Road Bike Reviews

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The design of road bikes has not changed much in the last 100 years, but in saying that, road bike technology has developed by leaps and bounds.

From the first wooden hobbyhorse that the rider had to push along with his feet things have changed, but the basic frame and two wheels is the same.


By: Team Traveller

Pedals, Gears and Chains

From those humble beginnings, someone invented pedals and cranks, these were connected to the front wheel and the size of the gear was governed by the size of the wheel.

Next the chain was invented, so you could have the same size wheels and the gear size depended on how many teeth you had on the sprockets on the back wheel and how many on the chain wheel at your pedals.

The next development was gears, this meant you could pedal up and down hills, before this you had one sprocket on either side of your rear wheel and if you wanted to change gear you had to stop and turn the wheel round.

Gears changed all this, you could change gears on the move, first there was only three gears on a road bike, now it’s twenty or thirty depending on which chain set you have.

Road Bike Frames

The basic road bike frames have not changed much, but the materials have.

First wood was the only thing available, but for a long time steel was the choice of all, in time it got lighter and lighter, then alloy, titanium and now carbon is probably the most popular material, its light and strong, but expensive.

Often a mix of alloy or
titanium with carbon is the best of riding and your pocket.

Wheels And All The Stuff

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Like frames, wheels were made of steel, then alloy and now alloy parts with carbon rims, but they are still round and I guess they always will be. All other parts on a bicycle started being made in steel and then alloy and now carbon or titanium.

What Should I Buy?

That’s the big question, well you get what you pay for, so spend as much as you can, buy a road bike magazine, look at the smart new bike, look at what the Pros are riding or go down to your local bike shop and drool at the shiny jewels they have on offer. Buy the bike of your dreams and enjoy your road bike cycling. Frame geometries

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Comments

  1. Jon says

    Let me add to the comment on EXS. I know it’s a bit old but others might end up on this page from Google too. According to a French website I found, EXS is affiliated to Gitane Cycles – it’s more or less the component part of the operation. Gitane is part of the Swedish-based Cycleurope group which also owns brands such as Bianchi and Puch.

    French bike riders give the EXS frames favourable reviews and praise them for their value-for-money.

  2. Stan Zyskowski says

    How many gears on a road bike. I seem to max out on my comfort bike @ about 25mph. Can I increase speed and get more pedal out of a road bike?Thanks,Stan Zyskowski

  3. Lorna Moore says

    I ride a custom road bike 650c wheels, I am 161cm long legs short torso. I would now like 700c wheels and top of the range carbon bike frame. Is it possible to fit me on such a bike without too much reach and minimal toe overlap? I would like to continue to generate same amount of power and speed on 700c bike. Is that doable. I am a female.

  4. Pete says

    Stan,You can indeed increase speed with different gearing. I rode an aluminum road bike with a triple with a 50T big ring and 12-27 in the back, and wasn’t happy with the speed. Checking into options I was convinced I needed a 53/39 on the front because that was what everybody else rode. Instead I saved money and swapped to an 11-25 cassette in the back and keep up with friends on better race bikes. I then purchased a top-end carbon road racer with 53/39 and 11-23, and after a year of time-trialing and road racing built up a TT frame with 50/39 and 11-23. Reason was I just don’t have the slow-twitch strength to push 53-11, and I’ve improved my cadence spinning with a 50T up front. I came in second with my group and bested PRs repeatedly throughout last season with it, so you need to find what gearing fits you and realize it may change as you improve. Bottom line, though, is that your power, efficiency, and positioning are primary to increasing speed on a road bike. As for 10-speed versus 9 or 8, I personally haven’t found a reason that matters. Ask your LBS for advice and good luck!

  5. Nigel Pink says

    I have ended up with a roadbike frame simply called a Team EXS , think it came from france but cant seem to find anything about it except some for sale on Ebay. Just want to findout info on what quality the frames are etc Its a full carbon frame with luggs