1301 E Ajo Way Ste 117 Tucson, AZ, 85713-5064 United States

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Road Bikes

When should you upgrade to a road bike?

Road bikes are designed to go far and go fast. Therefore, they’re ideal for racing and long-distance road or paved trail riding. You might also consider a road bike if you frequently commute by bike. Though these bikes are not typically equipped for saddle bags, you can easily adapt one to your daily commute.

Ajo Bikes

Selecting Your Road Bike

Road bikes feature very lightweight frames, and they have the rider seated in a more forward position than cruiser or hybrid bikes. By bending forward, you can catch more speed. The tires and wheels are very narrow, which means that you will only want to ride your road bike on paved surfaces. In addition, road bikes have no front or rear suspension. This can make it tricky to plan your commute in some areas where the road may be rougher, more frequently covered in hazards like gravel, or poorly maintained.

When selecting a road bike, you’ll want to look at all features of the bike, from the drivetrain and wheels to the handlebars and seat. However, your selection may rely most on the following features, which can be much different from what you’d find on a commuter bike.

Frame Style

While all road bikes will have similar frame designs, there are two distinct frame types to consider. Recreational frame geometry will let you sit slightly more upright and have more relaxed steering. Performance frame geometry requires more flexibility in the body and is ideal for racing and heavy riding. If you plan to ride about 50-120 miles per week, a recreational frame is probably right for you.

Pedals

When shopping for a road bike, you might think, “Where are the pedals?” This is a common question, because most manufacturers leave them off. The assumption is that most riders have their own preference, so they will likely switch the pedals out anyway. You’ll want to test out different pedals if you don’t already have a preferred set.

Brakes

On most road bikes, brakes are integrated into the gear shifters. In some models, one of the shifters doubles as the brake lever. In others, there will be a smaller gear lever behind the braking mechanism. It is best to try out each layout and pick the one that feels most comfortable and intuitive to you.

Fitting Your Road Bike

As with any bike, the right fit is essential for road bikes. If your bike is too big or too small, you may have an unnatural posture that causes you to work harder than you need to when you pedal. Always head to a bike shop to try out different frame and wheel sizes so you can find the ideal combination for your posture and height. At Ajo Bikes, you can test ride road bikes from leading brands like Masi, Raleigh, Haro, Townie, and Electra. 

Ajo Bikes can help you pick out your new road bike or select from a variety of used bikes in our store. We are also the bike repair shop Tucson residents trust, so don’t hesitate to visit us for any and all bike maintenance and repairs. Call us at (520) 294-1434 for more information.