You might think a road bike isn’t necessary, however, they can make a huge difference in terms of speed, efficiency, and generally providing a better experience when cycling on roads.
In fact, that’s exactly why you should get a road bike; they provide a much better experience for enthusiasts who ride long distances and want to be armed with the best possible kit for the job.
Using anything other than a road bike for riding on roads is going to be a hugely inefficient experience as you’ll be slowed down by inept tire tread, excessive suspension, and an abundance of weight from heavier materials.
With all that in mind, we’re going to delve deeper into the reasons why road bikes make a big difference and why you should consider getting one.
We’ll also list a quick summary of our favorite road bikes depending on your budget and what you’re looking for.
Quick Summary: Top Road Bike Options For All Budgets
1. Fuji Altamira 2.1 Road Bike – Best For Big Budget Enthusiasts (Expensive but high performance)
2. Hiland Road Bike 700c – Best Cheap Road Bike (Great all-round performance on a low budget)
3. Vilano Shadow 3.0 – Best Mid-Range Road Bike (High Performance at a great “middle-of-the-road” price range)
Trying to Tackle the Roads With a Mountain Bike? 5 Reasons Why You Should Stop and Use a Road Bike Instead (They Make a Big Difference)
1. Road bikes are lighter
Unlike a mountain bike or trail bike, road bikes are designed with lightweight materials that allow for more speed rather than heavier materials that offer more ruggedness.
Essentially, if you’re not going to be riding around on mountains then there’s no point in lugging all that excess weight around with you.
In fact, this is probably one of the main reasons for getting a road bike and why they make such a big difference.
2. Road bikes are more aerodynamic
It goes without saying, if you have a need for speed then you need an aerodynamically efficient piece of equipment to do the job.
Road bikes are designed with their handlebars more central rather than being so wide (like a mountain bike).
This is because it allows you to sit forward which prevents excess drag meaning you’re more aerodynamic and will allow you to move faster.
Basically, the less material or bulk that is catching the wind, the quicker you’ll be able to move without causing resistance.
3. Road bikes position you better for speed
Similar to what we mentioned in our previous point, road bikes position you much better for increasing how quick you can move.
The seat is usually positioned in line with the handlebars or even above it in some cases meaning you can point your body down towards the handles.
This means you’re creating less drag and will be able to get from place to place quicker than you typically could on a mountain bike.
4. Road bikes have efficiently designed tire tread
Similar to F1 cars, road bikes are designed with relatively little tire tread meaning there’s less resistance created when riding on roads or paths.
Essentially, if you’re riding on a smooth road then why would you need tire tread to create grip or resistance?
Basically, mountain bikes offer more in the way of stability and grip, however, this is generally bad for increasing your top speeds (though they might be able to accelerate quicker).
In terms of maximum speed, you want less resistance and grip as it will create less friction to slow you down.
5. Road bikes remove unnecessary things
Because road bikes are designed for efficiency and speed, you’ll generally find they’re “slimmed down” versions of your typical city bike or mountain bike.
The seats are less bulky, the suspension is removed, and they often cut down on features of things like baskets or mudguards.
This doesn’t mean you’re getting less for your money, and in fact, you’re actually getting more if your focus is on speed or getting the most out of riding on the roads.
In case you’re wondering why the suspension is removed then it’s because all that bounciness creates resistance and means some of your pedaling efforts are being absorbed by the suspension — again, this type of thing can slow you down.
Might Like To Know (Extra Questions About Bikes)
Are Lighter Bikes Easier to Ride?
Yes, lighter bikes provide an overall net benefit to your travel times even if you’re slightly slower going down a hill compared to a heavier bike.
Generally speaking, this makes them easier to ride and will require less effort getting from A to B.
Are Expensive Bikes Faster?
Expensive bikes are usually made with better quality components and thus, can offer a slightly more optimal experience compared to their cheaper counterparts, however, the difference is so small to be worth considering if you’re not a pro athlete.
You should now have a better understanding of why road bikes can make a big difference, not just for speed, but for your overall experience riding on roads too.
There’s no excuse not to get a road bike if you’re riding on roads, especially since you can get one for all budget ranges in mind.
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