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Road Bikes

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Road Bikes

Road bikes are built for pavement, whether that's riding for exercise, bike touring, racing or even commuting. Unlike other bikes, they prioritize aerodynamic posture and lightweight construction to increase efficiency on your ride.

When to Use a Road Bike

When picking which road bike to buy, you'll first need to decide what you want to use it for. Here are some common uses for road bikes:

  • Racing: Built for speed and little else, these have aggressive riding positions and focus on cutting weight as much as possible.
  • Endurance: With a more relaxed riding position than racing bikes, these are built to make longer rides more comfortable. They often feature wider tires that can be ridden on more types of surfaces.
  • Touring: Taking traditional road bike features, these bikes are built to also carry heavy loads on long rides unsupported by motorized vehicles.
  • Commuting: Touring bikes and hybrid bikes can both serve your daily commute. Look for a more upright posture that keeps you aware of your surroundings, and consider features like disc brakes with more stopping power in rainy or wet conditions.

Many of these bikes also come in electric models or with versions made especially for women.

Road Bike Features

You'll also want to consider these options for your road bike:

  • Frame material: Carbon, aluminum and steel are all common choices depending on how you want to balance durability, weight and price.
  • Component set: The more you spend, the better quality parts, like brakes and gears, you get. Many road bikes feature a double or compact crankset with two front chainrings, cutting weight but offering fewer gear settings.

Once you've picked a bike, you may want some new accessories like clipless pedals, road tires, and cycling-specific gloves. If you want to keep up riding in the off season, consider an indoor bike trainer.

Why Shop at REI

At the Co-op, you'll find top bike brands like Cannondale, Salsa and our own Co-op Cycles. Outfit you and your ride with the best from Shimano, Bontrager and Yakima. A $20 lifetime membership gets you a dividend on purchases and discount to cycling classes and events. Stop in your local REI for a test ride.