7 Tips Before Buying Your First Road Bike

Need tips on buying your first road bike?  Don’t do what I did.  I went to a store that was recommended and asked the people there what would work for me. Next time, I would do my homework and that’s what I’m recommending for you.

Here are some things to consider before buying your first road bike:

  • What type of bike should you buy if you want to start racing in triathlons?  A road bike? A time trial bike? (It seems that most recommend starting with a road bike and then down the line buying a time trial or a tri bike. Tri bikes are expensive and can start at $3K and up. You can pick up a road bike for $1K and up.)
  • If you spend more, does it pay off in terms of speed?
  • Should you buy an aluminum or carbon fiber? Carbon fiber bikes are lighter, which enable them to go slightly faster.
  • What type of components do you want? (Most beginners have no idea. Here’s a chart:)



  • Does the frame fit you?
  • Comparison shop on the internet.  Are you getting a good price?
  • And finally, is the bike store fitting the bike for you?

Bike Fitting

I can’t tell you how many times I had my road bike fitted.  Interestingly, each place I went to get it fitted, the fitter said something negative about the one who did the prior work.  There was one time when I actually took the bike in and when the fitter asked me to sit on the seat and put my feet on the ground, my feet were at least 6 inches off the ground. Apparently, that’s very dangerous and not advisable, especially if you have to make a quick stop.

Ultimately, I ended up having someone fit the bike and then I adjusted it myself to make it comfortable for me.


When you purchase the road bike, make sure you feel comfortable and ride it a half dozen times to make sure.  If you’re uncomfortable, bring it back.  Most reputable bike shops will do the right thing. If you plan on buying a tri bike in the future, it might not make sense to spend a lot on this first bike.

If you have any other suggestions or tips on buying your first road bike, please add in the comment section below.

This was a post I wrote in 2015. I updated it a little but most of the information is the same. I hope this helps. Happy shopping!