two men cycling

How to choose your first road bike?

Here are some tips to keep in mind as you begin the search for your first road bike.

Have you recently discovered the joys of cycling? Have you decided to take up road cycling? “Yes, but I don’t have a bike!,” “It’s expensive!” “I don’t know which type to choose,” etc. There are many questions and concerns that may get in the way of your good intentions.

1. Things to consider before buying a road bike

Before rushing into an extensive search, it’s worth thinking about how you’re going to use the bike.
Here are a few questions to help you narrow down your search:

First of all, figure out how much money you want to spend. Then you can choose among the bikes that fall within your price range.

a man cycling

If you think you’ll train with it every day, choose a comfortable, high-performance bike for experienced cyclists. If you mainly want to ride on weekends or on vacation, choose a bike that simply offers good value for the money.

The more time you plan to spend on your saddle, the more important your bike’s comfort is. This factor determines the choice of frame rigidity and saddle flexibility, more or less, depending on your preferences.  

If you plan to ride on hilly or mountainous routes, choose a versatile bike with a triple chain set. For a first-time purchase, an aluminum frame and a carbon fork tend to be an excellent compromise between comfort and performance.

2. Find a bike in your size

You need to determine your size so that you can choose the road bike that’s right for you.  As a general rule, when sitting on the saddle at an appropriate height, the tips of your toes should reach the ground.

*Note: the seat post should be set several centimetres below the maximum insertion point, and the seat shouldn’t be close to the frame; otherwise the frame’s height is a bad fit.
Before taking your first ride, follow our advice on how to properly adjust your riding position.

three cyclists talking as they take a break

3. Think about riding gear

Make room in your budget for gear that will contribute to your daily comfort. Although wearing a helmet is not compulsory in Canada, it is strongly recommended. It is incredibly useful if you fall, get thrown off or have trouble avoiding low obstacles.

Don’t forget to wear an outfit that’s suitable for your ride and the weather. It’s important to wear bike shorts in summer, long tights in winter, with quality pads. Wearing a base layer in summer and fall will properly wick away perspiration. Complete your seasonal gear with a short-sleeved jersey (for summer) and a long-sleeved jersey or jacket (for when temperatures drop).

Now you’re well prepared to choose your first road bike for your body type.

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