Road bike

The anti-thesis of the mountain bike, road bikes are typically designed to be as light and efficient as possible, as they do not need to withstand as much punishment. Speed is of the essence, normally at the expense of comfort. This leads to the following general features:

  • large wheels (700cm diameter);
  • thin, skinny tyres, designed to minimise the resistance on the road;
  • larger frame, typically made from smaller diameter tubing than mountain bike frames;
  • no suspension;
  • aggressive riding position, including “drop” handlebars. Road bikes are designed for speed, and one of the biggest impediments to the speed of a bicycle is aerodynamics. Therefore, the seating position is designed to minimise wind resistance, with as little comfort as the rider can stand!
  • up to 27 gears, at a relatively high gear ratio. This means that it is more difficult to accelerate, but allows for a faster top speed.

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