How to Upgrade to a Road Bike

Top Beginner-Friendly Road Bikes

Level Up with a Road Bike

Having trouble keeping up with your riding buddies? Maybe you’ve outgrown that hybrid bicycle you bought during the lockdown, and, while it has served its purpose, now it’s slowing you down.

You can ride further and faster on a road bike. A lightweight, efficient, and comfortable road bike will help you level up your riding skills and fitness. More people are upgrading to road bikes than ever before, and there are really great options out there. Read on for our top beginner-friendly road bikes.

Upgrading to a Road Bike is Easier Than You Might Think

At Bikes Palm Beach, we’re here to help you select the bike that is best for you. We’ll ask you some questions about your riding goals, help you determine the right bike size, make some recommendations, and then take you on some test rides. This will help you get familiar with the features of road bikes (if you weren’t already)―such as where to place your hands, how to shift and brake; plus tips on mounting and dismounting the bike.

Myth Busted!

You DON’T have to sacrifice comfort to go faster and further. We’ll help you customize your road bike to fit YOU, keeping you comfortable mile after mile. That’s why we offer a free sizing with every road bike purchase.

Check out our basic guide for how to upgrade to a road bike and our top beginner-friendly road bikes recommendations. Be sure and stop by to test ride and see what bike is best for you.

What features are important to you?

The most important elements to consider when purchasing a road bike are 1) the frame material and geometry, 2) the wheels, and 3) the components (groupset or drivetrain).

The Frame

The most common frame types you’ll find in stores these days are aluminum and carbon fiber. While aluminum has come a long way in recent years, lighter and stronger than ever―carbon fiber is where it’s at when it comes to lightweight, stiffness, and aerodynamics. However, a carbon frame will come at a higher cost.

Giant Propel Advanced SL 0
Close up of a Giant Propel carbon frame

The Geometry

If you haven’t yet, check out our article How to Choose a Road Bike That’s Right For You. This article goes further into detail about the different types of road bike geometries. To state it rather simply, road bikes can be classified into two broad categories: endurance and race geometries.

Endurance bikes offer a more upright riding position to prioritize comfort, while race bikes are built for more aggressive riding positions and optimized aerodynamics.

The Wheels

Like bicycle frames, wheels are commonly produced with either carbon fiber or alloy (a metal made by combining two or more metallic elements, especially to give greater strength or resistance to corrosion). Again, carbon fiber comes at a higher price point but provides better ride quality, offers significant weight savings, and is noticeably more responsive.

Cadex 65 Disc Carbon Wheel
Close up of Cadex‘s 65 disc wheel

The Drivetrain (Groupset)

The drivetrain components are comprised of the cassette, derailleur(s), crankset, chainring(s), and chain. A majority of drivetrain components you’ll find on bicycles in bike shops are made by reputable manufacturers such as SRAM or Shimano. Each have varying levels of components that increase in price and quality while decreasing in weight.

The top three groupsets in Shimano’s road lineup are 1) Dura-Ace, 2) Ultegra, and 3) 105. The top three groupsets in SRAM’s road lineup are 1) Red, 2) Force, and 3) Rival.

Electronic or Mechanical Shifting

From there, you can choose either mechanical shifting (wired) or electronic (wireless). Electronic shifting is now becoming the preference among riders. Once again, the upgraded feature comes with a slightly upgraded price tag, but offers responsive and reliable shifting with much less maintenance.

SRAM Rival eTap electronic groupset
SRAM Rival eTap AXS electronic groupset

Top Beginner Friendly Road Bikes Under $4000

These hand-picked bikes feature aluminum or carbon frames, reliable Shimano 105 or SRAM Rival mechanical groupsets, and lightweight wheels.

Additional Road Bikes

We also carry bikes that offer ALL the bells and whistles: carbon frame, carbon wheels, and a high end electronic groupset. Even as a beginner, you should not rule out these upgrades, as they will definitely enhance your overall riding experience. If your budget allows it, and it’s an upgrade you’ll benefit from having on your bike, we say… Go for it!


View posts by Julia
Triathlete, Gravel Rider, Word Nerd, Trivia Mistress, Salesperson/Content Creator at Bikes Palm Beach
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