What I Learned When Buying My First Road Bike

When I first set a budget when setting out to buy my first road bike I figured I would just set a price and go from there. My target was $1,800. From everything I read I could get a decent starter bike in that price range. So I set out and as I already posted found the Jamis Ventura Elite. It came in right around that price with tax. Great, goal accomplished, I hit my target budget…….wrong. Here is what I did not account for because I did not know what I did not know.

For a road bike you need clip in peddles, they are the best option to maximize your effort. Fine, I added them, I landed a set of Looks in the mid price range, translated a little over $100. If you get clip in peddles you need biking shoes. Biking shoes come in as many varieties as bikes and in as many price ranges. I knew nothing about bike shoes so I opted for a beginner pair. Translated a beginner pair of Specialized, hit the cash register for about $125. You need water when you bike and thus you need water bottles, OK ones $5 each, you need at least two on your bike and maybe an extra, ding ding $15. You need a way to carry your water bottles on your bike, translate that to water bottle holders. Get cheap ones for $9.99 and they will be heavy and add a lot of weight, if you do not care plan on $20, if you care, which did, plan on getting carbon fiber and paying at least $45…each! I got mine on Amazon because they were the best price I could find. The ones I found were the lightest out there called Topeak Carbon Fiber Waterbottle Cage, $90.

Having fun yet? It’s not over.

Then you need riding shorts and a few jerseys. I took the advice from everyone and bought the best I could afford, sitting on your butt on a small seat for hours will remind you that the bitterness of a sore ass will remain long after the sweetness of low price is forgotten. $100/pair for good riding shorts, at least that much, more for bibs which apparently the pro or experienced riders use. I opted for regular shorts to start. Another $200.

Biking jerseys I learned as like fashion clothing. With out going into it too much, plan on paying at least $50 jersey if you find them on sale. I found mine on Amazon at OK prices.

If you want to log your miles and cadence which apparently is a good idea, you need a computer. I got a cheap one to start that does not do your heart rate, but does miles and cadence. $79.

Gloves, you can not ride with out gloves, your hands will get sore, so I am told. At least $20 for a starter pair, I got two $40

Helmet. For me not an option not to get. Given I figure I will only get one head I bought the best I could afford, a Giro. $150. There are better ones that are apparently lighter, too hard for me to tell if they protect you any more then others, but it’s all about weight in this sport I am learning.

Bike light. I tend to try to be as safe as possible. I used to ride a Harley and learned real quick how cars can not see things on two wheels on the road. I opted for a blinking right for the rear seat. $15

Bike pump. You need a decent one that has a guage. I got a Specialized, $45.

Tire repair kit. You need a spare bike tube, multi tool, manual compack bike pump and CO2 cartridges with the attachment so you can get it on your tube stem.   Then a bag to carry it all. Or you can carry it in your back pocket of your shirt, I opted to start with a pouch for the back of my seat. Let’s call it $25 all in depending on the type of portable pump you get, they come in all shapes sizes and price ranges.

Socks. I did not have any low cut socks so I bought cycling socks. A few bucks a piece, you can probably get decent ones at Target if you wanted, I went for the “cool” look.

I’m not going to add up, but you get the idea of the other stuff you are going to need if you get into road biking. Don’t do what I did buy a bike that fits your budget number, figure in this stuff, subtract it from your budget and then you will have an idea of the price range of the bike you can afford.