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Purchasing your first road bike: A Beginner's Guide

Text: Raymond Tiangco. Photos: Manufacturers. Edited by Dean Koh - 20th Dec 2012

The Basics

Above photo: Getty Images

So here you are, browsing the web for tips on how to choose your first roadbike. With a limited budget, and hardly enough knowledge about the sport, the vast ocean of roadbikes to choose from make the decision an all too arduous task.

Fear not, my friend. Fate has smiled upon you and led you to this website. You are in luck as we are about to impart to you some of the most sage advice you will ever receive in this, the dawn of your cycling ‘career’. So sit back, pour yourself a beer, and enjoy the next 15 minutes of reading. By the end of this article, we guarantee hope you will know what kind of bike you ought to start with. 

Choosing a roadbike for the first time is a very difficult activity for most, mainly because the beginning cyclist wants his first roadbike to be perfect. Unfortunately, this is most often not the case. No matter how great this first roadbike will be to you, you will eventually develop preferences that will cause you to set this bike aside, and purchase a new one suitable to your needs. The terrain you ride in, fitness changes, events participated in, and development in riding style all contribute to this. 

Nevertheless, fear not, and fret not. We are here to help you choose that first bike, to help make sure that it makes your beginning experiences in the sport as enjoyable as ever. 

Before we proceed, it is prudent to know by heart the parts of a roadbike. Below is a diagram that illustrates this, you will have to refer to this diagram as you read through this series of articles. 

Diagram: new-to-cycling.com
Index
Have your say
 Thanks guys for all your great advise.
I guess, imma spend $1000+ on my first road bike than.
- MrBrian69 , Toa Payoh, Singapore. 12th Jan 2013 12:03 AM
 
Quote:
"Formerly posted by MrBrian69: Hey, nolight, all the models you suggested is all like $1000 too much to spend for a starting bike. Any others below $500? :)*"
Actually $1K is indeed a normal price for an entry level road bike. If you ask americans, many might even say $2-3K is quite "entry" level lol. You can find cheaper road bikes $600 or less (best bet is type helios in marketplace), but you would take such a big dip in quality that I would rather go for a good hybrid bike at that price.Let's face it:Foldable, mountain, and hybrid bikes range from cheap to expensiveRoad bikes range from expensive to MORE expensive.You have to pay for speed. Also I am assuming you are moving from another type of bike to road bike. As a first bike I don't recommend road bike, it is quite dangerous. Many people transition from hybrid or MTB to road bike.
- nolight , Singapore. 10th Jan 2013 11:30 AM
 
Quote:
"Formerly posted by MrBrian69: What is a good starting brand bike? Giant? Polygon? Any Suggestions, models & brands? Thanks :)"
Hi MrBrain69, firstly u did not state your budget in the first post so I guess nolight and deankoh just suggested wat it is best in general. There is no fix rule that starting bike cannot be more than 1k as it is up to each individual spending power. I have friends who's starting up bike is already 2 to 3k as they believe in buy a good one and save on the hassle of upgrading. Of course they also have the moolah to spend.So I will suggest u to include your budget in future if u r asking for help like this. As for your budget of around $520 now. I guess u can only buy the basic model from Polygon. Or try looking for second hand in the buy sell section.
- humchinpang , Singapore, Singapore. 10th Jan 2013 8:14 AM
 It can be good idea to study the geometry of the bike brand as well. Example: Just found out CAAD like some others, got my current threshold bike fit I am trying to avoid.
- rbc1891 , Singapore. 10th Jan 2013 5:33 AM
 Hey, nolight, all the models you suggested is all like $1000 too much to spend for a starting bike. Any others below $500? :)*
- MrBrian69 , Toa Payoh, Singapore. 9th Jan 2013 11:25 PM
 Hey, deankoh, all the models you suggested is all like $1000 too much to spend for a starting bike.
- MrBrian69 , Toa Payoh, Singapore. 9th Jan 2013 11:20 PM
 Hey thanks

Great help, I'm looking at a budget something below $500, maybe $520 also can.
- MrBrian69 , Toa Payoh, Singapore. 9th Jan 2013 11:16 PM
 
Quote:
"Formerly posted by MrBrian69: What is a good starting brand bike? Giant? Polygon? Any Suggestions, models & brands? Thanks :)"
Giant Defy 1, TCR, TCR SL2 or TCR composite 2Polygon Helios 500 or 700 (2012), C7,A5,A7 (2013)Merida Race Lite 904
- nolight , Singapore. 6th Jan 2013 11:14 PM
 Hi MrBrian 69, those are both good brands to start with. It really depends on your budget for the bike, what kind of riding you will be doing and perhaps color/design preferences.
- deankoh , Singapore, Singapore. 5th Jan 2013 11:38 PM
 What is a good starting brand bike?
Giant?
Polygon?
Any Suggestions, models & brands?
Thanks
- MrBrian69 , Toa Payoh, Singapore. 4th Jan 2013 11:53 PM
 Try read and comprehend the Highway Code, to avoid accidents.
- rbc1891 , Singapore. 20th Dec 2012 4:11 PM