Road biking is an excellent way to spend some time in nature, pair it with exercise, and just overall have a fun trip alone or with some friends. While it may seem like a sport you’ll need a lot for, the truth is, it’s actually not very expensive to get the proper bike, gear, and additional things for a successful biking experience, unless, of course, you’re entering Tour De France or some similar competition.
Road bikes can be used for recreational purposes, racing, commuting, as well as for work purposes, such as making deliveries and so on. What makes a proper road bike different from any other bike, like mountain bikes, for example, is its build and weight, alongside other necessities and accessories you’ll need to make sure your experience is as smooth as possible.
Road bikes are designed to develop ultimate speed on paved surfaces and give you a seamless ride. The first thing you’ll need to do is to get a good road bike that fits you in size and is quality-made. To get that wanted experience, though, here’s what else you’ll need to pay attention to.
Quality Cassette & Front Gears
Aside from a bike that’s thin and will allow you to gain speed much faster than any other bike out there, you’ll need to make sure it has the proper gear on it to be able to handle that speed and way of using it. We’ll start by going over the cassettes.
A road bike rear cassette and front gears both have their own purpose and can make a big difference. A rear cassette is that bunch of chains placed on the back wheel that goes from largest to smallest when counting from the wheel outwards. The front gears are similar, only placed up front, and they go from smallest to largest when counted from the inside out.
The point of these chainsets is speed. They’re a connected system that allows the change of gears as we know it, and as we said, road bikes are made for speedy riding on smooth surfaces, so they really do matter.
If we look at the rear cassette, when the largest chainring is operative we’re in the very first gear where pedalling is easy, but we’re moving at a slower pace. As we go outward with the chainrings or cogs, as they’re called when the rear cassette is in question, the pedalling becomes harder, but the speed with which we move increases.
The front gears operate similarly but are placed in an opposite manner, with the smallest one closest to the bike and the biggest on the outside.
When looking to buy a road bike rear cassette and front gears, always make sure they’re of quality make and material (steel, for example), as they’ll be the most durable and will be able to handle anything you throw at them. Road bike cassettes that are cheap and made of poor materials can turn out to be quite dangerous.
Furthermore, make sure that they have the desirable combination of chainrings and cogs so that the speed at which you’re able to go with your bike is exactly what you want and will offer you a smooth switch between gears.
The first thing you’ll need to look out for when buying a road bike or constructing your very own is what size of wheels it supports or has. The overall build of your bike rim will dictate the size of the wheels you’ll need, so make sure to get an appropriate wheelset that will fit perfectly.
As the point of a road bike is the speed and smoothness of the ride, you’ll need wheels that are thin and don’t stick to the surface. The less the wheels stick to the surface they’re on, the more speed you can gain.
If you know anything about skateboard and scooter wheels you’ll know what I’m talking about. Soft wheels on skateboards and scooters usually allow a smoother ride, while hard wheels allow good speed.
Still, the difference between size and materials is what makes road bike wheels combine these two and offer a smooth ride that’s also pretty fast. Always look for quality-made wheels and make sure that they’ll support your size, too!
When buying from reputable sources, in the specifications section you’ll find the maximum weight the wheel is able to withstand, so pay attention in order to get the wheels that are right for you and won’t let you down (literally!) after a little while, or in worst cases, immediately!
Additional Accessories & Gear
It’s not all about the gear that dictates the speed, you know? You’ll also need some other biking accessories to ensure your safety and comfort while riding, especially if you’re on long trips with your road bike.
For example, if speed is your thing, you’ll need appropriate clothing that won’t slow you down. You’ve seen the tight bodysuits cyclists wear when competing, so if you’d like to, you can purchase one of those. If not, make sure to wear clothing that isn’t bulky and won’t mess up your speed.
Furthermore, always make sure you have safety gear on. A helmet, gloves, knee pads, whatever you think you’ll need, especially if you’re off to a mountain road. The speeds can get pretty crazy when going downhill, so do be well protected.
Another thing to always carry with you is a proper amount of water to stay hydrated while cycling, as it is a hard physical activity, especially with such a bike under you.
To Round It Up
Quality will always dictate your experience when it comes to sports and that’s an unchangeable fact. Everything depends on it, from the speed you can gain, the durability, the ride itself.
Never compromise and buy cheaper gear. It may seem like a lot of money at first, but when you see the longevity and durability that you’ve paid for, you’ll realize that you’re actually saving on spare parts and often repairs.
To wrap up, I’d like to remind you to always stay safe and be responsible on the road. As road bikes are made for paved surfaces you’ll be surrounded by other bikers, cars, and pedestrians, depending on where you are, so keep your eyes open and make sure everyone has a safe experience, not just you!