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?
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.