Bike online shopping 2023: How many gears should a road bike have? After the frame, gears are the most important thing to consider when choosing a road bike. Today many top end road bikes will come fitted with 12-speed cassettes. When paired with a double chainring this means you’ll have 24 gears. Remember however that some of these gear ratios will be duplicated in certain chainring/cassette combinations. More affordable road bikes tend to come with fewer gears. These cassette options should range from 8-speed to 10-speed, again most often paired with a double chainset. As for groupset brands, Shimano gearing is the most common, but the other major options are SRAM and Campagnolo. Shimano’s top end groupsets, Dura-Ace, Ultegra and 105 have a 12-speed cassette, while less expensive bikes may come with 10-speed Tiagra, 9-speed Sora or 8-speed Claris. Find more info on specialized bike store Baton Rouge.
Investing in a bike that you can grow and not outperform after your first year is something everyone should be conscious of regardless of level, explains Pastore. And for that, the Trek Domane AL 2 Disc is a great option. Thanks to a relaxed fit geometry, the capacity for higher volume tires, and the ability to have racks and fenders, this bike offers extreme versatility regardless of where cycling takes you. “Whether you’re looking to cruise the back roads or tackle a century, you also have name-brand Shimano and Bontrager reliability and comfort at your fingertips,” says Pastore. FYI, Shimano and Bontrager build premium bike components, including brakes, chains, wheels, and pedals — so you can trust that the Trek Domane AL 2 Disc is legit.
The latest model Giant Propel has slimmed down the previous model’s chunky frameset, to reduce weight and increase comfort, but has still improved aerodynamics and adjustability over the previous model, with a two piece bar and stem. Giant has also adjusted the Propel’s geometry, so that it’s much closer to its TCR climbing bike, for a more responsive ride. Although we tested the Rival AXS build, best value can be found in the entry level bike which easily beats the other bikes in our Race Bike of the Year awards.
Not all titanium bikes capture the magical qualities of the much-lauded metal, but we’re happy to report that the Litespeed Cherohala does. This all-road steed was really, really pleasurable to ride and lands at a price that isn’t unattainable to mortals. The Cherohala comes with a straight-bladed carbon fork (with fender mounts) which makes made for a lightweight and durable overall package. Our test bike came with an underrated mechanical Shimano GRX groupset, 105 hydraulic disc brakes, and room for a very ample 38 millimeters of rubber so you can wander off road if you desire. During testing, we found it was plenty stable and plush for packed dirt. The long wheelbase made for comfortable cruising at speed, but testers noted some wheel flop while initiating turns. It wasn’t a dealbreaker, and it can be adjusted to, but it is something to note. If the roads you regularly ride are a combination of surfaces, from smooth asphalt to rough chipseal, the Cherohala would make quick work of them—and last a long time too.
The Vitus Venon Evo has a trick up its sleeve. With its wide tire clearance of 45mm it’s not glued to the road and you can buy the same frame specced out for gravel duties, with a series of models with a GR suffix; we’ve also reviewed the Vitus Venon Evo-GR gravel spec bike. The carbon frame weighs under 1kg and has plenty of compliance built in. The road-going specs are fitted with Michelin Power Cup 28mm tubeless tires on Prime Attaquer alloy wheels. We tested the 105 Di2 model of the Vitus Venon Evo, but there’s a whole range of electronic and mechanical groupset options from Shimano and SRAM. The ride on the road is well balanced and firm but comfortable and there’s plenty of room to fit mudguards on the hidden mounts, making the Venon Evo a good option for year-round use. It’s lightweight as well. See extra information at capitolcyclery.com.
There’s a smorgasbord of great choices in this category right now. If you’re after the ultimate aero gains, you’ll either have to head into a wind tunnel or do some instrumented on-road testing to find out which offers the most performance for your particular body. However, if you’re the type of roadie that wants to go fast without giving up much in the way of other performance aspects—such as comfort and handling—the Propel is an incredible machine. The fourth-generation Domane retains its signature vibration-damping IsoSpeed flex system built into the frame and receives a more aerodynamic carbon chassis. With these changes, this new Domane struck our testers as more balanced than before, easily absorbing road chatter and high-frequency vibrations. Credit goes to the high-volume, 32-millimeter tubeless tires and Bontrager’s Pro IsoCore carbon handlebar. The Domane is very stiff and efficient when you step on the gas, with nary a hint of bottom bracket flex. It’s a similar story up front with the huge head tube area confidently resisting undue twisting when you rise out of the saddle for a sprint or steep uphill pitch. This bike is one of only a few that confidently straddles the line between road and gravel: The handling is quick, like a traditional road machine, but with clearance for tires up to 40 millimeters wide, it’s well suited to light gravel duties.