be made of. Road racing bikes are generally made of aluminium, steel, carbon fibre or titanium. All of these materials have their pros and cons.

Aluminium is the most common while Steel the most robust. Carbon fibre gives the lightweight finish and smooth ride but is not as forgiving as titanium when being carted about on a car or airplane!

Next, always purchase the correct sized-frame. If you buy an incorrect size, it can have physiological effects on you, both long and short term. To ensure you get a correct sized frame, then visit your local bike dealer. They can offer advice and you can size up bikes there and then.

Bike sizing can be a complex procedure with many different variables to consider. It is best to obtain the best information on the correct size frame for you. You must also be aware of the correct handlebar width…Too narrow and your breathing is restricted for example.

Another tip is to take a number of bikes out for a test drive and compare. Always best to see how well the bike handles and whether you feel comfortable and able to cycle without problems. You should always check your components out too especially things like the brakes.

Be aware of all of the above and don’t fall into traps. Look for a good mix of quality components and a good paint job and choose the best bike for your budget and needs.

Michela Johnson Online PR Consultant

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