Before we talk racing bicycles, remember as a kid, when you were ABSOLUTELY certain you could run faster with the “cooler” looking tennis shoe? Or maybe you're a big Olympics fan, and every four years, after two solid weeks of being glued to the television, you run out and buy that stunning state of the art full body swim suit, only to realize after wearing it once, that it's a tad snug for a middle-aged pooch belly?
Sadly, far too many of us “regular Joes” base an exercise gear purchase on this same theme that, “the latest and greatest” must be better, right? Now don't get me wrong, the $2,500 kryptonite driver certainly has the potential to push your tee shot further down the fairway than that bent aluminum job that jerk Eddie left behind in the clubhouse, when he climbed out the bathroom window and stuck you with the $25 bar tab! But unless you see the US Open or the Tour De France in your future, do you really need the $3,000 computerized putter or the $5,000 feather light racing bike?
Ok, now to the topic of racing bikes. Because with racing bikes, this grandiose thinking can be especially expensive, I suggest that establishing realistic expectations is the first step in a racing bicycle purchase decision. Think about why you REALLY want a racing bike, and once that has been established, then its just “Xs and Os”! As a start, I've tried to do my part to keep your cost from hitting Biblical proportions, by selecting only those bicycles under approximately $3,000. I mean, if you can't find a fantastic product for under $3,000, then you are way past my grade anyway! Then to finish up, I've stocked the Best of the Rest list with several very sensibly priced bicycles that certainly could be the product you're looking for.
Regardless of whether you heed my general and/or specific recommendations, when searching for a racing bicycle, I suggest you consider:
1. What am I going to use if for? To get to work? Long rides on hot days?
2. Who will I be riding with? A racing club? My kids?
3. Where will I be going? Long flat stretches? Up hills?
Beyond that, if the above is clear, it should become a fairly self-explanatory decision based on comfort and durability.
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