Road bikes are just as the name describes meant for the road, concrete pavement, only hard smooth surfaces. Compared to a hybrid, a road bike puts the cyclist in a more aerodynamic position in order to increase speed. One major difference a road bike has versus other categories is that road bikes offer 3 hand positions for the cyclist.
If the intention of the cyclist is to go as fast as possible or cover a long distance in the most effective way, road bikes will be best. Road bikes vary greatly but they do have some commonalities; most of them have a carbon fork whether or not the frame is carbon, almost all of them use a 700c wheel with the exception of kids road bikes and the very few extra small road bikes that make use of the 650 wheel size. The value of a road bike differs greatly depending on both the frame and the parts.
Performance road bike is a sub category dedicated to optimizing the bikes performance for competition; the frames are designed more aerodynamic and stiffer in many areas particularly the top tubes, seat stays and bottom brackets of the bike. Performance road bikes will be equipped with a 39/53 chain ring. This kind of chain ring can be a little challenging to beginner riders because it will require more strength to keep up a certain cadence but it contributes to the bike being much faster; they also use the narrower 700x23 tire in order to reduce the amount of contact the tire has against the ground which increases speed slightly. The handle bar positioning is usually set to be a littler lower in order to further increase the aerodynamics of the rider.
Cyclocross bikes are the most rugged of the road bike category, they are meant for off road racing; it’s become a very popular winter sport. The races usually include a whole lot of mud, a circuit track and barricades to jump or climb over, that’s right cyclocross bikes can be bunny hopped once you have the technique down. Cyclocross bikes have an even greater upright positioning than that of an endurance road bike, the frames and fork are both available in steel, aluminum or carbon depending on the brand and the model. The components are what greatly separate a cyclocross bike from the other road bike categories. The chain ring ratio is typically 34/46 that is much smaller than the other road bike categories, this allows for much easier climbing of hills and other off road obstacles. The brake systems commonly used on cyclocross bikes are cantilevers and disc brakes. Although these bikes are designed for off road racing they also make excellent commuter bikes for someone who wants a sturdier road style bike for commuting. Many cyclocross bikes are compatible with fenders and racks, which adds to the commuter appeal.