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Road Racing Bikes

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Built for speed, racing bikes are thin and aerodynamic built with ultra light frames. Often they are customized and usually expensive.

Racing bikes generally use the drop handlebars, which allow the rider to assume the leaned-over position, which reduces wind resistance during a race.

Tires and wheels on a racing bike are extremely narrow. A good racing tire sticks to the road to allow the rider to maintaining high speeds and control through turns. Consider using a common, easy-to-replace-or-repair brand. If and when you crash and damage your wheels, most bike shops can repair or rebuild a common wheel. Available in a wide range of prices, a pre-built set of wheels can appear to be a wise purchase. But they may have to be returned to the original manufacturer or a service center that is approved by the manufacturer for repairs.

Keep two sets of wheels and tires, one for training and one for racing. The training set does not need to be as expensive and lightweight as the racing set and can be used as spares if you get a flat during a race.

Racing bike frames are aluminum, steel, titanium or carbon. The aluminum frames are lightweight and tend to be less expensive than most of the other frame materials. Steel frames are much lighter than they were several decades ago, and an advantage of a steel frame is that it can be realigned after a crash if not too badly damaged. Titanium and carbon frames are light and long lasting, but are more expensive than the aluminum and steel frames. Carbon frames may help dampen vibration and therefore, are more comfortable.

Combining materials in racing bike frames is becoming very popular. Carbon forks can be attached to a frame made of steel, aluminum, titanium, or carbon. Some frames are a combination of materials such as a steel, aluminum, or titanium main triangle with a carbon rear triangle.

Buy a racing bicycle only if you want to seriously compete in road racing. The ride on a racing bike can be rough since racing

bikes are built for speed, not comfort. The drop down handle bars are not conducive to sightseeing. Racing bikes tend to be much more expensive than a hybrid or mountain bike and harder to maintain properly.

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