Bike ride is the most elementary form of transport. In earlier days, it was the first human powered vehicle that later transformed the face of automation. The first bicycle appeared around 400 years ago. Slowly innovation and technology shaped the rudimentary bicycle into the modern day road bike that we are so accustomed to see.
Bicycles or road bikes are no longer a thing for the teenagers or kids. Rather they have become a favourite means of staying healthy and fit. The average person who is conscious about health might choose a ten kilometres road bike ride rather than a five kilometres marathon. If one does not want to hit the gym daily or finds it too boring, road bikes rides can always be an interesting option.
The road bike has also found its place with the adrenaline junkie youth of today. Many new and unique biking trails have opened up to provide free ways for the bike riders. Bikes are not that expensive when compared to cars and they are environment friendly. They promote a sense of freedom and fulfilment. Studies have proved that countries with more road bike commuters have a healthier population.
In various cities there is a new trend of hiring road bikes that one can control through an app. This is a great initiative towards lessening air pollution levels as well as promoting healthy lifestyle. One can simply book a road bike for a stipulated time and pick it up from a nearby hub. These bikes can be remotely locked or unlocked and have a GPS tracking device attached with them. Hence, it is very convenient to opt for one of these.
Road bikes have gained popularity not only in the sports field but also in recreational circles as well. Many amusement parks nowadays have bikes to be hired on an hourly basis. They have artificial trail that might resemble uneven terrain and gives the rider a sense of riding in the off-road.
The best road bikes offer a smooth riding experience where the rider gets full control of speed and balance with proper gear system with optimum speed. A light-steel framework is desirable for its smooth-riding characteristics. The best road bike is the one which fits the rider’s preference and body type.
Road bikes fall into two general categories: race and endurance. Race bikes are designed in more aerodynamic position and have steeper angles for quick handling and fast acceleration. Endurance bikes position the rider more upright and the frame angles are a little more relaxed for stability and long distance comfort. The best way to learn the difference between the two is either to rent and ride or borrow from a friend and choose one’s optimum bike.
The main points of difference are the frame materials -aluminium bikes are cheaper, while carbon fibre frames are lighter but more expensive. The road bikes for beginner should be light weighted and not much bulky. The frame material could be aluminium or steel.
While the road bikes for racing come with thinner tyre thickness to maximise the speed, regular road bikes come with a thicker tyre that provide a higher comfort level and good balance at low speed. The road bike would be the one with super light tyres, resistant to punctures and incredibly fast. However those kinds of tyres do not really exist so it is better to choose any two attributes from the three. For example, if the commute involves rocky terrain or rough inner city routes a tyre with puncture protective measures is advisable. And if the commune involves long journey on smooth roads then the rider can opt for a type that would give a race-y feeling.
The road bikes come with three different kinds of tyres- tubular, tubeless and clincher.
Clinchers are the most common type of tires found on road bikes. They have an open casing that houses a separate inner tube and then hooks on to the wheel rim.
There are two types of clinchers: folding and non-folding.
Tubular are what most pro riders use for racing. Unlike clincher, the Inner tube is sewn shut around the outer, so that the pairing takes on a tubular form — hence the name. Tubular rims don’t have bead hooks inside the sidewalls for a tire to clinch onto; instead it relies on tire pressure and glue to hold them on the rim.
The road bikes have tubular tyres which have a big advantage that they can still be ridden when punctured as they won't separate from the rim, unlike clinchers, and the rider can continue riding until it reaches garage for a replacement.
Tubeless tires are mostly used in the mountain biking world and they've now come to road cycling. As the name suggests, tubeless tires don’t use an inner tube. They're effectively clinchers except that the tire and rim seal together to become airtight and remain inflated, just like the tires on most modern cars.
Now the question is whether the road bikes should have rim brakes or disc brakes. The most fundamental difference between traditional rim brakes and disc brakes is where the braking forces are applied. As the name suggests – and just as it’s been done for decades – rim brakes clamp directly on to the sides of the wheel itself with brake shoes. In this way, the rim serves as a main structural component of the wheel, the mounting base for the tire, and the braking surface all in one. Disc brakes have separate rotor that is much smaller in diameter and mounted directly to the hub – much like everyday automobiles or motorcycles. The braking system is mounted to the frame and fork but it’s situated much closer to each wheel axle. Disc brakes are much safer and provide a much better control on speed and balance.
For every person the riding style or body comfort level or experience varies. However, armed with all these tips one can go out to find the best road bike.
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