A road bike can serve many purposes—recreation, commuting, racing, touring—and it's important to figure out which will take priority. There are excellent bikes that can do all of the above, and others that are better suited to specific tasks. A heavier bike with mounts for fenders and racks isn't the ideal racer, and a lightweight carbon job with super-skinny tubular tires makes for a lousy commuter. What the bike is for is as important as what the bike is.