Racing bikes, also called a road bike, and more popularly recognized as a ten speed, was first designed for use in professional road cycling, usually governed by and based according to the regulations of the Union Cycliste Internationale (UCI). The UCI rules have been modified repeatedly since their introduction. They first existed as a division within the Olympic committee before gaining wider recognition. In recent times the UCI has extended several invitations to national level cyclists to participate in the Tour de France, the most famous bicycle race in the world.
Road bikes are generally categorized into three different categories according to their design, structure and the way they operate. Down-enders are those with no front brake, and are mainly used by racing cyclists for short distances on smooth terrain. These bicycles also usually don’t have a chain guide, and brakes can be applied without locking up the wheels. One of the most popular types of racing bikes is the hybrid. Bikes in this category can use both wind power and braking energy, and so are suitable for flat out riding as well as for riding on rough terrains.
Mountain bikes are a type of racing bikes which feature a freewheel, which enables the rider to coast. As a result they can reach great speeds over short distances and they have become hugely popular amongst enduro riders. Some feature built in suspension, while others have full suspension.
Road bikes are categorized according to their geometry, or the shape of the frame, as well as the way they are set up. This includes the use of drop bars, which adjust the position of the pedals and the positioning of the foot pegs. Dropout and similar devices are used in order to alter the way the handlebars are held. The concept of the modern day sports bike is to incorporate all the necessary features of a racing bike, whilst keeping the same racing bike style.
Road bikes are made to make the maximum amount of headroom available to riders. Some have deep seatstays and tank packs, to make sure that riders do not feel cramped when riding. Others have tank packs, drop bars, solid suspension and throttle bars to enable the rider to take full control of the bike at all times. Some have shallow recessed handlebars, which allow the rider to reach the levers easily.
Carbon fiber is commonly used in racing bikes, as it is light, strong and has good stiffness. However, carbon fiber has been found to be uncomfortable on some frames, especially in comparison to aluminum. Many road riders prefer to use a steel frame, as it is stiffer than carbon fiber, and is also comfortable on some frames. When looking for your next bike, try to match the frame material to your own personal style!