Bikes designed for road use, as opposed to mountain bikes. They are geared to operate on flat areas, and therefore suck for going uphill (but are great for downhill). The favorite bike of spandex wearing pansies. I use a road bike for commuting and paved roads and a mountain bike for dirt roads and very hilly areas. Under no circumstances do I wear spandex.

I wonder if I should take the gears off a mountain bike and put them on my road bike.

Road bikes are bicycles designed to be ridden exclusively on the road. They are best suited for riders who are looking to go longer distances at a faster pace. These bikes usually have lighter frames and narrow, high-pressure tires. The riding position is also lower to reduce air resistance which is the major limiting factor in speed.

Ah, going uphill is better if you have a triple chainring road bike. Most of the low-level parts groups have a triple chainring option. This way, you get close to mountain bike gearing, and can tackle steep hills much more comfortably.

For some reason, you can't get triple chainrings in the really expensive stuff like Shimano Dura-Ace. I think it's because it's not pure enough for a road bike. No serious road racer would be caught dead with a triple chainring, but for us mortals who aren't running the Tour de France, being able to turn the pedals is a good thing.

There is some difference between British and American usage; in the UK, "road bike" refers exclusively to a road racing bike by contrast with touring bikes, track bikes, time-trial bikes and the like, also usable on the road; in the USA it is used more in contrast with "mountain bike" to refer to any type of bike not designed for off-road use. Only a matter of nuance, though.

The design of bikes for road racing is fairly tightly prescribed by the UCI in order to preserve the primacy of the athlete over the machine as a factor in racing; this was, somewhat controversially, made more restrictive from 1999 onwards. Frames must be made from tubes in the traditional diamond pattern, wheels must be spoked and identical in diameter, no handlebar extensions are permitted, and restrictions have been put on various frame design parameters in order to prevent radical changes in the riding position.

The term is also used (in the UK at least) to denote a motorcycle designed for normal road use as distinct from specialist racing bikes and the various types of off-road machine (trials, trail, enduro and speedway bikes, etc.), even if the latter happen to be road legal.

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