New to road bikes, I need some suggestions

monkeypants Posts: 150
edited May 2007 in Road beginners
Hi, I'm looking out for my first road bike but I'm a little lost at sea as I don't really know what I'm looking for. I'm hoping some of you can help me.

I'm looking for a nice cheap (sub œ200, I'm a poor and don't want to spend too much on just getting started) but good quality bike (second hand is what I'm thinking) what should I be looking for?

My inside leg, wearing shoes from the floor to my actual crotch, not my trousers is 86cm, so I should fit a 56cm bike. I'm 5'11 in total so I'm hoping I should fit on most bikes fairly well.

Can anyone reccommend anything? I've had a look in the classifieds and velocitizen's Decathlon 7.1 looks like a fairly good deal but it's 2cm too small, would this be a noticable problem?

Please let me know any advice you have to give. [:)]

PS: I did a search before posting and found nothing. Sorry if this has been posted before!


  • JWSurrey
    JWSurrey Posts: 1,173
    I hope you enjoy road riding as much as I have, returning to it.
    You don't mention the part of the world you are in.
    If you're in London, Battersea Police Station used to host a good auction of bikes. Might be a starting point.
    Maybe try your local station.

    If you can find someone who knows roughly what a comfortable riding position looks like, to go along with you, all the better.
    I'm 5ft 11, and ride a 55cm frame - But to be honest frame sizing is a difficult thing when you base it on the absolute number - compact frames and traditional frames (with a straight toptube) for example.

    Keep some money aside for extras too - Spare inner tube, water bottle, bottle-cage it there isn't one, tyre levers, pump, somthing to keep them all in - usually a seatpack, lighting.
    Ensure the bike comes with pedals, and if they're clip-in, you'll need a pair of cycling shoes compatible with the pedals - either that or swap your pedals with someone, for a pair of old-fashioned quill or cage pedals with toe-clips.

    Happy hunting!
  • Tony666
    Tony666 Posts: 274
    I am also cycling on a tight budget and just bought a bike on ebay - a Claud Butler with an RRP around œ300 which I paid œ150 for. It might be worth asking for other people's opinions of ebay though as I might have been lucky and I can easily see that you could get caught out as you won't have seen or tried the bike out before buying it.

    As to my bike, it has hardly been used, and looks as clean as the day it was made (including no visible sign of wear on the tyres. It has the dealer's sticker from where the person selling it bought it which checks out. The person selling it said he had only done about 50 miles on it which, from the condition, I can believe. Slight problem though as there was no user manual and the bike is fitted with brifters - I only found out what these where after spending 30 minutes trying to work out how to change gear before searching the shimano website web for an instruction manual (that's how new I am to all of this [:I])

    The downside is though that a lot of bikes on there have to be collected which I did so that I could at least give it a quick check over before taking it away (which is good as you may be able to agree cash on delivery and so can check that it matches the ad before handing over cash).
  • monkeypants
    monkeypants Posts: 150
    Ahh, yes I see my location would help. I'm up north, in Lancashire. Lytham, to be precise, next to Blackpool (wahey promoted [:D])

    I'd prefer toe clips to start I have a pair for a mountain bike but I don't know whether they'll fit, and I have a bottle and holder, tyre levers and a bag for all the tools (I go mountain biking). The only thing I don't have is a portable road pump (I have a floor one in the garage, it's just not very small)

    I'm really looking for a traditional frame, but I can't be fussy really for my price range. I'll search around for any geometry pictures of the two types as a quick comparison. I'll have to find somewhere I can try different frames. The problem is I don't know anywhere local!)
  • photojonny
    photojonny Posts: 382

    where there's two wheels, there's a way....

    where there's two wheels, there's a way....
  • Big Tcp
    Big Tcp Posts: 163
    Have you tried Ribble cycles at preston - they're fairly local to you and do some cheap deals on their own brand bikes.

    Halfords Carrera road bikes are good value for money, you must have one close to you.

    Or you could try Decathlon - Their 7.1 is under œ200. The nearest shop to you may be Stockpot, though.