Types of Road Bikes

Founder, Mr. Mamil

Are you considering purchasing a road bike but need help knowing where to start? 

With so many different types of road bikes on the market, it can be overwhelming to choose the right one. 

  • Do you want a bike best for commuting, racing, or long-distance riding? 
  • Do you prefer a lightweight carbon fiber frame or a sturdy steel frame? 

Road bikes are designed for riding on paved roads. They typically feature lightweight frames, drop handlebars, and narrow tires to provide a fast and efficient ride.

Road bikes come in a variety of styles and designs. The three most common types of road bikes are,

  • Racing bikes
  • Endurance bikes
  • Aero bikes

Each type of bike has its unique features and characteristics. In this article, we’ll go deeper into the differences between each type of bike and the type of riding they’re suited for.

Racing bikes

BMC Teammachine SLR01 FIVE Shimano Ultegra Di2
BMC Teammachine SLR01

Racing bikes, also known as road racing bikes or road bikes, are designed for high-speed riding and competitive events. 

The first road racing bikes were made of steel and were heavy and slow. The design of road racing bikes changed to meet the demands of the sport as technology advances, and new materials are used.

Today, racing bikes are made from aluminum, carbon fiber, steel, or titanium. Carbon fiber bikes are lightweight and aerodynamic, focusing on speed and efficiency. They typically have an aggressive riding position, with the handlebars lower than the saddle and narrow tires to minimize rolling resistance. 

Racing bikes are equipped with lightweight components, such as wheels, derailleurs, and shifters, to reduce weight and improve riding performance.

Racing bikes are designed for competitive events, such as road races, where speed and efficiency are essential. They are also popular among recreational riders looking for fast and efficient bikes for fitness and training purposes. 

Racing bikes are not designed for long-distance riding or rough terrain, as their frame geometry are optimized for riding on smooth and well-maintained roads.

More reading : Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 vs SRAM Red eTap AXS Features Comparison
Bike modelFrame materialGroupsetRetail price
BMC Teammachine SLR01 ONECarbonSRAM Red eTap AXS$14,999
Canyon Ultimate CFRCarbonSRAM Red eTap AXS$10,999
Factor O2 VAMCarbonShimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)n/a
Focus Izalco Max 9.9CarbonShimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)n/a
Giant TCR Advanced SL 0Carbon (Advanced SL-Grade)Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)$12,200
Merida Scultura 10KCarbon (CF5)Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)n/a
Scott Addict RC UltimateCarbon (HMX-SL)SRAM Red eTap AXS$15,999
S-Works Tarmac SL7Carbon (FACT 12r)Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)$14,250
Trek Emonda SLR 9Carbon (800 Series)Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)$13,199
Willier Filante SLRCarbonCampagnolo Super Record EPSn/a
Examples of popular endurance bike models

Endurance bikes

BMC Roadmachine 01 THREE Shimano Ultegra Di2
BMC Roadmachine 01

The concept of endurance bikes emerged in response to the growing popularity of long-distance cycling events, such as gran fondos and charity rides. These events typically involve riding for several hours over challenging terrain, so the demand for a comfortable and efficient bike that could handle the needs of these rides grew. 

Endurance bikes are known as sportive bikes or gran fondo bikes. They’re designed for comfort and efficiency over long distances, with a more relaxed riding position than racing bikes, allowing for a comfortable ride for hours.

Endurance bikes have a more upright handlebar position and a longer head tube. They also have a longer wheelbase, providing more stability and comfort over rough terrain. The bike frame is more forgiving, with a degree of flex to absorb road vibrations and provide a more comfortable ride.

Endurance bikes are ideal for long-distance riding, riders who prioritize comfort over speed, and those who may be new to cycling or returning to the sport after a break. 

Endurance bikes are not ideal for high-speed racing or intense competition.

Bike modelFrame materialGroupsetRetail price
BMC Roadmachine 01 ONECarbonSRAM Red eTap AXS$12,699
Cannondale Synapse Carbon 1 RLECarbonShimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)$9,050
Canyon Endurace CF 7CarbonSRAM Rival eTap AXS$3,999
Cervelo Caledonia 5CarbonSRAM Rival eTap AXS$6,000
Giant TCR Advanced Pro 0Carbon (Advanced Grade)SRAM Force eTap AXS$6,800
Merida Scultura Endurance 9000Carbon (CF3)Shimano Ultegra Di2 (R8100)n/a
S-Works RoubaixCarbon (FACT 11r)Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)$14,250
Trek Domane SLR 9Carbon (800 Series)Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)$13,199
Examples of popular endurance bike models
More reading : Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200) vs Ultegra Di2 (R8100) Comparison

Aero bikes

BMC Timemachine Road 01 TWO Shimano Ultegra Di2
BMC Timemachine Road 01

Aero bikes are a relatively new design, having been introduced in the last 10 to 15 years. Since then, it has become an integral part of every bike manufacturer’s bike lineup.

Aero bikes are better at minimizing wind resistance (drag) and increasing speed. As technology advances and the use of wind tunnels, aero bikes have become more aerodynamic and lightweight.

Aero bikes have a distinct design, with features such as aero-shaped frame tubes, one-piece integrated handlebars, and high-profile (deep) wheels. They also have an aggressive riding position to minimize wind resistance. 

Aero bikes are optimized for riding in a straight line as much as possible, and the aerodynamic design helps riders maintain a high speed for longer periods. Aero bikes are not typically suitable for everyday riding or rough terrain, as they’re stiff, harsher, and uncomfortable for long periods.

Bike modelFrame materialGroupsetRetail price
BMC Timemachine Road 01 ONECarbonShimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)$12,799
Cannondale SystemSix Hi-MODCarbon (Hi-MOD)SRAM Red eTap AXS$13,050
Canyon Aeroad CFRCarbonSRAM Red eTap AXS$9,000
Cervelo S5CarbonShimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)$13,000
Colnago V4RsCarbonShimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)n/a
Factor Ostro VAMCarbonShimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)n/a
Giant Propel Advanced SLCarbon (Advanced SL-Grade)Shimano Dura-Ace Di2 (R9200)$12,500
Ridley Noah FastCarbonShimano Ultegra Di2 (R8100)n/a
Scott Foil RC UltimateCarbon (HMX-SL)SRAM Red eTap AXS$15,999
Trek Madone SLR 9Carbon (800 Series)SRAM Red eTap AXS$13,199
Examples of popular aero bike models
Alex Lee at Mr.Mamil

Alex Lee is the founder and editor-at-large of Mr. Mamil. Coming from a professional engineering background, he breaks down technical cycling nuances into an easy-to-understand and digestible format here.

He has been riding road bikes actively for the past 12 years and started racing competitively in the senior category during the summer recently.