<p>Road bike frames can be confusing for someone new to cycling.</p><p>Understanding frame types and sizes and trying to understand the technical terms is enough to put you off cycling before you begin. So let's cut through all the techno crap and talk in plain English. After reading this you should have a better understanding of bike frames and what to look for when choosing a bike.</p><p>The bike frame is the core of the bike on which everything else is built. It doesn't only make the bike look good or ugly, the type of frame and what it's made of will determine its strength and durability and the smoothness of your ride.</p><p>You should pay special attention to the kind of frame on a bike before you buy one. When choosing your bike frame you need to make sure you get one that fits you. Trust me on this. A bike that fits you makes cycling a lot more pleasurable.</p><p>Over the years, as new technologies have come in, the materials that frames are made out of have changed, while the design of the frame itself has remained more or less the same.</p><p>Early bikes had a steel frame and if you've ever rode on an old butchers bike you'll know how heavy these bike were. When I left school, many moons ago, my first job was as an apprentice mechanic.</p><p>As the apprentice I had to go pick up parts from local dealers and my mode of transport was an old black butcher's bike with a big metal basket on the front autel maxicheck pro
. For a sixteen year old mere slip of a lad this bike felt like it weighed a ton, and it probably wasn't far off. The first problem was getting it going. It took all my strength to get it moving, once it was rattling along my next problem was stopping it.</p><p>The brake levers were stiff and solid; my young hands struggled to pull them.</p><p>It felt like a two man job. By the time I reached my destination I was lathered in sweat as much from anxiety as effort. Anyway I'm waffling. To get back on track early bikes were made of steel.</p><p>I have a friend with a steel framed bike but with modern manufacturing methods it's very light. Nothing like the old butcher's bike.</p><p>The early frames were designed to operate on a lot rougher roads than the ones we are used to. Cobbled streets were the norm back then so heavy bikes with a long frame made for a comfortable ride. Imagine rattling over cobbled roads with a modern road bike, the mere thought makes me cross my legs.</p><p>Conversely using an old steel framed bike on today's smooth roads would be torture.</p><p>Over the years steel tubes were manufactured thinner and thinner making bicycles lighter. The big revolution in bicycle frames came with the introduction of alloy frames.</p><p>Alloy was not a new material, what was new was the technology had been invented to fix alloy tubes together with a secure joint that wouldn't break autel maxisys pro ms908p
.</p><p>This meant the road bike frame could now be made much lighter even though the tubes were thicker. Most bikes today have alloy frames and it's a great choice for a good light aerodynamic bike that won't cost thousands. If you're someone who's got thousands to spend on a bike then there are other frame materials available like titanium.</p><p>I'd love a titanium bike. A guy I know has one and it literally feels lie riding on air. Unfortunately I can't justify spending so much money on a bike. Yet. You want to buy the best frame you can afford. Today all the major bicycle manufactures make excellent frames. With the right components fitted you can get an excellent road bike at a reasonable price.</p><p>What's crucial to getting the right bike for you is ensuring that it fits. Think about it, you wouldn't buy a pair of shoes that were too small or too big, so you should choose your bike carefully.</p><p>You need to find out what's the right size for you and to do this you need to visit a bike shop where they can measure you. Getting the right bike fit is not just about your height, your reach and torso length comes into play as well.</p><p>Frames come in all sizes to suit all riders. The first thing you need to do is get the right size. This is only the beginning of getting the right fit for you but it's a crucial part. Other factors are the length of the handlebar stem and the width of the handlebars. Fine tuning the height of the handlebars and seat are the final fine tuning.</p><p>A good cycle shop will be able to measure you for a perfect fit. This is well worth the effort. I speak with the experience of someone who has ridden a badly fitting bike and a perfect fitting bike.</p><p>A nice fit is a bike that becomes a part of your body and is a pleasure to ride.</p><p>How To Measure Yourself For The Right Sized Bike</p><p>The first thing you need to find out is your inseam. Stand barefoot against a wall. Put a book between your legs tight against your pelvic bone. Take a pencil and make a mark on the wall along the top of the book.</p><p>All you have to do then is measure the distance from the mark to the floor.The measurement should be done in centimetres. This allows for more precision and bike frames are usually measured in centimetres because of the European history of the sport.</p><p>Your inseam measurement will give you a good idea of the frame size you need.</p><p>Take the inseam measurement and multiply it by .80. To get a good estimate of your frame size. If your inseam is 60cm a good road bike fit will be 52cm. this is a good estimate but is no substitute to getting a more precise measurement from a bike shop.</p>Paul has being cycling for over thirty years. he is a freelance writer and author of the cycling blog where he discusses all aspects of cycling from comutting to fitness training.