Choosing Road Bikes as a Novice Cyclist

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If you’re a novice cyclist looking to invest in some quality road bikes for smoother rides, you’ll be happy to hear that there are options aplenty for you. In fact, there are many considerations you’ll need to make when selecting your ride. From the design of the frame to the brakes, the suspension, and the overall weight of the unit, each road bike is designed to suit a certain type of rider. We’ve compiled a set of road cyclist profiles and the most suitable road bikes for these profiles. See if you can find yourself below.


#1, The Commuter

Biking to and from work doesn’t just benefit the environment by combating carbon emissions. It can also be an excellent form of daily cardio, which will also strengthen your quadriceps and hamstrings in particular. Compared to other more extreme cyclists, commuter cyclists tend to be inner-city riders who cruise through peak hour traffic, and as a result, have a clear understanding of the dangers of road biking. The commuter cyclist prioritises safety and stability above all else. It’s recommended that novice road cyclists who are looking to buy a road bike specifically for commuting, consider a heavier frame with a focus more on robustness than speed.

The perfect commuter bikes are designed to be as user-friendly and easy to manoeuvre as possible. Most suitable commuter bikes use a straight fork over a curved fork, as straight forks offer precision and stability without further adding to the weight of the overall unit. 

A commuter bike with a curved fork can still perform in a similar fashion, but the weight of the fork coupled with the overall weight of the frame will potentially make your bike too hard to carry before and after riding. Thicker hybrid tyres (around 32mm) that can cover both smooth roads and trails is recommended as well. And of course, it’s best to invest in a high-quality set of lights, some high-vis gear, storage for bags and other belongings, and a bell.

#2, The Racer

“Speed above all else!” is the racer’s motto. These kinds of cyclists are raring to go as fast as their rides will allow them, and are most likely going to look into competing somewhere down the line. If this description fits you to a tee, then chances are you’ve already started looking into how bike tech and design impact power and speed, and you know that you’ll be looking for lighter, streamlined frames that are UCI-certified. Racing bikes often come with shorter frames so that there’ll be less of a chance you can sit upright, which is (again) to maximise speed over all else.

The best racing bikes also come equipped with thinner tyres and ergonomic handlebars. Racing bikes are heavily specialised and can take a bit of getting used to, but you will notice your increase in speed almost instantly, and the thrill of racing will sway you over in no time at all. Although, whilst getting into racing is an exciting new frontier for a lot of novice cyclists, it will also come with its own set of rules and etiquette, so it’s best to study hard and join some cycling clubs before you get into seriously competing.

#3, The Adventurer

Needless to say that this rider is more of a jack-of-all-trades than the other two. Adventure cyclists tend to ride whenever they fancy, and will usually plan weekend getaways with the intention of cycling across the gnarliest tracks and courses. As a result of their boldness, you’ll be happy to hear that adventure cyclists usually experience the most substantial muscle growth in their quadriceps and hamstrings, as well as in their calves.

The adventurer will often play with various kinds of terrain, from mountain trails to cross-country courses, and so all good adventurers will need a bike that can easily handle anything you throw its way. As versatility is key, hybrid bikes are recommended here, especially those with an added focus on endurance and long distance riding. You’ll be looking for symmetrical frames with a broad build for comfortable riding. The same goes for your saddle and pedals. A double chainset with a flexible drivetrain is also recommended to ensure the highest levels of control.

If any of these profiles fit you, be sure to follow the tips provided to ensure that you find the bike that’s perfect for you. Happy trails, new riders!

I am an avid outdoorsman with experience in naturalist education, outside adventure education, ski instruction, and writing. In addition to my outdoor hobbies, I started this blog to provide advanced material, guiding you towards a better and more comfortable outdoor experience. I enjoy sharing my experiences of backcountry education teaching and guiding through writing. To contact Davis, visit the contact page. and About Us.