Posted in Cycle
beginner's guide to buying a road bike

Key factors to consider before you buy

Race and Sportive bikes

The first question to ask yourself is Race or Sportive bike? It’s all very well for Bradley Wiggins to be hunched into his aero position, but for new riders, or anyone who’s joints are not as good as they were, a relaxed, more upright position is key to keeping things comfortable. This is your Sportive bike.  In the last few years we have seen a huge growth in Sportive type road bikes, from entry level to high performance.

If you are after a race bike then look no further than the new Eastway Emitter R4 (Tiagra - 2016). This carbon road bike is a real speed machine and this entry level model is perfect for beginners.

If Sportive riding is your passion, then perhaps take a look at the Verenti Insight, it has a new design and features more relaxed and slacker geometry making it ideal for long days in the saddle.

Frame and fork material

One key area to consider is frame and fork material, as this has a significant impact on the way the bike rides. Most entry level bikes come with an alloy frame, however if your budget allows, it is worth looking for a model with a carbon fork. The basic rule is the more carbon the better; this is because this high tech aerospace material is light, strong, and also offers beneficial ride characteristics such as vibration dampening.

Carbon helps to reduce road buzz


The second thing to pay attention to is the groupset model, that’s the bikes transmission and brakes. Road bikes will have groupsets from manufactures Shimano, Sram or Campagnolo, each have various ranges of price, quality, weight and performance. Shimano for example have 5 levels of groupset. Read on to see a list of Shimano’s range of groupsets.

The Shimano Sora groupset is aimed at beginner riders and is well worth a look.

Bike size and fit

It’s important to get a bike that fits you properly. We have an in-depth bike size guide to help make this easy. In addition each bike listed at Wiggle has its own size chart, so it’s simple to match your height to the correct bike.

bike size diagram

Wiggle's bike buyer answers your questions!

Wiggle's bike marketing manager Steve Kitchin answers some of the most frequently asked questions by beginners in the market for a new road bike.

Q: Where might a new road cyclist look to save money on a bike? (Is there any super-duper component technology that isn’t relevant to an entry-level cyclist? Is a full carbon bike that big a deal? )

SK: Our advice is always to buy the best bike you can afford; it will reward you with a long lasting level of fun and performance, and most importantly, inspire you to get out more.

The Mekk Pinerolo SE 0.2 (Sora - 2016) is a fantastic option for your first entry level road bike.

Q: What good payment plans and schemes are available for newbie cyclists?

SK: To keep things on budget, Wiggle offer 24 month credit option. It is also worth having a look at the tax saving Cycle to Work Scheme info listed on the site.

A great option for your next Cycle to Work Scheme is the Verenti Substance (Sora - 2015). This bike is the perfect commuter and comes equipped with disc brakes to ensure you have optimal stopping power when you need it!

Q: Realistically, how little could you spend and still get a decent new bike?

SK: In recent years we have seen lots of technology filtering down from Pro rider bikes, the effect is that for £500 you can now buy a great entry level road bike with 18 gears and with a carbon fork. Much like a carbon frame, a carbon fork is not only lighter but provides confidence inspiring steering control, great shock absorbing qualities and smooths out some of our rough pot holed roads.

The Verenti Insight 0.4 Sora (2015) is a great example of getting a carbon frame and fork at an extremely competitive price point.

Verenti Insight 0.4 Sora 2015

Q: What time of year is best for bike deals? (i.e buying the previous year’s model etc)

SK: September is a great time of year to buy a bike, many brands will be getting ready to launch  next year's models and you will start to see great deals on current year bikes coming online. 

Q: Are there any good brands worth looking out for?

SK: We have seen a big increase with brands delivering great value entry level kit, look out for Verenti and Eastway in particular.

Q: Do you have any insider budget buying tips?

SK: You should look for the best groupset you can afford, it’s easy to compare values. Here is a list of Shimano’s groupsets from entry level Sora to Bradley Wiggins Dura Ace.