A road bike is the fastest type of bicycle designed to ride on highways. As it is known, at speeds over 30 km/h the main force preventing the forward movement is the force of aerodynamic resistance or air resistance, so the design features of road bike are aimed at reducing it.
Features of road bike
- – The main distinctive feature of road cycling is its geometry, which allows you to take the cyclist’s landing with the least resistance to air. Rudges of road bikes have the form of a sheep that allows to change a grip of a handlebar depending on a situation and thus to change aerodynamic resistance.
- – The second feature is the absence of cushioning elements. Highway bike is very rigid, it has a rigid front fork, narrow tires or single tubes up to 25 mm wide, saddles without additional shock absorbers. This is designed to reduce parasitic losses – improving the efficiency of the bike-cyclist system. Those who ride on a road bike note its responsiveness. Every slightest pedal force is transformed into acceleration.
- – The third feature of the road bike is its low own aerodynamic resistance. To reduce it, profiled sections of tubes of the bike frame, high-profile wheel rims, flat spokes, flattened handlebars are used.
- – The fourth feature is the transmission with the gear ratio shifted towards high speeds. It is necessary to notice that at modern highway bicycles systems of a gear change (shifter) and brakes are integrated into the uniform mechanism having only one handle that allows to change gears and to press on brakes without taking off hands from a steering wheel.
- – The fifth feature of the road bike is its lowest weight among all types of bikes. The weight of a top road bike is from 5.5 to 6.8 kg, and the usual 7-10 kg. For comparison, the top mountain bike weighs between 8-10 kg.
Road bike subtypes
Aerodynamic Highway Bicycle Racing
This bike subtype has improved aerodynamic performance. Due to an increase in weight from 0.3 to 1 kg air-road bike gets a stiffer aerodynamic frame and components, high profile wheels. The application of this bike – riding on hilly and flat terrain, sprint disassembling at the finish line.
Racing mountain highway bikes
This bike subtype has a minimum weight because every extra 100 grams of weight is felt every time you climb a mountain. A mountain road bike is easily distinguished by its round tube profile, which has the best stiffness-to-weight ratio. For the same reason, mountain road bikes do not have high rims on their wheels.
Comfortable highway racing bikes
The difference of this bike subtype is the softer rear triangle of the frame, which allows you to lie down to reduce the transmission of virtualization to the back. This bike is used by athletes for long training or races like Paris-Rube, and is also very popular among amateurs.
Highway bike for races with separate start and triathlon
This bike subtype is also called a “carpenter” or Time Machine. This is a special, highly specialized subtype of road bikes. Its main difference is a super aerodynamic frame and components, as well as a flat handlebar with a sunbed, allowing the rider to lie almost on the last one. To improve aerodynamics, disc, paddle or wheels with a profile height of up to 10 cm are used. Here everything is subordinated to one thing – the fight for aerodynamics, the fight for seconds. The weight of such bikes is 8-10 kg.
There is a distinction between bikes for triathlon and racing from a separate start. Triathlon bikes are equipped with hydrators, so that the rider could drink without changing the landings. “Triathlon bikes do not have such a system, as the time from a separate start does not usually exceed 60 minutes. Bicycle frames for split-start racing according to UCI rules have restrictions on the profile of the tubes, the position of the saddle and the tip of the seat relative to the carriage, and triathlon bikes do not have such restrictions.
Fitness Road Bikes
The main difference of this bike subtype is the frame, which is shortened by several centimeters. It allows the amateur cyclist to have a more comfortable high riding position. Sometimes on fitness bikes make a wider distance between the feathers of the frame, which allows you to install tires up to 32 mm wide. Sometimes fitness bikes are equipped with straight rudders.