The road bike: a bicycle with historyRacing bikes are bicycles with a long tradition. They appeared as a specific type of bicycle at the beginning of the 20th century and thrilled the masses on the big tours, such as the Tour de France and the Giro d'Italia. A phenomenon that - despite the negative headlines of the recent past - continues to this day. Professional road cycling and road bikes enjoy the prestige of a myth. Since the 1970s at the latest, road cycling has also been practised by a large number of amateur athletes: Reducing cycling to its essentials, which is what racing cycling is known for, exerts a fascination that has remained unbroken over the decades.
Road bikes – pure speedThe core idea of a road bike is that it only comes with what is really needed for cycling, no accessories such as mudguards or luggage racks, no lighting system. Only what is needed for fast cycling. Nowadays, gravel bikes sometimes break this rule again, because they may indeed be equipped with mudguards and lights, but in the end they are only loosely related to the classic road bike and represent a separate genre in the world of fast bicycles. This is also shown by the fact that they are no longer limited to the road in terms of terrain. The traditional road bike, on the other hand, has only one purpose: being fast! Today, carbon road bikes fulfil this purpose best and most elegantly. Thanks to carbon frames and carbon components, they are particularly light - if the wheels are also made of this high-tech material, you are dealing with a top-class road racer. The traditional road bike, on the other hand, has only one purpose: being fast! Today, carbon road bikes fulfil this purpose best and most elegantly. Thanks to carbon frames and carbon components, they are particularly light - if the wheels are also made of this high-tech material, you are dealing with a top-class road racer. But just as already mentioned: the road bike landscape has changed in recent years, since a lot has happened beyond the realm of pure racing machines. New terrain has been conquered, new uses have been discovered, new types have been tried out.
Our road bike categories:
- road bikes aluminium
- road bikes carbon
- road bikes steel
- road bikes for women
- triathlon bikes
- cyclocross bikes
- gravel bikes
The diversity of modern road bike modelsA bike for any occasion – this has been the motto of the road bike sector for several years now. A lot has changed, and the result is a wide variety of road bikes. On the one hand, this refers to the frame material: aluminium, carbon or steel cover the market almost entirely. On the other hand, there is also the area of use: a triathlon bike or timi trial bike is the specialist weapon for the single rider's battle against the clock – whether in an individual time trial or as part of a triathlon competition. We also offer women's versions of the classic road bike – with their geometries they meet the female requirements and they have different gear ratios as well. The cyclocross bike even takes the road bike off its original track: the road. Cyclocross bikes can cope with a wide variety of surfaces and even with challenging terrain. Apart from the wider tyres compared to a road bike, they are characterised by a more agile frame geometry with a short wheelbase and a higher bottom bracket to deal with difficult terrain. Gravel bikes also challenge off-road trails. They feature a different geometry: the wheelbase is longer, the bike can roll over obstacles more easily and comfortably, but is not as agile. The rider's position is more upright to relieve the strain on the back and hands - this makes for a much more comfortable experience, especially on longer journeys. The equipment and accessories are also designed for use both on and off the road.
Buy a road bike at Bike-Discount: your new steel, aluminium or carbon bike is waiting for you!
One of the most important considerations when buying a road bike: the frameset! You have to decide whether you want a steel frame, an aluminium frame or a carbon frame. All these materials are perfectly suitable as the basis for a road bike and are sometimes even combined with each other, for example by using an aluminium frame with a carbon fork. Each material has specific advantages and properties. Aluminium is considered to be a light and reliable all-rounder in frame construction and thus fulfils many of the most important criteria for the construction of bicycle frames. It is not pure aluminium that is used, but so-called alloys. Among other additives, the 6061 aluminium alloy, which is the most commonly used, contains magnesium and silicon. Aluminium alloys are relatively light and yet provide enough stability to meet the demands of racing or training permanently. A road bike with an aluminium frame is often more affordable than a road bike with a carbon frame - the aluminium road bike is therefore considered the entry-level class in the road sector.
Many high-end road bikes, on the other hand, come with carbon frames. Compared to other materials, carbon offers an even greater potential for lightweight construction. It is also more expensive, but has long been the benchmark in cycling. Compared to aluminium as a frame material, it has another advantage: a carbon frame absorbs shocks, which considerably increases riding comfort. In this property, the material is reminiscent of steel, which was used as a frame material for quite some time and still enjoys a certain popularity today. Thanks to the shock absorbing properties, carbon or steel does not directly transfer the unevenness of the road or terrain to the body. The resulting smoother ride has a positive effect on performance and is particularly noticeable on long distances, as riding is simply more enjoyable. However, carbon in itself is rather delicate as a material, so to a certain extent a carbon road bike is limited to use as pure sports equipment. Locking the bike to a bike stand on a regular basis, for example, is not recommended: the stand and lock could damage the frame in the long run.
It is obvious that less weight is an advantage. A frame made of carbon is generally lighter than one made of aluminium or steel. However, the frame of a road bike is of course not everything. The total weight of a road bike depends not least on the components and especially the wheels. These even count "double" in a way, because they have to be moved as a rotating mass. That is why carbon is also often used in the manufacture of rims and hubs. The weight advantage has a positive effect on acceleration and speed. Professional cyclists therefore rely on carbon, with very few exceptions. However, if you also want to enjoy these advantages, you usually have to dig a little deeper into your pocket than with aluminium road bikes.
Frame size and frame geometry
The ideal frame size: whether aluminium, carbon or steel, the right frame size is essential when buying a road bike. The rule of thumb for a road bike is: multiply the inside leg length (cm) by a factor of 0.665 - this gives you a number in centimetres, which serves as a guide to the right frame height. The position can range from very stretched to rather upright. The more upright position makes for more comfortable riding.
If you fall between two frame sizes, the good old basic rule of thumb recommends the smaller frame size for competitive riding and the taller frame for a more relaxed, touring-oriented riding position on the road bike. At the heart of this consideration is the difference in height between the saddle and handlebar level. The bigger it is, the more stretched and thus athletic the riding position on the bike becomes.
The frame size is ultimately a result of the frame geometry. But, on the other hand, the geometry does not only have an impact on the position of the rider on the bike, it also determines the performance characteristics of the bike. The wheelbase, the length of the chainstays, the height of the bottom bracket, the steering angle and the trail of the fork are decisive for the agility of a bicycle. The shorter the wheelbase, the more responsive the bike, and if the rear frame is long, the bike will make for a smoother ride.
A similar rule applies to the steering angle and trail: the steeper or shorter, the more dynamic and aggressive the bike's behaviour – the flatter the steering angle and the larger the trail, the smoother and steadier the bike's response. For more detailed information on this and other bike-related topics, do not hesitate to contact our bike department.
The perfect components? A question of ambitions and preferences.
After the choice of the frame, the components are the next important factor when it comes to buying a road bike. Modern groupsets and different transmission options allow for individual adaptation to a variety of demands. Of course, entry-level models equipped with groups like Shimano's Tiagra or 105 differ from models for more demanding riders with high-quality derailleurs, cranksets and shifting systems. The crucial considerations are comfort, weight, price and, of course, performance. In terms of brand, there are also different preferences among road cyclists. While some cyclists insist on Shimano or Campagnolo, others prefer road bike components from SRAM.
The biggest change in the recent past has certainly been the emergence of electronic shifting. Electronic components are slowly but surely conquering the road bike sector. In the beginning, only the top groupsets were available as electronic versions, but in the meantime, the big manufacturers are offering electronic shifting components even for their mid-level groups. Electronic shifting is incredibly precise and fast and does not need any Bowden cables. However, you have to rely on a battery to supply the components with power.