Bicycles have come a long way in the past 30 years. A large part of this change has come with the inclusion of carbon fiber frames into the market, which offer some of the most beautiful and creative designs that the cycling world has ever seen. But with that change and with the new technology, the price of bikes has also shifted towards the sky.
Bikes like the Colnago for Ferrari Di2, which costs a cool $16,700 and is every bit the bicycle version of a Formula One race car, can make your bike options look meager in comparison. Most buyers want a bike that looks fast-similar to a sports car, and end up settling on the frame design, color and appeal to the eye as the top priorities when purchasing a bike.
But is the bike you’re looking at really the right one for you? Are you getting the most bike for your money? Before you shell out $17,000 on that Colnago, here’s what you should consider the next time you’re thinking about buying a new road bike.
The Material of the Frame
When purchasing a new bike, there are four options when it comes to the material of the frame. Each material comes with its own advantages and disadvantages. Here are the most important factors to consider when determining which frame material might be right for you.
Most steel frames are known for being durable, comfortable and pretty inexpensive. The downside to steel is the weight. While high-end options might not be as heavy as you think, for the most part steel tubing sacrifices weight for comfort. Steel also rusts, which should be taken into consideration depending on where you live.
But if you’re in the market for a comfortable bike and like to do century or ultra racing, steel might be a good option to consider, as steel frames are extremely comfortable when riding long distances.
Remember Lance Armstrong in 1999? The buzz about his bike that year was that it wasn’t a Trek, but a Litespeed Titanium frame painted with Trek logos and decals. We all know Lance will take every advantage he can get, regardless of sponsorships.