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SickBiker

Aero vs Lightweight Road Bikes - Felt AR3 or FR3, Merida Reacto or Scultura etc.

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SickBiker

Aero Bike or lightweight Roadie? Specialized Venge vs Tarmac, Felt AR vs FR, Merida Reacto vs Scultura... These questions are being asked so often by those confused beginner cyclists. But it's not only the newbies, who have difficulties to choose between the aero road bike and the lightweight racing machine. Let me help you with some important information about these bicycles and at the end I'll give you 5 questions to ask yourself before making the RIGHT choice.

Felt-AR3.jpg

Felt AR3 - 3499$, 8,15 kg

Felt-FR3.jpg

Felt FR3 - 2999$, 7,65 kg.

Look at the two above... These are both sweet bikes, but the difference between them is significant. Felt AR3 costs 500$ more, than Felt FR3 and is also heavier by 450 grams. If you spent another 500$ upgrading the lightweight one, guess what... It's gonna be even lighter. But you can also decide to put on the FR3 some deep section wheels and it can become even more aero, than the AR3 with the stock wheelset.

Buy a lightweight road bike if:

  • you like to climb and / or you live in the hilly area,
  • the comfort on your bike is important for you (non - aero bikes have more compliant frames, fork and perhaps the most important - the seatpost; the position on these bikes will often be more relaxed as well),
  • you often ride in a group of cyclists (aerodynamics of your bike isn't that important if you're drafting behind others),
  • you ride often in windy conditions (aero bikes don't feel very stable at strong side winds),
  • the money is an issue (aero bikes are more expensive).

Merida-Scultura-500.jpg

Merida Scultura 500 Alloy - 8,56 kg on Shimano Ultegra.

Merida-Reacto-500.jpg

Merida Reacto 500 Alloy - 9,23 kg on Shimano Ultegra and 35 mm deep rims.

Merida-Scultira-6000.jpg

Merida Scultura 6000 Carbon - 7,89 kg on Shimano Ultegra.

Merida-Reacto-6000.jpg

Merida Reacto 6000 Carbon - 8,12 kg on Shimano Ultegra and 35 mm deep rims.

Buy the aero Road Bike if:

  • the average speed of your rides is often over 22 mph or 35 km/h (the higher your speed is - the more advantage of and aero bike),
  •  you often train or race solo,
  • you have good flexibility (the aero bikes have usually more aggressive geometry),
  •  you don't climb very often,
  • you don't usually ride on rough roads,
  • the money isn't an issue here (aero bikes are more expensive and usually don't come with fancy aero wheels).

Venge-ViAS-Expert-Disc-Ultegra.jpg

Specialized Venge ViAS Expert Disc Ultegra - 4500$

Tarmac-Expert-Disc.jpg

Specialized Tarmac Expert Disc - 3900$.

5 questions to ask yourself before choosing the right road bike:

  1. Is pure performance a key factor for me?
  2. Will my riding style really let me benefit from better aerodynamics?
  3. How important for me is comfort of the bike?
  4. Do I have a limited budget?
  5. What bike will I really love?

Yup, that's it! Now you're ready to buy your road bike. Now you know, that same 4500$ you can spend on a carbon aero road bike on certain components, or on an carbon or even alloy lightweight bike with much better components and way more aero wheels. If you're strong though and you've got the money, why not building yourself a super exciting aero machine? And remember - THE LOOK of your bike is pretty important too. I ride my bike every day, because I love it and I'm sure YOU WILL TOO :)

Good prices on the road bikes are here...

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