Our Road section is dedicated to the urban rider. A mixed bag of speed freaks, commuters, hipsters and those for whom a pigeon hole has yet to be created. Basically, these are the bikes primarily used on the roads and cycle paths.
Types of Road Bikes
Even within the ‘road’ category there is an array of bikes to choose from. Generally these bikes are made for going a little quicker. They are lighter, have thinner wheels to reduce rolling resistance and benefit from an array of gears to make travel that much easier and, if required, faster.
The traditional road bikes have the curled handlebars and a more aggressive riding position. Although some of them are quite comfortable this is not their forte. They are built for speed and stiff, carbon frames with lightweight components rule the day. Don’t be afraid to give one a test ride, they are a lot of fun and will whisk you along the city roads very nicely.
Benefits: Speed, handling and great up hills. Perfect for racing and any of the local fast group rides but plenty of fun on your own too.
Examples of Traditional Road bikes: Giant TCR
The saving grace of the traditional road bike for those with less ambition to rule the peleton. The rise of the Gran Fondo has encouraged a wide variety of riders to saddle up for long distance riding. When a traditional road bike is too stiff and aggressively positioned, an endurance road bike could well be your answer. A great all rounder, as fast as you could want it to be with a greater level of comfort due to it”s more shock absorbent frame and slightly more relaxed position.
Benefits: Speed and comfort combined. As at home on a fast group ride as it is on an all day outing. For many, this is the perfect road bike and despite the increased comfort you are still a welcome part of the lycra clad crowd.
Examples of Endurance Road bikes: Giant Defy
Flat-bar Road Bike
Feels like a mountain bike, just light and fast. Take the flat handlebars of a mountain bike, place them on a nice light road bike frame with all the gears and components and hey presto. Very easy to ride, very comfortable and quick too. What you lose in aero dynamics and stiffness you gain in comfort. Throw on some slightly chunkier tires and you’ll would destroy most bikes on the Okanagan’s more relaxed trails.
Benefits: Easy to ride, very easy to handle but still a rapid machine in the right hands. Lot’s of fun.
Examples of Flat Bar Road bikes: Giant Fastroad Comax, Giant Fastroad SLR
The darling of the cycling underworld. Cyclocross is a fast and furious, and often muddy, race round a dirt track. The Okanagan boasts a few Cyclocross races and they are a lot of fun to do and watch. The bikes themselves are similar to the tradition race bike but with an understanding of the conditions they will be ridden in. A stronger frame, grippy tires, better ground clearance all help on a bumpy muddy track. Brakes are often disc or cantilever to help with mud and muck and there is usually better clearance around the tires to account for muck build up. So, with that in mind, don’t they also sound like a great winter bike?
Benefits: Made for Cyclocross. Good for Cyclocross and can double as your winter ride.
Examples of Cyclocross bikes: Giant TCX SLR, Santa Cruz Stigmata, Pivot Vault
A beefed up road bike that can handle the weight of your panniers alongside a relaxed geometry to make riding both comfortable and reasonably quick. The geometry is often adjusted to account for the weight distribution differences too.
Benefits: Safe, strong and steady for those trips from town ‘A’ to town ‘B’ with your world packed neatly behind you.
Examples of Touring bikes: Giant Throughroad
Arguably one of the fastest bikes on the road. The triathlon bike is a time trial machine, designed to get you from A to B in the absolute least amount of time possible. Foil shaped aero dynamic frames. Wind cutting flat handlebars with arm extensions that keep your body’s frontal area as minimal as possible. Several compromises to comfort and handling are made to ensure these bikes go as fast as possible, although today’s burgeoning triathlon market has led to a greater array of bikes many of which increase comfort for long distance events such as Ironman. The lack of brakes on the extensions means that group riding is done in the less comfortable aero bar position. Triathletes in a group will leave big gaps between riders. If you want to group ride this is not the bike for you.
Benefits: Unless you are climbing mountains, these are the fastest solo way to the finish line.
Examples of Triathlon bikes: Giant Propel Advanced
HYBRID / LIFESTYLE / COMFORT
As the triple heading suggests the Hybrid / Lifestyle / Comfort is a chameleon among bikes and impossible to pin down. Comfort and efficiency are joined by a little ruggedness. Very slack ‘sit up and beg’ geometry for a cushy riding position and some of them even sport front suspension. These are best suited to shorter rides, trips to the shops or just cruising to the park with friends. The slightly chunked tires mean that the odd well-groomed trail is perfectly manageable too.
Benefit: A sofa you can ride. Super comfortable and quite stylish. Just hop on and go, no special clothing required!
Examples of Hybrid / Lifestyle / Comfort bikes: Giant Cypress, Giant Via