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What's the difference between these types of bike

Tom_d100Tom_d100 Posts: 30
edited October 2009 in Road beginners
Hi all

New member, first post. I got my first road bike, a Ribble Road Alloy, a couple of months ago and love it - but still check Bike Radar's road bike reviews regularly to reassure myself that I did get the best VFM!

In doing so, I've seen what I know as simply "road bikes" described as millions of different things, including:

and others

what's th difference between these various types of road bike, and what's mine??


  • OnanOnan Posts: 321
    A road bike is what you think it is. A bike calling itself sportive or audax usually has slightly more relaxed geometry for a more comfortable position, and clearances for mudguards and wider tyres. these are intended for long distance rides (called unsurprisingly, cyclosportive, or audax). There is a crossover between these, and "light tourers". Cyclocross bikes are designed for cyclocross, a winter sport involving taking drop handlebarred bikes off road. These usually have clearances for wider tyres, which will be semi-knobbly, and cantilever brakes (which don't get clogged up with mud). Time trial, triathlon, and aero bikes are all variations on a theme. They will have aero profiled tubing, seatposts, bars, and wheels, and are meant for racing in events where drafting is not legal, so wind resistance becomes more of a limiting factor than weight.
    Drink poison. Wrestle snakes.
  • mattsccmmattsccm Posts: 555
    Road . General term for anything for tarmac but possibly also more specific term for racing depending on who is writing. Definitive answer unlikley.
    Aero, most likely refers to something with either timetrial?tri bars and very deep rims or possible a very sculpted frame shape. Anything more than a conventional bike if such a thing exists.
    TT mean time trial. Low pro/tri bars and wheels that are more Aero. Different geometry maybe .
    Sportive. supposedly a specific spec to suit this type of event. Surely interchange able with Road as every manufacture has a different version.
    cyclocross. not a road bike but an off road bike that has drop bars. More room around tyres etc , cantilever brakes and possibly different gears.
    Other whta do you fancy
    With the exception of CX much of the labelling is up to the manufacturer although they may say that each "type" has specific characteristics. thing is every make is differnt and a sportive for one will be a road for another. Unless you need a cross bike don't worry. If you are relativley new you won't want a really expensive TT bike. as for the others its up to you.
    All comments are the opinion of the author and bound to be different to someone else's
  • Monty DogMonty Dog Posts: 20,614
    Your's is simply a 'road' bike - you can train, race or even do some light touring.
    Aero is really a marketing 'niche' created to promote the dubious benefits of aero frame tubes on a road bike - it will probably make the frame heavier and less comfortable.
    A sportive bike has generally a slightly more 'relaxed' geometry e.g. extended wheelbase, longer headtube to make the bike more stable and comfortable - previously, these would have been called audax bikes.
    TT and triathlon bikes are pretty similar too - designed to get you into an 'aero' tuck for races against the clock.
    Make mine an Italian, with Campagnolo on the side..
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