5 rules in choosing a road bike

5 rules in choosing a road bike

5 rules in choosing a road bike

First a touch of background information, I have been riding since 1998. Actually I have been riding bikes all my life, but I got my first “real” road bike back in 1998 when I was in the military in Japan. Back then I was taught the 5 rules in choosing a road bike.

5 rules in choosing a road bike

My first real bike was a steel green 1980′s Colnago Super that looked very similar to this bike here

Green Colnago Super pic #2

Green Colnago Super pic #2

 

 

Green Colnago Super pic #1

Green Colnago Super pic #1

that I bought off Ebay.

5 rules in choosing a road bike

If you have never ridden a race bicycle…you need to. Drop by your local bicycle shop and test any one of them out. You are in for a surprise.

Consequently the first real bicycle I ridden was my 1980′s Colnago Super, I have ridden other bicycles before. But this was the first time I ridden a bicycle that was sized for me. I didn’t have the luxury of going to a bike shop that actually had a bike that could fit my 6’2 frame in Japan.

 

Coming from riding department store bikes to riding to an actual race bike…Let me tell you the difference is staggering! It’s like the first time you have ever ridden in a true sports car….yeah your Honda Accord is pretty quick, but a Ferrari is in a whole different league. Actually when I finally got the bike together and the first time I got on it…well you will see when you go to your local bike shop and ride one, if you already have then you already know. I’m warning you just be prepared, it’s actually sort of scary…the acceleration is mind-blowing. From then on out I have been hooked.

 

Sadly I had to sell my green bike to fund my 2nd trip to Japan in 2002 when I lost my first business. From then I vowed to own another one. In 2004 I bought another Colnago (Asso) frame from Total Cycling in Ireland for very cheap…well cheap considering it is a Italian Race bike, I think I paid like $400 for the just the frame which was like 70% off AND it was a overstock of a 2002 frame that was one of the cheapest frames Ernesto Colnago makes. To me it was a steal because it is one of the last few years that Colnago bikes were actually handmade in Italy….using real Italian sweat shops :p

 

Here is a picture of it…

My road bike Pic#1

My road bike Pic#1

I have very emotional attachment to it, as I bought it back when I was basically broke and homeless and living with now x-in-laws. I actually think I have more money into it than I do my 1993 Audi S4 daily driver that I got for a smoking deal off craigslist.

 

5 rules in choosing a road bike

How to choose a road bike

 

  1. Coming from experience the absolute most important thing you can do BAR NONE is getting the correct size bike for you. Whether you can spend 10′s of thousands of dollars or you can spend $50 there is no more important thing you can do than getting the correct size. NONE. Do this first and worry about the rest later.
  2. If you want a road bike get a road bike. Don’t get a hybrid bike and think you can get the best of both worlds by slapping on some mountain or road bike tires. Sure it will work, but this is half-assing / non-committal, either go full-ass / full-committal or don’t bother.
  3. Pick a budget- You can go drop $100,000+ on full time-trial bike that is made by West Guamian Sherpas and wind tested by the San Diego Air & Space Technology Low Speed Wind Tunnel if you want to. I didn’t because I just don’t have the time ;p. Seriously though you can spend thousands but it’s not necessary. Pick a budget and stick too it. Don’t worry about buying the best / latest greatest or competing with the local guys for the best lightest stuff, there are always people richer than you, and there is always more stuff to buy.
  4. Ride, Ride, Ride. Go to any local bike shop and start riding bikes, and choose the one that you like riding the best. Every bike feels and behaves different. Get out there and start riding different ones, its free, fun and any good bike shop will love to let you ride as many bikes as you want.
  5. Invest in a good tires, seat and pump. Outside a good fit these are the most important things on your bike. If you going to splurge on any good parts, the tires, seats and a good pump is where you need to splurge. I personally recommend any seat by Fizik. I have sat and ridden on all sorts of seats that have gels, holes and other gimmick seats. Fizik by a long shot makes the best seat. Expect to spend over $100 on just the seat. It’s worth every dime and then some. Honestly if I could spend $150 on a bike, I would buy something used local or off craigslist for $20, and spend the rest on a brand new Fizik Airone saddle, that’s how important it is!

There you have it the 5 rules in choosing a road bike…now get out there and have fun!

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