Scott Solace

Number 1:  Fit, fit, fit, fit, fit, fit.

Number 2:  Will the supplier take the time to adjust the bike to fit you?

Number 3: Will you be riding long distances or doing sportives?

Number 4: What are the wheels like?

Number 5: Is the specification right for your needs?

What’s it all mean?

Working out the right fit is essential and we don’t mean that the saddle is the right height. The balance between the length of the bike and the height of the bars will determine whether the bike is ride-able and comfortable or just plain unpleasant to get on. You would not buy shoes the wrong size!

Many salesmen either don’t know how to set up a bike or don’t have the time. If you have small hands then you’ll need the brakes adjusted so that you can feel confident and safe descending, not frightened!

 If you are going to be riding longer distances, assuming the fit is perfect, you would prefer a more comfortable frame. Some materials and designs are much more comfortable than others.

The better the wheels, assuming fit and frame material is sorted, the better the bike will feel. Wheel upgrades are an investment you can make when you are thinking of the next year or so.

The transmission and brakes are often looked at as the way to judge the value of a bike. Of course they make a difference but those parts don’t really affect the overall ride as much as you think. It is important to ensure that the parts match what you are going to do, where you are going to ride and whether they are the best for your hand size.

Bike Fitting

Number 1: Fit

Fit, you want to be comfortable.  Fit,  is a combination of length and handle bar height.  Fit, more than just marketing - because it says “Sportive” or women’s specific doesn’t mean that it is the right fit.  Fit, sizes vary from brand to brand.  Fit, changes over time, you might be bigger now, you might be more flexible now.

Scott Contessa Solace

Number 2:  Set up

Will the supplier take the time to adjust the bike to fit you?  Women need extra care as the brakes will need special adjustment to ensure safe braking and confident descending.  A specialist shop will do this for free and follow it up in the first free service.  Later on, a professional bike fit will have rewards far beyond any equipment upgrade.

Scott Addict 15

Number 3: The comfort/speed/performance balance

Will you be riding long distances or doing sportives?  Will you be racing?  Is speed the ultimate aim or time in the saddle?  A pure race bike is fast and exciting but will be less compromising.  A relaxed and comfortable sportive frame will be super smooth but might not fire all the juices.

Stans Valor

Number 4: What are the wheels like?

After a bike fit there is no better upgrade than the wheels: The lighter the better.  Many brands compromise on the wheels to keep the price down.  Not such a bad thing for the new rider as you can upgrade when you are at the stage that you will notice them more knowing that you have not wasted money on the original set.

Wilier Road Bike

Number 5: Is the specification right for your needs?

If you have small hands and or are female then the choice of shifter becomes more important.  Good brakes and their function are the first step towards confident riding.  Gear range and the option to change this is essential if you are struggling with hills. The option to add mudguards and rack may be a prerequisite even on your road racing bike.


That’s our explanation of the five most important things to consider when buying a road racing bike. Of course for us at Quest Adventure, it’s second nature to help you through the process. If you are new to road riding and want some of the myths dispelled or just keen to try a few to see the difference, then we are here to help you. Remember our motto is: Inspiration, Motivation & Equipment (and in that order)!