How to choose a racing bicycle for yourself
Road and track racing are two different disciplines, but they both share one common goal: to be faster than anyone else. It’s challenging to decide on a bicycle when you have so many options available, but here’s how you can go about it.
Decide on your budget.
Before shopping for a bike, you should decide how much money you want and what features are important. All race bikes are not created equal, and your bike must have the right features for your size, riding style and experience level.
Budget is a significant factor when choosing a racing bicycle because even cheap bikes can be expensive if they’re poorly made or don’t fit well. As with any consumer goods, you get what you pay; don’t expect top-of-the-line performance if you can only afford an entry-level bike.
Decide between road racing or track racing.
When choosing a racing bicycle, you must first decide whether it is for road or track racing. While there are still other options, such as BMX and mountain biking, these two are the most popular.
Road racing is a sport where the riders compete in time trials or road races. Riders on these bikes need to navigate turns quickly, move easily through traffic, and maintain speed over long distances without getting tired. All while wearing heavy gear like helmets and shoes with cleats attached so they can pedal smoothly through turns. These bikes also feature lightweight frames made of carbon fibre that can withstand crashes better than steel ones because they don’t dent easily (though they do break more often).
Track racing takes place inside velodromes, circular tracks with banked corners that allow riders to accelerate while maintaining their speed around curves since there isn’t any friction caused by wheels hitting the pavement at an angle! Riders here use aerodynamic helmets with no visors, which allow them visibility. Hence, as it does not collide directly into walls at high speeds, there’s no protection against debris flying up from underfoot either.
Decide if you want an aluminium frame or a carbon fibre frame.
Carbon fibre is lighter than aluminium, but it’s also more expensive. Aluminium bikes are less expensive, but they’re heavier. Carbon fibre frames are generally more durable than aluminium ones. And while you can get an aluminium frame that will last a long time, it usually won’t be as durable as a carbon fibre one of comparable price.
Choose between compact and standard drivetrains, such as 52/36 (compact) or 53/39.
There are two basic types of drivetrains: compact and standard. Compact drivetrains are lighter, more efficient, and easier to handle. Standard drivetrains are more durable and have a wider range of gears.
Compact (or “comp”) gearing is ideal for climbing, sprinting, or if you want a bike that’s easy to handle on technical terrain (such as dirt trails). Compacts tend to be about 1/2″ shorter than their standard cousins; this means that the upper chainring is smaller than the lower one. For example, 52/36 refers to a combination of 52 teeth on the big ring paired with 36 teeth on the small ring—a perfect setup for climbing steep grades at high speeds!
Standard gearing is better suited for long climbs and time trials where riders will spend more time in higher gears during long stretches of flat terrain; they also work well for riders who prefer cadence over speed when riding hard into headwinds or up-hills.
Determine wheel size.
One of the first things you’ll want to consider when choosing a race bike is the wheel size, measured in inches. There are three A standard wheel sizes: 26″ (aka “26er”), 700c and 650b (aka 27.5″). Each has pros and cons, so it’s best to try out as many bikes as possible before deciding.
Once you’ve decided on the above factors, it’s time to go shopping. It’s best to try out several different bikes before making a final decision. This will give you an idea of what fits and feels right. Above all else, have fun with this process!