If you're in the market for a new road racing bicycle, the array of options can be overwhelming. It's best to assess how much you're willing to spend, as performance bicycles can range from several hundred to several thousand dollars. In general, as bikes increase in cost, so does the quality and working efficiency of their components.
Bicycling.com lists the 2010 Kona Zing model at $899. The bike features a 7005 double-butted aluminum frame and Kona carbon fork. The shifters and derailleurs come from Shimano's Sora line. While not recognized as performance level, Sora is a reliable workhorse that offers smooth and reliable shifting and the typical indestructibility of Shimano products. The drivetrain includes an FSA compact crankset, which gives a wide range of gears and allows for easy tackling of hills and flats alike. The frame comes in four different sizes: 49, 53, 59 and 61 cm. This bike is an excellent value for anyone just getting into the sport, or anyone just looking for an affordable, reliable racing model.
$2,000 to $4,000
Cannondale is one of the few manufactures still producing high-end aluminum competition frames. The frames are prized for being stiff, light and of remarkable quality. Cannondale.com calls the CAAD9 1 "the most refined and technologically advanced alloy frame on the planet." The drivetrain is comprised of an FSA crankset in both standard and compact sizes, Shimano's top-of-the-line Dura-Ace shifters and derailleurs and reliable Tektro brakes. The bike comes in a remarkable eight different sizes, allowing anyone to dial in a perfect fit. Cannondale lists the 2010 model at $2,999.
$6,000 and up
With the professional Cervelo Test Team racking up wins all over the planet in 2009, Cervelo might just be the most coveted of racing machines. Cervelo is one of the few bicycle manufactures who devote the entirety of their efforts to designing and producing racing bikes only, allowing them to turn out some of the fastest, sleekest looking machines on the road. The Cervelo R3-SL is the same bike that helped propel Carlos Sastre to victory in the 2008 Tour de France. The bike weighs a scant 14.1 lbs. and comes in five different sizes. Components include top-of-the-line SRAM Red shifters, derailleurs, brakes and crankset. The bike rolls on lightweight Zipp 404 wheels and Continental GP4000 tires. This is the best of everything. Cervelo has cut no corners with the R3-SL, and if budget isn't a consideration, this might just be the bike for you.