Tips on Buying Your Bicycle for Professional Competition
By: Ana Margarita Olar| Viggorbuddy.com
Here are some tips when choosing a bicycle for professional competition:
Just like buying furniture, appliances, or gadgets, you need to consider your budget when choosing a bicycle. You must consider other things such as extra items (helmet, gloves, and apparel), tools (puncture repair kit, lights, lock, and tire levers) and maintenance cost (spare tire, a new chain, a set of brake blocks, and labor cost).
Choose the right size of the bicycle
Finding the right size of the bicycle is very critical especially when buying your first bike for professional competition. Generally, road bike sizes are measured in centimeters but the way on how the frames are measured differ with each manufacturer. Considering your height and body shape, things can get complicated.
You can ask for professional advice from the bike shop, have a good look at the size chart on each manufacturer’s website, or when you sit on the bike you should be able to stand on the frame with 2-4 centimeters of space between you and the top tube.
Frames are made from a range of materials but the most common are steel, aluminum, titanium, and carbon fiber. Each frame has its own unique characteristics, but what the designer does with these materials must also be taken into consideration.
Aluminum is the material most commonly used, and inexpensive. Choose a design that has aluminum butted tubes that have the varying wall thickness, with the ends thicker than the middles to handle greater force at the joints.
Titanium is as light as an aluminum and as durable as steel, it is also corrosion resistant. The downside is that titanium is more difficult to design, making it a more expensive choice.
Carbon fiber is the most expensive among the choices of frame materials. This material can be easily designed to a particular balance of properties such as lightness, comfort, and stiffness.
For professional racing, a double standard chain set is usually preferred with a larger pair of chain-rings (39/53). This is best suited for high-speed racing.
Manufacturers assemble their parts into group sets which include collections of brake and gear parts which are matched for quality and function. For professional bikers, there are three major manufacturers that you will most likely encounter: Shimano, SRAM, and Campagnolo. All of these three manufacturers combine brake and gear levers.
The wheels greatly affect how the bicycle rides, feels and responds. Take into consideration that lighter wheels with less rotating mass are slightly quicker to spin up, but real speed comes from the deeper section- aerodynamic rims.
Aside from all these “professional requirements” of a racing bike, take into consideration the safety features of the bike that you are going to buy. Aside from winning, staying safe must be your top priority.