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Guide to the best road & racing bikes: how to choose the right one for you

Guide to the best road & racing bikes: how to choose the right one for you

While road bikes or racing bikes may seem simple, there are a large number of features to consider when buying a bike with the so-called “drop handlebars.” 

This guide will help you to pick the best road bike for you.

What type of racing bike should I buy?

Road bikes can be divided into two general categories: race and endurance.

“Pure” racing bikes, tend to put the rider in a lower and more aerodynamic position. This kind of bike generally has more aggressive geometry for better handling.

The so-called “endurance” road bikes allow the rider to maintain a more upright position, and the frame angles are a bit more “relaxed” to provide stability and comfort over long distances. 

For both categories, you start between 1,500 and 2,500 euros for an entry-level new bike or a second-hand mid-range bicycle.

Below these two broad categories are other categories suited to more specific needs.

There are two main subcategories of road bikes. The best aero road bikes guarantee absolute speed. The best climb bikes privilege light weight over aerodynamics.

A rising category of road bikes is the electric or e-road bikes, which are equipped with hub motors or mid-drive motors and built-in batteries. Next-generation bicycles that have all the technical features and aesthetics of a modern racing bike.

Almost all bicycles are built on unisex frames. The option to choose from a variety of frame sizes (they now start at 46 or XS) and the many possible options for customizing seat posts, handlebars, and stems ensure that everyone gets the ideal fit for their needs.

At Bike-room we are able to offer a large amount of road and racing bikes of different types, sizes, and prices. New road and racing bikes, Km0 bikes, reconditioned used bikes, and the Pros’ bikes. 

What material are road bike frames made from?

One of the main differences between road bikes is the frame material

Many of the most expensive road bikes are made of carbon fiber because it has a high strength-to-weight ratio, which allows brands to create lightweight and efficient bikes.

The best aluminum road bikes can offer a similar riding experience and level of performance to carbon road bikes but are generally more affordable because aluminum is a cheaper material. However, they tend to be heavier. Many of the cheapest road bikes are made of aluminum.

The best steel road bikes offer a stylish, classic look, and many cyclists say this frame material offers an outstanding ride quality, absorbing bumps in the road and providing an “adrenaline-fueled” riding feel.

The best titanium road bikes are often a high investment because of the difficulty of machining the material. But, like steel, they are desirable for their unique feel, attractive look, and exclusiveness.

Overview of road bike groupsets

Road bicycles used to be called 10-speed, referring to the two front chainrings multiplied by the five rear sprockets.

Since then, however, road bike drivetrains have evolved considerably, and most road bikes now have two chainrings and between nine and 12 sprockets-or now even 13-in the rear.

Shimano and SRAM are by far the most common groupset brands, although Campagnolo, Microshift, and FSA groupsets can also be found.

In general, endurance bikes have shorter gears. This means it is easier to tackle climbs, while racing bikes have longer gears for higher top speed.

Bigger chainrings mean more speed (and effort), while smaller ones, called compact, mean less effort. These solutions are more suitable for climbing or ideal for those who tackle long days of cycling wide elevation gains. 

For a more detailed description of the market options, also check out our buyer’s guide to road bike groupsets.

Rim Brakes or Disc Brakes?

For decades, road bikes used Rim Brakes also called V-Brakes, in which rubber pads clamp against the rims.

Today, most mid-and high-end road bikes are equipped with disc brakes, which have been used on mountain bikes for many years.

The debate between disc brakes and rim brakes is endless, but in short, disc brakes offer superior wet braking, are heavier and require a more difficult maintenance.

Rim brakes are still very common on cheaper bikes. They are lightweight, perform well, and require very low maintenance. This type of brake remains a popular option for cyclists of the old guard and beyond. As proven by the current use of rim brake bicycles by world cycling champions to ride some critical Grand Tour stages.

To learn more, in this article we try to give our opinion on the eternal debate between traditional brakes and disc brakes on road bikes.

Alloy or carbon wheels?

With few exceptions, road bikes are equipped with 700c wheels with alloy or carbon fiber rims.

Alloy wheels are standard on many road bicycles, especially in the lower-mid price range, because they are cheaper to produce.

Carbon rims are becoming more common on modern bicycles. Carbon wheels can be even lighter than aluminum wheels and can also be more aerodynamic because the material’s high strength-to-weight ratio allows manufacturers to create high-profile wheels. (We’re talking about up to 90 mm wheel profile).

If you have a rim brake bicycle, the rim material itself absorbs the braking force load. This makes aluminum rims a popular choice because when the rim wears out from use, it is cheaper to replace aluminum rims than carbon rims. 

In addition, aluminum rims offer a better braking surface than carbon rims in wet conditions, so many cyclists mount aluminum rims on their bikes during the winter, saving carbon wheels – if they have them – for the summer.

The growing popularity of disc brakes has made the debate between aluminum and carbon rims unnecessary. Because disc brakes bond to a rotor attached to the wheel rather than the rim itself. Cyclists can now opt for carbon rims whatever the weather or season.

What tires does my road bicycle come with?

Most road bikes are equipped with slick or very slight tread tires.

While extremely narrow tires used to be standard, in recent years it has become more popular to fit wider tires on road bikes. Racing bikes are often equipped with 25 mm wide tires, while endurance bikes are equipped with 28 mm or even 32 mm tires.

About the width, all of these tires roll fast, and the wider ones offer more grip (and speed on rougher road surfaces) in exchange for a little extra weight.

The best racing bike tires offer a combination of speed (low rolling resistance), grip and puncture resistance.

Tires are one of the easiest things to change, so you don’t need to worry much about what comes with your bike. That said, if you want to maximize the comfort of your bike, make sure the frame has clearance for wider tires.

Again, racing bikes that maximize aerodynamics usually tend toward narrow tires, while endurance bikes that provide comfort typically have wider tires.

Here is our complete guide to choosing the right tire.

How to choose a racing bike by price.

Now that you have an overview of what are the main factors that go into the price of the bike, all that’s left is to choose.

Also consider another key parameter, the condition of the bikes. A certified used, top-of-the-line bicycle from a few years ago will be more affordable than a new, Km0 product of the same level.

Finally, we are among the few players in the world who can offer you racing bicycles from Pro Teams. We are talking about bicycles ridden less than a year and selected by team mechanics. These bikes are always equipped with the best components, and for sale at truly unbeatable prices.

The best road bikes up to €2,000 

Bianchi Sprint 2021 – Shimano 105 R7000

Road bikes with a price range of 1,000 to 2,000 euros are a great starting point for those new to cycling or for those who are not sure how much they want to ride. They can also be great commuter bikes or second bikes for more experienced cyclists. 

On Bike-room you will find several bicycles for up to € 2,000

The best road bikes between €2,000 and €5,000

S-Works Tarmac SL6 2018 Sagan Superstar – Shimano Dura-Ace R9150 Di2

The mid-, high-end bikes that fall into this price range are truly amazing, and it is easy to be tempted by them. Our road bikes up to €5,000 will take you into serious, and really high-performance bike territory. 

Check out all of our bikes up to €5,000

The best road bikes over €5,000

Cannondale Super Six EVO 2021 – Team EF Pro Cycling

In the past, this price range was the exclusive preserve of bikes dedicated to professional racing. But with the adoption of modern technologies and increasingly cutting-edge means for lovers of the sport, the profile of this market segment has changed. Today there are many bikes belonging to this market segment that allows amateurs to experience the same riding sensations as the pros.

On Bike-room you are really spoiled for choice, check out all our bikes over €5,000.

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