How to Buy a Bicycle: Take our Quiz to Find the Perfect Bike

buy bicycle

To a new cyclist, entering a bike shop can feel like setting foot on another planet. Suddenly you’re surrounded by gadgets and gizmos. Electronic this and carbon that. And “Holy hell! They’re asking HOW much for a jersey or a pair of socks?!” The world of cycling comes with its own language and unique set of unspoken rules. So how do you navigate this strange new land and fit in with the locals?

It’s time to demystify the process and cut through the jargon so you can score the perfect shiny new toy. These tips will help you buy a bicycle that’s perfect for you.

Read moreHow to Buy a Bicycle: Take our Quiz to Find the Perfect Bike

9 Essential Bike Race Tips for Beginners

bike race tips

There’s nothing worse than showing up to your first cycling race dressed incorrectly or being the unlucky rider who causes a crash in the field. Fortunately most rookie mistakes are completely avoidable. Follow these bike race tips and you’ll not only gain the trust of other’s in your field– an important element if you want to race for a team — but also discover just how much fun bike racing can be! 

I’ve compiled 9 rookie racing mistakes and how to avoid them. Hint: Avoiding mistake number 9 alone could cost you thousands of dollars!

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Get Fast! 8 Top Carbon Fiber Road Bikes Under $2,000

best road bikes under 2000

Last updated: 10/16/17

If you’re looking for an upgrade or are ready to get serious about investing in a road bike, these top road bikes under $2,000 are a great place to start. This price point hits the sweet spot between entry level road bikes and more serious racing machines.

Drop 2k and you’ll have the pleasure of riding full carbon fiber. You’ll get a taste of a lighter bike that’s more speed and performance oriented. These tend to be solid all-day rides or decent entry level race bikes.

Read moreGet Fast! 8 Top Carbon Fiber Road Bikes Under $2,000

More Cowbell for Less Cash: the Best Cyclocross Bikes Under $1,500

best cyclocross bikes under 1500

Last updated 3/11/17

Can’t decide between a road bike and a mountain bike? Or maybe you love the idea of riding on dirt roads and gravel, but don’t feel comfortable riding them on a road bike. Enter the cyclocross bike. In a nutshell, it’s a little rougher and tougher than a road bike, but faster and more fun to ride on the road than a mountain bike. It’s also the perfect commuter. If you’re looking for the best cyclocross bike under $1,500, here are some of my favorites, including our number one pick, the value-packed Fuji Cross 2.0 LE. 

Read moreMore Cowbell for Less Cash: the Best Cyclocross Bikes Under $1,500

The Best Bikes for Women (that aren’t pink-colored men’s frames!)

best bikes for women

Last updated: October 20, 2016

Let’s begin by clearing up one common misconception: Just because you’re a woman doesn’t mean you have to ride a women’s specific design (WSD). If you’re struggling to find a bike that fits, trying a WSD model is a great first step. After all, companies try to design the best bikes for women to address their specific needs like a shorter reach and torso. Remember that it’s always best to find a bike that fits well over one that was chosen just to save a few bucks. You want to buy a bike you’ll still love to ride years later.

Though some women’s specific frames are the same as the men’s version, just repainted or with slightly different components, a true women’s specific bike is more than just a pink version of the men’s and those true WSD bikes are the only ones I’m recommending here.

To find the best bikes for women, look for a varied frame geometry and components that are specific to a woman’s smaller hands, narrow shoulders and shorter reach. Whether you’re looking for an entry level road bike or a bike fit for racing, you’ll find the cream of the crop here.

Read moreThe Best Bikes for Women (that aren’t pink-colored men’s frames!)

Top Road Bikes Under $1000: Grab More Speed for Less Cash

top road bikes under 1000

Last updated: 5/16/17

If you’re just getting into cycling or looking for an upgrade, you’ll find a slew of bikes to choose from in the $1,000 price range. At this price point you can expect to find bikes with aluminum forks and frames, lower end components and a more upright geometry, designed with comfort in mind.

For the average entry level cyclist, these five top road bikes under $1,000 will provide a solid platform for skill development and allow for future upgrades as your riding progresses.

For the price and versatility, our top pick is the GT Grade Alloy 105.

Read moreTop Road Bikes Under $1000: Grab More Speed for Less Cash

The Scary Truth About Cheap Road Bikes

 

cheap road bikes

When I first started cycling, I had commitment issues, meaning I didn’t know exactly what I wanted, so I scoured the internet for cheap road bikes and made my purchase.  It was fire-engine red with 14 speeds, though it didn’t always shift into all of them. At the time, I thought I’d found a great deal and I went cheap to ensure I wouldn’t regret the purchase.

But that was a huge mistake.

First-off, the bike was difficult to put together. The shifting was always wonky and a couple of times I was left nearly stranded on the side of the road. It was a monstrosity and because of its excess weight, I always felt slow and out of shape. I had it for about a year before I finally stopped riding it because of frequent knee pain, something I later found out was due to the fact that the bike didn’t fit me well.

With that bike, I quickly discovered that with cycling, you get out what you put in. You can either have a junker car that’s unreliable, but saves you some cash or you can spend a little more for something that’s safe and a blast to drive. Cycling is no different.

Read moreThe Scary Truth About Cheap Road Bikes

Get in Gear: How to Choose the Best Road Bike Components

road bike components
They’re called groupsets, drivetrains and components, but they all refer to the group of parts responsible for shifting and braking. Choosing road bike components is one of the biggest decisions you’ll make when buying a new bike or upgrading an existing one. Do you go with mechanical or electronic shifting or use a compact or standard crankset? We’re inundated with options, but it pays to take the time to match your riding style to the right components. It could mean the difference between spinning confidently up a hill and feeling constantly bogged down in your easiest gear.

Read moreGet in Gear: How to Choose the Best Road Bike Components

The Great Debate: Are Road Bicycle Disc Brakes Really Necessary?

 

road bicycle disc brakes

 

Updated 5/1/16

Now ubiquitous on new bikes and slowly trickling into the pro field, disc brakes are proving to be much more than just the latest fad. But are road bicycle disc brakes really necessary? Should they be on your next bike? 

Read moreThe Great Debate: Are Road Bicycle Disc Brakes Really Necessary?

What to Look For in an Entry Level Road Bike

 

entry level road bike

If you’ve started looking for an entry level road bike, but feel paralyzed by so many choices, you’re not alone. Buying your first road bike is a big decision. But knowing what to look for in a new bike is half the battle. Here are some considerations that will help lead you to the perfect ride, along with a few of my favorite bikes for beginners.

Read moreWhat to Look For in an Entry Level Road Bike