Next, you need to look for certain things in your new Road Bike-
Road Bike Gearing
Some swear by the old-fashioned single gear setup as if you choose the correct ration you get the best workout as well as the endurance you need to build up as it is always at the same amount of resilience on level surfaces. You also don’t run the risk of the chain coming off the sprockets at an inopportune time.
To their credit, a multiple geared shifting systems have the advantage of adjusting to hills and rough going. The standards are of course 3, 10, 24, and now, exotic ratios are available in 27 or, even more, gears. It will boil down mostly to why you are riding the single gear bikes are less trouble prone and require less maintenance and the prices are generally lower.
Performance, however, for competition requires an assortment of gears to take advantage of the elements as well as the terrain and your strength/stamina levels.
Road Bike Frame
Here is may depend on the size of your wallet and your commitment to Road Bikes. The more advanced composites give you a bike that rivals a Dragon space Capsule in the technical difficulty in creating the frame of today’s Kevlar, Carbone Fiber, and Titanium frames.
All of these frames are super strong and are lightweight to the extreme that can shave seconds off your time. If you are a pro or intend to race in the Tour De France and this is where it all pays off.
Road Bike weight factor
The weight factor also comes into play if you intend to do cross country riding between cities and downtown commuting. Because in some cases, you may be required to carry the bike, as today Buses and commuter trains make allowances for bringing your bike along.
For the majority of us who can’t afford the $1,000 dollar and up price tags, steel, aluminum and even the new 3D printed bikes are a viable alternative.
You might also want to consider the high theft rate of exotic composite Road Bikes. Thieves have been known to break into a home and steal only the bike as some of the best have prices tags of 3 thousand dollars or more. This also makes you a target for a bike jacking if you were to ride such a bike on the streets in many urban centers today.
Road Bike Tires
Road bike tires are a prime concern for most Road Bike aficionados and choosing the right one can be the difference between a comfortable glide and a tiring slug fest as you try to maneuver over the rough terrain where you live.
Balloon Tires work well on soft surfaces. Thin tires make paved surface go by quickly. For rough ground a knobby tire and even in ice and snow, a spike tire might be called for.
The best way to find out what is needed for your area or riding venue is to go to your local Road Bike dealership and pick their brains about the local road conditions and the type of tires that work the best for the area.
Remember one style does not fit all and this is especially true of Road Bikes.
Road Bike Handlebars
Here the traditional Afro Bars are the most common that lets you cut down on air resistance and lowers you silhouette to have you laying out over the frame. Many, however, find this uncomfortable and other styles such as the Flat bar are to same people’s tastes along with the high risers that were in vogue in the 60s and 70s and seen on many choppers today. Once again, the function defines the form and comfort and is the secret to your choice of handlebars.
Butterfly bars AKA Trek bars give you a wide variety of hand positioning and you can decide on the fly which hand position suits you at a given moment.
Longhorn or cow horn handlebars make for a comfortable ride and you can adjust them to your personal taste.
The tradition cruiser bars are still popular and many replace their drop bars that come standard on most Road Bikes in favor of these.
BMX handlebars have reinforcing that also makes for varied hand positioning and along with Drop Bars are some of the most popular.
The Drop Bar itself is probably the most common handlebars and they come in a wide variety of styles and shapes. But is characterized by a ram’s horn shape that curls down and toward the rider.
Finally, fit the rider
The bike must fit the rider. This means tires, road bike saddle, and frame must conform the rider’s shape and weight.
The best way to do this is to have your Road Bike Dealer fit you out as they know which tire sizes and make all the height adjustments for handlebars and seat.
Accessories and Riding Gear?
Here the sky’s the limit and sometimes the price as well but there are some things you will need to have to get the most out of your riding experience.
The first is, of course, is the helmet.
Spandex is your friend
Get a fitted riding suit as it will keep your warm when it’s cold and keep you cool as well.
Make sure it breathes and let’s sweat escape as you can baste in your own juices during a long ride in the sun.
Helmets Are A Road Biker’s best friend
There is nothing like going down and hearing the grating sound of your helmet on the ground. But this is better than looking in the mirror and see the scars and road rash that a hard drop can cause.
So a road bike helmet is mandatory and you just need to decide among plastic, fiberglass, carbon fiber, and Kevlar which one you want to wear.The shape can cut down on wind resistance and save you time and energy by making it easier to pedal.
Gloves are next
If you have ever had, a piece of gravel hit your hand at 20 miles an hour, or a hornet’s sting on your hand while traveling during the spring and summer, Not to mention saving you from scraping it raw on the pavement if you drop the bike So, like helmets this needs no more to be said. Nomex gloves, however, are rugged and let your hand breath as well.
Nothing worse that slipping off the pedals and scraping your shin. Also, if you are caught out in the rain you can keep your feet firmly on the pedals as well as when going uphill while standing.
Either tinted or clear at your discretion keeps grit and sand out of your eyes. Sand? Yep, Sand truck ply the road these days and it can score your Cornea and impair your vision for life.
So protect your eyes and do risk your vision.
Try to get one that is BOA free and get the mounting rack that holds it. You’ll thank us in a few years as you avoid cancer. You will require about two liters of water and in some cases, up to four if you are in the west or southwest. So size accordingly.
Another item that should be on the road with you. You will suffer a flat at one point or another so get one that is lightweight and snaps to your frame.
Patches and a tool kit
As with the above, you need these items to keep your bike going as it is a long way between service stations these days. Carry a good tool kit with tools that wouldn’t snap if you put any torque on them. Extra bolts, master links, and other small bits hardware are a good idea as well.
Take a tent
If you are going to be on the road for long distance riding? Having a one-person tent along can keep you dry in the event of rain.
Unless you plan on carrying maps and a compass and learn how to use them. GPS is a wonderful thing to have and if your cell phone has it, you can get apps that make your Road Riding more enjoyable as you can get valuable info on the local sights and most importantly, where food and a service sat ion is located.
Mounts are available that fit GPSS units or your particular brand of Smart phone and know where you are and where you are going makes the whole experience much more enjoyable.
If you are exploring for the best GPS list on the market. Fishing Picks has a list of the best GPS for fishing worth checking out, which is also perfect for road biking.
A waterproof pouch that either mounts around your waist or around your neck
Do carry your IDs, credit cards, keys, and cash in a waterproof wallet or pouch. You will need to pay for food and lodging if you are traveling any distance and this keeps everything dry and easy to get at when you need it. In case you hadn’t noticed most riding, suits don’t have pockets.
The most important things to have along
A flashlight can help you when you have to make those repairs at night on a lonely road. And along with that make sure your bike has lights, reflectors, and your are wearing them as well a blinking LED can save you from getting run down while traveling cross-country.
The one thing many riders forget
Tell someone where you are going and when you expect to get there. Also, tell them the route you plan to take and don’t change it once you’ve decided where you are going.
Authorities take a dim view of people who don’t check in and they have to search for them and then find them miles away from where they say they’ll be. You could get a hefty bill for Search and Rescue or worse you might not be found at all.
Also, travel in a group and don’t get separated. Remember there is safety in numbers. Wolves travel the roads today and not all are the four-footed variety.
Road Bike Tips and Tricks
● Carry Duct Tape
● A extra crescent wrench is your best friend
● A comfortable seats will save wear and tear on your butt
● MREs are small and easy to carry and will feed your for a day
● Batteries: don’t leave home without them
● A seat pack carries those things you need and leaves your hands free
● Knowing where you are going is half the battle of getting there
● Know the week’s weather and dress accordingly
● A drop cloth will keep burrs and bugs out of your clothing
● A checklist filled out before you hit the road can save you grief
● A first aid kid can save yours or someone else’s life
● A knife has 1001 uses
● A fire starter works when matches don’t during a rain storm
● A poncho will keep you dry and doubles as a tent in a pinch
● Make a list of places to stop before you leave
● Pace yourself
● Take you vitamins with you
● Ditto for your meds if you take any
● Sun tan lotion!
● Bug replant as well
● Ace bandage
● Dry socks
● A watch
● Know where WIFI and Charging spots are before hitting the road
● Make sure your cell service works where you are going
● Take a lot of pictures
Road Bike Maintenance
● Make sure you are thoroughly familiar with your Road Bike
● Carry the maintenance manual with you
● Make sure you have all the tools you need to fix flats, replace cables, and repair the chain
● Carry spare nuts for the wheels and extra master links
● Have your bike tuned and road ready prior to leaving
● Check everything and then check it again
● A checkoff sheet can save you headaches and possible breakdowns if you follow it
● Make sure you have oil or graphite to make thing work their best
● A aerosol patch kit can save you time in making temporary repairs to holes in your tires
● At home have a bike jig and use it when aligning and making adjustment
● An Extra break cable and shifter cable will save your trip
● Electrical tape on the handlebars prevents slipping
● Get off the road to rest or make repairs
● Lights should all be working before you leave
● A Tire Gauge goes with and check your pressure before leaving
● Valve stems and extra screw caps
Getting the most out of Road Bike riding if you take the time to do things in a systematic and organized manner. If you select your bike and the necessary accessories and plan your trips beforehand, you’ll get much more out of the whole experience. It doesn’t matter if you are going around the block or across the US. Those who compete in the Tour De France take months to plan their journeyer and they know their route better than you know your neighborhood.
In fact, some of the teams study NASA’s techniques of redundancy and project management strategies. Because to win in France takes not only skill and stamina but prior planning and determination to maximize both rider, machine, and support team.
You should think in a similar manner. Especially if you are planning to travel long distances. For it is here where there is the most chance for failure of a weak link in the Chain or a chance nail left on the road that can leave you hitching a ride home or worse stranded in the middle of the Corn Belt. Crossing Arizona is considered dangerous in an air-conditioned car. It is more so for a group of Road Bikes and is a challenge all in itself.
So, take a leaf out of the people who win the Tour De France and take the same care with your Road Bike and how you go about your journeying and like Marco Polo you will make epic journeys and have years of trouble free riding fun and happy memories of your trips.