Meet my new road bike — the 2006 Scattante R650.
Gain the competitive edge to conquer your next century ride. The 2006 Scattante R650 Double road bike has lightweight aluminum frame with carbon fiber fork, seatpost and seatstays ensure a smooth, weightless ride. Reliable, race-ready Ultregra 10 speed components and Korso wheelset will gear you up for high acceleration.
- Lightweight aluminum frame w/ carbon fiber fork, seatpost and seatstays offer a stiff, efficient ride with less vibration
- Durable Shimano Ultegra drivetrain for reliable speed
- TruVativ Elita cranks for sleek, stiffer, pedaling efficiency
- Korso wheelset for lightweight speed and cornering
Ok, so I won’t act like I know what this all means. But, with the beauty of the Web, I can act like I do. What amazes me is how technical things have gotten since the 1970’s when apparently all bikes were road bikes. Since then it’s gotten hi-tech with materials, components, and even gadgetry.
What to look for when buying a beginner road bike:
- The players – The two major manufacturers of complete groupsets for racing bicycles are Shimano and Campagnolo. From what I can decipher, people opine that Shimano offers a better “value”.
- Materials – Similar to airplanes, the goal is to find the lightest, most flexible material (to absorb shock). Steel is the heaviest, followed by aluminum alloys, then carbon, and even titanium for the fatter wallets. Carbon fiber has also become more popular for components, not just the frame. Carbon is known for being more light weight and better at absorbing shock.
- Wheels – The wheels greatly affect the performance of a racing bike. Road tires are lightweight, narrow, and have a thin, smooth tread. The are inflated to a high pressure of around 100-120 pounds per square inch (psi). Fewer spokes mean more aerodynamic.
- Handlebars – road bikes have drop bars offering the cyclist either an aerodynamic “crouched” position or a more upright posture in which the hands grip the brake lever mounts.
- Gearing/drivetrain – I can’t figure this out. Read this posting to figure it out yourself. From what I can gather, the recommendation is that a road bike be a 10-speed (Ultegra 10) with 8-12% step. As a road bike, you won’t need a lot of low gears like a mountain or touring bike, and the extra gears add extra weight.
- Saddle – Narrower saddles which allow more room for leg swings. For racing bikes where the rider is bent over, weight is more evenly distributed between the handlebars and saddle, and the hips are flexed, and a narrower and harder saddle is more efficient. If you are worried about your butt, I prefer padded riding shorts.
- Pedals – Most road bikes don’t come with pedals because there are so many pedal systems. Clip-less pedals give the cyclist a positive connection between pedal and shoe, without the drawbacks of toe clips. “SPD’s” appear to the be most preferred, as they have a small cleat that is mounted flush with the bottom of the shoe, making them easier to walk in. You can find more information here.
Some great resources