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What Is a Good Beginner Road Bicycle?

by
author image Max Roman Dilthey
Max Roman Dilthey is a science, health and culture writer currently pursuing a master's of sustainability science. Based in Massachusetts, he blogs about cycling at MaxTheCyclist.com.
What Is a Good Beginner Road Bicycle?
Becoming a cyclist isn't as difficult as it seems. Photo Credit Jupiterimages/BananaStock/Getty Images

Buying your first road bicycle is a great commitment to leading an active, healthy lifestyle. Unfortunately, the plethora of road bike styles and prices can make this decision a lot tougher than it needs to be for first-time cyclists. There's a perfect bicycle for everyone, so understanding the different types of road bikes best suited for beginners can let you choose a bike that suits your riding style. With the right bike, you can roll into the sunset with comfort and confidence.

Road Bike Shakedown

One of the most important features of a road bike are its tires. Road tires are smooth and narrow and are designed specifically for performance on pavement. Some road tires have a tread pattern for traction, and their high tire pressure gives them a low rolling resistance that makes the bike fast and responsive on flat ground. Road bikes are also often designed to have a low weight in order to increase speed. This is achieved using lightweight materials in the frame, wheels and components. A road bike is usually made from steel, aluminum or carbon fiber.

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Beginner's Luck

A great beginner road bike is a hybrid bike. These bikes are designed with first-time riders in mind, with a thoughtful construction to make your cycling routine as comfortable as possible. These bikes place the rider in an upright riding position, with flat handlebars that make controlling the bike simple and intuitive. Some hybrid bikes use a shock absorbing fork for the front wheel, which absorbs rough pavement with ease. A hybrid bike makes a great commuter or everyday bike and handles longer rides with ease.

Get Your Tour de France On

Professional cyclists ride very expensive carbon fiber road racing bikes, but these bikes aren't reserved exclusively for serious cyclists. A road racing bike made from less expensive materials, like aluminum, lets you ease into cycling with a bike made for training rides and your first races or charity events. A traditional road racing bike uses drop bars to give you multiple hand positions to give you the best balance between aerodynamics and control. Traditional road racing bikes feature a stiff, lightweight frame designed for efficiency.

Choosing a Bike

Compared to a hybrid road bike, a racing road bike won't be the most comfortable on long rides when you're just starting, but it will let you get a great workout and eventually step into competitive cycling if you find you're drawn to the sport. An entry-level road bike puts you in the same riding position as a much more expensive racing bike, which means you'll get the same workout. Many beginner road bikes feature slightly wider tires than a more expensive racing bike, which will work to deaden vibration from the road and make your ride more comfortable.

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