How to Buy a Road Bike For Beginners?

how to choose a road bike

If you are looking for a guide to help you choose the best road bike that suits your needs, you have come to the right place! In this article, we will provide you with recommendations on the best quality-price models available today.

Selecting the most appropriate road bike can be challenging, especially if you are unfamiliar with its critical components, such as the braking system, transmission type, frame material, and wheel type.

Therefore, it is vital to select your road bike carefully as it can be a significant investment or a waste of money if you make the wrong decision.

In this article, we will guide you on what is essential to consider for each of these components.

Let’s get started!

What Type Of Use Are You Going To Give Your Road Bike?

Selecting the perfect road bike can be a daunting task as there are numerous brands and models available today. However, before making a purchase, you need to consider several factors.

Firstly, you must reflect and honestly answer the following questions:

What level of physical activity will my cycling require?
Am I looking for a sports performance or just leisurely cycling? Do I plan to compete?
What type of cycling will I do most frequently?
How much time can I allocate to road cycling?

Once you have answered these questions, you need to determine your budget and the type of bike that best fits your needs. You do not want to invest in a low-end climbing road bike to participate in a triathlon or spend a fortune on a time trial bike for occasional weekend rides.

Therefore, it is crucial to choose a bike that matches your intended use and progress gradually by acquiring better material based on your level and dedication to this sport.

how to choose a road bike for beginners

Types of Road Bikes

Choosing the ideal road bike requires answering the most critical question of all:

What type of cycling do I want to practice?

This is a crucial aspect as the geometry of the road bike frame varies depending on the cycling type. In this section, we will provide a clear and concise explanation of the different road bike types to help you choose the one that suits your cycling style.

The available road bike types are:

Climbing Bicycle
Endurance Bike
Aero Bike
Time Trial Bike
Climbing Bicycle

Climbing road bikes are the most versatile models available as their frame geometry is a blend of aero and cross-country bikes, providing aerodynamic features without sacrificing comfort.

These bikes are typically lightweight, rigid, and versatile, making them suitable for any terrain. Carbon fiber or aluminum frames are the most common options available in the market.

Who should consider purchasing a climbing road bike?

This bike is ideal for beginners in competitive cycling who have budget constraints. It is also a great option for endurance cyclists and those who enjoy mountain climbing.

Endurance Bike

Endurance bikes, also called long-distance bikes, are ideal for cyclists who want to enjoy long asphalt routes without compromising on comfort.

These bikes feature a less aggressive geometry with rounder tubes, less sloping, and a taller head tube. The frames are shorter and taller, the wheelbase is longer, and the steering angle is more relaxed, enabling an upright posture that prevents back pain caused by prolonged rides. This design also provides a more stable and relaxed ride.

Modern endurance road bikes come with hydraulic disc brakes and wider tires, making them versatile and suitable for gravel cycling.

Who should consider purchasing an endurance road bike?

Endurance bikes are an excellent option for those who prefer long-distance cycling or plan to go on cycling trips. They are also ideal for individuals with back problems as they offer a less aggressive posture, a crucial aspect for this cycling type where riders spend several hours in the same position.

endurance road bikes
Aero Bike

The aero road bike is a highly sought-after model that has gained popularity in recent years, as it offers an affordable and commercial version of triathlon or time trial bikes.

This type of road bike has a unique geometry that aims to reduce wind friction and increase speed. The round tubes found in traditional road bikes are replaced with flat tubes that generate less friction with the wind. However, this optimization results in slightly heavier frames with a more aerodynamic profile.

Who should consider buying an aero road bike?

The aero road bike is ideal for cyclists who prioritize performance and competition, as it can provide extra speed on flat roads and downhill stretches. Triathlon athletes, in particular, favor this type of road bike as they can benefit from a high-performing bike at an affordable price.

However, the aero road bike is not suitable for individuals with back problems, as the position required on this bike is more restrictive than on endurance road bikes.

Time Trial Bike

The time trial road bike, also known as the goat type, is a road bike that has gained popularity in triathlon events. It is specially designed for racing and is very complex in terms of engineering.

These bikes have a distinctive design with aggressive lines, and the wheels and handlebars are aerodynamically shaped. Comfort is not a priority for these bikes, as the main focus is on achieving extra speed, particularly on flat and low-cost roads.

Who should buy a time trial road bike?

These bikes are designed for competitive athletes who want to improve their performance in time trial races. If you’re already involved in triathlon and want to increase your numbers, then a time trial road bike is a good choice for you.

However, we advise against this type of bicycle for those who suffer from back pain.

trek road bike

Decide Your Budget

Affordable Road Bikes

The increasing availability of affordable road bikes is due to the expansion of high-end brands catering to new customers with simpler bike models, as well as specialized Asian suppliers of inexpensive bikes. Consequently, it is possible to purchase cheap road bikes for around $400-900.

Road Bikes with the Best Value for Money

If you’re looking to purchase a mid-range road bike from a well-known brand, keep in mind that prices start at around $720. There is a vast selection of models in this range, and the price difference generally reflects the quality of the main components, particularly the frame and transmission system.

Top-of-the-Line Road Bikes

For those seeking high-performance, durable road bikes for competition and long-term use, top-of-the-line models are the best option. There are currently many models available from the best brands such as Trek, Orbea, Cannondale, Specialized, Giant, and Scott, among others.

cannondale road bike

Choose The Braking System

When it comes to road bikes, having the right braking system is crucial for safety and comfort during high-speed descents. There are a few different types of braking systems to choose from, each with its own benefits and drawbacks.


Mechanical brakes are durable and efficient, but they do have a few downsides. For one, poorly adjusted or used on wet roads, these brakes can damage tires. The effectiveness of the braking also depends on how greasy your grip gets, with muddy conditions allowing for quicker stops. Over time, mechanical brakes can generate heat due to their moving parts, which can affect performance.

Disc Brakes

Disc brakes offer a more advanced braking system, with the caliper applying forces to both pads and rotors until the bike comes to a stop. Disc brakes can be mechanical or hydraulic, with hydraulic systems requiring less maintenance but being harder to adjust.

For riders looking to avoid mud splatters and seeking advanced technology, disc brakes are the best option.

Choose Your Road Bike Size

Determining the size of a road bike can be confusing nowadays due to changes in frame designs and geometries. In the past, the length of the vertical tube was the main size indicator. However, different brands now use different size systems like centimeters, inches, and standard sizes (S, M, L, and XL).

To avoid confusion, it’s best to consult the brand’s detailed guide specific to their products or ask them directly. They can provide better advice and help you find the right size for your road bike.

used road bikes

Choose the Transmission System

Selecting the right transmission system for your road bike is crucial to your performance, the level of your routes, and your physical condition.

Currently, there are many different transmission systems available, which can make it difficult to determine which one is best for you. The key elements to consider when choosing a transmission system include cassettes, chain sprockets, connecting rods, cups, bottom brackets, gears, brake levers, and gear levers.

Mechanical Groups Vs. Electronic Groups

The main brands of transmission systems for road bikes, such as Shimano, SRAM, and Campagnolo, offer both mechanical and electronic groupsets. The main difference between the two is the cost, as electronic groupsets are more expensive due to their advanced technology.

Mechanical groupsets are more affordable but require more maintenance than electronic groupsets since they tend to experience greater wear. Manufacturers recommend changing the wiring 1-2 times a year.
Electronic groupsets are more precise and accurate due to their advanced technology, making for more fluid gear changes and improved performance. However, they do require regular maintenance, such as charging the battery every 1,000-2,000 kilometers and updating the software periodically.
best road bikes 2021

Choose the Material Of The Frame

When it comes to road cycling, there are two main types of frames: carbon fiber and aluminum. However, the quality of these components will vary depending on the brand and manufacturer.

Aluminum Frame Road Bikes

Aluminum frames are generally heavier than carbon frames, but for beginners or casual riders, it may be more cost-effective to invest in lighter wheels rather than a carbon fiber frame.

Many top road bike brands are developing increasingly lighter aluminum frames through research and development. Aluminum frames are commonly found in entry-level road bikes, including the cheapest range of top cycling brands.

Aluminum frames are lightweight, stiff, and durable, providing good performance and longevity. However, aluminum is more prone to wear and tear, but it is more resistant in the event of a fall.

Carbon Fiber Frame Road Bikes

Carbon fiber frames are commonly found in upper-middle-range road bikes. The benefits of this type of frame include:

Greater power transmission at the outputs
Lighter weight
More comfortable ride
More aerodynamic design
Better absorption of vibrations from the road due to its flexibility

However, carbon fiber frames are more delicate than aluminum frames in the event of a fall and are generally more expensive.

best road bikes 2020

Choose the Wheels

When choosing wheels for road cycling, there are many factors to consider, such as:

The material of the rims (aluminum or carbon)
The profile (low, medium, or aero)
Brake compatibility
Hub type
Number of spokes
Wheel size

The quality and style of the wheels will generally match the type and level of the bicycle you have chosen, so don’t worry too much about this aspect.

If you are customizing your bike, don’t forget that you need not only good wheels but also good tires. If you have any questions about this component, feel free to contact us and we will do our best to help you quickly.

best road bikes for beginners

Final Words

Well-known brand road bikes can be found in most specialized cycling stores, while electric folding bikes or Chinese imports may be more challenging to locate. If you are looking to purchase these types of bikes, it is advisable to check out online stores and research delivery times and customs fees to avoid unexpected surprises.

If you prefer the convenience of purchasing online and having your bike delivered to your home quickly, I recommend using Amazon, the top e-commerce website. They typically offer the best prices on electric bikes and provide excellent guarantees for delivery and returns, as well as reliable customer service.

Hi, I’m Jason Tie

I have been passionate about electric scooters and bicycles since they came on the market, but I really took to skateboarding when I was young.

I started with the skateboard at 7 years old when my dad taught me how to ride. Since then, I have mostly owned freestyle skates and longboards- even if they were difficult for some people in our town.

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