For group rides with Castlebar Cycling Club a road bike is necessary. A road bike typically has tyres that are 25mm or less in width, with drop handlebars, and is therefore designed to travel at speed on the public roads.
The narrow tyres are pumped to a high pressure and have a smooth profile to help the rider gain and keep speed easily.
A hybrid bike may be adequate for an introductory period in the leisure group, but the typically wider tyres and upright position will put the rider at a serious disadvantage against other riders in the group whose lower position will keep them sheltered against the wind, especially at higher speeds.
A time trial bike has an even lower profile than a road bike and is designed for travelling at very high speeds in events called time trials. These are individual events where the rider is timed over a set distance.
These type of bikes are not used for group riding as they require advanced handling skills and the rider may need to change hand position to access brakes. The emphasis here is weighted towards speed rather than handling. In Connacht we have a very vibrant time trial scene with the Connacht Time Trial League and Championships which occur during the summer season.