Choosing your first road bike can be an extremely overwhelming process. Today, the choices are rather numerous and several factors must be considered before you ultimately make a decision.
How much should I spend? Should I buy new or used? What material is the best? Who makes the best bike? What about the components? What size bike should I consider?
If you wish to purchase something new, you will have to spend some money. Fortunately, today, you really cannot go wrong with the quality of bike made. The bottom line is… how much do you want to spend?
The vast of majority of bikes today, fall within a $1000-$4000 range (complete bike) depending on materials, brand name, and even the year manufactured.
A very popular material used in the construction of bicycles today is Carbon fiber. Typically, carbon fiber bikes are incredibly light and really stiff. Not only are these bikes light and stiff, most are designed aerodynamically. One small problem though, the price of these bikes can be rather heavy on the wallet falling somewhere between the $2500-$4000 range!
Aluminum is another popular material used in bicycle manufacturing. An aluminum bike is stiff and rigid but cheaper in price than carbon fiber.
So, are you overwhelmed yet?
Well, now that you have seen some of the choices and some of the costs involved, the best advice I can give regarding saving some money on a “new” bike is to look for a clearance model from the previous year or two. And do some research. Check you’re your local bike shop to find out if there are any clearance models available. And compare it to the prices of the same models at the larger nationwide retailers (online as well). The larger the bike shop, the greater the amount of product in stock and the larger the amount of product, the greater the need to unload last years models. And it is these larger shops where you can really pick up a good deal.
The next thing to consider is your size and weight. If you are a bigger guy, you will find that the ultra light bikes won’t hold up as well. Nor will the ultra light components.
Combine your size with your geographic location and you have a whole new set of considerations. If you live in a hilly or mountainous region, you will be putting a good deal of torque on you frame/components while climbing. The larger the body, the sturdier the equipment needed.
And finally, once you have narrowed your choices down, make sure you are properly fitted for the bike you want to purchase. You may find the bike you think you want, but it may not be the best bike for your body type, height, etc. As a matter of fact, before you even decide on a particular manufacturer, you should be properly fit. Every bike is designed differently and a proper fit will not only insure an efficient and powerful ride but will also eliminate a lot of endless searching.