Buying a bike can be tough, with the decision as to whether you buy a full bike or build your own with forks from one brand, a frame from the other and so on. Whether you are a first time buyer or looking to upgrade your current road bike, this bike buying guide from ProBikeKit will bring you some clarity around the subject, helping you get your head around all the things you need to consider.
In this section, we will cover complete bikes, frames, and forks, and you’ll hopefully be one step closer to deciding what sort of approach you’d like to take towards buying a bike.
There are a few advantages to buying a complete bike. If you are a first timer, then buying a full bike is good to begin with as this will take a lot of the confusion out of choosing all the different groupsets, components, wheels, forks and all the complicated bike parts that you are not yet completely familiar with.
If this is not your first bike, then choosing to buy a complete setup can also be beneficial if you plan to upgrade certain bike parts in the future.
ProBikeBuild - Our Bike Building Service
Buying a whole bike is one thing, but have you thought about putting it together once it’s delivered? Not to worry, we have this covered for you with our worldwide ProBikeBuild bike assembly service.
With ProBikeBuild, you can get your brand new bike assembled and built by our team of professional mechanics and delivered straight to your door – you won’t need to faff around and put bike parts together like an overcomplicated jigsaw!
You can read up on our assembly service in more detail here.
Road Bike Frame Size Guide
Road bikes, as you probably already know, are not one-size-fits-all. Bike frame size varies based on your height – by taking a few measurements, you can find the right bike frame size for you very easily.
The height of a bike is measured by taking the seat tube length (the distance from where the chainset attaches up to where the seat post attaches) in centimetres. Then, to see how you match up, you’ll need to take your height, inside leg and arm span/reach measurements.
Your inside leg measurement should be taken by standing over your bike as if you’re going to sit down, but make sure you keep your feet on the floor. What you’re measuring is the clearance between your crotch and your bike’s top tube.
What’s a good fit?
For a good fit, you’ll have a couple of inches clear between your crotch and top tube when you stand over your bike because this means that you’ll be able to quickly manoeuvre on and off your bike with ease.
Road bikes have evolved over the years quite drastically, one key development being bike frame material. Traditionally, road bike frames were made of steel – heavy and strong. Today, the focus has shifted to make road bikes as light and aerodynamic as possible to enhance performance, with the combination of attributes such as strength, light in weight and aerodynamic design leading to very fast bikes that can be ridden aggressively on roads for many years. Modern road bike frames, therefore, are usually made of Aluminium or Carbon Fibre; both of which were introduced to road bike manufacturing in the eighties and nineties.
Here at ProBikeKit, we have a selection of Aluminium and Titanium road bike frames from Kinesis.
Aluminium Bike Frames
Entry level and intermediate bikes use frames made of Aluminium – the most common material used for these bikes. Many sprinters and time trialists opt for an Aluminium bike frame because of the exceptional power transfer and rigid properties that make a solid build.
Aluminium bike frames are generally more affordable than Carbon Fibre ones and can pack a powerful punch for a fraction of the price, and with a good 10 years in a solid Aluminium road bike, it’s not like it isn’t going to last you!
Titanium Bike Frames
Titanium bike frames are strong, light and aerodynamic. With in-built flexibility, this material is incredibly durable, with the ability to absorb road vibration and thus giving you a much smoother ride on all road surfaces. You can rely on your titanium bike frame to withstand all kinds of weather conditions as it is durable enough to remain in top shape, lasting you a lifetime.
Road bike forks are an integral piece of kit on your bike; one of the most flexible pieces in terms of customisation and you won’t get very far without them!
You can mix and combine materials to make your road bike a unique machine – for example, carbon forks with an aluminium frame can be a cost effective way to get a lightweight, powerful racer.
The main thing to consider when choosing the right bike forks to purchase is that they are the middle point between your wheels (touching the ground), and your handlebars (touching you), which makes them extremely important when considering power transfer and materials. As stated above, a carbon fork would help with weight reduction, comfort and longevity, whereas an aluminium fork would be highly beneficial for power transfer.