Road 101
Road Bike
The traditional road bike historically has been used for road riding, club rides and criteriums.

While a traditional road bike has many different frame geometries to support the preferences of novice and experienced riders alike, the components they use are similar in design and function. The road bike has drop-handlebars and skinny tires on a taller frame. Road bike gear choices are classified as double and triple gearing.

Time-Trial/Triathlon Bikes
These types of bicycles are built for speed and are designed to position the rider out in a more aerodynamic body position.

This is done by incorporating the use of aero bars. By using the aero bars, you are more aerodynamic thus creating a faster ride. The downside of time trial or triathlon bikes is that they are built for speed on shorter courses.

These bikes use a lot of the same components as traditional road bikes. Where they differ is in the chain ring combinations on the cranksets (designed for high-speeds on relativeley flat terrain) and the types of shifters that are used on the aero bars (see bar-end shifters).

Touring Bikes
A touring bike is built for just what the name says, “Touring.” The idea of hopping on your bike with a bunch of panniers and going out to see the country side.

These bikes generally have a more upright position. Most traditional road bikes can be converted into a touring bike, but a true touring bike offers a few differences that make it ideal for traveling with your panniers or bags. With the added weight of panniers, you need two things.

One is more stopping power by the use of cantilever brakes (see BR-R550) which require the use of cantilever bosses built into the frame. The other is a wider range of gears to get you up hills easier by the use of triple gearing.

Cyclo-Cross Bikes
Cyclo-Cross began in Europe as a form of cross training in the winter for cyclists. Cyclo-Cross is the idea of riding a modified road bike off-road.

While still using drop bars and a majority of the parts used on traditional road bikes, cyclo-cross bikes still have some special needs. With a cyclo-cross bike, you need cantilever brakes (see br-r550) for more braking power since some cross course are muddy thus reducing the efficiency of your traditional dual-pivot caliper road brake.

Most cyclo-cross riders use smaller gears on their crank set to allow for easy acceleration due to the steeper pitches found on off-road courses. On all cyclo-cross bikes you will find wider and knobbed tires to help gain traction in the dirt.

Track Bikes
A track bike is probably the last bike you want. But for experienced cyclists who understand what track racing is and the excitement of it, it can be a very exciting form of cycling.

Track Bikes have one chain ring and one fixed gear on the back which does not allow you to coast. In addition these bikes do not use brakes because they are ridden on a velodrome.

With the combination of a fixed gear and no brakes, this type of riding is for the experienced and trained cyclists.