Racing bicycle is styled for aerodynamic efficiency

The racing bicycle is made using aluminum and dual carbon fiber chain and seat stays. It is lightweight with a raised seat to provide dynamic posture to the rider. The front and rear wheels are closely arranged for swift turning.

For greater aerodynamic efficiency, the racing wheel has a triangular cross-section that forms a teardrop with the tire. The number of spokes in the wheel are few -- the reason being the need to reduce wind resistance and to add to overall efficiency. However, in the case of hill climbing bicycles, the traditional box-sectioned rim is used.

The rims of the racing bikes are made of aluminum, which is lightweight and can be easily molded. However, in some bicycles molded carbon fiber is used to make the rim. These rims are lighter as compared to aluminum rims but they easily crack and chip when the wheel punctures. That is why the riders prefer cheaper and heavier wheels for training.

The tires are lightweight, narrow and have smooth treads to reduce wind resistance and road friction. They are inflated to a pressure of around 8 bars. Most racing bicycles have tubular tires that are sewn round the tube and glued to the rim. More recently, cyclists have been preferring the tubular clincher tires. However, opinion on the merits and demerits of the two tires remains divided.

The bicycle used for racing has a carbon frame. Its components are collectively referred to as a group-set. However, this does not include the frameset, fork, wheel-set, bars, stem, pedals, saddle and seat post.

Carbon-fiber is used to make most of the racing bike components. These include high-end shifters, brake levers and cranks. Besides this, carbon-fiber is also used to make stems, handlebars, shoe soles, forks and seat posts. The reason for this is that carbon fiber is very light and has high capacity to absorb vibrations.

Some of the important specifications of racing bikes are:

-- Wheels should be of equal diameter -- between 70 cm and 55 cm -- and have a minimum of 12 spokes ;

-- The maximum length should be 185 cm and the maximum width 50 cm; -- The saddle should be between 24 cm and 30 cm in length

-- The distance between the bottom bracket spindle and the ground should be between 24 cm and 30 cm

-- The maximum internal distance between the front fork ends should be 10.5 cm, and of the rear stays 13.5 cm;

-- The minimum weight of the bicycle should be 6.8 kg.

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