Great Inexpensive Road Bikes

I seem to be doing a lot of these bike lists lately. A lot of people don’t know where to look or where to start looking sometimes for a bike. From seeing my Cheap Mountain Bikes That Get The Job Done Right post spinmethin asked me to do a road bike version of that post. I really like doing product reviews or compilations like this so if you want to see something in particular from me you can just leave the information in my Suggestions Box! page. These bikes will be what I consider to be the best money spent on a road bike. The people that will most benefit from these bikes are starting cyclists or cyclist who are happy with where they are at and don’t want to spend a ridiculous amount on something they won’t even use. Without further ado let’s begin the list.

Raleigh Revenio 2.0

    I am not sure why, but the more and more I look at Raleigh the more I like them. They have a very nice selection of bikes for people who don’t want to pay an arm and leg for a bike. The Revenio series has a pretty broad selection; the price depends on the components and such. The Revenio 2.0 is the one I chose simply because it is not too expensive and all you need to get into road riding. The frame is butted aluminum alloy but the fork is carbon composite with chromoly. The shifter and derailleurs are Shimano Sora; so a lower end Shimano but a step up from the 2300. Just as a side note I have heard that these are very nice shifters the only problem is that you can’t access the down shifting from the drop bars; this is just because of the placement. The cassette is a 9 speed with 12-25 teeth. The crank is a FSA Vero compact with 34/50 teeth. The tires that come with the bike are 700 x 23. I personally think the overall look of the bike is just great it has red shifter lines giving the stark black body a great contrast. For the in-depth spec sheet and fitting chart click here. The price tag comes in at $899.

Felt Z95

    Felt is yet another great bike producer. They do not have as much of a selection of inexpensive bikes just because of course they spend most of the time concentrating on the high-end bikes. Th Z95 is a cool looking bike for sure all black and white. The shifters and front derailleur of this bike are very low-end Microshift, but the rear derailler is Shimano Tiagra. The Tiagra is a step above the Sora and since, for me at least, most of my shifting is on the cassette this may be worth it to you to give up quality of your front derailleur. The shifters can also be accessed from the drop bars unlike the Shimano Sora. The frame is butted aluminum while the fork is carbon fiber. The crankset is FSA tempo compact so not quite up to par with Raleigh but I doubt you would notice the difference. It has 50/34 teeth. The cassette itself is a has 10 speeds and a range of 11-28 teeth. That is a broader range than the Raleigh for sure. The tires that come with this bike are 700 x 25 which I have heard are really better tires for safety. They will however be slower, whether you notice or not is depending on how avid of a rider you are. In depth specifications here. The price for this bad boy is $899.

Trek 1.1

    I am actually not very enthused with Trek’s choices of lower end bikes. This is the bottom line that they have but I find anything with more class is too expensive. I have to include Trek into the list because it is a huge name in cycling and if you are a fan I can’t very well skip over them. The 1.1 is a great bike don’t get me wrong. The reviews say even though it is an aluminum frame and fork it is a much smoother ride than other aluminum frames. That has mostly to do with the geometry. The shifters and derailleurs are Shimano 2300 so the lowest end of the Shimano spectrum. The crankset is Vuelta Corsa compact with 50/34 teeth. While the cassette has 8 speeds ranging from 12-25 teeth. The tires on these are 700 x 25 like the Felt counter part. For in-depth specs visit here. The bill for the Trek 1.1 is $729.99

Of course as usually I can’t cover all the brands and all the bikes that I think should be on this list. These are just a few of the ones that I liked. Remember for the most part you get what you pay for. You just need to know what you want out of you bike to get the best bike for yourself. I will be making a post pretty quickly on how to do just that. Some people don’t know what they want especially if they are a beginner cyclist. Of these three bikes I must say that the Felt Z95 is my favorite. It is not the best bike but it fits what I would want most out of a bike of that caliber. As always I hope you enjoyed and benefited from this post. If you would like to see a post just for you all you have to do is ASK! Or you can just leave a comment, thanks!

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Perfect Cycling Cadence Zones

What is Cadence?

The definition of the word cadence alone means the beat, rate, or measure of any rhythmic movement. In cycling terms this is the speed at which you spin your feet on the pedals. This is measured in how many rotations per minute(rpm). You need to optimize your cadence if you want to be a part of serious cycling and increase your cycling power.

A Good Starting Point

    There is an average cadence of that most elite cyclists use in certain situations. When your speed is remaining constant you should be keeping a cadence of 90-100 rpm. When you are sprinting you should be pushing a rate of 120 rpm. When you are climbing you should be shooting for right around 60 rpm. You should know also that a low cadence is hard on your knees and requires greater force generation. This style causes you to have knee pain cycling habits. While a higher cadence requires greater metabolic efforts, which will cause heavy breathing.

What About Me?

    The cycling cadence numbers I stated where just averages. What you should do is to push to become the most economical version of yourself. That is what cadence is about; it is finding that proper balance between mashing the gears at 30 rpm and spinning your wheels at 150 rpm. The way to calculate the cadence that is proper for you, you need to know your economy. Economy is how much power you are using to do a task. The less power you use to complete the same task the more economic you become. So let’s move on to a cycling workout to enhance your economy and avoid cycling injuries.

How Do I Raise My Economy?

    Here is a cycling training program to increase your economy through changing your cycling cadence. Let me be your cycling trainer for a second. If you are way above those cadence spectrums I stated you may want to try going into a larger gear. To train yourself down put yourself in an incredible large gear. The gear should be so big that you can only support around 60 rpm. Once you start feeling strong go into an even larger gear so you support 60 rpm consistently. Now when you go back into you actually riding range shoot for a gear that is just large enough so that you are in the 90-100 rpm range. This is very much a strength training for cycling. Don’t forget that low cadence cycling can cause a cycling knee injury.

Now if your cycling cadence is to low I find that working your way up is a little more difficult. I have a low cadence rate because I want to feel like a monster and when I push down my pedal I’ll be darned if I am not 30 feet from my starting point. As you may have guessed you will do the opposite of the rider with the high cadence. This not only helps you get more economic it also helps how smooth your pedal stroke is. Use cycling technique to improve your cycling cadence.  The smoother and more efficient the stroke is the more economic you become. When grinding huge gears this finesse is sometimes lost, but when spinning away you will definitely notice any clunky pedal strokes.

What’s Next?

    Now you feel you are in a pretty good standing with cycling cadence, start playing around with it and see what cadence works best for you. Like I said there is no set standard, but I do think you need to train each side of the spectrum so you can get exact economy results from your body. Also keep the very real possibility of cycling injury in mind when picking your  cadence zone. The main issue with cadence is the cycling knee injuries. Once you have discovered your perfect cadence for your body adjust your bike to fit it. If you have a high cadence you will want a shorter crank arm and lower your seat a bit. If you have a low cycling cadence you will want to have a longer crank arm for more leverage and a high seat for a better angle on the pedals.